L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Child’s death in accident
Victim’s family ‘offered’ Rs 3 lakh
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Someone has rightly said the rich can get away with anything. The adage holds true in the death of Sahil (6), who was crushed by an overspeeding Merc on Sunday afternoon.

The man who was driving Mercedes- Benz is a noted industrialist and trying to effect a compromise by paying a huge amount to the victim’s family.

Ashwani Kumar, father of the Sahil, who had returned from Hardwar after immersing the ashes of the child, was still in shock and was trying to get to term with the tragedy.

“No one has contacted me. Though, I came to know that a few persons visited my house while I was in Hardwar,” said Ashwani.

Sources said the Merc owner had offered more than Rs 3 lakh to the child’s family.

Meanwhile, family members of the victim, too, want to reach a compromise. Ashwani, who works as a daily wager in poultry unit, has expressed inability to pursue the case.

“I know they are rich and they would be let off easily. Further, the cops are not disclosing the identity of the car driver leave alone nabbing them. Now I have to look after the other members of the family. I have already spent enough on the medication and cremation of the child,” he rued.

Even the relatives are also in despair following the child’s death. Kishorilal, uncle of the child “I cannot forget the horrifying incident. Sahil died in front of my eyes. The entire family loved him. I fail to understand what was the driver trying to do by taking his long car in the narrow street.”

The Merc (PB-10- CL- 7578) belongs to Gorkh Goyal, a city-based industrialist, who resides at Rakh Bag road near the Mall road.

Balbir Singh, in charge, Kochar Market Chowki, said Gorakh Goyal is on the run since the time of the incident.

One of the family members who were standing outside Division No. 5 police station said, “It was an accident as the driver entered into the narrow street to find a shorter route to his destination as traffic was diverted on the main road due to shobha yatra on the occasion of Valmiki Jyanti. If the main road had not been blocked the incident could have never happened.”

Even area residents are applying caution following the incident. Hansraj Gagat, a veteran Congress leader, who lives in the area, said he would request the authorities to install traffic signal in the area so that the drivers apply caution.


Hue and cry over flyover’s material
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
The Gill Chowk flyover came under scanner with shopkeepers in the area, along with municipal councillor Parminder Soma, raising a finger at the quality of material being used in the project after lots of mud fell from a side wall today.

According to information, mud fell from the side slabs in the flyover that got cracked following a collision by a truck a few days ago. This created panic among the shopkeepers, who claimed that the incident could have also taken lives of several people easily.

The work of the Gill Chowk flyover is being done by Ludhiana-based company Deepak Builders.

At 10 am this morning, the shopkeepers raised hue and cry and called municipal councillor Soma, alleging that the company constructing the flyover was not using good material which was evident from the cracks developed in the slab. The shopkeepers also raised slogans against the Municipal Corporation.

Talking to The Tribune, Soma said, "This morning shopkeepers rushed my house, complaining that mud was falling and when I reached the site, I was astonished to see such a large quantity of mud. When I approached Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha, he asked project in charge HS Khaussa to enquire the matter, who gave the work a clean chit." He demanded a CBI or vigilance inquiry into the whole construction to bring reality to fore.

Interestingly, on August 1, The Tribune highlighted about cracks being developed in concrete slabs meant for the Rs 15-crore flyover. However, the then municipal commissioner GS Ghuman and MC officials had given a clean chit to the contractor.

The Municipal Corporation project in charge XEN HS Khaussa said the work of rectification was going on at the site and its reinforcement wall was being looked after by a Mumbai-based company named Starta. “I have gone to the site and there is no problem with the project."

J.S. Matharoo, project engineer with Deepak Builders, said, "There is no problem at all with the flyover. Due to the work of reinforcement wall being undertaken by us, this mud was dug up." 



Councillor’s son Sibia denied bail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Additional Sessions Judge Mohd Gulzar rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Sukhbir Singh Sibia, son of Ward No. 1 councillor Rattanjit Kaur Sibia, who was facing charges of allegedly kidnapping a girl, while she was returning home.

The victim, a resident of Salem Tabri, alleged that Sukhbir, along with his accomplice, allegedly waylaid her at Model Town while she was returning from college on September 23.

According to the victim, Sukhbir threatened her to withdraw the molestation complaint filed by her in the Salem Tabri police station.

The victim’s father Jaswinder Singh alleged that the accused was constantly following his daughter and pressurising the latter to withdraw the complaint, the inquiry of which is being conducted by SP Sanehdeep Sharma.

Earlier, Ratanjit Kaur Sibia's husband Randhir Singh Sibia was arrested for allegedly molesting a woman, who visited the former house to fill the form for the allotment of LPG cylinder.



