L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Factory staff waylaid, robbed of Rs 20 lakh
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
There appears to be no let-up in highway robberies in the city. In the latest case armed suspects reportedly robbed three employees of an acrylic yarns manufacturing firm of Rs 20 lakh in the Kanganwal area on Wednesday.

The incident reportedly occurred at around 3:45 pm when Satish, Dharminder, a driver, and Atma Ram, an armed security guard, were returning to the Garg Acrylics Ltd unit in Sahnewal after withdrawing Rs 20 lakh in cash from the Oriental Bank of Commerce branch in Miller Gunj.

Giving details Satish said he had withdrawn the money at about 3:30 pm and the three were headed back to the factory in a car. “When we got near Kanganwal four men travelling in white Volkswagen Jetta sedan intercepted us. Before we could react the man sitting along with Jetta’s driver fired a shot at our vehicle and we got panicky. In the meantime two armed men alighted from the Jetta and aimed their guns on us. They then took away the cash lying in the bag and also snatched the rifle from the security guard as well as the car keys," said Satish.

According to him the suspects spoke fluent Punjabi and all were bearded and thought to be in the mid-30s.

The three men shouted for help but the suspects had already sped away in their car the direction of Delhi. The police later arriver at the scene and questioned the three for a few hours. Sources close to the police said the cops suspect the involvement of an “insider” in the robbery.

Rajiv Garg, managing director of Garg Acrylics, said: "Normally we don’t conduct many transactions at the Oriental Bank of Commerce and it was after very long time that we had operated the bank account. The cash was withdrawn for paying employees’ wages”.

The police is still groping in the dark about the suspected role of a “gang” in the incident. "We’ve filed a case of armed robbery and have begun investigations”, said a police official.

‘Robbery may have been planned’

A police officer investigating the robbery said the suspects laid a “trap” for the three factory employees near the Oriental Bank of Commerce branch in Miller Gunj and were fully aware that the latter had withdrawn a large amount of cash. The robbery might have been planned, he added.


Gang war in court complex
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
After the MMS war, members of the Talli and Mohni gangs slug it out in the court complex here this afternoon.

The incident took place when members of both gangs assembled at the court complex in connection with a court hearing. Both members started hurling abuses at each other and heated arguments soon turned into blows.

In the meantime, cops intervened and separated the two groups. It is learnt that after exchanging blows on the first floor, the youths again fought on the fifth floor of the district court complex.

It was not the first incident when the court premises witnessed a gang war. Earlier too, similar incidents were witnessed in the court complex.



Scared of exam, student shouts bomb
Holiday announced, exams put off; suspect still at large
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
Taking advantage of the lingering fear of terrorist attacks in the aftermath of the Delhi High Court bomb blasts, a man suspected to be a student who wanted to disrupt school examinations, made a hoax bomb call from a PCO (public call office) on Tajpur Road and told the police he had planted three bombs at the city’s Green Land Senior Secondary School located near the Jalandhar bypass on Wednesday.

The incident took place at around 7 am when an man who did not identify himself called up the 100 police helpline and claimed he had placed the bombs at the school. The helpline operator immediately alerted police officials and the head of the school, Rajesh Rudra, was also informed about the call.

Wasting no time Rudra arrived at the school and announced it would remain closed for the day. “I knew the decision to declare Wednesday a school holiday disappointed many students who all came prepared for the exams, but we couldn’t afford to take any risk and postponed the exams. Immediately after the cops called me up I went to the school and announced a holiday,” he said.

Nearly 50 cops including members of a dog squad and a metal detector unit arrived at the school and launched a massive search operation. From checking garbage bins to soft toys lying in the school’s preparatory section, the school premises were thoroughly searched.

Many senior cops including assistant deputy police commissioner Manjit Singh Dhesi and assistant police commissioner Paramjit Singh Pannu were also present at the scene.

“We’d been informed three bombs might have been planted at different locations in the school premises. From the backyard to even plants in the lawn, we searched almost everything. Fortunately we didn’t find anything and the bomb threat turned out to be a hoax,” said Salem Tabri police station house officer Davinder Kumar.

He added the call was made from a public payphone located in the Tajpur Road area. “According to the PCO owner a man thought to be aged between 20 to 24 had called up 100, but he (owner) said he wasn’t able to hear the conversation and the caller left the scene soon after hanging up,” Kumar added.

The police is suspecting the caller may have been a friend or relative of a student who perhaps wanted to help the latter in getting school examinations postponed.

Said Rudra: “Even we suspect the involvement of a student, who might have not prepared for the exam and played a prank to postpone the examination. But let me tell you this, it was a dumb prank and the school authorities will take serious action if any student was found involved in it.”

The hoax bomb call left many students and parents stranded. They were seen perplexed when the school authorities told them to go back and asked them about the postponement of exams.

