L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Another robbery in city
Rs 60,000 taken away from liquor vend; 2 injured 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
In another daylight robbery, four armed youths injured two men and robbed nearly Rs 60,000 from a liquor vend at the Ishwar Nagar bridge, near Gill village, here today.

The incident occurred around 3 pm when two youths arrived in a black Tata Indica and attacked an employee and a customer at the vend.

According to an eyewitness, the assailants made a recce of the place and stood outside the vend for nearly 10 minutes before the attack. They arrived at the vend again and this time, the car did not bear number plates. They were joined by two others and were equipped with firearms, ‘gandasas’ and swords.

They went to the cash counter and attacked Gurdeep Singh, a salesman. Shelly Gill, a customer, tired to intervene, but was also attacked.

The in charge of the vend, Davinder Singh, was taken hostage. He said the accused took the entire cash kept in the safe. He said the accused were in their mid-20s and were speaking chaste Punjabi. The two injured were rushed to CMCH in a critical condition.

According to the police, it was a case of personal enmity. The attackers might have settled scores with liquor vend employees. Sources said the attackers reportedly quarrelled with the liquor vend authorities last evening for serving them warm beer.

The police reached the spot and started an investigation. This was the second daylight robbery within 24 hours. Former sarpanch Manjit Singh Seehra was attacked, thrashed and robbed of Rs 29 lakh by highway robbers yesterday.


Retired banker held stealing vehicles
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The police today busted a gang of vehicle thieves with the arrest of a retired bank manager. Three vehicles were also recovered from his possession.

The accused identified as Gursharan Singh, a retired bank manager from Moga, was arrested from Sunet village late last night.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP)-II, Sushil Kumar, said they were tipped off about the accused travelling towards Moga for selling a stolen vehicle.

The cops laid a trap and managed to nab the accused. On being interrogated, the accused cracked soon and disclosed the location of the stolen vehicles.

The police recovered two SUVs and a mini-truck from the accused, running a workshop at Moga.

Gurcharan was produced before the court and remanded in police custody. 



3 brats netted
Created ruckus in front of girl’s house, three flee
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The police booked six drunken teenagers for hooliganism and creating ruckus in front of the house of a 17-year-old girl at Model Town here last evening.

This was not the first such incident, but probably the first time that such stringent action was taken against spoilt brats.

The family of the girl had been going through this trauma for the last two years and had even approached the police on two occasions.

According to the police, the six teenagers, reportedly drunk after a birthday party, gathered in front of the house and started shouting her name and honking.

The servant came out of the house and told the boys to leave, but they stated thrashing the servant.

Seeing the ruckus, the maternal grandfather of the girl came out of the house, but the boys allegedly manhandled him.

In the meantime, the entire family of the girl came out and caught three boys while the other three fled, leaving the car.

The family of the girl informed the police about the incident. The cops arrested the three accused, identified as Kiratpreet Singh, Mayank Sood and Avjot Singh.

Search parties were sent to nab Daman, Taran and Sona. All the accused were between 17 and 18 years of age were from well-off families.

They were driving a beige Honda City with black film on the windscreen. According to the police, they were violating traffic norms.

“A group of nouveau-riche boys gathers in the market everyday and creates a ruckus in front of girls’ houses. Parents remain silent for fear of embarrassment. This time, my 21-year-old son was at home. He was furious and we decided that it was enough,” said the girl’s father.

Sources said parents of the boys tried to exert political pressure on the police and made an effort at a compromise, but Model Town SHO Gurpreet Kaur did not budge.

“Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh has launched a drive against hooliganism.

We have received special instructions from him to deal with miscreants and eve-teasers with an iron hand,” said a police official.

The Sarabha Nagar and Model Town markets were plagued with rowdy elements.

Many women had complained of eve-teasing in the past, but not action was taken.

‘Spare thought for your daughter’

The SHO received praise for being tough. Said Prof Manjeet Singh Chabbra, co-ordinator of the PTU regional centre, “People trying to play down such acts as mischievous and childish should keep it in mind that they also have girls at home. If the incident had taken place with their daughter, they would have had a different opinion.”



Where expensive gifts determine friendship
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Having no dearth of money, wards of nouveau riche of the city, in an attempt to impress their friends, don’t mind spending thousands of rupees on expensive gifts. The need to show off and peer pressure seem to be having a bad influence on younger generation, as far as money is concerned.

Flaunting money has become a routine affair among children of affluent families and, sadly, even their parents, too, don’t mind shelling out whopping amounts to keep their children happy.

Things are in such a bad state that even the authorities in schools have to intervene now and direct students not to go overboard and spend hefty money on gifts.

