Tuesday, July 25, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Minor girl sold off for Rs 20,000
8 booked in the case
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 24 — If you thought that the case of Ameena Begum of Hyderabad, who she had been sold off to a middle-aged Arab, was a thing of the past and was only restricted to poverty-stricken families, you need to think again.

In a shocking incident, a minor girl was forcibly married off to a Muscat-based NRI hailing from Nangal by her foster family which, in turn, allegedly gained Rs 20,000 from the alliance.

It is learnt that the 14-year-old victim, the daughter of a rickshaw-puller staying in Chander Nagar, was allegedly taken away by her foster uncle and aunt, Rakesh, alias Babbi, and his sister, Neelam, on April 26. It is alleged that she had been picked up on the pretext of taking her for shopping while she was alone at her residence.

The two accused are then alleged to have taken the victim to their residence in Basti Jodhewal and married her off to a 40-year-old widower settled in Muscat, Tilak Raj. "I was shocked when I learnt that chacha and bua had arranged my marriage with that man. I told them that I would not get married without the consent of my parents and brothers. But both of them insisted that they were like my parents and would arrange the best for me," rued the victim, while talking to Tribune News Service here today.

She alleged that the two accused along with their younger brother, Subhash and their spouses then forcibly sent her to her "marital house" in Nangal. "I was kept confined to a room and was sexually assaulted. I was also told by my ''mother-in-law'' that they had paid Rs 20,000 to the accused for arranging this alliance. I was also threatened by both Tilak Raj and his mother with dire consequences if I tried to flee. They would repeatedly scare me by narrating the atrocities that they claimed they committed on his deceased wife."

In the meantime, the parents of the victim were informed by a son of the accused, Rakesh Babbi, that they had married off the victim in a very rich family. Says the mother of the victim:"We fought with Rakesh and questioned his authority in getting a marriage arranged for our daughter and without our consent. We then found out the the address of Tilak Raj in Nangal and after bluffing Tilak Raj that a still-born nephew was born to the victim and that her sister-in-law wanted her here, her brothers and a few neighbours brought her here."

Says the victim: "My entire life has been ruined, but I want to see the guilty punished not just for my harassment, but also for breaking my trust from people for life."

It was later that Raju Thapar and Lucky Sood, local residents of Chander Nagar, pleaded her case in front of the Senior Superintendent of Police and he, in turn, ordered for the registration of the case against eight persons at Basti Jodhewal police station.


SI involved in YC leader kidnapping arrested
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 24 — Can a police officer facing suspension pick up a person from another police district and take him to a third police district? Even after this episode can he pick up another police constable after a minor altercation and then subject him to third-degree torture?

The case of Sub-Inspector Surjit Chand of the Ropar police, who not only allegedly kidnapped a Youth Congress leader from Ludhiana but later also picked up a police constable and after illegally confining him beat him up. And all this while he was facing suspension in a case of misbehaviour.

According to the Ropar police, Sub-Inspector Surjit Chand, in charge, CIA staff, Ropar, has been booked under sections 323, 324, 342, 364, 506 and 511 of the IPC and later arrested. It is alleged that he along with three others beat up a police constable, kept him in illegal confinement, used third-degree methods to torture and threaten him.

It is learnt that on the July 22 night the complainant, constable Gurpreet Singh, had gone to have dinner at a dhaba on the Landran-Banur road, near the picket where he was posted. When he reached there, he saw that a scuffle was on between the dhaba owners and a few truck drivers. He intervened and the scuffle was brought to an end.

Incidentally, the owner of the dhaba, Kala, was a relative of SI Surjit Chand and when he got to know of the scuffle, he along with Kala, HC Jagdev Singh and SPO Sudesh Kumar went and picked up Gurpreet Singh, tied him and took him to a room in a secluded spot. It is alleged that he was then subjected to third-degree torture and a screw driver was pierced through one of his legs.

Later an inquiry was ordered into the incident. It was then that a case was registered and the accused SI arrested.

When contacted, the SSP, Ropar, Mr Gurpreet Bhullar, confirmed that the accused had been arrested. He said that the accused had been placed under suspension and sent to Police Lines last week, three to four days before the 'kidnapping' of the YC leader, Mr Nirdosh Dhand.