“I was shocked when school officials told me Wednesday’s exams had been cancelled. I asked for the reason but they declined. There was a huge police force in and around the school. After a few minutes I was told someone has planted bombs in the school premises. I was terrified and immediately rushed home. Later my friend told me it was a hoax bomb call,” said Pushant Modgill, a student of Green Land School.

Sketch of suspect soon

Police said they were preparing a sketch of the suspect. “The sketch will be released soon. We don’t intend to treat the incident casually and will ensure the suspect is nabbed.”



Argument with Mayor costs XEN dear
Charge of bridges and roads taken back
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service
HC Salaria, executive engineer
HC Salaria, executive engineer

Ludhiana, September 14
Arguing with the Mayor has cost an executive engineer (XEN) his chair. The fallout was such that the Mayor took back the charge of Zone D from the XEN (Bridges and Roads) HC Salaria and gave it to another XEN VB Goyal.

The elevator in the Zone D building of the municipal corporation (MC) in Sarabha Nagar is out of order for the past few weeks. Yesterday, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura was sitting in his office on the second floor in the building when two elderly councillors Pritpal Singh Ghayal and Kashmir Singh Sheera came to meet him. Since the elevator was out of order, they had to use stairs to reach the Mayor’s office. On meeting the Mayor, they complained about the non-functional elevator. At that time, councillor Parminder Mehta, Balkar Singh and some other persons were sitting with the Mayor. All of them complained about the non-functional elevator, after which HC Salaria was called to the Mayor’s office.

Mayor Hakam said when Salaria reached his office, he was asked why the elevator was non-functional for the past few weeks. “Instead of giving a clear reply, he said “Contractor meri gal nahi sun de, hun main ohna te goli maar deva?” (the contractors do not listen to me, should I shoot them?). Every person sitting with me was shocked to hear this reply and it was then that I decided to take action against Salaria,” said the Mayor.

The Mayor made a call to the MC officiating commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi and directed him to take charge back from Salaria immediately.

Parminder Mehta, who witnessed the incident, said Salaria’s behaviour was shocking. Sources said Salaria, accompanied by other officials, went to meet Mayor at his camp office today, but the Mayor did not spare him.



Mustard oil samples fail lab tests
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
Laboratory tests to determine purity conducted on all five samples of mustard oil of different brands collected by the district health department about 20 days ago have reportedly failed, according to food safety officer Manoj Khosla.

“Following instructions given by deputy commissioner Rahul Tiwari, a health department team led by district health officer Dr Kulwinder Singh carried out raids on mustard oil factories in various city areas on August 24. Lab tests on all the five oil samples we collected have failed. The team raided three factories in Bute Shah Mandi near Kesar Ganj and two at Jawahar Nagar camp. The sample of the ‘Gaazi’ brand of mustard oil was found to have been mixed with some other edible oil. The samples of the ‘Natraj’, ‘Arjun’, ‘Palmoline Oil’ and ‘Kailash’ brands and well as those collected in Bute Shah Mandi were also found to be adulterated”, Khosla said.

“The mustard oil containers at the factories didn’t carry the mandatory information including nutritional value, batch, lot and code numbers, packing and sell-by dates and manufacturer’s address”, he stated, adding the owners of these factories would be booked under provisions of the Food Safety & Standards Act.

It may be mentioned here that last month the deputy commissioner had received complaints of substandard quality and misbranding of mustard oil following which he had ordered the health department to conduct raids on factories.



Snatchers target cop’s wife
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
After targeting city residents, snatches here today made a policeman’s wife their victim, snatching from her a bag containing Rs 50,000. The incident took place at around 10:30 am when Amarjit Kaur (55), wife of Gurcharan Singh, deputed in the PCR unit, was returning home after withdrawing cash from a bank located near Kailash Cinema.

Narrating the incident, Amarjeet Kaur said, “After withdrawing the cash, I entered a street located near Kailash Cinema and was walking to my house in police quarters. Three youths riding a motorcycle came from behind and snatched the bag containing Rs 50,000. I got hold of a pillion rider but the driver accelerated and I was dragged for about 10m.”

Amarjit Kaur, while showing her bruises, said the trio was in their early 20s and had muffled their faces. They were lean in stature with long hair, she added. A resident of the street who saw the incident tried to chase the snatchers, but the culprits managed to flee.

“We tried to jot down the vehicle number, but could not read it as the number plate was very small,” said the resident. Gurcharan Singh said he was constructing a house for which his wife had withdrawn the money.



Women Entrepreneurs-III
When desire to be different bore fruit
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Manmeet Sodhia
Manmeet Sodhia. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, September 14
Anything that's monotonous puts this lady off. Manmeet Sodhia, director of Ivanna Institute of Hotel Management and Fashion Technology, would not like to walk the beaten path.

Starting a hotel management and fashion institute was a natural corollary of her deep-rooted desire to be different. Yet, it was not a much-deliberated upon decision. It was rather an impulsive one, she says.

"I thought I should have my own venture that would allow me to experiment and also give me a sense of satisfaction," she tells us.

