L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Encroachments removed from Jawahar Nagar Camp
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Angry shopkeepers argue with ATP SS Bindra during the demolition drive in Ludhiana on Thursday.
Angry shopkeepers argue with ATP SS Bindra during the demolition drive in Ludhiana on Thursday. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, January 21
Silencing critics, the municipal corporation today demolished 53 booths (each measuring 8 feet by 10 feet) and shops (4 feet by 10 feet) at more than 100 buildings at the Jawahar Nagar Camp here today.

Being a sensitive area, the encroachments here were never removed. These had mushroomed since 1947, as a result of which roads 60 feet wide were reduced to 30 feet in width.

The municipal corporation today added a feather to its cap by removing encroachments that had been haunting it for the past few decades.

The demolition squad, comprising ATPs SS Bindra and Kamaljeet Kaur and led by STP TS Tulli and Zonal Commissioner PS Ghuman, started removing shops at 10 am.

Since the civic body had given a warning to the shopkeepers thrice, officials today were strict with the encroachers. There was mismanagement and difference of opinion among senior officers.

The work started with the demolition of 53 booths in a row, that had been vacated by the shopkeepers following the deadline of January 20.

After the removal of the booths, the four JCB machines moved towards shops like Mom and Me, Saluja Cloth House and Pakeeza Cloth House, that had two or three storeys. Buildings were also found to have basements.

Though the shopkeepers were mentally prepared for the action, many of them were found to be crying and urging the civic body to give them more time.

The wife of Saluja Cloth House’s owner said, “It took us more than one year to build this double-storeyed building. We have invested over Rs 10 lakh in it. We have yet to recover from the debt.” She and her teenaged son were found pleading to ATP Kamaljeet Kaur to leave their shop, promising self-demolition.

MC officials said, “Since the area was unplanned, residential areas were easily turned into shops by increasing the building lines. Earlier Municipal Commissioners did not dare to act against politicians. In fact, this demolition is an achievement due to the support of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.”

They acknowledged the tough stand of Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha, adding that in the last one decade, no one had dared to act against this area, which had been providing a boost to the encroachers.

Jawahar Nagar Camp Karyana Association president Rajinder Grover said, “I am thankful to the municipal corporation for giving time to the shopkeepers thrice. In fact, I have ensured that my double-storeyed shop is demolished. We are lending a helping hand to the civic body.”

He alleged that municipal officials were meting out injustice to people at some places. His attitude towards MC officials caused a rift among shopkeepers. “He may do whatever he wants with his shop, but he has no right to speak on behalf of our shops,” said shopkeepers, abusing Grover.


In 1947, when Partition was announced, this area of Jawahar Nagar was designated as a camp base for the homeless in Ludhiana. Later, homeless people at the base camp were allotted land in the area by the rehabilitation wing of the Government of India. Following this, the name of the area became Jawahar Nagar Camp. The area had its own layout and did not fall under the Town Planning Scheme. However, according to the Master Plan, the area could be used both for commercial and residential purposes.


l When some residents and shopkeepers tried to accuse the civic body of a pick-and-choose policy when the demolition of Gurdev Medical Hall was not done, DSP Amandeep took a firm stand. She took the residents to the structures and buildings demolished earlier and asked them to point out the lacunae.

l Twelve shops next to a temple and a gurdwara had been spared earlier. After media intervention and directions of Additional Commissioner KP Brar, these shops were removed.

l Residents themselves asked the MCto remove a small temple, 5 feet by 8 feet wide, in order to streamline the building line.

l Shopkeepers had heated arguments with MC officials thrice. The situation became tense and the police resolved the issue. After calming down the agitators, the MC continued its demolition.

l MC officials spared toilets and bathrooms of commercial-cum-residential buildings that were encroachments, stating these to be essential.

l MC officials urged Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha to levy demolition charges on encroachers, as done in Chandigarh and Delhi. These cities had a provision that the defaulter had to pay for the action whenever a JCB machine was used to remove encroachment, said an official.


Lawyers call off stir as cops agree to cancel FIR 
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, January 21
The police today agreed to the demand of agitating lawyers to cancel the FIR filed against additional public prosecutor Neelam Pathak, DSP Bhupinder Singh announced at a general house meeting of the District Bar Association. He had been deputed by Ludhiana SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill to pacify the lawyers, who were on strike since yesterday.

DBA resident Naval Kishore Chhibber, secretary Gurpreet Singh Virk, vice president ND Chopra and ex-president Parupkar Singh Ghumman termed the decision as “victory of lawyers’ unity” and thanked the chief of the district police.

Earlier, sessions judge SP Bangarh had granted anticipatory bail to Pathak.

District attorney Mitter Sain Goyal, who was present at the bar meeting along with other law officers, said the officer who had recommended registration of the case under section 382 “did appear to be conversant with the law, as no such offence was made out”.

