L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Police grills ex-ADC on funds scam
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
A fortnight after the Rs 82 lakh fraud involving embezzlement of Indira Awas Yojna funds was detected in former additional deputy commissioner (development) Davinder Singh's office, the police today began questioning him about the case.

The police handed a questionnaire to Davinder, who was transferred out of the city after the scam came to light, and asked him to reply to all the questions within three days. ‘‘He’ll be getting back to us within three days,’’ said additional deputy police commissioner JS Sidhu.

Sources said the questionnaire was prepared in consultation with senior police officials and contained 40 questions relating to the fraud. The officials were however tightlipped about whether they suspected Davinder was involved in the fraud.

Meanwhile, the police has made startling recoveries from the prime suspect in the case, Laxman Singh. He is reported to have bought two cars and a laptop and got a part of his house constructed after withdrawing money from funds of central government schemes including the Indira Awas Yojna and Total Literacy Mission.

Sidhu said Laxman bought a Suzuki A-Star car costing Rs 4.25 lakh after withdrawing money from the Indira Awas Yojna grant.

“He then bought another car, a second-hand Tata Indigo, for Rs 2.5 lakh from the money he had siphoned off from the same account. He also purchased a Dell laptop costing Rs 50,000 from the Total Literacy Mission funds. Though he showed the laptop in the office accounts he got the store where he had bought it to issue an invoice for it in his name. He then passed on the laptop to another person in his office”, Sidhu added.

The police has recovered the cars and the laptop from Davinder besides Rs 30,000 in cash that he had withdrawn from the Literacy Mission account. Police investigations found Davinder had got his house in Dhulkot village demolished and constructed a new one at the site. He is reported to have spent between Rs 15 and Rs 20 lakh for the construction after withdrawing money from the Awas Yojna account. The police has confiscated the house’s site map to study it in detail.

The cops have has also recovered a laptop and Rs 9,000 in cash from Varinder Kumar, another suspect in the Awas Yojna fraud, who is reported to have purchased several real estate properties.

Fake signatures

After unearthing of the scam worth Rs 82 lakh and Rs 37 lakh in the Indira Awas Yojna and the Total Literacy Mission, a question mark has been raised on the Swarn Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana also with the special audit team finding fake signatures of the Zila Parishad chairman on the expenditure statement of the scheme.

This statement that is submitted to the Central governmnt for getting another instalment of funds under the scheme. In this case, the signatures of Zila Parishad chairman, Manpreet Singh Aiyali, were fake. The administration is now investigating the matter.

Meanwhile, Rural and Panchayat Development Minister Ranjeet Singh Brahmpura today sent a deputy director of his department to get the entire investigaton report of the scam. The report has been sought as the government wants to be ready to answer all questions about the scam if the issue is raised during the monsoon session of the Vidhan Sabha.


Three of family killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 24
Three family members were crushed to death after a sand-filled truck tilted over the car here today. The victims identified as Harbhajan Singh (70), his wife Jaswinder Kaur and their son Surinder Singh (45), residents of Paharuwal village near Kohara, were on their way to Amloh for attending the bhog ceremony in the morning.

According to an eyewitness, the incident took place at around 10 am when the trio travelling in white Maruti Aulto (PB10CJ 3826) was crossing Doraha.

Surinder Singh, who was reportedly driving the vehicle, tried to overtake the truck from wrong side, but he could not find space due to the ongoing construction on the National Highway No. 1.

The eyewitness said Surinder once again tried to overtake the vehicle from the right side but the truck driver lost control over the vehicle and it overturned and crushed the car.

The driver of the truck (PB11D 0271) has been identified as Makkan Singh. He is absconding. The highway police brought JCB to extract the bodies of the victims. The rescue operation continued for two hours.

The sand-filled truck was first emptied and than the badly crushed bodies was pulled out with great difficulty.

The incident led to a traffic jam on the National Highway No. I. A case has been registered against the truck driver.



Games mess leaves students abroad embarrassed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
The scandal-hit Commonwealth Games, rife with allegations of corruption and complaints about unhygienic conditions and shoddy infrastructure, has not only made the country’s residents bow their heads in shame but has also caused a lot of discomfort among the thousands of students studying overseas.

