Thursday, June 8, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Army rules out shifting of 
Baddowal ammunition dump
From A.S.Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 7—The Army has completely ruled out the possibility of shifting the Baddowal ammunition depot from its present location in the vicinity of Ludhiana despite a great public outcry over the alleged danger it poses to the residents of colonies which have come up around it.

"Shifting the depot from its present location is out of the question", said a defence spokesman in an interview with TNS here today.

"It is quite clear that those who are demanding that it should be relocated elsewhere do not know what they are talking about," remarked the spokesman.

"The location of an ammunition dump is always decided after a great deal of deliberation based on strategic, logistic and other reasons. Each depot is designed to cater to a particular stretch of the international border during war.

"It is unfortunate that very few people understand the reasons for defence moves. It has been clearly laid down that the no structure should come up within a 1000-yard-radius of the depot but this has not been enforced by the civil administration. They have allowed all sorts of structures, colonies and even marriage palaces to come up near the depot. It is quite common for baratis at the marriage palaces to celebrate the occasion with fireworks which pose a grave danger to the safety of the depot," the spokesman said.

"It is not difficult for an enemy agent to mix in a wedding crowd and carry out activities prejudicial to the national interest from the marriage places. Why is all this not realised by the people who are demanding that the dump should be shifted.

"All that the defence authorities can do in the matter is to lodge FIRs against the encroaches. We cannot evict them physically because this area is not with the defence authorities", the spokesman stated.

The spokesman was of the view that those demanding the shifting of the depot were motivated more by their personal vested interest than any public good. The depot was set up over about 1,000 acres of land nearly three decades ago and it had been serving its

purpose well. The unfortunate accident at Bharatpur ammunition depot in which five persons were killed had given an opportunity to them to raise a hue and cry about the location of the depot.

"It is the land lobby which is active more than anyone else. They see in the unfortunate Bharatpur accident an opportunity to grab land by raising the bogey of security of the people... The problem is that whenever land is handed over to the Army for setting up a defence installation it is always in a jungle. Once it is cleared and defence structures come up, it becomes prime land on which covetous eyes are cast by all and Sunday. This is not a correct attitude," the spokesman observed.

It was sad to read that the Mayor of Ludhiana had also joined those demanding that the dump be shifted. "He should know better than an average citizen about the overall approach of the government towards defence matters. He should not allow other considerations promoted by property dealers and land lobby to sway him".

"In any case, it is not possible now to set up an ammunition dump at some other location. From where will you get 1000 acres of land in this area? It will not cost less than Rs 1000 crore to establish a new installation. Can the Punjab Government, which is already in the grip of a financial crisis, spare so much money....?" the spokesman questioned.


Let us go on a two-year ‘baby holiday’

THE problem of increasing population in the country has shaken every right-thinking person as the population has crossed the staggering one billion mark. It is well on the way to leaving China behind in less than a quarter of the next century. India will then win the dubious distinction of being the most populated country in the world.

Even today with just 2.7% of the total land area occupied by India, her population is somewhere near 16 per cent of the global population. Isn’t it an eye-opening situation? We have almost doubled our population during the 53 years of our Independence.

Every year, on an average, we are adding up by a number equivalent to the entire population of Australia. No wonder our entire planning, progress and prosperity have come to a naught in spite of the achievements of our engineers, doctors and scientists. The wealth of the country is increasing in arithmetical progression but the population of the country is growing in geometrical progression. How can the two keep pace with each other? The juggernaut of the country is going down a slope with an ever increasing speed. This will result in a mighty crash if the demon of ever-increasing population is not checked immediately in a big way.

The family welfare programme launched by the Government, of India some four decades ago has failed to produce the expected results. Coercion in the matter of family planning, whenever advocated or tried, has always ended in a fiasco and has only proved counter productive. Time has come to sit back, pause and ponder over this terrible problem. You can ignore it only at a great peril to the nation. ‘Plan or Perish’ should be our slogan now.

