L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Thieves strike yet again in city
Decamp with laptops, accessories worth lakhs of rupees from showroom
Tribune News Service

The owner shows the ransacked computer showroom in Ludhiana on Friday
The owner shows the ransacked computer showroom in Ludhiana on Friday. Photo: Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, January 10
Cocking a snook at the security arrangements, thieves struck yet again at a computer showroom located on Pakhowal Road near the Bakes and Beans restaurant and decamped with around 50 laptops and costly accessories worth lakhs of rupees.

The incident came to light this morning when an employee working in another showroom spotted the shutter broken. He informed Sukhpal Singh, the owner of the showroom, about the incident.

Sukhpal Singh called the police. Soon, fingerprint experts reached the spot and started the investigation.

He said the thieves decamped with 50 laptops and computers accessories. He said the exact loss was being ascertained.

He said his showroom was targeted for the second time during the past four years. The police had failed to crack the previous theft case, he said.

Before leaving the showroom, the thieves took away the digital video recorder installed to store CCTV footage.

It is learnt that after committing the theft at the computer showroom, the thieves attempted to break the shutter of a bank located in the same market.

However, they failed and managed to escape. Surprisingly, all this happened when there was heavy security on the stretch in the wake of a series of thefts in computer and mobile shops.

Sources said the police were hoping to get a clue from CCTV cameras installed outside the shops in the market. The police visited some shops and checked the CCTV footage, but to no avail.

Past incidents

  • On November 9, thieves struck at a computer shop and decamped with 12 laptops. Within 10 days, thieves struck at a shop and decamped with 80 mobiles and eight LCDs.
  • On December 8, the biggest theft of 2013 was reported, when thieves burgled a computer store in the Kochar Market area and decamped with laptops, LEDs, computers screens and computer appliances worth nearly Rs 60 lakh.
  • Thieves struck again on December 23 and fled with high-end laptops and mobile phones worth Rs 12 lakh from Bama Computers in Kitchlu Nagar.
  • y Six days later, on December 29, thieves struck at Micro Solutions on Pakhowal Raod and took away laptops worth Rs 12 lakh.
  • On January 8, thieves struck at Jasmeet Karyana Store in Dhuri Lines and decamped with mobile phones and recharge coupons worth thousands of rupees.
  • The next day, thieves struck at two shops. Jagatram of Sitec Computers, located on Chandigarh Road, said the thieves took away computers and computer accessories from his shop, while Deepak, owner of Anand Telecom, said thieves decamped with mobiles phones, recharge coupons and cash.


MLA takes fight against drugs to schools
To hold seminars, contests
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 10
SAD legislator from Mullanpur Dakha Manpreet Ayali today said regular seminars and competitions among school students regarding drug abuse would be conducted in all government and private schools falling under the Mullanpur Dakha constituency next month to create awareness among them regarding the evil.

Ayali said this after holding a series of meetings with sarpanches, panchayat members and representatives of various NGOs, youth clubs and sports clubs of various villages today.

"We will invite scholars, experts on drug de-addiction and senior police officials to address the seminars. We will also conduct competitions on the issue among school students to inspire the young generation against drug abuse," said Ayali, who had launched a campaign against drugs in his constituency recently.

Ayali pledged to wipe out corruption from government offices. He asked the people not to bribe any government official to get their work done. "I will soon get boards installed outside all government offices in the constituency urging people not to bribe government officials. I will provide the contact numbers of senior officials as well as my number on these boards so that people can let us know if any public servant demands a bribe from them," Ayali said.



LIT to start work on multi-storeyed flats soon
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 10
With technical approval for the final design and drawings of the proposed 8.8-acre multi-storeyed residential complex, Atal Apartments, in Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road here, having been granted by the Town and Country Planning Department, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) will soon take up work in hand for the construction of the complex to provide affordable housing facility to city residents.

The housing scheme, chalked out in March 2010, aims at catering to the growing need of low-cost housing in the mega city with around 1,000 flats for economically weaker sections and low-income groups as well as a pocket for MIG and HIG flats. According to the layout plan of the complex, residential flats will be constructed on 7.31 acres, while the remaining area would be earmarked for commercial pockets.

At a meeting of the Trust, held on Thursday, resolutions were adopted for certain amendments to the original layout plan which had envisaged carving out three plots of 500 sq yards each for allotment to locally displaced persons (LDPs) and leaving out an area of 166 sq yards where a constructed house is located.