Though family support was a given, when it came to the actualities she had to slug it out on her own. "For the first few months, I had wobbly finances. Luckily, I was able to break even within a year."

Being her mother's daughter has helped her. The implicit message from her mother Manjit Sodhia, who retired as principal of Government College for Women, has been to be strong and self-reliant.

"I find it weird when women seek permission from the male members of their family for almost all decisions, however insignificant those decisions may be," says Manmeet.

However, despite her all-too-palpable 'strong woman' stance, she's not an aggressive feminist. And she's against any kind of reservation for women. Reservation is not empowering, she declares.

Single by choice, she does not miss any 'male' support in her venture as, by her own admission, she's tough enough to handle all kinds of situations.

"Right from day one, Ivanna has been a learning experience for me," she adds.

She also runs Evana store that provides garments to hospitality institutes, hotels and restaurants. There's a long way to go, she says. Perhaps, five years down the line she would have more ventures high on novelty and challenge quotient. But as of now, it's Ivanna and Evana all the way.



GCW tries to rid campus of stray dogs before youth fest
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
That the stray dog menace has left officials of the city’s Government College for Women (GCW) disconcerted ahead of the Panjab University zonal youth festival to be held there is apparent after they urged the municipal corporation to sterilize the canines wandering around the college premises.

In a letter written to MC health officer Dr Charanjit Uppal college principal Gurwinder Kaur asked him to “act” before the four-day event kicks off on September 21. Confirming he had received the letter on Wednesday afternoon, Uppal said he would soon depute his staff to visit the college premises and sterilize the stray dogs in compliance with the relevant laws.

A senior college faculty member said the students as well as the staff had become so terrified of stray dogs on the campus that they were forced to write to the civic body. “There are some people in the college who offer bread and milk to these dogs and even if we shoo them away they come back. That’s why we aren’t able to get rid of this menace,” the faculty member added.

Kaur said a couple of months ago a visually impaired student accidentally stepped on a stray dog. “The dog bit her on the leg after which she had to get treated. Many students fear going near these dogs,” she added.



Licensed taxi operators at rly station losing business
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 14
Many taxi operators licensed by the divisional headquarter of the Northern Railway to park their vehicles at the railway station here to pick up passengers are not only living in terror, but losing their business to a group of private vehicle owners, who rule the roost by bullying tactics and muscle power while the railway and police officials choose to look the other way.

In a complaint lodged with the railway officials and the Government Railway Police, Kulwant Singh Deol, owner of Deol Tours and Travels, has alleged that musclemen of a group of some two-dozen private vehicle owners had made life difficult for licensed taxi operators.

Deol having permission from the divisional headquarter of the Northern Railway to ply five taxis from within the railway station complex with a stipulated fee paid to the Railways, said on resistance, the authorised taxi operators are threatened with dire consequences. The so-called taxi mafia operating at the railway station parking, he added, was overcharging passengers and also evading road tax and licence fee charged by the Railways as their taxis were run as privately owned vehicles.

Deol and several other licensed taxi operators said they had brought the highhandedness of private vehicle owners to the notice of the local officials of the Northern Railway as well as the GRP officials. “Formal complaints against the mafia have been lodged with the station superintendent and the GRP with copies to the divisional railway manager and the senior divisional commercial manager (at Ferozepur) without any positive response so far.

The aggrieved taxi operators maintained that after having granted permission and collecting stipulated parking fee from them, it was the bounden duty of the railway authorities to ensure that they could carry out their business without any fear or constraint.

When contacted, station superintendent RK Sharma feigned ignorance about any mafia group at the railway parking or instances of private vehicle owners issuing threats to licensed taxi operators. He, however, said the complaint of taxi operators would be looked into and remedial action would be taken if warranted against any unauthorised person operating at the railway parking.

The SHO of the GRP said he was on leave for the past 10 days. "I will be joining duty tomorrow and will immediately take action on the complaint," he said.



Stationary truck leads to snarl-up on busy Ferozepur road
Tribune News Service

A car driver tries to make his way past a stationary truck-trailer from the road divider near the PAU gate number 2 on the Ferozepur road; and (right) a long queue of vehicles caused by the stationary truck-trailer
A car driver tries to make his way past a stationary truck-trailer from the road divider near the PAU gate number 2 on the Ferozepur road; and (right) a long queue of vehicles caused by the stationary truck-trailer. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, September 14
A stationary truck on the Ferozepur road led to a long traffic jam here this morning.

The incident took place around 9 am when the truck suddenly came to a halt after a mechanical snag. The driver lost control over the vehicle and the truck turned horizontal on the road.

Commuters were caught off-guard and soon serpentine queues of vehicles were seen on the Ferozepur road.

Even the cops were caught by surprise. It was after over 30 minutes that policemen reached the spot. Vehicles were diverted towards the Sarabha Nagar area to ease the situation.

Infuriated, some commuters drover their vehicles through the divider. It was nearly after two hours that the sang was rectified and the traffic came back to normal.