Answering a question about the SI's involvement in the 'kidnapping' of Mr Dhand, Mr Bhullar said that he had already ordered the SP (Detective), Ropar, to conduct an inquiry into the incident.


Confusion over security cess
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 24 — Strange are the ways of the Punjab Government, which is trying to enforce a law that has not been enacted. The confusing and contradictory instructions issued by the state government and the Excise and Taxation Department on collection of social security cess, which has replaced the additional tax with effect from April 11,2000, has perplexed the industry and trade circles.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Ashok Juneja, general secretary of the Punjab Bar Association and convener of the Sales Tax Advisory Committee of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, said that the government had, in fact, perpetuated a fraud on the trade and industry by imposing a cess in place of additional tax. The Punjab Government, under directions from the Centre to bring about uniformity in rates of sales tax in the region, had promised to abolish additional tax but instead a cess had been imposed in its place under the Social Security Act 2000.

The said Act stipulated that 10 per cent cess would be payable on all sales and purchases made under the Punjab General Sales Tax Act and would be deposited as provided in the rules framed under the Social Security Act 2000. Since no rules had been framed till now by the Legal and Legislative Affairs Department, Punjab, the Sales Tax Department had asked the dealers to deposit the tax along with their regular sales tax returns, which had been done in most of the cases.

According to a taxation lawyer and convener of the study circle of the District Taxation Bar Association, Mr P.C.Garg, till date no rules for deposit of the social security cess have been framed and under the law the sales tax assessees are not under any obligation to deposit the cess. But the Excise and Taxation Department has faxed a press note to certain leaders of the Beopar Mandal here that the cess has to be deposited as additional tax on the same challan.

To further confound the situation, the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner here issued a notice on July 19 to dealers asking them to pay the cess along with their quarterly sales tax returns which would in due course be credited in favour of the Secretary, Social Security and Development of Women and Children Department, Punjab.

Mr Garg is of the opinion that the dealers need not deposit the amount of cess collected by them as additional sales tax till the rules are framed.


PAU sets up new department
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 24 — The Department of Livestock Products Technology has been set up in Punjab Agricultural University here. This was decided at the recently held meeting of the Academic Council of the university.

In pursuance of the decision, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr G S Kalkat, issued orders that the Head, Department of Food Science and Technology, shall also head the Department of Livestock Products Technology as per existing arrangements.

The teachers engaged in teaching courses in dairy technology and egg and meat technology will, in general, constitute the faculty for the department of Livestock Products Technology.

For academic matters pertaining to Bachelors in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry programme, the Head of the Department will be responsible to the Dean, College of Veterinary Science, Mr R.P. Sehgal.

There will be a section in charge for the newly created department of Livestock Products Technology in the department of Food Science and Technology.

Livestock Production and Management includes subjects like general livestock, fodder production, animal housing, animal health care, sheep and goat production, cattle and buffalo production and management.

The courses are conducted with the management aspect in mind. Practicals will invariably be conducted on the farm/site of actual activity.


Astronomy, Vastu Shastra go hand in hand
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 24 — Indian philosophy confirms the existence of Vastu Shastra, on the basis of which different astrologers predict the impact of various plants and their respective positions on the human being on the earth.

In the recent past in almost all religions the time, place and position of birth were considered to be the key factors to predict life and coming events of the new-comer. An astrologer also co-related the impact of one to the other nearest and dearest after the case study of horoscope of an individual.

This science was known even before the discovery of the planets around the earth and their size, number and position through the recently conducted space research programme by the developed countries.

In the same view the impact of planet on the architectural point of view has been witnessed through the excavation of Harappa as well. In the modern day people are considering the impact of the position of planets on their lives. They develop awareness towards the position of bedroom, kitchen, drawing room as per Vaastu Shastra, of course, with the help of an architect.

The position of bed inside the bedroom plays a vital role for goos and sound sleep. There are said to be scientific reasons also which can be analysed and explained in terms of various concepts of physics.

The vertical plane passing through the axis of rotation of earth is known as geographical meridian and the earth rotates about its axis from east to west direction. Simultaneously, the vertical plane which passes through the axis of freely falling magnet is known as magnetic meridian. The position of geographical and magnetic poles of earth are adverse to each other.

Say, in North Pole of earth the magnetic South Pole exists and in South Pole of earth, the magnetic North Pole exists. The angle between the geographical meridian and magnetic meridian is known as angle of declination. The value of this angle changes from 12 degree to 22 degree at different locations of earth around the sun during its orbital motion.