Prior to a promise made by the DSP at the meeting, the situation had become tense. He announced he had been entrusted with a fresh inquiry into the case by the SSP. “I’ll ensure justice on the merit of the case. I have not gone through the case file yet”, he said. Hearing this the lawyers raised a hue and cry.

In order to avoid any untoward incident, District Bar Association president Naval Kishore Chhibber pacified the lawyers. Sensing the mood of the lawyers, he said the SSP had assured him the FIR would be cancelled. ”If the police isn’t willing to cancel the FIR we will continue the strike and ‘gherao’ the SSP’s office tomorrow”, Chhibber added.

However, later the DSP declared the FIR would be cancelled.



Bank burglary bid: Four held 
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, January 21
The police today cracked the UCO Bank robbery case at Jugiana by arresting four persons here. Those arrested were identified as Ramesh Kumar, Kaushal Kumar, Jatinder Kumar and Harpreet, alias Happy.

All of them were from Uttar Pradesh. While Ramesh stayed at Kanganwal, the other three were residing at labour colonies at Jugiana.

A case under various Sections of the IPC was registered against them.

“Ramesh was the person who went inside the bank and had an active hand in the robbery. The other three assisted the main accused. The planning was done in the accommodation of Jatinder, an auto-rickshaw driver, at the labour colony situated immediately on the rear of the bank. Kaushal and Harpeet provided the LPG cylinders and were promised a share of the loot,” he added.

The robbers entered the bank by making a hole in the wall, cut the door of the strong room and the grill gate and broke four lockers by the time the security alarm rang.

He said the police had identified five more persons who might be involved in some way or could provide further clues in the case.

He refused to reveal their names. Two or three persons were also involved and their images were recorded by the CCTV camera. They had managed to evade the police so far.

The SHO further said Ramesh, the main accused, seemed to be so experienced that he even took a body deodorant along with him at the time of the robbery, lest the body smell lead sniffer dogs to them.

Ornaments stolen from bank lockers, claim clients P3



Auto-rickshaw drivers seek police intervention
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 21
Up in arms over an extortion racket and bullying tactics of certain self-styled leaders of an organisation of auto-rickshaw drivers, functionaries of 15 unions of auto-rickshaw drivers here have sought police intervention to curb their activities.

Led by Kuldip Singh Khalsa, president, District Auto-Rickshaw Mazdoor Union, and Madan Lal Bhumbak, president, Clock Tower Auto-Rickshaw Union, a large number of activists of 15 unions of auto-rickshaw drivers submitted a memorandum to Senior Superintendent of Police Sukhchain Singh Gill here today, demanding action against Kulvir Singh Nihang and his allies.

Khalsa and other drivers affected told the SSP that Nihang and his gang were involved in extortion and bullying auto-rickshaw drivers going to the general bus stand to drop or pick passengers.

“Any auto-rickshaw driver entering the bus stand has to pay Rs 10, for which a receipt is issued in the name of the District Auto-Rickshaw Federation, a bogus and unregistered body. Those objecting to the fee are beaten up and humiliated. At times, their vehicles are also damaged by Nihang and his supporters,” the auto drivers alleged.

The memorandum further maintained that auto-rickshaw drivers were made to pay Rs 150 each to Nihang or his cronies against blank stamp papers, purportedly for making identity cards of auto-rickshaw drivers by the federation.

Through the ongoing extortion racket, Nihang and his gang had collected lakhs from poor and mostly illiterate drivers.

The auto-rickshaw drivers affected told the SSP that in a brazen display of arrogance, Nihang and his supporters claimed that money collected from the auto-rickshaw drivers in the name of the federation was being passed on to senior officials of the police and transport departments, and in return, the traffic cops and transport department personnel neither issued challans nor caused harassment to the drivers.

Assuring the auto-rickshaw drivers of action against those involved in extortion and other unlawful activities, the SSP instructed the SP (Traffic) to conduct a probe and initiate action against the accused.



LIC employees demand early wage revision
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
LIC employees, under the banner of the Northern Zone Insurance Employees Association of Class III and Class IV cadre of Ludhiana division, comprising Ludhiana, Bathinda and Mansa districts, observed a day-long strike here.Employees have demanded an early and satisfactory wage revision.They took out a rally outside the LIC Divisional Office at Dugri.

Divisional secretary Amarjit Singh said there demand of wage revision was lying pending since August 1, 2007.

At the last round of discussion held on December 16, 2009, the management had offered a pay hike of 17.5 per cent to its employees. Unhappy with the offer, employees demanded an immediate discussion with an improved offer of 20 per cent pay hike.

The divisional secretary added that after the last wage revision in August 1, 2002, there had been an unprecedented growth in the company. The LIC had not only met the challenges of the competitive environment successfully, but also established its market leadership everywhere.