These days Vikram Virmani, a city resident who is enrolled in a jewellery designing course in Sydney, Australia, avoids the topic of the games. “India’s image has suffered greatly after incidents of corruption among the Commonwealth Games organisers surfaced. The locals, who had till now been at the receiving end after being accused of instigating racial attacks on Indian students here, are now ridiculing the corrupt system in India,” he said.

Blogs and social networking sites are flooded with hate messages against the games’ organisers who could not make proper arrangements despite spending hundreds of crores of rupees and having seven years’ time to prepare for the event.

Nitesh, who is studying business management in New Zealand, expressed his dismay over the controversy-ridden games. “It’s such a disgrace that India, which has a booming economy and a population of over a billion, is finding it difficult to conduct an international sporting event -that too the Commonwealth Games - while its neighbour China successfully hosted the Olympics a year ago.”

Similarly, Indian students studying in Canada are also disappointed over beating that India’s image has got in the wake of the ongoing revelations of financial irregularities and incompetence of the games' organisers.

Harpreet Bhullar, who is pursuing a masters degree in business management at a Canadian university, said locals were posting messages taunting Indians on her social networking site.



Man gets 6-month jail in cheque-bounce case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 24
Judicial Magistrate Vipindeep Kaur has sentenced Surjit Singh of Chet Singh Nagar, Ludhiana, to undergo six months imprisonment in Rs 20,000 cheque bounce case. A fine of Rs 1,000 was also imposed on the accused.

The orders came on a complaint filed by Paramjit Singh of Chet Singh Nagar, Ludhiana.

The complainant had stated before the court that accused took Rs 20,000 loan from him. In order to repay it, he issued cheque for Rs 20,000. It was assured at the time of giving the cheque that it would not get dishonoured. But to the utter surprise of the complainant, the banker of accused returned the cheque for the want of sufficient funds in the account.

Despite sending legal notice, the accused failed to repay the loan. Then he filed the case.

However, the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed false implication. But after appreciating the evidence on record, the court found him guilty and sentenced him accordingly.



Newly wed gagged to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
A 25-year-old newly married woman was allegedly gagged to death by her husband and in-laws in Dashmesh Nagar at Haibowal here today.

Finger marks of the accused were spotted on the neck of the deceased.

The victim has been identified as Seema. She had got married to Mohan Lal, a taxi driver, about seven months ago.

The incident came to light this afternoon when the neighbours informed the parents of the victim about their daughter’s death.

According to Sandeep Kumar, brother of the victim, Mohan Lal, his father Om Parkash, Sohan Lal, brother and Seema were harassing and thrashing the victim for bringing insufficient dowry.

The in- laws were demanding a car and gold jewellery as dowry, but the victim’s family expressed inability to fulfill their desires.

“Had I been in a position to quench their greed my sister would have been alive,” rued Sandeep. All four accused have been nabbed.

The body of the victim was taken to the civil hospital for a post-mortem examination. Sources said the police would send the viscera of the victim for a laboratory test.

The accused have been booked under Section 302 of the IPC.



Docs dither over spurt in dengue cases
Health dept fails to keep a check on cases coming to clinics, pvt hospitals
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Sudden spurt of dengue cases has become a matter of concern for city doctors, as they fear an “outbreak” in the coming weeks.

The health department has confirmed 130 dengue cases in the city while the number of patients who reported sick at private hospitals and clinics is more than 300.

The health department has, however, failed to keep a follow-up of the suspected dengue cases coming to the small clinics and hospitals in the urban and rural areas.

All small and big clinics are receiving cases with prominent symptoms of dengue, which in turn are being referred to the leading city hospitals that have provisions of transfusion of platelets.

A large number of doctors from the private health sector are reluctant to report about the suspected cases to the health department on the pretext of “objections” raised by the departments on their reports.

A city-based physician said, “The objections raised by the health department and the instructions given by them are discouraging, which is why we avoid sending reports to the health officials.”

The lack of coordination between the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and the department of health and family welfare has become a major barrier in combating the disease.

The department of health and family welfare had formulated a plan of action for the prevention of “dengue” in January 2010 and the same was forwarded to the municipal authorities.

But the corporation instead of extending help to the health department in the form of manpower, refused to even follow their guidelines. So much so that no coolers were checked/challaned in the residential areas and no fogging was carried out so as to restrict the breeding of mosquitoes.