Celebrating Karvachauth on the Net
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Information technology (IT) is indeed a boon for professional women who no longer have to take leave from their offices on Karvachauth as they have an online access to the "Karvachauth vrat katha", the most important ritual of the day.

Shedding every inhibition, women and girls working in corporate offices took time to read aloud the vrat katha from the Internet followed by evening tea ritual.

So much so that some young techno-savvy girls even went to the extent of arranging a web camera for a Brahmin, who recounted the story from one of the residences in Model Town.

Garima, working with an advertising agency, says, "My mother-in-law is very particular about rituals performed during Karvachauth and she was elated on hearing that I did not miss the katha narration."

Speaking of young couples in love, the festival is a way of abridging the miles. Rachita, a young girl in love, too shares equal enthusiasm for this special festival. "We live in separate cities thus I start my Karvachauth ritual with Net chatting and conclude it by seeing him through web camera."

The festival, which was observed by women to ensure the longevity, prosperity and well-being of their husbands, has become a carnival for women. Ostentations have replaced simple prayers as it is the elaborative shopping followed by beauty therapies and dressing up that mark the festival of Karvachauth.

Married women have maintained the sanctity of the occasion through worship of Lord Shiva, Kartikeya, Ganesha, Parvati and the Moon followed by eating of "Sargi", a basket of fruits, sweets and coconut presented by mother-in-laws. But it is a different story for the young engaged girls, who start their day with a telephone calls to their fiancé and savouring the special gifts of "dark Swiss chocolates" with a can of apple juice as a part of “sargi”.

Yet, the traditional flavour of bangles, karva thalis, jewellery and elaborative mehendi is still the ruling element in the festivities. 



Fire in knitwear unit
Narrow escape for 10 workers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Around 10 persons had a narrow escape as a knitwear unit in street number 2 of New Shivaji Nagar caught fire here this afternoon. The fire left two with minor burn injuries but no loss of life was reported.

According to information, five fire tenders were rushed to the site and it took around three hours for the fire fighters to douse the flames and bring situation under control. The hosiery unit was in a narrow street.

The firefighters revealed that the fire started from second floor and also engulfed the third floor, while the ground floor was not affected at all.

ADFO Kartar Singh said, "The area was very congested and a major tragedy was averted due to timely action by us. We had been regularly requesting commercial unit owners to make fire-fighting arrangements, but they took us for granted." He said since it was a working day, there were labour working in the unit and all of them had a real brush with fire.

The exact amount of loss was yet to be ascertained, however, it is likely to go in lakhs.

Tony, who is an eyewitness and informed the fire department, said, "My house is just 10 plots away from the site. While I was on my way to somewhere I saw a lot of smoke coming out of the building and people jumping here and there. I immediately called 101."



Man strangles wife to death
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 7
A resident of Amloh road in Khanna strangulated his wife to death after an altercation late last night. Dinesh Kumar, a tubewell operator near vegetable market of Khanna, entered in an altercation with his wife after he came back home last night. The couple married around eight years ago and were blessed with three children of 10 years, 7 year and three years.

In his statement to the police, Dinesh said he fought with his wife over a petty issue while the children were asleep. When the kids woke up after hearing the shouts, he tried to pacify his wife so that the children could not disturb.

However, the wife again started shouting at her husband and torn her clothes. The husband claimed that he went to the room of the children and made them sleep but when he came back he saw clothes of his wife lying in another room and she was missing. He saw that his wife went to an adjoining market without clothes. The husband again pleaded his wife not to create such a scene outside his house and forced his wife back to the home. Again after reaching the home, the wife started shouting at her husband and threw an electrical appliance. The husband then strangulated her with the wire of that appliance till she died. He woke up in the morning and dropped his children in the house of his parents in an adjoining village and then surrendered before the police.



Finally, sub-registrar office gets security
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Coming to the rescue of sub-registrars three months after a murderous assault on tehsildar Major G.S. Benipal in his office, the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, has finally provided security to the sub-registrar (East) office in Transport Nagar here.

Deploying security guards in the office was a long pending demand of revenue officials, who were frequently becoming victims of misbehaviour at the hands of politicians and lawyers.

Moreover, these offices handled lakhs of rupees as cash collected as collector's duty from parties visiting the office to get their revenue-related documents booked.

Following the spate of complaints, tehsildars had demanded security guards several months ago. At that time, the demand was put off by Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg.

The DC has now provided four security guards in the Transport Nagar office here.

Earlier, when the demand of the tehsildars was put off by the DC, they were bringing their private security guards along. After attack on Benipal, they were so fear-struck that some of them were bringing musclemen to offices.

The sub-registrars said they were relieved. ‘‘Everyday, I had fear that somebody may not remove my turban. But now I am relaxed. The incidents in the past had caused a fear among us,’’ said Jagsir Singh, SR (E).

