L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC demolition drive hits shopkeepers’ roadblock
Team had gone to Gur Mandi to raze 30 illegal shops adjoining a temple
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

The police returns after a failed demolition drive
The police returns after a failed demolition drive

Ludhiana, March 13
It was a perfect example of beating a retreat when Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials, accompanied by a battery of senior police and district administration officials, returned "empty-handed" during a demolition drive from the Gur Mandi area of Chaura Bazar here this morning. The MC team had gone there to demolish 30 illegal shops, which have been constructed adjoining a religious place.

MC officials claimed that the 30 shops in the Gur Mandi area were constructed on MC land and that these had to be demolished as these were listed in a civil writ petition. Shopkeepers claimed that these shops were part of a temple located in the area and if these were demolished, it would tantamount to demolishing the temple.

The MC team was led by municipal town planner Raj Kumar and included assistant town planners Kamaljit Kaur (Zone A), Monica Anand (Zone B) and Banke Bihari (Zone C). Duty magistrate Gagandeep Singh also accompanied the MC team, besides Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Harmohan Singh Sandhu, ACP, North, J Elanchezhian, SHO, Division No. 1 police station, Inspector Surinder Mohan and a large number of policemen.

Seeing such a heavy presence of policemen and officials of the district administration and the MC, area shopkeepers initially thought that their shops would be demolished. However, due to "pressure" exerted by some shopkeepers and some officers allegedly "siding" with the shopkeepers, the MC drive was postponed.

Shopkeepers raised slogans against the MC. Ever since it was decided to carry out a demolition drive in Gur Mandi, which is considered a "communally sensitive" area, MC officials knew that this was not going to be an easy job. That is why they had armed themselves with a heavy police force, anti-riot vehicles and a CCTV camera-equipped police van.

Questions are now being raised over the action plan of the MC. Under this plan, the next drive is to be carried in the Talab Bazar area. “In the Talab Bazar area, 22 shops have been constructed near a temple. I am sure there also, senior officials will give in to pressure," said an official of the building branch of the MC.

Another MC official said when the civil writ petition was filed in 2003, they had sent notices to these 30 shopkeepers in the Gur Mandi area. “None of them filed a reply to our notices. Some of them moved the court, but lost the case. Now, we had again sent notices tto them, but none of them filed a reply. Today, when we went to demolish the illegal shops, they started raising slogans and wanted to give a religious colour to it, which is totally unacceptable,” said the official.

High Court orders

The encroachments (all 30 shops) were to be demolished following the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. On January 17, 2012, the High Court had directed the MC to demolish all encroachments listed in the civil writ petition. An action plan was prepared by the civic body and all these encroachments were to be demolished in a phased manner. These 30 shops are located adjoining a temple.

Officer's take

MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma claimed that he would look into the matter. “I have come to know that a meeting was held between shopkeepers and MC officials at the Zone A office. I have asked my staff to thoroughly study the matter,” he said.


GLADA begins probe into ‘illegal’ allotment of booths
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 13
Acting on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) today started a fact-finding inquiry into alleged "illegal" allotment of commercial booths in the Dugri Urban Estate, Phase I, to beneficiaries from among 327 riot victims and their families.

During the course of the disposal of a petition filed by Harvinder Singh and others against the state of Punjab, a double Bench of Mr Justice Surya Kant and Mr Justice RP Nagrath had observed that the petitioners had given certain instances of alleged illegal allotment of booths contrary to the advertised criteria as well as policies framed by the state government from time to time.

"They (the petitioners) have also levelled allegations against one member of the screening committee as his own family members are said to be the beneficiaries of an illegal allotment," the double Bench noted.

In the operative part of the orders, the HC directed the Chief Administrator of GLADA and the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana to hold a fact-finding inquiry and find out whether any illegal allotment had been made and to cancel such allotment after observing principles of natural justice. A time frame of three months was fixed by the Bench for carrying out the directions issued in this regard.

Subsequently, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari had constituted a three-member committee headed by Additional Chief Administrator (ACA) Baldev Singh with SDM (East) Ajay Sood and SDM (West) KS Mahi as its members to conduct a probe into the allotment of booths and identify the alleged illegal allotments so that these could be cancelled.