The LIT has now proposed that the owner of the house located in a portion of the site earmarked for EWS flats and a community centre, be allotted an alternative 150 sq yard plot in E Block of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar so that the land in the residential complex could be properly utilised.

The proposal for carving out three plots of 500 sq yards each, to be allotted to the persons whose land was acquired for this scheme, has been dropped. In the fresh resolution adopted at the meeting, the Trust has proposed that only one owner of the land acquired for this scheme was entitled to a 300 sq yard plot, which could be allotted in any other existing scheme of the Trust.

LIT Executive Officer Jatinder Singh said the work for the construction of the flats would be taken in hand as soon as the resolutions adopted at the meeting were approved by the government. Steps were already under way to prepare fresh drawings of the pocket which would comprise EWS flats and a community centre.

1,000 flats to be constructed

  • Project for tentative number of 1,000 low-cost EWS, MIG and HIG residential flats
  • Change of land use allowed by the government
  • Technical approval granted by the Chief Town Planner and the Director, Town and Country Planning Department, Punjab
  • Design for proposed flats finalised through an open competition 



Rs 11 lakh stolen from Toyota Fortuner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
A theft and a snatching incident were reported from the Jamalpur area in the city here this evening. In the first incident, unidentified persons took away Rs 11 lakh by smashing the windscreen of a Toyota Fortuner that was parked in Kalra Properties.

Giving details about the incident, Aseem Kumar, an iron rolling mill owner, said he was returning home after finishing work. On his way home, he stopped at Kalra Properties and went to meet his friend.

He returned after nearly 15 minutes and was shocked to find that someone had broken the windscreen of his SUV and taken away Rs 11 lakh.

Man robbed of Rs 25,000

Barely a few metres away from the spot, another man claimed that he was robbed. Ravinderpal, who runs a shop in the Sherpur Chowk area, said two youths riding a motorcycle intercepted him and threatened to shoot him.

The duo asked Ravinderpal to hand over whatever he was carrying. Ravinderpal said the duo robbed Rs 25,000 from him.



MC gets down to management of traffic in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 10
In the wake of chaos prevailing on city roads due to the high volume of traffic and lack of proper regulation and enforcement, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has initiated a comprehensive traffic management plan in close coordination with the city traffic police and traffic management experts.

As part of the elaborate exercise, MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari visited several problematic spots, including Dugri Chowk, Bhadaur House, Old Sessions Court Chowk and areas around Clock Tower to find practical solutions to the traffic bottlenecks.

Tiwari said as the new railway overbridge in place of Lakkar Pul was expected to be completed soon and one ramp from the railway goods shed side was to be thrown open to traffic, it was essential to provide easy access to the approaches of the ROB from the goods shed and the sessions court side.

In the course of the visit of officials to the points where traffic congestion is a perennial problem, a proposal was mooted to widen the road along the upcoming ROB from the DIG office to the point where the road takes a turn towards Iqbal Nursing Home. For this purpose, a stretch of land would be sought from the Police Department, an MC official said.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, the MC Commissioner said he had asked the officials concerned to chalk out a plan for comprehensive traffic management in the city. “We are looking for practical solutions and emphasis will be on strict enforcement in close coordination with the city traffic police because most of the times, the problems defy the solutions simply due to poor enforcement.”

Tiwari said the traffic problem could be sorted out only with active cooperation of residents, shopkeepers and other road users bacause once new traffic plans were put in place, there could be some inconvenience in the initial stages. “The MC is not averse to suggestions from the affected people,” he said. He said another meeting with traffic planners and the traffic police would be convened soon to take decisive measures for better traffic management.



gps on buses
Schools unaware of new guidelines
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
In order to strengthen the security system and ensure safety of children, the Central Board Of Education (CBSE) has made it compulsory for the school buses to have the Global Positioning System (GPS) installed on them.

But the local schools are allegedly unaware of this development and most of principals of the schools said they have not received any circular from the Central Board Of Education in this regard.

The exact location of the buses will be tracked through the GPS, which will, in turn put the bus journey under the scrutiny of the school administrations.

As per the latest guideline issued by the Central Board Of Education, GPS will have to be approved by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).

“I am not aware of any such guidelines issued by the Central Board Of Education. Installation of speed governor (a device to measure or regulation the speed of a machine, such as engines) had been made mandatory by the Central Board Of Education last year and we are following it. But so far, we have not received any new circular regarding the transportation,” said the principal of KVM School, Navita Puri.