Odissi dancer mesmerises students
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Swaying to the rhythm of Pakhawaj and violin, Geeta Mahalik, the noted exponent of Odissi dance, today mesmerised hundreds of students at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School.
Odissi dancer Geeta Mahalik performs during a function organised by SPIC MACAY at BCM school
Odissi dancer Geeta Mahalik performs during a function organised by SPIC MACAY at BCM school. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

The artiste is in the city to perform under the aegis of Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY).

A complete act of “Manglacharan” (Lord Shiva’s prayer) with an ornate description of the rising/falling movement of the Ganga in the God’s tresses was an insight into the Hindu mythology.

Overwhelmed by the depiction of myriad nuances of “bhavas” elemental in the classical dance form, Mahalik was treated with a standing ovation by the students after her performance of Pallavi dance based by raga Makhari.

Kept alive by devdasis after 16th century, the Odissi dance has now become a favourite of a large number of exponents of classical dances, who have promoted it on national as well as international arena.

Mahalik, the winner of the Sangeet Natak Academy award, 2009, while speaking in her capacity as an exponent of Odissi dance, acquainted the students to the postures and poses, including chauk, tribhangi, darpani and alashya.

“Every posture is a replica of the sculptures of dancing damsels in ancient temples of Konark and Puri, which is why the classical dance form is an account of Indian heritage,” stated the artiste.

Later, speaking to The Tribune, Mahalik emphasised on the need to have more performances of the Indian classical dances in Punjab.

“This is my first trip to Punjab and I am overjoyed to see the overwhelming response of the students for the classical dance. The state government should promote Indian classical dances with reference to preserving Indian heritage. For this purpose it is must to give exposure of classical dance performances to the school students in Punjab,” the artiste suggested.

The artiste further revealed that being on the selection board of expert committee of ministry of defence, she had selected Punjabi folk dances for the Republic Day parades from 2004 to 2007 adding, “I am a fan of Punjabi fervour, vivacity and ethnicity that is apparent in bolis, tappas, bhangra and folk songs.”



IT Surveys
7 business units surrender Rs 9.10 cr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Yesterday’s surveys by the income tax department have yielded Rs 9.10 crore. Surveys were held under the directions of chief commissioner of income tax GS Randhawa in range I, II and VII.

Manish Kumar Gupta, additional commissioner, range I and II, conducted surveys at Sewak Forging Pvt Ltd at Focal Point from where Rs 1.75 crore were surrendered as undisclosed income while at Sethi Garments Rs 1.80 crore were surrendered.

Saad Kidwei, additional commissioner, range VII, carried out surveys on four builders and a resort. Surveys were carried at King’s Villa resort on the Ferozepur road, RS Builders at Feroze Gandhi market, Gurbir Builders Pvt Ltd at Ghumar Mandi, Royal Developers and Builders at Civil Lines and Cigal Builders at Tagore Nagar and a total of Rs 5.55 crore were surrendered from all five premises.



PAU Notes

Alumni meet

LUDHIANA: The 1960 batch graduates of College of Agriculture (CoA), the premier constituent college of the PAU, today celebrated 50th anniversary of graduation on the PAU campus.

The function was organised by the alumni association of the college and was presided over by Dr Milkha Singh Aulakh, president, alumni association-cum-dean, College of Agriculture.

Sharing the nostalgic moments, the old students of BSc Agriculture (Hons) referred to their study and recreational hours in the natural environs of the PAU.

The College of Agriculture was originally located at Lyallpur (now Faisalabad, Pakistan) and was shifted to Amritsar, after the Partition in 1947. From Amritsar, this college moved to Ludhiana and the PAU came into being in 1962.

Welcoming the participants, Dr Aulakh highlighted the achievements of the college and disclosed that the alumni had won seven Padma Bhushan and seven Padma Shree awards.

He further added that 33 alumni of this college have served as Vice-Chancellors of 40 different universities in India, one alumnus served as a director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) besides many of them have served and are serving in foreign universities.

Prof Hazara Singh, the only teacher present at the function, distributed his books and bestowed his blessings to the graduate class, 1956-1960. The books published by the alumni association of the college were also presented to participants.


The Society for Recent Development in Agriculture has awarded Dr JP Singh, associate professor of the department of soil and water engineering at the PAU, with Kunwar Saxena Bahadur award in recognition of his contributions.

