L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Retired cop under scanner
Charged with embezzling money of residents
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
The role of a retired sub-inspector has come under scanner for allegedly embezzling committee (kitty money) fund of over Rs 1 crore belonging to 150 persons of Aman Nagar.

The residents of the Aman Nagar locality, near Jalandhar bypass, today staged a dharna against the retired SI, who vacated his house a week ago and reportedly fleed the city.

The residents, led by Amarjeet Singh, alias Jeeta, gathered outside the Salem Tabri police station and demanded the registration of a fraud case against the retired cop.

Jeeta said the cop's wife, who was running a boutique in Akash Nagar Colony, was dealing in committees for the past 20 years.

“The people were depositing their money with them, thinking he was a cop and their money would be safe. But who knew that the cop would flee with the hard-earned money of the residents,” said Amarjit Singh.

Parveen Kaur, a resident of Salem Tabri, claimed that the retired cop had usurped her savings of Rs 30 lakh.

She alleged, “My relatives have also invested money with him. Now where would I go? He fled with whatever I saved in my entire life.”

Daljit Singh, SHO, Salem Tabri, said he had received the complaint against the retired cop.

He further said SSP SS Gill was already probing the matter and further action would be taken after receiving his directions.


Women attacked at home, seriously hurt
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
Two women sustained serious head injuries after they were attacked by an unidentified assailant in Raman Enclave, near Rishi Nagar, in the city today. The victims have been identified as Monika Verma, 28, and her mother in-law, Poonam Verma, 50.

The incident took place at 12:30 this afternoon when both women along with the maidservant were busy in the kitchen after their husbands left for work. The Vermas own a jewellery store in Sarafa Bazar.

Poonam told neighbours an armed assailant, whom she described as a “fat” man in his mid-30s, sneaked into the house from its main gate and entered the kitchen where he first attacked Monika with an “axe-like” weapon before she fell unconscious.

“Though Monika put up resistance and threw crockery items at the assailant, she was injured and became unconscious”, the maidservant said. “I was so I wan’t able to identify the attacker and ran home fearing for my life”, she added.

After injuring Monika the assailant attacked Poonam on the head but she managed to raise an alarm before falling unconscious. Sensing trouble the assailant fed the scene.

Poonam’s husband, Vimal Verma, said it was a robbery attempt though the attacker could not steal anything from the house.

Later, neighbours rushed both women to a hospital where their condition was stated to be serious. Till the time of filling this report both the victims were unconscious while Monika was operated upon for grievous head injuries.

Interestingly, even though Raman Enclave is crowded during afternoons the assailant managed to escape without being noticed.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case and begun investigations. It is also trying to ascertain the motive behind the attack.



LPG consumers a harried lot
Gas agencies fail to provide home delivery of their refills
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
The long queues of LPG consumers of the Indane near the Guru Nanak Stadium speak for their harassment at the hands of gas agencies, which have failed to provide them with timely home delivery of their refills.

Not just that, the consumers are being charged Rs 324 which included home delivery charges. The oil companies have made provisions for subtraction of Rs 8 in case the consumer is not supplied the gas cylinder at the doorstep.

Following the closure of Garg Gas Service two years ago, the Indane shifted the agency’s LPG consumers to the Ludhiana Gas Agency near Fieldganj, but the new agency was unsympathetic towards their new clients, as they were not supplied the refills on time.

Inder Kumar, a consumer, rued, “Even after waiting for one-and-a-half month, the distributor is asking me to pay extra. But I have refused to pay a single extra penny to the Ludhiana Gas Agency, as my connection is valid, instead I have filed a formal complaint against the agency.” Officials of the Indian Oil, parent company of the Indane, in order to further divide the consumers adjusted some with the Cookwell Gas Agency on the Ferozepur road.

This makeshift arrangement further added to the woes of the LPG consumers, as they have to walk miles to get their refills as the trolley of the Cookwell Gas Agency stands near the Guru Nanak Stadium, which is miles away from the residential areas that the consumers are living in.

