L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


2-yr-old gagged to death, mother raped
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Answering the call of nature proved fatal for a two-year-boy and her mother. The boy was gagged to death while his mother was allegedly raped by a youth living in the neighbourhood at a hosiery unit in Sunder Nagar late last night.

The matter came to light today when the police launched a massive manhunt to nab the accused.

The incident took place at around 10pm yesterday, when Girdhari Lal, an employee at the hosiery unit finished his work and came down to ask his colleague Deepak from Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) to report for the late night duty.

But, he was surprised to find the door of his room and that of his colleague’ s locked from outside.

He brought the matter to the notice of Rajinder Kumar, the factory owner, who opened the locks with the help of duplicate keys.

“And what I saw was tragic. My two-year-old son Rahul was lying dead on the bed and my 28-year-old wife was lying unconscious on the floor. Blood was oozing out of her head,” Girdhari added.

The victim was immediately rushed to hospital where she was being operated upon for severe head injury.

The factory owner informed the police about the incident. Deepak was found missing from his room. The police found blood-soaked cloths from his room.

The police suspects that Deepak might have tired to rape the woman and later smashed her head by banging it against the floor.

Girdhari Lal said Deepak had fought with his wife after his son defecated in front of his room a few days ago. He even threatened them of dire consequences, Girdhari added.

Yesterday, the child again defecated in front of the Deepak’s room. “I left for duty as I was getting late. But I wasn’t aware that Deepak will kill my son for this,” Girdhari Lal.

Another employee stated that Deepak was of lecherous character and was having and eye on the woman. Deepak had even proposed her to elope with him, but the latter refused following which he was looking for an opportunity to settle the score.

The police handed over the child’s body to Girdhari after conducting an autopsy. Rajinder Kumar, factory owner, was reprimanded for not getting his employees registered with the police. The owner neither possessed Deepak’s photograph nor his address.

The owner told police officials that he had hired Deepak five months ago.


RTE Act Defied
2 schools deny seat to EWS student
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Confusion regarding the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE Act) in the city has started taking its toll with parents and schools getting into catfights over the specified 25 per cent reservation.

The latest incident to come to the fore is the accusation that St Thomas School, Chandigarh Road, and Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, denied admission to a student from the economically weaker section of the society (EWS) here today.

According to parents, while St Thomas School, Chandigarh Road, denied admission to four-and-half-year-old Sachin Makkar on the pretext of being a minority institution not coming under the purview of any such reservation, the authorities at Kundan Vidya Mandir took plea of the child not falling under the specified age group (6-14 years).

“We went there accompanied by RTE activist and vice-president of the CBSE Parents’ Association for Educational Reforms Rakesh Jain but were flately refused admission. We told them that the Act had already come into force but the schools started arguing about where the fee of the students would come from. We were also told that admission process is already over. Why make an Act when you cannot implement it?” said Sachin’s mother.

DEO unsure

While the RTE Act makes the District Education Officer (DEO) a key authority to ensure its implementation in the city, DEO Harbhajan Ram seems to be blissfully ignorant. Ironically, while schools continue to grope in the dark about the basics of the implementation, he is not even sure if the Act has been implemented in Punjab as yet. “I am not too sure if the Act has been notified in our state,” was his cryptic response.

Admn nowhere near implementation

The RTE Act states that the local administration needs to undertake a child and school mapping exercise. This will help identify the target group falling under the Act and the neighborhood schools. This has to be followed by formation of local guidelines or draft rules. These rules are then meant to be circulated amongst schools, following which these then need to be implemented. Let alone issuance of guidelines, the administration has not even cared to conduct child mapping, making education elusive for thousands of students.


I can’t give admission to every Tom, Dick and Harry. We have no such reservation,

Hannah Malaki, St Thomas School, Chandigarh Road

There is confusion on how to identify students belonging to the EWS, who pays for their fee, etc. The government and the education department should clearly lay down specifications to ensure proper implementation of the Act,

Navita Puri, KVM, Civil Lines



Oil companies jack up petrol prices
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana, January 15
With major fuel retailers announcing to raise petrol prices by Rs 2.50 to 2.54 per litre from tonight, the fuel will be available for Rs 64.15 in the city from midnight onwards.

The petrol is currently available at Rs 61.56 per litre in the city. As soon as the news broke on TV channels, city residents made a beeline for petrol stations to get their vehicles refuelled.

Sources said Indian Oil Corporation, India’s largest fuel retailer, has announced a hike of Rs 2.5 per litre with effect from midnight tonight, while Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) has raised the price by Rs 2.54 a litre.

Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), third major player, has announced a hike of Rs 2.53 per litre.