Nilesh Biwalkar, assistant professor of the same department, was bestowed with young scientist associate award-2010.

The awards were presented to the scientists during the National Congress on trends in agricultural research held at Modipuram. — TNS



From Schools


Ludhiana: A workshop on real life skills was organised at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, here. More than 40 teachers attended the workshop. The workshop was held to create an inspirational environment for students: to empower teachers to critically think about leadership; to teach the youth various aspects of art in a way that triggers discussion on emotional balance to instill pride and self worth in them through creativity and art; and to prepare learners for the closing concert at the end of the out reach.

The resource person, Ravail Singh, CEO, Students Service Chamber, stressed upon the need of creating an inspirational environment to impart decision-making skills, communication skills and skills to handle emotions. Paramjit Kaur, principal, said the workshop would play an important role in enhancing the confidence and skill of participants and help them achieve the objectives of life skills education programme.

Lecture on traffic rules

St GDS Convent School, Priya Colony, Meharban, organised a programme on traffic rules. A lecture was delivered. About 150 students of the school attended the lecture, in which they were apprised about the traffic rules. Director of the school Manmohan Singh and principal Manisha Talwar appreciated the initiative taken by teachers to create awareness among students.

Anand Utsav

Playway and primary wing of Sanatan Vidya Mandir organised "Anand Utsav". Executive members of the management Rajesh Kashyap, president, Harish Sachdeva, and Sadhana Sharma welcomed chief guest Sanjiv Korpaul. The programme started with the chanting of “Om Namo Shivay” followed by reciting of “shlokas from Bhagavad Geeta” which conveyed the message of “Karam Yogi” by doing selfless service and nishkam karma. Sanjiv Korpaul appreciated the efforts of teachers and students and highlighted the need for such religious activities in present scenario.

Seminar on life skills

Keeping in view directions of the Central Board of Secondary Education to conduct “Adolescence Education Programme” (AEP), students of classes IX to XII of Guru Nanak International Public School had an opportunity to listen to resource person Manmeet Grewal, who believes in value-based education and is a trained counselling psychologist. The AEP aims at coping and managing different activities, providing accurate knowledge to students and enabling them to deal with gender stereotypes. Starting from the meaning of life skills, to its relevance and how to deal with day to day situations and problems, Manmeet explained in a very communicative way how to face life, how to think critically and how to analyse the situations in a much better way. She encouraged students to come up with their views- openly. — TNS



MC oblivious to garbage dumped opposite school
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
The garbage dump just opposite MGM Public School has become a cause of concern for the students. The garbage is littered in the open just opposite to the school and adjoining LIC office and is posing threat to students as well as every passerby.

"We have taken up the matter with the Municipal Corporation since August 2009 and written to them several times but to no avail. We even approached the Deputy Commissioner in this regard but to no avail," said SK Aggarwal, senior divisional manager of Life Insurance Corporation.

Harpreet, a student of MGM Public School, said it was impossible to pass from this stretch. "We have to cover our faces with handkerchiefs after coming out of the school. After rain, the situation becomes really pathetic and I fear it might facilitate spreading of some deadly disease," he added.

Further Aggarwal said sweepers collected the garbage from houses from all around the Dugri area and dumped the same here in the open. It was stinking and becoming intolerable to work in the office. "Since it is the rainy season and water and air-borne diseases spread easily, some of our employees have also fallen sick. Whole divisional office building is infested with flies through out the day making employees and customers vulnerable to diseases," he said.

A schoolteacher said she feared the spread of some deadly disease. "Dengue and water- borne diseases have spread in the interiors of the city and I fear very soon it will spread here as well. Children are more prone to catch infection and despite several requests to the authorities concerned nothing has been done so far," she said.

Adding she said it had been one year and the situation still remained the same. "We have lost hope that it will be ever removed from here as the authorities have turned a deaf ear to it," she said.



Rs 12 cr being spent on rural health facilities’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, Zila Parishad-cum-District Health Monitoring Planning Committee, said that Rs 12 crore was being spent in this current financial year under the various schemes of the National Rural Health Mission to provide better health facilities to the people of rural areas.

Ayali was addressing a meeting of the District Level Health Monitoring Planning Committee at the Zila Parishad Complex, today.