The officials and workers who had played an important role in the success of the company should be rewarded.

“It is because of their support and devotion that the company has become the biggest financial institution in India with as many as 26 crore policy-holders,” 
he said.

The leaders added that the total assets of the LIC were about Rs 9 lakh crore, of which the capital invested by the government was only Rs 5 lakh crore.

At the time of last wage revision, the cost accounted for 6.02 per cent of the total premium income. This cost declined to 3.19 per cent by the time the next wage was due.

Harbans Singh, divisional president, while addressing the rally said the offer made by the LIC management did not meet the expectations of employees.

“We will intensify the agitation if our genuine demands are not met,” said the divisional president. 



Sonia tops declamation contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
An inter-college declamation contest on “drug de-addiction”, “female foeticide” and “duty towards environment” was organised at Malwa Central College of Education for Women, Civil Lines.

Kulbir Singh Kelly from the Rotary Club was the moderator and coordinator of the function. He welcomed all guests and expressed enlightening views about preserving the environment.

Chief guest on the occasion was MLA Harish Rai Dhanda. He said people should change their mindset.

Special guests included KS Bajwa, promoter of “Nanhi Chhaan”. Other dignitaries were Dr Reena Sidhu, District Family Welfare Officer, Ajit K Kang, Vijay Kumar, director operation, IIFCA, Varinder Kumar, president, Punjab Vikas Manch, RS Pannu, Pritpal Singh Grewal, president, Khalsa Dewan, Gurdish S Grewal, Khalsa Dewan, Inderjeet Kaur, principal, Malwa Khalsa Senior Secondary School.

A collection of poems entitled “Jeewan Ke Rang Hazaar”, authored by Dr Nerotma Sharma, was released by the chief guest on the occasion. Various students presented their views on various topics.

Results: Sonia 1, Shivani Pasricha 2 and Neeraj Bala 3.


A prize distribution function was held at Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School. Meritorious students were honoured during the function.

Chief guest Prem Chand, SDM, Ludhiana west, presided over the function, along with director of the school Rev Father John.

The function started with a prayer. Thereafter, mementos and certificates were given to the CBSE toppers of Class X and Class XII for the session 2008-2009.

Students participated in various cultural activities.

The chief guest congratulated students. He advised students to choose their careers keeping in mind their aptitude and interest.

Book fair

The three-day scholastic book fair started today at DCM Presidency. Principal Amita Mittal inaugurated the fair.


Gagandeep, a student of BA final year (home science), won the first prize in national-level recipe competition under the project “Reappraisal of Mid-Day Meal in India: Recommending Sustainable Region Based Mid-Day Meal Recipes” at Punjab Agricultural University. 



Computer training for cops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill recently inaugurated a computer-training programme for 120 cops at the Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology.

The SSP was of the opinion that since computerisation of police stations was on the anvil in the city, knowledge of computers would help the police personnel in raising their efficiency. Besides, it would also help them to be a better service provider.

Programme coordinator Harish Kumar Sharma, SP (headquarters), said, "The main objective behind the course is to equip the staff with basic knowledge of computers. It is being provided under the aegis of ISTE chapter by GNIMT."

During the training, cops will learn basics of computer along with operating systems like MS office, Internet.



Chamber flays Sukhbir-Kalia report
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The recent report prepared by Sukhbir Badal and Manoranjan Kalia on subsidies released by the state government was very disturbing for industry. While writing this report, policy-makers must have forgotten that the industry of Punjab was a big laggard and slipping fast. World over, industry was being propped up to come out of the recession but in Punjab, the reverse was taking place.

PD Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a press statement, yesterday said that the rein of subsidies had not been tackled factually. There was no poor person in Punjab, who deserved subsidies. There was labour-shortage in Punjab. A majority of industries in Punjab depended on migrant labour. In this situation, there was no question to disburse heavy subsidies in the name of poverty, as there was no unemployment.

The hike in the VAT rate was certainly not desired, stressed Sharma. "Lawfully there is no provision for surcharge on VAT. Examples of Delhi and Rajasthan are not tenable for Punjab, where industry has to face many odds. Entry tax on new items is highly retrogressive. Furnace oil is the basic fuel used by industry in many sectors. The rates of furnace oil are already rising sharply with the rise of crude oil price."

He further added that it was an irony that in a highly power deficit state, some taxes had been proposed on captive power generation. "This is very unfortunate and speaks volumes on the wisdom of those who have proposed this," he said.



Lecture on adolescence, healthcare
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 21
An extension lecture on adolescence and healthcare was organised at the Doraha College of Education under the guidance of Dr Neetu Sethi and Sukhwinder Singh, in charge Rotract Club, recently.

Principal Dr Sandeep Sawhney welcomed guests.