Petrol, which was currently priced at 61.56 per litre at IOC filling stations in the region, will cost Rs 64.15 a litre from tomorrow.

Petrol dealers said the increase followed international crude oil prices climbing to $ 92 a barrel.

State-run retailers are deliberately adopting marginally different rates to avoid being accused of acting as a cartel

in the free market. Unlike situation a few years ago, no rush was witnessed at any of the filling stations located in this area. Increase in the number of outlets was cited as the reason behind the tendency.

“As the number of filling stations has increased, the number of vehicles coming to take fuel after announcement of rise in prices is comparatively small.

Even we do not hesitate in supplying fuel at the old rates,” said Avtar Sharma, owner of a filling station.



Thieves strike at oldest showroom
20 CCTVs fail as power was switched off
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Thieves struck at Nilibar showroom on the Mall Road and decamped with cash, estimated to be in several lakhs, by breaking the shutter of one of the oldest dress material showrooms of the city.

The incident came to light this morning when Kamaldeep Singh Sonu, the managing director, reached the store and found the cash counter ransacked.

“Then I rushed towards the offices located on the backyard of the store only to find the cash drawers open. The thieves also tried to break open the almirah in which the cash was kept, but we have not touched anything yet and waiting for fingerprint experts to investigate. We would be able to tell about the amount of cash stolen once the investigation is completed,” said Sonu.

He further added that the thieves entered the store through a fire exit.

“They might have been in possession of a gas cutter as they had cut the shutter to gain entry. I can’t rule out involvement of an insider behind the theft,” added Sonu.

Nearly 70 employees, including 10 tailors, had been employed for the work. At least 20 CCTVs have been installed inside the store, but all failed to capture the images of the thieves.

CCTVs could not grab the images of thieve as the power supply was switched off, Sonu said.

It appears that thieves had surveyed the place before striking at the shop. We are investigating from all angles and the accused will soon be nabbed,

— Dharampal, SHO

Suspicion on Staff

Prima-facie investigations indicate the involvement of an insider in the theft. The thieves acted swiftly and targeted the counters where the cash was kept. They were aware of the fact that CCTVs were not functioning. A senior police official said the place was well guarded. Besides private security guards, PCR cops also kept a constant watch in the area.



Ludhiana police turns tech-savvy
To upload pics, records of criminals
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Breaking the age-old notion that cops aren’t tech-savvy, the city police has taken a lead and made its presence felt on the social networking website www.facebook.com.

This step was taken to attract Internet-savvy youths, who remain hooked on to the social networking website. The city police under the login of the Ludhiana police has created a profile on Facebook.

Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh stated that the police had upload pictures of dreaded criminals, who are on the run. Similarly, pictures and addresses of proclaimed offenders and missing persons would also be posted on the website so that people could identify them and inform the police about their whereabouts.

Besides this, the police would also address queries of residents. The senior officials were upbeat about the development. “Such steps would help the police in interacting with people. I believe that residents, particularly youths would come forwards and cooperate with the police in nabbing the criminals,” said a senior cop.

Now, criminals could no longer hide. Their pictures and their criminal records would be posted on the social networking website, the police official added.


Jagroop Singh Ruby, dreaded criminal and the kingpin of Toyota Fortuner highway robbers’ gang, was the first most wanted criminal whose picture was uploaded by the Ludhiana police on its profile. He had robbed Rs 42 lakh from employees of Bonn Bread from near the Focal Point last year. A few accused were arrested and the cash recovered. But, Ruby is absconding. He had escaped from the police custody in December 2009. He had even committed several highway robberies in Jalandhar, Ludhiana and the Rajpura road on the National Highway. 



NRI killed in road accident
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, January 15
An NRI, who was visiting the town from the US, was killed while two others were seriously injured in a road accident near Gurusar Kaunke village, around 5 km from here, yesterday.

The victim, Ranjodh Singh (42), hailed from Gurusar Kaunke village, near here. The two injured, Jagroop Singh and Harpreet Singh, were his friends.

The mishap took place when Ranjodh along with his friends was going back to his village from Jagraon in his Lancer car. As soon as they reached near Gurusar Kaunke, their car collided head-on with a tempo coming from the opposite direction.

While Ranjodh died on the spot, Jagroop and Harpreet were critically injured. The injured were admitted to a private hospital in Ludhiana and were stated to be out of danger.The police has impounded the tempo and registered a case of reckless driving against its driver at the Jagraon City Police Station. The driver of the tempo fled the scene after the accident.

The police handed over the body of the victim to his family after conducting a post-mortem examination at the local Civil Hospital.