To the value of total earth magnetic field is variable at different location of a place in terms of altitude, longitude and altitude. In the blood of human being different paramagnetic and ferromagnetic elements are present so they get polarised in different ways and the two opposite ends of the body and the body itself behaves as a magnet and a dipole moment is produced. Due to this magnetic behaviour the temperament mood and sexual behaviour of human being can be corelated. The position of sleeping should not be in the direction of earth horizontal magnetic field. This should be considered at the time of construction of house. This is the only cause that at some places we feel comfortable and at other place we do not feel comfortable.

The dipole moment tries to disturb the liquid inside the brain which is in a neutral state and creates some activation so that the events happening during the day time repeat again and again in dreams.

This thing can also be utilised to treat some physiological disorders among human beings after a thorough study. The womb of the mother having the liquid during pregnancy is equipped with high permeability. So the magnetic lines of force cannot effect the foetus. And the time of birth and place of first exposure of newly born in such magnetic time of forces have a vital role from astronomical as well as Vastu Shastra point of view.


Forgotten ancestral house of Sukhdev
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 24 — Shahidon Ki Chitaon Par Lagenge Har Baras Melay,

Watan Par Mitne Walon Ka Yehi Baki Nishan Hoga.

The couplet does not befit the state in which the ancestral house of Sukhdev is. The government is yet to consider setting up a memorial dedicated to Sukhdev here even after seven decades of his martyrdom and five of the Independence.

His ancestral house in Naughara locality in the crowded Chaura Bazaar area here still remains a nondescript place. The house in a dilapidated condition has almost been consigned to oblivion. But for some well-to-do Thapars, people might have forgotten Sukhdev, who was also a Thapar. The Thapars have also set up the Sukhdev "Thapar" Memorial Trust.

Sukhdev's family was not rich and owned a modest house in Naughara locality in Chaura Bazaar. The house is now inhabited by an elderly woman, Ms Saroj. She has been living there for years along with her two children. Had it not been inhabited, the house might have been demolished by now. There are hardly any descendants or relatives of Sukhdev around. The woman is ready to vacate the house, provided some alternative accommodation is arranged for her. The trust is ready to do that.

One of the few surviving relatives of Sukhdev is his 80-year-old advocate brother-in-law, Mr Mohan Lal Jhanji. He is the second living relative of the martyr, besides his sister who lives in Delhi.

Mr Jhanji and the other Thapars like Mr Vinod, a prominent businessman of the town and President of the Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust, have been trying hard for setting up a memorial dedicated to the martyr. Although many persons are willing to finance the project, the dream remains distant so far.

Mr Jhanji said money was never a problem, but that alone did not create memorials. "You need an active involvement of the administration as well," he said. He also said the government was not serious about the project. He said if the Thapar community or he alone built a memorial, it would become a private property, but martyrs like Sukhdev belonged to the nation and so should their legacy. "Sukhdev did not sacrifice his life for any particular person, but for the freedom of all Indians," he said.

Recalling Sukhdev's martyrdom, Mr Jhanji said, "On March 23, 1931, after Sukhdev was hanged, his body or ashes were not handed over to his family." The family could receive his ashes in 1938 only. Mr Jhanji was among the family members who received the ashes at Hussainiwala. He said, "The patriotic fervour was so high that people even took handfuls of sand from where the ashes had been kept. Six decades later, people have almost forgotten Sukhdev." The government may have "protected" memorials of some of the martyrs, but nothing has been done to keep alive the memory of Sukhdev.

Mr Vinod Thapar said, "The trust has allocated Rs 6.5 lakh for setting up the memorial. However, the rehabilitation of the tenants of the house is the main problem. Even the Thapar community has realised the need for setting up a memorial rather late. The trust plans to set up a museum in which some personal belongings of Sukhdev like books, furniture and clothes will be exhibited."


The magic number 786
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 24 — The three numbers seven, eight and six are connected with Allah. Muslims generally say ‘Bismillah’ at the start of something auspicious just like, Hindus say ‘Om Ganeshay Namah’. The number 786 has to do with Bismillah.

