21LT01A.qxd 9/21/2012 12:07 AM Page 1 LUDHIANA TRIBUNE friday | SEPTEMBER | 21 | 2012 | ludhiana DENGUE: LARVAE FOUND AT FAKE SNATCHING : ANOTHER ACCUSED SEVEN PLACES IN CITY Þ PAGE 3 HELD, ~15 LAKH RECOVERED Þ PAGE 3 FOOTBALL: BVM LADS BEGIN CAMPAIGN ON SOUND NOTE Þ PAGE 4 31.8° MAXIMUM WEATHER MAINLY CLOUDY SKY 20.9° MINIMUM BASEBALL: LUDHIANA, GURDASPUR ENTER SEMIFINALS Þ PAGE 4 MIXED RESPONSE TO BANDH CALL, PASSENGERS SUFFER Shivani Bhakoo BJP to intensify protest Tribune News Service Ludhiana, September 20 The opposition-sponsored Bharat bandh against diesel price hike, FDI in multibrand retail and cap on subsidised LPG today evoked mixed response in the city. Shops and malls in the city remained closed till late evening, but shops selling confectionary were partially opened. Activists of the BJP holding flags and placards were seen forcing shopkeepers to close their establishments. Many shopkeepers were seen sitting outside their shops with shutters down. The worst affected were over 2 lakhs passengers who were left stranded following strike by the Mini-Bus Operators’ Association, Punjab. All private mini-buses remained off the road today. Minna Zutshi Tribune News Service Thin attendance at banks Even the working in banks was affected today. The managements of the nationalised and private-sector banks had asked the branch managers to be extra cautious following the bandh call. A manager of a leading nationalised bank said they received a letter stating: “In view of the bandh call given by some political parties, all branch managers are advised to exercise caution. The caretakers deployed for the maintenance of security of the ATMs should be advised to remain extra alert and approach the law enforcing agencies in case of need.” CHALLANING DRIVE PUTS OFF OFFICIALS Buses parked at the Ludhiana bus terminus following Bharat bandh on Thursday; and (right) schoolgirls on their way to attend classes as government schools remained open. TRIBUNE PHOTO: HIMANSHU MAHAJAN THIN ATTENDANCE AT MINI-SECRETARIAT 5,500 MINI-BUSES REMAIN OFF ROAD Thin attendance was witnessed at MiniSecretariat today following the Bharat bandh call. If the officials and those working at Suvidha Centre are to be believed, the number of applicants dropped by 60 per cent today. Some of the officials were also seen in their respective offices. An official said: “We know that not many applicants will come today, but we have to be present on our seats. We can hold meetings, clear the files on in such days.” Jarnail Singh, in charge, Suvidha Centre, said the not many applicants turned up at the centre today. "It was a relaxed day for employees at here,” he said. All 5,500 mini-buses in the state remained off the road today. There are about 400 mini-buses in the Ludhiana district. JG Grewal, president of the Mini-Bus Operators’ Association, Punjab, said that more than 2 lakh passengers in Ludhiana district had to suffer due to the bandh. “We are against the price hike. The government should revoke its decision so the common man gets a respite,” said Grewal. TRUCKS REMAIN STATIONARY INDUSTRY NOT BOTHERED Business worth crores was hit as trucks did not ply on the roads today. Charanjit Singh Lohara, former president, All India Motor Transport Congress, said there was no loading and unloading of trucks at the Transport Nagar. On a normal day, about 500 trucks get loaded and unloaded from here, said Lohara. He said: “There was no movement of trucks as we are against the government's decision of increasing diesel price.” Industrial units and business houses remained opened in most parts of the city today. President of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA) Badish K Jindal termed the bandh as a political gimmick. "We have nothing to do with the shutdown, so we have not closed our units. In case they need to address the issue, they have to address to the problems of the industry first,” said Jindal. TRAIN SERVICES NOT AFFECTED Train services were not hit by the bandh today. Superintendent, Ludhiana Railway Station, RK Sharma said the train services were normal. "Everything is normal. No trains have been stopped or delayed and passengers did not face any problem. LOW ATTENDANCE IN SCHOOLS AND OFFICES P2>> Ludhiana, September 20 Claiming that the Bharat bandh had evoked a good response and people had wholeheartedly supported the shutdown, BJP national secretary Shyam Jhaju announced that the party would intensify its campaign against the UPA Government on the issue of the FDI in the retail sector. "The FDI will neither benefit customers nor provide job opportunities to the people. Profit-maximisation would be the driving force," he added. Flaying