L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


21-yr-old student crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
A 21-year-old BCom-I student of the Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management died in a road accident on Ferozepur Road today.
The incident took place outside MBD Mall at 9.30 am when Harjot Singh, who was riding a motorcycle, was crushed to death by a private bus. An eyewitness said Harjot’s motorcycle was hit by a speeding bus and he fell on the road. Before he could react, a private bus crushed Harjot to death.

The victim, a resident of Model Town, was the only son of his parents.

Mandeep Singh, SHO, Sarabha Nagar police station, said, the driver of the private bus managed to escape. The police has impounded the bus. “We have alerted our counterparts at Mullanpur, Jagraon and Moga about the bus that hit Harjot's motorcycle," said Mandeep Singh. 


Passion for speed leading to casualties
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The passion for high speed is leading to fatal road accidents in the city.
Harjot Singh, who died in a road accident, was driving a Yamaha R-15 bike, costing over Rs 1 lakh.

Vice-chairman of the Punjab Road Safety Council Kamaljit Soi said Indian roads were not safe for high speed bikes. Blaming the motorbike companies, he said: "The motorbike companies are selling killer machines," he said.

Navdeep Asija, another road safety expert, blamed the poor infrastructure for road accidents. "The authorities are blindly following the Western pattern while developing infrastructure. They have not taken into account the fact that two-wheelers comprise 75 per cent of the total vehicles in the city, unlike in the West. The situation is worse on highways, including Ferozepur Road. These roads are designed for four-wheelers, while no provision has been made for providing a safe passage to cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians," said Navdeep.



Cut-throat competition among private bus drivers turns fatal
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The road accident that claimed the life of a BCom student, Harjot Singh, on Ferozepur Road has brought to fore the continuing violation of road safety rules by heavy vehicles, including buses.

The competition among private buses that trigger a race-like situation snuffed out the life of Harjot. It is learnt that Harjot was crushed to death as both the buses suddenly turned left in order to board passengers.

An eyewitness said Harjot was hit by a bus. As he fell on the road, a bus coming from behind crushed him to death.

District transport officer (DTO) Manpreet Singh Chatwal said: “Strict action will be initiated against the bus driver and the operator."

Sources said most of the private bus drivers did not have licences to drive heavy vehicles. “Besides, they belong to rural areas and are not aware of the intricacies of driving a vehicle in cities. A majority of the bus drivers also indulge in reckless driving,” they added. People follow traffic rules in Chandigarh and not in Punjab as there is no fear that they will be challaned for the offence, said Rishab Khullar, a commuter.

"Why should I take action against the erring bus drivers? Recently, a traffic policeman deputed at Joginder Chowk in Moga was suspended after he asked the driver of a private bus to park his vehicle alongside the road," said a police officer.

Jaswinder Singh Grewal, president of the Mini-Bus Operators’ Association, blamed the policy makers for the mess. He said the bus drivers were under pressure to meet the deadline.

“Drivers have to follow the timetable. If the driver fails to reach the bus stand on time, he cannot ferry passengers. The buses owned by politicians or their relatives have been given prime timeslot at bus stands across the state, leading to cut-throat competition among bus operators," said Grewal. 



Student’s death sparks off protest at GNDEC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Students of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College (GNDEC) protested against the college authorities following the death of a hosteller in the absence of medical facilities on 
the campus.

Niranjan Verma (21), a BTech-II student, was found dead on Wednesday morning after a brief illness in his hostel room. The protesting students alleged that Niranjan was not treated properly at the college dispensary.

Niranjan was a native of Churu district in Rajasthan and was residing in the college hostel for over a year.

A prayer meeting in his memory was organised at the college gurdwara this morning. A heavy police force was deployed on the college premises during the protest.

“Abhishek was taken ill on January 21. The college dispensary is ill-equipped and there is no permanent doctor. A part-time doctor is available only for an hour in the evening. The next day, some of his batch-mates took him to a private hospital. No one from the college management accompanied the students,” alleged a protesting student. 


Director denies allegations 

A police personnel stands guard outside the principal's office in Ludhiana on Thursday. Denying allegations, MS Saini, director of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, said: “We have a well-equipped dispensary on the campus. Abhishek took medicine from the dispensary on January 21. The doctor is available on a call. We are waiting for the post-mortem report,” added MS Saini.