Rotary Club district secretary Dr Gursaran Kaur Sidhu, also guest speaker from Sidhu Hospital, Doraha, threw light on the adolescence period and health hygiene required during this period.

Dr Sidhu said, “Avoid early marriage, pregnancy and unsafe contacts to lead healthy and happy life.”

Rotary Club president Dharmvir Jaggi was the chief guest. He presented certificates to club members and inaugurated the club activities. 



LPG shortage prompts residents to gift cylinders
Help by friends, kin; populist measures by leaders
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 21
Hit by an acute shortage of liquefied petroleum gas used for cooking this winter, residents of this town have taken to gifting LPG cylinders at weddings and other social functions. Instead of giving a ‘shagun’ (gift) and other presents many people can now be seen taking spare LPG cylinders from their houses to their friends and relatives to ensure their functions run smoothly.

Not only the common folk but politicians too have found gifting LPG cylinders a novel way to woo voters. Needless to say many of them are finding it difficult to satisfy their supporters’ yearning for these cylinders in the light of the dire shortage.

‘‘Holding a party or any other function gives jitters to town residents as gas agencies have begun expressing their inability to provide LPG cylinders. Hence some residents got the idea of gifting refilled LPG cylinders, which has clicked. Now many people just take a cylinder along and gift it to their friends, ’’ said Ravi.

‘‘A person is not considered a friend indeed if he or she cannot fulfill other's LPG need. On the contrary those social and political leaders who succeeded in arranging refills through their sources have become more popular,’’ noted a councillor.

He added though he lost the last civic body election the acute LPG shortage has made him very popular this time. ‘‘I’m sure to win during the next election as I’ve now understood the expectations and needs of my ward’s residents. I realise showing inability to help in fulfilling a domestic need like an LPG cylinder can annoy a person," the councilor said, adding he had bought cylinders from consumers at a premium.

“Instead of spending lakhs of rupees during election time it’s advisable to invest a few thousand bucks on arranging LPG cylinders by paying a premium to those consumers who use an alternative fuel in kitchens," he argued.



Inter-college contest ends
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 21
The two-day Sardar Mohinder Singh Memorial Inter-College Competition concluded yesterday at Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd.

Teams from 15 colleges took part in the event.

Dr Savita Uppal, principal of SGG Janta Girls College, Raikot, was the chief guest on the occasion.


Poetical recitation: GN Khalsa College, Gujjarkhan Campus, Ludhiana, 1, Mandeep Kaur of SCD Government College, Ludhiana, Amrit Kaur and Deepakshan Kaur of GN Khalsa College, Gujjarkhan Campus, Ludhiana, 2 and Karamjit Kaur of SD College, Moga, 3.

The consolation prize was bagged by Seema Rani of GHG Harparkash College of Education, Sidhwan Khurd.

Fashion designing (apron): Jashanpreet Kaur of Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, 1, Amandeep Kaur of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, 2 and Anita Rani of SD College, Moga, 3.

Fashion designing (frock): Mandeep Kaur of Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, 1, Narinder Kaur of GN Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, 2 and Mandeep Kaur of GGS College for Women, Kamalpura, 3.

Quiz: GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sudhar, 1, Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, 2 and Arya College, Ludhiana, and SCD Government College, Ludhiana, 3.

Slide presentation: Swati Thaper of Sri Aurbindo College of Commerce, Ludhiana, 1, Ramanpreet Kaur of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana, 2 and Sandeep Kaur of Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, 3.

Innovative products: Suman Bala and Nancy of GGS College for Women, Kamalpura, 1, Jasleen Benipal and Suman of Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, 2.

De bugging contest: Sarabjit Kaur and Pawanjit Kaur of Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, 1, Amandeep Kaur and Kamaljit Kaur of Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana, 2.

Advertisement creations: Ritika Sood of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana, 1, Rupinder Kaur of Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, 3. 



Alleging favouritism, cops resign
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 21
Breaking all rules in order to accommodate their favourites in the police department has disappointed officials appointed as ASIs in 1989.

Even as they are yet to be promoted as regular sub-inspectors, a large number of officials, much junior to them, have been promoted to higher ranks.

Unable to bear this humiliation, these officials have started resigning from their jobs. They feel reluctant to provide justice to people until they themselves get a fair deal.

“We are agonised mentally and socially, as we have to explain to our friends and relatives our subordination to officials, much junior to us in violation of rules,” reads one of the resignation letters forwarded by a sub-inspector to the higher authorities, including the DGP and Principal Secretary recently.

Kamaljit Singh of Kakra village, who had joined the force after doing BSc in 1989, is upset over saluting a cop, who might have joined the force as a constable after doing his matriculation. In spite of being underage for the recruitment, the constable was not only appointed in the department, but was given promotions by violating rules and regulations.

“It is just like promoting a school peon to the post of principal and all teachers being asked to salute him. As my ethics did not allow me to do this, I preferred to resign,” said Kamaljit Singh while talking to Ludhiana Tribune.