Annoyed with the apathetic attitude of the oil company concerned, a consumer living near the Civil Hospital said, “The place earmarked by the Cookwell Gas Agency is more than 3 km away from my home and I have to carry the cylinder on my cycle, which is against the norms of safe handling of LPG.”

Manish Gupta, LPG sales and marketing manager of the Indian Oil Company, termed the whole mess as “temporary” adding, “We will streamline the situation in the coming 15 days once the winters are over, which is the main cause behind the LPG shortage.” The official assured to take appropriate action against the Ludhiana Gas Agency and put an end to the “black marketing” of LPG.



Kidnapped boy returns home safely
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
The six-year-old boy who was kidnapped in Haibowal last evening returned home safely today. The victim, identified as Karan, was abducted by two motorists while he was playing outside his house in Chand Nagar at 6:30 pm.

The boy’s father, Krishan Kumar, said he had informed the police about the incident late last night.

However, he added before the cops could begin investigations the kidnappers dropped the child at the doorsteps of his house this morning.

Giving details about the incident, Kumar said the abductors demanded a ransom of Rs 200,000 from him, adding they called him up at around 10 pm. He stated they told him to arrange the ransom and to wait for their next call.

In the meantime, Kumar informed the cops about the incident and provided them the mobile number from which the abductors had called up.

Haibowal SHO Gurpreet Singh stated the cellular number was a prepaid one and was acquired by submitting fake documents. He added a hunt was on to nab the kidnappers.

Sources said the police has detained a few suspects for questioning. A close relative of the victim said Kumar’s neighbours were also suspected to be behind his son’s kidnapping.



Blind murder solved, one held
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
With the arrest of a relative of the victim, the Sarabha Nagar police has claimed to have solved a blind murder case in which a woman was stabbed to death on February 13 at -A Block of Aggar Nagar. The murderer was identified as Bintu Kumar, 24, a migrant labourer from Maharashtra, who was staying in Barewal.

According to the police, it was Bintu who killed Triveni, 45, on the day of the Lohri festival and robbed Rs 52,000 from her house. Giving details about the incident DSP (west) Raj Kumar said the murder was committed for money. “Bintu stayed at the victim's house for nearly three months before shifting to Barewal”, he added.

The police said the suspect knew Triveni was kept a huge amount of cash at her home. On January 13 he went there at about 11am and, on finding her alone, stabbed her several times. After killing her he took the cash and fled from the scene.

According to sources, the cops have suspected Bintu's involvement behind the murder from day one. They nabbed him today when he was trying to leave the city. According to the police, during interrogation the suspect broke down and confessed to having committed the heinous crime.



Gill Road flyover to be functional by April 15
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
After being put to a great deal of inconvenience for over one and a half years, residents can now look forward to enjoy a smooth ride in one of the busiest areas of the city. The Gill Road flyover is expected to be open for vehicular movement by April 15.

Talking to The Tribune, senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal said, “Work on the project has been going on at a brisk pace and the municipal corporation will ensure it is functional before April 15. Municipal commissioner AK Sinha has also expressed satisfaction over the present status of the work”.

Interestingly, when the flyover was conceived its initial cost was estimated at about Rs 6 crore. However, by the time the project is completed the cost will escalate to approximately Rs 23 crore for the civic body.

The flyover is being constructed by Deepak Builders, which commenced work in September 2008. According to the agreement signed between the contractor and the MC, 18 months were given to the former to complete the project.

According to information, the flyover has two portions. One, which is straight and will bypass Gill Chowk, will begin at the petrol station on Link Road and end just before Pratap Chowk. This portion would be four laned and would be around 400 metres in length. Similarly, arms of the flyover will meet Gill Road with its length being around 170 metres.

Sources close to the civic body said though the stretch on Link Road would be completed before the prescribed date, there are chances that the arms on Gill Road would take some additional time - of around a month or so. However, the contractor has assured the project would be completed as soon as possible.