A police personnel stands guard outside the principal's office in Ludhiana on Thursday. Tribune Photos: Himanshu Mahajan 



Four injured in group clash
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Four persons were injured in a group clash at Abdulapur Basti this evening.

Both the groups pelted each other with stones and also brandished swords. The police reached the spot and brought the situation under control. The clash took place following a fight between children while playing. Instead of resolving the issue, the parents started fighting with each other. Till the time of filing this report, members of both the groups were in a hospital for medical examination.

Purse snatched

Two motorcyclists snatched the purse of a woman, Riya Bawa, a resident Durga Puri, while she was returning home after shopping at Ghumar Mandi.

The woman said the purse contained some important documents, a voter card, Rs 5,000 and two gold earrings. The victim said the incident took place on Hambra Road when she was returning home on a rickshaw. The two motorcyclist came from behind snatched her purse.

The police has registered a case against unidentified motorcyclist.

Transport department to act tough

The concept of high-security number plates, which was introduced by the Ministry of Transport to curb crime, has not been "adopted" by residents in true spirits. Despite repeated appeals made by the authorities concerned, residents are not keen on fixing high-security number plates on their vehicles. P4 



Students block road
Say Arya College authorities demanding more fee
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Students of Arya College blocked the road in front of the college to protest against an alleged fee hike. The college authorities, however, denied any hike in the course fee.

The college had issued a notice on January 22 directing students to deposit the final installment of fee.

Sukwinder Singh, a student leader, alleged the college had demanded more fee than mentioned in the college prospectus.

Some students reportedly met the principal but he did not listen to their arguments. The students alleged that one of the college professors also misbehaved with the protesting students.

Principal Dr RC Tejpal said: "There has been no increase in the fee. It is same as was mentioned in the college prospectus. The fee was due for some of the classes. We extended the date of submission, so there is confusion among students about the balance fee.”

He said it was mentioned in the prospectus if the university or government increased any fee, the college would have to increase the fee too.

"I have told the students that I will look into the matter and get back to them on Monday,” he added. 



Transport dept to act tough
Will issue RCs to vehicles with high-security number plates
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The concept of high-security number plates, which was introduced by the Ministry of Transport to curb crime, has not been "adopted" by residents in true spirits. Despite repeated appeals made by the authorities concerned, residents are not keen on fixing high-security number plates on their vehicles.

The reason behind this has been the lackadaisical attitude adopted by the contractor concerned in providing the plates to the residents on time.

But to make this mandatory, the district transport department has decided to adopt strict measures. From March 1, registration certificates (RCs) of new vehicles will be handed over to only those owners who have fixed the high-security number plates on their vehicles.

MS Chatwal, district transport officer, said they had been discussing the issue for the past several months, but there had been a weak implementation of the directions.

"We feel that residents are not taking it seriously. Besides, for 0001-0500 series, high-security number plates are to be fixed in January. From February 1, we will start a challaning drive," said Chatwal.

The concept was started with enthusiasm, but the issue had always courted controversy. The contractor, to whom the contract of making these number plates was given, failed to live up to the expectations of the public. The DTO, too, had expressed helplessness in finding any solution to the problem as the contract was given by the higher authorities. Besides, the public was made to make several rounds to the office to get the number plates. 



Hotels searched ahead of R-Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The city police conducted a search operation at hotels near the railway station and Clock Tower in the run up to the Republic Day celebrations here today.

The police officers checked rooms and record registers of the hotels. Belongings of persons who seemed suspicious were also checked at Clock Tower and the surrounding areas.

The police said search operations would be conducted at the railway station and bus stand as well.

Sources said the paramilitary and reserve forces had been deployed in various parts of the city.



PAU staff demand arrears
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The PAU Employees’ Union today took out a protest rally to demand the release of arrears pending for more than two years.

A large number of employees and pensioners participated in the rally and raised slogans against Punjab government and the university authorities.

Dr Gulzar Singh Pandhir, general secretary of the union, said the state government had revised the pay scale in August, 2009. The Punjab Government decided to grant the arrears for the period from January, 2006, to July, 2009 in three installments — 40 per cent in May, 2011; 30 per cent in May, 2012, and 30 percent in May, 2013.