The GLADA ACA told Ludhiana Tribune that verification of documents of the allotment of 327 booths had commenced today and the allottees had been directed through a public notice to appear before the inquiry committee and provide the required documents like allotment letters, ID proof, red card and other relevant documents to substantiate their claims.

"To facilitate the allottees as well as the staff deployed for this purpose, documents of 50 allottees would be scrutinised every day from March 13 to 20, except on March 16 and 17, which are public holidays," he said, adding that based on the documents produced by the beneficiaries and other information collected during personal interviews of the allottees, the committee would submit its report for necessary follow-up action as per the directions of the High Court.

HC orders to glada

In the operative part of the orders, the HC directed the Chief Administrator of GLADA and the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana to hold a fact-finding inquiry and find out whether any illegal allotment had been made and to cancel such allotment after observing principles of natural justice. A time frame of three months was fixed by the Bench for carrying out the directions issued in this regard.



Kidnapped boy recovered; man arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
A seven-year-old boy, who was kidnapped from Pawa village near Sahnewal, was recovered from Ferozepur here today. The police has arrested the kidnapper.

The Sahnewal police has registered a case against Raju, a resident of Sahnewal, for allegedly kidnapping Rohan Kumar (7), son of Ram Chander, and demanding extortion.

On Monday evening, when Ram Chander returned home from work, his wife told him that Raju had kidnapped their son Rohan and was demanding money to release him. He brought the matter to the notice of the police.

The police registered a case and put his mobile number under surveillance. A call was made from Haji Baitu village in Ferozepur.

The police today raided the place and recovered the boy. Raju was also arrested. Rohan is stated to be safe.

A monetary dispute was stated to be behind the kidnapping. Raju said he had lent Rs 20,000 to Ram Chander, but the latter refused to return the amount because of which he kidnapped Rohan.



Man gets 7-yr jail for raping minor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
Additional Sessions Judge Surinder Pal Kaur has convicted Shamshuddin (25), a resident of Gali No. 8, New Moti Nagar, Ludhiana, of abducting and raping a 15-year-old girl.

He was sentenced to undergo seven years' rigorous imprisonment. A fine of Rs 10,000 was also imposed on the convict. The convict was not entitled to any leniency keeping in view the nature of the offence committed by him, said the court while dismissing the plea of leniency filed by the convict.

A case under Sections 363, 366 A and 376 of the IPC was registered against the convict at the Division No. 2 police station on December 23, 2011, on a statement of the victim's mother.

The complainant had told the police that on December 21, 2011, her daughter had gone to a market to buy vegetables, but did not return.

It was alleged that the convict, who was married, enticed her daughter. A few days later, the girl was recovered from the convict's possession near Manju Cinema.



Drug peddler held with 3 quintals of poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 13
The police has arrested a drug peddler and seized more than three quintals of poppy husk from him. The accused has been identified as Zora Singh, a resident of Fatehpur Kannian village near Jagraon. Zora Singh was staying in a rented accommodation in Jagraon. The police has impounded a Maruti car (PB11 T 1600), used by the accused for drug peddling.

Jagraon DSP Surinder Kumar gave this information during a press conference here today. According to the DSP, the accused was arrested by a police team, lead by SHO Kanwarpal Singh, from near the Sirhind feeder canal on the Jagraon-Raikot road during a routine checking.

"A police team had set up a check-point near the Sirhind feeder canal yesterday. The police signalled a Maruti car coming from the Jagraon side to stop, but the car driver fled, which made the police suspicious. The police gave him a chase and arrested him," said the DSP.

He said during a search of the car, the police seized three quintals and 5 kg of poppy husk kept in eight bags. According to police, the approximate market value of the poppy husk is around Rs 3 lakh.



Fake degree racket unearthed, 2 booked
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
The police today claimed to have unearthed a fake degree racket being run in the garb of a private college. It has booked two persons in this connection. They have been identified as Anil Kumar Sharma, MD of Max International College, near Preet Cinema, Jammu Colony, Ludhiana, and Suman Sharma, Principal of the college.