the UPA Government on the FDI, he said it (the UPA Government) had not been able to evolve any consensus with its constituent parties on the issue. He added that it would be preposterous to expect the foreign companies to develop infrastructure in the country. "The FDI will sound the death-knell for retailers," he claimed. Replying to a question on the "heavy taxes" imposed by the Akali-BJP combine in Punjab, he said the major issue, as of now, was the FDI continued on page 2 Murder accused flees Jailbreak leaves police red-faced, lax security to blame GRIM SCENARIO PROFILE OF CRIMINALS from police station Mohit Khanna Tribune News Service ■ 3 cops suspended for dereliction of duty Tribune News Service The challaning and towingaway drive initiated by the traffic police at the Mini Secretariat has not gone down well with the officials as they feel that the officials should issue warnings before taking action. P3 Ludhiana, September 20 Three policemen have been suspended for dereliction of duty after a contract killer, who was nabbed along with his brother and a close aide for allegedly killing six persons for money, escaped from the Jodhewal police station today. The accused, identified as Mohammad Nasir, who along with his aides Mohammad Ahzar and Mohammad Sadiq, all residents of Bihar, were arrested three days ago for allegedly murdering a jilted lover Ravi, who was reportedly poisoned to death last year. The policemen, including head constable Rai Singh, Ashok and Jagjit Singh, both from Home Guards, were suspended with immediate effect. The police said that Mohammad Nasir was being handcuffed to be shifted to another room, he freed himself and fled. Ludhiana, September 20 The incident of three hardcore criminals escaping from the Central Jail here last night by making a human ladder has left the police red-faced. Though they were nabbed from the Dhandari area this evening, questions are being raised on the security arrangements in the jail. Moreover, it is not the first attempt of jailbreak by criminals in Ludhiana. On December 15, 2010, two inmates escaped from the Central Jail by scaling the A Central Jail official said that out of the sanctioned strength of 197, there are only 107 jail wardens to control nearly 3,000 inmates. The jail has a sanctioned strength of 90 guards, but most of the vacancies are yet to be filled. Sources said there were 54 vacancies of jail wardens and head wardens in the jail. There have been allegations that 13 head wardens were given out of turn promotions and made assistant jail superintendents. While 13 jail wardens are deployed in Rajindra Medical Hospital, eight are deployed in PGI, Chandigarh, and two jail wardens are currently deputed with an officer in Patiala. NAME: Ram Jane CHARGES: Facing life imprisonment for murder. Also booked for dacoity and attempt to murder in Khanna Name: Amit Kumar Charges: Facing trial in a murder case that took place in Sarabha Nagar on May 2011 Name: Ravi Kumar Charges: Facing trial in three murder cases of took place at Sadar, Daba and Shimlapuri in July, 2009, April 2010, May 2010. He was booked for robbery and snatching 16 feet high wall with the help of a rope. The police is yet to arrest the accused. The negligence of the jail staff could be gauged from the fact that earlier too, challenged Jail Superintendent RK Loomba they would escape again. But the security was not tightened. Assistant Commissioner of Police (South) Naveen Singla said: "Soon after the trio of Ravi, Ram Jane and Amit, who are facing murder and dacoity charges, tried to escape from jail. But their attempt was foiled. Sources said the trio had receiving the information of jail break, we beefed up the security at the railway station and the bus sand. The operation launched to nab the trio bore fruit and led to their arrest." Respite to SAD, Mayor to be elected by show of hands Congress holds closed-door meeting with Independents Puneet Pal Singh Gill Tribune News Service Ludhiana, September 20 Things are going the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) way. The new Mayor of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation will be elected by show of hands and not through secret ballot. A group of Independent councillors led by councillor Daljit Singh Grewal had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court so that the Mayoral election is held through secret voting instead of show of hands, but the court, it is learnt, has issued a notice to the state government for filing a reply in two weeks. To keep a check on crossvoting during the Mayoral election, the SAD had decided to opt for show of hands instead of secret ballot. This means