I have a suggestion to make in this regard. We remember that when our nation was once facing a food crisis at the time of the Indo-Pak war, our then Prime Minister, Mr Lal Bahadur Shastri, called upon the countrymen to observe a fast once a week. His appeal struck the conscience of the country and our patriotic people, taking the suggestion very seriously, did really give up food for once a week. In England also when Winston Churchill issued an appeal to the

war-torn nation during the Second World War II to give up the use of sugar in their tea cups, thousands of patriotic Britishers stopped taking sugared tea. India is today passing through an even greater threatening problem. We should use the entire media and all means at our disposal to educate the people and create an awareness amongst our countrymen that we are passing through a very critical phase because of a staggering increase in population every day. Thousands of Indian saints and sadhus, men of religion preaching virtue and godliness all over the country can be called up to help in this process of education. Similarly national heroes in any field, may it be games, films, politics, fine arts or education, can be prevailed upon to rise to the occasion and give a lead in educating the public about the need and urgency of putting some brakes on this increasing population. We can then jointly awaken the nation into a new idea-the idea of a two-year holiday in the matter of producing any more babies starting from August 15, 2001. There should be no birth of a child during the period 15.8.2001 to 14.8.2003. This would not only put a stop to increasing population but also lead to a reduction in population as nobody can put a stop to deaths during this period of Baby Holiday.

To some of the readers, the idea may appear to be far-fetched or impractical. But I call upon everybody to give the thought a fair trial. Why should we not make a joint effort — by the media, the leaders and teachers in all fields — to educate the people to stick to the no-child norm for just 2 years? Coercion, as I have said earlier, cannot work. It is the conscience of a patriotic country and its patriotic people that I am knocking at — with the hope that the idea would jolt and right minded people into thinking. I have already placed the idea before several important and well-meaning people, people as high as the Prime Minister of India, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. I am only waiting for an honest response. — Lajpat Rai (MP-Rajya Sabha)

— Readers are requested to write to Ludhiana Tribune, Bhadaur House, Ludhiana, to express their views on the suggestion put forth by Lajpat Rai. 



Differences between lawyers over new chambers
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 7 — The much-awaited shifting of the lower courts and the advocates’ chambers from the worn-out old courts complex near the Mall to the new district courts complex near the mini-secretariat has formally begun with the District Bar Association announcing the process of collecting instalments of construction of the 550 odd chambers of lawyers.

However, differences have erupted between lawyers at this last phase of the exercise, for which the advocates had struggled long and hard. A section of lawyers consisting mainly of young advocates has opposed that the price of construction of the new chambers should be paid by the lawyers as decided between the state government and the District Bar Association.

It was in 1976 that the lawyers had first proposed the project, as the present complex was in a dilapidated condition with several portions being completely unsafe. The courts were also existing in a congested place. Apart from the small court rooms, the lawyer chambers were all cramped. There was also not much room for the parking of vehicles.

But all these years the project was blocked for one reason or the other. According to informed sources, the troublesome financial condition of the government proved helpful to the courts. The old complex land was selected under the new optimum land use policy of the state government which calls for selling prime government land through PUDA to generate sources for the state. The selection expedited the shifting process of these courts and the lawyers’ chambers to a new under-construction multi-storey complex near the mini-secretariat on the Ferozepore road.

Giving details about the decision, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, President of the association, said the new multi-complex courts would consist of about 550 chambers. According to the lay-out plan, each chamber would cost about Rs 1.50 lakh each and the cost would be borne equally by the lawyers and the government.

Working on this arrangement, the Bar sent communication to all lawyers explaining them the arrangement. They were also informed that the payment of Rs 75,000 that each lawyer has to pay should be submitted by March next year. Mr Dhanda said for the lawyers’ ease, the Bar decided to allow the advocates to pay the amount in instalments. The first instalment of Rs 20,000 has to be paid by June 10.

This arrangement has, however, come under fire from a section of lawyers comprising mainly young advocates and even some elder ones who do not have flourishing practice. They say that they are still not well-established and cannot pay such a high price. Mr Darshan Singh Rai, spokesperson of the section, who today furnished an assigned list of 80 lawyers said the Bar had arbitrarily decided the payment amount as well as the mode of it without taking the lawyer community into confidence.

He said the lawyers had tried to raise objection against the arrangement at every possible juncture but no one had given heed to their point of view. He also demanded that one provision of the arrangement that the allocation of a chamber to a lawyer would be cancelled if he fails to pay the instalments regularly should also be scrapped as it was too stringent. Mr Rai demanded that the last date of submitting the first instalment should be kept in abeyance till the matter was resolved. He said some relaxation should also be made for these not so well-to-do section of the lawyers.