Rajinder Singh of Bajra village said his two-decade service in the Punjab police paid him nothing. He maintained that it was difficult for him to face his children who knew that cops much junior to him had been promoted to plum posts.

He has submitted his resignation to the DGP and the Chief Secretary a week ago and now awaits a reply.

Rajinder Singh said not even a single senior official bothered to ask them about the reason behind taking the extreme step.

The disappointed cops had joined the force when terrorism was at its peak around 21 years ago and had to virtually beg for promotions, while officials much junior to them were easily getting promotions.

Investigations revealed that hundreds of such cops had confronted hard-core terrorists, but had been running from pillar to post to get promoted.

At least 20 ASIs of this batch were killed while fighting terrorists.



Seminar on female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Khanna, January 21
A seminar on female foeticide was organised at AS College for Women, Khanna.Students staged various plays on the occasion.

Principal of the college Dr Rekha Bhardwaj proposed the vote of thanks.



Farm tools manufacturers’ meet ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The two-day national meet of tractor and agricultural machinery manufacturers concluded recently at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The meet was jointly organised by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DOAC), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Punjab Agricultural University.

The manufacturers of tractors, power tillers, combines and different types of farm tools and equipment, besides engineers/ scientists from SAUs, ICAR institutes, government and semi- government officials, bankers and farmers attended the meet.

Dr PK Gupta, dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, informed that the manufacturing of agricultural machinery and implements were mainly in the unorganised sector and the manufacturers were, in general, of small and medium.

Efforts have been made through the all-India coordinated research project on farm implements and machinery, ICAR, to have the state-level Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers’ Associations. So far, the agricultural machinery manufacturers’ associations existed only in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, MP, UP, Orissa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

An All-India Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (AIAMMA) was constituted. The committee was constituted with Prof Gajendra Singh, former Vice-Chancellor, Doon University, Dehradun, as convener and Dr VM Mayande, Vice-Chancellor, Dr PDKV Akola and Dr NC Patel, Vice-Chancellor, Junagarh Agricultural University, Junagarh, as members.

The committee announced the members of the executive council of the All-India Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers’ Association, which was accepted unanimously.

Baldev Singh from M/S Amar Agricultural Implement Works, Ludhiana, was nominated as president of the executive council. Parkash N Bagul of M/S Kisan Engineering Works, Dhule, Maharashtra, was nominated as senior vice-president, Balachandra Babu from M/S Farm Implements (India) Private Limited, Chennai, as vice-president, Dinesh Bhai Patel, Khodut Agro Engineering, Rajkot, as secretary and SV Raju, Varsa Associates, Karnataka, as treasurer.



Pawar’s ouster sought over rising prices
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 21
Holding Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar “solely responsible” for the spiralling prices of basic food items including sugar, activists of the Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena today held an angry protest at the Jagraon bridge demanding his removal from the cabinet. The protesters also burnt an effigy of the minister, accusing him of colluding with “hoarders and profiteers” who they said were “holding the entire country to ransom”.

Sena president Parveen Dang, who led the protest, said: “By keeping silent on Pawar’s irresponsible statements and failing to restrain him from aiding and abetting with the powerful lobby of sugar mills, both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi have been exposed.”

“During its previous term the UPA government used to blame the leftist parties for obstructing the countries development and implementation of pro-people policies.

But now, even though the leftist parties are no longer within the alliance the government still seems to be clueless on how to tackle the unprecedented rise of prices of essential commodities, so much so that most of the items needed daily have gone out of the reach of the common man," Dang and other speakers at the demonstration asserted.

The Sena activists called upon the government “not to test the patience of the masses and take necessary steps to curb the rising prices without any further delay”.

"The failure on the part of the government to take action at this juncture might force people to come out on the streets, which could have serious consequences," they warned.



Firms surrender undisclosed income
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Six firms from the city surrendered a total of Rs 2.8 crore of undisclosed incomes. The IT Department had conducted the survey on these firms a day before. Surveys were conducted under the supervision of Joint Commissioner, Range VII, SC Narang.

Pentabox Herbal Limited surrendered Rs 50 lakh while Pentavox India limited surrendered 15 lakh, JR Furnishings Private Limited at Ghumar Mandi surrendered 60 lakh, Verma Packers at Fountain Chowk surrendered 40 lakh, International Overseas Corporation at Sant Street, Civil Lines, surrendered 45 lakh and Indiana Acid and Chemical Private Limited at Industrial Area-A surrendered 70 lakh. 



Residents take to kerosene stoves, heaters
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
With the city reeling under severe shortage of the LPG supply, people from “non influential” backgrounds have taken to the conventional methods of cooking, which include kerosene stoves and heaters.