Suring the past one year the project site had become a bottleneck for traffic flow due to diversions and slow pace of work. City residents as well as shopkeepers on Gill Road had urged the civic body several times to complete the project.

Said SP (traffic) Roopinder Singh said: “Construction of the flyover had been causing a lot of problems for traffic management. Completing it as soon as possible will not only give a big relief to the residents but ease traffic flow too.”



Rich tributes paid to Jyoti Basu
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 18
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited Employees Union, Punjab circle, organised a condolence meeting all over Punjab at its union offices to pay homage to Jyoti Basu, the legendary leader of Communist movement in India and former Chief Minister of West Bengal, who passed away yesterday in Kolkota.

Union flags all over Punjab remained at half mast in respect of the departed leader.

At Ludhiana, the union office condolence meeting was organised during the lunch hour. All district office-bearers, local council members, branch presidents, branch secretaries and employees paid heart-felt tributes to the departed leader.

Balbir Singh, circle secretary of the union, while paying tributes to the departed leader, said the working class of the country had lost its guide. He was a symbol of communal harmony and secular values, he added.

The Lok Bhalai Party's president Balwant Singh Rammowalia also paid rich tributes to Jyoti Basu. "He was a true leader of the working class and all through his life, he worked for their cause."

Meanwhile, braving freezing cold and dense fog, thousands of workers under the aegis of the Lal Jhanda Punjab Bhatha Mazdoor Union today descended at the Grain Market on the Gill Road here to lodge their protest against the failure of the Centre and state governments in curbing the rising prices, and especially what they termed as anti-poor policies being pursued by the government.

At the outset, the rally held under the presidentship of Chhinder Singh Jawaddi, Gurjant Singh Mansa and Hukam Raj Deharka, paid tributes to veteran Communist leader and former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti 
Basu by observing two minutes silence.

Lambasting the successive governments at the Centre, national general secretary of the All-India Council of Central Trade Unions Swapam Mukherji remarked that the policies adopted at the behest of the US imperialism and its allies, along with those like privatisation, liberalisation and globalisation, had pushed the national economy towards brink of devastation.

“Unemployment has increased manifold and spiraling prices of essential commodities have crushed the common man under tremendous financial burden. Not only this, human and trade union rights of the working classes are being openly flouted and trade union activists are being implicated in false criminal cases of serious nature,” he added.

State secretary of AICCTU Tarsem Jodhan charged the government with becoming a party to the exploitation of people by the powerful lobby of hoarders and profiteers. “The government has miserably failed to provide basic needs like education and healthcare to the people. Rising prices have broken all records and the workers are being denied even the minimum wages which are not even sufficient for subsistence.”

The trade union leaders gave a call to the people to join hands and be prepared for a struggle to achieve justice.

Meanwhile, a joint rally against the price rise organised by the CPI and MCPI (M) here today was converted into a prayer meeting to pay homage to Jyoti Basu, who had passed away yesterday after a protracted illness.



Non-payment of pension for 2 months
PAU retiree to observe fast unto death
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
Irked over the apathetic attitude of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) towards its pensioners and the authorities repeated failure in timely payment of the dues, a retiree of the university has decided to observe a fast unto death.

The university authorities have failed to pay the pensions for November and December, due to which the pensioners are facing a lot of difficulties. Numerous requests and written complaints to the PAU authorities have failed to elicit any fruitful result.

Following a number of meetings and no concrete solution to the problem, RR Katyal, former assistant accounts officer, PAU, has decided to initiate a fast unto death in case the university did not pay the pension at the earliest.

Katyal said, “The PAU authorities have fallen into the habit of neglecting the welfare of its retirees. On various earlier occasions, we have suffered harassment at the hands of the PAU authorities. This time, we have not been given our pension for two months, which is causing a lot of problems for many senior citizens, whose only source of income is pension.”

“Earlier also such things have happened and we have been denied timely pension, allowances and other benefits by the university due to paucity of funds. No amount of requests and complaints seem to work with the PAU. A strong protest is the only solution,” said Katyal.

