Thursday, January 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Row over investigation into LIC robbery
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
The police investigation into the infamous robbery outside LIC Branch Office last week has stirred up yet another controversy with some Akali and Bahujan Samaj Morcha leaders accusing the police of ‘unnecessary’ harassment of the leaders and workers in the case. Yesterday LIC officials had accused the police of torture and beating of some of its employees, who were picked up on the suspicion of being involved in the case.

Threatening to file a harassment and defamation suit against the local police, leaders of the All India Sikh Students Federation and Bahujan Samaj Morcha today said the police’s move of investigating some BSNL and mobile numbers from which calls were made to the mobile number of federation chief Tejinder Singh Sandhu on the day of robbery had spread fear and panic among the workers.

The alleged harassment was caused after the local police launched a massive operation to locate the mobile number of the alleged robber. The local police had got clues that one of the robbers had received a mobile call from some person just before he committed the robbery. The police had then launched a massive search operation about the caller and the recipient mobile number. The police was checking mobile calls made in those crucial moments in order to nail the accused.

The police does not have the mobile numbers of the robbers or the callers and was thus checking all numbers, police sources said. As this includes the mobile numbers of several city residents, who received calls during those few moments, several other citizens might also be questioned, sources said. An official added that this may cause harassment but the police was doing its job.

Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu along with Chowdhry Ram Chand Talwandi Senior Vice-President, BSM and senior BSM leader S.P. Saggar told reporters in a press conference that the police went to the house of several persons who had made a call to the mobile number 98141-76119 and inquired from them about the person to whom this number belonged. The police was told that the number belonged to Mr Sandhu but yet the inquires continued. Mr Sandhu said he did not want to interfere in the police working but he and his workers had been unnecessarily dragged into the case. He said even though the police had learnt that the mobile number was his, yet no one had inquired from or even contacted him.

He claimed that as a result the image, position and political prospects of his and other BSM leaders had been directly affected. A number of workers at whose house the police went for questioning about the mobile number were shying away from the leader due to which at least three functions, including a state-level function on January 4 had to be postponed. What was peeving the leaders most was that even though the police had learnt that the mobile number was of the federation leader, yet no one talked or inquired from him. The leader’s effort to meet the SSP in this regard failed as the SSP was busy in a meeting.



7 hurt as bus crashes into shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
At least seven persons were injured when a local mini bus lost control and rammed into an auto-spare parts shop at Gill Road today morning. Sheer providence saved the passengers, passersby and the shop workers from suffering serious injuries as the bus crushed some bi-cycles, scooters and damaged the shop completely.

According to eyewitnesses, the freak incident took place at about 10 a.m. in the morning. The mini bus (No. PB-08-3000) was on way from Campa Cola Chowk to Vishvakarma Chowk when the driver lost control, ran over some vehicles and finally rammed into the shop owned by Mr Rajinder Kumar. The owner was sitting on a chair and reading a newspaper outside the shop when he suddenly saw the bus coming at him.

He along with several other bystanders jumped in different directions to escape being crushed under the bus. The workers in the shop moved as back as possible and were fortunately saved as the bus stopped on its own after ramming almost half way into the shop. Besides damaging the counter desk, a pillar and a portion of the roof, the bus also destroyed completely several new auto parts kept in the shop.

Eyewitnesses revealed that the driver of the bus after seeing it losing control jumped out much before the bus ran into the shop. He succeeded in running away when the other present were busy in taking safety measures or taking out the passengers.

At least seven passengers, including some women, suffered minor injuries in the accident. All of them were sitting in the front portion of the bus. The police has registered a case and efforts were on to catch the driver. The police said it was suspected that the steering wheel of the bus might have developed some problem. 



ISI wants Punjab militants to strike
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, January 2
There are half a dozen top Punjab militants who are believed to be settled in Pakistan for the past 10 years. They include Wadhawa Singh, Mehal Singh, chief and deputy chief of the Babbar Khalsa International, respectively, Gajinder Singh, chief of the Dal Khalsa International, Lakhbir Singh Rode, chief of the International Sikh Youth Federation, Paramjit Singh Panjwar and Dr Pritam Singh Sekhon. Panjwar is head of the KCF, while Dr Sekhon is head of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF).