Avinash Kumar, a resident of Ladwa in Haryana, had lodged a complaint with Ludhiana Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh a few months ago that the accused had provided fake degrees to students of his academy in Ladwa.

“In 2007, I had read an advertisement in a vernacular daily that Max International College was providing private education in the JBT, BA and BEd streams following which I contacted Anil Sharma, MD of the college,” said Avinash in his complaint.

Anil Kumar and Suman Sharma asked him to send the forms of the interested students. "I collected the money from the students and filled their forms for various degree courses and also handed over Rs 8.50 lakh to the duo for the purpose,” he said.

Nearly 100 students, who had applied for various courses, were allegedly given fake degrees.

When Avinash brought the matter to the notice of the police, Suman Sharma and Anil Kumar asked him to return the degrees.

“I gave the degrees to Anil Kumar and Suman Sharma. The neither returned the degrees, nor the money,” he said.

The Commissioner of Police marked an inquiry in the case to the SHO of the Model Town police station. After the inquiry, it was found that the degrees handed over to 100 students were fake.



Flesh trade racket busted, four held
Mahesh Sharma

Payal, March 13
Four persons, including three women, were arrested in a flesh trade racket being run from a residential area at Sihar village last night. The accused have been booked and arrested under Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Immoral Trafficking Act (1956).

Amarjit Singh Ghuman, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Payal, said a police party led by Rajnish Kumar, SHO, nabbed the accused involved in immoral trafficking from a house at Sihar village last evening.

Investigations revealed that Rajvinder Kaur, the kingpin, was into the trade from many months and residents of the area had been complaining against her for a long time.

Though the police had tried to nab her earlier too, but last evening the police nabbed the accused red handed.

Other accused were identified as Imran, alias Jumma of Malerkotla, Manpreet Kaur, alias Mony and Kamlesh Kumari of Malaudh.



Pay loan or bank may publish your picture in newspapers
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
If you still have to re-pay the loan you took from your nearest bank and the deadlines of paying the loan is already over then do it at the earliest, as any delay can prompt the bank to publish your picture along with address and other details in newspapers.

Adopting a “name and shame policy” to make borrowers pay their dues, banks have decided to publish the photographs and other details of the of the willful loan defaulters in the newspapers.

In addition to this, the banks will also be publishing photographs, names and addresses of the guarantors of such defaulters in the newspapers, if the dues are not cleared within 15 days of the notice containing particulars of the original borrowers.

Taking the plunge, the State Bank of India (SBI) has begun publishing photographs and other particulars of loan defaulters and has also published the public notice in a newspaper.

A senior bank official said some banks have also decided to prominently display the photographs and other details of the willful loan defaulters at the branches in the locality of such borrowers.As per the RBI's regulations, willful defaulters are mostly those who are found to be engaged in deliberate non-payment of dues despite adequate cash flow and good networth.

The RBI has also asked Credit Information Bureau India Ltd (CIBIL) to publish a list of willful defaulters involving defaults of Rs 25 lakh and above.



Civic body fails to take action
Pedestrian underpass continues to be used as a urinal
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
Strange are the ways of functioning of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials. After The Tribune reported and the matter was raised in the General House meeting held yesterday, the pedestrian underpass (PUP) still remains in a deplorable condition. People continue to use it as a toilet and the MC officials have not even bothered to clean the underpass.

Congress councillor Gurpreet Singh Gogi had raised this issue in the MC General House meeting held yesterday and had even shown the copy of The Tribune while addressing the House.

“It is sad that the MC has literally wasted Rs 3.5 crore on the project. Just go and visit the place and you will realise that it has become a urinal. Despite completion, MC officials have failed to even auction the nine shops and that is why people use this place for urinating,” Gogi stated during the MC general house meeting yesterday.

The pedestrian underpass (PUP) opposite the Mini-Secretariat, here, is turning out to be a perfect example on how careless our city residents are and how the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has failed to keep a check on such residents. In the absence of any enforcement by the MC, the newly constructed underpass, has been reduced to a urinal by some residents, who seem to be least bothered about the cleanliness of the project.