Moving around with dignity at 115 
and calling the shots
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

JHANDE (Ludhiana), June 7 — Do not be mistaken by the deep lines on her face. Or her bent posture and unsteady walk. Because when this matriarch of Jhande village talks with the wisdom coming from age and experience, the children, young and old, the illiterate and qualified of the village listen and obey.

“Mata ji” for all in the village, 115-year-old Basant Kaur is not a simple example of our culture of respecting our elders, but an example of rural woman empowerment orchestrated by a woman in the autumn of her life. This is the story of a woman who stood up against all odds for the welfare of the women in her non-descript village, barely 10 km from Ludhiana.

Mata Basant Kaur’s journey as a pioneer of feminism in this village began only 22 years ago. It was in the year 1972 that she, along with four other women of the village, struck upon the idea of a milk cooperative society and launched the Jhande Women Milk Producers Society in 1979. One of the first all women dairy cooperatives in the country, this society has come a long way from having a mere five members and procurement of 10kg. per day to having 136 members and procurement of 10 quintals per day and all because of the efforts of Mata Basant Kaur.

Talking about the setting up of the dairy and the Mahila Mandal ( incidentally she also set up the Mahila Mandal), the grand old lady of the village says: “We faced a lot of problems while setting up the cooperative society. At that time most of the villagers were selling milk privately and it did not suit their interests that milk be sold through a cooperative society.”

She recalls that how the then village sarpanch had locked up the dharamsala from where the cooperative society was operating and the village women were left without a premises for operation. It was then that Mata Basant Kaur donated her own land and with the money earned by the society a building was erected. The land for the Mahila Mandal was also donated by her.

“Even during the 1983 agitation by the B.K.U. when the kisan leaders had asked all dairy farmers to stop their milk supply to the milk plant in the city, Mata ji would herself travel in the procurement vans up to the milk plant to ensure that the protestors did not stop the supply of the milk was not stopped,” informs Bibi Ranjit Kaur, who is also one of the co-founders of the cooperative society here and is presently the Chairman of this society.

She also speaks of the time when they had just set up the society and the women of the village were not allowed to go out for work. “But Mata ji was so convincing that our menfolk allowed us to go out and work. Even when we would get late fro work, Mata ji would also ensure that we were saved from the wrath of our husbands and other family members,” she says.

Talking about her foray into this ‘rural feminist movement’, Mata Basant Kaur recalls the time around 50 years ago when she was so distraught after the untimely death of her young son and later her husband that she wanted to end her own life. “But the people of the village were very supportive and helped me face this crisis. When after almost one year, I was able to face the reality, I wanted to repay the people of the village for their kindness and so I struck upon the idea of a dairy cooperative which would ultimately help enhance the earnings of the other villagers," she informs. Since then she has been invited to attend major seminars on cooperative societies and has also visited the National Dairy Board’s Anand complex in Gujarat.

However, age has finally caught up with the grand old lady of Jhande. Though she still manages to move around with a walking stick and her mind is as sharp as ever, her hearing and sight is now slightly impaired. Also, she stopped interfering in the day-to-day functioning of the society a few years ago, but she still keeps herself informed of the developments in the dairy. Says Satnam Kaur, the secretary of the society? “Generation after generation of women in this village owe it to Mata ji for creating such awareness amongst them and helping them have a regular source of income.”

And it is not just Satnam Kaur who feels this way about Mata Basant Kaur. Talk to any of the villagers — daughters-in-law, mothers-in-law, and even those who came to the village as daughters-in-law and have now matured into grandmothers-in-law.

In fact ask her about women empowerment and the lady reiterates her slogan that women who work are loved and respected more at home. But she does not advocate a role reversal for men and women and feels that both sexes have to complement each other for the smooth and efficient running of the household. Her grandson Gurbinder Singh (she had adopted her nephew Jaswant Singh lambardar after the death of her only son) admires her open-mindedness. “She does not mind any village girl being fashionable, but advises them to dress up decently,” he says.