Five of them are believed to have figured in the list of 20 terrorists which the Government of India has supplied to Pakistan for handing them over to India. These terrorists are wanted in a number of cases of murder and robberies. Ranjit Singh Nita of the Khalistan Zindabad Force is also believed to be in Pakistan.

Mehal Singh is the younger brother of Sukhdev Singh Babbar, who was killed in an police encounter near Sahnewal in 1992. Wadhawa Singh became head of the Babbar Khalsa after the killing of Sukhdev Singh, who had built a palatial house at Patiala and was working as a government contractor.

Mehal Singh, who is the Deputy Chief of the Babbar Khalsa, left for Pakistan after the killing of his brother.

Gajindera Singh, who is heading the Dal Khalsa International, was responsible for the first Indian Airlines hijacking in September 1981 in protest against the arrest of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale in the murder of Lala Jagat Narain, the founder of Hind Samachar Group of Newspapers, near Ludhiana, on September 9, 1981.

Gajindera Singh has already undergone life imprisonment for 14 years in Pakistan in connection with the hijacking.

Dr Pritam Singh Sekhon, who succeeded as head of the KLF, after the killing of Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala in Ludhiana in 1992, did his veterinary science course from Punjab Agricultural University and was employed as a Veterinary Surgeon at Verka in Amritsar district before joining militant ranks. He was the brain trust of the KLF and was brain behind the kidnapping of Rumanian diplomat, Radu, from Delhi. Radu was brought to Punjab and was later released by militants. Dr Sekhon was also associated with the Panthic committee (Dr Sohan Singh) and the Sikh Students Federation (Bittu group). He left for Pakistan when anti-terrorist campaign in Punjab was intensified and the major leaders of the militants were gunned down by the police in 1992.

Paramjit Singh Panjwar took over the command of the KCF after the killing of Sukhdev Singh, alias Sukha Sipahi. Sukha Sipahi was responsible for the attempt on the life of Mr J.F. Ribeiro, the then DGP, Punjab. Sukha Sipahi was killed in an encounter in Hoshiarpur district. He was also involved in the biggest bank robbery of Punjab National Bank branch in Ludhiana in 1986 in which Rs 6.5 crore was looted.

Ranjit Singh Nitta is a leader of the Babbar Khalsa which is known as Khalistan Zindabad Force and his group was instrumental in bomb blasts in a bus at Pathankot and some other incidents.

According to sources in the state intelligence, these militant leaders are still based in Pakistan and the ISI has been pressing on them to target the VIPs in Punjab. But they have not been able to get new recruits. Lakhbir Singh Rode is a nephew of Bhindrawale. According to intelligence reports, the Babbar Khalsa International has its strong base in the UK and Canada.

The police and other law enforcing agencies in Punjab are on high alert and all vital installations are being protected and security beefed up.



Tough men back to the front
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, January 2
Undeterred by the war clouds that seem to hover over the horizon, brave Indian soldiers are as cheerful as ever. Millions of countrymen had celebrated the New Year with a hope that year 2002 would bring prosperity and happiness in their lives. Yet some physically, mentally and emotionally tough men are on the move to protect the nation following the of attack on Parliament House on December 13.

Instead of celebrating new year with their families, a large number of soldiers celebrated the occasion in transit to the LoC at a railway station, bus stand or moving in train or military vehicle. When this correspondent and lens man visited the Ludhiana railway station this morning to witness the movement of Army, they found that a large number of soldiers were either returning to their respective units after leave or going towards the border to execute their duties.

The railway station looked like a perfect transit camp for Army. A unit of Naga regiment was spotted at the railway station waiting for a train headed to Ferozepore border. While waiting for the train, no fear of death could be seen in the eyes of these brave soldiers. It appeared as though they were ready for the real action to unfold. Perhaps they were happy that the moment of truth had come for which they had been eagerly waiting.

