Saturday, August 4, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



BKU to observe ‘ardas divas’ on Aug 19 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 3
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) would observe August 19 as “ardas divas” at Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Amritsar, to seek spiritual power from the Almighty to work for empowerment of farmers and betterment of all people.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the state executive of the BKU, which met here today under the presidentship of Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal. Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, Secretary-General, and Mr Bhupinder Singh Mahesari, Press Secretary, among others, attended the meeting.

According to Mr Kadian, BKU functionaries from all over the state will arrive in Amritsar on August 18 and participate in an ardas at Sri Akal Takht Sahib next morning, praying to the Almighty for bestowing spiritual power organisation so that it could continue its relentless fight for achieving the just demands of the farmers.

The BKU deplored the failure of the government to announce the minimum support prices (MSP) for paddy and other kharif crops till date and termed the delay as a part of the “anti-farmer” policy of the government.

The crops were due for arrival in the market around the middle of next month and the farmers were completely in the dark about the MSP of their produce and the preparedness for the procurement by government agencies.

Mr Kadian informed that the meeting had asked the government to fix the MSP of all kharif crops on the basis of price index for the year 1966-67. Accordingly, an MSP of Rs 689 per quintal for paddy, Rs 758 for parmal, Rs 143 for sugarcane, Rs 2860 for oilseeds and Rs 3250 for cotton should be announced without delay. The government was also urged to relax the norms for extension of power load for electric motors and to slash the fee for load extension to Rs 1,000 per hp as against the prevailing charges of between Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,500 per hp.

The BKU reiterated its demand for remission of debts of commission agents and commercial banks out standing against the farming community to provide relief to debt-ridden farmers.

The much-needed relief to the farmers would not only sustain agriculture and make it economically viable, but also enable the farming community to effectively meet the challenges of the global market.



Irregularities in paddy auction alleged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 3
The All India Foodgrain Dealers and Manufacturers Association has alleged “gross irregularities” in the allotment of tenders for the sale of paddy amounting to over Rs 3 crore, for which auction was held on August 1 at Punsup headquarters.

In a complaint addressed to the Chief Minister, the association has sought cancellation of the auction while alleging that it was stage-managed. It claimed that a number of bidders were forcibly prevented from participating in the auction and their demand drafts were also snatched.

Narrating the sequence of events, the president of the association, Mr Rakesh Sood, said he and several other bidders were not allowed entry into the auction hall. However, he managed to enter the hall while others were allegedly bullied and kept out. He alleged that all this was done with the active connivance of Punsup officials.

Mr Sood revealed interesting details about the auction. He said the paddy procured by various government agencies was stored with various mills for thrashing and shelling. However, these millers allegedly sold this paddy on their own at the prevailing market price. Thereafter the mill owners in connivance with the government officials, including those from the purchase agencies, organised stage-managed auctions, where paddy was sold at a rate as less as Rs 340 per quintal, he said. “Everything takes place on papers as no paddy exists”, he added.

Substantiating his claim, he pointed out, while market rate for the paddy was more than Rs 600 per quintal, it was sold at a rate of only Rs 335 per quintal. This, he alleged, was done with due knowledge of senior officials of the department. He said he had brought the matter to the notice of the chairman, Punsup, but he, too, did not do anything.

Mr Sood alleged that the security guards of a mill owner, for whose paddy the auction was being held, bullied other bidders like him. “I was not allowed to offer any bid and was forcibly prevented from doing so,” he alleged. He claimed that one mill owner had offered him Rs 50,000 for keeping away from the auction and to “keep my mouth shut”. His demand drafts were also snatched at the time of auction. However, later all these demand drafts were returned to him.

He also alleged that besides the security guards of the mill owner, there were about 50 other persons who did not bid, but were kept there just to threaten and scare the bidders like him. He questioned, “Why were the armed men allowed to enter the government office and particularly at a place where auction was to be held.



Minor drug addicts of Kila Raipur
Shivani Bhakoo

(From left to right) Birpal, Jagivan Singh and Charanjit Singh

Kila Raipur (Ludhiana), August 3
The myth that drugs are used only by the teenagers and the youth has been shattered with the discovery that several children in the age group of 7 to 10 years are joining the de-addiction camp. One such camp is being conducted at Kila Raipur village by Dr D.N. Kotnis Health and Education Centre in association with the Social Welfare and Medical Council, Kila Raipur.

Hooked on drugs like opium, proxyvon, valium, benadryl, Phensydryl, iodex, bootpolish etc, these children have in the past left no opportunity to get a quick kick while other children of their age group were beginning to read and write. What is even more shocking is the fact that the trend is not confined just to the city and its surrounding areas. More and more children are reportedly taking to drugs all over the state.

Starting off on a curiosity trip, these children within matter of days find themselves addicted to substances.

Dr Inderjit Singh, medical superintendent of the Kotnis Health and Education Centre, says the rate at which the number of addicts under 10 years of age is growing, is very alarming. Making his point, Dr Inderjit gives the example of seven years old Birpal Singh from Kilaraipur, who at this tender age got hooked on coco-fax, a petroleum solvent which is used as a fixer. His addiction is not limited to this petroleum solvent, he smokes one to two bundles of biris every day.