Principal of BCM School Paramjit Kaur said, “We have not received any fresh circular regarding the transportation by the Central Board Of Education. Last year, we were asked to install speed monitoring device in the transportation facility provided by the school.”

“Once we receive the circular we will definitely follow them but at present we are not aware of any such guidelines issued by the Central Board Of Education,” said another principal.



BKU seeks OBC quota for Jat Sikhs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 10
The Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) today sought reservation for Jat Sikhs under the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category and remunerative prices for the farm produce to offset the hike in prices of diesel, petroleum products and other inputs.

Talking to the media after a meeting of the state executive here today, president of the BKU Ajmer Singh Lakhowal said the Jat Sikhs in Punjab would not tolerate discriminatory treatment by the Centre and the government could face the farmers' wrath in general and the Sikh community in particular at the national level “kisan panchayat” to be held in Delhi on March 27, 2014.

The BKU chief made a fervent plea to the Union Government to review the minimum support prices of rabi crops and announce new prices as per the recommendations of Dr MS Swaminathan Committee.

He said the meeting had urged the Punjab Government to pass the draft Bill prepared for the remission of farm debts on the pattern of reforms effected by Sir Chotu Ram. “The Chief Minister had made several promises in this regard which still remain unfulfilled,” he commented.



95.6% turnout in PAU staff union poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
The elections of the Punjab Agricultural University Employees Union witnessed 95.6 per cent turnout here today.

The employees with enthusiasm stood in long queues to cast their vote.

Employees’ leaders said the timing of the elections and the increased number of contesting groups are the reasons behind the record turnout in union elections.

Surinder Gujjar, a member of an union, said: “January is suitable for elections as holidays are going on at the university. Moreover, the new groups also attracted more employees to cast the vote.”

Both major groups of employees, the PAU Employees Forum and the PAU Employees United Front, claimed their victory.

Gulzar Singh Pandher, senior leader of the PAU Employees Forum, said: “The voting trend has revealed that we will lead."

Harbans Singh Mundi, a contestant for the presidential post from the PAU Employees United Front said: “Employees voted against the anti-employee policies of the ruling group so we will lead by 200 votes.”

Taking a precautionary step, the PAU authorities and the police station, PAU, deputed police personnel to avoid any untoward situation.

Gurvir Singh, SHO, police station, PAU, said: “There is no possibility of any clash-like situation but we have deputed force to tackle any eventuality.

Gurjit Singh, chairman, election committee, PAU Employees Union, said: “The whole election process was peaceful. All groups followed the instructions issued by the election committee. Some groups have pasted posters on walls instead of notice boards during the campaign. We have issued notices to them and removed the posters.”

The counting of votes will be held tomorrow. It will start at 9am at the examination hall and the result will be declared at 2pm.



drug scam
Youth Cong seeks Majithia’s arrest

Ludhiana, January 10
Demanding a CBI probe in the alleged involvement of Bikramjit Singh Majithia in a drug scam, the Youth Congress here today held a protest dharna on Ferozepur Road under the leadership of Deepak Khandoor, president, Youth Congress, Ludhiana. They also sought the immediate arrest of Majithia.

Addressing the dharna, Punjab Youth Congress president Kamaljeet Singh Brar said the drug menace was increasing day by day in the state. Khandoor said if the CBI probe was conducted, many new things would be out in the synthetic drugs scam. Sushil Kapoor Lucky, Youth Congress central president, Harjinder Dhindsa, Youth Congress (Gill) president, and Aakshay Bhanot, senior Congress leader, were among those others present. — TNS



Protest against misuse of rape section

Ludhiana, January 10
Several socio-political organisations, including Shiv Sena, Hindu Morach and Anti- Crime and Anti-Corruption Youth Bureau, staged a dharna against the misuse of serious rape Section 376 of the IPC. The delegation, represented by the leaders, handed over a memorandum to the Commissioner of Police and the DC.

The memorandum, a copy of which was sent to the Prime Minister and the DGP, Punjab, demanded reconsideration in the section of rape. "How can someone be raped for one year at knifepoint. The Section 376 is being violated and the men are being exploited," said Parminder Singh Bajwa, while protesting outside the Mini-Secretariat. — TNS



youth festival
No geysers at PAU hostels
Admn makes alternative arrangements for hot water
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
During an inspection of the preparations for the National Youth Festival at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today, the Deputy Commissioner, Rajat Agarwal, raised concern over the lack of the basic facility of geysers in the hostels.