Soon after Benipal was assaulted, revenue officials of the state had gone on strike. Besides demanding action against the assailants, the revenue officials had demanded security. Benipal was immediately given two guards but the state government had declined to help the rest of the officials.

The government had contended that if they were to provide security in revenue tehsils, it would create a shortage of more cops with the Punjab Police. 



Recession has taught us lessons, say JNU VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
“We should not expect any miracle to happen unless the world economy picks up its pace of growth. US economy was the largest economy of the world and as a result the heat of its recession has travelled to all he economies of the world in different proportions. Strong grip of government on theconomic affairs of India, huge domestic consumption, less dependence on outside world etc have actually caused relatively less sufferings to Indian economy.

But it will not be wise to ignore the recession because it has taught us several lessons for future,” said Prof BB Bhattacharya, Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, while addressing the members of the Ludhiana Management Association here last evening.

LMA invited Prof Bhattacharya to address the members of the association on the topic “The global meltdown and its impact on India”. Dr KNS Kang, general secretary of the LMA, welcomed the speaker and guests. VK Goyal, president of the LMA, JR Singhal, senior vice-president and Sachit Jain, vice-president of the LMA, were also present.

While extending his welcome note, Dr Kang said crashing of the US economy had raised eyebrows of all economies of the world. Something unexpected had happened which had put the world’s economies into deep sense of thought and worries. Revival of world economy was expected by 2010 and it was being expected that emerging nations like India, China, Russia, Brazil and Japan would take lead in future.

While elaborating the topic, Prof Bhattacharya said this recession was not a sudden failure of entire financial system of the USA. Many economists predicted this recession in early phase of the 21st century and most prominently in 2006, Noble Laureate Robert Schiller had warned about it.

Leading economists of the world saw the symptoms of such situation well before the time and warned the world.

Prof Bhattacharya also said the main reasons behind the crashing of the US financial market were exuberant expectations from real estate by financial institutions, irrational lending of money and poor control of regulatory bodies over such developments.

He emphasised that Indian market also behaved sometimes in same fashion. He said 2 per cent growth in economy could not take Sensex to rise by 100 per cent or 200 per cent. It was the hype created by people which actually resulted into bad happenings later on.

He quoted the example of banks of Iceland which started luring the financial market of the US by offering them high interest rates, which finally resulted into shortage of liquidity with financial institution.

Real estate prices did not rise but slashed, financial institutions lost their liquidity and borrowers could not repay their loans to the banks, which resulted into financial meltdown in the USA.



AS College students learn vocational skills
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 7
A two-day talent hunt programme was held at AS College of Education wherein students were helped in exploring their hidden talent. Art and craft, embroidery, knitting, mehandi designing and other vocational activities were taught.

Besides vocational training, the students also participated in poem recitation, essay writings, dance and other competitions. Principal of the college Neena Aneja emphasised that students must participate in such events. She said names of talented students would be forwarded to the university to participate in such events at university level.



Johnny Lever, Ryan school launch courses
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Comedy timing can be improved upon but learning afresh is impossible as it is not a crafted skill, but inborn talent to make people laugh. This was observed Johnny Lever, a noted comedian of Hindi cinema.

The actor was in the city to hold a special workshop-cum-interactive session at Ryan International School, Ludhiana.

Rating Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav as the accomplished comedians of the contemporary Hindi cinema, Johnny Lever said these two were versatile in their style and an asset for Bollywood.

Johnny Lever also said vulgarity in comedy prevailed as the audience did not vote against it. On the contrary, the quick puns, despite their underlying meanings, were received well by the Indian audience, the actor stated.

Ryan Group of Institution has joined hands with Johnny Lever Film Academy with a vision to provide quality training in fields like film making, acting, editing, dancing, recording, production and dubbing.

Students of Ryan, Ludhiana, today interacted with Johnny Lever, famous film producer Imtiyaz Sheikh, and renowned choreographer Vinod Tiwari from Boogie Woogie fame.

Different dance workshops will be launched by the academy in the school shortly. The students were enchanted by the dance performance given by their expert dance troupe.



Photographer held for blackmail, rape
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 7
A resident of Roomi village has accused a photographer of allegedly raping her continuously for a year and blackmailing her. She, in an application to the SHO, Jagraon, has alleged that Gurpreet Singh, alias Sony of Dholan village, runs a photography shop at Roomi village.

Last year when had to his shop to get herself photographed, Gurpreet Singh retained her photographs and superimposed her face on a few nude photos. He, even, threatened to distribute the photographs in the village. The girl got afraid. Gurpreet Singh raped her inside his shop. He started calling her to his shop frequently. This continued for almost a year.

