Monday, July 2, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Speakers for action against Jaya
Uproar over Karunanidhi’s arrest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
A delegation of the Speakers, Deputy Speakers and presiding officers of the State Legislative Assemblies that stopped here today on their way to the Golden Temple in Amritsar expressed concern over the way in which the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr M. Karunanidhi and two Union Ministers, Murasoli Maran and T.R. Baalu, were arrested by the state police without any arrest warrant yesterday. Mr Karunanidhi has been arrested in a case concerning alleged misappropriation of Rs 12 crore in the construction of flyovers in the city.

The delegation is participating in the 64th All India Presiding Officers’ Conference organised at Chandigarh. The members of the delegation were honoured and served with breakfast here by the District Administration, Municipal Corporation, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Punjab State Legislative Assembly and Mr Satpal Gosain, Deputy Speaker, Punjab. Besides the Speakers, Deputy Speakers and presiding officers of all the states, Mr Kandinehova, Vice-President, Commonwealth Parliament Association, Mr Rakesh Ram Dyal, President, Senate of Trinidad and Tobago and Miswika, Deputy Speaker, Zambia are also participating in this conference.

While condemning the action of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Ms Jayalalithaa, Mr Kesri Nath Tripathi, Speaker, State Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh, said, “Ms Jayalalithaa has crossed all limits in settling personal scores with Mr Karunanidhi. It is the violation of human rights that may lead to law and order problem in the state. She must reconsider her decision.”

Dr K.Kalimathu, Speaker, Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly, who was the focus of the attention of all the mediapersons, was very defensive about the actions of the Chief Minister. Initially he tried to evade all the questions posed by the journalists regarding the developments in his state, by saying that he was not aware of the facts. However, on pressing further, he said, “The state government has done nothing constitutionally wrong by arresting Mr Karunanidhi and his colleagues for their alleged involvement in corrupt dealing and violation of the law. He had also treated our leader in the same manner when he was in power.”

However, he denied the political vendetta on the part of AIADMK Government. When asked whether he was apprehensive about the imposition of the President’s Rule in the state, he said crisply, “We have done nothing wrong. The public is with us and the Centre cannot impose the President’s rule.”

Mr Prithvi Majhi, Speaker, Assam Legislative Assembly, lamented the deteriorating behaviour of the members of the State Legislative Assemblies. He said, “The Parliamentary system is denigrating day by day. This conference at Chandigarh has been organised to improve the attitude of the members.” A drive should be launched to create awareness among the media, judiciary and other segments of the society to strengthen the political system. The North Eastern Institute of Parliamentary Training has been already set up at Guwahati for this purpose, he added.

Regarding the apprehensions of violence in Assam after the announcement in the increased area of Naga dominance, he said, “Definitely it can spread to Assam and the Centre should do something to save the situation.”

Interestingly, the Speakers were quite impressed by their visit to Chandigarh and to Punjab. Dr Kalimathu who has remained as an Agriculture Minister, said, “We have tried to implement the “Green Revolution” model of development in the state. People in Punjab have substantially benefitted from the Green Revolution.”

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Speaker, Dr K. Kalimathu, defended the Tamil Nadu Government’s action to arrest former Chief Minister, K. Karunanidhi, there has been widespread condemnation of the arrest. People feel that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr Jayalalithaa, has been vindictive without any respect for human dignity or rule of the law. The way the operation was carried out only betrayed the vindictive agenda of Ms Jayalalithaa.

Dr Kalimathu was talking to TNS here today while on the way to Amritsar. The TN Speaker was part of a team of Speakers who attended a two-day conference in Chandigarh.

People expressed surprise as to how she could initiate such an action when her own position as Chief Minister was uncertain. She has already been disqualified from contesting elections and she has appealed against it in court. This may further weaken her case, people pointed out.

According to Mr Subhash Chawla, owner of Hotel Le Classic Mr Jayalalithaa’s action reminded of Emergency days. He pointed out the way a senior leader like Mr Karunanidhi was dragged out of his bedroom at midnight only deserved condemnation. He suggested that the Centre should intervene and take strong action against Mr Jayalalithaa who has crossed the limits of indecent behaviour with her political opponents.