The university staff has, however, not received the arrears, while other institutions in the state have already disbursed the first two installments. 



Will hold protest if demands are not met, warn parents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The meeting between the district administration and parents of students of MGM Public School has remained inconclusive.
Ramesh Bangar, president, Active Anti Corruption, who was supporting the parents, accused the administration of favouring the school authorities under some political influence.

"We have given them several alternatives, but the school authorities do not want to find a solution. If our demands are not met, we will stage a protest against the Deputy Commissioner. We will also gherao the other branch of MGM School,” he said.

Bangar said the parents were also planning to move court.



Tipsy rickshaw-puller creates nuisance outside girls’ college
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
A drunk rickshaw-puller created nuisance outside the Khalsa College for Girls near Ghumar Mandi here this morning.
The rickshaw-puller, a migrant from Bihar, reportedly got drunk and passed lewd comments at girls entering the college. The security staff of the college reportedly chased him away, but he returned to the gate and started hurling abuses.

The police reached the spot and arrested him. The tipsy rickshaw-puller also created nuisance at the Ghumar Mandi police post.

When he was brought back to senses by the police, the rickshaw-puller claimed that he did not remember anything.



Workers pay no heed to health officials' instructions
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The efforts put in by the officials of the district health department have proved futile.

Their instructions to workers have fallen on deaf ears. The officials have been visiting the central kitchen of mid-day meals in Sherpur for the past three days, but it seems that the workers are in no mood to comply with the directions.

Food safety officer Ravinder Garg said,"District health officer Dr Avinash Kumar visited the kitchen on Monday. He told the staff to wear caps and aprons while preparing the meal. But the staff unheeded the same. When we revisited the place, we found that they had done a little to maintain cleanliness and were not wearing aprons."

He stated that there were only two fly catchers in the kitchen. "We also told them to install mouse traps. The department sends a report about the working of the kitchen to the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), Ludhiana, everyday. Food safety officer Harpreet Kaur also inspected the kitchen.



Two test positive for swine flu
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Two more persons have tested positive for swine flu. They hail from Fardikot. One of them is undergoing treatment at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), and the other at SPS Apollo Hospital.

The remaining three samples sent from Christian Medical College and Hospital and DMCH tested negative.



Officials visit site
Explore possibility of commercial activity on government land
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 24
Principal secretary, Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, A Venu Prasad, along with the senior officials of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority and the town and country development department, today visited the proposed site for 1,500 acres urban estate from Sahnewal to Chandigarh Road and also explored the possibility of commercial and residential exploitation of government land located along the Southern bypass from Neelon to Ferozepur Road.

The GLADA officials, chief administrator RK Verma and additional chief administrator Baldev Singh, apprised the principal secretary of the main features of the proposed urban estate, which would integrate the expansion of the Sahnewal airport on 300 acres, besides providing industrial pocket and residential plots.

"A survey has been conducted and a report has been sent to the Punjab Government for an approval. Once the proposal is approved, GLADA can go ahead and get a notification issued for acquisition of the identified land," the officials told the principal secretary.

Later, at an extended meeting with Venu Prasad, he reviewed the progress of several ongoing and proposed development projects and also discussed the sale of properties under the "optimum use of vacant government land" scheme.



Drug peddlers nabbed
Tribune reporters

Ludhiana, January 24
The police has nabbed two drug peddlers and seized 500 gm of contraband, suspected to be heroin, from their possession.
The accused, nabbed from Salem Tabri last night, were identified as Sanjiv Kumar (36), a resident of Karabara, and Sunil Kumar (27) of Salem Tabri.

Both the accused had purchased the contraband from a person identified as Deepu of Amritsar.

The accused were allegedly adulterating the contraband and selling it to factory employees in Salem Tabri and surrounding area.

Sanjiv has been working as a driver at a factory unit, while Sunil is a private taxi operator. They have been booked under sections 22, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. The accused were produced before the court and sent to police remand.

The contraband was sent to a laboratory for its chemical examination.

Phillaur: The police arrested a drug peddler at a check-post here last night.