While waiting for the train, some had positioned themselves, while others relaxed by playing cards and reading newspapers to know the exact situation. Some were busy doing their routine work like shaving and trimming moustaches anticipating to reach their final destination.

A soldier while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said earlier they were posted in Orissa from where their unit had been shifted to Ferozepore due to increased tension at Indo-Pak border. He said their leaves had been cancelled and those who were on leave had been asked to report immediately. He said though this type of movement exercise had been done a number of times the war never broke out. “Whatever the outcome of this heavy movement of arms, ammunition and men towards the Line of Control be, the soldiers are trained to fight and execute orders effectively and efficiently without any queries in the interest of the nation”, he added.



A ‘sinner’ in search of a shoe store
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, January 2
Day: January 1; time: around 4 pm; place: a roadside tea shop in Focal Point; scene: four men, seated on a couple of wooden benches, were having tea, exchanging New Year greetings and generally cursing the chilly weather. Suddenly, they were joined by a man in his thirties who was wearing socks but no shoes. One of the men already seated at the shop knew the man. So he asked him about the missing shoes. ‘Water, water first, please’, requested the man who was obviously trying to control his breathlessness.

By now everyone was interested in the man and his story which he narrated after gulping down a glass of water. Even if he was shivering, he was thanking his stars that he was not in police hands, otherwise he must have been hanging upside down by now. Others listened with attention as the man narrated his tale of woes to his friend. An interesting story about the new places which are becoming favourite with prostitutes and their clients and about the clout prostitutes of the city enjoy with cops of their respective police stations.

According to the story, narrated by the man in bits and pieces, he and one of his friends had taken this particular prostitute, who also lived in the same locality (Gobind Colony, opposite the power station on the Chandigarh road), for a New Year bash to the Guru Nanak Stadium the previous night. As the prostitute had threatened to get his son implicated in a police case sometime ago, the man tried to settle the score by giving her a slap on the face. Her intentions of taking a revenge became clear as on the way back from the stadium, the prostitute tried to make a scene at the local bus stand, near Laxmi Cinema. But he and his friend managed to elude the curious public.

The fact that a couple of cops, most probably from the newly created division number seven police station, arrived at his residence to take him away to the police station within a few hours after her complaint, written or verbal, to them was significant as it spoke volumes about the relationship this particular prostitute and others in general enjoyed with various ‘thanedars’ and other lowly-placed cops.

The man, who was visibly shaken (who identified himself as Rana), told that he would contact someone he knew in the police to find a way out of the trouble. He said the prostitute, though she was a migrant, held enough influence with the cops and had a couple of men beaten earlier also. At this point, he did not even know about the nature of complaint made against him. ‘She can say anything against me. That is why I am trying to avoid the cops’, he said.

And, realising that the cops might be on the lookout for him in the area, the man left the scene in search of a shoe store where he could buy another pair of shoes and think of ways to get out of the mess created on the night of December 31.



Aulakh member of ICAR panel
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
The Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, has been nominated member of the Standing Policy Planning Committee of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The committee is headed by Dr M.S. Swaminathan, former Director-General, ICAR, and Secretary with the Government of India.

The committee will provide policy guidance to the council relating to its mandate for agricultural research and education; suggest on matters relating to research prioritisation, research collaboration and inter-institutional linkages; advise on matters relating to infrastructure development, human resource development and possible reorganisation for modernisation and improved efficiency; suggest ways and means for resource generation and advice on policies concerning incentives and rewards; and suggest means and methods for strengthening of partnership role between ICAR and state agricultural universities and various public and private sector institutions and organisations in order to build a strong National Agricultural Research Systems. The committee will submit reports from time to time to the chairman of the governing body of the ICAR, who will apprise the Union Minister for Agriculture, of the recommendations of the governing body on these reports.

The ICAR is an apex body at the national level, responsible for coordinating agricultural research in the country. The committee will be responsible for planning the programmes and activities of ICAR, which has four national institutes, 45 central institutes, 30 national research centres, 10 project directorates, 4 bureaux, 82 all India coordinated research projects, 261 Krishi Vigyan Kendras and 30 state agricultural universities under its administrative and technical control. 