Traffic blues continue to haunt city residents
No end to mess outside colleges
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
With the rapid rise in the city’s population over the years the number of vehicles on the streets has multiplied even faster. As the two main law enforcement agencies - the municipal corporation and the traffic police - have preferred to ignore the mounting traffic chaos commuting has become a virtual hell for residents. One of the worst affected areas are the streets outside the major schools and colleges where haphazardly parked vehicles of students and staff have made it almost impossible for commuters to get through without losing their temper.

Parking of vehicles on public roads, has become a major problem but neither the traffic cops nor civic officials appear to be interested in finding a solution to the mess. On the other hand, school and college officials don’t even bother to take strict action against those who park their vehicles outside in a haphazard manner, blocking most access roads.

The situation in Ghumar Mandi turns into a nightmare during peak hours. The students of GGN Khalsa College think parking their vehicles on public roads is the best option, while the students of the Khalsa College for Women park their cars, motorcycles and scooters outside the campus on the main road. When classes are over traffic jams outside the college are the daily routine.

Similarly, outside the Sacred Heart Senior Secondary and Guru Nanak Public schools, when classes end parents of students or their drivers park vehicles in the middle of the road, leaving little space for others to pass through.

When contacted Sohinderjit Singh, president of the managing committee of the Gujranwala Khalsa Educational Trust, agreed though the number of educational institutions as well as students had increased manifold the amount of parking space remained virtually the same. “Not all the students can be accommodated at the parking inside the campus. But we are aware about the problem. We’ll hold a meeting in this regard soon and start with providing parking in basements of buildings in a couple of months”, he said.

Meanwhile, a senior faculty member of Khalsa College for Women said “Students refuse to listen to the college authorities. Those who park their vehicles outside the campus have been issued warnings earlier, and their vehicles were even chained at times, but they still park them outside.”



Politicians too responsible
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Helplessness commuters caught in a traffic jam
Helplessness commuters caught in a traffic jam. A file photo

Ludhiana, September 14
If traffic problem is plaguing the city, blame politicians for it. They support a handful of people who are in habit of taking the entire city to ransom by encroaching upon roads.

The police could not wash their hands off the ever-increasing traffic menace. Traffic cops think that their job is only to challan vehicles and they have not been recruited for managing the traffic.

Cops often rue that they are understaffed and are forced to manage the city traffic with just 212 cops. “We always come across eight to 10 traffic cops standing near the Bharat Nagar Chowk and in front the Mini- Secretariat despite staff crunch. They have never been seen managing traffic in Ghumar Mandi.

Though senior police officials have lunched various drives to regulate the traffic, but politicians always act as a stumbling block. Recently, a senior traffic police official launched a challan drive against the under- age and reckless driving by school bus drivers, but the drive could last for two days as politicians exerted pressure and got it suspended.

In April this year, the traffic police had to earn the ire of shopkeepers in Ghumar Mandi when they started towing away the vehicles parked haphazardly in the middle of the road.

Here too a politician supported shopkeepers and opposed the drive. They even brought the matter to the notice of the Chief Minister. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP- Traffic) Sajjan Singh Cheema said: “We met the shopkeepers and told them to remove encroachments. Their business would flourish further as they would get more parking space.” 



Street food vendors nightmare for commuters
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
The stretch of Rani Jhansi road between the Khalsa College for Women and the Fountain Chowk has become another traffic bottleneck in the city with dozens of hawkers setting up stalls for selling snacks. The rush gets heavier on weekends or holidays, particularly in the evenings, when the vendors on the roadside and customers in their vehicles line up on the other.

No one follows any traffic rules and vehicles are parked haphazardly. Sudha Nagpal, a city resident said, “A large number of people even park their cars, motorcycles and scooters in the middle of the road and the hawkers keep serving them there. At times it becomes very chaotic.” Rajeev Malhotra, a passerby, said, “It takes at least 10 minutes to cross this overcrowded stretch.”

A food vendor said, “I’ve been coming here on weekends for the past six months and earn a fairly good amount of money. No one stops us from selling snacks here.” District Health Officer Dr Kulwinder Singh said: “It’s the municipal corporation’s job to regulate the use of sidewalks for selling food items. As far as the quality of the snacks is concerned, we collected samples of ‘golgappas’ about two months ago and acted accordingly.” However, the health department has not collected any food samples from these street hawkers till date.

Meanwhile, the municipal commissioner stated, “I’ll check with the ‘tehbazari’ wing whether the street vendors are paying any licensing fees or not and then act accordingly.” 



Tribune Impact
Finally MC acts, dismantles wooden bridge
over Budha Nullah
Charanjit Singh Teja

Wooden bridge over the Budha Nullah dismantaled and (below) a JCB mechine removing earth at New Chander Nagar for constructing a new bridge in Ludhiana
Wooden bridge over the Budha Nullah dismantaled and (below) a JCB mechine removing earth at New Chander Nagar for constructing a new bridge in Ludhiana. photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana September 14
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today dismantled the dilapidated wooden bridge from the Budha Nullah and started constructing a new one at New Chander Nagar today.

