L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Chill sets in, mercury plunges to 5.4° Celsius
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Winter chill has set in early this year as the minimum temperature plummeted to 5.4 degrees Celsius today. The dense fog engulfed the city on Sunday morning affecting the movement of vehicles.

The city recorded a maximum temperature of 13.2 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 5.4 degrees. The weatherman said the minimum temperature was likely to witness a slight rise in the coming days. However, residents will have to battle with dense fog for some more days.

A thin layer of fog kept floating in the morning and it restricted penetration of sunrays leading to a drop in the day temperature. The cold wind also added to the chill. This forced the city residents to remain indoors.

The worst affected were morning walkers and commuters. Though there was less traffic on city roads it being Sunday, the morning fog hit the rail and road traffic. Bus drivers complained of low visibility. Malkit Singh, a bus driver, said the morning services were badly hit.

However, experts say the weather is normal and chill is expected to set in by mid-December. PAU agro-meteorologist KK Gill said: “There is nothing abnormal about the weather. A total of 15 mm of rainfall has been recorded this winter. This is beneficial for crops, including wheat.”

Road traffic hit

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Fog threw life out of gear in the town on Sunday. Though train movement was affected slightly, road traffic was affected adversely due to poor visibility. — OC


Fog effect: 4 killed, 1 hurt in accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Four persons were killed when a car they were travelling in rammed into a tree on Hambran Road last night.

The fifth occupant sustained serious injuries in the accident.

Poor visibility due to fog was stated to be the reason behind the mishap.

The deceased were identified as Sahil, Sanjay, Shivaji and Satyam, all resident of Haibowal. Sahil, Sanjay and Shivaji died on the spot while the fourth victim, Satyam, succumbed in to his injuries this evening. The fifth and the lone survivor, Mikku, was rushed to the DMCH, where his condition is stated to be critical. The five friends were on a pilgrimage. When they reached Hambran Road, the driver lost control over the vehicle which rammed into the tree.

The Mullapur police also reached the spot and took the bodies to the Civil Hospital for an autopsy.



Rail traffic goes off track
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Most of the long distance trains continued to run behind schedule due to dense fog for the second consecutive day today.

Railway officials said the New Delhi-Amritsar Shan-e-Punjab Express was running 3.30 hours behind schedule and the Chhattisgarh Express and the New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express were running late by an hour.

Among the up trains, the Schkhand Express was running hours late, while the Kolkata-Amritsar Express was delayed by five hours.

Ravinder Sharma, station superintendent, said: “Low visibility due to fog has made the situation worse for passengers in the region. Some of the trains have been running late by several hours.”



Flights schedule goes haywire at Sahnewal airport
Navigation system not operational yet
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
When the Sahnewal flights were cancelled last year, residents pressurised the government to put in efforts to streamline the flights.

Giving in to the pressure, the government decided to install doppler very high frequency omni range (DVOR) at the Sahnewal airport.

Finally, the instrument was installed in July-August at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore. But even after a year of the installation of the DVOR, the problem persists.

Thanks to the "callous" attitude adopted by the Airports Authority of India, the DVOR is yet to be made operational, as the "approval" from the Director-General, Civil Aviation (DGCA), is still awaited.

The airport officials have started cancelling the flights, citing one reason or the other.

Talking to The Tribune, JK Jain, Director (AAR), Sahnewal airport, said a few flights were cancelled recently.

"Two-three flights were cancelled due to a snag and yesterday's flight was cancelled due to inclement weather and poor visibility," said Jain.

When asked how much time the DGCA will take to send the approval so that the DVOR could be made operational, Jain said all the formalities had already been completed, just a nod was required for the operation of the instrument.

But the Airports Authority of India has been making such claims for the past two months and it has perturbed the industrialists and residents who have to catch the flights from Chandigarh or have to travel by train or by road.

Sunil Jain, an industrialist, lamented that despite repeated requests, the government and the Airports Authority of India had failed to live up to the expectations of the residents.

"It is a sorry state of affairs. Crores of rupees have been spent on the installation of the instrument. Ludhiana, being an industrial hub, needs a proper airport from where one can easily catch flights to save time. It is our long-pending demand, but nothing has been done to fulfil it so far," Jain added.

What is DVOR?