Tenant verification scheme re-launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Stung by the recent spurt in crime incidents in the city, the district police has re-launched the controversial tenant verification scheme. While earlier landlords were required to furnish details about their tenants and face criminal charges in case they did not do so, now the police was going from door to door to record details about the tenants.

Police sources said the modified scheme had been introduced a couple of years back as it was found to be necessary to curb the crime rate in the city. The scheme was first introduced during the tenure of Mr Kuldip Singh as SSP, but ran into controversy when the police booked several citizens on the charge of violating the district magistrate’s order by not furnishing the details. The scheme had been discontinued for the past several months.

Sources said the scheme, which directly affected all residents, had been started after the spurt in crime cases.

It had come to light that the criminals involved in the cases were not old criminals and might be living as somebody’s tenants.

The Delhi police had also started the tenant verification scheme on a large scale in the national capital after the terrorist attack on the Parliament. It was expected that the police of all states would be directed to launch such an exercise. Sources claimed the decision was at a local level and no direction had come from the top.

The re-launch was meeting opposition or resentment from several residents. Some of these were unhappy as they had to furnish the details again, while others were facing criminal cases for not furnishing details.

One such person told Ludhiana Tribune that he had to get anticipatory bail from the high court in the case.

The police personnel were visiting the houses in the morning and evening hours. They were recording the addresses, past places of residence and family details about the tenants.



BJP lays claim to Ludhiana West seat
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has formally laid its claim to the Ludhiana West and four other assembly segments in Punjab, from where it wants to field its candidates in the forthcoming elections. The state BJP president, Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, who met the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in Chandigarh today, conveyed the party’s claim to him.

The party wants to field its candidates from Ludhiana West, Baluna, Sangrur, Budlada, Balachaur and Gurdaspur. Sources said the party expected its alliance partner to at least concede the demand for three seats, including Ludhiana West. The seat is currently being represented by Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, a senior SAD leader and former minister.

Mr Grewal, who has shifted his loyalties to Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, is reportedly not inclined to contest from Ludhiana West and he has chosen Kila Raipur. It is learnt that even if Mr Tohra joins hand with Mr Badal, Mr Grewal will like to contest from Kila Raipur.

The BJP had conceded the Ludhiana West seat to SAD in 1997 on the personal intervention of Mr Tohra, who wanted Mr Grewal to be fielded from here. Since Mr Grewal does not want to contest election from this seat, the BJP is again laying claim over this seat. Ludhiana West is considered to be a stronghold of the BJP as it has mostly returned the party candidate or someone supported by the party.

On the other hand, local SAD leaders are up in arms against any relaxation shown by the party leadership. They want that only a SAD candidate should be fielded from here as the constituency has a considerable population of urban Sikhs. The acting district president, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, is garnering support for himself, hoping that he may be fielded from here.

Meanwhile the state election committee of the BJP met here last evening. The meeting was presided over by the all-India secretary, Mr O.P. Kohli, also in charge of party affairs for Punjab. Other members of the committee included the state president, Mr Rinwa, Lala Lajpat Rai, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Mr Avinash Jaiswal, Mr Vinod Sharma, Mr Narotam Dev Rati and Bibi Gursharan Kaur.

The party finalised the names of all 23 candidates for the Assembly segments it had contested in 1997. Most of the sitting MLAs, except three, have reportedly been okayed to be fielded again. The decision on the remaining five, which the party is asking for this time, will be taken only after some consensus is reached at with the alliance partner. 



Panthic Morcha, BSP to take up seat sharing issue
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
Final round of talks between the leaders of the Panthic Morcha and the Bahujan Samaj Party will be held at Jalandhar tomorrow to decide about seat sharing for the ensuing Vidhan Sabha election in Punjab.

Disclosing this Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, Convener, Panthic Morcha told this reporter here today that Mr Kanshi Ram, BSP chief and the Panthic Morcha team would meet and decide about the seat sharing. Baba Bedi indicated that the Panthic Morcha would leave less than 50 seats for the Bahujan Samaj Party and would contest the remaining seats.