The Rs 3.5 crore underpass is the first-of-its-kind project of the state and was inaugurated in November last year. The foundation stone of the Rs 3.5-crore project was laid by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in November, 2010, and municipal officials were expecting its completion by November 30, 2011. Due to the delay in payment to the contractor, the project got delayed and was finally readied last year.

But ever since it has been constructed, very few residents actually use it to cross the busy Ferozepur Road. Otherwise also, the timings of the underpass are from 7 am to 7 pm on weekdays, as it remains closed on Saturdays, Sundays and other public holidays.

When contacted, AS Sekhon, MC Joint Commissioner, and head of health and sanitation branch, said, the matter has been brought to my notice. “I will ask my staff to get the underpass cleaned and also see to it that it is not used as a urinal,” he claimed.



Need for nurturing bonds between two Punjabs, says Pak writer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
The partition of India was actually the partition of Punjab and it led to massive migration and killings. We have to learn a lesson from the past and promote love among Punjabis on both sides of the River Ravi. This was stated by renowned Urdu writer from Pakistan Dr Abdal Bela, former Director-General of the Academy of Letters, Pakistan.

He was speaking at the Dr MS Randhawa Memorial Lecture, organised at Punjab Agricultural University by the Punjab Sahit Academy, PAU Young Writers Association, Senior Citizens Welfare Association and Adeeb International jointly.

Bela got emotional when he said that his mother belonged to Ludhiana and his fore-fathers hailed from Mao Mionwal village in Jalandhar district. He further said that “We share the same language, culture, heritage and Punjabi way of life.

Bela said that in Pakistan he had published a novel "Darwaza Khulta Hai" that described a history of five centuries and projected 375 characters representing various shades of life.

Dr Kewal Dhir has translated the novel into Hindi. Punjabi Sahit Academy president Gurbhajan Singh Gill while welcoming Bela, spoke on the multifarious personality of Dr MS Randhawa. He highlighted that if the wall of Berlin could be removed; there was also a possibility of free interaction in terms of trade, literature, research and people-to-people contact between India and Pakistan. What was needed was an honest and constant efforts to nurture bonds between our people, he said.

Jenab Afzal Ahemed, executive editor of Sang-e-Meel, said that he had published some Hindi literature and that efforts were being made to provide such literature among people desirous of learning Hindi. He offered to publish Urdu versions of 'Aap Beeti' and 'Rakh Chon Uggay' publications of Randhawa. Dr. Dhir offered to translate these into Hindi.

A large number of literary personalities, including Principal Prem Singh Bajaj, Dr Jagtar Dhiman, Dr Jagroop Singh Sidhu, Dr Amarjit Singh Bhullar and Dr Sukhpal Singh were present in the audience.



Government plan on Aadhaar enrolment flawed, say residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
Residents have been complaining that lack of proper planning by the government has led to stalling of Aadhar card enrolment process for the general public.

So far, machines used for the enrolment of Aadhaar cards have not been returned to the Postal Department as direct beneficiaries are being enrolled at schools and educational institutions on the directions of the Deputy Commissioner.

Residents have been complaining that the enrolment had started after a gap of almost a year for the general public, but was once again stopped, as the beneficiaries were being enrolled first.

Postal Department officials say that they have to face irate residents on a regular basis since the enrolment process has been stalled for the time being. “Residents get irritated when they get to know that the enrolment is not being done. We have to calm and convince them,” said an official.

“It is very strange on the part of the government. The government should have planned first and then started the enrolment process. We are being put in an awkward situation, each time we come to get ourselves enrolled we have to go back empty handed,” says another resident.

“The planning of the government is full of flaws they should have enrolled the beneficiaries at the very outset. The government has now woken up from a deep slumber and started the enrolment of beneficiaries first, thus stalling the enrolment process for the general public. Had beneficiaries been enrolled in the first phase, the process would have been completed by now. And now, when the direct cash transfer benefits are being mulled over by the start of the next financial year, the enrolment is far from completion,” the official says.