Tired of standing in queues outside the gas agencies, people from a large number of localities who do not have political links or surplus money to buy cooking gas on the black market have taken to the alternative means of cooking.

Roshni, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar, said, “We have not received the gas supply since three weeks. Cooking on stove is a nightmare, as it takes lots of time and the whole house gets filled with foul smell of burnt kerosene.”

Use of kerosene stoves in a single room apartment is unsafe, as there is always a chance of some object catching fire.

Small kids can get asphyxiated, as such incidents are common at places where there is no ventilation.

Similarly, excessive usage of heaters is sheer wastage of electricity, as already the city in particular and state at large, is without electricity for 5-7 hours a day.

Despite the tumult, neither the gas agencies, nor the gas companies are ready to take any responsibility.

Distributors of the Indane Gas, Bharat Gas and HPC Gas are blaming the respective companies for the LPG shortage.

“We are unable to cater to consumers, as we do no get 100 per cent supply from the agencies,” rued a distributor.

“The company is imposing a cut of 25 per cent on the stipulated supply every month and with an increase of 10 per cent in winter, it becomes difficult for us to cater to consumers who want the gas supply within 20-25 days of the booking period.” 



Withdrawal of VIPs’ PSOs
City police chief awaits orders
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
A day after the state DGP ordered the withdrawal of 3,000 personal security officers (PSOs) assigned duties by the different police stations of the state to protect VIPs, the city police chief in this regard, is awaiting orders.

SSP SS Gill said today that he had not received any such orders pertaining to the withdrawal of PSOs to their respective police stations.

"As soon as we will receive orders we will start withdrawing cops assigned on VIP duties," said the SSP.

According to the DGP orders, these PSOs, who have been deputed by the police chiefs, have been asked to report back to there respective police stations.

The orders states that the police security would be sanctioned only at the level of state police headquarters and the personnel would come from the armed battalion.

At present, there are 300 PSOs deployed with various VIPs and officers of the city.

A senior official on the condition of anonymity said previous SSP RK Jaiswal, also tired to withdraw security attached to the VIPs and sought to deploy them back with the police station so that they would serve the public rather then the VIPs. But all such efforts met a dead end as the politicians imposed their political will and refused to give away the cops deployed on personal security.

According to sources in the DGPs office, soon PSOs would be sanctioned on the basis of threat perception and that too only from armed battalions.

The sources further revealed that the move had been taken keeping in mind the severe staff crunch, which was crippling the police.

Due to staff shortage, the police was working overtime, which resulted in the decline of physical standards of cops.

The staff shortage was also cited as a reason for the increase in crime rate and snatching cases. During the time of the Chief Minister’s visit to the city, the police station remained most vulnerable as there was no cop to man the police station.



Migrant Violence
Release of 42 accused baffles victims
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The release of 42 migrants, who were named accused in violent migrant protests at Dhandari, has baffled the people who fell victim to the horrifying incident.

Sources claim the police had already made up its mind not to pursue the case registered against them. After the mob frenzy, the victims of the violence feel cheated as they suffered during the violence and lost their property.

More than 50 vehicles were torched and over 1,000 persons were left stranded, who saved their lives by jumping off their vehicles on December 2 and 3, when the protest by migrants held the city to ransom.

The horrifying memories of the incident still give jitters to the victims, who lost their vehicles and narrowly saved their lives. Those who were commuting by bus were the worst hit, as many sustained injuries while jumping from a moving vehicles.

A bus belonging to an industrial unit, which was ferrying women, was stoned. The women alighted the bus on time and hid behind bushes to save their lives.

The owners of those vehicles that were torched by the rioters are stilling running from pillar to post to get hold of their vehicles on ‘superdari’, but all in vain.

Politicians who are harping on the issue have not represented the plight of these people.

As the victims are shuttling through the bureaucratic corridors, the culprits are enjoying political patronage.

Updeep Singh, a resident of Patiala, whose car worth over Rs 5 lakh was torched by the irate mob on the night of December 2 is still waiting to get the remains of his vehicle.

“Leave the compensation. I have to shuttle between Patiala and Ludhiana every fortnight in order to acquire my burnt car. The cop, who is inquiring the case talks very rudely. He has told me that I could get the car on ‘superdari’ only after the completion of magisterial inquiry of the case,” lamented Updeep Singh,

Hardeep Singh, a former hockey Olympian, whose distant relative’s newly purchased industrial vehicle was torched, has reacted strongly to the police investigation.

“If these 42 labourers, who are claiming themselves to be innocent were not behind the incident then who were the real culprits?” said Hardeep Singh.

Sources said not a single victim, who witnessed the violence was called by the police to identify the labourers charged for rioting.

The people are alleging that while the migrants are given special treatment, the victims have been ignored by the government.