The municipal corporation took this step following hue and cry raised by the residents. It pressed two JCB machines into service and dismantled the bridge.

The Tribune had on Wednesday highlighted the danger this dilapidated bridge pose. As a result, Municipal Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi and Narinder Singh Malhi, husband of a local councillor, Rupandeep Kaur Malhi, gave orders for dismantling the old bridge and constructing a new one.

Now, people will have to walk for about a kilometer to reach their destinations. Sita Ram, a local resident, said, “It’s one of the major concerns of those living in New Chander Nagar. We welcome the MC’s initiative. Hopefully, the bridge will be constructed at the earliest.”

“A large number of women working at DMC, other hospitals and industries, will suffer due to this,” said Rani local resident. “It was risky to let the people use the old bridge. We had sealed it more than once, but people did not pay heed. Dismantling of the bridge was the only option left. So we did it”, said Narinder Singh Malhi, husband of councillor Rupandeep Kaur Malhi.



5 months on, challan drive abruptly stopped
Old challan books out of stock, new yet to be issued
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
Barely five months after its launch, the on-the-spot challaning drive launched by the city police has abruptly ended. Reason: Old challan books are out the stock and the new stock is yet to be issued to the department.

Due to the callous attitude of the police department, residents have been forced to pay fine for minor offences at a suvidha centre located far off. This came to light when Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP Traffic) Sajjan Singh Cheema returned after holidaying abroad, sources added.

Ever since the ADCP (Traffic) went on holidays the on-the-spot challaning drive was abruptly stopped on the pretext of challan books being out of stock. This drive was launched by the then Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh in March.

The police used to levy a fine of Rs 100 on traffic violators for committing minor offences. Residents welcomed the move and felt relieved, as this had helped in checking corruption in the police department. Residents were comfortable paying Rs 100 fine on the spot.

The sources said the malpractice of bribing cops started as soon as the challaning drive was suspended. Rajan Adya, who came to the suvidha centre for paying the fine after being challaned for not wearing the hamlet, said, “I had to come all the way from the old city for paying a fine of Rs 100. I have end up spending more money on patrol and parking fees than for the offence committed by me.”

Strange act

The special mobile complaint redressal cell set up by former Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh for registering complaints regarding mobile theft, snatching and misplaced mobile phones was stopped. Then the challan drive in which the traffic cops were found pasting stickers on vehicles was dumped. Once stickers were pasted on vehicles, violators were given five days to furnish the challans failing which they were to pay five times of the actual amount of the challan. The on-the-spot challan drive was third such project to be stopped.

Rs 1.88 cr netted

The police department had challaned nearly 96, 300 vehicles till July 31, 2011, and collected ~1.88 crore as fine.



Sr Deputy Mayor gets net savvy
Promoting free anti-rabies vaccine on Facebook
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal has gone net savvy. He is promoting free anti-rabies vaccine given by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to the dog bite victims.

In a new way, he has posted this information for the city residents on his account on the social networking site Facebook.

“These days, most of the people are having their accounts on Facebook and I personally feel that it is one of the best and easiest way of promoting something which is beneficial for city residents,” claimed Bansal, who updates his Facebook account regularly.

To keep a check on the ever-increasing dog menace in the city, the MC had also started dog sterilisation drive in the city some time back. A few months ago, they even started giving free anti-rabies vaccine to dog bite victims.

Bansal says that though this initiative has been going on for some time, but not many people know about it. “As we are already in the process of promoting this initiative in a big way, I decided to start it from Facebook. Soon, we would also install hoardings in different parts of the city so that people can come to know about it,” said Bansal.

“If a stray dog bites a city resident, he would just have to go to his area councillor, who would give it in writing that this particular person should be given free vaccine. The victim would then take this letter to MC health department, from where the letter would be recommended. And that he can either go to DMCH or CMCH for getting treatment. The residents would not have to pay anything for the anti-rabies vaccine as its cost would be borne by the MC. After getting bills from these hospitals, we would reimburse the amount,” said Bansal.



ppcb raids
Dyers body threatens to lock units
To hand over keys to CM; PDA, PPCB meet on Sept 16
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
The Punjab Dyers' Association (PDA) has threatened to handover the keys of their dyeing units to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal if the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) did not stop "harassing" association members by conducting surprise raids on their premises.

Though with the efforts of secretary industries, SS Channi, a meeting between PDA and PPCB has been scheduled for September 16 at Chandigarh to sort out things, still the PDA has maintained that if the PPCB did not cooperate till the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) was installed in the city, the PDA would lock their units and handover the keys to the CM.

Ashok Makkar, managing director of the PDA, said the recent raids conducted on the directors of the PDA was a step that had shaken the confidence of the association members. “Earlier also, samples were taken and penalties were imposed. But the PPCB never issued any orders to shut units. That means there are certain discrepancies in the dyeing industry, which can be removed only after the installation of the CETP. Till then, the PPCB needs to cooperate with us,” said Makkar.