The Zila Parishad chairman further said that the birth rate had increased in the rural dispensaries due to better medical facilities to the people of the rural area. He said that the teams of the Health Department were visiting 2,000 government schools in the district to conduct complete health check-up followed by provision of free treatment, including spectacles to the needy students.

He also said that the mobile medical unit equipped with X-Ray, ECG and a laboratory was providing health service to the poor people in unserved areas of the district. He also asked health officials to closely monitor utilisation of these funds and prepare an action plan for 2011-2012 and submit it at the next meeting.

A resolution was also passed in the meeting to make recommendation for the 50-bedded hospital at Mullanpur.

Dr Satwant Bhalla, Civil Surgeon-cum-co-chairman District Health Monitoring and Planning Committee, said that the Department Of Health And Family Welfare is committed to provide better health services in the rural areas. She said that the delivery facilities were being provided free of cost at all hospitals and primary health centre in the district.

She further stated that 913 village health sanitation committees had been constituted by the Health Department and Rs 10,000 had been given to each committee.

Gursharan Jeet Singh, member secretary, District Health Monitoring and Planning Committee, Dr Sandeep Hans, district family welfare officer, Dr AK Handa, Deputy Medical Officer, Dr SC Gupta, CMC Hospital, Rajinder Singh, district BCC facilitators, Sukhdev Singh Chak Kalan, Gurdeep Singh (both member Zila Parishad), Satpal Singh the chairman Block Samiti and Harpal Kaur, member block samiti, were also present on the occasion. 



Sick boy needs financial help
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Monu (13), suffering from acute febrile illness along with jaundice and decreased urine output is undergoing treatment at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH).

As he had severe breathlessness he was shifted to ICU.

He was found to be malaria-vivax positive with complications of renal failure, hepatic failure and respiratory failure. The boy underwent regular haemodialysis and received packed cells transfusions and platelets transfusions. He requires haemodialysis and is running fever and has anemia as well.

He needs regular haemodialysis, blood transfusion and proper dietary management. His fever is also being evaluated for relapse of malaria as well as probable sepsis.

The family's financial condition is poor, as his father is a rickshaw puller and two elder brothers are working as labourers. He is in need of at least Rs 2 lakh for his treatment.

The hospital authorities have requested philanthropists to send the cheques or demand drafts made in favour of "CMC, Ludhiana Society" for the treatment of Master Monu, to Dr Timothy R, Assistant Professor, Department of Nephrology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana- 141008. All assistance will be acknowledged.



‘Fill 3.5 lakh vacant posts’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 24
The Northern Railway Men's Union (NRMU) today took out a protest rally at the railway station to press their demands.

Speaking on this occasion, the Divisional Secretary of NRMU Comrade Surjeet Singh raised demand for stopping the process of privatisation, filling up of more than 3.5 lakh vacant posts, and scrapping of the pension scheme launched since April 1, 2004.

He also demanded recruitment for one family member on compassionate ground, after the death of an employee of the Railways. Leaders also asked the senior officers to ensure proper maintenance of their houses.



Roads full of bumps despite inflow of VIPs
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 24
Cavalcades of ministers and legislators of the Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha tasted bumpy rides on roads joining this town with surrounding localities, but none bothered to take notice of apathetic attitude of authorities towards their maintenance and repair.
A snake charmer shows off his reptile to the crowd outside Guga Marhi at Chhapaar Mela on Friday
A snake charmer shows off his reptile to the crowd outside Guga Marhi at Chhapaar Mela on Friday

Residents of the area, who had wished that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal would reach the site of Mela Chhapaar and the conference organised by his party leaders, are somber that he decided not to attend the annual event even this year. They say a decade ago, these roads used to be repaired at least once a year as the dignitaries, including Chief Ministers, used to visit this place by road. But this even the patchwork has not been carried out this year. A ride to this town from Ludhiana, Khanna, Malerkotla, Mullanpur, Sandaur, and Raikot revealed that not a single road was motorable. The condition of the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road, which is being four-laned, is the worst of all. The road, which was once used for local traffic only, is lately being used as a shortcut for heavy vehicles bound for New Delhi and a part of Haryana. Toll barriers on the national highway have also added to the traffic. The zigzag driving by people to avoid potholes has caused numerous accidents and deaths as well.

