L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


60-yr-old woman strangled
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
In a shocking incident, a 60-year-old woman was killed in Company Baag Colony near Gopal Nagar on Tibba Road today. The victim has been identified as Nirmala Devi, who was staying with her son Sanjeev and daughter-in-law Shveta.

The incident came to light at around 3.30 pm when Shveta returned to the house and found the victim lying dead.

The police said the victim was strangled with a "chunni" and her head was smashed with a heavy object. The house was also ransacked. Sanjeev said gold ornaments which his mother was wearing were missing.

Shveta said she had gone to visit the house of a resident who was reportedly harassing her by sending SMSes and making frequent calls.

"We are not ruling out robbery and investigating the case from all angles. We are recording the statements of neighbours and have asked them if they saw any outsider visiting the house," said DCP Gurpreet Singh Toor.

Police officials claimed that the relations between Nirmala and her daughter-in-law were strained. High drama was witnessed at the house when Shveta and her husband entered into a heated argument after he objected to her visiting someone's house alone to complain. He said she should have brought the matter to his notice if someone was harassing her by making frequent calls.

The police has registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC and started investigation.

Barely a week ago, Sukhjinder Singh, a forex trader of Bajra village, was killed in a similar fashion at his office in Subash Nagar, which is about 2 km away from the house where Nirmala was murdered.


Widen service lane, court orders NHAI
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

A service lane along the National Highway No. 1 in Ludhiana.
A service lane along the National Highway No. 1 in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, August 25
It is to be seen if city residents will benefit from the six-laning of the National Highway-1 as the 32-km stretch from Doraha to the Sutlej bridge near Ladhowal has no entry or exit point. This means if a commuter wants to enter or exit from the highway, he would either have to go to Doraha or the Sutlej bridge. Also, the width of service lanes in the city are only 5 to 8 metres, which will not be able to accommodate the city traffic.

Prem Kumar Gupta, a resident, had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding the width of service lanes and the court has directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to examine the feasibility by getting the opinion of technical experts and widen service lanes in Ludhiana within six months.

“City residents would not have benefited from the highway. That is why we approached the court on August 16 and the next day the court issued directions to the NHAI,” said Gupta.

Even the NHAI has written in a letter: “It is strongly viewed that a 10-metre-wide service road is the most essential measure in public interest. If the proposal is not implemented, it may lead to unimaginable situation on service roads.”

The NHAI has been urged to increase the width of the service lane to 10 metres.

Trying to find a way

We have not received any court order yet. There is no entry or exit point on the 32-km stretch between Doraha and the Sutlej bridge. A high-level meeting between the NHAI and the state government was held on September 27, 2010, and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal was also present. He had proposed that there should be some entry and exit points and we identified four places. The Ludhiana MC was asked to identify the land, which it did, but it did not suit our requirement. We are still in talks with the Engineer-in-Chief of the state PWD and hope to work it out.~

— Rajesh Kundal,NHAI project director 



Education office using classrooms to store records
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
Even as government schools in the city are facing a shortage of classrooms, the education department has occupied rooms in schools for non-teaching activities.
The district education office has occupied two classrooms of Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Government Girls Senior Secondary School to store records.

The school has been facing scarcity of rooms and students can be seen studying in the open or in verandas. The school authorities stated that the education office had been using the classrooms as storerooms as old records were kept there.

Kamaljit Kaur, principal of the school, said: "We are facing a shortage of classrooms. It is difficult to adjust more than 2,500 students in this building. We require some more rooms.

The education office has occupied two of our rooms. If it hands over the rooms to us, it will help us a lot."

Not aware

I am not aware that the school does not have enough classrooms. I think it has sufficient space. I have never seen any class being held outside.~

— Paramjit Kaur, District Education Officer 



Revenue up, but slump in market
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
The revenue generated from the sale and purchase of land deals in the district was Rs 580 crore last year. But going by records, revenue has already crossed Rs 178 crore in Ludhiana district in the last three months. This year, revenue is likely to surpass last year's collection. Those in the real estate business say that there has been a slump in the market and people were reluctant to sell or purchase plots/houses. Hence, the increase in revenue generation was due to the enhanced collector's rates.

"The target given by the state government for the current year is about Rs 590 crore and we expect to achieve it comfortably. The collector's rates have also been increased in various areas from 20 per cent to 50 per cent. This will add to revenue generation," an official in the department said.

Rakesh Kumar, a property dealer, said ever since the government tightened its noose over illegal developers, sale and purchase deals had received a setback.

Another property dealer Naman Kumar said many deals that had matured in May and June this year were settled in 2011. "No new deals are being arrived at this year," he said.