Bobby Jindal, general secretary of the PDA, said many dyeing units had opened their branches at Panipat as Haryana government had installed three CETPs in Panipat for the benefit of the industry at its own expenses in the past two years. "But here, the government is not bothered to boost the industry. Instead, the industry is being discouraged even when the CETP, a Rs 420- crore project, is being installed by the industrialists alone. In our prior meetings, we had told the PPCB that our units do not match with the parameters of the PPCB, due to which we were coming up with the CETP. Till the plant is installed (within two years), the PPCB must cooperate with us,” said Jindal.

The PPCB officials raided six units of the PDA office-bearers last week and took water samples.

Meanwhile, SS Channi said the dyeing association had approached him. "We have arranged a meeting of the PPCB and the PDA members at Chandigarh to discuss the issue,” he added.



Youth shot at, police initiates inquiry
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 14
The Jodhan police has initiated a probe into an incident in which a youth of Kasba Bharal, who had visited Mela Chhapar yesterday morning, was injured seriously after a youth of Khurad village fired a shot at him.

Old rivalry due to financial dispute is suspected to be the reason behind the attack. The victim, Baljinder Singh, alleged that Param Pal Singh of Khurad village had attempted to kill him when he had come to pay obeisance at Mela Chhapar on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. Had he not been alert, the bullet could have pierced his head and killed him on the spot, alleged Baljinder Singh.

Profusely bleeding Baljinder was shifted to the local Civil Hospital in an unconscious state from where he was shifted to a multi-specialty hospital in Ludhiana yesterday morning.

Though the police had initiated investigations immediately after receiving information about the assault yesterday, it could not identify the suspect as the victim was not declared fit to submit his statement.

Officials at the Jodhan police station said a case would be registered after verifying the allegations leveled by the victim.



Parents of rape victims allege police
inaction, stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
Their kids were picked up by a pedophile, raped and dumped near a canal on Lohara road. It has been nearly a month since the parents are running from pillar to post in pursuit of justice, but all their requests have fallen on deaf ears as the police has not done a bit to nab the pedophile on prowl in the Gyaspura area.

Miffed at the alleged callous investigation process, parents of the rape victims staged a dharna at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office here today.

Narrating the woes of two girls, the parents of the victims said their daughters are still undergoing the trauma. One of the victims had been operated upon for injuries caused due to rape, while the other is still suffering with the fear psychosis and screams at the top of her voice whenever her father changes cloths after returning home.

"Look at my plight, I cannot go near my daughter as she is too scared after the incident and she starts screaming whenever I go close to her," said the victim's father.

"I am worried about her future. I do not want that she should remember the incident. I hope the society does not brand her as rape victim. What about her marriage? I fear that she will not suffer from any complication in future. The pedophile who raped my daughter should be lynched to death," said the father of a rape victim.

Parents of two girls demanded the arrest of the pedophile. The parents were upset at that callous attitude of the police, who have not made any headway in the rape case so far.

Abducted on Aug 7

On August 7, a pedophile abducted two five-year-old girls from two different houses in 33-Foota Road near in Gyaspura. The girls were raped and found unconscious on the Canal Road in Lohara the next day. Mother of one of the victim’s suspected the involvement of a man who used to visit their neighbours. They parents alleged that police had initiated a probe, but it turned out to be a mere an eyewash as the pedophile is still at large. 



Police solves blind murder case
3 held for looting, killing auto driver
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 14
The Ludhiana (rural) police has claimed to have solved a blind murder of a Ludhiana-based auto-rickshaw driver, Amarjit Singh, who was found dead in the fields near Tuse village under Gurusar Sudhar police station on August 20. The police has arrested three youths.

Following the death of Amarjit Singh, the police had registered a case under Sections 302, 404 and 34 of the IPC against unidentified persons on the statement of victim’s brother Sunny Kumar, a resident of PAU campus, Ludhiana, at the Sudhar police station on August 21.

Sunny had stated that some persons had hired the auto of his brother Amarjit on August 20 evening. Sunny Kumar received a call from Halwara very next day that the three-wheeler of his brother has been found parked at a religious place near Halwara. Following this Sunny reached Halwara and started searching for his brother along with the police. The police found a dead body of Amarjit Singh in the fields near Tuse village after some time.

It was also found that the mobile phone, wallet, driving licence and some other things of the victim were also missing. From the very beginning of the investigation, the police was suspecting this murder as a result of looting.

According to SHO Sudhar Inspector Dilbag Singh, during the course of investigation, the police rounded up some suspected youths following secret information and during interrogation, three youths admitted before the police of murdering Amarjit Singh with the intention of looting him.

The police has arrested all the three accused. The accused have been identified as Sukhkiran Singh, Jagjivan Singh alias Toni and Lakhvir Singh alias Gopi, all residents of Tuse village, added Dilbag Singh.

The police will produce the accused before the court to seek their police remand. Some other revelations are also expected in coming days.



MC razes illegal structures
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
A team of municipal corporation (MC) officials today demolished pavements in front of 30 houses at Kidwai Nagar area of the city. The anti-encroachment drive was carried by assistant town planner (ATP) of Zone B, Surinder Singh Bindra.

Bindra said owners of 30 houses in Kidwai Nagar had encroached upon the road by constructing ramps and pavements in front of their houses.



architect award
‘Functionality of design comes first’
Gurvinder Singh

Kanav Khosla poses with his award
Kanav Khosla poses with his award. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, September 14
“Functionality and practicality of the design come first, then come the aesthetics,” says Kanav Khosla, telling about his design philosophy.

Kanav has won the prestigious State Young Architect Award for his work for computer centre and IT Park at the National Institute of Technology at Jalandhar. Digambar Kamat, Chief Minister of Goa, presented the award.

He has a Bachelors in Architecture degree and Masters in Urban Design from Oxford Brookes University, UK, and has worked in all kinds of projects ranging from government to private, including universities, private housing, hospitals, showrooms, etc.

“I like to work on projects of different nature, rather than working on one or two areas,” he says.

He seems to have been born as an architect, quite literally, as his father architect Avinash Khosla is a respected name.

So having father’s name help? “As an architect, you have to prove on your own. But to some extent, it did, as on my way up, I did not have to start from the scratch.”

His current and past projects include airport terminal at Kadapah, Sinchai Bhawan at Panchkula, HARCO Bank, Army Welfare Housing project and a project at Guru Nanak Stadium.

He is associated with quite a few government projects. “For the past 10 years or so, the government wants the best of the infrastructure and architecture. Being an old firm and having an experience in varied projects of scale and magnitude does give us the advantage to take on versatile projects and do them well. 60 per cent of the work I do is on government projects,” reveals Kanav.

They are a family of designers with father as an architect, mother and wife as interior designers and sister as a textile designer. “As designers and architects, we are all on the same wavelength. So if ever I get a designers’ block, I can consult them and have their feedback,” he said.

“Sometimes working on projects while I take care of the design part and conceptualisation, father handles the administrative part and wife takes care of interior design, there are no hard distinctions in the roles though,” he smiles.



CMCH comes with autonomic laboratory

Ludhiana, September 14
The Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) has come up with a comprehensive autonomic laboratory on the hospital premises.

Claiming it to be first of its kind in the country, Dr Jeyaraj Pandiyan, professor and head of the neurology department, said: "Though there are two autonomic laboratories in India - at JIPMER, Pondicherry, and at AIIMS, New Delhi - but ours is an advanced one. We have latest equipment which we imported from the UK.” The Rs 45 lakh laboratory will be of great help for diagnosing diseases such as sudden falls, loss of consciousness, nerve disorders, problems in sweating and many other brain ailments, “ he said. — TNS



UCPMA poll for 5 posts today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
During a late evening development, Inderjit Singh Navyug was elected unanimously as the senior vice-president and Baljit Singh Lotey as the joint secretary of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers’ Association (UCPMA).

The election for other posts, including vice-president, general secretary, secretary, propaganda secretary and finance secretary will be held tomorrow from 9 am to 5 pm.

Manjit Singh Khalsa, presiding officer for the election, said a majority of UCPMA members wanted it to be a unanimous election, but a few members objected to it and decided to hold the election. “The results will be declared by late evening tomorrow,” said Khalsa.



Ludhiana scan
BSP condemns ‘repression’

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has condemned the repression against the protesting unemployed linesmen at Chhapar mela in Mandi Ahmedgarh in the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on 
September 12.

The state president of the party Avtar Singh Karimpuri said the protesters were mercilessly dragged by police and the policemen beat up some of them with chairs. Such inhuman treatment to repress an agitation was tantamount to murder the democracy and a slur on the coalition government.

Cong flays law and order situation

In the course of ongoing mass contact programme in Atam Nagar assembly segment, the former president of district congress committee Krishan Kumar Bawa, while addressing a meeting in ward No. 47, flayed the deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab.

He said the unholy nexus between ruling party functionaries, criminal elements and police was holding the people to ransom. Specifically, the non-resident Indians (NRIs) were being targeted for extortion, frauds or bid to forcibly take over their properties. He also charged the state government with using brute force against unemployed youth and misappropriating central funds meant for the welfare of farmers.

Engineers’ Day

The engineers of all the government departments will celebrate 44th Engineers Day in a function at Harsheela Resort on September 15. Coordinator of the function KK Garg said that serving engineers with PWD, irrigation, water supply and sanitation, Punjab Mandi Board, PUDA/GLADA, municipal corporations and municipal councils, improvement trusts, panchayti raj, Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Punjab Pollution Control Board, Punjab Health Systems Corporation and Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation would participate in the function.

MoU signed

The RIMT Institute of Engineering and Technology, Mandi Gobindgarh, signed an MoU with the Government of India ministry of MSME-DI. The objective of the MoU is to develop business skills among students of management and engineering. MSME director SS Dhillon highlighted the qualities of a successful businessman and advised the students to think and plan before establishing their own business units. Assistant director Kundan Lal expressed the need and importance of self-employment in the developing economies. — Tribune Reporters



From schools
Hindi Diwas

Hindi Diwas was celebrated at Spring Dale School on Wednesday. Poster and model-making competitions were organised on the occasion. Students made posters on topics like “Beti Bachao”, “Bhartiya Ekta” and “Rashtra Bhasha Hindi”. — TNS



Paramedic stabbed to death
Our Correspondent

Dehlon, September 14
A paramedical employee working at a private hospital in Ludhiana city was brutally murdered by a few unknown persons at the Kaind bridge near here last night.

Assassins, who came on a motorcycle, thrashed and stabbed the victim after dragging him out of the auto -rickshaw he was travelling in.

The deceased has been identified as Gurvinder Singh, a resident of Sayan Kalan.

He was working as the laboratory technician at Grewal Hospital in Ludhiana.

According to an FIR registered on the statement of Baljit Singh, the two assailants intercepted the auto-rickshaw near the Kaind bridge at around 8pm yesterday while he was returning home after duty hours.

The accused thrashed Gurvinder mercilessly and stabbed him with a sharp-edged knife in the chest. Profusely bleeding Gurvinder was shifted to the hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead.

Though exact cause of his death could not be ascertained even after the receipt of a post-mortem report, it is suspected that he died due to the puncturing of the right lung.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Gill Gurpreet Singh Sikand said vital clues about miscreants had been collected.

A special investigation team headed by Manvinder Singh Bedi has been constituted to investigate the case.

The police is working on various theories, but it has ruled out snatching as the assailants had not taken away anything from the victim.



2 injured in shooting incident

Khanna, September 14
Two persons, Gurdip Singh of Libra village and Raju of Bahu Majra village, were seriously injured when some youths fired several shots at them in broad daylight.

Some youths led by Aman and Raman of Khanna allegedly attacked a youth who was sitting in Libra transport office. SP (D) Balwinder Singh said a case has been registered under Sections 307, 148, 149 and 25-54-59 of the Arms Act against the accused. — OC



Teacher diverts GPF of 6 staff, booked
Had forged signatures and siphoned off Rs 28.85 lakh
from their accounts
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, September 14
A teacher of Government High School at Gahaur village has been booked for allegedly siphoning Rs 28.85 lakh from GPF accounts of six employees by forging the signature of a drawing and disbursement officer of the organisation.

Had the headmaster not come to know of huge amounts deposited in two accounts of the suspect, the fraud that took place years ago could have been unearthed till the retirement of the victims.

According to an FIR lodged at the local police station, Sukhminder Singh, a resident of Dakha and a Punjabi teacher, had allegedly duped six employees of Rs 28.25 lakh over the period of five years.

The victims have been identified as Harminder Kaur (Rs 6.75 lakh), Balbir Kaur (Rs 4.15 lakh), Karamjit Kaur (Rs 6.75 lakh), Harinder Kaur (Rs 3.25 lakh), Rajwinder Kaur (Rs 4.30 lakh) and Sukhminder Singh (Rs 3.75 lakh).

Investigations revealed that the suspect had stolen cheques issued to Surinder Pal Singh, headmaster, and diverted the funds by forging his signatures on the documents.

Breaching the trust of the headmaster and the employees, the suspect withdrew provident fund of the employees and got the document approved from the treasury office in Ludhiana.

It is yet to be ascertained how he succeeded in getting the proceeds deposited in his own accounts maintained at two branches of private banks.

Ideally all proceeds are supposed to be deposited in accounts of the beneficiaries only. The police has initiated a probe into the fraud after registering a case under Sections 408, 420, 465, 467, 471 and 120 B of the IPC. The suspect is reportedly absconding.



Athletics meet on Sept 16
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 14
The District Athletics Championship 2011-12 will be organised at Guru Nanak Stadium here on September 16 and 17. SS Pannu, secretary, District Athletics’ Association, Ludhiana, said competitions would be organised for boys and girls under 16, 18 and under 20 years age group. Athletes willing to take part in the championship have been advised to report at 8 am on September 16. They have also been asked to bring their date of birth certificates.

Those selected will take part in the upcoming Punjab State Open Athletics’ Meet slated to be held at Sangrur on September 20 and 21, said Pannu.



Softball tourney from Sept 17
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 14
The Punjab Softball Association is organising the 16th edition of the Punjab State Softball Championship for juniors on September 17 and 18 in Ludhiana.

Players born on or after January 1, 1994, are eligible to take part in the tournament. Each team will have to submit roster forms in duplicate, along with date of birth certificates and two passport-size photographs on September 16. On the basis of their performance in the championship, the Punjab squads will be finalised for the 29th Junior National Softball Tournament (girls and boys) to be held from October 9 to 14 at Rishikesh.



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