Baba Bedi said a meeting of Panthic Morcha leaders was held last night at Mansuran at the headquarters of the Baba Bedi where they discussed the candidates of the Panthic Morcha for the ticket. Baba Bedi said the Panthic Morcha had received unprecedented response from the people of the state and they would provide an alternative to the SAD-BJP government in Punjab. “‘The response is beyond our expectations”, he asserted.

Baba Bedi said the Panthic Morcha would finalise the list of its candidates within the next two days and would announce the same by January 5. There was complete cohesion among the constituents of the Panthic Morcha and there were no differences on the allotment of tickets. Baba Bedi refuted the press reports that Akali unity was on the anvil and claimed that people had accepted Panthic Morcha as panth. Mr Parkash Singh Badal should also accept this fact, he said.

The meeting was attended by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, Mr Jasbir Singh Rode, Mr Charan Singh Lohara, Mr Jagmohan Singh, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur. Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra also participated in the meeting for sometime, Baba Bedi said.



Threats from inside, outside
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
While, the local prospective Congress candidates are lobbying against each other for party tickets in Ludhiana, they also have to battle candidates from outside. They fear that the party might field some “outsiders” from some important constituencies in Ludhiana.

About half-a-dozen candidates who seek the party nomination from Ludhiana West said they had learnt about the probable nomination of a former MP, who belongs to Patiala and lives in Delhi, from Ludhiana West. They said the candidate, a former Rajya Sabha member, was said to be “close” to top Congress leaders. There is a considerable resentment among the local prospective candidates, as the this aspirant has “reportedly been openly saying” that he is going to become the finance minister of the state.

The prospective candidates said “no outsider would be acceptable to party workers and leaders”. These persons, who did not want to be identified, said they hoped that the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief and the party high command would not harm the party interest.

These prospective candidates, now, seem to have come together to ensure that only a local candidate gets the party nomination. They said the party had decided not to field “outsiders” from anywhere. They said, “Then, what was the fun of seeking applications on the basis of constituencies?”

They are opposed to the moves to shuffle candidates. “The party leadership should follow its guidelines of choosing from those who have applied for a particular constituency," said a senior leader and aspirant of the party nomination.

Now, it is over to New Delhi, as most of the prospective candidates have already moved there for lobbying. Besides, meetings of the election committee are also being held there only. The PCC leaders like Capt Amarinder Singh, Chaudahry Jagjit Singh, Ms Rajinder Bhattal, and Mr Jagmeet Brar, besides the party MPs, are also camping in New Delhi.



SAD youth wing members join LBP
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
The ruling SAD has suffered a major setback as several Shiromani Akali Dal Youth Wing workers joined the Lok Bhalai Party.

Several party workers under the leadership of Mr Gurpreet Singh Dharampura (Youth Wing, urban) left the party and joined the Lok Bhalai Party a few days ago.

Mr Gurpreet Singh in a press note issued today said the Youth Wing members of SAD were under great depression due to its dissolution about one and a half years ago. He also said Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon had been made president of the youth wing recently in a move to reorganise the wing.

Mr Harjot Singh and Mr Sachin who left the youth wing, alleged in a joint statement that they were feeling humiliated and suffocated under the “corrupt” Badal government.

Others who joined the Lok Bhalai Party, included Mr Gurdip Singh, Mr Gurcharan Singh, Mr Sumit Bansal, Mr Pritam Singh, Mr Harpal Singh, Mr Jarnail Singh, Mr Arun Verma, Mr Avinash, Mr Satpal Singh and Mr Suraj Prakash.



INA veteran with social concerns
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Capt A.S. Wadhera
Capt A.S. Wadhera

Ludhiana, January 2
When the country is preparing itself to launch a decisive war on terrorism, the city has lost one of the remaining few INA fighters, Capt A.S. Wadhera. He had participated in social campaigns and tried to provide a helping hand to the needy. He died on December 26 last.

Born on May 15, 1917, in a small town Kazian, now in Pakistan, Amar Singh had dared to dream and to work hard to realise these. He had lost his father when he was just two years old. A brilliant boy, he passed his matriculation in 1932 with distinction, securing first class with excellent percentage. During his studies, he had not only earned his fees, but had also looked after his mother by binding books and giving tuitions during spare time. He could not study further due to financial constraints and in 1936, he joined the Army.