In one school, a boy gifted an expensive dress to his best friend, the price of which was over Rs 10,000. Another student Class X student presented an expensive pup to her friend on the latter’s birthday.

To show off by way of rich gifts has become a norm among “elite” kids, who don’t mind spending thousands of rupees on their friends. But the disturbing fact is that this culture is bringing complex among hundreds of other students.

Rohit Ahuja (name changed), a student of Class XII, said the school management was trying hard to stop this practice by making announcements, but to no avail. “Children just don’t bother. Even teachers are helpless, as they have no control once they are outside the school premises,” said Ahuja.

Shalini Sharma, a parent whose 12-year-old daughter is studying in Class IX, said her daughter was so impressed to hear about the exchange of gifts among children that she had even started discussing it everyday. “Even when we try to correct them, children develop inferiority complex,” she complained.

Teachers are finding it difficult to take notice of everything, while psychiatrists feel that parents were responsible for encouraging such lifestyle among their wards. However, parents feel that such incidents were giving birth to complexes among children.


Parents are responsible for encouraging their wards. They don’t spend quality time with their kids; neither do they take out time to watch their ward’s activities. Whatever they demand, parents just give them and, thus, give birth to aggression and frustration among kids. Parents must teach their kids the value of money and must encourage them not to waste money. — Rajiv Gupta



City lad second in PTU CET
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
City lad Sukh Karan Singh has secured second rank in the state and first in the city in the PTU combined entrance test (CET). He was awaiting his IIT and AIEEE entrance examination results. Expressing elation, his father, Prof Paramjit Singh, said hard work and commitment had borne fruit.

Celebrations began soon after results were declared last evening. Relatives thronged their house at Punjab Mata Nagar here.



Mismanagement In Power Corp 
Hefty fine may cost consumers dear 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Industrial electricity consumers may have to pay a heavy price on account of bureaucratic mismanagement in the Punjab State Power Corp (PSPC). During the past week the corporation has thrice changed the schedule of power cuts and weekly offs for saving the electricity. Consumers will be charged Rs 100 per KW, to be added in their monthly bills, if they don’t comply with the new regulations.

Most of the time consumers aren’t aware of the decisions taken by the PSPC, as it usually does not issue any public notification.

However, changes in weekly offs for power saving and duration of power cuts is updated on the corporation’s website.

“The frequent changes in schedule are due to mismanagement in the corporation. Information regarding these changes is only available on the PSPC website but only 20 per cent of industrial units have Internet access. The penalty for infringement of schedules and peak loads is very high. It’s the corporation’s duty to notify consumers beforehand,” said BK Jindal, regional chairman, Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India (FASII).

On May 5, the weekly off for power saving was reduced from 58 to 34 hours. Then again, on May 7, the weekly off for furnaces and ‘category III’ units was cut down to 48 hours and from May 10 the weekly off for ‘category II’ units was increased from 34 to 48 hours.

Not all industrial consumers have Internet access and information on the PSPC’s website about frequent changes in power cut schedules fail to reach the consumers. Harmohinder Singh, an industrialist, said: “I have Internet at my factory but it’s not possible to check the PSPC site everyday to see if any new notification has been issued by the corporation. It’s the latter’s duty to inform its consumers”.

“In case we fail to comply with the changes made by PSPC in power schedules heave fines will be imposed on us.

The corporation should inform consumers about any changes. It can do it through the electronic or print media, as no one accesses its website every day,” said another industrialist, Keshav Gupta.

Punjab State Power Corporation had thrice changed the power cuts and weekly offs’ schedule for saving the power. Consumers will be charged Rs 100 per KW, to be added in their monthly bills, if they don’t comply with the new regulations. This information is available on the website. However, only 20 per cent of industrial units have Internet access. 

Not all have Internet access and information fail to reach the consumers. It is not possible to check the website everyday. It’s the latter’s duty to inform its consumers. The corporation should inform consumers about any changes. It can do it through the electronic or print media. — Industrialists 



Gas agencies refusing new connections
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
In blatant violation of the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, a large number of LPG agencies are denying new gas connections to city residents on the pretext of incomplete documents. In reality the agencies often insist on consumers buying additional items like gas stoves, regulators, pipes and cleansing brushes before agreeing to issue a new connection.

The food & civil supplies department has given clear instructions to the LPG agencies not to force consumers to purchase these accessories from them. However, most agencies, in order to make money, decline to give a new connection to those who refuse to buy these items.

Getting a ‘valid’ LPG connection is a major problem for the thousands of migrant workers living in the city, which is why they prefer to bypass the mechanism of getting a legal connections and buy gas cylinders from the ‘black market’.