The girl’s sister, who needs passport size photographs, accompanied her to his shop. Gurpreet started teasing her sister and pinched on her cheek. Gurpreet slapped her after she objected to the move. The girl reached her house and narrated the entire incident to a village sarpanch. When the sarpanch intervened Gurpreet confessed his misdeeds but wasn’t relenting. On this the girls lodged a complaint with the Jagraon police. The accused was booked under Sections 376, 354, 323 and 294 of the IPC and arrested. 



PAU associate professor dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Dr Subhash Chander Gandhi, an associate professor in the department of mechanical engineering of PAU, died here last evening in an accident while he was on a walk.

A condolence meeting was held in the university wherein faculty members, employees and students remembered Dr Gandhi for his contributions in the field of agricultural engineering.

The dean of College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Dr PK Gupta, director (research), Dr PS Minhas, director (extension education), Dr MS Gill, president of PAU Teachers’ Association conveyed their condolences to the bereaved family.



Training on beekeeping at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Punjab produces about 26 per cent honey of the country. This was stated by additional director (extension education) Dr HS Dhaliwal while addressing the participants of the beekeeping training programme organised by the Directorate of Extension Education.

He said the PAU introduced Italian honey bees in Punjab in sixties that revolutionised honey production in the state. The university organised beekeeping training courses from time to time for the benefits of the farmers, he said adding that honeybees not only enhanced income of farmers but also produced several other products.

There was a need to diversify beekeeping, said Dr Dhaliwal. The coordinator of the programme, Dr JS Bhalla, said fifty progressive beekeepers from different parts of Punjab participated in the training. Dr PK Chhuneja provided technical know-how about different aspects of beekeeping.

Dr PS Ranote provided tips for including honey in various food preparations. President of the Bee Keepers Organisation, Gurnek Singh extended vote of thanks to the organisers and technical experts for educating participants about the intricacies of beekeeping. 



Chemist shop raided
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 7
The drug department and the Anti-Narcotic Cell, Ludhiana, jointly raided one of the local chemist’s shops today morning following the report published in the columns of the Ludhiana Tribune on Monday.

Drug inspector Rajesh Suri said: “The chemist failed to produce accounts of the sale and purchase of the restricted he was selling in the open. He had, even, stocked a large number of such drugs in his as well. The raiding teams seized 14,808 capsules, 61,090 tablets, 265 syrups and 584 injections from his possession. The chemist has been booked under Section 18-C of the Drug and Cosmetic Act after he failed to produce the license.

The Tribune had highlighted the plight of school and college-going children in Sahnewal and Dorah after they got addicted to such restricted drugs, which was easily available at a few chemists shops. 



EO post vacant
MC staff yet to get wages
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, October 7
The future of employees working in the Dakha Nagar Panchayat and Raikot Municipal Council seems to be black ahead of festive season as these two wings are without an executive officer and even the post of SO is lying vacant at Dakha. Due to the non-appointment of EO at Dakha, about Rs 20 lakh, payable to various persons, including employees and contractors, is pending since long. Even contractors have stopped the work due to the non-payment. In fact, the post of the EO is lying vacant since August 31, after executive officer of the council, Surinder Kumar, was transferred to Khamano Mandi.

Telu Ram Bansal, president, Nagar Panchayat, Mullanpur Dakha, termed it as SAD-BJP discriminatory act since he belongs to the Congress. He said the nagar panchayat was to issue more than 150 birth certificates and about 80 death certificates. Ninety such cases are pending due to the later entries. Besides this, 12 persons are waiting for the approval of the site plans of their houses. He said the interested parties visit his office daily to get these certificate issued but without EO’s signatures not a single certificate could be issued.

The situation is worst in Raikot. Malkait Singh, EO, Raikot Municipal Council, was transferred to Bhagta Bhai Ka (Bathinda) when the council demolished a part of rented building occupied by Satish Aggarwal, a senior BJP leader. He was running a school from the premise. The building was raised on a council’s land that was encroached upon by its owner, Master Harbans Singh, an NRI. He had, even, agreed to get it demolished by the MC staff. He got the EO transferred and the charge of the Raikot MC was given to the Mullanpur’s EO. Since August 31, there isn’t any EO for Raikot as well. Satish Aggarwal approached the vigilance over the demolition issue and on the basis of its report, the state government has now ordered to demolish all surrounding encroachments. Because of this, the MC staff will now demolish more than six houses.

Amandeep Singh Gill, president, Raikot Municipal Council, said due to the non-payment of electricity bill the council had been slapped penalty worth Rs 50, 000 by the PSEB. He said all developments projects were stalled and scores of death and birth certificates were waiting to be issued.

Telu Ram said they had handed over numerous representations to Manoranjan Kalia in Chandigarh and deputy director Ashok Kumar Sikka in Ludhiana in this regard but to no avail.