There are many people who think 786 is very lucky. We came across Sukhwinder who had migrated to India during Partition. His father had lost everything in Lahore. His Muslim friend gave him two hundred-rupee-notes whose last digits were 786. He had so much faith in those notes that he never used them. He considered them ‘lucky’ and passed on to Sukhwinder as his legacy with the instructions never to use them.

Now collecting the notes with the denomination of 786 has became a passion with Sukhwinder. He has collected notes worth Rs 82,000. His friends too helped him in this endeavour.

In the film “Deewar”, Amitabh wears a badge with the number 786. In another movie too, he is to be operated upon and needs a pacemaker. The doctor who does not know (but in reality is his father, feels very happy to fix the pacemaker) with the number 786 for he is sure that this lucky number of Allah will surely bring back his son to good health.

Sukhwinder has so much faith that his two scooters bear the lucky number. His key chain, his ring, his keys all bear the same numbers. His only son based in America also sends him the dollars with his favourite numbers.

Though a Hindu, he starts all jobs by uttering ‘Bismillah’. When his friends are surprised, he says, “All are the names of the same God. So what is the difference?”

He is convinced that the large number of currency notes bearing the number 786 in his possession have saved him from accidents. “The money”, he says, “comes to me from here, there and everywhere.” He has the firm belief that things happen to him because of the lucky currency notes.

When he wakes up, the first word he utters is ‘Bismillah’. While going for a walk, he chants ‘Ram naam’ one thousand times.


SSF to hold political convention in city
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 24 — The Sikh Students Federation (SSF) will organise a convention in the city on July 28 to discuss the future of Punjab and mobilise its ranks to 'foil the evil designs of its political opponents'.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the party executive held here last evening, with Mr Rajinder Singh Chawla in the chair. According to the SSF Secretary General, Mr Amarjit Singh Chawla, the meeting was of the view that political opponents of the ruling party, including the Congress and a few Akali groups, were trying to destabilise the political situation in the state.

A large number of Akali leaders, including the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, along with his ministerial colleagues, would participate in the conference, Mr Chawla added.

The meeting observed that the SHSAD President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, and a former Punjab Assembly Speaker, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, were playing into the hands of 'anti-Punjab' forces and colluding with the Congress. Mr Chawla said parties like the Congress had no political programme, except for indulging in mudslinging and creating issues out of non-issues.

Moreover, the Congress had lost its mass base after "prolonged exploitation of the masses, both in the Centre and Punjab and the people could not forget the repression and atrocities committed" upon them during the Congress regime.


Book on Jassowal
From our correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 24 — A biographical book on the life and achievements of Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, the cultural Czar of Punjab, will be released at a function to be held at Panjabi Bhavan on July 28.

The book, which has been written by a promising author, Ninder Ghugianvi, will be released by the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, in the presence of eminent writers and poets of the state.

The function is being organised by the Prof Mohan Singh Foundation founded by Mr Jassowal himself.


Stolen bus recovered within 18 hrs
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 24 — The police achieved success with the recovery of a Punjab Roadways bus within 18 hours of its being stolen. The accused in the case, Gurtej Singh, has also been arrested.

According to information available, a Punjab Roadways bus from the Ropar depot was stolen from the Ludhiana Main Bus Stand last night, after the bus driver, Ajaib Singh and the conductor, Gurmail Singh went for dinner . The bus, with registration number PB-12A-8222, had arrived from Ropar around 8:00 p.m. last night.

It was then that the police was summoned and a team led by SI Surjit Singh, Incharge of the Bus Stand Police Post, swung into action and the said bus was recovered from near Kuhara chowk. It had been stolen by Gurtej Singh, a former bus driver himself. The accused has now been booked under Section 379 of the IPC.



16 bottles of liquor seized
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, July 24 — Sixteen bottles of liquor, including 11 bottles of illicit liquor, have been seized by the police in three separate incidents.

While five bottles of illicit liquor were seized from Karnail Singh from Sahnewal, six bottles of illicit liquor were seized from Mangal Singh in Macchian Kalan village. In yet another incident, five bottles of foreign liquor were seized from Sandeep Kumar in the Simlapuri area.

In all the cases the accused have been booked under sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Man murdered

A 65-year-old sant was murdered by some persons in his dera. It is alleged that Mahant Atma Ram was killed with sharpedged weapons at his dera in Raian village. A case under section 460 of the IPC has been registered at Sahnewal police station.

