L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Man, paramour commit suicide
Took extreme step in sheer desperation
Shivani Bhakoo and Lovleen Bains
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
An alleged illicit relationship ended in a tragedy when a 32-year-old married man and his 22-year-old paramour committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance in utter desperation at Bhamma Khurd village in Koomkalan here last evening.

The victim, Gurmukh Singh, died at 6.30 pm last evening while the girl Mamta died in a hospital at Doraha at 12 pm today. Their bodies were brought to the Civil Hospital for a postmortem.

A village resident said Gurmukh Singh was a mini-bus operator and would pick up girls from rural areas and take them to factory units where they worked. He was married for four years and had a two-year-old daughter.

Sources said last week his wife fought with him after learning about his involvement with Mamta. She, along with her daughter, went to her parents’ house at Madhpur village near here.

Gurmukh Singh was an orphan and was staying with his grandparents. His parents had died when he was two years old. He was the only hope of his grandparents who had raised him after much struggle.

He was upset over his strained relationship with his wife and after getting Mamta from her village, they both consumed some poisonous substance at around 2.30 pm yesterday. They went to his house and started vomiting.

His grandparents rushed them to a hospital in Doraha where Gurmukh died last evening.

A case under Section 174, IPC, has been registered.


2 illegal colonies demolished
MC digs up roads, razes sewerage
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Taking a tough stand against illegal colonies in the city, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) today demolished two such colonies spread over 3 acres each in the Mundian area.

The MC dug up the roads and demolished the sewerage in these colonies.

In a recent survey, the MC had identified 18 such colonies in different parts of the city. At that time, the MC had given an option to the owners of the colonies to get these regularised by paying development charges else the colonies would be razed.

Assistant Town Planner (ATP) Zone B Harpreet Singh Ghai said the drive was carried out this morning. “Some persons were constructing houses in these colonies. We dug up the roads and sewerage systems,” he said.

Earlier, three such colonies were demolished in Kailash Nagar, Mayapuri and Tibba Road. In Zone A, he five illegal colonies are Ghumman Colony spread in 8 acres, Prince and Raji Colony on Kakowal Road, another colony adjoining it, a colony adjoining Gurnam Nagar on Jassian Road, and Gurnam Colony on Gahlewal Road near Kailash Nagar.

In Zone B, the illegal colonies are on Tibba Road, Rishi Nagar, Mayapuri Colony, a colony near the dump on Kakka Dhaula Road, GK Estate in Mundian Kalan, a colony on Bhamia Road and Gulabi Bagh on Tibba Road.

In Zone C, a colony is situated in Lohara while two others are on Kanganwal Road. In Zone D, two such colonies are situated on Jassian Road and the third is in Haibowal. The MC has demolished most of the colonies and senior officials said more such illegal colonies would be demolished soon.



Yet another junket for MC functionaries
This time, state exchequer will pick up the tab
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
They probably have still to recover from jet lag from their trip to the UK, and municipal corporation (MC) functionaries are already planning a junket to Canada next month. This time the state exchequer will bear the expenses.

This will be the third such foreign junket for MC officials this year. Earlier, councillors and MC officials had travelled to Leicester in March and later in June.

The recent tour was taken by Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal, finance and contracts committee member Pal Singh Grewal, and executive engineers Kamlesh Bansal and HC Salaria. They returned from Leicester on Sunday.

The civic body’s record demonstrates that such junkets seldom benefit the city. In some instances, they have even failed to prepare a project report on the trip.

Opposition councillors say that on the one hand the city is in dire need of funds and on the other hand, councillors are “wasting” public money on such tours.

However, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura clarified that the MC would not pay for this trip. “All those who join us on the technical trip will pay for their own expenses,” he said.

“I called Parveen Bansal and Pal Singh Grewal today and have asked them to submit a detailed report by tomorrow. We will issue it in the media also. But it is wrong to say that the city does not benefit from such projects. Our officials have learnt a lot during these tours,” he claimed. Sources said councillors from all parties would be a part of the trip, scheduled for July. It is learnt that after this trip, the MC is planning another trip to China.