The migrant workers buy ‘expired cylinders’ that have been declared unsafe and been discarded by gas agencies, endangering their lives as well as those of others.

Said Subhash Pandey, a migrant labourer: "I tried to obtain a gas connection thrice during the past five years but all I got was humiliation. One agency dealer refused to issue a connection stating it would provide me with a ‘licence to live in Punjab forever’. Another dealer asked me to shell out an extra Rs 3,000 extra a gas stove, which I couldn’t afford. I’m now making do with a electric heater and a kerosene stove in my kitchen”.

Another city resident from Himmat Singh Nagar, who filed a complaint against Omkar Gas Agency in the area, said despite having all the required documents the agency did not issue her a new LPG connection.

She said even the agency had checked her credentials and had even sent its representative to her home to crosscheck the details, following which a letter was issued for the release of new connection.

“However, when I went to the agency after some days its manager asked me to buy a gas stove along with the connection, to which I refused. Later the manager said that the documents were incomplete and refused to accept my marriage certificate or PAN card”, she stated.

However, Mukesh Ghai, manager of Omkar Gas Agency, said, “The woman in question didn’t have any identity proof. We suggested the connection be issued in her husband's name but she didn’t agree. We’ve now asked her to submit her electricity bill on the basis of which we’ll release the gas connection”.

‘Complaints will be dealt with’

District food & civil supplies controller (west) Rakesh Bhaskar said city residents should immediately file a complaint with the authorities if they are refused a new gas connection without a valid reason, so that “departmental action can be initiated against the erring LPG agencies”.



Radicals raising their heads again, says CPI leader 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 14
The CPI has cautioned the state as well as the Central governments against the re-emergence of separatist and radical forces in this border state and has called for timely action for curbing their activities.

Amarjit Kaur, the CPI national secretary, while addressing a public meeting at Pandheri Kalan in the Dehlon block of this district said today that appearance of posters and open distribution of pamphlets propagating the separatist designs of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwala and other terrorists in different parts of Punjab was a dangerous signal.

The meeting was convened to pay homage to party activists- Gurmail Singh Hunjan and Joginder Singh-who fought against separatist designs of ‘Khalistani’ terrorists and laid down their lives for the sake of unity and integrity of the country.

Paying tributes to the martyrs, she lauded the glorious role of leftists in Punjab, many of whom did not care for their lives to save integrity of the nation during the days of terrorism in Punjab. Their fight against separatism had no parallel, and it was due to the sacrifice of the likes of them that the lost glory of the state of Punjab was restored.

Dr Joginder Dyal, member, CPI’s central executive committee, said the deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab was a serious issue and the government ought to restore the confidence and sense of security among the people. 



Farmers urged to grow more crops organically
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The overwhelming response to organic farming was evident from the presence of more than 100 farmers from across the state, who had successfully espoused organic farming and had come to attend the day long training course at PAU yesterday.

Sharing their success stories, the farmers from various parts of Malwa and Doaba regions of Punjab stated that they were satisfied with the “dividends” received from their organic farms.

Director of extension education at the PAU, Dr MS Gill said currently there were 1.42 lakh farmers registered for organic farming in India. He called upon the farmers present on the occasion to opt for cotton, basmati rice, pulses, spices, tea and coffee adding that these crops, worth Rs 400 crore, were exported to other countries.

Dr Jasbir Singh, a progressive farmer from Ghulal village of Ludhiana district, is cultivating guava, pomegranate, pear, lemon, apple, papaya and seasonal vegetables on seven acres. “We are using the concoction of neem, castor, garlic, gau mutra, cow dung, jaggery, gram flour, iron, copper and asafoetida for pest control in the fields. The vegetables and fruits have a longer shelf life and they are easy to cook and tasty to eat,” said Dr Jasbir Singh.

Rajinder Pal Singh from Talwandi Sabo started organic farming of roses in 2001 on six acres and gradually brought 58 acres under cultivation of wheat. “I have sold organic wheat at the rate of Rs 2,500 per quintal as compared to Rs 1,100, the rate for normal wheat nurtured with pesticides,” shared Rajinder Pal Singh.

He said his roses were also sold at a very good price and he was waiting for his export license to sell rose oil overseas, which is priced at Rs 7 lakh per kg in the international market.

The farmers asked questions on various aspects related to research on organic farming, need for organic farming, nutritional and weed management followed by appropriate crop cycles, pest and disease management.



