L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Close shave for five students
Girls fell off moving Shatabdi train during chaos triggered by ‘early’ departure of train
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 5
Five girl students had a providential escape after they fell off a moving Shatabdi Express train at the local railway station. They were allegedly trying to catch the train. A 21-year-old BSc final year student of the Government College for Girls (GCG) got stuck in the space beneath the footrest of the train while Paramjit Kaur, (name changed on the request of her parents), a resident of Sahnewal, was dragged to a distance.

Fortunately, someone pulled the chain on time and the injured was rushed to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. She had suffered a serious back injury and a suspected hairline shoulder fracture.

The incident took place at around 7am when a group of 60 students, who were heading for a college educational trip to Bangalore, gathered at Platform No. 1.

An eyewitness, Surinder Beri of Jagraon, said: "The parents were accompanying most girls at the station. While certain parents entered the train to place the luggage, others were having a word with their wards. Suddenly, the train left the station without any prior indication. This led to a commotion. The students made a desperate attempt to catch the train, while the parents tried to jump off the moving train. Around five girls fell down in the process of catching the train."

Despite repeated attempts to contact Station Superintendent RK Sharma, he was not available for comments.

Baldev Singh, SHO, Government Railway Police (GRP), said they had not received any complaint from the injured girl's parents.

Parents hold protest

He said the incident triggered a massive protest. Angry parents squatted in front of the Shatabdi and demanded action against the driver and other employees for putting the life of passengers to risk. The protest continued for nearly 10 minutes, following which the railway authorities managed to get the track cleared and the Shatabdi Express left the station.

Train chugs off before stipulated 5-minute halt

Prof Kuldeep Singh of the GCG, who was accompanying the students, blamed the railway authorities for the incident. "It appeared that the train was perhaps running behind schedule. Instead of stopping the train at the station for the stipulated five minutes, the driver started it barely after two minutes’ halt. The siren was not blown to alert the passengers. Chaos prevailed at Coach 9 and 10 in which the girls were travelling. Navjot fell while she was trying to catch the train," said Prof Kuldeep Singh. He would take up the matter with the Station Superintendent, he said.

108 ambulance reaches late

Highlighting the callousness of the 108 ambulance service, eyewitness Surinder Beri said the ambulance arrived at the railway station after half an hour. "You can well imagine. The injured girl's parents, who had reached Sahnewal when they were called and told about the incident, arrived at the railway station well before the emergency ambulance," said Beri.

Police protecting culprits, say Kin of injured girl

Lambasting the GRP, the injured girl's relatives said: "What do we do? We look after our child or run from pillar to post to file a police complaint? No one has come to the hospital to record her statement. The police are trying to protect the culprits."


Crime file
Two dupe employer of Rs 4 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 5
Two employees of a company were booked for forging the signature of their employer and duping him of Rs 4 lakh. The accused, identified as Amit Kumar and Akhilesh Kumar, both residents of Vaishali district in Bihar, have been booked under sections 380, 406, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC for fraud and criminal breach of trust.

The duo has also taken away a laptop and a motorcycle provided to them by the employer.

Beeru Ram, an official of Mukesh Strips Limited, said the duo first stole a cheque and then transferred Rs 4 lakh in their account by forging the signature of the company's chairman.

Mukesh Kumar, SI, said: "We have registered a case against the duo and they would be nabbed soon."

Newborn found dead

A newly born girl child was found dead in a vacant plot on the Noorwala road here on Sunday.

The incident came to light when a local resident entered the plot to answer nature's call and found the dead newborn.

Barely a few days ago, the body of a newly born girl child was found in the bathroom of a hospital.

The boy, who left the child in the bathroom, was caught on the close circuit television camera installed in the hospital.

Truck driver’s body found in forest area

A truck driver was found dead in the forested area near National Highway-I at Ladhowal here on Sunday.

The incident came to light last evening when a resident, who was looking for the truck driver, found him dead in the forest area.

The police has registered a murder case against unidentified persons under section 302 of the IPC. The body has been sent to the Civil Hospital where it will be kept for three days for identification, following which a post-mortem will be conducted.

The truck driver had parked his vehicle on the road. In the evening, the local residents spotted the truck and launched a search for the driver.

Two booked for forcible conversion

A father-son duo was booked for the forcible conversion of a woman living at EWS Colony in the Division No. 7 area. The accused have been identified as Jagdish and Sanjay.

Reema, a resident of the locality, has levelled allegations that the father-son duo thrashed her and forced her to convert.

Sub-Inspector Jagdish Singh said in the preliminary investigation, it had been found that it was a quarrel between neighbours, which was blown out of proportion.



Atta Dal scheme
Staff face tough time tracing beneficiaries
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 5
The state government has asked the authorities here to prepare a fresh list of people who are eligible for the Blue Cards so that they are provided the benefits of the Atta-Dal scheme, which was re-launched in the state on December 1. The last date for completing the lists was December 31 but being one of the largest districts, employees are finding it difficult to trace the "real" beneficiaries in Ludhiana, hence the delay in winding up the survey.

The Deputy Commissioner, Rajat Aggawal, said there were more than 2.7 lakh applicants in the district and the data of the rural population was almost complete. But the employees, who are conducting verification surveys in city areas, are finding it difficult to trace the addresses and beneficiaries. "Still we have involved more employees to complete the task as early as possible. We expect within the next about three days, we will be able to prepare and send the lists to the higher-ups," said Aggarwal.

Meanwhile, the teachers, who have been put on the verification duty, maintain that they were facing problems as most residents are not willing to cooperate with them. The general secretary of the Government School Teachers' Union, Parveen Kumar, said teachers were coming up with such complaints. He said they had to do this "additional-work" after the regular school hours and for this, they had to visit several “mohallas”, streets and other areas.

"Most areas are difficult to locate. Under one name, there are many areas/streets and it is so difficult to find who the real beneficiaries are. If wrong data is sent by the employees, then they will be held accountable for sending wrong information. Second, most residents are not willing to cooperate with the staff while some others hide information. In such circumstances, we feel very helpless," said Sukhwinder Singh, a teacher, who has been asked to get the forms correctly filled.



Inclement weather throws rail traffic out of gear
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 5
After a respite of few days last week, a thick blanket of fog again covered the region, throwing the rail traffic out of gear. Several trains, including most of those running on the trunk route (New Delhi-Amritsar and New Delhi-Jammu) were delayed by hours due to poor visibility, causing immense inconvenience to passengers.

According to railway officials, the traffic on New Delhi-Ludhiana-Amrtisar section was worst affected due to fog with the elite Shatabdi trains and many other mail and express trains running behind schedule.

Among the trains running late on thr trunk route were 14051 Delhi-Jammu Express (2.20 hrs), 12029 New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi (1.55 hrs), 12037 New Delhi-Ludhiana Shatabdi (1.50 hrs), 12497 New Delhi-Amritsar Shan-e-Punjab (2.05 hrs), 12498 Amritsar-New Delhi Shan-e-Punjab (1.50 hrs), 14037 Delhi-Pathankot (1.50 hrs) and 12459 New Delh-Amritsar intercity express (2 hrs).

Many other long-route trains, originating from West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat were also running behind schedule, said the officials. These include 18101 Tatanagar-Jammu Muri Express (5.10 hrs), 12355 Rajinder Nagar (Bihar)-Jammu Archna Express (5.20 hrs), 15707 Katihar-Amritsar Amrapali Express (3.10 hrs), 12919 Indore-Jammu Malwa Express (3.30 hrs), 12331 Kolkata-Jammu Himgiri Express (15.30 hrs), 11057 Mumbai-Amritsar Dadar Express (3.30 hrs) and 15209 Saharsa-Amritsar Jansewa (2.15 hrs).

Rail passengers, especially those travelling long distances with their families, were worst sufferers as they had to wait in the open. The waiting rooms couldn’t accommodate the passenger rush. “We have not only to wait for several hours to board our intended train to Jammu but also face the harsh chilly weather along with our children,” said Rajinder Singh, a businessman, who was on a visit to his relatives in the city.

Railway officials maintained that all possible efforts were being made to stick to the timetable but rail traffic getting disrupted due to the bad weather and poor visibility conditions was a routine matter during these particular weather conditions.



F&CC meeting on Jan 8
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 5
The much-awaited fourth meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) has been scheduled for January 8. This is after a period of two months that this meeting has been scheduled. During the meeting, orders of several development works are likely to be issued.

With the date for the F&CC meeting getting finalised today, the political scene is likely to hot up once again as this committee has not been formed "formally". And the councillors, even from the ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine, Congress as well as independents have been demanding that it should be constituted "formally".