He added that despite the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations, the PAU pensioners were not being given their revised pension. “With the state government refusing to sanction the pension grants to PAU, it seems we will not get any pension for the next three-four months. How will we survive in such conditions?” asked Katyal.

Last month during a meeting of the PAU Pensioners’ Welfare Association, the university retirees had decided to initiate contempt proceedings against the PAU authorities for failing to pay their pension.

Expressing resentment over the issue, the pensioners had criticised the PAU authorities for passing the buck onto the Punjab government with regard to the payment of pension. They had decided not to approach the state government in the matter, rather take action against the university authorities. Dr Johl, who was the chief guest at the meeting, had also supported the pensioners in their decision to initiate the contempt proceedings against the PAU.



Pay Scales
SD college staff up in arms against mgmt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
Staff members of Kamla Lohtia SD College are up in arms against the college managing committee which, they are alleging, is proposing anti-Punjabi University, anti-Punjab government, anti-UGC and unconstitutional service conditions in the college.

The local unit of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU), Kamla Lohtia SD College, is agitating for the past many days against the college management for the non-implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations and holding protest dharnas at the college campus.

Prof Rohit Kumar, president of the local unit PCCTU, informed, “We have been wearing black badges and sitting on the protest dharna for two lecturers daily to fight for our rights, but all efforts till date have proved futile.”

He said despite repeated requests, the college managing committee had not implemented the commission’s recommendations and in case the demands were not fulfilled they would be forced to intensify the stir, in which even the non-teaching staff of the college would support them.

He further informed, “The managing committee has proposed a number of unconstitutional policies to be implemented in the college along with the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations. These include stay of the teachers in the college for 6.5 hours, holding of five lectures by each teacher daily, freezing of HRA on old basic pay, senior and selection scale after one year from its due date, maternity leave of 45 days and freezing of medical allowance as per the old scales.” 



Economics key for setting up units: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
Food processing industry in India can never be the domain of only Centralised ventures and thus opens a lot of opportunity for small-scale units, said Dr RT Patil, director CIPHET, addressing valedictory function of training on "Post-Harvest Technology for Rural Catchments" for farmers from Lakhisarai district in Bihar sponsored by the Agricultural Technology Management Association (ATMA) at the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET).

Dr Patil said working out economics before setting up of any industry was the fundamental thing. "For industry two things are required. First, is the availability of raw material and other is market," he said, adding that for agro-industry both things are very easily available for farmers. "While food can never go out of demand, raw material is produced in fields of farmers itself."

Dr Patil asked farmers to form small groups for setting up industrial units and assured all support from the CIPHET. He also made them aware of the fact that many government agencies were funding agro-projects very liberally.

Dr KK Singh, head, Transfer of Technology Division, said through this training programme they wanted the farmers to be aware of the potential of food processing industry. He hoped that many of them would set up their industry eventually. Dr Sangeeta Chopra, senior scientist, coordinated the talks and collected feedback.

The training programme covered subjects of grading and milling of grains, milling technology for pulses and oilseeds, preparation of snacks food, processing of onion, ginger, garlic, groundnut, soyabean and beetroot, technology for making green chilli powder, storage and processing of other crops. Arun Kumar, block agriculture officer, Lakhisarai, showed satisfaction over the curriculum of the training programme.



Martial Art: Saraswati modern lift trophy
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 18
Hosts Saraswati Modern School, Rajpura road branch, bagged the overall trophy in the inaugural edition of the Ludhiana Sqay Martial Arts Championship for boys held here yesterday.

The team of Arya Senior Secondary School stood second. Participants from various schools battled it out in different age groups during this one-day championship.

Rupinder Singh, assistant education officer (sports), Ludhiana, gave away prizes to the winners.

Results: Small boys: Dev Sagar of SMS 1, Abhi Vig of Khanna 2 and Amolak of DVM 3; below 25 kg- Manav Mahajan of SMS 1, Harsh Sareen of SMS 2; below 33 kg- Akshay of TKD 1, Ankush Dhawan of SMS 2 and Shenaz of Rajpur Academy 3.