Incidentally festivals like Karwa Chauth and Diwali are being celebrated this month but the employees are yet to be paid their wages. Employees said they would celebrate black festivals with empty pockets. A widow had requested the school where her children studies to give her a grace period without imposing fines as she was unable to pay the fees due to the EO’s absence.



MC working overtime, yet people living in hell
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
With the festival season round the corner, the city has once again started becoming a dumping ground with garbage littered on large number of roads, especially in the outer wards.

While the Municipal Corporation claims to have made enough arrangements for Diwali and safai karamcharis say that they are working in the morning and evening shifts, to ensure cleanliness, all these claims fall flat on a visit to various areas of the city.

Ward 39 councillor Sanjay Talwar rued that the heaps of garbage could be seen littered in every nook and cranny in his area. “Namdhari Smarak in Field Ganj is one of the dirtiest points and people are left with no choice other than living in the hell. This is one of the most important roads and yet it is hardly cleaned. For a population of 40 lakh people, how could you expect that just two garbage-lifting vehicles can give comfort,” he added.

Coming heavily upon regular safai karamcharis, BJP councillor Gurdeep Singh Neetu said: “The Amritsar corporation has become a role example. They have privatised the process of garbage lifting and the condition of the city has improved a lot. We have about 300 mohalla sanitation committees and more than 1,500 regular employees. Everybody knows that regular employees don’t work, but no action has been taken.” Neetu met Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha yesterday to apprise him of the situation in the city.

He added that be it green belt or service lanes, one did not need to find garbage as a routine travel to any part of the city would reveal the fact and the work of sanitation workers.

The solid waste management project of the state government has failed to kick off in the city due to the reasons better known to officers, but the fact is that residents are fuming.

Fakir Chand, a resident of Ghumar Mandi, said: “Empty plots and roads, everywhere you can find garbage and I fail to understand for what are we paying taxes to the corporation when it can’t even follow its motto of cleanliness.”

Talking to The Tribune, senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal said: “I feel rehriwalas have created a nuisance by throwing garbage on road corners and it’s not possible for sanitation staff to lift it again and again. Vendors should have their own garbage collection bags to dispose of their products. Anyone disobeying the orders should be punished either by fine or impounding his rehri.” 



Watch out before buying used car
Police fails to develop mechanism for verifying papers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Watch out if you are purchasing a second-hand car as you can land in trouble for buying a stolen vehicle. With the city police unable to provide a mechanism for verifying the papers of vehicles, the entire transaction is based on faith between the buyer, the seller and the car dealer.

The city car bazaar is the biggest in North India and there have been numerous cases where car thieves have sold stolen vehicles with fake registration papers to car dealers as well as buyers.

Car dealers who are in the trade for decades say that the new entrants in the trade, in order to make quick buck, sell stolen cars and blot the business, which is based on trust.

Recently, a Congress leader, who is a car dealer as well, became the victim of this malpractice, when a brother-sister duo sold him a stolen car.

“Not only did I lost Rs 1 lakh, I had also to face embarrassment,” said Congress leader Amarjit Singh Tikka.

Despite being fleeced, he offered cooperation to the police in chasing the con men who sold him the stolen car. The seriousness of the matter can be gauged from the fact that he is a political leader and an experienced car dealer and if he was duped, what could be he fate of common people.

As majority of the car dealers don’t own the responsibility once the vehicle is sold, it is the buyer who is at risk if the purchased car latter is found to be stolen.

Many such cases have come to light where the insufficient paper work has put the seller in trouble, especially in the cases where the car is sold by the latter was further used for crime.

Narrating one such incident, Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Rajguru Nagar, said: “I sold my Maruti 800 car through a car dealer for Rs 45,000. The dealer further dilly-dallied over the paper formalities. Later, I came to know that the car was further sold to a man in Himachal Pradesh.”

Rajesh added, “It was the beginning of bad times as the person who purchased the car met with an accident and died on the spot. Later, his family members alleged that it was the bad condition of the car that led to the accident. The family further filed a case against me as the car was in my name. I came to know about the matter when the Himachal police came looking for me. When I asked the car dealer, he simply washed his hand off the matter and refused to owe the responsibility. Finally, I paid twice the amount to the family to settle the dispute and took a pledge never to sell a car through a car dealer.”

Raja, who is dealing in second hand cars for over a decade, suggested that the car should be purchased after going thorough the documents thoroughly and once the car is purchased, one should quickly complete the formalities. Besides, the car should be purchased from a car dealer who has a clean image in the market.

Raja rued that it had been over two decades since the car bazaar come into existence, but still no mechanism has been developed to prevent cheating.

According to a CIA staff official, the trade of stolen vehicle is flourishing in Jagraon, Khanna and Moga, while the car dealers in the city have distanced themselves from selling stolen vehicle.