“I was surprised to know that geysers are not installed at the Punjab Agricultural University hostels. It is very tough to bath with chilled water during winters. I personally feel that geysers should be installed at hostels for the students,” said the DC.

The district administration, however, has made arrangement for hot water during the youth festival so that the participants are not put into inconvenience, said Agarwal.

“To provide the participants with hot water, we have arranged a furnace at every hostel and have also deputed workers who will be providing hot water to the participants personally,” said the DC.

Meanwhile, the office-bearers of PAU Student’s Association thanked the Deputy Commissioner for his concern.

The president of the PAU Student’s Association (PAUSA), Karanvir Singh Sandhu, said, “Installation of geysers in PAU hostels is a long-pending demand of students now. The Vice-Chancellor, PAU, has always denied us the facility by saying that students have to be rough and tough. Although the budget for PAU and veterinary university is the same, but while veterinary university has geysers installed in the hostels, PAU hostels are being denied of the same.”



Interactive session held

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 10
The Community Police Centre today organised a seminar at the police station, Dehlon.

Speakers including Nirmal Singh, in charge, Gill Circle, Jagtar Singh, in charge, Dehlon, and Satnam Singh called upon the office-bearers and activists of various organisations to act as bridge between the Administration and residents seeking services being provided by the community centre.

Enquieries related to arms license renewal, registration of NRIs visiting the area, extension of stay of NRIs, character verification for new employees, tenants and servants, and no objection certificates for organising fairs and playing loudspeakers were attended to by the organisers on the occasion. — OC



Ludhiana scan
Lohri celebrated

Members of the Youth Akali Dal celebrated Lohri at an orphanage, being run by SGB International, at Talwandi Khurd. Members of the party gave away toys, toffees, besides the traditional sweets. They also presented clothes and a cradle for the girl recently found in the washroom of a hospital. DC Rajat Aggarwal and BJP Kisan Cell leader Sukhminder participated in the event.

51 baby girls honoured
Mothers with their baby girls at a function in Ludhiana on Friday
Mothers with their baby girls at a function in Ludhiana on Friday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Lohri was celebrated at Mini Rose Garden by Active Anti-Corruption Group and Youth Akali Dal (central) on Friday. As many as 51 newborn girls, along with their parents, were honoured by the organisations. Gifts were also distributed on the occasion. About 20 girls, who had won laurels in karate at international-level competition, were also honoured. Ramesh Bangar, president of the group, said our society needs to change its outlook towards girl child. — TNS



Lohri losing its yesteryear charm, say residents

Ludhiana, January 10
Modernisation has taken its toll on the way Lohri is celebrated in present times. Although it is still celebrated with the traditional bonfire, but now, however, people rejoice the festival along with dancing on modern peppy numbers, said a member of the Niharika Ladies Club where the festival was celebrated today.

“The community feeling is losing its charm as it has become more of a family festival now,” said Sarabjit, a resident of Dugri.

“The society was much closely-bonded in the earlier times and there used to be more of a community bonding in the society and neighbourhood, but now time has changed. Earlier traditional songs were sung on the occasion, but now a peppy list of songtracks by DJ has replaced the melody of the customary song,” said Harjit Singh, a resident. — TNS



Traffic safety week observed

Khanna, January 10
The Khanna district police organised the 25th traffic safety week today. Surinder Pal Singh Oberoi, an NRI, was the chief guest.

On the occasion, Oberoi donated over 50,000 reflectors to the police for their vehicles. A function was also held in front of the city police station, Khanna, in this regard. Addressing the gathering, Oberoi, said the increasing number of accidents in Punjab hurt him deeply so he has came here to help the authorities in tackling such incidents.

Oberoi claimed that with their efforts they successfully got released 57 Indians from jails of various countries.

Oberoi said 90 trapped Indians were also rescued from different countries. Out of them, 57 returned to their homes while the remaining cases are pending due to incomplete paper work.

Hemant, traffic in charge, said over 130 persons died last year and nearly 134 were injured in road accidents in Khanna district. Hemant added that majority of the accidents happened due to drunken driving. Khanna DSP Pirthipal Singh and former Commissioner SK Ahluwalia were among those present. — OC



Homoeopaths seek new AYUSH doctors for RSBK
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
Homoeopathy and Ayurveda doctors appointed under the NRHM have urged the state government not to depute them for working in the Rashtriya Baal Swasthaya Karyakaram (RSBK).