Doppler very high frequency omni range (DVOR) is a basic electronic navigation system. The DVOR navigation method relies on ground-based transmitters which emit signals to the DVOR receiver in the aircraft. The DVOR system operates in the VHF frequency band. For optimum operation, the aircraft must be on the minimum altitude of 1,000 feet above ground in order to pick up an omni signals service range. A display indicator in the aircraft reads the signals and tells pilots if they are on course and how far they are from the airport.



JE crushed to death, crowd torches bus
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 23
A junior engineer (JE) working with Punjab State Power Corporation Limited was crushed to death by a speeding bus of a private company on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway near Mullanpur Dakha today.

After the accident, a furious crowd first beat up the bus driver, Harjinder Singh, and then torched the bus before handing him over to the police. The police has impounded the bus.

The deceased was identified as Vishwa Nath (53).

As per information, the victim was going towards Mullanpur Dakha on his motorcycle. When he reached near Dakha link road, the bus hit his motorcycle.

Passersby said the bus, belonging to Fazilka-Dabwali Transport Company, was plying at a high speed. While overtaking the motorcycle, the driver lost control over the vehicle and the bus hit the motorcycle. Vishwa died on the spot.

Sources said instead of stopping the bus after the accident, the bus driver sped up the bus and did not even stop it at the Mullanpur Dakha bus stop where it was supposed to drop some passengers.

However, the passengers managed to stop the bus near Baddowal, following which a violent crowd beat up the bus driver and torched the bus.

A police team from Mullanpur Dakha also reached the spot and pacified the crowd. The police said a case had been registered against the bus driver and a probe was on.

Admitting that the bus driver was thrashed by the furious crowd, he said the driver was administered first-aid.

The body was handed over to the family after an autopsy.



NRI booked for harassing wife
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 23
The foreign dreams of a woman turned sour when her Canada-based NRI husband reportedly demanded Rs 30 lakh from her saying he would not take her to Canada in case she did not pay the money.

The Jagraon police has booked four persons, including the victim's husband, Amandeep Singh, father-in-law Harjit Singh Mann, mother-in-law Nargis Mann, all residents of Gure village, and middle man Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Galib Kalan village.

All the accused, except the middleman, are in Canada at present.

In her complaint to the police, Ravinder Kaur, said she tied the knot with Amandeep Singh in March 2008.

"After a few days, my mother-in-law and father-in-law returned to Canada. Amandeep spent around a month with me and then he left for Canada. Before leaving, Amandeep asked me to stay with his maternal family at Galib Kalan village and promised me that he would take me to Canada soon," complained Ravinder Kaur.

"After around two years, Kuldeep Singh started harassing me and demanded Rs 30 lakh from my family," alleged Ravinder Kaur.

Following this, Ravinder Kaur approached the Jagraon police and lodged a complaint. Confirming the development, SHO of the Jagraon NRI police station Sandeep Kumar stated that the police had been conducting raids to nab the middleman, Kuldeep Singh, who has been on the run.

"The police has also started proceedings to get the accused deported to India," added the SHO.



Uneasy calm prevails in city

Ludhiana, December 23
Politicians and religious leaders reached Bhaini Sahib to pay homage to the late Satguru Jagjit Singh, former head of Namdhari Darbar, during his bhog ceremony today.

There was an uneasy calm in the city. Heavy security was deployed. Commissioner of Police while exercising his magisterial powers banned the carrying of arms in public area.

The security was also beefed up in the wake of a protest by the followers of Thakur Dalip Singh recently, who were opposing the coronation of Uday Singh as next head of Namdhari Darbar.

The intelligence agencies were apprehending a similar protest during the bhog ceremony. Instead of travelling by Chandigarh Road, commuters opted for the National Highway-1 to reach the tricity.

The police said no untoward incident was reported in the city. The security forces were withdrawn in the evening. — TNS



Punjab excel in national games
Despite invitation for closing ceremony, teachers fail to get seats
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service
Poor seating arrangements lead to chaos at the stadium
Poor seating arrangements lead to chaos at the stadium. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan
Punjab team in a jubilant mood after being declared the overall winner at the 58th National School Games in Ludhiana
Punjab team in a jubilant mood after being declared the overall winner at the 58th National School Games in Ludhiana. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, December 23
Amidst competition by strong and powerful contenders from across the country, Punjab secured first position in most of the games held at the PAU grounds of the 58th National School Games in the last six days in Ludhiana. On the closing ceremony of the games, the District Education Office had invited all teachers from schools of the district to participate in the closing ceremony. But due to the limited sitting arrangement at the stadium, most of the teachers were seen searching for seats and roaming outside the stadium.