Pointless visits

  • Former Mayor Nahar Singh Gill had visited China, France and Canada for the same purpose. The MC had paid for the last two trips, but these turned out to be of no use as the civic body has not even prepared the reports on the visits.
  • From March 5-16, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal, finance and contracts committee member Pal Singh Grewal, executive engineers Kamlesh Bansal and HC Salaria visited Leicester in the UK. However, no report has been submitted yet.



Four beat up, rob trader
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
A local businessman, Pawan Kumar Garg, was beaten up and looted by four unidentified robbers last evening.

Garg sustained serious injuries and was admitted to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), where a surgery on his nose was performed. He is stated to be out of danger now.

A case under Section 382 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against the four unidentified robbers. No arrest has been made so far.

The Station House Officer (SHO) of division number 2, Surinder Mohan, said: “The unidentified persons entered Garg’s office at the Gill road, asked him to hand over his wallet, mobile phone and other belongings. They also demanded cash. When Garg resisted their attempts to rob him, they beat him up. Garg, in an injured state raised an alarm and was taken to DMCH by other shopkeepers. The police was informed later about the incident and a case has been registered on the complaint of Garg’s son.”

Since Garg was out of danger now, the police was expecting to get his statement later in the evening. “We still have to get the information. Yesterday, Garg was not in a position to record anything to the police. We will get a clearer picture by the evening,” said Mohan.



Road to Canada in Jagraon, not really!
Residents put up signboard to draw attention to dilapidated stretch
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, June 21
Apparently taking a cue from a Bollywood film, residents of this town have come up with a new way to protest against the state of one of its major streets, Raikot Road. A board reading ‘Boundary of Canada Starts from Here’ has been erected on the road divider in mockery of the functioning of representatives and officials of the local civic body.

Though area residents have time and again urged the municipal council to repair this road, which has remained in a very bad condition for the past many years, nothing has been done so far.

Though some months ago MC employees had filled the pits on the street with stones and red sand it worked for only a few days and the road returned to its old state. Following this various organizations organized protests but they have been ignored by the civic body. A few days ago local Congress party workers demonstrated against the pitiable condition of this road but their protests also went unnoticed.

Finally residents thought of a new idea and put up the board with the hope it would make civic officials realize their responsibilities.

“We’ve done everything in the past to bring this matter to the notice of the MC authorities but every effort has failed to convince them. This (board) will perhaps convince them to fulfill their promises”, said Surjit Singh, a resident of Raikot Road.

It is pertinent to mention here that this road has been laying neglected since last many years as a result large number of huge and deep pits can been seen after every one or two meters on this road. Civic officials often cite lack of funds for deferring repairs.



Mata Kaushalya Yojna alive but not kicking
12 women deliver babies, but get no cheques
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service
Roni, a resident of Dharampura, with their newborns at the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana
Roni, a resident of Dharampura, with their newborns at the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, June 21
Despite the launch of “Mata Kaushalya Yojna” (under which if a woman undergoes a delivery at a government hospital, she will be honoured with Rs 1,000) by Punjab government, the proposal is yet to take off.

In Ludhiana Civil Hospital nearly 12 deliveries took place in two days, but no one was given Rs 1,000.

Talking to The Tribune, Roni, a resident of Dharampura, who delivered a baby girl in the morning, was not aware of the scheme. She said: “I delivered my baby around 10 am today. When will I get a cheque and who will give me? However, a worker from ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activtist) named Gezzan, who brought her to the hospital, was also not aware of the scheme. She said: “I work at Primary Health Centre, Dharampura, but we have not been informed about any such scheme.” While another woman Kanchan, who came all the way from Macchiwara with her husband Ajay for delivery said: “I delivered a baby boy today at 4 am through Cesarean section.

