L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Don’t fall for fake lottery prize calls!
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
When you get an international (IDD) call from a number starting with +92 offering you a windfall in the form of lottery prize money, beware! For these are fraudsters who want to access your bank account to withdraw funds in it fraudulently.

Numerous people have fallen prey to the scam after passing on their confidential bank account and credit card details to the caller.

The way it goes it that one gets a bogus call from an IDD number and congratulates the person on “winning” the lottery prize money. To collect the funds the caller either asks to person to submit a certain amount of money as courier charges at a desired bank account or asks for the home address and bank account number so that he can directly transfer the “prize money” into the account.

Narrating an incident, Jasmeet Kaur, a city resident, said she got a call from an international number with the prefix +92. “The caller told me my lottery number had won prize money of Rs 10 lakh and that I should furnish my home address and bank account number so that the prize money could be transferred into my account. To make is sound credible the caller asked me to check whether 89910 was written on my cellular SIM card,” she said.

"I was astonished to see that particular number on my SIM card. After that I saw the SIM card of my other mobile handset and was surprised to see the same number on the other SIM as well," she said.

Jasmeet counted herself lucky she was saved from suffering a huge financial loss. "I think the call was probably from Pakistan as +92 is that country’s IDD code," she added.

Another city resident, Nitin, said a few days ago he got a call and was informed his mobile number had won 625,000 pounds sterling in an “MNC international mobile aid promo”. "When I called back on the same number I was asked to deposit a certain amount of money in a particular bank account number. However, I thought it better not to lose my hard-earned money as there was no guarantee of the prize money ever being transferred into my account," he said.

To make a person believe the call is authentic some people have even received “certificates of recognition”. Nitin also got such a “certificate,” purportedly issued by the World Bank Development Marketplace, convincing him of the caller’s genuineness.

However, since Nitin was asked to deposit Rs 24,500 for “courier charges”, he was saved from their fraudsters’ clutches. "I count myself very lucky for not sending the money as the amount was large. Later on I came to know from my friends these calls are bogus and many of them have also received such calls”, he said. The greed for making a fast buck landed Vivek Sharma, yet another city resident, into a big problem. He also got a call from that number, which probably originated from Pakistan, with the caller congratulating him as his mobile number had won a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh.

" I even deposited the desired amount but I never received my cash prize. I called them up several times and even e-mailed them but I didn’t receive any reply," he said.

Mobile firm takes steps

A private cellular firm has even set up a special task force team to bust the racket. A spokesman said the company was constantly looking for ways to tackle the problem. “The company has even issued a public circular in this regard but people still fall prey to these phone call scams”, he added. 


Cyber crooks target gullible fortune seekers
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana/Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 17
Exploiting their victims’ trust, cyber swindlers appear to bent on taking advantage of all those who want to become millionaires overnight. E-mail inboxes of internet users, mostly youngsters, are flooded everyday with mails offering alluring proposals to claim huge amounts of money that, according to the senders of the messages, had been lying unclaimed in bank accounts of certain rich people who had died.

Though most of those who get such mails do not respond to the offers, the immature and naive ones fall prey to the senders’ schemes to dupe them of a few thousand rupees in name of “processing charges” for transfer of funds into 
their accounts.

“I’m the chief engineer in the computer/telex department of Bank Of Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa. Your payment of US $12,500,000 has reflected as pending in our computer and appears to have been forgotten,” reads one of the e-mails received by a local resident. The resident called up the phone number mentioned in the e-mail after responding to it. However, he became suspicious when the sender of the message asked him to keep an amount of Rs 30,000 ready for depositing in an account about which he would informed later.

“Full name, home address, mobile phone number, bank account number and latest photo” are the heads under which information is sought from e-mail recipients who want to file “claims” for their “forgotten funds”.

Pretending to be an accounts manager at the African Development Bank, Ouagadougou, Tapsoba Pascal Ali writes he had decided to entrust an abandoned fund amounting to US $5.3 million in the name of recipient of his email.