Industry blames govt policies for power cuts
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The scheduled / unscheduled power cuts in winters has paralysed the industrial production and created unrest among industrialists in Punjab. The "anti-industry" policy of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has added woes to the misery of the industry. Shocked over the pathetic condition of power in the state, the industrialists asked if 4-5 hour power cuts were being imposed in peak winters, what would happen in summers? The business community has urged the government to bring improvement in the power situation otherwise, the industry here would be on the verge of closure due to production losses.

Upkar Singh, joint secretary, Chamber of Commercial and Industrial Undertakings (CICU), has vehemently opposed the "callous" attitude of the PSEB. He asked if this was the power position in winter months, what would happen between May and September when there would be paddy season in the state?

"During the months between May and September, board purchases power or borrows it from other states to meet with the demand of the Agriculture Sector and at that time also the industry is compelled to shut their units ranging from one day to three days thus losing their production. In the winter season, the PSEB was giving back supply to the states from where it had borrowed and again the industrial units were subject to scheduled / unscheduled power cuts. The industrial units have to bear the power-cut problem throughout the year and are doubly punished", rued Singh.

President of Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PD Sharma said the state government and the PSEB should immediately take remedial steps to improve the power situation in Punjab. "This is the right time to take necessary steps to overcome this problem. Otherwise in the paddy season, the situation will turn worse. The industry in Punjab has already suffered on account of erratic power supply, it can not afford to bear more losses due to the same reason", added Sharma.

He said the industry in Punjab hoped that it would get respite in winters but 4-5 hour long power cuts had not brought any relief to the former.

Singh said in the Industrial Policy of Punjab, it was decided that the feeder on which 75 per cent of the total load (11 K.V. feeder) was of industrial load, the particular feeder would be treated as the industrial feeder but so far this decision had not been implemented by the PSEB. The industrial units falling under Category-I feeder were worst affected, said Singh.



2 brothers killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, January 21
Two motorcycle-borne youths were killed when a Scorpio vehicle rammed head-on into their motorcycle yesterday.

The youths, identified as Paramjit Singh (28), aka Pamma, of Gahaur village and his brother Kulwinder Singh (25) were overtaking a truck near Bhatha Duaha village on the Sidhwan Bet road near Humbran on their motorcycle (PB 10 BS 9019) when the Scorpio (PB 10 BS 9817) rammed into them, killing them on the spot.

Paramjit Singh was stated to be the district general secretary of the Congress party. As per eyewitnesses, the driver of the Scorpio was heavily drunk and the vehicle overturned after the accident twice and then rammed into a truck coming from the other sided, damaging it also.

The police arrested Avtar Singh of the nearby Bhundri village, the driver of the Scorpio, who was confirmed to be under the influence of liquor after a medical examination. A case against the driver has been registered.



Ornaments stolen from bank lockers, claim clients
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, January 21
Even as the police and the UCO Bank authorities at Jugiana stated that the recent robbery attempt was unsuccessful, several residents who had lockers at the bank claimed that they lost gold ornaments worth lakhs.

Sikander Singh of Jassar village had no idea of the breaking up of his locker by the robbers till the next day. He said the robbery was committed on Sunday night, but he was not informed about the same until Tuesday. He suddenly got a call from the bank that his locker had been broken and he should come over to the bank.

When Sikander, along with members of his family, came to the bank, he found the locker empty. “So great was the shock that for some time, I forgot where I was standing. The locker was empty and 40m tola of gold was missing from it. I have been literally plundered. What pained me the most was the attitude of bank employees, who showed the least concern about the empty lockers and were more concerned about their own cash, which they found to be intact,” he said.

“The question is that if their cash was found to be intact, why were our lockers not so? Why did the siren not ring at the time the robbers were emptying our valuables? Is it not the responsibity of the bank to employ a security guard and make necessary arrangements? Is it not the responsibility of the bank where we have kept our valuables and pay annual rent for the locker? How can they leave everything to chance like this? We will not sit back. In my whole life, I will not be able to earn so much and buy as many ornaments as I have been robbed of. Who will come to our rescue now?” he said.

Ram Parkash Singh of Gobindgarh village, whose locker was also found empty, was robbed of lakhs. He was reluctant to tell the exact amount lost. Sources said Rs 6 lakh was missing from his locker. Three or four unidentified robbers ransacked the Jugiana branch of the UCO Bank on Sunday night.

The SP City II said investigations were on and claimed that the police had got vital clues in the case. It had nabbed certain persons in the case and would crack the case shortly, he added.

The robbery spread terror among villagers, who were now thinking of getting their lockers closed. They said it was better to keep their cash and valuables in their own custody.

Said Ms Rajinder Kaur Bulara, former MP, “The manner in which the robbery had been planned and executed made us think that we had been looted once and for all.”