The accused, Jaswinder Kumar, aka Kala, was carrying 25 kg of poppy husk and 20 gm of intoxicating powder. His car was also impounded. 



Panchayat member booked for raping mother of two
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The police has arrested a panchayat member for allegedly raping a 35-year-old woman of Sunet village.
The accused has been identified as 55-year-old Kesar Singh. The woman on Tuesday alleged that Kesar Singh had given her sweets laced with sedatives, following which she fell unconscious and he raped her.

However, Kesar Singh claimed that the woman had a consensual sex. The woman is the mother of two children and her husband lives in Gujarat.

Sadar SHO Amandeep Singh Brar said the police had registered the case.

In another incident, a 16- year-old girl alleged that Ashish Kumar of the Salem Tabri area raped her after giving him some sedative.

The police has arrested Ajay Kumar, a resident of Ekta Colony, was arrested for allegedly kidnapping a 13-year-old. The girl was rescued from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. 



Drugs recovered from Central Jail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Jail guards recovered 5,800 tablets of drugs from Ludhiana Central Jail today.
SP Khanna, superintendent of the jail, said the contraband was kept in two packets. The guards informed the superintendent about the recovery of the contraband.

The jail officials said a prisoner having a cellphone might have ordered the contraband. The superintendent said three inmates Daljit Singh, Harpreet Singh and Neeraj Kumar were nabbed on the intervening night of January 22 and 23 during a search of the barrack number 2.

He said two mobile phones and one SIM card were recovered from the the possession of the inmates.



Six robbers held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
With the arrest of six persons, Railway Protection Force personnel have claimed to have busted a gang of robbers.
The accused used to rob passengers by showing sharp-edged weapons.

The accused, identified as Kamaljit, Maninder, Baljit, Daljit, Kamal Bahadur and Raju, from Jalandhar and Amritsar, respectively, were arrested while planning to rob a passenger.

The police said two mobile phones and sharp-edged weapons were recovered from them.

Man dies of burns

A 25-year-old man died of burn injuries at a private hospital last night.

The deceased was identified as Raman Sharma, a resident of Sanjay Gandhi Colony, Tajpur Road.

Raman was found at Jawadi bridge in an unconscious state last evening. In another incident, a 19-year-old woman identified as Anjali, who was undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital, succumbed to her injuries. Anjali had consumed poison following which she was rushed to the hospital.



Bail plea adjourned 
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 24
The Additional Sessions Judge, Kamaljit Singh Lamba, today again adjourned the bail plea of Rishi Banda, involved in the Hub brawl case, till January 28, after the police failed to produce records for hearing arguments.

Rishi, along with the owner of Hub, Maninder Pal Singh, alias Sunny Johar, and Aman, was arrested on December 26 for thrashing and launching a murderous attack on an NRI.



Judge for speedy disposal of rape, dowry cases
Says presence of witnesses must
Our Legal

Ludhiana, January 24
The District and Sessions Judge, GS Matharoo, today asked police personnel to ensure the presence of witnesses in rape and dowry cases for expediting the disposal of cases.

He said the instructions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for the speedy disposal of  cases required to be complied with.

He stated this while addressing prosecution officers, police officials from Khanna, Jagraon and Ludhiana during a meeting today.

“Take it as an opportunity to re-structure society," he said, encouraging the Additional Sessions Judges Mandeep Pannu and Surinder Pal Kaur, who were heading the fast track courts.

The Sessions Judge issued instructions to all judicial officers not to stop the lawyers in their court, if their case was fixed in a fast track court.

CJM Muneesh Arora, Civil Judge, Senior Division, Dr BK Sharma, DCP Dr S Bhupati, ADCP Nilambari Vijay Jagdale, Khanna SP(D) Bhupinder Singh, District Attorney Gurdev Singh Tina, Additional District Attorney Nisha Garg were also present. 



Hockey meet kicks off
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 24
The second All-India Hockey Tournament sponsored by the NRI Sports Club, Amloh, kicked off today.
The first match was held between the Sangrur Academy and Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib.

The final will be held on January 27.


Sangrur Academy scoredfour goals; Fatehgarh Sahib failed to score any goal; Kila Raipur scored eight goals; Shahbad Markanda scored seven goals.



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