Meanwhile Basant Kaur also recalls that when she was six months old and a plague had spread in the region in the year 1887, all the people in her ancestral village, Raikot Bassian, went into hiding in the fields. “Since I was tiny and frail, my parents would put me in a wooden box for fear that I would not be carried away with the strong winds. “However, little did they know that the winds of fantasy and a burning ambition to help other women would carry her up on a pedestal where she has become an icon of rural women empowerment.


Meenu Gupta’s saviour
From Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, June 7 — It was a good samaritan in the person of 25-year-old Padam Shastri who displayed true grit, courage, determination and presence of mind to save the life of Meenu Gupta when she was brutally assaulted by her servant with an iron rod on Monday afternoon.

It might have been worse had Padam Shastri, an astrologer living in her neighbourhood, not heard the cries and shrieks of Meenu by chance and rushed to her aid.

In a talk with this correspondent here today he recalled the incident in detail. He said that he was going to the nearby PCO to make a phone call because his own telephone was out of order. He heard somebody crying inside a house with a large number of people gathered outside and peeping inside through the windows. When he enquired what was going on, someone answered that it appeared to be a case of wife beating. He too peeped inside and was horrified to see his neighbour Meenu Gupta being attacked by her servant with an iron rod.

The servant had bolted the main gate from inside. Meenu’s young daughter too had been hit in the teeth and was bleeding from the mouth. Padam Shastri lost no time in jumping over the main gate. In the process, he got some bruises on his body and his clothes also got torn. When the servant saw Padam coming towards him, he hit him (Padam) with a brick. However, Padam managed to prevent the servant from causing further harm to his landlady.

Meanwhile, Padam’s friend also jumped the gate and opened it from inside. The people who were standing outside thought that that it was perhaps a fight between husband and wife also went inside the house and caught the servant. It was alleged that servant was under the influence of liquor and had a drinking bout with a friend before attacking his landlady. The servant was apparently upset after he was scolded by her husband a couple of days ago.



Congress activists stage dharna
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 7—In response to a call given by the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), workers of the Congress staged dharnas at the block level throughout the district in protest against policies of the state government detrimental to the interests of farmers, workers, employees and the working classes.

The District Congress Committee (urban) chief, Mr Surinder Dawar, led the dharnas at various places in the city in which office-bearers of the DCC, activists of the block Congress committee (BCC)and party workers participated.

Speaking at a dharna in Kailash Cinema Chowk, Mr Dawar criticised the SAD-BJP government in the state for its all-round failure, particularly on the economic front. He said faulty policies of the government had made the going tough for all sections, including the trade and industry, farmers, employees and working class.

Among others, leader of the Congress in the local municipal corporation Surjit Singh Ahluwalia, former Deputy Mayor Prem Mittal and BCC chief Chander Shekhar Sahota addressed the party workers.

Mr Dawar later told The Tribune that party workers led by their respective BCC office-bearers had organised dharnas in all 16 blocks in the city.

According to Mr Harmohinder Singh, president, DCC(rural), workers enthusiastically participated in the dharnas staged in all blocks under the DCC (rural).The Congress workers from Ludhiana and Machhiwara staged dharna at Machhiwara. Those from the Mangat block lodged protest at Mullanpur and the party activists in Sudhar sat on dharna at Raikot. Dharnas at Sidhwan Bet and Payal were organised by workers from Sidhwan Bet - Jagraon and Doraha - Dehlon, respectively. Party activists at Samrala, Khanna and Pakhowal staged dharnas at their respective block headquarters.


Fall in influx of migrant labour

When middle-aged Ram Naresh arrived in the city nearly 30 years ago from Rae Bareilly in UP, it was a dream fulfilled for him as the daily wages of a labourer were Rs12 as against Re one in his home state. But today, the wage difference is not much. While a migrant labourer gets Rs 70 to 90 a day here, in UP it is around Rs 40 a day. That explains to some extent the fall in the influx of migrant labour, especially from UP.

According to Ram Naresh, nearly 10,000 migrant labourers arrive in the city every year most of whom go for sowing and harvesting of whatever little crops they have back home.

According to an old timer, migrant labour started arriving in Punjab towards the fag end of the sixties. The first to arrive was Ramu from UP who was mostly employed as domestic help as he was considered honest and hard working. Soon he was followed by Bihari bhaiyas, the Garhwalis, the Nepalese and others.

Over the past three decades there has been a steady influx of these people, so much so that it has come to a point of saturation.

While the UPwallahs prefer jobs in the industry and elsewhere, Biharis constitute a majority of farm hands. Bablu, a young man who works as a pressman in a tyre manufacturing unit at Jugiana, tells that there is a shortage of labour to work as helpers. Since a helper is paid poorly, Rs 1600 to 1700 per month for a 12 hour shift, very few are interested in undertaking such labour in the prevailing hot weather.

However, the labour situation for the farming sector is satisfactory. Sources at the local railway station say Biharis are arriving in droves for the paddy plantation season which is already under way. Farmers from far and near have a tough time persuading these Biharis and haggling over wages and other conditions.

—D.B. Chopra


Head Post Office up for sale
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, JUNE 7 — The Head Post Office building near the Bharat Nagar Chowk here is up for grabs as a district court has executed its attachment order while another has ordered it to be put for sale and report by August 24.

District and Sessions Judge S.S Arora has ordered the HPO to be sold by August 24 this year after dismissing the objections filed by the HPO authorities through their counsel.

According to their counsel, the court had not uphold their plea that the post office should not be sold against a land claim case involving the Department of Defence of the Government of India . Counsel said they had argued before the court that the post office is an entirely separate department which does not share any accounts with the Defence Department and, thus, in the land claim case some land of the Defence Department should be sold if there is any need to sell.

Counsel said the objections were dismissed and the court ruled that as both the departments came under the one department, the Union Ministry of India, the court can order attachment and sale orders to give compensation to the aggrieved petitioners.

The land claim case pertains to portions of land belonging to about 10 persons near the Dholewal Chowk in the city. This land was acquired by the Ministry of Defence .The owners of the land were not happy with the compensation awarded to them and had, thus, gone in for an Arbitration appeal in 1995 which was upheld. However, even after the appeal in their favour the money was not paid all these years and the petitioners in separate petitions before the district court here courts demanded legal help for immediate compensation.

Hearing upon these petitions the two courts ordered attachment of the Head Post Office building ordering that the petitioners be given the due compensation from the sale proceedings. While the court of Mr Saran has put up August 12 as next date of hearing of the objection filed by counsels of the post office, the other Judge has dismissed the objections and ordered completion of the sale process by August 24.

The Head Post Office building is worth crores of rupees as it is located on a prime land adjacent to the Bharat Nagar Chowk in the city.


SPCA to launch awareness drive

LUDHIANA, June 7—The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) would launch an awareness campaign with a view to eradicate cruelty against animals.

The decision was taken at a special meeting of the society held here yesterday under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner S. K. Sandhu, patron of the SPCA.

The Deputy Commissioner said sufficient literature would be distributed among the public to rouse compassion for poor animals. Seminars would be organised in colleges to spread awareness regarding this.

He added that a veterinary hospital and a cattle shed would be constructed on the two-acre plot already allotted to the SPCA.

Mr Sandhu called upon the people to bring to his notice any kind of cruelty being perpetrated against the animals.

The meeting was also attended by Mr Avtar Singh, president of the SPCA, Romi Chawla, general secretary, Ms Gurcharan Kochhar, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, Ludhiana, and student representatives of Ramgarhia Girls College.

Meanwhile, Mr Sham Singh Harika, secretary, All-India Shakahari Nashabandi Committee, today renewed his appeal to set up 250 gaushalas and strive for the closure of the slaughterhouse at Dera Bassi.



Vacant plot turns into garbage den
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 7 — Residents of New Madhopuri area are piqued over a vacant plot in street no. 17 of the locality which has become a permanent nuisance. The plot, having no boundary wall, is being used by people all around it to throw garbage, food leftovers, waste material and at times the sweepers in the area empty their garbage handcarts at this site.

Since the owner of the plot living elsewhere has not responded to repeated pleas by the residents to take some remedial measures, perhaps for the reason that he is not affected, the people in the colony are at their wits’ end as what to do next.

The whole scenario at the vacant plot bears a pathetic look. With heaps of garbage, solid waste and rotten food leftovers scattered all over, the place stinks and could become a source of breeding infectious diseases and epidemic. Stray animals like pigs and street dogs haunting the plot make the matters worse as the garbage lying in the plot is littered by them in the streets and outside the houses.