Birpal while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said his maternal uncle was responsible for putting him on to drugs. He said, “It’s been two years now, I can not get out of the nasha. My daily expenses are between Rs 15 to Rs 20. If I do not get money from my parents, I sell my household goods”. Birpal has been admitted to the camp since July 24, but during this one week, he has tried to run away from the camp twice.

Jagjivan Singh and Charanjit Singh, the two brothers aged 12 and 10 years, respectively, are also hooked on drugs. The two brothers have been brought at the camp by their daily-wager father. Jagjivan, the elder one, while narrating his experience after the ‘dose’ said,” I feel like sleeping all the time. It’s like a pleasure trip. I am trying to come out from the grip of drugs, but it is really difficult.”

Charanjit, the younger one wants to become a doctor. He said, “I started smelling coco-fax about three months back. I liked the smell and there was a feeling of relaxation. If I could not get money for ‘nasha’, I would generally steal the household things and sell these in the market”.

Dr Navinder Singh, a psychiatrist, said the main reason for the increase in number of these tender-aged drug addicts was the easy availability of drugs in the villages. He said, “They can easily get drugs. But the ‘middlemen’ and the chemists are really smart, they entertain only their reliable customers”.

Barjinder Singh (name changed), another resident of Kila Raipur, started taking drugs when he was about 16. The 26-year-old Barinder has one daughter. “I was madly in love with a girl of my village but she got married to another man, I was shattered and started taking proxyvon capsules. After taking the ‘dose’, I always felt relaxed and lighter. But now, I want to leave drugs for the sake of my little daughter”, he said.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh, a member of the Social Welfare Medical Council, revealed that over 80 per cent of the total population of the village was hooked on drugs. He said, “The youths were procuring drugs like phensydil, benadryl, proxyvon, lomotil, calmpose etc, due to their easy availability. People in the village were hooked to doda (cannibus) and opium, while some of them took to injecting drugs”.

Paramjit, another person addicted to drugs, disclosed the middlemen were the villagers, who supplied these drugs to them. Thirty-years-old Paramjit wants to get rid of lomotil tablets because he could not save money for his family. After spending a few days at the camp, Paramjit feels quite relaxed and happy. He used to take over 100 tablets of lomotil everyday. Baljinder Singh, Bhura Singh, Tejinder and many other villagers are hooked on alcohol, cannibus, opium and other tablets.

Dr Inderjit Singh said not only the boys but also some of the girls were hooked on drugs. One of the villagers, on condition of anonymity said, “Girls spread iodex on bread and eat it. Some of them do head massage with boot polish to get a kick.”



SAD-BJP Govt ‘colluding’ with drug mafia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 3
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Youth Akali Dal, a front organisation of the Akali Dal faction, headed by former SGPC President Gurcharan Singh Tohra, expressing its serious concern over the ever-increasing menace of drug addiction among the youth has charged the SAD-BJP Government with being in complicity with the drugs and liquor mafia in Punjab and providing easier access to intoxicating substances.

Mr Sukhwinderpal Singh Garcha, who was the chief guest at the meeting, organised by the district (urban) unit of the party at Civil Lines here on Friday, deplored the total inaction on the part of the government as well as the religious bodies to curb the use of drugs and other intoxicants by youths. The party, he added, would launch a massive awareness campaign against drug abuse. SHSYAD activists would take out marches against the use of drugs and intoxicants and memoranda would be submitted at all district headquarters to initiate suitable steps against the drug addiction. The campaign would conclude at a state-level seminar at Jalandhar the dates for which would be announced soon.

The meeting was presided over by Mr Bharpur Singh, Vice-President of the district unit, while Mr Sohan Singh Goga, district chief, was the guest of honour.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Goga described the youth as “future of the nation” and asked them to channelise their energies for a just and equitable society. Making a fervent appeal to the younger generation to stay away from drugs and intoxicants, he said, drug addiction would erode their mental and physical energy. He asked the party rank and file to mobilise masses in favour of the party.


Badal needs to set own house in order
K. S. Chawla

Ludhiana, August 3
All is not well with the ruling Akali Dal in this district and the city unit particularly is having such acute factionalism that almost all main leaders do not like to see the face of each other. The city unit of Akali Dal owing allegiance to Mr Parkash Singh Badal is having two main rivals Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, a vice-president of the SAD and Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, acting president of the city unit. They have quarreled even in the presence of Mr Badal a number of times and Mr Badal has failed to curb factionalism in the city unit so far. 

The city unit of the ruling Akali Dal was headed by Mr Hira Singh Gabria, who was close to Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra when Mr Tohra fell out with Mr Badal, Mr Gabria went over to the rival group. Almost two years have passed and the president of the SAD has failed to nominate a new president in place of Mr Gabria. Mr Makkar who was the senior vice-president of the city unit has been acting as the president of the unit. This factionalism in the ruling Akali Dal is causing lot of problems to District Administration as they take opposite stands whenever there is some controversy or dispute in the town. The District Administration has to first deal with the two leaders instead of solving the problems.