The funds, according to him, belonged to one of the bank customers who, along with his entire family, died in a plane disaster five years ago.

“Following our bank’s financial policy, if such funds remain unclaimed after five years without a foreigner claiming the funds as the next of kin, they will be transferred into the bank treasury as unclaimed funds,” the official invites the recipient to stake the claim, stating the amount would be transferred in the latter’s account.

Lest the respondent have any doubts, another official clears the claimant would be authorised to keep only 30 percent of the funds. 70 percent of the money would be returned to the facilitator, 10 percent would be given for charity and "unexpected expenses” with the balance being the claimant’s share.



Grandson represents Gosain at MC general house 
The occasion was to pay homage to ex-Mayor Nahar Singh Gill who passed away recently
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
Throwing protocol and norms for the conduct of the General House meeting to the wind, Amit Gosain, grandson of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain, not only attended the meeting but also occupied the chair meant for his grandfather here today.

The meeting was convened specially to pay tributes to former Mayor, Nahar Singh Gill, who passed away last week.

Since Deputy Speaker was not able to attend the meeting, his grandson occupied his chair in his absence.

His act did not go down well with the councillors and other members of the general house. Condemning "misuse of power", many councillors and MC officials criticised the act of Amit Gosain and his personal assistant (PA of Satpal Gosain) during the meeting.

A BJP councillor, on condition of anonymity, said, "This is certainly against norms. Why should Sunny be allowed to represent his grandfather, even if it was to pay homage to a person? If he came, he should not have sat on Satpal Gossain's chair. This is against protocol."

Meanwhile, rich tributes were paid to former Mayor Nahar Singh Gill (Congress) by all parties, including Congress, Akali Dal and BJP, during the General House meeting of the municipal corporation here today. Hira Singh Gabria, Harish Rai Dhanda, Hakam Singh Giaspura, Parveen Bansal, Commissioner AK Sinha and councillors from all parties paid homage to the departed soul.

Hira Singh Gabria, in his homage, said Gill maintained his relationship with all sections of society, cutting across political, party or ideological affiliations. He was as popular among the Ludhiana industry as he was among the common people. Congress councillors maintained that Gill was gentle, affable and always accessible person. Gill spent his entire life with the Congress. He was known for his proximity with the senior party leaders, maintained councillors. 


Deputy Speaker said his grandson was his personal secretary. He had every right to represent him in the house if he could not be there. ‘‘I do not see anything wrong 
in it, ’’ he said.

What the rules say

Nobody other than the member or ex-officio members of the general house can represent them on the floor of the house. The members have to be present themselves in the house and no relative or personal assistant can be their representative.



DNA test ordered in gang rape case 
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
The Ludhiana Police Commissioner today ordered a DNA test in a six-month-old alleged gang rape case to ascertain the allegations made by a 21-year-old married woman.

The woman, 24.6 weeks pregnant, had levelled allegations of gang rape against her husband's cousin and his four unidentified friends.

The woman's family said she was married to Amandeep Singh, a resident of Shivpuri, last year. However, she came back to her parents' home within two months after domestic quarrels, they alleged.

According to the woman, on February 22, 2010, her husband's cousin Abhi Soni called her up and said he would help sort out the differences between her husband and her.

The family added that when the woman went out at night to meet Abhi at his residence in Shivpuri, she did not find her husband there. Instead, Abhi and four of his friends were present there and they overpowered her.

"They gagged me with a handkerchief which smelled weird. I fell unconscious and they gang raped me," the woman alleged. The family said following the incident, the woman was taken to the Civil Hospital on February 23.

A case under Section 376 of the IPC was also registered at the Salem Tabri police station, against the unidentified persons on March 5 on the complaint of the woman’s father.

The family rued that they had been running from pillar to post for the past six months but to no avail. They also alleged that following the incident, the woman’s health had deteriorated and she was in a state of partial coma for over five months.

“We had also held a protest dharna outside the Commissioner’s office in May seeking proper inquiry into the case, arrest of the accused and appropriate punishment,” said the woman’s father.