During World War II, the Britishers had sent him with No 36 Ordinance Workshop Company to Malaya and Singapore. On Capitulation of Singapore by the Japanese, he had joined the Indian National Army (INA) and had been selected to work as a writer, commentator and announcer at the Azad Hind Broadcasting Station, Singapore. Due to his excellent work, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose had selected him to organise and command Field Propaganda Unit at Rangoon.

Captain Wadhera had also been commanding officer of the Azad Hind Dal, the function of which was to control and rehabilitate the area vacated by the British. Though the INA had been advancing in Assam and had captured some area of Imphal, due to the dropping of atom bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese had to surrender and the INA had to lay down its arms. In March 1944, he was detained in various concentration camps at Multan (Punjab), Jigarlaachor (Assam) and Delhi Cant till May 1945, and was released after Independence.

In 1947, after Partition, he migrated from Rawalpindi to Ludhiana. From September 1947 to May 1950, he worked as Superintendent with the Relief and Rehabilitation Department, Ludhiana. The then Deputy Commissioner, Mr N. Sehgal, appointed him Tax Superintendent in Ludhiana Municipality in May 1950. Later promoted as secretary, Captain Wadhera retired at the age of 58 years in 1975. His grandson, Mr Jasmeet Singh, said his grandfather did his graduation along with his father.

In 1975, Captain Wadhera took over as the district president of the District Freedom Fighters Association. In 1999, he was elected president, Punjab Pardesh Freedom Fighters Association. Besides heading the Ludhiana Sanitary and Pipe Traders Associations, he had participated in Brown Road Traders Association, Municipal Corporation Retired Services Association, Ludhiana, and Punjab Dhan Pothohar Brotherhood.



New committee of IDPC formed
Kamal Kishore Shankar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
A new committee of the International Dharam Parchar Council (IDPC) was formed here today at a meeting held at Gurdawara Mastuana Sahib, Model Town, under leadership of chairman of the IDPC, Sant Shamsher Singh Jogaera. The chairman appointed Mr. Sukhdev Singh as president while Mr Mahinder Singh Bhatti was appointed general secretary of the council.

According to a press release issued here today, these new appointment were made, keeping in view the serious charges on a former president of the council, Mr Balwant Singh, who allegedly attacked the gurdawara.

Mr Sukhdev Singh said that he would do his level best to spread the message of Sikh religion and this newly-formed committee would not let the work affected. It was decided at the meeting that a parchar samagam would be organised by the council from March 5 to March 10, 2002 at Urban Estate Phase-I, Dugri.



Change in bankers’ attitude urged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Citizens dealing with banks — particularly those who had to take loans against security deposits in the form of property etc — today expressed their sense of hurt and annoyance at the attitude of certain conciliation officials of banking institutions.

They said the minimum they expected of the officers was sympathetic and courteous behaviour when they wanted time, or permissible and reasonable accommodation, if not relief.

Officers were harsh and ununderstanding in many cases. Hit by hardship, anyone could appear to be lapsing into laxity.

What they wanted, they said, was a patient hearing and not callous or dismissive behaviour. “The general attitude is that of suspiciousness amounting to the allegation of deliberate default”, a sad man facing a prolonged settlement problem said. he wanted the Finance Ministry to take note of this humanitarian fact, and intervene.



Bank employees’ strike tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
The local unit of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation (PBEF) held a dharna in front of Canara Bank, Bharat Nagar Chowk, here today in protest against the ‘vindictive attitude’ of the management of Standard Chartered Bank.

Addressing the rally, leaders of PBEF stated that on November 17, 2001, the bank management, known for its ‘notoriety and dehumanised anti-employee’ attitude, floated VRS, the second during the past three months. They said it resorted to arm-twisting and threats to force employees to walkout of their jobs.

The speakers added that the VRS optees were not upto management expectations and on November 17 the bank transferred 15 clerks from Kolkata to Chennai and seven from Mumbai to Delhi. Subsequently, seven more employees were transferred to Chennai and Delhi.

The agitated workers said bank employees would go on a one-day nationwide strike on January 4. Mr Naresh Gaur, secretary of the federation, Mr Sudesh Kumar, Mr H.S.Grewal, Mr P.R.Mehta and Mr Ashok Awasthi spoke.



Young Voice
Hard work is his forte

Akash Bansal
Akash Bansala

Akash Bansal belongs to a new breed of entrepreneurs who have established their mark in the world of business. Basically an engineer, he preferred his family business of knitting and hosiery and accepted the challenge of dealing only in ladies woollens.

After completing his schooling from Mussourie, Akash did his BE from Bangalore University. He went abroad and did a successful two-month training course from Stoll Company. “I got enough exposure there. I was always inclined towards designing my own products and to an extent I have been successful also”, says Akash.

Being young may have some disadvantages like lack of experience, but it helps to a great degree as it provides you with dynamism. “You are innovative and full of ideas”, he asserts with confidence, while adding, “moreover you have a capability to take risks”.

He maintains that his parents have always been encouraging and supportive. He feels proud that top names in the world of fashion like Priyanka Chopra and Aditi Govitkar have been models of his brand collection.

He has a word of advice. He may have inherited the business from his family, but he has acquired the name of his own. This, he says, was only possible as he never shirked away from hard work and difficult decisions.



No sign of Army yet
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 2
Local residents and villagers of surrounding villages are scared and are still awaiting Army personnel to reach and defuse 85 grenades lying in the Sirhind canal. The villagers had found live grenades five days back, leading to panic and shock in the area.

As the water level is low, the grenades can be seen clearly. Although two guards have been deployed at the place, the bombs lying there can prove destructive for the travellers travelling by Doraha-Rara Sahib road.



One booked for blocking traffic
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
The Sadar police has booked a driver, Jasbir Chand, a resident of Bhamian village, under Section 283 of the IPC for parking his truck opposite a dharam kanda on the GT Road and jamming the traffic on Monday.


The Model Town police has booked a case of assault against Nixon, his father, Bhanwar Singh, Minku, Ravi, Jagpal, Neeraj Bahadur and Kaka on the complaint of Mr Surinder Kumar, a resident of New Kartar Nagar, that the accused had assaulted and injured him.

Case registered

The Division Number two police has registered case under Sections 420,467,471,182 and 120-B of the IPC against Jai Ram, a resident of a village in Nawanshahr tehsil on the complaint of Mr Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Nirankari Mohalla, Ludhiana. Mr Kumar alleged that the accused, who had signed a will in his favour as a witness, later started saying that he had not signed any will. Further investigation is on.

Liquor seized

The Focal Point police has registered separate cases under the Excise Act against Surjit Singh, a resident of Charan Nagar, Tibba road, Basti Jodhewal, after more than nine bottles of country made liquor were seized from his possession and Gulzar Mohammad from whose possession 20 bottles of illicit liquor were recovered on Monday.

One killed

The Focal Point police has registered a case under Sections 279, 427 and 304-B of the IPC against an unknown driver of an unknown vehicle for hitting a moped driver Gurcharan Singh on the GT Road who died on Monday night as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident.



3 killed, 7 hurt in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, January 2
Three persons were reportedly killed and seven others were injured in two road accidents near here in the past 24 hours.

Early today, a vehicle (HR-01-E-5692) that was coming from Delhi and going towards Ajnala crashed near Pawa Khakat village when Balbir Singh, the driver, reportedly fell asleep at the steering wheel.

He and the other seven passengers were injured and admitted to the Christian Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana. Balbir Singh, later, succumbed to his injuries and three others are stated to be in a serious condition.

The other accident was at Dhandhari Kalan, where two youths, Jatinder Kumar (20) and Raj Kumar (25), died on the spot when a speeding Tempo crushed them. Their bodies have been handed over to their families after postmortem.

A case has been registered against the driver of the Tempo. The driver had fled from the place of the accident, but was, later, caught by the Focal Point police.


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