Jeweller duped of Rs 1 lakh
Tribune News Service

Khanna, January 21
A local jeweller was reportedly duped by an unidentified man who took away jewellery items from his store worth Rs 1 lakh in lieu of a fake bank draft. In a complaint filed at the Khanna police station, Bhupinder Singh, owner of the store, alleged some one called him up from Allahabad a few days ago, saying he wanted to buy jewellery for which he would pay by a bank draft of Rs 25,000.

Bhupinder said he got the bank draft encashed and handed over the jewellery ordered to the caller’s “nephew” who was said to be residing in Khanna. However, he added the caller again asked for jewellery worth Rs 1 lakh for which he said he was sending the jeweller a bank draft.

This time the caller sent his “nephew” along with a girl who handed over the bank draft to Bhupinder and took away the jewellery. However, the draft turned out to be a counterfeit when the jeweller tried to encash it a local bank today.

The police said it is investigating the matter.



Shops using domestic LPG cylinders raided
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, January 21
The local Food and civil supply department today raided the shops using domestic LPG for commercial purpose and recovered six cylinders.The raid started in the afternoon and the department succeeded in nabbing only six cylinders from 5 shops as by then the word regarding the raid had spread out. Other shopkeepers either replaced the domestic LPG cylinders with commercial ones or just removed the domestic LPG cylinders. Some shopkeeper went to the extent of closing down the shop with the news of raid.

One shopkeeper on Raikot Road who did not got time either to remove the cylinder or close the shop fled foam his shop unattended to escape the department action.

There were reports of massive misuse of domestic LPG cylinders for commercial purpose in the area that created shortage of gas supply. Presently there is a 17-day waiting period for home delivery of gas supply after booking. Though there is an acute shortage of LPG in the area, yet the gas is available in the black market at the rate of Rs 800 by certain persons.

One such black marketers residing behind the Harjinder Palace is said to be running a parallel gas agency with more than 50 LPG cylinders in his stock. LPG cylinders are generally available 24 hours with this unauthorised dealer. Surjit Singh, AFSO, Mullanpur Dakha, however expressed his ignorance over any knowledge of such illegal gas supplier.

The raiding team lead by Singh included Food Inspectors Narinder Kumar, Onkar Singh and Ramesh Kumar Sharma. Singh said in future he would be conducting surprise raids to stop the misuse of domestic LPG cylinders. He said he has deposited the confiscated cylinders to the Oil and Gas Department of India through the Local Gas Agency (Mehak Gas Agency)

Mandeep Kaur, owner of the gas agency, appreciating the move of the department said that they were trying their best to improve the gas supply to consumers.



Doctor couple duped
Dharna staged against cops’ inaction
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Members of the Anti-Corruption Federation of India today staged a ‘dharna’ at the Jagraon bridge here today to protest against the police, who they said had not registered a case of fraud against an advocate and some government employees allegedly involved in cheating a doctor couple.

Giving details about the incident, Dr Arvinder Singh, who was booked by the Salem Tabri police for illegally taking possession of a piece of land, alleged the lawyer along with his mother, with the involvement of some government employees, prepared a fake registry of 200 sq yards of land located near Dana Mandi and sold it to his (Arvinder’s) wife, Dr Jasmeet Kaur.

When the couple went to take the possession of the land its real owner, Hari Chand, showed them the document following which the police booked Arvinder.

The doctor couple claimed the police conducted an independent investigation into the matter and found the lawyer and some employees of the land & revenue department had prepared a fake registry and sold the plot to them.

Arvinder alleged despite having evidence against the alleged culprits the police was not registering a case against them.

The federation members asserted they would continue their agitation till the police booked the suspects. 



Fake Bill Scam
2 officials’ statements recorded

Ludhiana, January 21
The Local Bodies (vigilance department) had today summoned two officials and three contractors indicted in the Fake Bill scam of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to Chandigarh to record their statements.

Those summoned for inquiry were JE (retd) Suresh and JE Harjeet (suspended from the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation), along with three contractors - Varinder Kumar, Sunny and Kulbir.

Sources said that the people summoned were called up telephonically three days ago and were asked to be present in the vigilance office today. However, only two officials made it to the department office in Chandigarh today.

The contractors gave different reasons for their absence. Varinder Singh stated death of a relative as the reason for not being present in Chandigarh.

"Since none of the contractors turned up for questioning, the two officials were sent back by recording their statements," said Chief Vigilance Officer AK Prabhakar, adding that the department was continuing with the inquiry on a priority basis. Interestingly, it has been around a month that the inquiry has been handed over to the Local Bodies (vigilance department), but it is still continuing with its investigations, while Additional Commissioner KP Brar had submitted her report in around 20 days. — TNS



Football team felicitated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 2
The management committee of Government College, Karamsar (Rara Sahib), felicitated football team of the college for emerging champions in the Division B Football Tournament of Panjab University, Chandigarh.

The team defeated GN College, Narangwal.

The college principal congratulated the winning team.



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