In the hockey men final (under19) match, Punjab beat Odisha by 6-0. Meanwhile, all kabaddi events were won by the Punjab players.

The Director General of School Education (DGSE), Kahan Singh Pannu, Inderbir Singh Bularia, Chief Parliamentary Secretary and Dr Kamal Garg DPI (SS) gave away prizes to the winning teams and players.

During his address, Pannu said that last period in schools would be reserved for the sports and cultural activities. He said that games like kho-kho did not require much infrastructure so the department would encourage such games on the primary level.

Holidays in govt schools from today

After winning the overall trophy, Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka announced that there would be a holiday tomorrow. Now, winter holidays will start from Monday. Earlier Education department had announced that winter holidays in government schools would start from Tuesday.



Ward no. 5 in troubled waters
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 23
The residents of various localities of Ward No. 5 of Jagraon Municipal Council have been facing a lot of inconvenience due to delay in the work of fixing interlocking tiles in the area.

According to local residents, the contractor who has been awarded the work of fixing interlocking tiles in the area had dug in the cemented streets four weeks back but the work of fixing interlocking tiles has not been started. As a result, the localities in this ward are flooded with dirty sewerage water.

Irked over the unhygienic conditions of the area, the residents held a protest and raised slogans against the local municipal council officials here today. The protesting residents threatened to block Raikot road if their demand of cleaning the chocked sewerage is not met within a given time frame.

The area residents said the sewerage of the area has been lying unattended for many days and despite their repeated requests the authorities of the municipal council, Jagraon, had paid no attention towards the problem faced by them.

"We have to face difficulties due to dirty sewerage water accumulated on the streets of our locality. The presence of dirty sewerage water in front of our houses has made our lives a virtual hell," said Charanjit Singh, a local resident.

"The dirty sewerage water not only presents a bad look but the area also keeps stinking. We have informed the councillor of our Ward and other authorities of the municipal council but they have failed to address our problem," said Hakam Singh, another resident.

Municipal council president Baldev Krishan Dhir said, "He is aware of the problem faced by the area residents and the work of fixing interlocking tiles will be started very soon."

Dhir said the work of fixing interlocking tiles was stopped as the council was also laying sewerage pipes in the area. Now the work of laying sewerage pipes has been accomplished, the work of fixing interlocking tiles would also start in couple of days.



delhi’s shame
Protests continue in district
Tribune reporters

Ludhiana, December 23
People from all walks of life, including youngsters and senior citizens, came together to seek justice for the 23- year old who was gangraped and assaulted by six persons in a moving bus in Delhi on last Sunday night, by hold a peaceful candlelight march from Durga Mata Mandir to the Phase-1 market.

Besides, organising candle-marches, people have been making appeals on the facebook for providing justice to the victim. They are emanding capital punishment for the rapists.

Meanwhile, Rajeshwari Gosain, vice-chairman, Durga Mata Mandir, Dugri organised the candlelight march to generate awareness among the masses on the safety of women and girls.

Jagraon: A large number of people including women, students as well as the representatives of various non-government organisations held a candlelight vigil here today to express solidarity with the 23 years old victim.

Residents also prayed for an early recovery of the girl who has been undergoing treatment at a New Delhi hospital. A protest march was also organised during which the protestors shouted slogans against the police department for failing to guard the women and demanded a strict action against the accused. The protest march started from Chowk Charkhrian and concluded at Rani Jhansi Chowk before passing through various roads of the town.



Petrol dealers seek hike in commission on lubricants
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 23
The Petrol Pump Dealers’ Association, Punjab, has made a fervent plea to the government to enhance the commission on lubricants (mobil oil) to five per cent.

Addressing a news conference here today, chief patron of the association Sukhminder Pal Singh Grewal, who is also the national secretary of the Federation of All India Petroleum Traders, said that commission of the petrol dealers had not been increased for the last 25 years, whereas, the prices of mobil oil have gone up several times during the period.

Taking credit for the increase in commission on petrol, Grewal said the government and the oil-marketing companies had relented only due to untiring efforts made in this regard by Ashok Badwar, the president and other office-bearers of the Federation of All India Petroleum Traders. The body is also taking up other problems being faced by the petrol dealers with the government and the oil companies.