Meanwhile, the family alleged that about two days back, the woman was taken to a hospital for a medical examination after she complained of uneasiness.

“After an ultrasound scan, it was revealed that she was pregnant. We today met police commissioner Ishwar Singh with an appeal to investigate the matter and get justice to my daughter,” said the father. 

Unanswered questions

The woman has only identified her husband's cousin Abhi Soni as one of the accused whereas she has failed to identify the rest of the four accused. On whom will the DNA test be conducted to ascertain the allegations? How will the case be taken to a logical conclusion if all accused are not identified and DNA test conducted on all of them? 

Cops’ view

Investigating officer Nirmal Singh, SHO, Salem Tabri, said, "Her allegations could not be proved. The woman kept changing her statements about the place of incident. However, investigations in the case are still on". He said this was prima facie a case of marital discord and both parties had levelled allegations and counter-allegations against each other. "In any case, we are looking into it," he said.



‘Illegal’ petrol pump razed
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
An "illegal" petrol pump, opposite Arya College for Boys, was demolished by the building branch (Zone-D) of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation here today.

The petrol pump was demolished, as the owner of the pump had not taken the mandatory ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) from the civic body. However, the owner alleged that he was being targeted due to vested interests.

GS Cheema, owner of the petrol pump, said the pump was functioning since August 13.

“We have got NOCs from all departments, including fire, forest, PWD, police, food supply etc. DM gives NOC after checking all documents. No objection was raised by anyone when the building was being constructed. It’s shocking to see a team of the municipal corporation demolishing the pump today,” Cheema added.

He said he would file a writ in the High Court against the “arbitrary” attitude of the municipal corporation.

According to sources, the petrol pump was near another petrol station and could have affected the latter’s business. A complaint was filed in which one of the top MC functionaries took keen interest. The MC functionary made sure that NOC was not given, following which it was demolished.

In another demolition drive, foundation stone of an “illegal” shop were demolished at Haibowal main road.

Warnings had been issued to the owner, who didn’t pay much attention to the building bylaws.

On the basis of complaints filed by the residents of Haibowal near Amar Sweets, about 45 extensions outside houses were demolished here.



Punjabi writer’s tribute to Shakespeare
Translates 41 of his poems, gifts a copy 
to Khushwant Singh
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
“Dear Prof Sodhi, thanks for Sach De Moti,” the words woven in perfect rhyme by none other than the noted India writer Khushwant Singh have made Professor KBS Sodhi a proud man.

Having translated William Shakespeare’s 41 poems and sonnets in Punjabi, titled “Sach De Moti”, Prof KBS Sodhi had sent a copy of his book to Khushwant Singh, following which the writer sent an appreciation letter.

A former professor in English at city’s GGN Khalsa College and having taught Shakespeare to the students of English literature through out his service, Prof Sodhi initiated to pen down the playwright’s poems/sonnets in Punjabi.

Sodhi’s book, ‘Sach De Moti’, is a translation of 41 poems and sonnets of Shakespeare. “The inspiration behind this translation was the immortal playwright himself, as a most of his works have a universal touch,” he said.

“Shakespeare’s work is universal in element, which is why I felt that as a professor I can take it across to the people who can’t understand his expressions in English,” said Sodhi.

The lines from William Shakespeare’s play ‘The Merchant of Venice’: “The quality of mercy is not strain’d. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath………” now has a Punjabi interpretation: ‘Rahes da rahes’ wherein KBS Sodhi, decodes Portia’s words to Shylock that read: “Rehmat kade na upje kise de dhauns heth,  ambran wichon barse  wangu barish….”

The references of Shakespearean phrases, including “Frailty, thy name is woman”, “Cowards die many times before their deaths” and “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods”, which for centuries have remained unsurpassed, also find a mention in the book.