Balbir Singh, in charge, Kochar Market police post, who deals with the complaints of Feroz Gandhi market car bazaar, tried to downplay the situation and said the circumstances were not that bad. “We receive one or two formal complaints in six months, which is not severe considering the size of the car bazaar,” he added.



Sweetmeat seller, servant sustain burns in scuffle
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
A sweetmeat seller and his servant sustained serious burn injuries when a neighbouring garment trader ‘accidentally’ threw boiling cooking oil on the former at the Subhani building area here today.
Baldev Raj writhing in pain at the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana on Wednesday.
Baldev Raj writhing in pain at the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

The incident took place this afternoon when Deepak Chabra, owner of a garment shop, entered into a heated argument with his neighbour Baldev Raj, owner of the sweetmeat shop, over the removal of a chimney. It is learnt that the argument soon turned into blows.

According to victim Baldev, Chabra threw a table at him, which fell in the frying pan as a result the cooking oil fell on him and his servant.

Baldev has sustained over 40 per cent of burn injuries and is currently undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital. According to doctors, Baldev has sustained severe burns on his right leg. The condition of the victim is stated to be serious.

Sham Sunder, servant of Baldev, also sustained burn injuries on his legs, face and neck.

Baldev, while talking to The Tribune, said he was running his shop in the area for the past five years and never indulged in an argument.

He said recently he renovated his shop due to which he had to remove the chimney. It is learnt that Chabra was complaining about the smoke emitting from furnace, which was causing inconvenience to the customers arriving at the cloth shop.

Baldev said Chabra arrived at his shop today and asked him to install a chimney. “When Deepak (Chabra) came to my shop I called up the mason and asked him to fit the chimney at the earliest. But he told me that he was busy due to the festival season and would fix the chimney in a few days,” said Baldev.

Baldev further told Chabra to wait for few days. This infuriated the latter and he installed a table fan at his side of the shop, which ceased the furnace.

It is learnt that when Baldev went to stop the fan, Chabra took a small table and hurled at him. The table went straight in the frying pan and the boiling cooking oil splashed on Baldev and his servant Sham Sunder. Chabra also fled from the spot after the incident.

Meanwhile, the police has recorded the statement of the accused and started investigating.



Alert residents catch snatcher
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 7
Alert residents of Guru Teg Bahadur Market caught one of the three snatchers, who took away Rs 35,000 and three cylinders from an employee of a gas agency.

In his complaint to the police, Timmal, an employee of Resham Gas Agency, alleged that two boys came to him and demanded refilled gas cylinder around 7.30 pm but he refused to give them without a gas registration copy. The boys then threw chili powder in his eyes and took away Rs 35,000, three empty cylinders and his mobile phone.

The unidentified boys also beat up Timmal before leaving, however, some area residents caught hold of one of them and handed him over to the police.

Police officials said a case in this connection would be registered against the boys and efforts be made to recover the stolen cash and cylinders.



Rishi Nagar residents demand amenities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 7
Residents of Rishi Nagar colony, a 256-acre residential scheme, developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), have urged the authorities concerned to make provisions for providing basic infrastructure facilities and public utilities, which were still to materialise even after making repeated representations.

Speaking at a function after inauguration of the office of Rishi Nagar Welfare Council here last evening, chairman of the council Thaman Satish made a fervent plea for setting up a police post in the colony, electricity complaint and bill collection centre, proper maintenance of the parks, recarpeting of main and inner roads, improvement in the power supply network and other utilities.

Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg, who inaugurated the office of the council, assured to take up the matter for establishment of a police post with the police administration if a suitable place was provided by the LIT for this purpose.



Diwali gifts for workers, not VIPs: Chamber
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Reeling under the global meltdown and further severely hit by irregular power supply in the state, industrialists in the city have decided not to "entertain" officials or political leaders this Diwali.

They feel that labourers or the industrial workers were the backbone of any unit, so there was no question of adopting cost-cutting measures on them. But they will definitely restrict themselves by not giving expensive Diwali gifts to officials and politicians. Talking to The Tribune, general secretary of Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU) Avtar Singh said Diwali was the biggest festival of India and people did not mind spending lavishly to celebrate the festival.

"But in present circumstances when the recession has hit the industry, the celebrations might not be too grand. We are thinking of adopting certain cost-cutting measures to save a little. But this will not affect the workers in our units. They are the ones who run the industry. They will be getting Diwali in form of bonus or sweets or gifts, etc as fixed by employers", said Avtar Singh, further adding that about 1,300 members of the chamber will be requested to follow the instructions of not giving Diwali gifts to higher-ups or politicians this time. "We will save a lot if gifts will not be given to these people on Diwali", he said.