The road along the bank of the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal is also in a bad condition. Though the road between the Payal and Jagera bridge has been reconstructed recently, it has been eroded at many places. Only the local residents know how to reach their destination by using some link roads.

The journey on the approach roads from Mullanpur, Sandaur and Raikot is also bumpy. The situation becomes worse during the rainy season. Though the administration had announced various routes for the flow of traffic from various towns to the mela site, no special attention has been paid towards the repair of these roads. Condition of the link roads, including the Jodhan-Ahmedgarh, Lohatbaddi-Ahmedgarh, Maholi-Ahmedgarh, Jandali and Jagera roads is extremely bad. With huge potholes on trunks and eroded berms these roads have emerged as deathtraps for the commuters.



Vehicle Thefts
Cops caught flat-footed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
If you are planning to buy a car, then make sure to purchase the best security system that can’t be tampered with. The car theft is proving to be one of the profitable businesses for thieves while the cops always seem to be caught flat-footed by them.

After chain snatching this is the next best occupation for the thieves. Earlier, each police station had a squad dedicated to prevent rising incidents of vehicle thefts.

However, the shortage of staff has restricted the functioning of this squad. According to data collated by The Tribune, over 3,000 vehicles were stolen in 2009 alone. The cops have busted more than 30 small as well as big gangs of vehicle thieves since March. But, the accused are soon out on the bail due to legal lacuna and don’t hesitate in indulging in similar activities once again. Their preferred targets are two-wheelers, luxurious cars and sports utility vehicles (SUVs). The two- wheelers are stolen, as these are much in demand in the gray markets of neighbouring states, a source said. Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir have huge markets where stolen vehicles are sold to naive buyers with fake documents to make the deal seem real.

Surprisingly, even heavy vehicles like trucks figure among the vehicles stolen from the city limits. And, not a single stolen truck has been recovered till date.

Awareness drive

Police launched an awareness drive and pasted hoardings and posters all around the city cautioning people about the risk involved in parking the vehicle. These notices were placed outside busy markets, public parks, shopping malls and cinema halls and people were warned about the theft-prone areas. Cops have even issued tickets to discourage people from parking their vehicles near such places but even these efforts failed to bear any fruit.

Preferred areas

Majority of the vehicles are stolen from posh colonies like Civil Lines, Ghumar Mandi, Feroze Gandhi Market and Sarabha Nagar Market.



SIT to probe shooting case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Commissioner of police Ishwar Singh today formed a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate the September-21 shooting incident.

The SIT comprising ADCP-I Harsh Bansal, ADCP-III Jaswinder Singh, ACP Raj Kumar and Sarabha Nagar SHO Rajan Perminder will inquire into the shooting incident during a bhog ceremony at a gurdwara in Jawaddi.

Seven persons were reportedly injured and SAD councillor Tanvir Dhaliwal and former councillor Satwinder Singh Jawaddi were booked for attempted murder.

Meanwhile, Ishwarjot Singh Cheema, former vice-president and spokesperson for the Punjab Pardesh Youth Congress Committee, who is also the resident of Jawaddi village, claimed that old rivalry between the two groups had led to the shooting and it was given a political colour by vested interest.

He said Jawaddi residents were paying the price of the incident, as many elderly women of the area had complained that the police had been harassing them, with male members of the families on the run following the incident. Chemma said the police was even raiding the houses of the namesakes, while the actual accused were enjoying political patronage.

He demanded a probe into the matter, as the names of politicians had unnecessarily been dragged to settle an old score.

He said the shooting incident involving Amanbir Singh Assa and former councillor Satwinder Jawaddi was a personal one.

The families of both groups had been at loggerheads for the past four decades and it was not the first time that the groups had indulged in bloody fight.

“It is sad that a personal fight has been given a political colour. It is not an issue of vendetta politics. The state has already faced huge losses due to the ongoing rivalry and no one has benefited from it. The Congress follows the path of non- violence and it is sad that some politicians are drawing political mileage out of the issue,” said Cheema.

He added that lending of political hue to the incident had been meticulously planned. Had the matter not been given political colour, the guilty would have been punished by now.

Neither Satwinder Jawaddi nor Tanvir Dhaliwal was available for comments.