37 visually impaired students get scholarship
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
The National Federation of Blind (NFB), Punjab branch, distributed scholarship to 37 visually impaired students of thee universities and colleges of Punjab. Ram Murti, general secretary of the NFB Punjab branch, said in a press note issued here that the NFB Punjab branch today distributed scholarship to 37 students of different universities and colleges of Punjab.

The function for the purpose was organised at the Circuit House, Ludhiana. Mohmad Faiyaz Farooki, DIG, Ludhiana range, was the chief guest at the occasion. Ram Murti said that the scholarships were sponsored by industrialists of Ludhiana Gagan pal, Praveen Agarwal, Premji respectively.

The scholarships were about Rs 2 lakh. Each student was given Rs 5,000. In his inspiring massage, Farooki asked the student to work hard for attaining good higher education. He assured the federation that he would be always there to help them. Social activist and poet prof. Rajesh Mohan preside over the function. He also asked to the students to make the most of the opportunities. 



Woman suffers 80 % burns

Ludhiana, August 25
A 26-year-old woman suffered serious burn injuries after the cooking gas cylinder exploded at Sherpur village here today. The incident occurred at 8.30 pm when the victim identified as Poonam Gupta lit the cooking gas burner. In no time, the exploded.

Soon the house caught fire. On hearing the explosion, area residents rushed to her rescue. They managed to rescue her two-year-old son. The victim has suffered 80 per cent burns and her condition is stated to be critical.

Carjacking averted

Timely action by a youth averted a carjacking on the Ferozepur road here this evening. The youth’s father, Sukhpreet, said two persons waylaid his son and tried to take away the vehicle at gunpoint. When they fled with the vehicle, Sukhpreet’s son raised the alarm. Following which the police gave the accused a chase and managed to nab the duo.

4 vehicle thieves held

The police has arrested four members of a gang of thieves and recovered copper wire from them. The accused have been identified as Happy Sahota, Sodhi Sahota, Harneik Kala and their fourth accomplice a scrap dealer has confessed to have helped them in stealing transformers from the different places in Jalandhar. — TNS



Hospital still not operational
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
The fate of much awaited 50-bed ayurveda hospital at Model Gram hangs in the balance.
The work on the hospital started in October, 2010. The foundation stone of the hospital was laid on October 18, 2010, by the then health and family welfare minister Lakshmi Kanta Chawla and a five-month deadline was set for the completion of work. An amount of Rs 37 lakh has been spent on the project. The hospital awaits staff and furniture.

Doctors in the hospital are attending to OPD patients only. Dr Jaspreet Singh, ayurveda medical officer, said,"There are two doctors, one pharmacist, two attendants, one cook, one watchman, one sanitation worker and one clerk. We attend to OPD patients only."

There used be an ayurveda dispensary in the city which was converted into a 10-bed hospital. It is ironical that that the 10-bed hospital could never become functional. And now it has been converted into a 50-bed hospital, indeed a new building has been constructed this time.

The work on four more ayurvedic hospitals has started in Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar and Bathinda. These hospitals are being constructed under a project of the Central government, Upgradation of already functioning 10-bed hospitals to 50-bed hospitals".

Dr Rakesh Sharma, director, ayurveda, Punjab, said,"We have already received medicines worth Rs 2.22 crore from the Centre for these ayurveda hospitals and dispensaries. We have sent those for testing at Patiala pharmacy. We will distribute the medicines among state ayurvedic dispensaries."

Sources said, "We have started the selection process. As many as 133 employees have been recruited."

The ayurveda department has sent a requirement of 109 staff members to the state government. Dr Sharma said,"The hospitals will be made operational within a month." The five hospitals will have two specialists, two doctors in OPD (male and female), one resident doctor and one physiotherapist.



Green Land, BCM share honours
Anil Datt

A chess meet under way in Ludhiana.
A chess meet under way in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, August 25
Students of Green Land School, Jalandhar bypass, and BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar branch, shared honours in the Inter-School District Chess Competition (boys) organised by the district education department at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Kitchlu Nagar , here today.

Players from Green Land School emerged victorious in the U-17 as well as U-19 categories while BCM School clinched the title in the U-14 category.

Meanwhile, in the carrom competition (boys U-19) held at the same venue, BCM School, Basant City branch, secured top honours while BCM School, Shastri Nagar branch, and hosts BVM School, Kitchlu Nagar branch, finished second and third positions, respectively.


Boys U-14: BCM School, Shastri Nagar, 1, Green land School, Jalandhar bypass, 2 and BVM, Kitchlu Nagar, 3.

Boys (U-17) Green Land School, Jalandhar bypass, 1, BVM, Kitchlu Nagar, 2 and Green Land School, Sector 32, 3.