Prof Sodhi says: “Khushwant Singh, with his versatile style of writing, is the role model for all the writers in the country as right from his novel ‘Train to Pakistan’, ‘I Shall not hear the Nightingale’ to ‘The Company of Women’, every book is a magnum opus. He is a visionary, who understands the relevance of an initiative with a motive, which is why I chose to present him the book,” added Sodhi.



Swine Flu
One more tests positive
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
A fifty five-year-old woman from the city has tested positive for influenza H1N1 infection thereby taking the number of confirmed cases of swine flu to four.

The Department Of Health And Family Welfare had taken three samples of the suspected case of swine flu undergoing treatment at CMCH and DMCH yesterday out of which only one was tested positive.

The swab samples of the suspected cases were sent to PGIMER, Chandigarh, yesterday evening.

Looking at the constant increase in the number of swine flu cases in the city, the Department Of Health And Family Welfare has sounded an alert, wherein the civil hospital as well as private hospitals have been asked to do a double check on “quarantine care”.



Physically challenged student felicitated
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana, August 17
Physically challenged Rahul, who can neither write not walk properly, but has been topping the board and university exams was felicitated by the local unit of the BJP here on Independence Day.

Rajiv Katna district president chaired the felicitation function and Prof Rajinder Bhandari was the chief guest. Besides topping in class X and XII examinations conducted by the Panjab State Education Board, Rahul topped in Ludhiana district in BCA I and II conducted by Panjab University.

Rahul has earlier been honoured 37 times, including twice by the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. As he is unable to write with hands, he speaks out answers to the questions in each exams and the official writer provided by the authorities writes on his behalf.Sandeep Kapur, president, Bhartya Yuva Morcha, Sunil Maudgil, Pushpinder Single, Harash Sharma and Sakshi Jhulka were present. Rahul received memento from BJP leaders on Sunday.



From Schools
Martyrdom Day

Students of Green Land School pay tributes to Madan Lal Dingra in Ludhiana Students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School paid homage to freedom fighters Madan Lal Dhingra on his martyrdom day.

The students saluted the great martyr who was hanged on August 17, 1909. They also paid floral tributes to Dhingra.

Students of Green Land School pay tributes to Madan Lal Dingra in Ludhiana on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Inderjeet Verma


New Senior Secondary School, Civil Lines, celebrated teej with fun. Solo dance and other vibrant items were presented by students.

A declamation contest was organised by Ved Prachar Mandal and senior students spoke on topics, including Saraswati Dayanand, Indian woman, Dhara ka Adhar-Nari etc.

Principal VL Patel shared his views with the students on the festival of teej. Students and school staff kept two minutes' silence for those who lost their lives in Leh.


A regional workshop on spiritual curriculum was organised by Darshan Education Foundation at Darshan Academy to motivate teachers for imbibing spiritual values among students.

Principal and teachers from various Darshan Academies, including Jalandhar, Dasuya, Kalka and Ludhiana participated.

BB Jha, education officer, was also present. School principal Lt. Col. (Dr) RK Sharma welcomed the participants. The workshop started with meditation. Resourcepersons RK Sharma, preacher of science of spirituality from Sawan Kirpal Ruhani Mission, and Renu Sharma, teacher and facilitator from DA, Delhi, explained the philosophy and purpose of spiritual curriculum in modern education.


Students and teachers of GMT Public School, Jalandhar, visited Mother Teresa Trust, home for destitute children, on the eve of Independence Day.

A team of 50 students, along with their teachers and principal Amarjit Dhaliwal presented a token of love to these children. A number of gift items, clothes and eatables were distributed. — TNS



Farmer found murdered in village 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Augusts 17
Some unknown persons allegedly murdered a farmer of Khadoor village in Ludhiana district near here this afternoon.

Old rivalry is suspected to be the reason behind the murder.

Darshan Singh (55), a peasant of Khadoor village, was killed by some unknown assailants, when he (deceased) had gone to his fields this afternoon. The assailants, who were reportedly hiding in the fields before Darshan’s arrival fled from the scene after committing the crime, presuming him to be dead.