Below 37 kg: Abhej Mahajan of SMS 1, Shivam Sharma of SMS 2 and Surya Rawat of GRD Academy 3; below 41kg- Sachin Dhawan of SMS 1, Rahul of SMS 2 and Vibhav of TVM 3; below 45kg- Khushpreet Singh of Indo Canadian Academy 1, Mandeep of Jain Public School 2 and Adjinder Singh of GRD Academy 3; above 45 kg- Mohit of SMS 1, Chamkaur Singh of Indo Canadian Academy 2 and Lakhwinder Singh of SMS 3.



GLADA auction to test commercial realty trends
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 18
When the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) will put 28 freehold commercial sites on Dugri Road in Urban Estate (Phase II) here on the block on January 27, it will be in fact trying to gauge the pulse of both real estate buyers and speculators with the recession showing no signs of receding.

If such held by GLADA, or for that matter other autonomous or local bodies like the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIY) or the municipal corporation, during the greater part of 2009 is anything to go by, the city’s realty market is not looking up. It appears most buyers and investors have - at least for the time being - decided to ‘wait and watch’.

The sale of commercial sites by GLADA in the city’s Jamalpur locality in July 2009 as also in Dhandari later that year had evoked a lukewarm response from buyers yielding just about 10 to 15 percent premium over the reserve price. Not only this, as far as auction of commercial sites in Jamalpur was concerned, not all of the booths and shops-cum-offices (SCOs) for sale could be disposed of due to lack of bidders.

A public auction organised last month by LIT to sell its commercial complex on Maharani Jhansi Road fared worse with not even a single buyer turning up to offer bids for the sprawling site in an upmarket commercial centre with a reserve price of Rs 197 crore.

On an earlier occasion the MC’s bid to sell a chunk of ‘premium’ land on Ferozepur Road, which it had obtained from the LIT, also failed to enthuse buyers and the civic body could barely collect the land’s minimum sale price amount.

The commercial property now proposed to be sold through open auction by GLADA include ten sites for SCOs measuring 317.16 square yards each with a reserve price of Rs 126,020 per square yard and 18 booths having a floor area of 22.69 square yards each at a reserve price of Rs 105,615 per square yard. Intending bidders will have to deposit an eligibility fee of Rs 100,000 and Rs 50,000 for participating in the auction proceedings for SCOs and booths, respectively, on or before the date of the auction.

GLADA properties always commanded a premium - and a hefty one at that - when the real estate market was on the upswing, and prices of both residential and commercial sites skyrocketed, in most cases considered unrealistic. However, the forthcoming auction of commercial sites is expected to once again determine if the real estate sector is headed towards recovery or the ongoing slump will continue for some more time.



Contracts panel meet today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
Members of the Finance and Contracts Committee would be meeting here tomorrow to discuss developmental issues and pass the budget allotted for various projects.

There are about 63 items in agenda to be discussed during the meeting. These include sanctioning of Rs 2-lakh budget to an agency for conducting a survey regarding increasing of the municipal limits in the city. Apart from it, budget for buying newspapers for the library and renewal of contract for the accounting agency are also on cards.

Sources in the civic body revealed that approval of work orders for undertaking construction of roads in Focal Points worth Rs 17.1 crore would also be discussed. “It’s going to be an interesting debate on the topic as one of the contractors has taken stay on one work which was earlier allotted to him,” said a F&CC member adding that rest of the six works would be cleared so that work could be started on the priority basis. 



Pawan re-elected Himachal sabha chief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 18
The reigning president of Himachal Prantiya Sabha, Pawan Sharma was re-elected as the national president for another term of five years. He was also empowered to nominate office-bearers and members of the national executive committee.

Making this announcement, returning official Bharat Bhushan Sharma said Pawan Sharma was a lone candidate for the post of president and no one else had filed nomination against him.