Ludhiana has a very senior leader in the person of Jathedar Surjan Singh Thekedar. He has joined the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal headed by Mr Tohra. With this most of the urban Sikh leaders have gone to Tohra faction and Mr Badal has a weak position in the city. Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar is one leader who can be given the credit of maintaining communal harmony in this industrial capital of Punjab. He is solely responsible for keeping the irate Sikhs and particularly the Sikh youths under check in the post “Bluestar Operation” period in Ludhiana and cemented the Hindu-Sikh unity in the town.

The district Akali Dal (Rural), Ludhiana, is headed by Mr Dya Singh who is a non-controversial leader and is a protégé of Mr Badal. Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, president, SGPC, is also based in Ludhiana. The SAD had won eight out of 12 Vidhan Sabha seats in Ludhiana district during the 1997 elections while the Congress had bagged three and the BJP got one seat. Out of the eight, three seats are now with the legislators having affiliation with Mr Tohra. 

They are — Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, Mr Hira Singh Gabria and Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa. Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal had won from Ludhiana (West) seat with the support of the BJP. Mr Grewal is not keen to contest the Vidhan Sabha elections from Kila Raipur segment and he has already started campaigning in the constituency. Kila Raipur had returned Mr Parkash Singh Badal in 1997, who had contested from two seats and he later retained Lambi seat in Muktsar district and resigned from Kila Raipur. Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Technical Education Minister, was elected from this seat in the byelection.

Mr Garcha is again interested in seeking election from this seat. Dr Jarnail Singh Narangwal is another candidate who is keen to get the ticket from the ruling Akali Dal.

Mr Charan Singh Lohara, general secretary of the Akail Dal (Amritsar), is also a likely candidate for this seat. Now the final decision will be taken only when the proposed Panthic Morcha comprising the Akali Dal factions of SHSAD, SAD (Amritsar) and SAD (Panthic) join hands. Raikot Vidhan Sabha seat is now held by the Congress and the president of the ruling Akali Dal, Mr Badal has announced the candidature of Mr Ranjit Singh Talwandi, son of SGPC chief, at a congregation at Heran village last month. Mr Ranjit Singh has also started campaigning in this constituency.

The Jagraon seat had returned R. Bhag Singh Malla of the SAD who is now chairman of the PUNSUP. He is likely to get the ticket again this time. Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, former MP and Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, president, Sikh Students Federation (Mehta), are also in the running for the SAD ticket. Akali Dal (Amritsar) is likely to field Mr Tarlok Singh Dalla, the district president of the unit from Jagraon.

The Ludhiana (Rural) constituency is a semiurban area and Mr Hira Singh Gabria was elected from here with a margin of more than 60,000 votes in 1997. Since now he is with the SHSAD, he will be automatic choice of the party. The SAD, however is looking for a candidate and Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, a director of Markfed and Milkfed is a hot contender or the ticket. He is close to Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal. Besides, Mr Jagdev Singh Tajpuri, a former minister in the Barnala government is also keen for SAD ticket. 

The SAD (Amritsar) may put up Mr Anoop Singh from this seat. Dakha (reserve) was also won by the ruling Akali Dal but the sitting MLA, Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, is now with the Tohra faction, the SAD will have to find a new candidate. Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa will be obvious choice of the SHSAD while the name of Mr Kewal Singh Badal son of Mr Jagdev Singh Badal, Agriculture Minister and a vice-president of the SGPC, is being mentioned for the Akali ticket.

The SHSAD sources also maintain that Mr Gurdev Singh Badal can himself be a candidate form this seat. Mr Gurdev Singh Badal has been returned from Panjgraiyeen in Faridkot district and has sizeable land holdings in the Sidhwanbet area of Ludhiana district.

Khanna (Reserve) has at present Mr Bachan Singh Cheema of the ruling Akali Dal. However, his son Mr Devinder Singh Cheema may be fielded by the SAD this time. Mr Devinder Singh Cheema is also a member of the SGPC. The name of Ms Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal is also being mentioned for this seat. Koomkalan (Reserve) returned Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in 1997 and he is sure to get the ticket from there. SAD (Amritsar) may put up Mr Harjinder Jakhu against Mr Atwal.

The Samrala seat had gone to the Congress in 1997 and Mr Kirpal Singh Khirnian, a member of the SGPC who had contested in 1997, may again be the candidate of the ruling Akali Dal. SAD (Amritsar) is likely to field Mr Gian Singh Poonia from this seat.

Payal constituency has Mr Sadhu Singh Ghudani of the ruling Akali Dal and he is likely to be the candidate again.

Ludhiana (West) is purely an urban constituency and has witnessed direct contest between the BJP and the Congress. it was only in 1997 that the SAD had put up Mr Meheshinder Singh Grewal, a Tohra loyalist, and he had won. This time the BJP is staking its claim on the seat. However, the SAD is not likely to give up the seat.

Mr Avtar Sing Makkar is a hot contender for the Akali ticket from Ludhiana (West).

Besides, the Akali factions, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, president, Punjab Bhalai Party is also active in this district and other parts of the state. He has already announced the candidature of Mr Avtar Singh Mullanpur, general secretary of the party, as his party nominee from Raikot segment and he has also put up Sant Balbir Singh Lopoke from Jagraon segment in Ludhiana district.

Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, president, Lok Jan Shakti Party and Mr Kanshi Ram, president, Bahujan Samaj Party have also been actively organising the political rallies and mobilising the workers. Mr Paswan held a state-level rally in Ludhiana last month while Mr Kanshi Ram is organising village-level rallies to mobilise the workers.

The unity between the Akali Dal factions led by Mr Tohra, Mr Mann and Mr Jasbir Singh Rode would also create problems for the ruling SAD-BJP alliance.

Mr Badal will have to set his house in order at the earliest as the bickerings in his party are causing damage the same.



Shoplifting on the rise in Ludhiana
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

SHOPLIFTING in the city is assuming alarming proportions with more and more Ludhiana residents resorting to desperate measures to possess commodities without having to pay for them, apparently under peer group to possess the latest. No business centre is safe from these shoplifters, some of whom have been apprehended from stores ranging from selling jewellery to clothing.

“What is most shocking is the fact that many of the people involved are from respectable families who can well afford to buy the stuff they pick up”, says Mr Gian Chand, an affected businessman, who often becomes a victim of shoplifters. Finally, he has had to install hidden cameras to nab unsuspecting “thieves”.

Mani Ram’s grocery store in Civil Lines has displayed warnings to all such people saying that if they are caught with the goodies, the culprits will have to cough up Rs 10,000, irrespective of the value of the good stolen. Failing to come up with this fine would result in handing over the guilty to the police. Only recently, two women from a well-known family were nabbed with creams, toothpaste, powder, etc tugged into their purses.

When these women, who arrived in a Maruti Esteem car, failed to pay the fine, they gave in their gold ornaments as guarantee till they came back with the money. Just as soon as they left, the owner dialled the telephone number they had left behind, only to discover that the telephone number did not exist.

Going to the police on such issues does not yield much results, as the identity of the culprit is unknown, says Kuldip Singh of Ghumar Mandi. As a result most departmental stores and big shops have decided to use security devices such as hidden cameras or even employ additional salesmen to keep a tab on such unscrupulous elements.

Sometimes such ‘customers’ are so desperate that they can go to any extent to possess their object of desire. Recently, a young boy tried on new shoes at a Civil Lines shoes store and walked out of the shop saying that he wanted to seek the approval of his parents sitting out in a car. It was only when the youth started his motorbike and zoomed past the shop, did the show owner realise what had happened.

The owner of a readymade garment shop in Feroze Gandhi Market lost half a dozen jeans before he realised that well dressed customers where walking out of the shops with jeans worn under trousers by only paying for the trousers and taking away the jeans for free.

Sarafa bazaar, which houses dozens of jewellery shops, witnesses such cases of shoplifting almost everyday. “On an average every shopowner has to deal with one such incident daily”, says Sunil Kumar, who works at one of the shops. “The owners have to sometimes ignore the incident if the client is buying some piece of jewellery which is several times more expensive than the small ring or earring screws that customers generally try to pilfer”, he adds.

A worker at the city’s best-known card shop says: “We lose at least half a dozen cards everyday. Surprisingly, young girls arriving in cars like Honda City and Mitsubishi Lancer slip in one or two cards or other gift items into their lose tee-shirts and are only detected by a very vigilant salesman only if there are no other customers in the shop”.

Bigger departmental stores on The Mall prefer not to highlight such crime as this affects their business, says a franchisee of a well-known brand of clothing. “We have come to accept these pilferages as a necessary evil and either ignore the thief if he or she is from a well-known family or simply rebuke the thief with a warning”, he says. He cites the example of a well-known jeweller who let go the daughter-in-law of a leading business family of the town.

What perhaps is not realised that every incident that is overlooked lures several others to adopt shortcuts to acquire their objects or desire, corrupting the social fabric.



Students ‘taken for a ride’
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 3
About 40 students of Medical Transcription, a training institute of Offshore Informatique Limited, have been taken for a ride by the management. While they were assured of 100 per cent placement after the training, they have not even been given the promised stipend. However, one of the directors of the company Mr Vinod Loomba, said they have neither refused jobs, nor the stipend to the students, but were only awaiting the business deals to settle down.

In a written complaint to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ludhiana, 40 students of the institute alleged that they were promised “100 per cent placement after training” by the training institute. Initially they were asked to deposit Rs 20,000 as the fee, which was to be refunded.

Two students — Sarabjit Singh Kahlon and Navjot Singh — told The Tribune that they were promised that the fee amount would be refunded to them in five instalments of Rs 4,000 each. The training was supposed to last for 11 months. However, for the on-job training the students are supposed to sit in a test and it is the discretion of the management to declare the candidates successful of unsuccessful. And most of the students are allegedly declared unsuccessful as this spares the management of the commitment to provide them on job training with a stipend and refund of the fee.

Denying these charges Mr Loomba said, the institute had spend about Rs 40,000 on each candidate and charged only Rs 20,000 from them. This amount was also refundable. He claimed that the students were not amply trained and were trying to blackmail the management. He said the students have not been refused jobs or the refund of the fee.

The students also alleged that while the institute was claiming that it had no money at this juncture, it was continuously issuing advertisements in the newspapers and luring more students. Moreover, it had got permission from the Punjab Technical University to grant franchise in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

The students said that today they met the SSP, Mr Harpreet Sidhu, and urged him to register a criminal case against the directors of the institute who had cheated so many students.

(Photo on page 3)


Rakhi-string entwined with love
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 3
Festival of Raksha Bandhan has come to symbolise love, affection, and the good wishes of health, wealth and happiness of a sister for her brother. Celebrated with joy and fervour in the month of Sravan, the festival which involves the tying of a thread or rakhi around the wrist of brother with prayers of a prosperous long life, has been there since the vedic times.

Sravani, the sacred thread changing ceremony and Raksha Bandhan are celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Sravan and are often regarded as two names for the same festival.

The origin of this ceremony is not really known but there is a legend which says that there had been a fierce battle between the Gods and the Demons in which the demons seemed to be in an advantageous position. Indra, the king of Gods, became anxious and asked Brahaspati to suggest a way out. Meanwhile, Indrani (wife of Indra), who was around at the time of consultation interrupted the two and assured them of turning the tables in favour of the Gods. Next day was the Shravan Poornima. She consulted some old scriptures and prepared a talisman which she tied to her husband’s wrist. Indra went to the battle field again and the enemies which had earlier seemed so powerful, now beat a quick retreat and the Gods emerged victory.

Ever since, the tradition of tying the thread began and it was believed that the persons would be blessed with health, wealth, happiness and victories.

The practice has been more prevalent among the Rajputs, where women tied a rakhi to the brave Rajput soldiers going to go to the battle field. This ritual of tying the thread around the wrist after applying a ‘teeka’ on their forehead continues till date. This was considered a good omen and the women believed that it would protect their men from the enemy’s blow and bring them glory.

Over a period of time, however, the significance of rakhi moved on from battle fields to personal relations reflecting the bond of affection. Sisters tied rakhi to their brothers, while, the brothers in turn assured them of protection from all evil. While the sisters also pray for their brothers’ welfare, the latter vows to ensure well-being of their sisters even if it called for some sacrifice on their part.

The rakhi thread, from a simple red cotton thread, has now began to be embellished with beads, semi-precious stones, coloured or golden and silver threads, satin beads, floral motifs, etc. Rakhis today are available in different colours, shapes, and sizes from the typical round ones to heart shaped, sandalwood rakhis and toy rakhis for small boys.

The festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated with gaiety by the rich and the poor alike. The beauty of the festival is that celebrations are not marred by the obstacles of geographical boundaries. When brothers are far away, sisters observe the occasion by sending their token of love by mail. And the brothers’, too, reciprocate by sending a gift in return.

Now, even commercialisation has intruded into the domain of rakhi ceremony with the manufacturing of gold, silver and even diamond studded rakhi threads. But the love and affection that binds a sister to her brother, remains the same.



Dowry victim’s relatives seek justice
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 3
It is a tale of callous attitude of the people of a village who are not only trying to shield the accused in a dowry death case, but have also been maligning the victims family and even refusing to return the articles and items given to her by her parents in dowry.

Twenty-year-old Amarjeet daughter of Tara Singh of Ranguwal village was married to Gurdev Singh son of Bhag Singh of Ghungrana village. Gurdev is an NRI settled in Germany. However, within a month of her marriage Amarjit was allegedly burnt to death by her in-laws and her husband. While Gurdev managed to flee to Germany, other family members were arrested by the police. Gurdev has also been arrested by the German police in connection with the same case.

After sometime, when the relatives of Amarjit went to Ghungrana to collect her articles in the presence of some witnesses, some relatives of Gurdev Singh and other villagers cornered them and deflated the tyres of their vehicles. Moreover, they found that her room was ransacked the locks of her almirah and boxes were broken. Jewellery and other costly items were found missing.

However, the villagers and the relatives of Gurdev Singh have accused Amarjeet’s relatives of having taken away the goods. According to Mr Pratipal Singh, her brother-in-law, the police had also inquired into the matter and found that the room had already been ransacked. He also denied some reports carried by a private news channel which had claimed that they had taken the goods.

While Amarjeet’s brother is settled in Germany, her father is bed-ridden as he is a paralytic patient. The killing of Amarjit has further shaken the family. Amarjeet was allegedly burnt to death after kerosene was sprinkled on her body, while she was taking a bath early in the morning and preparing for the daily path.



Park or gamblers’ den?
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 3
The park along the Focal Point Dasehra ground on the Metro Road has become a virtual heaven for gamblers, much to the chagrin of residents of the area who feel helpless in the matter.

Rickshaw-pullers, idlers and compulsive gamblers, all start arriving in the park since morning and by the afternoon the park is full of a number of gambling groups. For every set of four players, there are an equal number or more of idlers who while away their time by watching a game of rummy.

These gamblers, most of whom are daily wagers and labourers, scatter a lot of filth in the park.

Besides, the park is also being used as an open urinal by the roadside vendors. Fruit sellers and others too treat it as an open dustbin.

Since the park also serves as a short cut for the residents of HE Colony, women residents are often embarrassed when there is a sudden fight or brawl between two gamblers over some stakes at the time of their passing through the park. As a result of this gambling activity all through the day, the park has lost of its very purpose of providing open space for walking and sitting to the residents. In the evening hours the park is transformed into an open bar where there is no bar on time or space.

But the Focal Point police, it seems, has decided not to bother these gamblers at all. The beat cops stop by the place , look around and just prod on. Now and then, a cop or two can also be seen enjoying an evening drink in the park-dhaba. Maybe that is an explanation in itself as to why these gamblers enjoy immunity from the law.



Encroachers return to Ghanta Ghar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 3
The area around Ghanta Ghar continues to be under the control of ‘‘encroachment mafia’’ despite repeated attempts on the part of the police to clear the area of all encroachments. As a result of the unabated growth in the number of roadside vendors and rehris, the already congested area around the city's icon has become dirtier and more congested.

A number of rehris selling fruit can be seen on the Katchehri-road side of the Ghanta Ghar and the waste generated by these rehris emits foul smell.

Further filth is spread around by the migrants who throng the Guru Tegh Bahadur Market in a bid to make it big via the dubious lottery. Waiting for a lucky twist in their fortunes, these migrants and other lottery addicts while away their day in the market roaming from one pillar to another, chewing the scented tobacco, smoking bidis and of course spitting out and throwing bidi butts virtually all over the place.

Though there is a whole army of junk collectors roaming the area to collect the discarded lottery tickets which they sell at Rs 5 per kilo, the place always remains littered with old lottery tickets.

Catering to the eating requirements of these lottery addicts, a large number of rehris selling chana-bhatura, mango shake, samosas and other snacks do brisk business all through the day. These rehris have been arranged in such a way that one has to wade through the congested market for going to the other side of the GT Road, as the open area in front of the lottery market has been encroached upon by these roadside vendors.

A small hotel in the market has constructed even a pucca dish washing place and even placed a water tank there. It has also extended the hotel beyond the permissible limits.

Most of these roadside sellers are migrants who behave like lords of the area, just because they pay a fixed amount per day for the space they utilise.

A migrant selling iced milk candy with noodles in front of the market told this correspondent that he was paying Rs. 35 per day to the 'sardarji' in front of whose shop he had set up his business. A policeman manning the place confirmed that the shopkeepers were charging rent from these rehriwallahs on a daily basis.

Equally responsible are the men of the tehbazari department of the Municipal Corporation who also take their share from these vendors. Their rates also depend upon the kind and size of the business being run by these people on the encroached thoroughfare.

The area had ,however, presented a spacious look for some days when it was cleared of all encroachments by the police in the wake of the crusade launched by Ludhiana Tribune against encroachments in the city. But after lying low for some days, these elements have again come out to re-occupy their respective places.



Food needs of your dog

LIKE its wild cousins, the domestic dog needs more than meat in its dish to keep it going. The principal nutritional requirements are:

Protein for body-building and repair; carbohydrates for energy; fats for energy and good health of skin and hair; vitamins and minerals for certain essential chemical reactions in the body; bulk for good digestive and bowel action, water for all processes occurring everywhere in the body. Experiment with a wide variety of treats and biscuits to see which your dog prefers.

As a rule of thumb, we can say that a dog needs the following amounts of calories daily at the different stages in its life: puppy 910 kj per kg body weight; adult 550 kj per kg body weight; geriatric 230kj per kg body weight.

These figures are calculated for moderately active animals.

Apart from age, degree of activity, environment, pregnancy, lactation, and disease, any of which markedly alters an animal’s needs, we must never forget that all dogs are individuals, and vary in their efficiency at processing foods. It is most important not to overfeed, and to reduce the size of meals at the first sign of obesity.

Foods for dogs: Dogs can eat all of the following foods, but, within reason, allowances can be made for your pet’s personal taste.

Meat: Meat is low in calcium and rich in phosphorus. An all-lean-meat diet is too low in fat and would be nutritionally unbalanced. Liver should not exceed 5 per cent of the total diet. Meat should be adequately cooked to kill any form of parasites that may be lodged.

Fish: Packed with protein, minerals, and, in some cases, fats. Best fed cooked, and with the main bones removed. Raw fish leads to deficiency of vitamin B -1 due to presence of thiaminase enzyme.

Cheese and milk products: Rich in protein, fat, and minerals. Some dogs cannot digest lactose (milk sugar) due to the absence of an enzyme in their body. This produces diarrhoea and occasionally vomiting, but is not serious: simply take milk off the diet. Milk is a natural food and gives dogs lovely coats. Until six months old a large dog should be having a pint of milk per day. This provides the much-needed calcium, fat, and protein, besides minerals and vitamins. Goat’s milk is too rich for puppies. It should have the cream taken off it. Buffalo milk is also rich and might better be given to a puppy in skimmed form. Few puppies thrive on too much fat. Some puppies as they grow up seem to refuse milk. If that is the case, make it into a little custard with corn starch or an egg, and they will usually take as much as you want them to have. Very often we may think animals know what is best for them, and you may find the puppy has some allergy or idiosyncrasy, that means milk doesn’t suit it after a certain age. Nowadays one can give artificially all the calcium and vitamins needed, so it isn’t of all that much importance. As long as a puppy is thriving, don’t fuss too much over its diet. If a puppy won’t eat, starve it for a day; in the wild state dogs often don’t eat for days on end. Animals benefit from an occasional fast.

Bread: There are excellent puppy meals and biscuits on which the puppy will thrive just as well as on bread. On the other hand, wholemeal bread takes a lot to beat it in its natural form. White bread must never be fed to puppies as it is made from agenized flour and is said to cause hysteria in dogs. Stale bread is better than new bread, and oven-toasted bread is best of all. The bread can be fed with a little butter on it or soaked in milk or gravy. It is bread or biscuits that give bulk to the puppy’s meals, and it should be part of every puppy’s diet. Cornflakes can be unsurpassed as breakfast for a large breed puppy. A big dog needs the nourishment without the bulk, and Cornflakes provide just that. If you feed a puppy on biscuits or puppy meal, these must be soaked in boiling water first. Never give meal dry; it will swell inside the puppy’s tummy and distend it, and may make the puppy ill. Four slices of brown bread is adequate for the evening meal of most medium-sized dogs. One thin slice is enough for a small dog.

Cereals: Either as dog-meal or in biscuit form, these are an inexpensive source of energy, bulk, minerals, and some vitamins. Cooked rice is an excellent substitute for cereals.

Vegetables: Vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, and other root vegetables are valuable, either cooked or shredded raw, and also cooked potatoes.

Fruit: Dogs make their own vitamin C internally, but moderate quantities of fruit, if they like it, are beneficial from time to time.

Eggs: Whole egg should be fed cooked to avoid the effect of an anti-vitamin B factor present in raw egg-white.

Others: Nuts, edible seeds, and honey are all excellent additions to the diet. And if your dog insists on chewing and swallowing grass and herbs, let it, even if it vomits shortly afterwards. This is perfectly natural behaviour. Peas should be avoided as they may lead to bloating.

A word about bones: No, they don’t clean the teeth. They can cause problems such as constipation, or obstruction or perforation of the digestive tract. Give only uncooked bones of the broad, marrow-bone type.


Dry spell causes worry
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 3
The continued dry spell has caused worry to the authorities of the Bhakra and Beas Management Board and the Punjab State Electricity Board as this will hit hydel generation in the region. The inflows in the water reservoirs of the main hydel power stations have dwindled to more than half compared to the inflows of water during the corresponding period of last year.

The demand for power consumption has also risen following the dry spell and rise in temperature and humidity. The daily demand for power consumption in Punjab has been more than 1050 lakh units today. According to information available today, the inflows in the Gobind Sagar reservoir of the Bhakra power house have fallen to 33,700 cusecs against 76,600 cusecs of the last year. Similarly, inflow of water to the Dehar reservoir was reported at 11,500 cusecs against 28,000 cusecs, Pong Dam - 27,900 cusecs against 50,800 cusecs and Ranjit Sagar dam 11,600 cusecs against 27,000 cusecs, respectively. The water level in the Gobind Sagar reservoir was reported at 1595 ft. against 1606 ft., Pong dam 1341 ft. against 1335 ft of the last year. The level in the Ranjit Sagar reservoir was reported at 510.5 meters against the required level of 518 metres.

The power generation experts are of the view that the Gobind Sagar reservoir may not achieve the optimum level of 1680 ft this year even if the monsoons were fully revived during the month of August. They are hoping that the Ranjit Sagar reservoir will achieve the level of 518 meters.

The PSEB-run thermal plants and the hydel units have been generating as many as 635 lakh units of power daily including 150 lakh units from the PSEB-run hydel units. All the units of their main thermal plants are giving full generation.

The Punjab state is getting as many as 395 lakh units of power from Central projects. Because of the rise in the demand, urban areas are being subjected to four hours cut while tubewells are being given power for eight hours in three groups.



Arrest of Hardev Singh’s killers sought
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 3
The bhog and Antim ardas of Hardev Singh Nambardar, general secretary of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, Punjab, and his mother Jarnail Kaur was held at Gurdwara Guptsar, Amloh Road, Mandi Gobindgarh today.

The two persons and a servant were murdered and three other members of the family were seriously injured on July 23 at 11.30 a.m. by some robbers at their residence.

Dr Harbans Lal, MLA, Sirhind and Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, former minister, criticised the district administration for its failure to nab the robbers and said a dharna would be staged in front of the district complex on August 6, to press for the demand of early arrest of the killers.

Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, former chairman PUNSUP said a dharna would be staged at Fatehgarh Sahib on August 10 to seek arrest of the culprits. Dr Sakinder Singh, district president of the Congress, Giani Jaswant Singh Taan, president SHSAD, district president, Mr Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, member SGPC expressed sympathy with the family of the deceased and demanded strict action against the murderers.