He claimed that the issue of extravagant expenditure being incurred by the oil -marketing companies for opening new retail outlets, which were causing a huge drain on their financial health, was also raised by the federation with the government. "As a result, the Union Petroleum Ministry has imposed a ban on the oil companies to spend any money towards opening of new outlets.

Grewal said, there were more than 42,000 retail outlets for petrol and diesel in the country, and these were catering to the needs of the people. But still the oil companies were indiscriminately vying with each other to open more and more outlets, which had now stopped due to the government intervention, he added.

Grewal said a process had been set in motion to give shape to the organisational set up of the association in Punjab. The state unit office-bearers have been assigned the task of preparing grounds for formation of district bodies with proper representation to the petrol dealers of the area.



reporters’ diary
Flyover to miss deadline again

The under-construction flyover in place of Lakkar Bridge connecting Old City with Civil Lines will miss another deadline as the bridge will not be completed by December-end. The pace at which the work is being executed makes it difficult, if not impossible, to complete the project even in the next six months. The Railways and the construction agency are playing the blame game. The contractor said the final drawings were delayed while the railway authorities deny the delay on their part. However, the ultimate sufferers are city residents, who have no option but to wait for some more month before the project is complete.

Deriving pleasure from another's suffering

Wedding parties are a pain, especially when you are stuck in a traffic jam caused due to these. A few days ago when I was on my way back home after calling it a day at the office, I was caught in a traffic jam caused due to a wedding party at Aarti Chowk. After remaining stranded for quite sometime, I urged an elderly person, a member of the wedding party, to give me the passage. Instead of helping me, he said:"Pata nahin mein kaun haan, mein munde da taya," and saying this he again started dancing in his own style without caring for the inconvenience caused to others.

Don't lose focus

The Delhi gang-rape incident has generated public outrage. People from all walks of life have come in support of the victim. They organised candle march and peaceful marches to put pressure on the government to provide security to the women. And in this movement, the male counterparts have extended their support. But certain organisations have started joining the campaign in order to gain publicity. A senior citizen said: "Realising our moral duty, we need to join hands to support the victim. We should not make a mockery of the movement."

Insensitive media

It has been learnt that during the 58th National School Games, many players suffered injuries and some were having health problems. A group of journalists and onlookers gathered around an injured player and started quizzing him, not bothering about his injury. All this led to inconvenience to the medical team which rushed to the spot to attend the injured player.

(Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Anupam Bhagria, Shivani Bhakoo and Charanjeet Singh Teja)



CM visits Samrala Civil Hospital

Samrala December 23
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today visited Samrala Civil Hospital and inquired about the health of 26 patients admitted in the hospital about their well being.

He questioned the patients about the treatment being provided to them in the hospital. Chief Minister inquired about the facilities available in the hospital. He appealed to the doctors to work more efficiently.—OC



Kashmiri food festival gets underway in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
A Christmas carnival was held today at the lawns of Sutlej Club. The carnival witnessed plenty of games and dance performances. It was inuagurated by Shinjni Tiwari, wife of Rahul Tiwari, deputy commissioner. The club was decorated to match the occasion.

In the evening, a Kashmiri and Lakhnavi Food Festival was kickstarted at the club lawns. Dr Rohit Dutta, General Secretary of the club, said: "As many as 50 delicacies from Kashmir and Lakhnavi will be the main attraction of the festival." “The festival will that kickstarted today will go on till December 29. Live ghazals will be performed at the lawns for the entertainment of the members and their dependents," said Dr Dutta.

Meanwhile, the Christmas celebrations will be held at Lodhi club on December 25. The club authorities said that a magician from Delhi had been called for the Christmas day.



from colleges
Motivational talk

Col Ashwani Kumar, Commanding Officer 3 Punjab Girls Bn NCC, Ludhiana, gave a motivational talk to over 400 NCC Girl cadets of Ludhiana (covering 19 colleges and schools) attending Combined Annual Training Camp at the Government College for Girls. Addressing the cadets, he emphasised on the need for maximum number of girls to join NCC. He assured the cadets that his motivated team of instructors led by Captain Lovy Sharma (Deputy Camp Commandant), instructors from the Army, Girl Cadet Instructors, & Associate NCC Officers will inculcate qualities of comradeship, integrity, team spirit, discipline and benevolence amongst the cadets. The talk by the Commanding Officer culminated with NCC song.


Prof Harpreet Singh Dua of GGN Khalsa College, Ludhiana, was elected unopposed as the member of the Syndicate of Panjab University, Chandigarh, today, from the language faculty of the university.Earlier he was elected to the senate for the third consecutive term from the affiliated college teachers' constituency. He is the only teacher from the city to be elected to the syndicate.

NSS volunteers interact with senior citizens

NSS volunteers of the Doraha College of Education, Doraha, visited 'Heavenly Palace', a senior citizen home at Rampur village on the day four of the weeklong NSS camp. Volunteers interacted with senior citizens. One of the residents there is renowned Punjabi actor Satish Kaul. After the visit movies show was organised in the college seminar hall.



330 kg of contraband seized, 1 held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 23
The Dehlon police has claimed to have busted a gang of drug traffickers that has been supplying poppy husk among farmers and labourers of the area by organising vends at deserted places of the region for the last many years.

Eleven bags of the contraband weighing 330 kg were recovered from a deserted place along the bank of Abohar branch of the Sirhind Canal near Narangwal village in Ludhiana district last evening. Local distributor identified as Prem Singh Prem of Narangwal village was arrested from the spot when he had come to handover the present consignment. The others managed to flee.

They were later identified as Charanjit Singh Chani of Kapurthala, Karnail Singh Kaila of Jallandhar, Atar Singh Bittu of Ferozepur and Darshan Singh, alias Satnam Singh of Ludhiana.

Gill Gurpreet Singh Sikand, Assistant Commissioner of Police, informed that a police party had nabbed Prem when he was preparing to distribute poppy husk among his regular 'customers' by organising a vend at a deserted place near Narangwal village near here on Saturday evening.



crime file
2 snatchers held

Ludhiana: The police today arrested two teenagers and recovered six mobile phones from their possession. The two have been identified as Satpal Singh Kaka, alias Navi (19), Harmel Singh, alias Anmol Singh.

Investigating officer Sanjiv Kumar said the two were school dropouts and were involved in snatching incidents.

2 booked for sand mining

The police today booked two persons for sand mining. The accused, Inderjit Singh and Sukhbir Singh, were nabbed while they were sitting in the farming tractor and selling sand on a vacant plot near the CMC.

SHO of division number 2 Gurpreet Singh said a raid was conducted following a tip-off.

There had been complaints that the two were selling stolen sand in the market. A case under Section 21 of the Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Act has been registered.

Man held with drugs

Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Dehlon village, was held with drugs. Gurpreet Singh, who visited the Ludhiana Central Jail to meet his relatives was frisked by the jail guards. They found 20gm of opium from Gurpreet's possession and informed the police about it, following which he was arrested. — TNS



cheque bounce case
Industrialist, wife get one-year imprisonment
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 23
Vivek Gupta, and his wife Parul Gupta, both directors of Virat Knitwears Private Limited, have been sentenced to one-year imprisonment by a local court. They were found guilty and were convicted for offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, read with Section 420 of the IPC. A fine of Rs 2,000 each has also been imposed on them, and in the event of default, they will further undergo 15 days imprisonment.

In his criminal complaint, Mohan Lal Maini, a resident of BRS Nagar, had submitted that the he had given a loan of Rs 10,000 to the accused persons. A cheque for the same amount issued by Vivek Gupta and co-accused Parul Gupta on behalf of the respondent company to discharge their legal liability of repaying the loan, had been returned unpaid twice by the bank for "insufficient funds".

The complainant said that he had issued a statutory notice to Virat Knitwears and its directors for making the payment against the bounced cheque, for which he did not get any response.

During the trial of the case, the accused persons denied the allegations, and took a stand that the said cheque had, in fact, been lost, and the complainant was trying to take advantage of the situation by implicating them in a cheque bounce case. The defence produced documentary evidence of lodging a police complaint of the cheque having been lost and issuing directions to the bank to "stop payment" of the cheque.

In his judgement, Shri Rahul Kumar, Judicial Magistrate, observed that keeping in view the facts of the case and in the light of the evidence led by both the parties, this court is of the considered opinion that it has been duly proved on record that the said cheque was issued by the accused party in due discharge of legal liability, but the accused failed to make the payment of the said cheque despite of the notice issued to them.

Holding the accused persons guilty of offences under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, the court awarded both of them one-year simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,000 each.



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