L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Homeless in search of shelter 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
With no place to call home, they have little hope but to wait out the winter. As chill sets in and frosty waves sweep the region, the homeless are the worst affected, courtesy the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, which has given a cold shoulder to their needs.
The locked temporary night shelter in the zila parishad building near Clock Tower; and quilts at the night shelter opposite the MC's Zone A office in Ludhiana.
(Top) The locked temporary night shelter in the zila parishad building near Clock Tower; and quilts at the night shelter opposite the MC's Zone A office in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma 

Many homeless die due to cold in winters every year, but this has failed to move the MC authorities. The civic body has also failed to comply with the orders of the Supreme Court which had asked all states to provide night shelters to the homeless in winters.

However, the MC converted two rooms in its fire brigade building near Manju Cinema and its cycle parking opposite the MC Zone A office at Mata Rani Chowk into temporary night shelters last year.

Though Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria claimed that the night shelter opposite the MC's Zone A office had been shifted to the Zila Parishad building near Clock Tower, but the truth is far from the reality. The night shelter was locked when The Tribune team visited the Zila Parishad building today. Quilts and mattresses were seen lying at the night shelter opposite the Zone A office of the MC.

The temporary night shelters are serving little purpose due to limited space. Moreover, the homeless prefer to stay near religious places where they get food, blankets and alms.

Last year, the civic body had also made arrangements for bonfire (using tree stumps) near Cheema Chowk, Bus Stand, Clock Tower and near Durga Mata Mandir, but this time, they too are missing.

Hundreds of people can be seen sleeping outside a temple near Jagraon Bridge, near a temple at Model Town Extension, on the divider of Jagraon Bridge, besides several other places.

A devotee said residents gave alms in the form of food and blankets to the homeless every day. "That is why, the homeless prefer to stay here. But if the MC constructs a shelter on the green belt along the boundary wall of the Government College for Girls, a large number of homeless could benefit from it," he said.

When contacted, Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said despite making adequate arrangements, the homeless don't use the MC's night shelters. "We are fully equipped and have recently taken four rooms of a Zila Parishad building near Clock Tower on rent for a temporary night shelter." But when told that the night shelter was still locked, the Mayor was surprised and assured that he would look into the matter.


Student raped, two arrested 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 29
The Jodhan police has arrested two youths of Saholi village in Ludhiana district who had been accused of raping a girl of the same village after drugging her on Thursday night.

The accused have been identified as Gurmeet Singh and Dharminder Singh. The victim, a first year student of fashion designer of Sat Guru Ram Singh Government Polytechnic College, Ludhiana, had alleged that the suspects had allegedly raped her after confining her in a room at her native village on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.

The police said the victim was waiting for a bus to her village at Mullanpur bus stand on Thursday evening when the accused offered her lift on their motorcycle. They allegedly took her to a deserted place after drugging her.

Some villagers informed Kuldeep Singh, the victim's cousin about the incident and he along with other members of the family rushed to rescue her.

The victim was shifted to the Pakhowal Civil Hospital in unconscious condition where she narrated the story to the police late in the evening on Friday.

The police arrested Gurmeet Singh and Dharminder Singh from separate places when they were trying to leave the area.

Investigations revealed that the victim was staying at the college hostel and had come to her village to get the UID card made.

The police is yet to confirm whether the victim had informed her parents that she was coming home after taking leave from the hostel and if the college rules permit girl students take leave on their own. 



City mourns death of gang rape victim
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
Various social organisations paid homage to the Delhi gang rape victim, who succumbed to her injuries in Singapore.

Off to a better world Artists pay a tribute to the Delhi gang rape victim through a wall painting in Ludhiana on Saturday
Off to a better world Artists pay a tribute to the Delhi gang rape victim through a wall painting in Ludhiana on Saturday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

ARS group comprising 25 artists, including students, lecturers, principals and freelance artists, is preparing a 65ft x 7ft painting highlighting issues such as rape, sexual assault and child abuse. The painting is being made at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Sarabha Nagar, and will be completed by December 31.

The painting will be put on display on New Year's Eve and the group also plans to exhibit its work at various schools and colleges. Manish Tewari, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, mourned the death of 23-year-old victim.