‘Parties should guard against entry of criminals’
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 3
Before accepting the invitation of Pakistan President General Musharraf, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee should arrange a meeting of the representatives of both the countries and the conclusions should be drawn in the presence of the representatives of United Nations , said Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, president of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front to the media- persons here today. He was speaking to mediapersons before the bhog ceremony of Hardev Singh general secretary of the front’s state unit. Hardev Singh had been murdered at his residence alongwith his mother and servant on July 23.

Mr Bitta demanded the release of 71 armymen from Pakistani jails and said an inquiry should be constituted into the property of the Hurriyat leaders in Jammu and Kashmir which they have assumed with the money provided by anti-India foreign countries.

While expressing his views, on the increasing criminalisation of political parties in India, Mr Bitta suggested that all political parties should form screening committees, which should verify the antecedants of the members of the parties and no criminal should be allowed to join a political party and allowed to contest the elections. He warned that any delay in this regard would prove to be dangerous than terrorism unleashed by Pakistan.

The political parties should organise training camps for workers to inculcate the spirit of patriotism. To control population, in the country, persons having more than two children should be debarred from contesting elections and should not be given government jobs.



Homeless to get shelter: ADC
Our Correspondent

Khamano, August 3
“Those persons of the “Fatehgarh Sahib district who have kuchha” or no houses will be given “pucca” houses under Indira Awas Yojna,” this was stated by the ADC, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr M.P. Arora, during “sangat darshan” programme held at Baur village, near here.

He appealed to the homeless people to contact BDOs concerned to register their names. He said all arrangements had been made by civil and police authorities to prevent any untoward incident in the district. He appealed to the people to start ‘thikri pehra’ in villages. 


Disabled awaits allotment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 3
Mr Raj Kumar Gotam, a disabled person, has been awaiting his turn for allotment of a kiosk in the new courts complex for the past over two years.

Mr Gotam claimed that applicants who had applied much after him had got kiosks.

He had approached the Commissioner, Patiala Division, who had directed the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, to look into the matter and do the needful. But nothing positive had come even after this.

After waiting for two years, Mr Gotam met Mrs Maneka Gandhi, Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, and Mr Buta Singh, MP. Both recommended his case to the Deputy Commissioner concerned but to no avail.

Mr Gotam appeared in a “Sangat Darshan” programme on March 8 this but the Deputy Commissioner rejected his plea, saying that no kiosk was available for allotment in the new court area.

The poor man now plan to take his case to a court of law.



Two booked 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 3
The Division Number three police of the city has booked two youths of Khud Mohalla for teasing and threatening a widow of the same locality under Sections 354, 506 and 34 of the IPC. According to FIR (Number 43) registered yesterday in this connection by Ms Parveen Rani, Ajit Singh and Dimpy, both brothers, had been teasing her for quite some time and had also threatened her of dire consequences. 



Industry decries erratic power supply
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 3
The local industry is struggling hard to keep afloat due to erratic power supply in the city, claims to the contrary by PSEB and government functionaries notwithstanding. Despite widespread heavy rains in the entire region for quite some time now, the power scenario continues to be bleak.

According to Mr Harish Khanna, President of the Ludhiana Small-Scale Manufacturers Association, the areas like Jammu Colony, Abdullapur Basti, Vishwakarma Chowk , Millerganj, Janata Nagar, Shimlapuri, Indusrial Area ‘B’, Daba Chowk and Focal Point, with heavy concentration of industrial units, were affected. The most besides, the peak load restrictions, the PSEB had also enforced weekly off-day restrictions on the industrial units. These unscheduled and undeclared power cuts, which run for hours together, were causing colossal production losses to the industrial units in these areas. Even domestic consumers were not being spared and irregular power supply, especially during the night, causes a lot of inconvenience and hardship to them.

Mr Khanna further pointed out that there was fluctuation in power supply as a result of which electrical gadgets, implements and motors break down frequently.



Traders flay tax-evasion charge
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 3
Various trade and industry associations of the district have claimed that though Fatehgarh Sahib is considered a small district, but it continues the maximum to the government exchequer by way of central excise, sales tax, income tax and other taxes, which is evident from the fact that the district recorded a 45 per cent increase in collection of revenue from various taxes, whereas the state had recorded an increase of only 39 per cent.

Addressing a press conference here today Mr O.P. Gupta, president, Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, and Mr Vinod Vashist, senior vice-president, All-India Steel Re-rollers Association, said it was unfortunate that in spite of contributing the maximum revenue, they were being projected as tax evaders. They said according to the Excise and Taxation Department the total import and export transaction of worth Rs 3,300 crore had been reported during the current financial year on the Applied for RCs (Registration Certificates) basis. They said out of this amount the traders of Asia’s biggest steel market town Mandi Gobindgarh in the district accounts for only Rs 24 crore, which was 0.75 per cent of the state average for which a hue and cry had been raised and they had been termed as tax evaders. They said the department had verified most of the transactions and only those transactions were pending wherein the department had refused RCs.

When contacted Mr D.K. Verma, AETC, said the import and export business in the district, on the basis of Applied for RCs, had been recorded to be of about Rs 24 crore, which was just 0.75 per cent of the state share. He said most of the amount had been verified and the remaining would also be recovered from the dealers. He strongly criticised those who allege that due to a nexus between traders and officials of the department, the tax evasion racket was going on.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |