L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Minor raped by youth who saved her
He had physical relations with her on the pretext of marrying her
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
Seventeen-year-old Meera Kumari (name changed), daughter of a migrant couple of the Subhash Nagar area, was allegedly raped by 22-year-old Balwinder Singh, alias Beeru, who had "saved" the victim after she jumped into the Sidhwan Canal, near Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, in an attempt to end her life. The Salemtabri police has registered a case against Balwinder, who has absconded. His father Amarjit Singh has been taken into custody.

A medical examination of the victim was conducted at the Civil Hospital today.

The SHO of the Salemtabri police station, Dharampal, said Meera worked in a factory as a daily wage earner along with her mother. A boy, who worked in the same factory, became friendly with Meera. As the boy had to go to his native village for some days, he gave Meera his photograph and telephone number and asked her to be in touch with him. Meera used to speak to the boy on the phone.

When the Manager of the factory came to know about their friendship, he called Meera and told her not to indulge in such activities on the premises of the factory. The girl got scared that the manager might inform her mother about their friendship.

On January 16, Meera, in an attempt to end her life, went to Phillaur to jump into the Sutlej. A few passers-by stopped her from jumping into the river. They even made Meera sit in an auto and told her to return to her parents. However, she went to a place near Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and jumped into the Sidhwan canal. Two youngsters saw her and they jumped into the canal to save Meera.

"The youngsters saved her from drowning. One of the youngsters, Balwinder Singh, alias Beeru, took Meera to his shanty near Best Price on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar road. He told his father Amarjit Singh that he wanted to marry the girl. The father gave them garlands and told them to exchange as done in a marriage ritual. He blessed them, telling them that they could lead a married life. Beeru stayed there that night and had physical relations with her.

“In the morning, Beeru took Meera to his cousin's place in Janta Nagar and said he got married to her and would return soon to take her back. But he did not come back. The girl asked someone to call her mother. She spoke to her parents, who narrated the whole incident to the police.


113 girls abducted in 2012
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
The cases of abduction had witnessed an increase in the industrial capital of Punjab in 2012. Though it is generally believed that a majority of the "abducted" girls must have willingly gone with their acquaintances, if the girl is a minor, a case of abduction has to be registered against the accused.

The data procured from the Police Department reveals 113 girls were abducted from the city in 2012 compared to 87 in 2011. Of them 101 came back to the parents/guardians. Eightyfour girls were minors.

In 2011, 87 girls were abducted (according to FIRs) while 72 of them returned to their homes. Of the abducted girls, 59 were minors.

One of the police officials said the number could be much bigger. For the fear of social stigma, many parents do not make public the news of their missing daughters. "A majority of adolescents are often lured by their near and dear ones and their parents know about it. But, being a sensitive issue, most parents prefer to rescue their abducted daughters on their own," said the official.

In the wake of the brutal gang rape in Delhi, cases of "abduction" are being reported in large numbers. Medical professionals feel at this vulnerable age, an easy access to movies, mobile phones and the Internets, etc, make adolescents impulsive.

‘Maintain healthy environment at home’
Dr Ravinder Kala, a city-based psychiatrist, said it was wrong to say that a majority of abduction cases were basically "elopements". She added the psychological environment in the country was responsible for the rising number of elopements. "Children grow, witness hormonal changes, become impulsive, want their own identity, etc. A majority of such cases take place where children do not share a good, healthy communication with their parents. Adolescents who do not share a good rapport with their parents are vulnerable to threat, blackmailing and manipulation, etc. We need to maintain a healthy environment at home,"

What parents should do
Parents need to spend about an hour with their children
During this time, there must not be any complaint, comparison and nagging by parents.
It should be an interaction, in which children should be allowed to express their feelings.
When children confide in you something, you need to guide them in a gentle way rather than shouting at them.

What kids must realise
Adolescents should realise that their parents are their best friends and they can count on them blindly
Children must not hide anything from their parents



violation of building bylaws
Damocles’ sword over owners of SCOs in Feroze Gandhi Market
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 18
After sitting on the crucial matter of brazen violations of building bylaws by the owners of shop-cum-offices (SCOs) in the posh commercial hub in the Feroze Gandhi Market for the past several years, the Municipal Corporation has finally decided to initiate action as per the law against the violations of non-compoundable nature. In the first phase, sealing operations will commence the next week at 50-odd SCOs, which had been put on notice for the extension of buildings beyond their sanctioned plans.

Alleging that the officials of the building branch of the MC were in collusion with the violators, Rohit Sabharwal, president of the Council of RTI Activists, had filed a complaint before the Principal Secretary, Local Government, Punjab, on September 17, 2012. He had maintained in the complaint that the gross violations and unauthorised extensions carried out in the SCOs in Feroze Gandhi Market were very well in the knowledge of the officials of the building branch, but still no action had been taken in this regard, which smacked of "corruption".

Sabharwal followed up his complaint with three reminders sent to the Punjab government on October 18, 2012, November 30, 2012, and January 5, 2013. He also obtained copies of the notices served on the owners of the SCOs for violations of the building norms in May, 2011, under the Right to Information Act.

The officials of the building branch of the MC confirmed that the complaint filed by Sabharwal had been forwarded to the MC authorities for taking a stringent action as per the law against the violators of the building bylaws.

"Non-compliance of the notices issued under section 269 (1) of the Punjab Municipal Act-1976 to the owners of SCOs for violations of the building bylaws is being viewed seriously. We shall commence sealing drive in the next week and subsequently all the unauthorised constructions and illegal portions of the SCOs will be demolished at the cost of the owners," said Assistant Town Planner, Zone D, Rajinder Sharma.



Thieves strike at will in city
Steal safe carrying Rs 9 lakh from godown, cellphones worth Rs 5 lakh from shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
Four incidents of theft and robbery took place in different areas in the city in the past 24 hours. Thieves decamp with mobile phones worth Rs 5 lakh, Rs 1 lakh in cash and other valuables.

Robbers struck at a godown in the Sunder Nagar area and fled with the safe in which Rs 9 lakh were kept. The manager of the godown was sleeping on the first floor when the incident happened. The robbers thrashed the gatekeeper and broke the aluminium doors of the godown to gain entry into the room where the safe was kept. The safe weighed about 3 quintal. The incident took place at around 1 am last night. The police reached the spot and took finger prints from the crime scene.

The manager, Vikram stays on the first floor of the godown while watchman Umesh Chandra Mishra was on night duty when the incident took place. Mishra said three youngsters, who were wielding weapons, entered the premises by scaling a wall.

The police said workers of the godown could be involved in the robbery.

In another incident that took place at Dhandari, thieves decamped with mobile phones worth Rs 5 lakh and Rs 60,000 cash. The theft took place at a shop namely Surjit Telecom. Its owner Amandeep Singh came to know about the theft when he went to open the shop at around 10 am. Thieves also struck at a chartered accountant’s office and stole Rs 40,000 after breaking the shutters. The chartered accountant, Kuldeep Suneja said he left his office at around 10 pm. In the morning when he came to office he found the shutters broken. The thieves burnt the files lying in the office to light up the room and took away the cash. The police claims it had got some clues about the thieves after scanning the recordings of a CCTV camera installed at the nearby office.

Thieves took away steel taps and about 50 metres of electricity wire from a house, which is situated near the chartered accountant’s office.



Historical Gate a shambles
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, January 18
Even as we are celebrating the birthday of the tenth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, the gate named after him in Sahnewal is crying for attention.

The gate of Guru Gobind Singh Marg (GGS marg) is famous for the reason that Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, travelled from this route from Anandpur Sahib to Talwandi Sabo.

It is believed by the residents that every place on Guru Gobind Singh Marg has sanctity.

"The gate is not only a historical gate but a spot from which Guru Gobind Singh treaded at one time and changed the course of history, transformed lives of many people and made them unique in appearance and deeds," said one resident.

Another resident said, "Unfortunately today the gate of Guru Gobind Singh Marg is in a shabby condition. It seems that the government has paid little attention towards its upkeep ever since it was first erected. It appears that the erection of the gate and naming it after the tenth guru was the sole motto and nothing above that. The thought of its maintenance or repair, it seems, has never crossed the mind of any government."

Kanwaljit Shanker, President, International Punjabi Cultural Club said, "The Punjab government should better learn something from the Haryana government which has, on the auspicious occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, named 100 km road stretch from Punjab border to Rajasthan border as Guru Gobind Singh Marg. If they can be thoughtful enough to name the road in the sacred memory of the guru, why can't we spare a thought to preserve one which has already been named after him long time ago?"

PWD Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said, "We consider it as our duty to preserve as to what is named after the great guru but the present situation is such that due to the six-laning of the national highway and the widening of roads, the gate may have to be shifted from its original place. But whatever ever the situation is, I will attend it personally and make the necessary repairs done at the earliest."

The Punjab government should better learn something from the Haryana government which has, on the auspicious occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, named 100 km road stretch from Punjab border to Rajasthan border as Guru Gobind Singh Marg. If they can be thoughtful enough to name the road in the sacred memory of the guru, why can't we spare a thought to preserve one which has already been named after him long time ago?
— Kanwaljit Shanker, President, International Punjabi Cultural Club

The gate is not only a historical gate but a spot from which Guru Gobind Singh treaded at one time and changed the course of history, transformed lives of many people and made them unique in appearance and deeds
— Sharanjit Singh Dhillon,
PWD Minister

We consider it as our duty to preserve what is named after the great guru but the present situation is that due to the six-laning of the national highway and the widening of roads, the gate may have to be shifted from its original place. But whatever ever the situation is, I shall attend to it personally and make the necessary repairs done at the earliest
— Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, 
PWD Minister



Sale of cheap Chinese toys rampant
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
Cheap Chinese toys still adorn the shelves of the toy stores in the city market. The rampant sale of “Made in China” toys in every nook and corner of the city goes unchecked in the absence of any regulatory body to ascertain the quality and standard of toys imported from China and Taiwan.

Although in 2009, China's toy industry came under close scrutiny as millions of goods were recalled globally amid fears they were made with toxic lead paints or had design flaws. Indian government had imposed ban on Chinese toys for a period of six months owing to these reasons but once again the situation has turned out to be the same.

Imported toys enter the market primarily through two ways, one through company franchises and the other through private importers, the latter being more in number.

Most of these toys are manufactured by the contract companies in China and are able to evade quality control due to various uncharted loopholes that have emerged since new systems of production chains have come into place.

"Private importers rarely stress on quality control, accounting for a huge number of Chinese and Taiwanese use-and-throw toys that are cheaper and more enticing, but are possibly toxic and hazardous. Most of these toys usually have high amounts of lead in the paints they use,” said Gurmeet Singh, running a toy shop at Model Town.

"Indian toys usually carry an ISO hologram if they have passed through quality inspection. Checking Chinese and Taiwanese toys is a problem owing to the language," said Sudesh Kalra, another toy shop owner from Meena Bazar.

"Chinese products are cheap, long lasting and attract children due to their lustrous and glossy look,” said Kalra.

Which toys to be avoided
Toys with magnets and small parts: Design flaws usually involve small parts that break off or come unglued and can be swallowed by young kids. Magnets used in toys are especially risky because if a child swallows more than one, they can attract one another and tear or block a child's intestines
Painted toys: Lead paint, the other big cause of recalls, has been showing up in Chinese-made toys because it's still available in China as a substitute for more expensive paints

Health hazards
Chinese toys contain lead. This element, if ingested, can cause various ills like brain hemorrhage, anemia, learning problems and slow growth

kids tend to put toys in their mouth which can lead to allergic reactions as the plastic used is recycled many times. In addition to bright colours, children get maximum exposure to these toxins since they tend to chew toys. Elevated levels of lead sustained over a period of time can damage the central nervous system in children and even adversely impact their development
— Dr Baldeep, a pediatrician



Date for filing VAT quarterly returns extended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
Excise and Taxation Department has extended the last date for filing VAT quarterly return.