Another hosiery manufacturer at Focal Point Hitesh Gambhir said the entire industry was dependent on the work-force. "If they are not kept in high spirits, production in the units will be affected. The workers wait throughout the year to get Diwali from employers. Though we are not in the position to spend lavishly on Diwali as export orders have been hit badly due to the recession, we certainly do not want that workers should be made the scapegoats without any of their fault. They will be given Diwali as earlier", said Gambhir.

SriRam, a worker working at Cycle Factory in Industrial Area, said workers wait for the festival in the factory. "We are given half-month salary as Diwali bonus with sweets and a blanket. If employers deny this, there will be no fun working in the unit. We do understand that production in units has come down due to power cuts. We will try to bring it back at the same level by working hard", said SriRam.



27 commercial plans get nod
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
The fund-crunched Ludhiana Municipal Corporation seems to have finally realised the need of funds as it has started taking collection of revenue seriously.

According to information, Municipal Commissioner A.K. Sinha today approved 27 commercial plans that would help the civic body to earn around Rs 2.3 crore.

Sources in the town planning wing revealed that out of this amount, around Rs 70 lakh were confirmed while the decision on rest of the revenue was with the local bodies department. "There are two commercial plans which have been referred to the local bodies department and after approval from it, we could expect income from these," said a senior functionary. These plans had been pending for quite a long time.

Interestingly, a few days ago, commissioner Sinha had streamlined functioning of the town planning wing by fixing a deadline for all officials from draftsman to ATP to approve the residential and commercial plans they got. Besides, a register was also asked to be maintained that would be inspected by ATP (headquarters) to keep a check on regularity.

Notably, at this point of time, funds have become a dire need for the Municipal Corporation as the city's infrastructure like roads, etc are crying for an improvement. The routine work of approving plans could be considered as a step to increase revenue for the development.



City Concerns
Shun crackers from this Diwali

Though there is joy all around ahead of Diwali, it leaves a trail of poisonous gases and high decibels of sound after people burst crackers. The apex court has taken note of pollution caused by crackers and asked the respective district administrations to check it, nothing has changed. A few NGOs and schools initiate a campaign every year, asking residents to celebrate Diwali without crackers. This, too, has failed to evoke much response. This is what a cross section of people has to say on the issue. Though there is joy all around ahead of Diwali, it leaves a trail of poisonous gases and high decibels of sound after people burst crackers. The apex court has taken note of pollution caused by crackers and asked the respective district administrations to check it, nothing has changed. A few NGOs and schools initiate a campaign every year, asking residents to celebrate Diwali without crackers. This, too, has failed to evoke much response. This is what a cross section of people has to say on the issue. 

Every year the festival of lights fills our life with darkness. Due to the bursting of crackers not only noise level cross-deafening limits but more than doubles the air pollution also. Public must know the fact that crackers that we burst release heavy metals among other toxic substances that creates respiratory disorders like asthma and even heart attacks. Children are the biggest victims, as their defence mechanisms are not fully developed to withstand the increased intensity of pollution. Furthermore, bursting of crackers is now a means of “showing off” and is another opportunity to display ones wealth. With so many people living in poverty, burning money on crackers is a shameful act. Photosynthetic process of trees disrupts normally due to thick coating of smoke. Besides this, birds and animals have to cope with loud blasts and toxic smoke leading to their disappearance from a city. Losing so much for so little? Moreover, celebrating Diwali with crackers is not our tradition! When Lord Rama returned to Ayodha, there were no firecrackers to greet him. Diwali is a festival of lights and was never a festival of crackers and smoke.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana

Be with friends, kin

Diwali is the festival of lights, not of noise, explosions and animal abuse! Our selfishness and complete lack of regard for our neighbors cast a dark spell on the neighborhood! The “religious intolerance” card is played, I feel just as strongly about firework on any other day be it, New Year’s Eve too. We can have crackers show for two hours in a common place like the banks of the Sutlej. Where people can see and enjoy the crackers, instead of doing at their homes in a small way and making the whole city dusty and strewn with rubbish all over the city. This will give senior citizen and baby peace of mind. Firstly, forget crackers and rekindle the spirit of Diwali, love and goodwill. The spirit of good winning over the evil. Be with friends, meet relatives, have a good time. Even if you cannot resist the crackers, use less, non-toxic and safe crackers. Also, play them safe without hurting the people on the road of creating havoc for the traffic. Pollution is one of the worst after effect of Diwali, and the garbage on the roads that needs cleaning the next day. Instead of that lets do something better. Let us try to clean our neighbourhood. Let us make Diwali cleaning not an individual, but a social task. Why just clean your garage or paint your home? Why not give a makeover to the empty plot across the street and get rid of mosquitoes. This will not only help us control global warming, but also help some heartwarming around the neighbourhood.