Retirees yet to get dues
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
The state government may be issuing notifications, announcing release of gratuity to the retired teachers in Government Grant-in-aid schools (education department), still the "beneficiaries" in about 48 schools in the district, were yet "struggling" to get their gratuity. Perturbed over the "callous" attitude adopted by the state government in releasing the funds, the retirees said at the fag end of their lives, they had to struggle to get their dues.

Dr Satish Thaman, a social RTI Activist, who has been fighting for the rights of the retirees here said the first notification of releasing the gratuity came on February 27 by Dr Kamal Kishor, Director Public Instruction, Education Department. "The retired teachers were too happy that at last the government woke-up from its deep slumber. More sad part is that till date, there has been no implementation of the notification," rued Thaman, adding that yet another instructions were issued on the release of arrears by the District Education Officer (Secondary) on March 6 but to no avail.

The retired teachers complained that they had filed an application under the RTI in February to know the reason of the delay of release of their gratuity, but they had still not been given any satisfactory reply.

"The teachers, retired teachers are considered as the builders of the nation. But we are being denied the dues. The pensions/arrears/gratuity of retirees are due from May 31, 2003. While many of our fellow-beings have already left the world, fighting for their rights and there are others in bad shape. The government must realise our plight and release the arrears as soon as possible as we need them," said Sukhwinder Singh, another retired teacher.

It may be mentioned here that 95 per cent of the arrears have to be released by the state government and remaining five per cent share has to be put by the respective schools themselves.



Health Department team finds shortcomings in mid-day meal kitchen
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
While taking action on regular complaints of central kitchen of mid-day meal scheme, a team of the health department inspected central kitchen here today.

As per the directions of the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, a team led by District Health Officer, Dr Avinash Kumar and Food Safety Officer Ravinder Grag visited at central kitchen and inspected the cooked food items.

The team displayed the instruction charts on the walls of kitchen. The health department has made a chart of instruction in which the department has mentioned more than 30 points that how workers can prepare the food in hygienic condition and make it tastier. The department has also provided that how mid-day meal kitchen can add the nutrition value of food for the ggod health of school children.

Dr Avinash Kumar, District Health officer said, "Today our team found that vegetables and chapattis were not cooked properly. The vegetable was more salty than the recommended taste and the chapattis were not properly baked."

"We have provided a chart to kitchen contractor in which we suggested that how they can improve the quality and taste of meal," said Avinash.



State ministerial staff hold convention

Ludhiana, March 13
23rd annual convention of State Ministerial Services Association was held at Guru Nanak Bhawan here today in which staff from all over Punjab participated and discussed their long pending demands.

Sukhwinder Singh, state president of the association said that the "errors" in the pay-scales of clerks, steno, Senior Assistant, Superintendent grade II, Superintendent grade I, administrative officer had to be rectified by the government.

Besides, the clerical staff had to be given the promotion scale, the arrears of fifth pay commission had to be implemented and direct recruitment of clerical staff on regular basis, recruitment of sufficient number of staff at newly announced districts etc were some of the main demands of the staff. — TNS



Revoke SHO’s suspension or face protest, warn rice millers
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 13
The controversial suspension of SHO Jagraon city police station Mohd Jamil seems to have downed the moral of the police officials in Ludhiana (rural) police district. Sources said that a feeling of insecurity prevails among the majority of the police officials following the suspension of SHO Mohd Jamil.

Though no police official is ready to openly raise his voice against the suspension of the SHO due to the fear of higher authorities of the police department, most of the police officials see this suspension as an injustice.

"If an officer like him is suspended for no fault of his own, how can the subordinate police officials feel secure? The fact is that the police officials are like puppets of politicians and they have to live on the mercy of political parties," said a police official on the condition of not revealing his name.

It is reminded here that the SHO was suspended by the department following a complaint of misconduct against him.

Sources claim that Jamil was suspended on the instructions of a senior leader of ruling party after Jamil questioned a local trader who has close ties with a ruling party leader, for buying stolen grain from a gang of grain thieves. This gang of grain thieves was busted by Jamil.