Staff and students of Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, also paid homage to the victim. They lit candles and paid floral tributes.Principal Mona Singh said gender sensitisation should be made an important part of education.

Dr Narjit Kaur, convener, Working Women Forum, said the government should take measures to ensure the safety of women.

Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha, said such crimes were committed by well-connected people.

Activists of the Rashtriya Hindu Manch also held a protest against the Delhi and Patiala rape cases. They demanded capital punishment for the accused.

A candle march was taken out by the Youth Congress in memory of the victim.

Raman Goyal, president, Helping Hands Club, demanded a fast-track proceeding of the case and strict punishment for the accused. 



crime against women
Female cops deputed at all police stations
Tribune Ness Service

Ludhiana, December 29
The city police has deputed female cops to listen to the complaints of women. The policewomen would inform the SHO of the women police station about the case.

A rape victim had committed suicide at Badshahpur village in Patiala after she was pressured by the SHO of the police station for a compromise.

Ludhiana Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh has asked the officials to ensure that the women visitors contact female cops before they meet the SHO or any male official of the police station concerned. Besides, the commissioner has suggested the women to make full use of the special helpline for women (0161-1091) for lodging their complaints.

In a separate order, the commissioner has asked all ADCPs, ACPs, SHOs, in-charges of police posts, heads of various cells and branches of city police to give priority to disposing of the complaints filed by women. 



NRI booked for deserting wife 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 29
The police has booked and Italy-based NRI for deserting his wife and two children. A case of cheating has been registered against the NRI, his father and mother on a complaint filed by Jaswant Kaur.

The NRI, Balvir Singh, his father Harnek Singh and mother Balvir Kaur are yet to be arrested. In her complaint, Jaswant Kaur stated that she got married to Balvir Singh, a resident of Chumo village near Malaud, in 2007. "After a month of the marriage, I too went to Italy on visitor's visa and we were blessed with two children. But after some time of the marriage, Balvir started picking up fights with me on trivial issues," alleged Jaswant Kaur.

"Last year, Balvir brought us to India stating that his father had suffered a heart attack. Some days after our arrival in India, he went to Italy without informing me. Though I called him several times, but he even refused to talk. He also took all the documents of both the children so they could not travel back to Italy," alleged the victim. 



Theft case: Police questions mobile phone shop owners 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 29
It was a tough day for mobile phone shop owners as a team of the Barnala police investigating a theft case conducted raids at Jagraon.

The police conducted raids for identifying mobile phone shopkeepers involved in the alleged sale of stolen mobiles. The Barnala police questioned around 10 shopkeepers.

Thieves had stolen over 200 mobile phones from a showroom in Barnala on August 18. A couple of days ago, the Barnala police managed to crack the theft case and arrested two youths for stealing mobile phones. The accused, identified as Jugnu and Bittu, are residents of Mohalla Mukandpuri in Jagraon.

The police arrested another accused from Jagraon, identified as Gurpreet Singh, is also a Jagraon resident, today. During the course of the investigations, the accused confessed to stealing mobile phones. The accused also revealed that they had sold the stolen phones to shopkeepers of Jagraon. Following this, a police team from Barnala lead by ASI Sarabjit Singh conducted raids. The police team accompanied by the accused visited various mobile shops and questioned the shop owners.

ASI Sarabjit Singh said some shopkeepers admitted of purchasing stolen mobile phones from the accused. "We conducted raids on the basis of information obtained from the accused," said the ASI.

The police has also confiscated mobile phones and further investigations are on. The police has summoned the owners of these shops to Barnala for further investigations. 



Scrap dealer accuses police of inaction
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
Alleging police inaction, a scrap dealer from Jalandhar stated that the accused who had robbed him of copper worth Rs 7.39 lakh in 2010 were roaming freely. Paunty Rajpal, president of the Jalandhar Metal Merchant Association, alleged that the police was not arresting the accused at the behest of the of a local politician.

He added that the police had been telling him to strike a compromise with the opposite party.

Munish Kumar, owner of JP Trading Company, Jalandhar, alleged, "There were some local scrape dealers who did not want us to continue our business in Ludhiana. They often picked up quarrels with us on the issue."

"We had purchased copper worth Rs 7.39 lakh from a local firm, Sukhi Trading Company, and loaded it on a tempo as it had to be delivered in Jalandhar on December 5, 2010.