Maj Kuljit Singh Sidhu, Ludhiana

Work in tandem

For Indians settled all over the world Diwali is a festival everyone looks forward to celebrate in India. But when we, NRIs return home to celebrate it, we are disappointed at the way people burst firecrackers. Though India is a power being reckoned world over the residents are still indulging in the age old practices like polluting the environment by bursting crackers. Despite knowing that the pollution-both noise and air causes many health problems, people spend crores on firecrackers. Both administration and residents need to work in tandem to stop the practice of bursting of firecrackers. What is the fun of a festival if we leave poisonous gases afterwards? We cannot damage the environment like this.

Ashwini Sharma, Canada

Don’t risk health

The light of “diyas” lit on the moonless Diwali signifies the triumph of knowledge and wisdom over the darkness of ignorance. But how ignorant are those of its true significance who celebrate it by indulging in all kinds of evil activities? When we think of Diwali the first thing that comes to our mind is crackers. Crackers worth crores of rupees are burnt every year just for say joy, thrill and fun without realizing that the thrill is soon replaced by intense air pollution. The toxic chemicals including copper, lead, potassium, sodium are used in these crackers pose numerous health hazards. According to experts the level of suspended particles increases manifold after Diwali causing eye, throat and noise problems. Besides causing suffering to birds and animals these are dreaded by the sick and the ailing. Even the ruling by the Supreme Court of India on September 2001 regarding adherence to anti-noise pollution norms has not been not enough to deter people from resorting to such cheap way of celebrating. Do we need that some strict law should impose such things of common sense upon us? Let us say ‘no’ to crackers this time and celebrate environmental friendly Diwali.

Satvir Singh, Ludhiana.

Preserve environment

Both developing as well as developed countries at present are facing serious environmental problems. While some of the problems might be alike due to their global nature like global warming, depletion of the ozone layer, others are specifically local ones. How do people out of different cultures perceive these problems? How do they react to them? Need of the hour is to spread environmental awareness to all citizens. Suffering from a disease or permanent health problems due to environmental pollution probably must enhance the level of awareness. General public must be aware about that zero decibels are approximately the softest sound the healthy human ear can hear. The scale increases logarithmically; that is, the level of perceived loudness doubles every 10 decibels. Experts agree that continued exposure to noise above 85 DBA, over time, would eventually harm hearing. In general, the louder the sound, the less time required before hearing will be affected. Furthermore, noise-induced hearing loss as loud noise assaults the delicate hair cells of the inner ear. Noise-induced hearing loss typically occurs gradually and without pain. After exposure to loud noise, a person may experience ringing in the ears or difficulty hearing. This is called a temporary threshold shift. After a few hours, this temporary shift in hearing returns to normal. With repeated exposure, however, this temporary shift in hearing can become permanent.

Shivanshu Garg, Chandigarh Road



Sugar hoarding
Accused denied bail
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 7
Court of Judicial Magistrate Balwant Singh yesterday dismissed the bail application of Rajiv Kumar, manager, Chandi Ram Roshan Lal, a Jalandhar- based firm, in the sugar hoarding case.

He was arrested on September 21 after being accused of illegally stocking 9,780 quintals of sugar worth Rs 3.13 crore.

Dismissing the bail plea, the court observed that keeping in view the seriousness of the offence, it did not find any reason to grant bail to the accused.

Additional Public Prosecutor ML Solanki had submitted before the court that virtually, the accused was owner of the firm. He said the owners of the firm were none else but his brother Subhash Munjal, wife Nidhi Munjal and mother Sudharshan Munjal. All of them are absonding.

He apprised the court the accused was booked in two similar sugar hoarding cases in Amritsar and Jalandhar also. He was the owner of one of the firms, Rajiv Enterprises, from where 3,650 quintal of sugar was seized.

Due to the festival season,the accused in connivance with a few others had hoarded sugar, for selling the same in the black market.

Whereas the defence lawyer had submitted that no offence was committed by the accused. Sugar was recovered from a godown, a manager has nothing to do with that. Moreover, the accused had undergone sufficient police and judicial remand. 



Karate winners honoured
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 7
The management committee of Victoria Public High School, Lehra, felicitated winners of the 7th National Karate Championship concluded at Pilibangha in Hanuman district, Rajasthan, recently.

Dev Raj Sofat, former ADM, Punjab Roadways, presided over the function and Sanjay Dhand was the chief guest.

According to S P Sofat, director of the organisation, nine students of the school, who had brought laurels to the institute by bagging medals in the National Championship, were felicitated by the management committee at a function organised on the school campus today.

Tapinder Singh and Manjot Singh were felicitated for bagging gold medals in their respective categories whereas Shivangi Sofat, Simran Dhillon and Parminder Singh were honoured for winning silver medals. Jaspreet Kaur, Samridhi Dhand, Parveen and Karan Sharma had won bronze medals in their categories.

Mohammad Ishfaq, instructor, was felicitated for his valuable guidance. 



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