Darshan was bleeding profusely and with multiple injuries was shifted to a multi-specialty hospital in Ludhiana where doctors declared him brought dead.

Though exact sequence of events leading to the murder was yet to be ascertained, the police suspects that old enmity with one of his brothers was the reason behind the incident.

Investigations by the Jodhan police, led by Inderjit Singh, SHO, revealed that some unknown assailants had allegedly murdered Darshan shortly after he left his home in the afternoon.

Circumstantial evidences suggested that the victim had resisted attack by the assailants, who were hiding in his fields before he reached there to look after the paddy.

Some passersby informed Ranjit Kaur, that her husband was lying unconscious in a pool of blood near the tubewell room in his fields. No villager admitted having seen the assailants leaving the place of incident. Further investigations revealed that the deceased was facing murder charges of allegedly killing his brother’s wife about seven years ago. He had remained in judicial custody for many years and was bailed out about a year ago.



MC clerk held for graft

Ludhiana, August 17
A clerk of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 here today.

Vijay Kumar, clerk with LMC-Zone B, was arrested by the flying squad of Vigilance Bureau following a complaint of Kunal Sachdeva, a resident of Harnam Nagar. Sachdeva had complained to the Vigilance Bureau this morning that he had given an application on behalf of his mother Anu Sachdeva to the LMC to get a property transferred in her name. Ravcharan Singh Brar, SP, flying squad of Vigilance Bureau, said Vijay had asked the complainant for Rs 3,000 to get the work done.

The deal was fixed for Rs 2,000, he added. A case has been registered. — TNS



Basketball: Ludhiana lads, Sangrur eves win state tourney
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, August 17
Hosts Ludhiana in the boys section and Sangrur in the girls section survived some anxious moments before coming out triumphant on the opening day of the 61st Punjab State Junior Basketball Championship being held at Guru Nanak Stadium, here today.

The Ludhiana boys got the better of Fardikot whom they overpowered 68-57. For the winners, Komalpreet Singh and Sunil Bajaj played the pivot role, netting in 22 and 21 baskets, respectively.

For Faridkot, Harsimran Singh and Sukhdeep Pal Singh fought well and contributed 21 and 16 points, respectively but that was not enough to save their side from defeat.

In the girls section, Sangrur, after initial hiccups, managed to outplay Muktsar 39-26.

Sangrur's Prabh Sharan Kaur and Poonam Rani accounted for 12 points each while Shallu Rani chipped in with 21 points for the losers.

In other matches (boys), Moga scored an emphatic 41-22 over Barnala; Jalandhar outnumbered Fatehgarh Sahib 53-29;

Mohali beat Sangrur 54-34 and Ferozepur outclassed Nawanshahr 40-24.

Earlier, Yurinder Singh, AIG, Punjab and vice-president, Punjab Basketball Association, inaugurated the championship in which 20 teams in the boys section and 13 teams in the girls section are taking part.

Performance during this championship will be taken into consideration while selecting the Punjab squad for the National Junior Basketball Championship scheduled to be held in Mumbai from October 24 to 31.



Green Land students lead PAU Zone to victory
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 17
Students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar, helped PAU Zone defeat Ludhiana Zone-II by five wickets to emerge champions in the Inter-Zonal Cricket Tournament (U-16).

The tournament was organised by the education department here at Guru Nanak Engineering College.

Ludhiana Zone-II won the toss and elected to bat first. They made 96 runs for the loss of nine wickets in the allotted 20 overs.

The main scorers were Mankaran and Mayank, who made 40 and 10 runs, respectively.

For PAU Zone, Rishav Rana, Vishwanath and Rahul, students of Green Land School, bowled consistently and shared five wickets among themselves.

Rishav and Vishvanath captured two wickets each, while Rahul claimed one wicket. PAU Zone made the required runs after losing five wickets with two balls to spare in which main contributions came through Omesh Handa (30), Nimit (18), Vishvanath (12) and Avinash (9), students of Green Land School.



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