I don’t know about any such scheme. However, her husband said: “At Primary Health Centre, Macchiwara, someone told us that Rs 2,000 will be given to us for delivery.” However, higher authorities had already sent instructions to all civil surgeons of the state on June 18 to ensure that any one delivering a baby in government hospital after June 19 must get a cheque of Rs 1,000.

SMO gives instructions

Yesterday, I held a meeting with the officers concerned and issued instructions to them about Maya Kaushalya Yojna. We will issue the cheques to all those women who delivered here from yesterday onward.

Dr Karamveer Goel, Officiating Senior Medical Officer



Residents protest Mayor’s inaction
Accuse him of shielding encroachers on park
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Accusing Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura of hobnobbing with certain elements who have encroached upon a park for the construction of a liquor vend, residents of L block of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar staged a protest outside the Zone D office of the municipal corporation here today.

They also burnt an effigy of the Mayor.

The residents who were accompanied by area councillor Hari Singh Brar alleged that the Mayor had earlier expressed his helplessness on the issue by stating that the owners of that land were his distant relatives.

Col JS Brar, a social activist of the area, alleged that they had raised the issue with the Mayor on several occasions. “But he has been unable to take any action against the encroachers. At one such meeting, the Mayor told me that the owners of that land are his relatives and so he can’t take action against them. He also asked me not to raise this issue,” alleged Colonel Brar.

However, Giaspura termed the allegations baseless. “The owners of the liquor vend are not my relatives and it’s wrong for anyone to accuse me of not taking action because of that. In fact, we are not clear whether the land was acquired by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust or not. I have asked Assistant Town Planner SS Bindra to take up the issue with the LIT officials and find out the status of the land in question,” said Giaspura.

He added that if the land had been acquired by the LIT, they would take action against the offenders soon.



Protesting daily wagers stopped at PAU gate
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Security guards of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today locked out daily wagers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Scheme (MNREGS), who were going to lodge their protest to block development and panchayat official-I, whose office is housed on the campus.

At least 100 odd workers, who were either not remunerated or their cards were not made, were heading to hand over a memorandum to the BDPO when they were stopped at PAU gate number 2 by the security guards.

Led by Sukhwinder Singh, president of workers’ union, then took up the matter with the police, who took it up further with the PAU authorities. The workers were then let in. They sat in front of the gate for an hour waiting for entry.



Ludhiana scan

Pen-down strike by draftsmen

Irked over dilly-dally attitude of the state government towards their pending demands, the draftsmen cadre is observing a pen-down strike from June 20 to 24. Claiming this, the district unit president of Punjab Draftsmen Association, Gurcharan Singh Hira said work in drawing branches of all departments had come to a standstill. He said during the protest dharnas by the association at Mohali in January and March this year, OSD to the Punjab Chief Minister had announced that the matter would be taken up with the government at the highest level. But there has been no response from any quarter thereafter. “The association might consider to continue the strike indefinitely if the government failed to respond,” he said. — OC

Mercy plea for Bhullar

Youth Akali Dal (Delhi) state president Gurdip Singh Gosha and president of the trade wing of the party, Balwinder Singh Bhullar have made mercy plea for Devinderpal Singh Bhullar. In separate letters written to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, they have called for remission of death sentence to Bhullar. “Awarding death sentence to somebody is against the natural justice and in this particular case, the court had taken a one-sided decision by ordering execution of Bhullar without a single witness deposing against the accused,” they added. — OC

Body Shop opens store

The original, natural and ethical beauty brand, The Body Shop, has launched a store in the city at Westend Mall. This is the second store in the city. The Body Shop products are all naturally inspired and ethically produced, which are not tested on animals. All Body Shop products are 100 per cent vegetarian and with 75 per cent containing fairly traded natural ingredients or accessories from the community fair trade suppliers. The latest Body Shop store in India has a wide range of products across skin care, bath and body, make up, hair, fragrance, means, gifts, accessories and many more. — TNS

Pension adalat

The Chief Controller of Defence Accounts (Western Command) will hold a pension adalat at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan here on June 24 and 25. According to Lt Col Manmohan Singh, district soldier welfare officer, the pension adalat will receive complaints related to disbursal of pension by all public sector banks and defence pension-disbursing officer in and around Ludhiana and settle them on the spot. — OC



BJYM activists burn effigy of PYC chief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 21
Apparently reacting to protest by the Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) against BJP president Nitin Gadkari here on Sunday, activists of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) led by their district president Kantendu Sharma today burnt the effigy of PYC president Ravnit Singh Bittu at Clock Tower Chowk here.

Sharma said the Congress leaders seemed to have gone out of their minds and in frustration they were resorting to dirty political gimmicks to win back the support of the people after having been exposed for various corrupt acts and scams.

Maintaining that the Congress-led UPA government at the centre was having double standards, he said while the centre had gone all out to defend corrupt persons like A Raja and Suresh Kalmadi, the same government had resorted to a merciless crackdown, not even sparing women and children, who were protesting against corruption and black money in the course of a satyagraha by Baba Ramdev.

In scathing attack against Bittu and other Congress leaders, the BJYM chief chided them for claims of making Punjab a drug-free state.



Kidney patient needs help
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Puneet (26), a city-based resident, has been undergoing bi-weekly dialysis regularly at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

According to the doctors: “Puneet is suffering from renal kidney failure and has been on dialysis for the past four years. His father Ishwar Chander is also bed-ridden with chronic arthritis.”

The family has exhausted all financial resources for the dialysis of Puneet and on behalf of the family, the hospital authorities have appealed philanthropists of the city for monetary help by sending cheque/draft in favour of “Dayanand Medical College and Hospital” with “Treatment for Puneet” along with CR No. 89816 written behind the cheque or draft.

For more information contact public relations office, DMCH, at 4687514 or 4687510.



Bank body to observe strike on July 7

Ludhiana, June 21
The State Bank of Patiala Employees Union felicitated SK Gautam, general secretary, All-India State Bank of Patiala Employees Federation, for being elected secretary, Punjab Bank Employees Federation, and Naresh Gaur for being elected president of the State Bank of Patiala Employees Union.

Gaur said on a call given by United Forum of Bank Unions, the All-India Bank Employees Association will observe a one-day strike on July 7 to protest against various financial policies of the government that were detrimental to the interest of the banking sector, public interest. — TNS



2 bodies recovered from Sutlej
Victims had gone fishing on Sunday
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The bodies of two persons who went missing on Sunday evening were recovered from near Khaira Bet village this morning. Samuel Bhatti, alias Babbi (40), a resident of Issa Nagri, and Emmanuel (27) of Ajit Nagar had gone fishing along with their friends on the banks of the Sutlej near Ladhowal village. However, they drowned. Nisar Sethi, uncle of Emmanuel, said they had received information that two bodies had been recovered from the river near Khaira Bet village, around 5 kn from the spot where the duo had drowned.

“We rushed to the spot and identified both of them. It’s the saddest day in our family as I lost my nephew in such an unfortunate incident,” he said. Samuel worked as a painter while Emmanuel was a ward boy at the Christian Medical College and Hospital. Samuel was married and had a son. Emmanuel’s family was looking for a bride for him. Samuel did not know how to swim and slipped into the deep waters. Emmanuel jumped in to save him, but both were swept away.



Civil Hospital
Without lift, accessing dialysis ward an uphill task for patients
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The dialysis ward of the local Civil Hospital, which became operational in September, is yet to receive all the requisite facilities for sick patients.

The dialysis unit, which is on the second floor of the hospital, caters to two patients at a time.

Talking to The Tribune, Shiv Ram Saroy, member of the Rogi Kalyan Samiti, which looks after the needs of patients, said: “The unit is on the second floor and there is a dire need for a lift, as it is quite difficult for patients to walk all the way up on the ramp to the
second floor.”

The then Civil Surgeon had assured the patients of installing an LCD screen in the dialysis ward for those who had to stay for longer hours. Almost 10 months have passed but nothing has been done in this regard so far.

Saroy added: “This ward also needs a refrigerator for patients. Also, patients belonging to poor families should not be charged Rs 750 per dialysis.”

Dr Karamveer Goel, officiating senior medical officer, said a lift would be started soon.



Power Generation
Engineers to issue white paper on faulty govt policies
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 21
Condemning the policies of the state government tilted in favour of private sector in the power generation sector, the PSEB Engineers Association (PSEBEA) today alleged that government was deliberately holding the grant of approval to set up a 1,320 MW thermal power plant in the state sector near Mukerian.

A meeting of the state executive of the association, held here today, decided to issue a white paper shortly on the lopsided policy of the Punjab government to hand over its entire future power generation plants to private sector, that too, in a non-transparent MOU route rather than through international competitive bidding.

PSEBEA president HS Bedi asserted that as per the proposal approved by the PSPCL management, not a single penny was to be invested by the state government in the project since total financial requirement had been tied up with Power Finance Corporation with minor share of PSPCL.

But still, some bureaucrats in the state government were trying to mislead the political leadership that the project might entail financial burden on the state or the company beyond its capacity.

He further said while all other states were adding to their own power generation by investing 20 per cent equity from the resources of the state government (not the power corporations), Punjab was the only state that was still dreaming of becoming power surplus without investing a single penny in any project. “Even financially bankrupt state like Uttar Pardesh is adding 1,500 MW under the state sector in the near future. Rajasthan has already commissioned 1,289 MW under state sector during the past four years and is likely to add another 2,360 MW with government finances in the near future. However, Punjab remains the only state in the country to have not planned even 1 MW under state sector,” Bedi lamented.



Gardener’s name for bravery award
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The district administration has decided to recommend the name of Bhanu Bahadur for bravery award following his act of saving three lives from Sidhwan Canal, near Ayali village, yesterday.

Bhanu Bahadur (18), a gardener by profession, is expected to be honoured on August 15. Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari told The Tribune that the administration has considered his name for award for his courageous act.

Bhanu, a migrant labourer from Sitapur village, Uttar Pradesh, works at a farmhouse in South City.



Rickshaw-puller stabbed to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Kulbir Singh, a 70-year-old rickshaw-puller, was stabbed to death last night. A case under Section 302, IPC, has been registered against unidentified persons in this regard.

Gurbir Singh, SHO of Model Town, said Kulbir Singh was an alcoholic and had been pulling the rickshaw for the past 20 years on rent. After consuming liquor, he would sleep on the rickshaw near the Sidhwan Canal, Dugri. On other days, he would go to his home at Jagdev Nagar.

The police came to know about the murder in the morning after the victim’s sons found his body. “The deceased’s sons Satpal Singh and Pritam Singh work in factory units here. When Kulbir Singh did not reach home last night, his sons looked for him near the canal the whole night. They spotted the body near the Model Town Extension cremation ground and informed the police,” said Gurbir Singh.

The reason for the murder is not known yet as the victim did not have personal enmity. “It may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Kulbir Singh was above 70 years of age and was poor so money could not have been the reason for the murder. He had been stabbed badly in the stomach and there were several injury marks on his body. Investigations are on. We will get more details within two-three days,” he added.



Thieves strike at gurdwara
Steal cash, valuables after locking rooms of ‘sewadars’
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 21
Some unidentified persons broke into Guru Nanakpura Gurdwara, near Mori Gate, and stole a huge amount of cash and some expensive articles from there last night. The incident came to light this morning when a “sewadar” at the gurdwara, Bhola Singh, found his room locked from the outside.

He called another person, who opened the room, and later learnt that the box kept for offerings had been broken and money stolen.

He informed gurdwara management committee president Charanjit Singh Bhandari and the police about the incident.

According to an estimate, over Rs 30,000 in cash was lying in the box.

A police team along with a dog squad visited the gurdwara in the morning and started the investigation.

The theft took place around 2 am when all “sewadars” in the gurdwara were asleep. The thieves gained access to the gurdwara through the adjoining Dashmesh Public School and locked all rooms where sewadars were asleep from the outside.

They then broke into the sanctum sanctorum, broke open the box containing offerings and cleaned it out.

The way the theft was executed suggested that the thieves were well acquainted with the gurdwara premises. Some nearby residents suspected the role of an insider behind the theft.

The thieves did not break the lock of the door of the sanctum sanctorum. Instead, they removed the screws to open the door.

Investigating officer ASI Balwant Singh said the police was investigating the case. On the involvement of some insider behind the theft, he said it was too early to come to a conclusion at this stage.



Two arrested with 1-kg opium
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 21
The Ludhiana (rural) police has arrested two persons and seized 1-kg opium from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Dara Singh and Shamsher Singh, both residents of Kannari village in Fatehabad district of Haryana.

The police has registered a case under the NDPS Act against the accused and started the investigation.

According to sources, a team of the local CIA staff arrested the two from a checkpoint set up outside Jangpur village, near Mullanpur Dakha, following a tip-off yesterday.

CIA staff in-charge Tehal Singh said the two, who were riding a motor cycle, were pulled over at the check point. On search, the police found 500-gm opium on each of the two. The police arrested the accused and impounded the vehicle.

During preliminary investigation, the accused admitted to having supplied opium to their clients, most of whom belonged to rich families, in Jagraon. The police is trying to identify the clients.

The accused also confessed to their involvement in peddling drugs in the past.

Dara Singh had earlier been arrested for smuggling poppy husk and was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment. He was out on parole, he added.

The police later produced the two in a local court, which remanded them in two-day police custody.



Murder accused held after a year on the run

Jagraon, June 21
The local police has arrested the prime accused in the last year’s murder case of a youth, Gagandeep, alias Babbu Mann, here. Gagandeep was murdered on May 9, 2010, at Mohalla Dhuman.

Sukhwinder Singh, alias Sikandri, was arrested by a police team near Nanaksar, around 5 km from here, yesterday. He had been absconding for over a year.

According to SHO Inderjit Singh, the police got a tip-off that the accused was visiting Nanaksar. A police team led by ASI Balwant Singh laid a trap and arrested him on his arrived at the Nanaksar bus stand from Moga.

Gagandeep was allegedly murdered on the night of May 9, 2010 by three persons following a verbal altercation at the dharamshala of Mohalla Dhuman. The three accused fled the scene after committing the crime.

The police had registered a case against the three — Sukhwinder Singh, alias Sikandri, Ronaldo and Baggi — on the statement of victim’s father Ram Kumar.

Ronaldo had surrendered before the police some time ago. The third accused, Bagg, is still at large. — OC



Satinder, Amritpal bag athletics gold
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 21
Satinder Singh and Amritpal Singh of Ludhiana have again brought glory to the state by bagging gold medals in the 400m hurdles and long jump, respectively, in the Senior Inter-State Athletics Championship held at Bengaluru, recently.

The two, trainees of coach Sanjeev Sharma, were the only athletes from Punjab to finished on the podium.

Satinder finished ahead of others, including Asian champion and national record holder Joseph Abrahim, to bag gold medal in 400m hurdles, while international athlete Amritpal Singh recovered from a knee injury to win top honours in the long jump event.

On the basis of their performance in Bengaluru, both Amritpal Singh and Satinder Singh are likely to be selected for the upcoming Asian Track and Field Meet to be held in Japan next month.

District Sports Officer, Ludhiana, Sat Pal Singh appreciated the athletes’ performance and congratulated the coach.



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