NRHM Homoeopath’s Association demanded to recruit new AYUSH doctors as they take the plea that for conducting this survey they would have to close down their OPDs and patients would remain at the receiving end.

Dr Balwinder Kumar, president of the NRHM Homoeopathy’s Association said: “For this scheme, two teams have been constituted for each health block. Each team will have two AYUSH medical officers (1 male and 1 female), 1 ANM/staff nurse and one pharmacist.

These teams will screen 30 diseases in children aged 0-18 years present at anganwari centres and government schools and refer them to hospitals for free treatment. The department has already constituted teams for this purpose.

The state has now decided to close all AYUSH OPDs running in rural hospitals, and shifting the appointed AYUSH doctors to the RBSK. This will not only violate the norms of the NRHM, but also do injustice to people of the state by withdrawing the facilities of free treatment by alternate and natural sciences.

Dr Anil Vashisht, president, NRHM Ayurvedic Medical Officers’ Association, appealed to Health Minister Sujit Kumar Jiyani to let the OPDs remain functional, as around 40 to 60 patients are taking consultation and free medication from AYUSH doctors.



DC office staff's strike continues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
Visitors to the Deputy Commissioner’s office suffer today for the third day as the strike by the ministerial staff continued. With the weekend starting tomorrow, no work will be carried on the next two days as well.

“I came all the way from Raikot to register my land done but after reaching the DC office I found that the staff was on strike. Now, Saturday and Sunday being holidays, my work has been postponed to the next week,” said Avtar Singh, a resident of Raikot.

Another visitor said it had become a routine with the DC Office employees to go on strike every now and then. “You never know when they will go on strike again. Work has come to a standstill and there has been no work for the past three days. Many employees will not be coming to office on Monday on account of Lohri. Now, I will be coming to the office on Wednesday to get my work done,” he said.

The president of the DC Office Employees Union, Vijay Behal, said many of their genuine demands were still pending and the government was dilly-dallying on their implementation.



PSIEC spends Rs 18 cr on roads

Ludhiana, January 10
The Focal Point Welfare Association today felicitated Shakti Sharma, Chairman, Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation Limited (PSIEC).

Shakti Sharma, while addressing industrialists, said the remaining main roads in the Focal Point, Ludhiana, which needed heavy repairs, would be converted into RCC ones. He said the PSIEC had spent Rs 18 crore on the constructions of RCC roads in the Focal Point. — TNS



40 kg of poppy husk seized, one held
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 10
The Jagraon police have arrested one alleged drug peddler and seized 40 kg of poppy husk from his possession. The accused has been identified as Jagmail Singh, alias Gaggi, a resident of Dehraka village near Jagraon.

The police have registered a case against the accused at the Jagraon Sadar police station under the NDPS Act.

The Station House Officer (SHO), Inspector Bikramjit Singh, Jagraon Sadar police station, said a police team led by ASI Baldev Singh was patrolling near Gurusar Kaunke village. “The police saw a person carrying a bag near the drain bridge. On seeing the patrolling party, the man tried to hide in the bushes which made the police team grow suspicious about his activities. When searched, the police recovered 40 kg of poppy husk from his bag,” said SHO.

The accused has been awarded a two-day police remand and has allegedly confessed of his involvement in such criminal activities.



3 suicides reported from city

Ludhiana, January 10
Three persons committed suicide in different parts of the city in past 24 hours.

In the first incident, Hardeep Singh allegedly ended his life by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his house in Punjab Mata Nagar on Thursday. He left a suicide note in which he has stated that he had borrowed Rs 22 lakh from a private financiers, but he could neither pay the interest nor pay back the principal amount.

Meanwhile, Ravi Shankar (36), a resident of Jamalpur who had been unwell for past four days, died on Friday morning. During the postmortem of the body, it was found that Ravi Shanker had taken poison. But, Ravi's wife claimed that her husband had taken some wrong medicine.

In another case, 18-year-old Pappu Patel, a native of Bihar, who was living at Dashmesh Nagar in the link road area, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan.

Boy booked for rape

A 16-year-boy was booked on charge of raping a 15-year-old girl in the Daba area here today. The police recorded the victim's statement and registered a case. The police have informed the Social Securities Department about the case as the accused is also a minor. — TNS



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