According to the rules, the committee can be formed only during the MC General House meeting. However, Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria has failed to form the committee even as three general house meetings have been held.

The committee comprises the Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor, Deputy Mayor and two other members, who are elected by the MC House. Two members are yet to be elected despite the fact that the MC House was constituted more than a year ago.

The MC Commissioner is also the ex-officio member of F&CC. Any development work that is to be carried out in the city has to be passed and cleared by the F&CC.

While speaking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said: "Earlier, this meeting was scheduled for January 6, but as the MC Commissioner as well as other senior MC officers are to attend a meeting with the Deputy Chief Minister, we decided to hold the meeting at 4 pm on January 8."



Election fever grips Sutlej Club

While the elections of the Sutlej Club here are expected to be held somewhere in March, 2014, but the election fever has already gripped its members. Those, aspiring to contest on various key-posts have already started doing home-work so that the influential people in the city do not give a word to any other candidate. And for this, the candidates have started visiting them, who are well-connected with the city residents for getting their blessings. Though, the prestigious club is said to be an officers' club, still the politics remains the same during every elections. But the question arises that when all (those in fray) claim that that they have no vested interest and just want to serve the club then why such hard efforts are made to secure a post when you do not have to get anything out of it? The members need to think wisely before extending support to the candidates.

Traffic congestion

The district administration, Municipal Corporation and the traffic police, it seems, are clueless to come to terms with the perennial problem of traffic congestion and inadequate parking places on the city roads. As chaos prevails on the roads, and commuters are caught in traffic jams almost in all parts of the city, the affected people including shopkeepers, residents and other road users are also at their wits end. Majority of the city residents feel that the problem of traffic congestion and parking persists due to lack of will and skill on the part of the authorities to tackle it. "While the authorities - be it MC officials, traffic police or administration, are continuing with their futile efforts of traffic management with little or no results, the residents of the industrial capital of the state have been left to fend for themselves," as an exasperated city resident put it.

Novel parking

Flyovers are built to ease traffic chaos, but has anyone ever seen a flyover built to cater parking of vehicles. One has to visit Bhadaur House to witness this unique fact. A leg of Lakkar Bridge flyover that lands in front of Caliber Plaza shopping mall cater to the parking of rickshaws, mini trucks and scooters belonging the shopkeepers. A cloth trader while making fun of the authorities says this is the pleasure of democracy and vote bank politics. If the shopkeepers has converted parking space into shops, the civic authorities constructed a flyover to accommodate the parking of vehicles.

New trend

The chilly winter has brought in a new trend in the city which has brought cheer on the faces of hosiery traders. Earlier, the youth preferred not to wear woollen caps, but with the dip in mercury, suddenly a lot of youngsters can be seen sporting woollen caps. "Earlier there were only monkey caps, but now we can have lots of caps in different colours. It not only provides us respite from winter chill, but even looks good," said a student of Punjab Agricultural University.

(Contributed by: Shivani Bhakoo, Kuldip Bhatia, Mohit Khanna, Puneet Pal Singh Gill)



Better Ludhiana: parking woes
City continues to grapple with parking problem

Ludhiana suffers from maddening traffic and very less space for public parking. Moreover, due to overcharging by contractors, residents prefer to park their vehicles on the roadside, leading to traffic snarl-ups. In the first part of the series, Ludhiana Tribune reporter Puneet Pal Singh Gill takes stock of the situation

In the absence of a public parking lot, vehicles parked haphazardly along Malhar Road in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation manages a multi-level parking lot near Mata Rani Chowk in Feroze Gandhi Market and 13 public parking lots along the Ferozepur Road. These public parking lots in the city, which are already very few in number taking into consideration the number of vehicles, are not maintained properly.

Residents also accuse contractors of overcharging. The MC, however, has failed to check this practice. Despite a dire need to open more public parking lots at the commercial hubs, the civic body seems to be in no mood to act.

Commercial establishments flout building bylaws

Areas such as Model Town, Malhar Road, Sarabha Nagar Market, Ghumar Mandi, Mall Road, Rani Jhansi Road, Bhadaur House, College Road, Dandi Swami Road, Cemetery Road and Pakhowal Road have become hubs of commercial activities.

However, flouting the building bylaws, shopkeepers have not made proper arrangements for parking of visitors’ vehicles, due to which these remain parked on roads, leading to traffic congestion. The building branch officials, who need to keep a check on this practice, keep mum.

Malhar Road a nightmare

Malhar Road, which separates the posh Sarabha Nagar and Gurdev Nagar areas of the city, is fast turning into a commercial hub. But the MC has failed to check the violations of building bylaws here. Several new buildings have come up and more are in the process of getting completed, but proper parking provisions have not been made.

A few months back, Indira Hosiery had opened a showroom along the road, but no parking provisions were made by the proprietor. Also, restaurants such as Frog Prince, Sankalp, Kelong, Bollywood Tadka, Welkom Palace and Mocha besides a hospital near Hero Bakery and several other commercial establishments have no parking space. Considering the number of visitors to these commercial establishments, the parking space is not adequate, due to which Malhar Road remains blocked with traffic.

Even a visit to the Sarabha Nagar market located nearby is a nightmare. The condition is such that when the present parking lot gets full, people park their vehicles along the roads or outside residential premises. The irked residents of Block E, B, D and I have, in fact, installed gates to stop this practice.

Contractors fleece residents

Following the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the MC had started paid parking service on the service lane along Ferozepur Road in July last year.

Parking on this road was started after a city resident approached the court alleging that the service lane remained encroached upon by big commercial establishments for parking of vehicles of people visiting these establishments.

As per the rates fixed by the court, residents have to pay Rs 5 for parking a bicycle and Rs 10 for two-wheelers and four-wheelers in the first hour. If parked for between one to two hours, two-wheelers have to shell out Rs 20 and four-wheelers Rs 30.

But, here too, contractors are fleecing the residents by charging a flat rate of Rs 30. Despite tall claims made by the civic body officials, this practice has been going on unabated. The MC has now decided to cancel contracts of some of the parking lots, where contractors have been accused of overcharging.

Roadside rehris a menace

Even as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and the traffic police have marked yellow lines along the roads, most of the roadsides remain encroached by rehri vendors. These yellow lines have been marked for residents to park their vehicles in designated areas and not encroach upon the remaining road. The failure to clear rehris from along the roads beats the purpose, leading to traffic congestion.

More paid parking lots on the cards

The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has decided to start paid parking service at Ghumar Mandi, Sarabha Nagar market, Malhar Road and Model Town. Initially, they had planned to start it in the Bhadaur House area too, but it was later called off. At first, these parking lots will be opened on a trial basis for a period of three months.

The civic body will charge a flat rate of ~10 from owners of four-wheelers and ~5 will be charged as parking fee from owners of two-wheelers.

“A committee for fixing the reserve price has been formed and we will finalise the price soon. Later, tenders will be floated. We will try to open these new parking lots by the end of this month,” said MC Additional Commissioner Davinder Singh.


Very soon we will be opening new public parking lots in four areas of the city. On becoming operational, these parking lots will bring much-needed respite to city residents.

— Rahul Tiwari, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation

The issue of violations of the building bylaws on Malhar Road is on my mind. I will be personally visiting the area to check all the violations related to parking. If proprietors have not made adequate parking arrangements, action will be taken against them

— Isha Kalia, MC Additional Commissioner and head, building branch



Demoted lecturers up in arms against government
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 5
The demoted teachers are up in the arms against the state government, particularly the department of education for being inefficient and taking a wrong decision, which had ruined their careers. About 600 teachers, who have recently been demoted by the department, maintain that they were promoted by the government after verifying everything and now after a year and half, the government took the decision to revert them to master cadre, which was totally unjustified.

Talking to The Tribune, Jagjit Singh, secretary, Punjab Master Cadre Union said this was the mockery of the system. "These teachers were promoted as lecturers from the master cadre and now after about two years, the government woke-up from its deep slumber and decides to revert its own orders. This is unjustified, their self-esteem is hurt."

Press secretary, Punjab, Maths Teachers Association, Gurbir Singh said if government had to promote other teachers, it could do that and these already promoted teachers could also be accommodated under the 75 per cent promotion quota. "There was no need to demote them to adjust others. If government feels that it had committed a mistake then it was committed by the officials themselves so they should be punished. Why should these 600 teachers be penalised without any fault of theirs after two years? asked Gurbir Singh.

It may be mentioned that about 600 teachers were promoted as lecturers in May 2012. And those, who were left without promotions, moved to the court. On getting directions, the government formed a committee to look into the matter once again and it was found that the seniority lists were not made properly by the department and many genuine candidates failed to get promotions. The teachers from all over Punjab gathered at Chatar Singh Park here today to protest against the government's move.



College notes
NSS camp

A seven-day NSS Camp was organised at Gobindgarh Public College, Alour, Khanna. On the first day, the Inaugural ceremony was performed by the chairman of the college Vimal Vinod Bansal. The day began with an enchanting prayer by the volunteers. Principal Dr Neena Seth Pajni welcomed the students and motivated them towards participation in the activities for the welfare of society. The volunteers were then addressed by Prof. Mandeep Singh [Dept. of Punjabi], on power of yoga. An hour of meditation rejuvenated students and the NSS volunteers were ready to head towards Government Senior Secondary School, Naraingarh, with brooms in their hands. School playground, lawn, cycle-stand and passage of the school were cleaned. More than 100 volunteers participated in this program.

Annual convocation

Annual Convocation of the Ludhiana College of Engineering & Technology, Katani Kalan, Ludhiana, was held here yesterday. More than 400 students were awarded degrees in various disciplines on the basis of their academic performance. The convocation was presided over by Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Minister, Public Works Department (Punjab), who was also the chief guest on the occasion. Dr JS Sohal, director, LCET, welcomed chief guest and said there was absolutely no doubt in his mind that all the graduates were among the best minds in the world and had potential to become catalysts for technical revolution. He expressed that the world was waiting for their contributions and the knowledge and technical expertise acquired at Ludhiana College of Engineering & Technology will surely lead to a positive change. While reading annual report of the college, Dr Pawan Kumar, principal, LCET, enumerated the achievements of the college. He said LCET was the first college in the region, to offer B.Tech in automobile engineering since 2004, in addition to all the major streams of engineering and management. — TNS



Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar colony
Residents up in arms over stalled works
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 5
Residents of 475-acre Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Colony developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), which was transferred to the Municipal Corporation for maintenance in July last year, are up in arms over stalled developmental works and lack of sanitation and other basic amenities.

In an ultimatum to the civic body and the state government, the residents have said that if the process of handing over the colony to the MC was not completed soon, they would oppose the ruling coalition in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Attributing the pathetic condition of the colony to the bureaucratic red tape, the residents said while the LIT had transferred the colony to the MC under the provisions of the Punjab Town Improvement Act, the MC was shying away from taking control due to alleged political interference at the highest level.

Arvind Sharma, a resident and an RTI activist, along with many other residents of the colony asserted that after the transfer of the colony to the MC, a few building plans were approved and estimates for some development works were also prepared.

"However, to the shock and dismay of the residents, the Local Government department put the process of transfer of the colony and four other colonies of the Trust on hold. There are rumours that a senior BJP leader had scuttled the process of transfer of these colonies for his personal interests," they said.

As the fate of the colony hangs in balance, and none from among the LIT and MC holding administrative control, the residents allege unauthorised construction is going on unabated and building bylaws are being flouted with impunity by the property owners. Not only this, the water supply and drainage system are inadequate and in the absence of regular sweeping, heaps of garbage are lying everywhere.

While the LIT officials maintained that the colony stood transferred to the MC, which was supposed to provide all basic amenities as well as carry out other developmental works, senior MC officials said the government had directed that the transfer of this colony, along with four other colonies be put in abeyance till further orders.

"We can only redress the problems of the residents when the Trust colonies are formally taken over by the MC, and that will happen only when the government says so," said an MC official.



300 examined at medical camp

As many as 300 patients were examined at a homeopathic and orthopedic camp on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The camp was organised by Bhai Ghanayya Ji Sports and Welfare Club at Ram Bhawan on Sunday. The camp was inaugurated by halqa in charge Jagdeep Singh Cheema and council chief Vicky Mittal. The chief organiser councillor, Darshan Singh Cheema, thanked Bhagat Pooran Singh Social Welfare Society, Khanna, and Guru Gobind Singh Youth Club, Amloh, for extending their cooperation. The general secretary of the club, Pritpal Singh, spoke on the achievements of the club on the occasion. The chief of Bhagat Pooran Singh Society, Harjit Singh Bainipal, Karamchari Dal State chief Karamjit Singh Bhagrana and Akali leader Happy Sood also spoke on the occasion.

Blankets distributed

The Peoples Welfare and Charitable Society distributed blankets to the poor and needy women at a function in Lons Bhawan in Ludhiana. Speaking on the occasion, president of the society Ramesh Joshi exhorted the social orgnaisations and NGOs to come forward to lend a helping hand to the weaker section of the society. Joshi said every person should make an effort to help the needy.

Bhawan inaugurated

A newly-constructed Baba Sain Bhawan was inaugurated in Grain Market near Jalandhar Bypass in the presence of a large number of devotees and followers of Baba Sain Dharam. The PWD Minister, Punjab, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Prem Mittal, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Surinder Dawar and Ranjit Singh Dhillon, legislators, City Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwadia, chairman of District Planning Board Hira Singh Gabria and Dalit leader Lakshman Dravid , among others attended the function.

Check-up camp

The Rotary Club, Greater Ludhiana organised a check-up camp on dental and respiratory diseases at Noorwala Road near Jain Medicine Centre. As many as 175 patients were examined during the camp. — TNS



sandalwood smuggling
Ten months on, case hangs fire
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 5
The arrest of three persons, including a woman, who were involved in the stealing of sandalwood worth Rs 2 crore has yet again brought to the fore the matter of recovery of 27 ton of sandalwood in April last year. Sandalwood worth over Rs 14 crore in the international market was recovered from a shed in Doraha, following a complaint of a Jalandhar-based exporter manufacturing nuts and bolts.

The Khanna police had launched a parallel probe into the matter along with the Customs Department, but the issue still hangs fire. The file of this case seems to have been closed.

Sources said the investigation was initiated following apprehensions of Maoist involvement in the smuggling of red sandalwood.

It has been nearly a year, but the department could not nab any accused in the case.

Sources said the Khanna police had probed the issue and found that the address given by the Dubai-based client was false.

"The Dubai-based client had hoodwinked the police and Customs officials. The address, where the sandalwood was being smuggled to, was in fact a PO box in Dubai, and that too opened using a false name. So the investigation met a dead end. Since then, there has been no progress in the case," said a high-ranking police official, requesting anonymity.

Sources claimed the intelligence agencies were suspecting that Maoists in South India had connived with Dubai-based smugglers for sending the wood through a new route to Hong Kong, China. The axing of red sandalwood trees is banned in India. The wood is in high demand in China. The Ludhiana route is usually not used for smuggling red sandalwood, though such consignments have been confiscated several times on the India-Nepal border.

The shed from where the sandalwood was recovered was taken on rent just 20 days before the incident.

When the police raided the shed, it also recovered containers of adhesives. The police had suspected that the smugglers may have managed to smuggle one consignment of sandalwood. Officials suspect the smugglers may have sent the wood in a truck carrying adhesives.



Khamano all set for on-the-spot challan system
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano, January 5
On the guidelines by the state government, the offenders who violate traffic rules will no longer have to go to the district headquarters to deposit the challan charged, instead they will have to pay the amount there and then.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Khamano, Ramandeep Singh, said the police officials will install nakas in the area to ensure smooth traffic flow and less violations.

“Officer below the rank of ASI will not be entitled for on the spot charging of challan. The police officials will be provided punishable charging amount list which include jumping of red light, not wearing seat belts, not wearing helmet while riding a two-wheeler, using mobile phones at the time of driving, triple riding on two-wheelers, wrong parking, disobeying traffic signals, unauthorised use of red/blue beacon and overloading of school buses,” said the DSP. According to the DSP the rate of charging amount for the first time and subsequent offences will be different.

The letter in this regard has been issued by the Secretary to Government of Punjab, Department of Transport, Mandeep Singh.



Property tax
Statewide protests from Jan 17
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 5
A state-level convention in protest of property tax and fee for regularisation of plots was held at Punjabi Bhawan, here today. During the convention, a 21- member committee was formed and it was decided that protests against the state government will be organised on district as well as tehsil level from January 17 onwards.

Bant Brar, secretary, CPI, Punjab stated that the property tax as well as fee for regularisation of plots is too much for a common man. He said the state government is hell-bent to harass the common man.

“We would hold protests in different parts of the state where the residents would be informed about the anti-people tactics of the state government,” he said.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included Ram Lal, Satvir Singh Dhanoa, Gurkirpal Singh Patiala, Anil Bansal, Tara Chand Bareta, Ashwani Kumar Joshi, Kanwaljit Khanna, besides several others.



Swindlers decamp with fabric
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 5
Four women duped a shopkeeper of his expensive cloth material at the Focal Point area here today. Victim Chanderparkash, owner of Apsra Readymade Garments on Metro Road, said two women entered his shop and started taking a look at the cloth materials.

“Two more women entered the shop and also started looking for cloth materials. One of them was carrying a child,” said the shop-owner.

While two women, on the pretext of bargaining, took his attention away from the other two women, they swiftly stole the cloth material, alleged the owner.

The theft came to light when he started rearranging the cloth materials after they left and found few of the items missing. He rushed out of his shop, but the women were nowhere to be seen.

Chanderparkash later saw the footage recorded on the CCTV camera installed at a neighbouring shop and found that the four were partners in crime. They all came in the same car, he said.



Fertiliser-laden vehicle looted
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, January 5
Three unidentified robbers allegedly looted a vehicle loaded with fertilisers worth Rs 2.5 lakh near Gurdwara Begampura Bhora Sahib on Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway last night. The robbers allegedly thrashed the driver and looted Rs 1,200 from him before fleeing away in the vehicle laden with the fertilisers.

The robbers allegedly left behind the vehicle in which they had arrived at the crime scene.

The incident came to light today morning when the injured driver approached the local police and informed them about the incident.

Following this, senior police officials including the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Jagraon, Surinder Kumar, sub-inspector Hari Mittar, ASI Balwant Singh and ASI Lakhvir Singh visited the spot and initiated the investigations.

A case has been registered against the unidentified persons on the basis of the complaint filed by the tempo driver.

The police have also confiscated the vehicle left behind by the robbers.

In his complaint to the police, the tempo driver identified as Nirmal Singh, a resident of Ambala, said he had loaded fertilisers from Ambala in his Mahindra Pickup on Friday. “I was supposed to deliver the same to various shopkeepers in Mukatsar and Kot Kapura. When I reached near Gurduwara Begampura Bhora Sahib on Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway last night, I stopped my vehicle to attend to the nature’s call. In the meantime, three unidentified persons who were carrying weapons arrived there in another vehicle. All of them came out of their vehicle and started thrashing me. They forcibly took away cash from me and then fled towards Moga in the tempo,” alleged Nirmal Singh.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Jagraon, Surinder Kumar said, “The vehicle that the robbers left behind on the crime scene bears a registration number of Himachal Pradesh. We suspect the robbers might have stolen that vehicle too. We are trying to ascertain the owner of the vehicle with the help of the Himachal Pradesh police.”

“The culprits will be nabbed at the earliest,” said the Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Driver robbed too

Three unidentified robbers allegedly looted a vehicle laden with fertilisers worth Rs 2.5 lakh. Before fleeing with the fertiliser-laden vehicle, the robbers also assaulted the driver, identified as Nirmal Singh, a resident of Ambala, and looted Rs 1,200 from him. Nirmal Singh said he had loaded fertilisers from Ambala in his Mahindra Pickup on Friday and was supposed to deliver the same to various shopkeepers in Muktsar and Kot Kapura.



Balwinder Singh XI emerge victorious
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 5
Sparing some time from the routine schedule, District Sales Tax Bar Association organised a cricket tournament for advocates here today. The teams took part in 12-overs-each-side matches at Arya College.

The final was played between Balwinder Singh XI and Rajesh Malhotra XI in which the former came out victorious by 10 runs. Batting first, Balwinder-XI scored 107 runs for the loss of four wickets in the stipulated 12 overs. Vivek Sharma was the top scorer with 49 runs. For Rajesh Malhotra XI, Vishal Sharma claimed two wickets, giving away 15 runs.

Chasing the target, Rajesh Malhotra XI could muster 97 runs after losing six wickets. The main contributors were Vishal Kumar Sharma and Raj Kumar, who chipped in with 15 and 10 runs respectively.

Vivek Sharma was declared the best batsman, while Rohit Grover was named the best bowler.

Anil Sareen, member, Punjab Public Service Commission, gave away the prizes. Narinder Singh Malhi, councillor, Municipal Corporation; Parupkar Singh Ghuman, president, District Bar Association, Ludhiana; and Balbir Khanna, president, Income Tax Bar Association, were among other prominent persons present at the prize distribution function.

Varinder Sharma, president of Sales Tax Bar Association, appreciated the organising committee members including Ashish Thaman, YP Sikka, Ashwani Kochhar, Ashok Wadhera, Ravi Joshi and Vinay Sharma.



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