Bending rule ‘Richie Rich’ style

The power-packed culture of this industrial town has a lot to do with the “money” as it gives every moneyed individual the right to reframe the guidelines and norms as per his/her sweet will. Be it government offices, roads, public parkings or school functions, the “Richie rich” just love to flaunt. Recently, at a school function, the privileged lot took the liberty to occupy the seats reserved for the VIP guests. When asked to vacate the seats, the “moneyed lot” keeping up with their highhanded attitude dismissed the requests with just the wave of the hand. Poor coordinators had to get the sitting arrangement changed at the last moment.

Dog’s day

The increasing menace of stray dogs in the mega city defies any solution that have been put in place, albeit half-heartedly, both by the civic body, and the NGOs. Each and every locality in the city, including posh residential areas, have their own groups of stray dogs, and their population keeps increasing with each passing day. With cases of dog biting unsuspecting city residents, especially children and elderly persons, increasing at an alarming rate, and the government hospitals and dispensaries not providing anti-rabies vaccine, the victims of dog bites have to bear financial burden as well in addition to bodily harm. The problem, it seems, is not on the priority list of the Municipal Corporation that is evident from the fate of several plans to undertake their sterilization, all of which have failed to see the light of the day. The NGOs also can do nothing without the support of the government funding which is hard to come by. So the “dogging” issue remains unresolved as of now.

Demanding beggar!

Beggars are there at every nook and cranny of the city. They throng especially outside the religious places. Recently, a friend of mine visited a temple with her husband. Since the temple in Dandi Swami is close to a famous puri-wala, the couple decided to have their breakfast. A 17-year-old beggar came to them and asked for alms. My friend refused to give him cash and asked puri-wala to give one plate to the beggar. When the bill came, the couple was asked to pay Rs 15 more. When asked, the owner replied,” We had served him puris but he won’t eat them till he sips a cold drink.”

Crazy craze

Craze for stylish imported things and desperation to flaunt them among friends cost a youth dear. Barely in his early 20s, the young man had gone to his friend’s wedding, flaunting his sunglasses that his relatives had brought from the USA. Refusing to remove the shades even when inside the banquet hall despite repeated prodding by his mother, the young man went to answer the nature’s call wearing the “imported glasses”. Incidentally, power snapped and washroom became dark. The sunglasses further reduced the young man’s visibility. Unable to see properly, the “imported stuff-obsessed” man stepped right into the pot. Following numerous attempts to get his foot released from the “deep hole”, the man managed to get out from the washroom with a twisted ankle and soiled shoes, with amused guests staring at his plight.

Mistaken identity

Parents should be careful while calling their wards by their nicknames. While realistic names usually reflect characteristics and personality of the person concerned nicknames on the contrary prove thwarting in some cases. Majority of Ahmedgarh municipal councillors, including the then president was called by their nicknames a few years ago. While the president, who happened to be OSD to a Chief Minister, was popularly known as ‘Guddu’, his colleagues were called by their nicknames like ‘Bhola’, ‘Babbu’, ‘Kalu’, ‘Kaka’ and ‘Bittu’. Not only during verbal conversations, the nicknames, which resembled those of children, appeared in writing also. Though all of them were mature enough and performed their constitutional duties sincerely, strangers who had heard their names only mistook them to be minors. A senior citizen from Ahmedgarh was taken aback when of his relatives in Ludhiana asked him if there were no mature and sincere leaders in the town to contest the civic body election.

“If senior and seasoned leaders are available in your town then why have voters of your town elected these children (Bhola, Babbu, Kalu, Kaka and Bittu) as representative from their wards,” questioned the Ludhianvi.

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Charu Chhibber and Mahesh Sharma



‘Bride’, 3 others arrested for duping man
Tribune News Service

Machhiwara, January 18
The Machhiwara police today arrested four persons, including a woman and her father, for arranging a fake marriage to dupe a resident of Behlolpur village.

In a complaint lodged with the police, Darshan Singh from Behlolpur, alleged that Gurdeep Singh of Latheri village in Chamkaur Sahib and Jaspal Kaur of Machhiwara go his marriage fixed with Sukhwinder Kaur, a resident of Amloh in Fatehgarh Sahib in December 2008.

Darshan told police, “As soon as the marriage party reached near Samrala, Gurdeep and Jaspal called my relatives and added that Sukhwinder’s relatives wished to arrange marriage at her maternal relatives place in Jamalpur adjoining Ludhiana and instead of going Amloh we should reach Jamalpur.”

When complainant and his relatives reached Jamalpur, Gurdeep and Jaspal said the Sukhwinder’s family has denied marrying her with Darshan. “They emotionally blackmailed us saying that in order to save family honour I should marry Balwinder Kaur, daughter of Nachhattar Singh Fauji of Mohalla Kulliwal. The marriage was solemnised at Jamalpur Gurdwara despite the fact that I resisted it,” he added.

As soon as newly wed couple Darshan and Balwinder reached Behlolpur village, latter’s mother also reached there and took her away over pretext of paying obeisance at a dargah in their village.

“At dargah Balwinder’s parents said middlemen Gurdeep and Jaspal had traded her for staying eight hours with my family in lieu of a fixed amount,” he told police.

Balwinder’s family allegedly got complainant Darshan’s signature on a blank paper and asked him to leave their daughter.

Darshan alleged that neither Balwinder’s family nor Gurdeep or Jaspal returned the amount spent on marriage. He alleged that Balwinder was already married and had a son.

Police officials said a case in this connection had been registered and the accused Gurdeep Singh, Jaspal Kaur, Balwinder Kaur and her father Nachhattar Singh arrested. 



Thieves break into bank, fail in their mission
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, January 18
Thieves broke into the Jugiana branch of UCO Bank and ransacked its premises last night.

The thieves entered the bank by making a hole in one of its wall. They cut the grill gate and the strongroom’s door. Although they managed to break open four of the lockers, they failed to open the safe due to the security siren and alertness of PCR cops.

The thieves believed to be four in number, had taken a welding machine and two cylinders inside the bank. They opened the strongroom’s door by using the welding machine.

As they were in the process of breaking open the lockers, they found that their images were being captured on a CCTV camera. Fearing that they would be identified, they put a tape on the camera and continued to do the work till the security alarm rang.

At this, they fled from the spot, leaving behind the rickshaw on which they had loaded the cylinders.

Cops and forensic experts were immediately put into service. Senior police officials, including SP City II, Sanehdeep Sharma reached the spot and took stock of the situation.

SHO Focal Point Sandeep Wadera said, “Two cylinders were used by the thieves. A country-made bore pistol too was recovered, which they might have left behind when the alarm rang. It was at that time that a neighbour got alerted and contacted the manager of the bank. The images captured on the CCTV camera are, however, not clear. The time of the theft recorded on the camera is 1.32 am.”

According to the bank manager, “The cash of the bank is intact. The robbers could meddle with only four of the lockers but that, too, resulted to be a futile exercise for them.”



Two killed in accidents
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 18
A youth died on the outskirts of Jagraon near the canal on the Ludhiana road yesterday night. He was going on his motorcycle (PB 32 G 6549) when an unidentified vehicle hit him.

The deceased has been identified as Tejinder Pal Singh of Khurda village near Balachaur. He was an Army man and was here to place an order for fresh Army uniforms for himself with a local tailor and was returning to Ludhiana.

A case against the unidentified vehicle and its driver has been registered under Sections 304A, 279 and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Parminder Singh of Sidhwan Kalan, an eye witness.

Meanwhile, Satpal Singh of Leelan Megh Singh died when an unidentified vehicle hit his motorcycle (PB 29 G 6795) near Blossom School on the Jagraon road yesterday night. He was returning home from Sidhwan bet when he met with an accident. A case has been registered against the unidentified vehicle and its driver under Sections 304A, 279 and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Harbans Singh, brother of the deceased.



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