Mr Prithvi Raj was of the opinion that Ms Jayalalithaa’s act was the rabid display of an authoritarian attitude. He said the Centre needed to take all necessary measures. He also criticised the role of Governor Fatima Biwi, who should have acted as a constitutional Head of the State. Mr Raj alleged that the TN Governor was doing undue favour to Ms Jayalalithaa which deserved to be condemned.

Mr R.S. Behal a retired engineer said it had set a wrong precedent and it needed to be stopped here only. He pointed out that in case this trend in Indian politics was not stopped, there was no guarantee that this would not happen again. Anyone coming to power may wield his authority in a dictatorial manner, the way it was being done by Ms Jayalalitha. He said the TN Chief Minister needed to be told in no ambiguous terms that she should rule according to the law.

Mr Bal Krishen Kundra, a non resident Indian, observed that the Centre should take strong action against Ms Jayalalithaa as she had once again taken the law into her own hands. This only shows her tendency towards doing unlawful thing. Ms Kundra said she should have at least had some respect for the age of Mr Karunanidhi. Moreover, he was not involved in any heinous crime which demanded such an action. He said there was a healthy sign that the issue had not been politicised as all political parties, including her allies, had criticised and condemned her action.

Baba Ajit Singh regretted that such things should happen in India. He pointed out that the politicians in power could stoop so low that even strong people like former Chief Minister and serving Union Minister were not safe.

Fatehgarh Sahib: The SAD has condemned the arrest of Mr Karunanidhi, and the manner in which he was arrested. This was stated by Capt Kanwaljeet Singh, Minister for Finance, while talking to mediapersons here today.

He said the SAD had always stood for upholding the democratic institutions and principals. He demanded that Mr Karunanidhi and other should be released immediately.



ASI booked on graft charge
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 1
A case has been registered against ASI Ajmer Singh at Samrala police station under Section 7.13 (1) D (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, on the complaint lodged by Mr Narinder Kumar of Ottalan village. According to him, one night, when he was coming from Barwali village, alongwith his brother Ashok, on his tempo (PDM-1193), it stopped near Sarwarpur village.

After some time, Balwinder Singh of Ghoh village came there on a scooter (Pb-11B-374) in drunken state. His scooter was about to collide with the parked tempo, but in an attempt to save himself, he fell down.

Narinder Kumar and Ashok lifted him, and then Ashok took him to the Civil Hospital, Samrala. The complainant alleged that though no accident took place between the scooter and the tempo, Balwinder Singh demanded money from him for his treatment. Narinder Kumar reported the matter to SSP, Khanna, who asked SHO, Samrala, to investigate into the case and take necessary action.

However, an FIR was registered against him for causing accident. ASI Ajmer Singh went to his shop at Ottalan to arrest him, and demanded Rs 2,000 in return of granting him bail.

As Narinder Kumar could not pay him money, the ASI took his father, Hem Raj, along with him. Hem Raj was released, only after Narinder gave Rs 1,500 to the ASI.

DSP K.S. Bhinder, who was asked by the SSP, Mr R.N. Dhoke, to inquire into Narinder Kumar’s complaint, found the allegation against ASI Ajmer Singh to be true. On this, a case was registered against the ASI at Samrala police station, and Mr Dhoke asked SP Ram Singh to hold an inquiry.


Cop suspended for negligence of duty
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 1
Mr R.N. Dhoke, SSP, district Khanna, has suspended Jasdev Singh, ASI for not taking timely action on a complaint, and negligence of duty. He has been transferred to police line. Mr Dhoke informed that Ms Satnam Kaur wife of Mr Charanjit Singh, a resident of Jagat Colony, Khanna, had made a complaint that she feared threat to her life from her husband.

This complaint was marked to Mr Jasdev Singh, ASI, city police station. But he did not take any timely action. Rather Ms Satnam Kaur was beaten and injured by her husband after the complaint. A case has been registered under section 324, IPC, against the ASI and Charanjit Singh has been arrested and sent to jail.



SAD-BJP rally today
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Alamgir (Ludhiana), July 1
All roads are leading to this historical gurdwara that once served as the resting place of the tenth Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh, as preparations are in full swing for tomorrow’s SAD-BJP rally here. This gurdwara owes its name to the resting cot of Guru Gobind Singh and is known as gurdwara Manji Sahib Alamgir.

There is a race among the workers of the Shriomani Akali Dal (Badal) and the Bharatiya Janata Party, lest any of them are seen lagging behind in preparations. The district administration has also been performing its role, albeit in a subtle manner, in the shape of arranging vehicles and other related jobs.

Besides the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, a galaxy of leaders belonging to the National Democratic Alliance are expected to attend the rally, which will herald the beginning of the NDA campaign for the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state. The Chief Ministers of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, Mr Om Prakash Chuatala and Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, respectively, and former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma will also attend the rally.

These leaders are scheduled to attend the rally according to an earlier programme, but there is no confirmation regarding this. It may have been changed due to the developments in Chennai and the subsequent follow-up in Delhi, which may require the presence of some of these leaders in Delhi.

The sprawling lawns of the historical gurdwara have been beautifully decorated and covered with the shamianas. Hundreds of fans have also been installed inside the shamiana, besides other arrangements for food and drinking water.

According to the president of SAD (B) Ludhiana (rural), about one lakh persons are expected to attend the rally. The rally will also set the poll agenda for the ruling alliance in the state. The rally was preceded by district level meetings to ensure maximum participation.

District Transport Officers in the state have been instructed to make ample arrangements for vehicles, with each officer asked to arrange a few hundred vehicles. The persons will be ferried from all parts of the state in these vehicles to ensure maximum participation, as it would be the first rally and a matter of prestige for the ruling alliance.

Aspirants for party tickets belonging to both parties are putting in their possible best to ensure that each one of them is able to mobilise maximum number of supporters. Banners are being painted with the names of different aspirants, which will be put on the vehicles and will mark the attendance of these aspirants.

The outcome of the rally, which may not be too difficult to predict, given the mobilisation of workers by the two parties, will set the tone and agenda for the electioneering in the state. It will be keenly awaited by various political parties, including the Congress and the SHSAD led by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, for different reasons. 



SSF plans campaign against Cong
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
The Sikh Students Federation, owing allegiance to the ruling SAD, has decided to launch a campaign against the Congress and “expose its anti-Sikh and anti-Punjab policies”.

Addressing a press conference here today, the president of the SSF, Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, said activists would visit the parts of the state and tell people about the role of the Congress in ‘Operation Bluestar’ and the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.

He also cautioned the people against voting the Congress to power. He claimed that the Congress had never safeguarded the interests of the state and more so it had always remained indifferent to farmers’ issues.

The SSF president said the federation would also lay focus in developing interaction with the students and the teachers in the state. He underlined the need of close rapport between the students and the teachers.

Mr Grewal said the federation would also launch a campaign against the drug addiction in the state. He said a number of youth in the state were falling prey to drug addiction.

He disclosed that the federation would launch a sustained movement involving maximum number of youth to wipe out the menace of drug addiction from society. He warned that the menace of drug addiction was threatening the very foundations of society.



Vehicles stranded as road caves in
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Traffic was disrupted on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur road near Rajguru Nagar as a part of the road caved in due to a downpour yesterday. Surprisingly, no official of the district administration of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation visited the spot. According to Dr S.P. Gupta, a resident of Rajguru Nagar, the road caved in yesterday around noon. However, no repairs were carried out.

He said several vehicles, including two-wheelers and four-wheelers skidded off the road causing injury to several persons.

As the administration failed to put up any signal there, local residents stepped in, setting up indicators and diverting the traffic. The residents said it was not for the first time that the road had caved in. It happened whenever there was heavy rains and the victims were the people who rode vehicles.

The Ludhiana-Ferozepur road is one of the busiest roads, with hundreds of vehicles passing through it every minute. Several vehicles were stranded there as these had skidded.



BSM seeks probe into irregularities at FCI depot
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 1
The Bahujan Samaj Morcha, Punjab has sought a high-level inquiry into the irregularities committed at the local FCI depot. Mr Raj Singh Kheri, general secretary and former MLA, in a statement issued here, said, ‘‘The officials have shown the payment of wages to those workers who have never worked there. These include Ashok Kumar son of Kallu Ram. Similarly the appointments under DP system of gang sardars and mandals are improper.

Many workers have not been paid their wages since November 1, 2000.’’

He further added that wages of many workers have been held up and had been paid to other workers as surplus.

He demanded CBI inquiry into the scandal. Failing which the Bahujan Samaj Morcha will gherao the FCI depot of Khanna.

The others who have demanded action against the FCI depot management include Mr M.S. Chatha, president of the union, Mr Raghubir Singh Badla, district president BSM, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr Gurcharan Singh Channi, president, BSM, Tehsil Khanna and Mr Avtar Singh, president, BSM, Tehsil Khanna and Mr Avtar Singh, president, FCI, Khanna depot.


Master Tara Singh’s birthday celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 1
The Dhan-Pothohar Brotherhood, Punjab, celebrated the birthday of Master Tara Singh at Punjabi Bhavan this afternoon. The function was organised by the society and the chief guest was Justice Kuldip Singh along with Ms Kiranjot Kaur, general secretary , SGPC. Among others who present at the function were Principal Prithipal Singh Kapoor, a former Vice-Chancellor of GND University, and Dr Harnam Singh Sham.

The function started with a shabad, ‘Deh Shiva Var Mohe’, sung by school girls followed by a poem describing achievements made by Master Tara Singh. It was recited by Darshan Singh Rai. Mr N.S. Nanda, president, Dhan Pothohar Brotherhood, informed that the organisation was purely a non-political body. He applauded the services of Master Tara Singh, who had earned a good name by devoting his own life struggling for Punjab.

He appreciated the Chief Minister, for announcing to set up Master Tara Singh Chair in a university of Punjab to carry out an extensive research on the philosophy and contribution of Master Tara Singh to the whole country and Punjab. He said the Union Government should install his portrait in Central Hall of Parliament House and release a postal stamp of Master Tara Singh. They should also name a road in Delhi as Master Tara Singh Road.

Mr Kapoor said a few people know that Tara Singh was Tara Chand. He thought like a Sikh and demanded Punjabi suba for the betterment of the political conditions of the Sikhs. He asked whether without a Punjabi suba, the Akalis could have formed a government.



Suspension of LFC facility flayed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 1
The Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC) has criticised the Finance Ministry’s directions to the public sector banks to suspend Leave Fare Concession (LFC) facility to their employees for a period of two years.

Mr K.R. Tirpathi, president, INBEC, Dr Shiv Kumar Gupta, general secretary, National Organisation of Government Employees (NOGE), and MR Balwant Rai Kapoor, president of the state unit of Indian National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), in a joint statement today said the Finance Ministry had already suspended the said LFC and LTA facilities to the government employees as an austerity measure in the Budget for 2001-2002.

Mr Tripathi and Dr Gupta said the directions of the ministry were an attack on the employees rights. They said more than one lakh bank employees had already opted the Voluntary Retirement Scheme, which had reduced the bankers’ cost of operation. It had also affected the working of banks due to acute staff shortage, they said.

Mr Tripathi said it was difficult to compete with foreign banks as there were not providing services to the priority sector, villagers, rural artisans and government undertakings.

The members appealed to the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister to review the decision. They suggested reduction in number of Central ministers to improve the financial position of the country.


Neha chosen Ms Teen Ethnic
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 1
Neha was chosen “Nazakat Ms Teen Ethnic 2001” while Manju and Savvy were declared first and second runners up respectively in the ‘Nazakat Ms Teen Ethnic Contest’ organised by the Pragati Group of India at Nehru Siddhant Kendra here last evening.

The much-typed show projected as “India’s first ethnic costume based talent, personality and beauty contest” started two hours behind scheduled time.

The contest had various rounds, including saree round, salwar kameez round and lehenga choli round. Twelve contestants participated in the contest.

Some of the contestants were quite ‘uneasy’ with the questionnaire round.

One of the participant was so confused that instead of saying good evening, she said “good morning nahin good afternoon to you all”.

The audience was also not cooperative at all. Despite repeated requests by the anchor Sapna, the audience kept on shrieking and shouting.

The award of ‘Ms beautiful smile’ was given to Raunak, Neha got the title of husn-e-zulf. Reema was declared mrignayani, Kajal won the title malika-e-tasvir. Manju won the title of gajgamini for her confident catwalk.

The panel of judges included Ms Monte Carlo 2000 Karishma Randhev, Ms Bindiya Paul and Mr Navneet Khanna. 


One held in land dispute case
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 1
Acting on a complaint lodged by Darshan Singh of Dyalpura village, Samrala police arrested one person on June 29 and remanded him to police custody. Darshan Singh had filed a complaint at Samrala police station that on June 26, he and his son Harmukh Singh were attacked by Gurmukh Singh, alias Kala and Kashmira Singh, against whom they had won a land dispute case. While one of them was carrying a rifle, the other had a spade in his hand. They tried to kill Harmukh Singh, but he somehow managed to save himself. On hearing the noise, other villagers, including Kesar Singh and Balwinder Singh, came there, and tried to snatch the rifle from Gurmukh Singh. As a result, the rifle got broken, and Gurmukh ran away with a portion of the broken rifle. A case was registered under Sections 307/324/323/34 of IPC and 25/27/54/59 of the Arms Act against Gurmukh Singh and Kashmira Singh. While the latter has been arrested, the former is still at large.

Six hurt in bus accident

A bus on way to Ludhiana via Amloh, collided with a parked truck while trying to save a person. Four passengers, besides the driver and conductor, got injured in the accident, and were admitted to the Civil Hospital at Khanna. The injured include Major Singh, driver; Jagdeep Singh, conductor; Parkash Kaur, Gagandeep Singh, (3); Badri, and Surjan Singh. All except Badri were discharged after first aid.



Car thief held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
The local police claimed to have solved the case of theft of 20 cars in DelShi with the arrest of Vipin Kumar of Kishan Road. Three cars had were recovered from him and two more cars were expected to be recovered.

According to the police, Vipin Kumar used to run a gang of car thieves. He was also involved in stealing metals from factories . Ten quintals of nickel, two quintals of aluminum and one quintal of copper were recovered from him. According to a police investigation, he used to operate stolen cars as taxis in the city. One of his accomplices, Harpreet Bittu, was arrested.



Notification on re-rolling mills likely
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 1
The Government of India is planning to bring a new notification to get all rerolling mills and traders registered and to get a certificate from the Bureau of Indian Standards under their certification marks schemes. According to it, substandard material produced or rolled out of off-grade material, and rerollable scrap of unknown quality are being supplied in domestic markets for use in construction work requiring high structural stability. It has added that structures built with such material may lead to disastrous consequences.

Mr Anil Suraj, honorary general secretary, Merchants Chamber, disclosed to mediapersons here today that the Government of India was planning to issue the notification under pressure from TISCO and SAIL, which were producing 2.8 mt out of the total requirement of 8.2 mt. A total of 670 rerolling mills had been using such structural material for the past 30 years and the finished goods produced from this material had not drawn any complaint. He pleaded that the raw material used in the manufacture of ships and vessels were tested.

The requirement for building material was above 12 mm round, manufactured by the big two, and the material produced in the rerolling mills was mostly used to meet the requirements of raw material for the industrial and furniture establishments. Mostly thin flats were produced from ship scrap, which were used for industrial purposes such as parts of sewing machine, bicycle, hosiery, gate grills and agricultural implements. In case the rerolling mills were wound up, disaster would befall the labour of rerolling mills and its allied industries.

The Government of India had tried to issue such notification under pressure in 1994, but it was dropped. Mr Suraj said if ship-breaking material was not of good standard, the government should make arrangements for the supply of standard raw material to the rerolling mills. This notification would not only effect the steel rerollers, but also the traders. The material purchased from rerolling mills and stored in establishments could be checked and the traders could be penalised in case the material was found manufactured from ship scrap. He further appealed to the government to drop the proposed notification.

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