The driver of the tempo, Ram Rattan, who was one of the accomplice, and the accused, Sunil Kumar, owner of Prem Wire Products, Bharti, owner of Bharti Trading Company, and his son Rohit, unloaded the copper and stole it.

A case was registered under Sections 420, 406 and 120-B on December 18, 2010."



A happening and entertaining year
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Bollywood actor Manoj Joshi stages a play ‘Chanakya’ at Guru Nanak Bhawan; and (left) Harminder Boparai showcases his work during an art exhibition in Ludhiana.
Bollywood actor Manoj Joshi stages a play ‘Chanakya’ at Guru Nanak Bhawan; and (left) Harminder Boparai showcases his work during an art exhibition in Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan 

Ludhiana, December 29
Ludhiana is the city of happening people. A number of exhibitions were held during the year. A foodies club and movie buffs club were the new additions to the city's arena. Art exhibitions and lifestyle exhibitions rocked the city every year and towards the end Katrina Kaif took the city by storm as she performed during the Kabaddi World Cup final.

Foodies club

A group of 45 persons, who got together through BBM, formed a foodies club. They meet every month and share the delicacies from around the world. "It is a group of like-minded people who love to splurge on food. We meet once a month and every one comes with a dish," said Swastika Dutta Sobti, owner of Cake Square.

Film Yi Club

With Film Yi Club coming up in the city, movie buffs had a new venue to watch and discuss the movies. The club was launched by city-based young industrialists, doctors and advocates, who are a part of the Ludhiana chapter of Young Indians (an integral part of the Confederation of Indian Industry). These members screen movies which are not released in theatres and multiplexes at their places one by one.

Katrina stole hearts

Katrina Kaif gave a scintillating performance at Kabaddi World Cup and took the city by storm. All roads were leading to Guru Nanak Dev Stadium on the day of the final, with fans wanting to catch a glimpse of their favourite star.


Both lifestyle and art exhibitions were held in the city from time to time. Women thronged the exhibitions, Wedding Asia, Celebrating Vivah, Woman 2012. While those with an artistic bent of mind had their share at the exhibitions which were put up at Artmosphere Art Gallery and MS Randhawa Art Gallery. 



A special day, indeed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
More than 1,000 students from 20 schools, meant for destitute children, participated in an awareness programme and a cultural function organised under the Nation Child Labour Project at Guru Nanak Bhawan today.

ADC (Development) Rishipal was the chief guest. The children, who do odd jobs during the day for living and study in the evening, showcased their talent. Rahul (13), a rag-picker, was thrilled. He said, "Until now I was cleaning chairs and picking rags, but today not only I got a chance to sit in the chair, but also to perform on the stage. I will never forget the day," said Rahul. Similar sentiments were seen on the faces of Neha, Sharda and Radha, the trio goes to work as domestic helps along with their mothers. Today, they performed on stage and won a prize. "It is like a dream come true for us. We did not work today, but here we got a prize for our performance." Surjit Singh of Dr Ambedkar Nagar Welfare Society, who won a prize for educating poor children, thanked the ADC for making the programme a success.

PWD Minister Sharanjit Dhillon and SAD MLA Simarjit Bains said they would do their bit to uplift the standard of destitute children.



Woman booked for confining daughter-in-law, grandson

Ludhiana, December 29
The police has booked a 55-year-old woman for confining her daughter-in-law and grandson. The woman, identified as, Sushma Jain, was booked under Section 342 of the IPC for wrong confinement following the complaint of Gunjan Jain.

The accused an complainant reside in Surya Vehar near Raghunath Enclave.

The complainant said she had a dispute with her in-laws and the matter was being investigated by ADCP-I Nilambari Vijay Jagdale.

Gunjan said yesterday the official had summoned her and her mother- in-law Sushma. But Sushma locked Gunjan and her son inside the house and went to the office of ADCP-I. Sushma marked her attendance and feigned ignorance about Gunjan's whereabouts.

Gunjan reportedly contacted the official and narrated the entire incident. Without wasting time, the ADCP sent policemen to check the authenticity of Gunjan's claims.

Gunjan was found locked inside the house. Sushma was arrested and released on bail later. — TNS



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