Power board’s demand of Rs 1.45 lakh held illegal
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 14
Coming down heavily on the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), the Permanent Lok Adalat has held that raising the bill of Rs 1,44,721 after overhauling the account for the past 19 months was totally illegal.

In its order, the Lok Adalat held that the PSEB had miserably failed to discharge its duty of maintaining a correct meter and unnecessrily harassed and penalised the consumer for no fault on his part.

It also took note of the fact that the alleged defective meter was changed even after more than a year from the date of making report by the meter reader concerned. The orders for issuing the meters were issued on Feburary 10, 2008, but it was actually changed on March 3, 2009.

The chairman of Permanent Lok Adalat(PLA) Sukhdarshan Singh Kharia, members RS Khokhar and Nand Lal ordered the PSEB to overhaul the account after taking into consideration the meter readings of the past six months when the meter was reported to be defective. It also directed that the excessive amount charged from the consumer be adjusted in the account of the consumer.

The orders came on a complaint moved by Ramesh Kumari and her husband Prem Kumar of Model Town, Ludhiana. They had submitted that the decision of overhauling the account was wrong and they were wrongly billed, but none listened to their grievance.



NRI offers to help 17 youths
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
There is a ray of hope for the 17 youths undergoing death sentence in the United Arab Emirates in connection with a murder case of a Pakistani youth as a Sharjah-based industrialist and a social worker has extended help to these youths and their families.

Sudesh Aggarwal and his wife, Neelam Aggarwal, are in Punjab to meet the families of the youths facing gallows in Dubai. The couple was in the city yesterday to meet a Payal- based accused.

Talking to The Tribune Sudesh said: “We want to help them. If the government or any political party is willing to help we are ready to provide all possible support.”

Living in Sharjah for the past 32 years, Sudesh is a chairman of the Indian Trade Center and the Indian Business Professional Council. He also knows a lot about the law of the land.

“Currently we are trying to establish contact with the family of the murdered youth in Pakistan. We are trying to raise blood money, “ said Sudesh.

Quoting an example he said earlier also a man from Kerala, who was sentenced to death by the Sheriat court, was acquitted after he paid the blood money to the victim’s family.

Aggarwal, who is one of the founders of the Indian Punjabi Society in the UAE, said: “If the government would provide monetary support for the release of the youths, it’s fine, otherwise our society would raise funds for their release.”

Aggarwal, while expressing concern over the court’s judgment, said, “ The date of the first appeal is May 19. We are running short of time. The judicial process of the UAE is very fast. If court upholds the verdict then it would result in the killing of 17 youths for the murder of a youth.”

He was disappointed at the bureaucratic wrangling in the state. “No government official has yet visited the families of the youths. The government should issue passport to one member of the family and ensure their boarding and lodging in Sharjah so that they could meet their children,” said Aggarwal.



Stubble Burning 
Mill workers save Rs 200-cr food grain 
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, May 14
The negligence on the part of a farmer might have destroyed more than Rs 200 crore worth of food grain stored at shellers by various government agencies yesterday.

This incident took place at Talwandi Kalan village. The farmer, identified as Pappu of Mandiani village, set wheat stubble on fire so as to clear his fields. Two rice mills-Guru Kirpa Rice Mills and New Shiv Shankar Rice Mills-are adjacent to his fields. Soon, fire spread and entered the sheller unit.

At least 200 labourers working in these two mills rushed to douse the fire with whatever they could lay their hands on. Meanwhile, fire tenders from Ludhiana also reached the spot. The fire was brought under control after two hours.

Rajeev Jhanji, owner, Guru Kirpa Rice Mill, said about 400 crates, worth Rs 2 lakh, owned by the Punjab Agro Industries were destroyed in the fire.

ASI of the Dakha police station supervised the rescue operation. He said an inquiry would be marked to ascertain cause behind the fire.



Turning waste into art pieces
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Turning waste material into a beautiful piece of art is his passion.

Be it a car tyre, a broken crockery piece or dried leaves, Rahul turns them into wonderful art pieces.

A graduate in fashion designing and marketing, Rahul has come up with a wonderful painting depicting the “Wheel of Time”. Ashoka wheel, which has time on one side and Goddess Laxmi on the other, depicts the cycle of life.

“The painting shows the time 10.10 am, which is an auspicious time in the morning, according to Vastu. I have used banana tree leaves, empty tape rolls, jute, serving plate, thermocol, car tyre, foil paper, packing foam sheets and beads,” he added.

Rahul has also made a couple of paintings. His most prized possession is a coffee table which, too, has been made from waste material.



Dance camp for hearing impaired 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
A 15-day dance camp for mute and hearing impaired students was organised at School for Deaf on the Rajpura road, near Kitchlu Nagar, here today.