The e-filing of VAT 15 forms for third quarter of financial year 2012-13 will start from January 23. One month will be provided by the department to e-file VAT 15.

The due date for depositing tax remains the same ie January 20, 2013 (tax payment in cheque / demand draft) and January 30, 2013 (tax payment by cash and electronic payment).

"The Department is planning a new web portal and a new format to file quarterly returns. The depment should have prepared the format in advance or shouldhave started it from next quarter," said Jatinder Khurana, tax professional.

E-filing services for VAT 20 forms (annual return) are also unavailable from January 18, 8 am onwards, till January 21, 8 am.



Mistri union demands amendment to sand mining policy
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, January 18
Members of Jagraon unit of Punjab Raj Mistri and Mazdoor Union held a protest here today. The protestors raised slogans against the state government during the protest held at Raikot Road here.

Later, the protesting union members organised a protest march and reached Jagraon SDM Office after passing through various city roads. The union members lead by Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) district president, Darshan Singh Obroi, also submitted a memorandum containing various long pending demands of the union members with SDM Jagraon Gurmit Singh.

The major demands of the protestors include change in the sand mining policy, increasing the daily wages up to Rs 300 for the labourers and Rs 500 for the Raj Mistris (mesons), fixing minimum monthly wages of skilled workers up to Rs 20,000 and imposing the orders issued by the Labour Court in 1996.

According to union members, a large number of labourers have been without work due to the present sand mining policy. “Many of our labourer brothers get to work only for few days in a month as construction work has also been stalled due to unavailability of sand and other construction material under the current mining policy and it has become utterly difficult for such labourers to earn livelihood for their family members,” said Darshan Singh Obroi.

While addressing the union members during the protest, Jagraon unit president of the union, Major Singh, said that ahead of the state assembly elections last year, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had promised to fulfill various long pending and just demands of the union at the earliest. “But after coming to power, the Chief Minister failed to keep his words. If our demands are not met within a given time frame, we would have no option but to further sharpen our struggle against the state government,” said Major Singh.



Dyeing industry awaits SC order on excise duty
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
Representatives of the dyeing industry today presented their memorandum to Pawan Dewan, president of District Congress Committee regarding the central excise duty that the department has asked them to pay.

Giving plea, Ashok Makkar, president of Ludhiana Dyeing Industries Association after giving the memorandum said they are awaiting the orders of the Supreme Court on an appeal filed by the dyeing and hand knitted processing industry. "We have applied for the stay on this duty and the Supreme Court is yet to give orders," said Makkar.

Yesterday officials from central excise department went to seal the premises of two units located at Focal Point and Rahon Road who were guilty of not paying central excise duty. After the industry representatives raised huge hue and cry the department gave them time till February 1 to clear all the pending dues.

Department has sent notices to 82 dyeing units from which 61 belong to Ludhiana and 21 to Amritsar and the industry is to pay an amount of Rs 32 crores on account of wrongly availing the exemption of excise duty.

According to the department officials the court has not ordered stay till now and according to the recent circular issued by the central board of excise and customs they can recover the pending dues if stay has not been ordered by the court. Appealing for stay is not a reason to get exemption from paying pending dues, added the official.

Meanwhile, Makkar putting forward his point in the memorandum said that court has ordered stay in Andhra in the similar case and they are also hopeful of the stay and demand that their units should not be sealed on the pretext that they were getting exemption from the duty while they have been regularly filing their returns every month.



Head constable died due to hanging: Post-mortem report
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 18
The postmortem examination report of Amarjit Kaur, head constable, was received today. In the report it is clear that her death was due to hanging said SHO Harjinder Singh, Samrala.

She was found hanging with an iron grill during her night duty. After her death, no woman police official has been deputed for night duty at women helpline.

SSP said, "The night duty police official will be deputed soon to continue women helpline at night."



Jobless Vets blame govt for their plight
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
Unemployed veterinarians (pass-outs) rued over the "double-standards" adopted by the state government. Perturbed over not advertising the posts of rural veterinary officers in various districts of Punjab in the last almost two years, the veterinary doctors said that on one side the state government was claiming to boost the livestock sector in Punjab and was luring farmers (agriculturists) to adopt dairy sector, while on other side, government was not paying any attention towards the plight of veterinary doctors, who, despite spending lakhs on their degree courses, were sitting idle, unemployed.

Dr Vikrant Jarora, a Bachelor of Veterinary Science pass-out from Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) said their batch of 60 students had passed-out in July 2012. Unfortunately, none of them has been able to get a good job. "This is height of frustration. We, the batch of 60 students are unemployed and about 40 pass-outs from batch 2006 out of total 89 students, have also not been able to get any job. For the past about two years, we have been pleading to government to fill the vacant posts of Veterinary Officers but there is no response," said Jarora.

Another veterinary doctor, Dr Amritpal Singh, rued that majority of the students were from rural backgrounds. A few of the students belonged to very poor families. "Father of one of our classmates puts a rehri while another sells milk on a bicycle. One can imagine how much efforts must have been put by the parents to provide our prestigious degrees. Now, when the time had come to pay-back by sharing the financial burden of parents, we are putting more burden on them by sitting idle at home," said Dr Amritpal Singh.

It may be mentioned here that about 183 posts of Rural Veterinary Officers were lying vacant in various districts of Punjab. Despite giving advertisements in various sections of media to fill the vacancies, the posts have not been filled so far by the government. The veterinary doctors alleged that they had tried to meet the concerned Minister but to no avail and just "assurances" were being given by the authorities, time and again.

"We certainly do not want to adopt the path of agitation. But if the government fails to wake-up from its deep slumber, we will have no other choice but to protest against the state government," said another veterinary doctor.



Passengers fume as trains delayed by several hours
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 18
Although the rail traffic in the region has shown some improvement after the foggy weather had cleared to a great extent. But widespread rains in Northern India and other parts of the country during last two days, has once again affected the railway timetable as 12716 Amritsar-Nanded Sachkhand Express arrived here some almost 12 hours behind schedule. Some other long route trains were also delayed which caused huge inconvenience to the rail passengers.

According to railway officials, Sachkhand Express which has the scheduled arrival time of 7.48 am at the Ludhiana railway station, chugged in at around 8 pm with the result that passengers, who had booked their seats/berths in advance to travel by this train, had to wait almost all through the day with no alternative travel mode available to them.

Even though the delay, the officials said, could not be directly attributed to the prevailing weather conditions as of now, but it was the cascading effect of the erratic time table due to unfavourable weather conditions for the last more than two weeks.

"The corresponding rake (train No 12715 from Nanded to Amritsar) was delayed by several hours on Thursday which led to the late departure of the train from the originating point today," said railway officials.

Among some other trains, which were running late were 12715 Nanded-Amritsar Sachkhand Express (1.30 hrs), 15209 Saharsa-Amritsar Jansewa Express (4 hrs) and 18110 Jammu Tawi-Rourkela Express (4 hrs).



Two killed in road mishaps
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, January 18
A Jalandhar resident was killed in a collision between a milk plant vehicle and a canter near Chachrari village between Goraya and Phagwara in Phillaur sub-division last night. The victim has been identified as Gauri.

The police has sent the body of the victim to the Civil Hospital for the postmortem examination.

In second such accident, a scooter rider was killed on the spot when he was hit by a speeding truck near Maio Sahib on the Phillaur-Nakodar road last night. The victim has been identified as Avtar Chand (51) of Bilga Patti village. The deceased was working as Patwari in Patwarkhana. The truck driver managed to flee after the incident.

The police has sent the body for postmortem examination to the Civil Hospital. A case against the truck driver has been registered.



Hockey Tourney begins today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 18,
Eight top women outfits of the country will battle it out in the 16th Mohinder Partap Singh Grewal Memorial Hockey Tournament slated to be held from January 19 to 22 here at the Olympian Prithipal Singh AstroTurf Stadium of the Punjab Agricultural University campus.

This year’s edition, the tournament is being dedicated to the memory of Brig Zail Singh Grewal, former international athlete and 1947, 62, 65 and 71 war hero, who died late last year.

Addressing the media here today, Pritam Singh Grewal, Mayor, Hounslow, London (UK) and Chairman, MPSG Memorial Tournament Committee said that besides the current champions, Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala and last years’ losing finalists, Chandigarh Academy, teams from South Eastern Railway (Kolkata), Western Railway (Mumbai), Central Railway (Mumbai), Western Central Railway (Jabalpur), Lyallpur Khalsa College Academy (Jalandhar) and Ludhiana XI will battle it out for top honours in this tournament to be played on knock-out basis.

The winner will pocket a cash prize of Rs 70,000 while the runners up will receive a cash prize of Rs 40,000, Besides, the teams finishing at third and fourth places will get cash prize of Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000, respectively.

In addition, the best player of the tournament will be richer by Rs 10,000 and the highest scorer will be given Rs 5,000.

Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Chief Advisor to the Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal will inaugurate the tournament on Saturday at 2 pm. Mayor, Ludhiana, Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, former captain of the national hockey team and deputy director (sports), PAU, Ludhiana, Ramandeep Singh Grewal will be the guests of honour on this occasion, informed Daljit Singh Grewal, President of the organising tournament committee.

Punjab Cabinet Minister, Bikramjit Singh Majithia will be the chief guest on the final day while MLA, Manpreet Singh Ayali will preside over the concluding function.



Guru Nanak Stadium to get ultra-modern equipment
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
The Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana, is going to be one of the world level stadiums in the sense of infrastructure as Punjab Mandi Board is all set to install ultra-modern equipments and provide facilities in the stadium. The stadium will get a new look after installation of canopies, comfortable chairs, fancy lights and all other type of equipments on all its blocks.

According to Mandi Board officials, Punjab Government will spend Rs 15 crore to give the new look to stadium.

Punjab Mandi Board had installed two canopies on block A and B before the mega event of 3rd edition of World Kabaddi Cup. But Mandi Board authorities failed to install canopy on Block F till December 15. The installation work of proposed canopy on block F is yet to start.

RS Gill, Chief Engineer Mandi Board, said, "According to an estimate the renovation work and installation of canopies on all blocks of stadium will cost Rs 15 crore. The work will be start soon and it will be completed in one and half year. The sports events and practice of players will not affect during this work."



KVM lads win by 8 wickets
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 18
Fine all round performance by Deepin Chitkara (23 runs and 2 for 5), Manan Jain (20 runs and 3 for 22) and an equally useful contribution with the red cherry by Raghav (5 for 24) helped Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, to script an easy 8-wicket victory over Government Model Senior Secondary School, Punjab Agricultural University, in the first match of the PCA Inter-School Coca Cola Cricket Tournament (U-16) being played at Arya College ground here today.

Last year’s winners, PAU Government School’s decision of batting first after winning the toss turned out to be a miscalculated one as their innings folded at 85 runs in just 19 overs. Only one batsman, Akshit, could reach the double figure. He made 25 runs.

Chhatarpal, Varinder and Rahul contributed 9 runs each while Anil chipped in with 8 runs.

For KVM, Raghav was the pick of bowlers who scalped five victims for 24 runs and was followed by Manan Jain and Deepin Chitkara who grabbed three and two wickets, respectively.

Chasing a small target, KVM raced to victory after losing just two wickets in 13 overs.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |