Tuesday, June 20, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


17-year-old held with booty of Rs 1.25 lakh
City youths take to crime for flamboyant lifestyle
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 19 — It is yet another case of school kids taking to theft in order to suit their flamboyant lifestyle. The CIA staff police led by in charge B. S. Brar has arrested a 17-year-old boy with a booty of around Rs 1.25 lakh that was stolen from a house of a business man in Faridkot on the intervening night of June 12 and 13.

The boy, Pawandeep, had recently appeared in his class X examinations from the local Tania Public High School and was holidaying with his grandparents in Faridkot when he hatched a conspiracy to steal money from the house of a business man along with a Nepalese domestic help, Ramu, in order to indulge in a more lavish lifestyle. And all this without the knowledge of his widowed mother or his other maternal relations with whom he was staying in Faridkot.

According to the information gathered by TNS here today, it is learnt that Pawandeep got friendly with a Ramu while he went to play cricket at the grounds of Balvir School and the two hatched a conspiracy to steal money from the house of a business man, Mr Gurcharan Singh.

It is alleged that while the theft was carried out by Ramu, part of stolen money i.e. Rs 1.78 lakh was given to Pawandeep, while Ramu took away the remaining Rs 30,000. After this both decided to part ways. A case of theft had been registered at Faridkot against unknown persons in this regard.

Reportedly, Pawandeep managed to convince another friend, Amandeep, to come to Ludhiana on the pretext that his mother had given him some money to buy a new Yamaha motorbike and that he would also show him around in Ludhiana. The duo came to Ludhiana on the latter's scooter on June 15 and got themselves registered in Hotel Zoom near Clock Tower.

Since Pawandeep's mother was away to Bathinda in order to get her music album released (she is a folk singer), the two went to Prem Narain and Co yesterday and bought a new Yamaha for Rs 40,000.

However, as luck would have it, the two were apprehended by the police at a naka near Chaura Bazaar on the evening of June 17 and on searching, the police found the remaining cash of over Rs 1,35,000 from their possession. The two were apprehended and after interrogation confessed to their crime. A case under Section 411 of the IPC has been registered at the police station Division No 1.

Close on the heels of this, the anti- goonda staff led by Inspector Ranbir Singh yesterday arrested a 22-year old son of SDO, Telecom, Moga, Jagminder Singh Happy, who took to crime along with 10 other youths from Delhi, Bathinda and Kotkapura in order to enjoy the money thus earned for 'living it up".

Jagminder Singh was arrested by the police during a naka on Barewal Road and a stolen Esteem car was recovered from him.

It is learnt that the car was stolen by him along with three others from Rajouri Garden about eight months ago. It was sold off to Chamkaur Singh at Faridkot for Rs 70,000, but after some time the deal was cancelled as the registration of the car could not be transferred in his name.

It is learnt that he along with nine others formed a part of a gang which used to steal cars, replace their engines, doors, seats and other parts with broken and damaged parts of cars that they bought from car bazar.

The new cars thus prepared were sold to unsuspecting buyers and the remains of the stolen cars to junk dealers.

It is also learnt that while five members of this notorious gang, including leader Harwinder Singh Bittu, Deepu, Mithu, Gurpal Singh and Chamkaur Singh were arrested by the Bathinda police along with two cars on May 26, four others along with Jagminder Singh were still at large till the latter was caught by the police on secret information yesterday.

Talking to TNS after his arrest today, Jagminder Singh said he got involved in this at the behest of his cousin, Harwinder Singh, in order to "live it up". He also said since he was the youngest son, his mother and elder brothers (who hold managerial posts and are financially quite sound) would protect him and he was allowed to have his way.

Interestingly, he informed that when confronted by his father, he had attributed his lavish lifestyle to the sale and purchase of cars that he claimed he was into.

He also said that the gang had taken a house on rent in Nirmal Nagar and had been using this as a place for entertaining their girlfriends, enjoying drinks, and for hiding from the police.

It is learnt that this business proved to be so profitable that he had managed to save Rs 1.5 lakh and after borrowing another Rs 1 lakh from his mother and brother, he had gotten a new Esteem financed for himself. Back


Beauty conscious Y2K generation
From Surbhi Bhalla

LUDHIANA, June 19 — Looking good has become almost a national obsession. Women today, want it all — the job, social life, home and above all beauty. Weathering 10 hours a day without wilting takes more than the best long-wear lipstick and strong head-styling spray.

Men have also become extremely fussy about looks. After all, they go out more often, meeting different people, comparing themselves with others and realising that it doesn't pay to look sloppy.

Summer is a gamble, when it comes to beauty. It can transform you or set you on a fast road to ruin. Generation X and Generation Y, both have a heat wave nightmare to tell, that typically involves frizzy hair and shiny T-zone.

Everybody these days is making an effort to look good and stay cool. There is nothing quite as relaxing and luxurious as spending a few hours having, once face and body pampered, says Sunil.

And they want to stay sweet smelling. Sweet smelling in the city calls for the combination of a power house deodorant and a fragrance with a lovely natural smell, explains Manisha Chawla, an M.Sc student.

While Ritu, Monika and Shriya are in favour of regular manicures and pedicures to put in an extra care to every part of the body. One should look good as it helps to enhance the personality traits, says Shriya.

Ghazal, a plus two student, needs sheer, smear-proof foundation, long-wearing concealers, flush colour blush or a bronzing powder and a mid-tone lipstick with sun fillers and hydrators.

Every decade brings new look and hair styling is one of them. Youngsters really need to check it. Short hair is ideal to show of the kind of sharp features that Indian women have. Hairstyling finally has to do with individuality. Experimentation does not mean going over the top. Sometimes it can be just a case of different parting of hair or readjusting your lip colour.


Falling water level hits paddy sowing-operations
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 19 — A worrying situation has arisen for farmers in scores of villages in this and adjoining districts as ground water level has gone down considerably, causing a major obstacle in the cultivation of paddy.

Hectic activity can be witnessed in fields in these villages as almost every second farmer is engaged in digging tube wells along with labourers for the installation of motors. The financially weak farmer is helplessly dishing out thousands of rupees for the necessary work while keeping an eye on the sky, praying for early and heavy rains to bail him out .

“We will not mind even floods this year,” said Gurmeet Singh Bassi, a worried farmer, reflecting on the urgency of the matter. He said ground water level was dipping at an average of 5 to 7 feet every year and several bores have become useless . As there is insufficient water to irrigate fields, farmers are forced to spend more money to dig deeper.

“Just two years ago, I had installed the motor at a depth of 25 feet only while now the well depth has to be at least 40 feet. The motor has to be kept at such a low level now as the water is available from 85 feet onwards only ,” he said

A survey of a number of villages like Lalotan Kalan, Mansooran, Dolon, Pamal and Jodhan and adjoining ones revealed similar conditions. The scenario has become more alarming as several tracts of fields have developed cracks due to insufficient water. Fresh paddy plants sown in these fields have been severely damaged and the land has been rendered useless for re-sowing.

Says Inderjit Singh, a farmer in Lalotan village, pointing towards the damaged tracts, “No amount can save my crops now. The cracks will not allow the water to stand and each drop will seep down. Even if some plants are saved the yield per hectare would fall by 50 per cent or even more”. The farmer who was feeding tea and snacks to labourers digging a new well for his fields said this was his third new bore in two years. The previous two had failed to provide water.

Calculating the expenses, he said earlier the whole process cost around about Rs 35,000 but now Rs 50,000 are required. Last year he had saved almost the same amount and all has been spent on this work. Now for feeding the family and to meet other agriculture expenses, he will go to financers and the vicious circle of debt-trap will continue.

Afzal Khan, an expert in well-digging process, said that never before were they so busy with the work as more and more farmers were engaging them daily.

Notwithstanding the risk factor of digging wells, Afzal said their labour has also gone up considerably. Though happy at the outcome, he was also worried at the falling level of water. Time will come soon when the water will go so down that the labourer will dare to dig wells, as the work is already risky at 40 feet. Recently two labourers were buried alive near Ahmedgarh village in this district.

Mr G.S. Kalkat, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agriculture University, commenting on the scenario said if immediate precautions and measures are not taken, things will worsen. He acknowledged that the scenario was alarming as this is the right time to sow paddy and the state’s rice production may be hit.

The VC said that according to a study by the university, the annual rains can compensate ground water used for paddy sowing in 18 lakh hectare of land while presently as much as 24 lakh hectare was under paddy cultivation. He said agriculture experts were warning the farmers for the last five years or so about such a situation but farmers have not taken it seriously. Mr Kalkat said no type of irrigation facilities can solve the problem. Only if there is an immediate cut of 20 per cent in land covered under paddy, things might not deteriorate, if not improve.

The Vice-Chancellor suggested that a farmer having 5 acres of land should use 4 acres for paddy and one for other crops like cereals, pulses, maize and even fodder. Warning the farmers, he said soils and water are the only resources of agriculture and if these are exploited at this rate, things will move out of control.


Police rescues girl who was kidnapped and raped
Tribune News Service

MEHARBAAN ( Ludhiana), June 19 — A 13-year old-girl was rescued from her foster-father after being allegedly kidnapped and repeatedly raped by him for almost a month — in connivance with and with the consent of his keep — whom he had bought for Rs 15,000 six years ago.

According to the information available from police sources, it is learnt that the girl was recovered by the police when they lay a trap for the girl’s foster-mother, Charanjit Kaur, also a co-accused in the case. It is learnt that while the police had already caught the victim’s foster father, Paramjit Singh Pamma, a few days ago when he had come to the village to sell off his shop here, they set up a trap for Charanjit Kaur by making Paramjit Singh call up his keep, Charanjit Kaur, and summoning her to the village to come and collect the money from the sale of the shop so that the duo, along with the victim could flee together.

However, Charanjit Kaur managed to get out of this trap but the 13-year-old victim was left behind by her and was rescued by the police on June 15. She was later taken to the Civil Hospital both today and yesterday for medical examination. The police is, however, now on the look-out for the other accused, Charanjit Kaur, and the in charge of the Meharbaan police post, Mr Jagroop Singh, claimed that they were aware of the woman’s whereabouts and assured that a police party was being dispatched to look for her.

According to the information gathered by TNS, the victim is a grand-daughter of one Baba Prabhdayal who has a dera in this village. It was on the night of May 14 that the girl was reported as missing from the dera. The accused — Charanjit Kaur, who was a regular visitor to the dera, along with Paramjit Singh — were also found to be missing. Since the victim was a regular visitor to the couple’s house and was reportedly seen last with the woman, the family suspected her involvement in the disappearance of the girl. Subsequently, a case under sections 363, 366-A and 34 of the IPC was registered at the Basti Jodhewal police station.

It was alleged that since the couple did not have any child of their own, they had plotted to kidnap the victim. This allegation was further substantiated after Paramjit Singh too went missing a few days after the kidnapping of the victim. Police sources claim that the girl was taken from one place to another continuously during this time and only when Paramjit Singh came to the village recently to sell off his general merchant store that the police nabbed him.

Meanwhile, the girl, after being freed from the clutches of the couple two days ago, has said in her police statement that Paramjit Singh had raped her repeatedly during her captivity and in the presence and with the consent of Charanjit Kaur.

While exclusively talking to TNS during his police remand in the village, Paramjit Singh said that he had bought Charanjit Kaur from her mother in village Mudki in district Ferozepore-around six years ago. He also informed that she had earlier been married to another man in village Burmi near Raikot and after some dispute with her first husband, she had come home and he had then bought her. It was later when all the three children that Charanjit bore died, that they were told of the Baba’s dera and his supernatural powers. “We came to the dera and I started a general merchandise shop in the village, while Charanjit began doing sewa in the dera. The grand-daughter of Babaji became very close to us and would visit our house often. We then hatched a conspiracy to kidnap her after I discovered that the girl had fallen in love with a boy, Sunil alias Sonu, through a love letter that I discovered from her and later handed it over to her father, Ramesh Lal,” he alleged.

He also informed that he stayed on in the village for four days after they had taken the girl so as to dispel any suspicion. But when the family accused Charanjit of kidnapping and a finger was also pointed at him, he fled away. He said that the girl was initially kept in Dhuri, then in Mudki and was later kept at other places in hiding.



Ludhiana’s clock tower the only one in Punjab
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 19 — For decades, the ‘Ghanta Ghar’ witnessed the growth of this megacity around it. Now the city is viewing its gradual decay.

From once being an important landmark of the area, the clock tower has been considerably overshadowed by the mushrooming high-rise buildings and other towers around it. It’s aura of being a majestic creation has been hit in the process and the unique piece of European Architecture which stood like a monarch few years ago now seems to be standing alone and ignored, sandwiched in the crowd of people, vehicles, electric poles and high hoardings around it.

Built in 1904, the tower is widely known as Ghanta Ghar because of the four large clocks on its top facing in all directions. It was inaugurated in the same year on December 17 by an Indian Deputy Commissioner Deewan Tek Chand and is presently the only clock tower left in the state. Before Independence there used to be a number of such towers in the erstwhile Punjab state. Worth mentionable were such huge towers in Lahore and Amritsar, but with passage of time Lahore went to Pakistan and the Amritsar clock tower has crumbled down long ago.

According to Prof. M.S.Cheema, building towers was essentially an act of image-building on the part of the rulers. There are many big towers which narrate the story of might over right. The Qutab Minar of Delhi and later the Chandni Minar of Aurnagbad prove the same truth.The British people built clock towers with a double purpose. It dominated the city landscape as well as provided the facility of telling the time.

The Britishers constructed a number of towers in cantonment towns , he revealed. One big clock tower was erected close to the Golden Temple Amritsar which was pulled down after Independence but the space is still called Ghanta Ghar Chowk. The clock tower of Ludhiana is of a shorter height . The site was chosen very carefully near a commercial centre and the railway station of the city. The addition of road traffic is a later development. Mr. Cheema revealed that at that time common people depended upon the hour and half an hour ringing of the clocks to know about the time but now the clocks do not speak.

At times the clock used to become a butt of jokes as the four different ones pronounced different times.

During Giani Zail Singh’s Chief Ministership, the tower was renamed Lord Mahavir at the instance of the Jain community.

Mr. V.P.Chopra, another senior citizen, remembered that high-rise buildings and other towers have badly overshadowed the aura of the tower and its ambience has been affected. He remembered the lost times when the tower used to stand with a garden all around it. That was the time when the Ludhianvis used to match their watches with the clocks but now the machine works in fits and starts.



Novel protest by farm technocrats
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 19 — In a novel way of protest against non-acceptance of their demands, agricultural technocrats from the Departments of Agriculture, Soil conservation and Horticulture organised a farmers' training camp at Dhandra village, near here on a 'holiday'.

The call for the protest was given by the Agricultural Technocrats Action Committee (AGTAC), Punjab, to press for its demands, including restoration of professional pay parity with other technocrats, grant of conveyance and academic allowance, additional increments for higher academic qualifications, rent-free accommodation on the pattern of veterinarians and medicos and time-scales after four, nine and 14 years of service at par with other professionals.

Speaking at the occasion, AGTAC activists Daler Singh and Rajinder Pal Singh Anokh said that field responsibilities of agricultural technocrats were challenging and involved, not only a wide base of scientific knowledge and skill, but also physical endurance in terms of continuous touring and contact with farmers in the villages and on their farms. Dr R.S.Pandher, Dr Kirpal Singh, Dr Ashok Kumar, Dr Daler Singh and Dr P.S.Grewal imparted technical know-how on successful cultivation of paddy and maize; conservation of soil and water and growing of fruit and vegetable crops.



Congress MP seeks Badal’s resignation
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 19 — Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, Congress M.P., Ludhiana, has asked the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to quit and go in for a mid-term poll in the state in view of defeat of the ruling alliance in the Nagar Panchayat elections held in four towns of the district on Saturday.

Speaking at a function in Ward No 58 yesterday after inaugurating a tubewell in the locality, he said at least a section of the voters in the district had pronounced their verdict which was a clear ‘no’ against the SAD (B)-BJP alliance.

Mr Ghalib lambasted the government for its all-round failure, pushing the state in an economic mess and persuing such policies that were detrimental to the interests of trade, industry, employees and other working classes. He appealed to the party workers to sink their petty differences and stand united to mobilise the people in support of the party and to propagate programmes and policies of the party.

The District Congress Committee (Urban) president, Mr Surinder Dawar, said that the people of Punjab were fed up with the coalition government led by Mr Badal.

The councillor of the area, Mrs Ravinder Kaur Chadha, the Block Congress Committee No. 5 president, Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha, group leader of the Congress councillors, Mr Surjit Singh Ahluwalia, Mr Sham Sunder Malhotra, Mrs Asha Garg, Mr Kanwardeep Singh Pappi, Mr Balwinder Sandhu, Mr Suresh Soni — all councillors, a former Deputy Mayor, Mr Prem Mittal, among others addressed the function.


‘Replace Akali Dal Youth Wing chief’
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 19 — Simmering discontent among party workers against the leadership of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Youth Wing virtually led to a revolt here today, with the party general secretary, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, seeking the removal of the party president, Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, charging him with treating the party as his personal property, poor performance, misusing the organisation for his personal benefits and appointing sycophants and ill-reputed persons to important posts in the youth wing of the ruling SAD (B).

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Dhillon claimed that majority of the party workers, members of working committee and office-bearers of the Akali Dal Youth Wing were fed up with the autocratic functioning of the party chief and had decided at a recent meeting that the party high command be asked to remove Mr Aliwal from the post of president forthwith.

According to Mr Dhillon, the party rank and file had almost succeeded in persuading the SAD (B) supremo Mr Parkash Singh Badal last year to replace Mr Aliwal with some other suitable person who could provide dynamic leadership to the Youth Wing. But at a meeting convened by Mr Badal in Punjab Bhavan at Chandigarh early last year, it was decided that the Youth Wing chief would retain his post till the middle of April 1999 when the tercentenary of birth of Khalsa would be over and thereafter a new president would be appointed. At that time, a 31-member committee was set up with the approval of the party high command to run the party affairs.

“However, even after the Akali Dal Youth Wing workers, lent full support to Mr Aliwal, he chose not to resign on his own and is clinging to the office till today,” Mr Dhillon lamented. Not only this, he ignored the larger interests of the party and failed to take even the important functionaries and office-bearers along while taking important policy decisions, he added.


Murderer of two on prowl
From Our Correspondent

SAHNEWAL, June 19— A murderer is on the prowl after he allegedly stabbed two people to death and then stuffed their bodies in a jute bag.

According to the FIR registered at the Sahnewal police station, it is alleged that Bhupinder Singh was allegedly murdered by Jatinder Singh on June 17 and Jatinder is also alleged to have murdered a rickshaw-puller. In both instances he is reported to have put the bodies of his victims in jute bags.

It is alleged by the complainant Alwinder SIngh, brother of the deceased Bhupinder Singh, that his brother was a taxi driver operating from Doraha.

On June 17, at about 5 p.m. when he went to see his brother Bhupinder at the taxi stand, Jatinder Singh came to Bhupinder and asked him to take him to Delhi and the deal was struck for Rs 2100. Jatinder also said that they would first go to Shandaran village, the place where his maternal uncle Mohinder Singh lived. For the night they would stay there and start for Delhi early in the morning.

Since Alwinder and his brother Bhupinder are residents of Rampur which is on the way to Shandaran, Alwinder asked Bhupinder to drop him on the way. Alwinder sat on the back seat along with Jatinder. Alwinder was dropped at Rampur and both Bhupinder and Jatinder went to Shandaran.

As fate would have it, Bhupinder Singh’s wife became suddenly ill at about 10 p.m. and Bhupinder’s father asked his younger son Alwinder to bring Bhupinder back. Alwinder called Bheem Sen, whose taxi Balwinder was driving and he brought another car and they went to bring back Bhupinder.

Both reached the house of Mohinder Singh, the maternal uncle of Jatinder at about 12:30 am when they opened the gate of the house they saw Jatinder pulling a loaded sack towards the gate. Stunned at what had happened Jatinder left the sack and escaped in the dark. He had a sharp weapon in his hand that was smeared with blood.

Unaware of what the matter was, Alwinder and Bheem Sen opened the sack discovering to their utter astonishment the body of Bhupinder Singh who had been murdered ruthlessly by the same weapon that Jatinder held in his hand.

Hearing the shouts, Mohinder Singh came out and related that Jatinder took Bhupinder upstairs to sleep there and when the three went upstairs they saw blood spread everywhere on the floor.

Alwinder Singh has alleged of a similar murder committed on the same day under similar circumstances. It was of a rickshaw-puller who belonged to Rampur village. His body was too laying stuffed in a sack. The mystery is yet to be solved.

However, the body of Bhupinder Singh after the post-mortem has been handed over to his family members. The car has been impounded by the police. Sahnewal Police Station in charge Jatinder Singh Khera said that police parties had been sent all over the area in this regard..



Civic contractor blacklisted
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 19 — The Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Dr. S.S. Sandhu, has debarred a contractor from tendering in the MC for a period of one year and has also ordered the forfeiture of his earnest money.

Giving details, a spokesperson of the MC said the contractor, M/s Gujral Enterprises, was allotted the work of laying pavement in Pritam Nagar under slum works and according to the work order dated December 31, 1999, the period for completion of the work was one month.



4 traders booked
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 19 — The District Food and Civil Supplies Comptroller, Mr Praveen Vij, said the department had registered cases under the Excise Act against four merchants

The first case has been registered against Davinder Singh for allegedly selling kerosene at Salem Tabri without a proper licence. Another case has been registered against Sunil Kumar of Kakkar Oil Company, for allegedly selling kerosene meant for the public distribution system in black market.

Two cases were also registered at the Basti Jodhewal police station. In the first case, a general merchant, Rajinder Kumar, was booked for selling rice and kerosene without a licence. Another general merchant, Ashwani Kumar, was also booked by the police on similar charges.


India lacks infrastructure: experts
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 19 — The panelists at a discussion on "WTO's unilateral and multilateral trade liberalisation: stakes for India" organised by the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) here last evening were of the general view that India lacked basic industrial infrastructure for global competitiveness.

The panelists included Prof S. P. Singh, Head, Department of Management of Business Administration, Panjab University Chandigarh, Mr M. M. Vyas, Chairman, Ludhiana Improvement Trust, Lala Lajpat Rai ,MP, Mr S. K. Rai, president LMA and Dr P. S. Khatra from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

The speakers emphasised the need for building up the industrial infrastructure in the country to make it globally competitive. They pointed out, whether anybody liked it or not, the WTO regime had come into force and India was a signatory to it . At the same time they said, it needed not to be feared.

In his theme lecture, Dr S P Singh underlined the need for education penetration. He said nothing could make the country globally more competitive than mass education.

Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust Madan Mohan Vyas assured that he would ensure that adequate infrastructure was developed in Ludhiana.

Rajya Sabha member Lala Lajpat Rai said in order to ensure a respectable places at the global level India needed to curb its rapidly increasing population. He warned that the population was increasing at an alarming rate which, if not controlled, might prove to be disastrous for the nation.

The LMA president Mr S K Rai said, the much hue and cry raised on the issue of cheap cycle imports from China should not be a cause for concern.

He said, the low cost cycle manufactured by China was not a threat but a challenge. He asked as why the Ludhiana industry could not manufacture cycles at a similar price. He said the landing cost of Chinese cycles in India would not be less than Rs 1880.

Dr M. A. Zahir said there was no need to feel concerned or worried over economic liberalisation. He said, the liberalisation concept was feared more because it emerged from capitalist nations. He pointed out that socialism might be a good idea, but it was very difficult to practise it.


Workshop on personal grooming
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 19 — The Niharika Ladies Club today organised a personal grooming and personality development workshop at I.M.A. House. The workshop will continue till July 5.

Miss Punjab’92, Jyotika Verma, will train housewives and girls on how to walk on the ramp, tips for healthy and long hair, what type of heels should be worn with sarees, how should you carry your purse and so on. According to Mrs Daljit, Chairperson of the club: “This type of course will boost confidence in the housewives”.

The club has also arranged a dance teacher, Mrs Aruna Verma of Guru Nanak Public School, who will teach giddha, bhangra and various other Punjabi folk dances to the participants.


Central Excise Customs Officers meet
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 19 — A meeting of the Central Excise and Customs officers was held here under the chairmanship of Mr Someshwar, Chief Commissioner, Central Excise. The meeting was attended by officers who including Mr S P Srivastava, Chief Commissioner Customs (DZ), DS Sra Commissioner Customs, Amritsar, Deputy Central Excise Division II, Ludhiana, besides other senior officers of the three commissionerates.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Someshwar appreciated the 21 per cent increase in the revenue collection of central excise division II Ludhiana and the performance of the anti-evasion wing of the division II, Ludhiana.

A delegation of the Ludhiana Independent Processors met both Chief Commissioners. The delegation was assured that the points raised by it will be referred to the TRU cell in New Delhi.

Mr Someshwar emphasised the need for proper coordination between the staff working in audit anti evasion and other formations. He stressed that thorough checks should be made and the officers should do the job assigned to them meticulously.


Oh boy, what a shoe-shine!
From D.B.Chopra

LUDHIANA, June 19 — Along the wall outside the main bus stand, there sit everyday on the narrow footpath, nearly 20-odd shoe-shine women under makeshift canopies doing brisk business , though through dubious ways.

Clad in colourful saris and tight-fitting blouses, these beautiful women have brains too. They know, not only the art of enticing customers with their ‘come-on looks’ but also of lightening their purses.

When I reached the spot today, business was not very brisk due to the hot afternoon hours. A couple of canopies had no occupants. A woman, with chisselled features, was using a hand-fan to comfort her little one lying on a rug spread on the footpath. Well , that would make a nice picture, I thought. But before I could actually click, she shied away from the camera and within no time I found myself surrounded by at least a dozen of them.

“We don’t want to have anything to do with newspaperwallahs,” shouted one of them. The only information I could gather was that all of them hailed from Nagore district in Rajasthan. They would not talk any further.

But, a male footpath neighbour of theirs, engaged in some other trade, was more forthright and enlightening.” No, they are not into prostitution,” he affirms. But they make lots of easy money, he adds. How? First of all, they hook the customer by flashing smiles while shining their shoes. Since every other pair of shoes needs a little bit of mending, they cajole the customers to get some nails or ‘stars’ studded on the soles. While the customer listens eagerly to these sweet talk, he fails to notice the number of nails the woman hammers into the shoes. Therein lies the rub. He realises too late that in the process it is not his shoe but himself who has been fixed.

When they ask for Rs 50, for mending an old worn-out pair of shoes, which the customer thinks is more than the worth of the shoe, a quarrel ensues. Soon the customer finds himself surrounded by all of them. Dirty abuses are hurled at him for coming to them. He has seen people leaving behind their shoes.

All these women’s husbands do nothing. They depend on their wives for their food and liquor. He informs that these women live in Dhakka colony on Dugri road near Lal Kothi.

The beat cops know very well what is happening but they turn their backs in case of a dispute, adds my male informer.

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