Ranjodh had returned to his homeland a year ago after spending 12 years in America. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Double whammy for family

Ranjodh Singh’s younger brother Kamaljeet Singh was also killed in a road accident in Dubai last month. Kamaljeet Singh, who had been living in Dubai for the past five years, worked as a truck driver. He met with a fatal accident on December 18. The parents were still coming to terms with the loss of their son, whose bhog was performed only last week, when they lost their elder son in yesterday’s road accident



Need to curb fraud marriages: Canadian MP
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, January 15
Canadian Member of Parliament Dr Ruby Dhalla has raised her concern over fraudulent marriages, terming it a major issue confronting the NRIs, especially the Punjabis,that needs to be addressed at the earliest.

Dr Dhalla was speaking to mediapersons after paying obeisance at Gurdwara Nanaksar Sahib, near here, last night.

Dr Dhalla, who became the first Indian-Canadian and one of the youngest candidates to get elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 2004, admitted that fraud marriages, property disputes, mushrooming of immigration consultancy services, growing trend of drug addiction and the plight of senior citizens were some of the problems faced by the overseas Indian community on a daily basis.

Urging to have a system for central registration of marriages and verification of the background of those getting married, particularly the NRIs, Dhalla said such issues had tarnished the image of the Indian community in Canada and other countries and needed to be addressed on a priority basis.

While urging the Indian government to act strictly against those involved in fraudulent marriages, she admitted that the issue could not be sorted out without the cooperation of people.

Dr Dhalla appeal to the Punjabi community to verify facts before marrying their children overseas.

“While those who migrate from India have to wait for 10 years to get old age pension, old people from some other countries start getting pension after three years of migrating to Canada,” she rued.



Value Cut Imposition
Rice sheller owners go on strike
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 15
The Sheller Association, Punjab, has decided to go on strike against the imposition of value cut of rice on shellers.

A decision to the effect was taken at a meeting held under local unit president Yadwinder Singh at the Asia’s biggest grain market.

The strike will continue till the central government rolls back the value cut on sheller owners.

They said the FCI would be accountable for the rice lying in shellers all over the state.

They appealed to sheller owners to participate in the strike to build pressure on the central government to roll back the order.

Market Committee chairman Lakhvir Singh Kalal Majra, Improvement Trust chairman Rajesh Dali, Commission Agents Association president Sushil Kumar, Market Committee former president Harbans Singh Rosha and sheller owners were among those present.



150 complaints decided at Powercom darbar
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 15
Within a period of two years, Punjab will not only become the first state in northern India to produce electricity up to its requirements but also will be able to supply its surplus power to others states said The Punjab State Youth Development Board chairman Gurpreet Singh Raju Khanna at a function organised by the Punjab State Power Corporation “Powercom Ltd” at Amloh.

The function was organised to redress the grievances of the power consumers of the Amloh constituency.

The SAD-BJP government in the state had taken up the steps on war footing for the completion of four mega projects while the Congress government had failed to produce even a single unit of electricity added Khanna.Central Zone, Ludhiana Chief Engineer PS Gill said that on the instructions of the Punjab government, the Punjab State Power Corporation is holding such ‘Bijli Darbars’ and today’s darbar had listened to the complaints of six subdivision consisting of 155 villages.

To ensure uninterrupted power supply in Khanna circle, work on three transmission of 100 MVA and 20 MVA was in progress. Lineman Gurmeet Singh was honoured for his excellent services. As many as 150 complaints were decided at the spot.



Protest rally by Left
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
To protest against the rising religious fundamentalism and intolerance in South Asia, the Communist Party of India (CPI) took out a rally from railway station to Clock Tower Chowk here today.

The activists were carrying banners and placards.

While addressing a gathering, speakers said religious fundamentalist forces were a threat to peace and security. “The killing of Pakistan Punjab Governor Salman Taseer by his own security guard is an attempt to throttle the secular and democratic voice in Pakistan.

Terrorism in India and Pakistan is creating tension in the region and affecting development and adding to arms race,” the speakers added.

They said, “The involvement of RSS leaders in Malegaon and Samjhauta express blasts has thoroughly exposed the designs of the Sangh Parivar to split society on religious grounds. We in Punjab have already passed through a black period. It is the duty of all secular and democratic forces to fight against such nefarious designs.”

“The governments in both the countries must act firmly against such forces who are out to disturb the peace and basic fabric of society. Peace is the most essential thing for development.

The disturbed situation gives alibi to the ruling classes to shy away from their duties. The government has utterly failed to control the price rise and appears to be hand in glove with hoarders and black marketers.”