Steel Cos
LBM writes to ministry alleging bias

Ludhiana, September 24
The Ludhiana Beopar Mandal (LBM) has written to the steel minister against the alleged biased approach of steel companies.

In the letter, LBM president Maninder Pal alleged that company officials were playing hand in glove with big traders and only those policies and guidelines were issued that favoured big customers. “Small traders are totally neglected by steel companies. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam is always inclined towards relatively big customers. The company is charging Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 per metric tonne more from small customers, as compared to others for the same material,” he said.

He added that under the guidelines issued by the ministry of steel, small customers should be given more benefit but companies were working against the guidelines. — TNS



CIPHET joins hands with sweetmeat makers
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Levelling allegations against the department of health and family welfare of carrying out a misinformation campaign against sweetmeat sellers, the Punjab Halwai Association has held the department responsible for losing business.

Vouching to sell quality sweets to people during the festive season, the sweetmeat sellers of Ludhiana working under the aegis of the association have tied up with the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) to get training for safety and storage of their products through scientific methods.

Over the years, people in the city have got a raw deal in the name of sweets during festival season as sweetmeat sellers use stale raw material and spurious ‘khoya’ to make sweets, risking the health of the people.

To some extent, the ignorance of sweetmeat sellers about proper storage, cleanliness and hygiene of workers and workplace and modern packaging techniques for increasing shelf life of products are also responsible for the availability of poor-quality sweets.

CIPHET has taken the initiative to conduct workshop and awareness camps in identifying causes of food spoilage and preservation of quality for owners as well as employees of sweetmeat manufacturers.

CIPHET director RT Patil and transfer of technology division head Deepak Raj Rai convened a meeting with the association, wherein they were asked to prepare milk-based sweets and legume-based snacks, the most nutritious ready-to-eat foods of India, which were consumed by the Asian diaspora the world over.

Association president Narinder Pal Singh said the health department declared results months after sampling, by when they would lost business, adding that they would work with CIPHET for ensuring safety and proper storage of products.

Nutritious Sweets

Sweetmeat manufacturers will work on bringing out nutritious sweets in the form of energy bars of various sizes, which diabetics can consume, by using soya milk and groundnut milk and utilising technology developed at CIPHET. The idea of using fruit bars, guava, apple, mango and seasonal fruits for producing a wide range of products has been accepted by the association.



Two arrested for double murder
Our Correspondent

Khanna, September 24
The police has arrested two persons on charges of murdering two persons and injuring two women last night.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Khanna SSP DP Singh said one of the accused — Gurjit Singh Bittu, a resident of Kalal Majra — was known to Kamlesh Rani and her sister Shalu.

The accused had an information that a sum of Rs 3 lakh was kept at the house of Shalu.

According to Kamlesh Rani, Bittu called her sister Shalu on the phone and demanded money. He also demanded her car, as he had wanted to go out of station.

Feeling threatened, Shalu called Kamlesh and her son over to her house and told her about the matter.

At night, Bittu accompanied by Kuldeep Singh Jashan, a resident of Gujha Peer, near Amritsar, went to her house and attacked them with sharp-edged weapons, resulting in the death of Ravi Kumar and Sonu. Kamlesh and Shalu received multiple injuries in the attack.

According to the SSP, the accused were arrested from the Samrala Road Chowk towards Khamano.

The police also recovered Rs 2.7 lakh and a Maruti car besides the knife used in the murder.

The police will present the two in a local court tomorrow.

Bittu is already facing a case under the narcotics Act.

SP (detective) Gurmeet Singh and other police officers were also present at the press conference.



Mobiles worth Rs 5 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 24
Thieves struck at a mobile store located in Mata Rani Chowk near Bhadaur House and decamped with 250 mobile sets worth over Rs 5 lakh here today.

The incident came to light when Neeraj Kumar, owner of NK electronics, arrived at his shop and found new locks in place of old ones. He immediately informed the police about the incident and broke open the locks.

According to police, the accused might have broken the locks and put new ones to evade suspicion.

On opening the shutters, Neeraj found the shop ransacked. According to Neeraj, the thieves laid their hands on 250 high end mobile phones.

The police was suspecting that the theft might be a handiwork of an insider. Sources said the cops were close on the heels of nabbing the criminal and even detained a suspect in this connection.

The suspect is said to be a former employee of the shop and was in possession of duplicate keys.



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