Five arrested

Five persons were arrested for gambling in three separate incidents. While the police arrested Raj Giri and Jolan from Jhuhar Singh Nagar and recovered Rs 85 and playing cards from them, Shambhu and Laxman were arrested from Jhuhar Singh Nagar and Rs 95 were seized from them.

In another incident, a team of CIA staff arrested Sunil kumar from Kidwai Nagar and seized Rs 325 from him.



Website brings US employers to you
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 24 — How do you look for a job? You have to scan newspapers daily, find out jobs that go with your qualifications and then send resumes at all those addresses. But at maxicomonline.com, there is a reverse option.

If you are looking for a job related to information technology, all you need to do is to post your resume on the website. Then employers in the USA, the UK or Canada will send e-mails to you.

The site has 1,183 registered employers from these countries who keep track of the resumes available on the site. Whenever they find a suitable resume, they contact the person on his or her e-mail address.

This “IT jobs” section was introduced at this website three days back when Mr Tejpreet Dhooria, proprietor, Maxicom Netzone, signed a joint venture with Mr Riju Thomas of Hi Tech Club Inc., USA. Mr Dhooria says, “It will act as a common platform for employers as well as job seekers.

In India, there are several software engineers who aspire to move abroad. This section of the site has been introduced to help such aspirants.”

The site offers guidance for sending resumes online. Online resumes are slightly different. Bold, italicised, capital or a larger type size letters are used to highlight most attractive features of the resume and more empty space is given. The resumes can also be updated at any time.

The most interesting feature of the site is a salary calculator. After taking into consideration various parameters, it calculates the value of a particular amount of money in a particular country so as to maintain the same standard of living.

The site also offers guidance for acquiring H1-B visa.

Members of the site can also get a free online newsletter which gives information about the job vacancies and career advice and updated trends in the IT industry. This section of the site also gives the list of latest books, journals and CDs available on information technology.


Farmers urged to shift to cash crops
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 24 — The Punjab Mandi Board Chairman, Mr Mal Singh Ghuman, today assured the farmers that the state government would make all efforts to insulate them against the disastrous effects of international trade agreements. He urged farmers to understand the challenges posed by the WTO agreements and brace themselves for the global competition by using new techniques.

At a special training camp for farmers organised by the Department of Agriculture at Mullanpur about 20 km from here, Mr Ghuman said agriculture in Punjab had reached a saturation point, beyond which, further growth appeared to be limited. He said such a situation would necessitate a fresh look at the traditional farm practices so that farmers of Punjab could bring in the required changes.

He also urged farmers to make a shift towards value-added, water-light crops like fruits, vegetables, flowers, maize and summer moong. He also urged them to adopt allied professions of mushroom cultivation and bee keeping.

Farm experts and other officials of the Agriculture Department, while interacting with participants, said the quality of crop was more important now than its quantity. Development of globally competitive and innovative eco-friendly farm technology was needed for sustainable development of agriculture. Farmers should shift from the present wheat-paddy pattern of crops to cash crops in order to adequately enhance their income.

Experts said Punjab was now facing threats of deterioration of the soil health, erosion of the nutrient wealth, fast depletion of sweet-water table and ecological degradation. The remedial measures suggested to overcome these problems were increased cultivation of sugarcane, pulses, oilseed crops and quick reversion to organic culture, particularly the use of farm manure. These measures should be combined with the new techniques of integrated pest and nutrient management aimed at the restoration of the soil health.


Consumer distributors seek representation
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, July 24 — The Ludhiana Consumer Product Distributors Association has demanded representation in the Sales Tax Advisory Committee.

In a memorandum submitted to Mr Tikshan Sood, the Deputy Excise and Taxation Minister, Punjab, Mr Ashok Dheer, President of the association claimed that the annual turnover of the association was more than 100 crore. He said, the members of the association contributed about Rs 15 crore by way of various taxes to the Punjab Government, yet none of their representatives were included in the Sales Tax Advisory Committee.

Mr Sood had come to attend the annual general meeting of the association. He assured the association members that he would take up the matter with the taxation authorities. He said, the government was aware of the problems of the traders and was committed to resolving them.

Mr Dheer said the distributors wanted to create good business relations with their franchise companies, which would obviously help in facing problems together and also ensure good relations among the members.

The association urged the minister to nominate two of their members on the sales tax advisory committee and two to the Public Grievance Committee.

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