The speakers included Kartar Singh Bowani, district secretary, CPI, Dr Arun Mitra, assistant secretary, Amarjeet Singh Mattu, OP Mehta, city secretary, Jagdish, Ramesh Ratan, Vijay Kumar, Gurnam Sidhu, Jit Kumari, Charan Singh Sarabha, Feroze and Kulwant Kaur.



Cycling expedition flagged off
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
With an aim to sensitise the youth against social evils, 152 Inf Bn (TA) Sikh flagged off its second Army Trans-India Cycling Expedition here this morning amid much fanfare.

According to the Army officials, the expedition that was flagged off from Ludhiana today with great enthusiasm, will cover several towns across Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, including Sangrur, Narwana, Hisar, Khanna, Rohtak, Sonepat, Kerana, Meerut, Muzzafarnagar, Yamanunagar and Ambala, before culminating in Ludhiana on January 26.

“During the 1,200km journey, the expedition will go to schools and colleges to motivate youngsters to join the Army. It will also spread the message of patriotism, peace, de-addiction and communal harmony among all,” said Subedar Nilesh Kumar.

Another objective of the initiative is to motivate the youth to join the Territorial Army (TA) and apprise them of the TA set-up through lectures, demonstrations and discussions. The members will interact with students of various schools.

“In this expedition, two JCOs and 18 soldiers are participating, who are looking forward to a great response,” said Sub Nilesh.

“Our first expedition, held in December 2010, was a massive hit and received a great response from all quarters,” Sub Nilesh added.



Woman robbed of gold earrings

Jagraon, January 15
Three motorcycle-borne youngsters allegedly robbed a middle-aged woman of her gold earrings in broad daylight, near here, today.

The accused also robbed some other expensive articles from the woman at gunpoint, it was learnt. The incident took place on the outskirts of Chimna village, 6 km from here.

According to the victim, Balvir Kaur, of Rasoolpur Jandi village, she was returning home along with her son on a motorcycle when three youths riding a motorcycle stopped them and robbed her of her earrings at gunpoint near Chimna village.

The snatchers also robbed a plastic bag containing some expensive articles from her, she alleged. The Sadar police station SHO said he had received a complaint in this regard. A few days ago, two motorcycle-borne men had snatched gold earrings from a middle-aged woman on the Railway Road here. — TNS



125-kg poppy husk seized
Tribune New Service

Jagraon, January 15
The Ludhiana (rural) police yesterday seized 125 kg poppy husk from the outskirts of Manuke village, near Jagraon. An accused, however, managed to flee the scene.

According to sources, the police received a tip-off that the contraband had been smuggled into the area and hidden in the fields near a drain on the Manuke-Lama link road.

A police team led by Hathoor police chowki in-charge Amarjit Singh raided the place and seized four bags containing 125-kg poppy husk.

According to Sadar SHO Rachpal Singh Dhindsa, the accused had been identified as Darshan Singh of Manuke village.

A case under the NDPS Act has been registered against Darshan Singh in this regard and the investigation is on.



Man’s body found
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, January 15
The body of an unidentified middle-aged man was found near the bus stop of Kannia Hussaini village, near here, last night. According to residents, the victim had been staying at the village for the past few months and was not mentally stable.

Sadar SHO Rachpal Singh Dhindsa said the victim was around 50 years old. The police has kept the body at the local Civil Hospital for identification.

Prima facie, the victim appeared to have died of cold, the SHO added. He said the police would wait for a couple of days for the identification of the victim before conducting the post-mortem examination.

A case has been registered at the Sadar police station in this regard.



Firing incident accused surrenders in court
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, January 15
One of the accused, who was involved in a firing incident in August last year has surrendered in the court on Thursday evening. One group of gangsters had opened fire at a member from the other group at Railway Over Bridge on Tehsil Road, Jagraon.

As per information, Ravinder Singh, an accused, in this firing incident surrendered in a local court on Thursday evening. Ravinder had been absconding since the incident took place. The court has sent the accused to Central Jail, Ludhiana, in judicial custody. Following the surrender by Singh, the Jagraon city police is now considering to bring the accused on production warrant for further investigation in the case.

Confirming the surrender, Inderjit Singh, SHO, Jagraon city police station, said that the police would soon bring the accused on production warrant for further probe in the incident.

A group of gangsters had opened fire at a youth from the other group on August 30 last year. A youth, Davinder Singh, and a passerby, had got bullet injuries in the incident.

Following the incident, the police had registered a case of attempt to murder against four persons, including Baldeep Singh alias Balli, Tushar Tiwari and two unidentified persons in this regard. Later, the police also included the name of Ravinder Singh in the case. It has been learnt that before surrendering in the court, Ravinder Singh had also appealed for anticipatory bail in the Punjab and Harayana High Court, which was rejected recently.



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