When asked for his comments as to what action the civic body could take against the owner of the plot, the municipal health officer, Dr P.S. Brar, said the matter will have to be examined.

However, he informed that the civic body intended to clean up all such vacant plot on priority basis where garbage was dumped. The campaign was to commence from zone

A in old city and attempts would be made to finish the task before commencement of rainy season to check breeding of mosquitos and spread of other waterborne diseases.

According to residents of the locality, the plot owner lived somewhere near Gaushala road and attempts to contact the owner at the given telephone number remained unsuccessful.


Four booked in pension case
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 7—The police has booked four persons allegedly for producing fake papers for claiming pension as freedom fighters. The case has been reportedly booked on the basis of an application submitted by the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana.

According to the information available from the police, Niranjan Singh, Mohan Singh, Balkar Singh and Gurmukh Singh, all residents of Galwadi village, had forged papers and applied for the pension. It is learnt that pension had been granted to the accused but later an inquiry into the incident had been conducted by the office of the Deputy Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner then ordered the registration of the case after seeking the opinion of the DA(Legal).

A case under Sections 467,468,471 and 420 of the IPC has been registered.

Conductor's complaint: It could well be case of the clash of interests between the private and the PRTC bus operators manifesting in the form of a PRTC bus conductor registering a case against a driver of a private bus company on charges of theft and violence.

According to the information available, the police has registered a case under Sections 353, 186, 427 and 323 of the IPC against driver Balwinder Singh and conductor Gurmit Singh of Libra Bus Service. The complainant, Mr Ram Pal has alleged that on June 5 when his bus reached Campa Cola Chowk, the above mentioned accused along with other persons intercepted his bus and started beating him. He has also alleged that the accused also snatched away Rs 9795 from the his cash bag and ran away in a bus.

It is alleged that the motive behind the attack was that the daily passengers supposed to travel in the private bus were being picked up by the PRTC bus.

Assault case: The Model Town Police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 307, 381, 459 and 34 of the IPC against Raju, alias Tara Bahadur, and Giri, in the sensational Meenu Gupta assault case. Raju was a domestic help at the Guptas' house and along with Giri, he had attacked Mrs Gupta with an iron rod in a bid to loot the house.

Theft alleged: A school teacher has accused a woman of stealing Rs 600 from her purse in her office while she was taking a class on April21.

In a FIR registered under Sections 452, 323 and 381 of the IPC at the Sadar police station, Ms Usha Sharma has alleged that another woman, Usha, stole money from her purse in her office at New Adarsh Vidya Mandir. When she was told of the act, she tried to stop the accused who allegedly beat her and ran away.

Liquor seized: The police seized seven bottles of country-made licit liquor from Ashok Kumar on Monday near the lottery market at Clock Tower.

The police has registered a case under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act. 



2 officials held for accepting bribe
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 7— The Vigilance Bureau, Ludhiana range, has nabbed two government officials, including Piara Singh, Readerto the SDM, Kharar, and Harinder Pal Singh, JTO, Telecom Office, Dholewal, for accepting bribe of Rs 2000 and Rs 500, respectively, and registered cases against them under the Anti-Corruption Act.

Giving details, Mr Harchand Singh Sidhu, SP, Vigilance, Ludhiana range, said in the first case Piara |Singh was caught red-handed by the vigilance party headed by Mr Malwinder Singh Sidhu, DSP, Vigilance, Ropar, while accepting a bribe of Rs 2000 from Mr Karanvir Singh of Rora village of Kharar tehsil to get cleared his case under Section 7/51 pending in the court of the SDM, Kharar, for the past eight months. He said Piara Singh had demanded Rs 3000 and but later settled at Rs 2000.

In the second case, Mr Sidhu said, the vigilance party headed by Mr Saroop Singh Chauhan, DSP, nabbed Harinder Pal Singh, red-handed accepting Rs 500 from Mr Parminder Singh to shift his telephone to his new business unit. He said the orders to shift the telephone was pending with him since May 27 and he insisted on a bribe of Rs 500 to get the work done.

He said the vigilance party laid the trap and seeing the vigilance officials, the JTO threw away the bribe money from his pocket. But the currency notes had been chemically treated by the raiding party.