During the investigation, two members of thieves' gang had named a local trader for buying stolen grain from them following which the SHO questioned the trader. The very next day, Jamil was suspended. Sources added that Jamil is considered to be an honest and a duty bound police officer. He has earned a lot of respect and support of local residents with his functioning. The crime graph in the city has been reduced considerably since he took charge of the Jagraon city police station.

The members of truck union Jagraon and Hathur have been protesting against the suspension of the SHO. The truck union members also held a meeting with MLA SR Kaler after his suspension. Apart from the truck union members, the owners of rice mills have also demanded from the police officials to revoke his suspension.

The rice millers have threatened to stage protest if his suspension is not revoked within coming two days.

SSP Jagraon Ashish Chaudhry said SHO Mohd Jamil has been suspended after a complaint of misbehave against him. He also denied the reports of political pressure on the police in this case.



PAU staff demand probe into theft of building material
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
Taking a serious view of the recently held theft of sanitary and building material, employees of the PAU have demanded a fair inquiry in this regard from the PAU authorities.

Some of the union leaders of the PAU Employees Union have been raising the issue as they are alleging "embezzlement" in this case.

"The building material, which has been lying in the maintenance store, was brought for the repair of the quarters of employees.

The maintenance department did not repair the quarters. Now the employees have been forced to reside in the quarters which are in poor shape,” alleged a union leader from PAU Employees Union.

Meanwhile, some of the employees alleged that the PAU authorities have not been initiating the inquiry as they fear that it will expose the "embezzlement" as one of the person associated with Employees Union is allegedly involved in this case.

"The university authorities have made a deal with the PAU Employees Union that the authorities will not conduct any inquiry and in lieu of that union will not hold protest against authorities for issues of employees in future," said an employee of PAU requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, Dr Jaskaran Singh, Estate Officer PAU said, "We have initiated an inquiry to check the goods lying in the store. Our officials have been working on this task they will give the report soon."



Year on, ATM lies defunct in Doraha
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, March 13
An ATM machine of Doraha branch of the State Bank of Patiala is lying defunct for nearly a year and a half. The residents of the area are having hard times due to the non-availability of the facility.

“We fail to understand as why after all was this facility provided by the bank to the customers when they were not capable of continuing it in a maintained form? On one hand, the bank boasts of providing complete customer satisfaction from all angles and on the other, the customers return dissatisfied as a matter of routine. Every morning, the residents have to stand in queues in order to get the cash drawn from inside the bank. This not only wastes the precious time of people but also affects the smooth functioning of the employees of the bank, as they are not able to perform their activities in a congenial manner. In an attempt to provide hassle free services, the bank is creating rather more hurdles for the customers,” shared Gagandeep Boparai.

“We are simply astonished about the same. We had talked to the manager of the bank in this regard several times and every time he responds positively and assures that efforts are being made. But it is really sad to say that nothing concrete has been done till date to rectify the same and ease the problems bring faced by the customers. No positive results have come out despite the fact that it has been a number of years now when the machine was last declared non-functional,” shared Pawan Kumar Kaushal.

RK Tandon, the manager of the bank, when contacted said earlier the ATM machine was broken by some miscreants after which I wrote to the head office several times. “Now again, I have talked at the head office and the defunct ATM machine shall be replaced with a functional one within a week,” he assured.



Ludhiana scan

Grants given

President of District Congress Committee (urban) today handed over the cheque of Rs 4 lakh to the Government High School, Jawadi from MP Manish Tiwari's quota. Speaking on the occasion, Dewan said children are the future of the nation and we need to uplift the standard of education.

Meeting postponed

The meeting of the Property Tax Committee, which was to be held here on Wednesday evening, will now be held on March 17 at the Deputy Commissioner's office, Mini-Secretariat. According to a press release, the meeting had to be postponed due to the Vidhan Sabha Session and due to the busy schedule of the MLAs. The meeting will be held on March 17.