Tea vendor's wife yet to get relief
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
The third death anniversary of tea vendor Santosh Kumar who lost his life while overpowering dreaded terrorist Balbir Singh Bhootna when the latter was escaping from the railway station after injuring two policemen was observed today.

His wife Parvati's plea regarding job and compensation was turned down by the state government.

Her father Jagdish Mondal arrived at the house this morning and broke the news that rain had washed away her kutcha house in Bihar. He told her that the condition of her elder daughter was no better.

"If my husband's killing was not an act of terror, why is he considered a martyr. My husband was foolish to nab a terrorist as the government does not value bravery." Parvati said she was waiting for the Chief Minister to visit her shanty near the Jagraon Bridge and bail her out. "Brave people are considered foolish here. The government has failed to deliver on its promises. He should have thought about his wife and children," lamented Parvati.



Ambulance 108 crew save truck driver’s foot
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
A crew of Ambulance 108 came to rescue of a truck driver whose foot got stuck under the driver's seat after the truck which was on its way to Parwanoo from Ludhiana via Machhiwara fell into a pond besides the Neelon Canal this morning.

Jagdeep Singh, cluster head of Ludhiana-1 for Ambulance 108 service, said, "It was at 6.30 am today when we got a call from our call centre that a truck had fallen in to a pond near the Neelon canal. We rushed our emergency medical technician Sandeep Kumar and pilot Manpreet Singh to the spot.”

As the shift of crew of Ambulance 108 was to change at 6.30 am, so another EMT Suresh Kumar and Pilot Kulwant Singh (who were to be in the new shift) also joined Sandeep and Manpreet half an hour later at the accident sight.

EMT Suresh said, "As the truck fell into a six to seven feet deep pond , the left foot of truck driver Uttam Singh got stuck under the driver's seat in such a way that he was not able to take his foot out.

For about three hours the tuck driver had to stand up on his one foot. A crane was pressed into service to pull out the truck but was not able to do so. After sometime another crane was brought to pull out the truck from the pond. In the meantime we tried our level best to free his left foot and kept boosting up his morale.

Seeing no way out, we arranged for a gas cutter to cut away the driver's seat and finally Uttam Singh was able to free his foot that had got stuck. His foot had swollen due to the strain on it. So we shifted him to the Civil Hospital, Khanna, for timely treatment,” Singh said.



Heads of state police training centres meet
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, August 25
Sumedh Saini, Director General of Police, Punjab, visited Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, to discuss professional police training related priorities with the officers of the academy and the commandants of all the five other police recruitment training centres of the state police. A meeting of all the head of the police training institutions of the state was convened.

After an interaction with the heads of the police training institution in which all the training-related issues were discussed thread-bare. Saini said that sound professional training was the back-bone of operational efficacy and no effort would be spared to fine tune and strengthen the professional police training system.

He stated that the training process must aim to toughen mental and physical faculties of an individual police officer so that he able to measure up to the professional challenges with confidence and expertise.

Reflecting on the vital role of discipline in the day to day police functioning, Saini further expressed that the core attributes of the concept of discipline were fairness, objectivity and scrupulous adherence to ethical code of conduct. He urged all the trainers to inculcate the spirit of discipline amongst all the trainee police officers so that they may be able render quality service to the people in the real sense of the term.

Discussing issues related to the ongoing capacity building process, the DGP said that the basic requirements of the cutting-edge level police functionaries had to be addressed on a priority basis before contemplating the add-ons at a secondary stage.

Expressing general satisfaction over the overall training standards of the Punjab Police, Saini said that progressive amalgamation and integration of human resources training centres with the field units was essential.

SK Sharma, Additional DGP, Human Resource Development, Community Policing and Law and Order while giving a general overview of the overall professional training scenario in the state stressed the need for making police training for all the ranks more focused, purpose-specific.

Ten officers and jawans working in different police training institutions were decorated by the DGP with the DGP’s Commendation Discs for their laudable contribution in improving the overall professional police training standards. Ishwar Chander Sharma, Director, Punjab Police Academy, and C Sethi, IGP, Training R. was also present and participated in the deliberations. 



Driver, conductor thrashed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 25
The rivalry between auto-rickshaw drivers and operators of the city bus service took an ugly turn today when both the groups went up in arms following an accident on the Jalandhar Bypass.

The incident took place at 8pm when a motorcycle collided with the rear end of a bus near the Jalandhar bypass. The driver and the conductor of the bus identified as Ravinder and Rakesh respectively entered into an argument with the motorcyclist and soon auto-rickshaw drivers surrounded them and thrashed them. The duo alleged that after thrashing them they fled the scene.

Baljit Singh, manager, Ludhiana City Bus Service, said they had informed the Salem Tabri police about the incident.

He said earlier too, the group of auto-rickshaw drivers had attacked a driver and conductor of the city bus service. 



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