that when the name of the Mayoral candidate is announced by senior party leaders, the Akali councillors will be asked to raise their hands in approval, after which they will be counted and the candidate with maximum votes will be elected as the Mayor. SAD Mayoral candidate Pal Singh Grewal (centre) along with other party leaders after attending a meeting in Ludhiana on Thursday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: HIMANSHU MAHAJAN It’s an open secret that the local setup of the SAD is divided into different sections and the party high command was expecting that there might be crossvoting by a section of party leaders. That is why the rules were amended and it was decided that the election will be held through show of hands. In 2002, Congress councillor Nahar Singh Gill was elected as the Mayor through secret ballot. At that time, independent councillor KL Chhabra, with help of SAD-BJP councillors, had almost managed to become the Mayor. But Gill emerged victorious by only a few votes. The Congress leaders were hopeful that in case there is voting through the secret ballot, they might get an edge because there was a possibility of cross-voting by some Akali councillors. District Congress Committee (Urban) president Pawan Dewan had even announced that in case any independent councillor contests the Mayoral election, the party will support him. But this doesn’t seem to be working at the moment. Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Cabinet Minister and observer for Mayoral election, too, had confirmed that a group of independents have approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court so that the election was held through secret voting. “We are keeping a close watch in case there is any court order on secret voting,” he had told mediapersons after the party meeting here today. Talking to the The Tribune, Daljit Singh Grewal claimed that the court had issued a notice to the state government for filing a reply within two weeks. “The court has questioned the state government to file a reply as to how did they amend the rules regarding secret voting. The Mayoral election will be held tomorrow and if later on the state government loses this case in the court, a fresh election might be held,” he claimed. Puneet Pal Singh Gill Tribune News Service Ludhiana, September 20 On the eve of the Mayoral election and oath-taking ceremony of the municipal councillors, the Congress held a closed-door meeting with independent councillors at Ludhiana (Central) MLA Surinder Dawar’s house, here this evening. Three independent councillors, Daljit Singh Grewal from Ward Number 8, Gurpreet Singh Gora from Ward Number 7 and Randhir Singh Sibia from Ward Number 1, attended the meeting. All three local MLAs, Bharat Bhushan Ashu from Ludhiana (West), Rakesh Pandey from Ludhiana (North) and Surinder Dawar, along with 15 councillors were present at the meeting. It was expected that independent councillors led by Daljit Singh Grewal would approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court for holding the Mayoral continued on page 4 DISCUSS FUTURE COURSE OF ACTION It was expected that Independent councillors led by Daljit Singh Grewal would approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court for holding the Mayoral election through secret voting and had this situation arisen, the meeting was scheduled to discuss the next course of action. But with the independents not getting any such relief, the Congress decided to still go ahead with the meeting.The Congress had already announced that in case of election through secret voting, they would support the candidature of Independents. CONG SHOWS UNITED FACE The Congress, which was looking like a divided house after the Monday’s meeting, managed to show a united face with all three local MLA’s attending today’s meeting. Out of the total 19 councillors, a group of seven Congress councillors as well as Ludhiana West MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu skipped the party meeting that was organised to discuss the name of the Leader of Opposition in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation house on Monday. Bharat Bhushan Ashu stated that the Congress is united in the city. “All three MLA’s and a majority of our councillors were present in today’s meeting. We are already together and will always remain together,” he said. LEADER OF OPPN NOT FINALISED It is learnt that the senior party leaders have not been able to finalise the name of the Leader of Opposition in the MC House yet. “This decision will be taken after the Mayoral election,” claimed MLA Ashu.
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