Meeting held

Meeting of selected congress workers was held here on Wednesday during which Krishan Kumar Bawa said the development of the city has come to a halt after the government came to power for the second time. He further said that instead of working on the developmental projects present state government seems to be more interested in holding facilitating functions.


Elections of the Lions Club were held unanimously during which Surinder Singh, Varun Chandok and Dr Rajesh Thapar were elected as president, general secretary and treasurer, respectively.

Brick-kiln owners to hold protest

Joint meeting of Ludhiana Brick Kiln Owners Association and Lal Jhanda Majdoor Union was held here on Wednesday to discuss the sky rocketing price of sand. Speaking on the occasion, Ashwani Sood, senior vice-president of Ludhiana Brick Kiln Owners Association said sand which was last year available for Rs 6 per cubic meter is today being sold at Rs 30 to 35 per cubic metre. The sand mines auctioned by the government were not done fairly. He further said due to escalating prices of sand, construction activity has come to a halt due to both brick kilns and labour is suffering. "There is no work in the market and it seems this year brick kilns will be closed before June. We will be jointly holding a protest on March 28 to 29 in this regard.”

Protest against property tax

In protest of levying of property tax on city residents, members of Dr Ambedkar Naujawan Sabha here on Wednesday held a protest against the state government in Cheema Chowk. The protesters were led by state president Raj Kumar Happy and district president Prince Padam. Happy rued that day is not far when the state government would levy ‘Oxygen Tax’ on the city residents. “People are feeling suffocated due to such burden of taxes. We demand that the state government should exempt houses up to 200 sq yards from paying property tax,” Raj Kumar Happy demanded.

Function of writers held

Mandi Ahmedgarh: With intent to bridge gap between writers and readers of the East and West Punjab, organisers of the Suhi Saver, dedicated Shah Mukhi Edition of the website to strengthening of Indo-Pak relations and global peace. An announcement was made by the chief organiser of the website Shiv Inder Singh during annual function held at Pakhowal village near here. The function was presided over Prof Bawa Singh, former vice-president National Minority Commission, and Anil Chamaria was the chief guest. Speakers including Shiv Inder Singh, Chamaria, Vikram Singh Sangrur and Asif Raza expressed hope that introduction of Shahmukhi Lipi would facilitate Punjabi writers and readers from India and Pakistan share their views and observations through a common platform.

Left party to organise meeting

Doraha: A state-level plenum of the Marxist Communist Party of India (United) will be organised on March 16 and17 at Dirba Mandi in Sangur district. In a press statement, Kuldeep Singh, secretary, state committee MCPI (U) said a total of 100 delegates will participate in the plenum. In this plenum the situation relating to inter-national, National and the State will be discussed. "The anti-working class and anti-people policies of the central government led by the Congress party will also be discussed in the plenum," he added. "The deficiencies in the party organisation and strengthening party organisation will find prime importance on the agenda of the State Plenum," he further said. Keeping in view the interests of the working class and the people, a tactical line for the coming Lok Sabha elections will also be discussed.

Blood donation camp organised

Future General India Life Insurance Company has joined hands with Zindagi Live Foundation to help thalassaemia children and organised a blood donation camp here on Wednesday at his office Sandhu Tower, Ferozepur Road, Ludhiana, as many 71 donors donated voluntarily in support of the noble cause. A team under Dr Gursheen from DMC&H has collected the blood. — Tribune Reporters



2 booked for duping youths on pretext of sending them abroad
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
The Jamalpur police has booked two persons, including a woman, for duping innocent youths on the pretext of sending them abroad. The accused have been identified as Salni and GR Shastri, residents of GK Estate, Mundian Kalan.

Victim Jawahar Lal, a resident of Ambala, said the accused fleeced him on the pretext of sending him to Canada. The deal was made of Rs 6.3 lakh for sending him abroad. But the accused neither sent him abroad nor returned his money. A case has bee registered.



Four car-borne youths kidnap, rob TTE
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
A travelling ticket examiner, (TTE) with the Indian Railway was kidnapped by four car borne youths from Aman Nagar during mid-night.

The kidnapper drove him around the city for nearly an hour, before finally throwing him out of the moving vehicle near Kaka Marriage palace near Ferozepur road.

Narrating the incident, the TTE Vijay Shama (45), said he was returning home from work at 2 am. When he reached near his house, four car-borne assailants alighted from the vehicle and overpowered him.

They took him in their and removed his gold ornaments. They also snatched the cash Rs 7,000 he was carrying.

He said the kidnapper thrashed him. They also got hold of his ATM card and tried to withdraw cash at three ATM but failed in their attempts. Finally, they give Rs 20 to Vijay Sharma and three him out of the moving vehicle.

He reported the matter to the police here today.



33-year-old killed in accident

Ludhiana, March 13
A 33-year-old man died in a collision of scooter and motorcycle at Jodhewal Basti here today. The incident took place this evening when the victim, Satpal Singh, was heading towards Jalandhar by-pass on his scooter and suddenly, a motorcyclist came hit him head on.

Police to crack the whip on encroachers

ACP Traffic Dhruman Nimble said a strict action will be taken against persons who would try to encroach upon the service lane on the Ferozepur road. He said the removing of encroachment would start from March 14. Whosoever would not comply with the rule would have to face the music, said Nimble. — TNS



Accidents leave four dead in city

Ludhiana, March 13
Three persons, including an elderly woman, lost their lives in separate incidents that took place here today.

Panic spread in Salem Tabri area after a headless body of a man was found on a railway track here this morning.

The incident came to light this morning when the residents spotted the body and informed the police about the incident.

Soon the Government Railway Police (GRP) reached the spot. On searching the body, the policemen found a purse from where the identity of the victim was established.

"The victim was identified as Sonu, a resident of Phillaur. He was a class IV employee in the Punjab Police Academy (PPA) Phillaur," said SHO GRP Gurnam Singh.

He said the head and right hand of the victim were missing. "We have searched for it but could not find the hand and head," said Gurnam Singh, while not ruling out the theory that the stray dogs in the area might have taken away the head.

He said that the police was investigating the case from all angles. He said that victim could have been killed and his headless body was thrown near the railway track to hoodwink the police or Sonu may have committed suicide by running before an approaching train.

Man hit by train, dies

A 26-year-old man died after he was hit by a train on a railway bridge. According to eyewitness, that the victim was listening to music while walking on the track in Kundan Puri area. The victim was identified as Dev Raj. He was hit by a train following which he fell from the bridge and died on the spot.

Man found dead

A body of a man was found today morning by some local residents. The victim has been identified as Dev Raj, a resident of Kundanpuri. Dev Raj used to sell eatables in trains. The incident came to light this morning after residents of the area spotted Dev Raj spotted the dead body and informed the city police. Balwinder Singh, the investigation officer of the GRP police station, said Dev Raj was listening to music on earphones and could hear the noise of the approaching train. He was the sole breadwinner of three children.

60-year-old crushed to death

A 60-year-old woman was crushed to death by speeding truck at Gill Chowk here today. The victim has been identified as Amarjit Kaur (60) was heading for work along with her husband on a bicycle, when an overspending vehicle came from behind and hit their bicycle them from behind.

The duo was tossed in the air. Amarjit's husband fell on the footpath, the victim fell in the middle of the road.

Before she could react, a truck ran over her. She was rushed to the hospital and where she was declared brought dead. Her body was sent for the postmortem examination. The driver of the truck managed to flee from the spot. — TNS



Two of gang arrested with habit-forming drugs
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 13
The Sudhar police has nabbed two members of a gang that has been involved in distribution of habit-forming substances among youths.

Over 11,000 ml of a cough syrup and a car used in the crime were seized from their possession.

The accused were identified as Gursharan Singh, alias Lovely, and Rajvinder Singh, alias Ravi, of Talvandi Rai village in Ludhiana district.

A police party led by Rajesh Sharma, SHO, Sudhar police station, nabbed the accused at Rajoana T-intersection on the Pakhowal-Halwara road near here today.

After interrogation, the accused revealed that they accused used to purchase the scheduled drugs from Pindi street market in Ludhiana and supply the same to youths including school and college students.



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