Therefore, when water was poured on his hands and the pocket, the colour of the chemical turned red and the JTO was arrested in the presence of Mr Raghunandan Sharma, SDO and Mr Harbans Singh, clerk.

Mr Sidhu appealed to the people to come forward to inform Vigilance Bureau personally or on phone number 449053, in case any government employee demands illegal gratification for any work, so that the corrupt officials could be suitably punished.



Students at the mercy of the schools
From Monica Sharma 

LUDHIANA, June 7—Confusion reigns supreme among students seeking admissions in various CBSE-affiliated schools as every such institution is offering all kinds of teaching facilities. The perplexity of students and their parents has been further compounded by the fact that the students in order to reserve seats in seemingly good schools are submitting fees wherever they can get seats.

In the end they stand to lose thousands of rupees as the schools have refused to return the fees once deposited by these students

Some of the students applying for their admission say they are at the mercy of the schools regarding their admission. Every prestigious school has earmarked certain percentage of the seats for admission of the wards. Influential schools have set a minimum limit of 60 per cent marks and the maximum limit of 75 per cent for different streams. In some cases even the old student of the school are being denied admission due to less marks.

Students are upset at this policy. They say where will the mediocre students go if this policy is not changed by the schools. Moreover, most of the schools are violating the rules and regulations laid down by the district administration. Almost all schools are unwilling to refund the admission fees as the child gets admitted to some other school.

There is a widespread impression regarding DAV Public School that it defies the notice of the Deputy Commissioner and never refunds the fees.

The notification was issued two years ago by the Deputy Commissioner to reduce the burden of the parents. If a student gets admission in another school then the previous school is bound to return the fees by deducting Rs 250 as the service charge.

According to Mrs Kapoor, the school authorities have just turned it into a business and are exploiting the parents. For a middle class family it is very tough to deposit fees in several schools and then forget about it.

The schools are charging hefty amount as the admission fees. It is approximately above Rs10,000 in all schools. In some cases it is as high as Rs18,000.

Another parent getting his son admitted in plus one in one of the schools of city says to get admission in a good school is a prestigious issue in the city. “It is beyond my capacity to pay Rs 12,000 in two-three different schools. The schools are fleecing the students in the name of donations in huge amounts”, the parent adds.

Neeti, who has just passed out from tenth class says we all students are quite confused as the admission dates of various schools are different. Most students are of the view that it is next to impossible to get admission fees refunded from other schools other than in which are getting admission.

The administration says strict action will be taken against schools found violating the rules and regulations.



Court official held for bribery
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, June 7 — A Reader in the court of the SDM, Kharar, was arrested by the Vigilance Department, Punjab, while accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 from a person yesterday. A team of Vigilance Department led by Mr Malvinder Singh Sidhu arrested Piara Singh, Reader, while accepting the bribe.

According to information Mr Karanbir Singh of nearby village, Rora, complained to the Vigilance Department that the Reader was delaying a case under Section 107/151, CrPc., which was pending in the court of Subdivisional Magistrate. He said that the official was demanding Rs 3,000 for disposing of this case. The deal was settled at Rs 2,000.

Piara Singh was arrested in the presence of two employees as witnesses.


GM, Telecom, served contempt notice
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 7 — Mr B.K. Mehta, Civil Judge, Senior Division, has issued notices to the General Manager, Telecom Circle, Ludhiana, Mr J.C. Aggarwal, and his Accounts Officer, Mr Ramesh Chander, for contempt of court proceedings against them for not complying with a court order of restoring the telephone connection of Mr S.R. Sharma, a resident of Agar Nagar in the city.

Mr Sharma had, through his counsel, pleaded before the court that even though no payment of bill was pending against him, his telephone connection was disconnected in the last week of March this year. Upholding his appeal, the Civil Judge had in a order passed on May 30 directed the telecom officials to restore the telephone connection immediately.

However, as the order as not complied with , the petitioner, Mr Sharma, in a renewed application to the Civil Judge, demanded contempt of court proceedings against the telecom officials for not restoring his telephone connection.

According to a copy of the court orders received here, today the two telecom officials have been summoned to appear before the court on July 17 for hearing under the contempt of court proceedings.

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