Dance camp coordinator Harpreet Singh said he organised the dance camp for the mute children every year. He said there would be a mega dance performance by these students during the end of this dance camp.

Harpreet gives free dance lessons. “I enjoy a lot while dancing with these children,” he said. As many as 110 students are participating in the dance camp.

Class XII results on SMS

Students, who had appeared in the Punjab School Education Board examination for Class VIII, Class X and Class XII, can check their results on IDEA mobile phones on May 16 and 17.

They can dial 50005 or send an SMS MD <>Roll No to 50005 from any prepaid or postpaid IDEA number in Punjab and the results will be sent to them through short message services. 



Shanties set afire, 16 booked
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 14
At least 16 persons, including four women, have been booked for trying to forcibly occupy about 4 acre of agriculture land possessed by Shingara Singh of Baghian village near here.

Shingara Singh in his complaint lodged with the Jagraon Sadar police station has stated that the land was in his possession since a long and he had constructed shanties on it to live. On Wednesday afternoon, the accused identified as Mukhtiar Singh, Major Singh Jagtar Singh, Dilaver Singh, Kakka Singh, Taar Singh, Mukhtiar Singh, Boodh Singh, Darshan Singh, Fauja Singh, Mangat Singh, Mantu, Paro Bai, Deepo Bai, Saroja Bai, and Shindo Bai, all residents of Baghian village, entered into his fields along with two tractors and ploughed it.

They, even, set the shanties on fire and threw his belongings into the Satluj flowing nearby. The accused had even beaten up Shingara Singh, his brothers Kala Singh and Girdar Singh and his uncle Dilbar Singh. The injured have been admitted to the Sidhwan Bet civil hospital.



22 rehras impounded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Twenty two rehras, carrying consignments without bill, were impounded by the mobile wing of the excise and taxation department at the railway station here.

Seventy four packages were seized by the department. Raids were conducted under the supervision of Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Tejbir Singh Sidhu. All 22 rehras were carrying consignments from out of the state. 



Home guard killed in accident 
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 14
A home guard, deployed at the city police station here got killed in an accident while patrolling his area in the wee hours today.

As per information, two home guards Narinder Singh and Kuldip Singh were patrolling the area on a two wheeler and were hit by a speeding truck near the GT Road. Both jawans were rushed to the nearby civil hospital where Kuldip Singh succumbed to injuries and Narinder, too, received grievous injuries and was being treated at the local civil hospital.

A case against the truck driver, identified as Jarnail Singh, a resident of Gagret in Jammu & Kashmir, has been registered by the police. The police is investigating.

A cop deployed at Khanna police station also got killed in an accident on the GT Road a few months back.



Court to have record room
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 14
Litigants can now heave a sigh of relief, with the setting up of a record room of Jagraon tehsil in the new court complex.

Earlier, documents relating to suits, after disposal, used to be transferred to the record room in Ludhiana, said Jyoti Saroop Sehgal, president, Jagraon Bar Association.

Sehgal said a delegation of eight advocates, including secretary of the Bar, Vishal Sharma, Baldev Krishan Goyal and others, had met Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice MM Kumar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Administrative Judge of Ludhiana Division, Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Chairman (Building and Justice) Ashutosh Mohantta.

Meanwhile, the inauguration of the new court complex has been postponed till July 20 due to unavoidable circumstances. Earlier, it was to be inaugurated by Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Mukul Mudgal on May 20.



Ludhiana Academy lads retain title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 14
Ludhiana Academy boys won the title in the Punjab Youth Basketball Championship for the fourth consecutive year, which concluded today at Mansa. Ludhiana Academy got the better of Ludhiana District 67-59 to retain the title.

For the winners, the main contributors were Navjot Singh, Loveneet Singh and Manipal Singh who netted 17, 13 and 12 points, respectively, while skipper, Gauravdeep chipped in with 9 points to anchor their team to victory.

For Ludhiana District, Sumeer was the main scorer who made 19 points, followed by Ajay and Rahul who, too, fought well and contributed 13 and 5 points, respectively.

Earlier, in the league phase, Ludhiana Academy defeated Ferozepur 45-35 and then outnumbered hosts Mansa 31-26 while Ludhiana District outplayed Mansa 61-47 and beat Ferozepur 35-13 to settle for the title clash match.

In the girls’ section, Ludhiana secured third position. Kapurthala emerged champions as they scored victory over holders Gurdaspur eves. The members of the Ludhiana Academy squad were accorded a warm welcome on their arrival at Guru Nanak Stadium, here this evening.



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