Saturday, August 12, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Villagers have sleepless nights as fear of robbers grips them
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LALTON (LUDHIANA), Aug 11 — When darkness descends on this village, the sound of fun and laughter gives way to an eerie silence that is broken only by the occasional hooting of an owl or the half-hearted shouts of jaagte raho by the chowkidars roaming in the streets.

This was not always so in the village. A spate of robberies and killings by the gang of Kaale Kachhewale in the neighbouring villages has led to a sense of insecurity among the villagers. The fear gets reinforced after every robbery that takes place here or there, almost in a regular routine.

The alleged casual approach of the police has added to the fear and also anger among the villagers. Barring a formal and routine round by a police Gypsy, no other arrangement has been made to check the threat of robberies in the village. The villagers appear to have been left to their own fate.

In fact, the claims made by the district police about effective night dominance following the spate of armed robberies in the Ludhiana police district, came a cropper in a large number of villages and peripheral areas in the city that The Tribune team visited last night.

Insecurity and anger prevailed among the villagers and residents of a few peripheral localities in the city as they alleged that in spite of the fact that the local police was duty-bound to protect them, they had now been forced to help themselves following the inability of the police to station regular personnel in these areas.

The Tribune team started its sojourn around 11 pm last night and other than a few tipplers on the roads that stretched on and on, there was hardly any soul to be seen. In Jamalpur, a few localities on Rahon road, peripheral localities like Ashok Vihar in the Haibowal area, and villages like Lalton, Pamal, Dhandari, Thakkerwal and Dhandaran, the team was unable to trace any night patrolling by the police till as late as 2 am. In the city, though, there were 13 PCR vans stationed at 13 vantage points. Quite a few were seen without the requisite force and with the drivers sleeping.

In almost all the villages visited by team, it was found that the villagers were either keeping guard themselves or had employed Gorkhas for the job. In Lalton, the village panchayat has employed four persons for night patrolling. However, they were seen to be ill- equipped and were themselves unaware of what they would do in case of any eventuality. One of the guards, Maan Bahadur, told TNS, "We are paid for the job, so we have to take rounds of the village throughout the night. But we don’t have any weapons or torches to show us the way during the night. This makes our work all the more difficult and so we prefer to move together than separately."

Even in the villages where thikri pehras are being organised, these are being done reluctantly by the villagers. In Pamal, another village falling in the Ludhiana police district, where villagers had laid four thikri pehras, those on guard were seen sleeping at vantage points were the nakas had been laid. The case was similar in the villages of Thakkerwal, Dhandari and Humayunpura.

In Dhandaran, a few residents were seen on their rooftops, keeping their own guard. But with the Punjab State Electricity Board playing truant and darkness spread all around, the residents of the village felt quite insecure. One of the villagers, on condition of anonymity, said, "We have hardly ever seen a police patrol van or any other force being deployed in the village even after so many attacks by the Kaale Kachhewale gang."

But this was not the case in the villages only. Even in the colonies of Ashok Vihar, Jamalpur, parts of Rajguru Nagar and on the Rahon Road, there was almost negligible presence of force. Wherever, a police patrol was seen, the personnel were lazing around instead of patrolling the area.

When the SSP, Mr Kuldeep Singh, was contacted, he denied that there was any let-down in the security arrangements, though he conceded that there was a shortage of staff. "Ultimately, it has to be the people's initiative to stop the crime and they have to assist the police. However, we have been making the best use of our force for effective crime management."

He also said that as many as three gazetted officers were put on night duty each day, including an officer of the rank of SP and two DSPs. "Our patrol vans move about the entire length and bredth of the district and are also teaching the people to have effective thikri pehras," he claimed.


Mayor, others stall MC demolition
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, Aug 11 — In an interesting turn of events, it was a hoard of politicians, including the city Mayor and some councillors, that converged on the building site of a spinning mill on the Rahon Road here today and stalled the demolition operations being carried out by the building branch of the Municipal Corporation for violation of building bye-laws.

The MC demolition team, headed by the Municipal Town Planner (MTP), Mr S.S.Gill, earlier faced some tough moments when the factory owner called out the labourers to obstruct the MC men and machines from demolition of the front portion of the building being constructed on two adjoining plots. As the demolition was in progress, the MC staff, apprehending physical interference and even violence at the hands of factory labour, called for additional police force.

However, before the policemen could rush to the spot, it were the elected representatives of the city, who arrived at the scene in response to messages by the factory owners and tried to stall the demolition, at least for the time being.

The MTP, Mr S.S.Gill, told the Ludhiana Tribune that the factory owners had submitted two building plans for construction on the adjoining plots, according to which, 30 per cent area, both on the rear and front of the building had to be left vacant. But in violation of the bye-laws, the building being constructed had the entire area on the rear covered, while in the front, only a 48-foot stretch was left vacant, as against 79 feet, as stipulated in the approved building plans.

The MC authorities had served the demolition notice to the factory owner on August 3 and in the absence of any rectification of remedial steps being taken by the builders, the demolition orders were passed. It is learnt that even as the Mayor and the councillors pleaded on behalf of the factory owner that the violations be compounded, officials of the building branch made it clear that coverage in the front portion, beyond the approved plan, was not compoundable.

The Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, justified his intervention, by saying, "How does it matter if the factory owner has covered a little more area than approved in the building plan? May be he (the factory owner) wants to provide a covered parking lot in the front of the building. There are many other factory buildings in the same area, which have not left even a foot of vacant space in front." Moreover, the owner had given in writing that the matter could be sorted out across the table and he would abide by the decision of the MC authorities, the Mayor added.

The MC sources point out that such blatant political interference in the MC functioning could open a floodgate of problems in the city, where flouting of laws and violation of building bye-laws was a rule rather than an exception and builders, encouraged by such 'effective intervention' that was made today, could always manage to obtain political support and have their way.


ISI attack on I-Day feared
10 militants being infiltrated

Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 11 — A group of about 10 militants owing allegiance to the Babbar Khalsa International is reportedly planning to infiltrate into the state to sabotage the Independence Day celebrations.

In a letter issued by the Assistant Director-General Of Police, Intelligence, to all senior superintendents of police in the state, a copy of which was procured by TNS, it is informed that the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan is trying to send a group of nearly 10 militants through the Nepal border with the help of a Nepal-based organisation, the Islamic Sewa Sangh. It is informed that these militants are being infiltrated with the intention of indulging in bomb blasts in major cities of Punjab.

Another TPM number, 3850/58/ bd-5, dated August 4 has also expressed apprehension of attacks by the Hindu Shiv Sena on the passengers and buses plying between Delhi and Lahore in order to take revenge on the Jammu and Kashmir and Amarnath yatri killings.

The state intelligence agencies are also learnt to have received some valuable inputs from a Central government agency about the Pakistani intelligence agencies pressurising the Pak-based Sikh militant leaders to increase their activities in various parts of India.

The TPM message number 7036-58/ CT-3, also states that frequent visits to the Punjab border areas are being carried out by militants along with the trans-border criminals to find a safe route for the infiltration of trained militants.

The message also informs that recently one such visit was carried out opposite the Dera Baba Nanak sector in Punjab by ISI officials.

It is also learnt that the militants have been allotted a task to sabotage vital installations situated in Bhuj, Naliye and other border cities in Gujarat. Around 10 to 12 Sikhs are also reported to have been camped at a gurdwara in Lahore for training and they are being trained by the ISI officials.

In the wake of all this, the ADGP, Intelligence, has asked the SSPs to sensitise the staff and take precautionary measures to avoid any untoward incident.


Pain and pleasure of Partition
From Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 11 — As 65-year-old Narain Singh looks back to the day of freedom on August 15, 1947, he smiles with pride and shivers with horror, simultaneously. He is one of the many persons who have witnessed the pain and pleasure of Partition and freedom.

The summer was at its fag end. Narain Singh was studying in Class V in a local primary school in Kote Isha Shah village in Jung district of Punjab. Theirs was a joint family of uncles and cousins led by the grandfather. The village had a mixed population of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. Although Narain Singh was not old enough to remember everything that , he and his family were passing through, yet he can recall the scene immediately before and after August 15.

A sense of fear and unease had started about two or three months in advance. People had started speaking in hushed tones. There was a fear of unpredictable. Talk of Partition was in the air. Some people had already started moving. People believed that the population would be mutually exchanged without any trouble.

The worst was feared and it did happen. Riots broke out. Narain Singh’s family also decided to move. It was a long odyssey of terror and horror. They were shifted to a camp in Chanote village near Lahore for their transportation to India. Yet, nobody was sure whether all of them would reach India or not.

The things unfolded themselves in most horrible manner. The Chanote camp was attacked by the rioting mob. Narain has memories of the horror. People, mostly men, were picked up from the camp in front of their families. They were butchered in a horrible manner. “I have seen men being held by their legs while the heads were struck repeatedly on the road, until the person died,” he recalls with almost the same horror he might have suffered while watching such macabre incidents.

Luckily for Narain Singh and his family, all of them reached Amritsar safe and sound to start a new life. The family moved to Palwal in Gurgaon district, which at that time was a part of Punjab. They were allotted land in Kalanaur village of Rohtak district. The family shifted to Ludhiana in 1965 and is well settled in the transport and spare parts business.

Freedom, although hard earned for people like Narain Singh, means everything. He attributes his prosperity and success to the freedom only. “We arrived in India empty handed, yet we have no regrets because all of us reached here alive. And thank God we have managed to settle ourselves”, Narain Singh remarks with all humility.


Millionaire NRI sticks to roots
From A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Khangura (LUDHIANA), Aug 11 — Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura (63) may have made his millions in England but, at heart, he remains a simple farmer.

Every day, he gets up early in the morning and leaves his suite in his hotel on the Ferozepore road to walk most of the way to his native village, Lathana. His car takes him the rest of the way to his farmhouse where he spends a couple of hours tending to his fields and washing buffaloes.

"I have a desire to maintain links with my village community," says Mr Khangura. "I cannot forget my roots. I have been doing the best I can for my village by making personal contributions and prevailing on the government to make life better for its residents by repairing school buildings, upgrading schools, resurfacing roads, paving streets and providing a power substation. My late father Joginder Singh was also very particular about keeping in touch with our native village," he adds.

Last week, Mr Khangura took a party of his British and American employees on an outing to his native village to give them a feel of the rural Punjab. They all came back impressed. Born in Lathana village in 1937, Mr Khangura was brought up and educated in his village and Ludhiana. He did his graduation and BT from Malwa Training College in 1957 but decided against joining a school as a teacher. "I preferred to be a farmer. I also dabbled a little in politics. One day, while I was sitting over drinks with my friend Gurbaksh Singh Khangura in 1962, we decided that we should go to England. At that time, very few people from Ludhiana district had gone to England. Therefore, we were a bit uncertain. We filed our papers with the British High Commission in New Delhi and by July 1963, we were in England".

Initially, Mr Khangura recalls, they stayed with the well-known Southhall leader of Indian origin, Mr Tarsem Singh Toor. "He helped us a lot initially. Whatever I am today, I owe it to him. As our good luck would have it, the Labour party won in the elections in 1965 and it took no time to remove the restrictions placed on immigrants starting their own ventures in England.

While Mr Toor opened a grocery store, Mr Khangura started a cafe in Southhall in 1967. A year later, he opened a full-fledged restaurant. "It was named after the well-known Chandigarh hotel, Aroma", says Mr Khangura. But unfortunately, it did not do well because Southhall was full of working class people who had a rather limited paying capacity. Moreover, the trend of eating out had also not caught on.

While the restaurant did not do well, it provided Mr Khangura with a base to forge links with local leaders as well as political bigwigs from Punjab like Mr Umrao Singh and others. Mr Khangura rented his restaurant to a private party in 1970. That was also the time when East Africans started flowing into England. Business began looking up. He bought a post office, followed by the purchase of a liquor store and then began investing in properties. In 1981, he sold all his assets to purchase a 31-bed hotel in Victoria in south-west London. The business was good and soon he raised enough money to buy a 70-bed hotel in 1986. Soon, he was able to establish a chain of 10 hotels in London, of which six belonged to him and four to other members of the Khangura clan in the British capital.

"I had always planned to set up a hotel in Ludhiana and I purchased a plot of land at the first available opportunity in 1986", says Mr Khangura. Unfortunately, the business in London began to slump, with the result that Mr Khangura had to sell off one property after the other to pay the installments for the Ludhiana hotel plot. "I had this hotel in London which could not have cost less than 12 lakh pounds in normal times. But the recession was so bad that the hotel had no buyers even at the throwaway price of 4 lakh pounds.

The construction work on the hotel in Ludhiana stopped. This was the time when rumour mills began to work full time. Every day, there used to be a new rumour of the incomplete hotel site having been sold to the late Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh's grandsons, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal's relatives, son of the former Chief Minister, Mr Harcharan Singh Brar, the Oswals, the Hero group and finally to Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal.

"Even bank officials used to ask us if these rumours are true. My son, Jasbir Singh Jassi, who was managing the show here, would keep his reply suitably vague... The Maurya group of hotels offered to purchase the hotel site for Rs 30 crore. Mr Shyam Sharma of the Piccadily hotels of Chandigarh offered around Rs 40 crore. Certain NRIs offered up to Rs 60 crore. But we decided to stick it out.

"It was a difficult time for our entire family. I must say that many friends came to my help voluntarily. One British friend gave me 1 lakh pounds. Another Ludhiana friend gave me a loan of Rs 1 crore. This is what kept us afloat. Soon, with God's grace, business started looking up and we not only completed the hotel project but also paid back the loans."

Mr Khangura remained General Secretary of the Indian Workers Association, which is the most important and influential immigrants' body in London. Every time an Indian leader goes to London, he makes it a point to address the association.

In London, Mr Khangura has made his mark in the political field as well. He has remained a councillor for Hounslow, a London burrough, for 12 years — from 1986 to 1998. He also remained Vice-Chairman of the Community Relations Council for four terms for a total of eight years. He was offered the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Hounslow, but he had to decline because of his commitment to the hotel project in Ludhiana.

Mr Khangura's elder son Jasbir Singh Jassi who is married to the daughter of Mr Gurinder Singh Kairon, son of the late Punjab Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon, was also nominated for a Labour party ticket for the British Parliament, but lost by a narrow margin. Back


The Ps and Qs of using mobile phones
From Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Aug 11 — One is in the movie hall. The movie has reached its climax. There is pin-drop silence and suddenly mobile phone is heard, disturbing the quiet atmosphere. Almost all people sitting at the edge of their seats curse the person who shattered the beautiful illusion they were immersed in.

From the time mobile phones came to India, it was a communication device for the ‘upwardly mobile’. It was a typical sight at traffic signals — where they were seen chatting away about the traffic and the weather. It was omnipresent in cinema halls, in trains, restaurants, clubs and at weddings.

Today, the cellular phone has become more of a necessity. According to a survey, there are 7,00,000 mobile users in Delhi and Mumbai only.

Complaints about the misuse of mobiles in public have gone up. Already, there has been a ban on using the mobile phone while one is driving because of the numerous accidents due to driving and chatting on the phone simultaneously. In spite of the heavy fines, it is very difficult to catch the offenders. Mobile phones cause second-hand noise pollution too as the loud ring is very unnerving.

In the Satluj Club a fine of Rs 5000 has been imposed for using the mobile on the premises. Yet, people smuggle mobiles inside and keep them on a low volume.

The mobile etiquette handbook that the handset manufacturers are trying to bring out, may put off customers. The etiquette issue also perplexes the advanced mobile market where users are competing with one another.

So are mobile phones a nuisance and disturbing? The users seem to be speaking to unseen people. Heavy mobile phone users force you to listen to one-sided conversation.

According to a research, excessive use of mobile phones causes headaches, tiredness and warmth around the ears. So, now the hands- free versions of the handset are becoming popular as they will reduce the ill effects of the present sets.

Mobile phones have their uses too. Especially for a person on the move, marketing managers, executives, business people, or during an emergency like an illness. They are very useful for suspicious wives who want to keep a check on their wandering husbands.

Mobiles should not intrude into the privacy of others. They should not be carried into patients’ room and medical wards, in cremation grounds, in a funeral procession. They are certainly out, at condolence meetings. Nothing is more offensive than hearing the ringing of a mobile during a hawan for the peace of the departed soul.

Some people have a tendency to show off their latest models of mobiles. So, at the drop of a hat, they take out their expensive and small mobiles, and start making calls. Others talk too loudly.

The mobile users should give a thought to others also while speaking on the mobile “Your freedom ends where my nose begin”, should be followed.

Wireless is tireless. That is how mobile phones were projected when they came into use. Today, that has changed to ‘wireless is tiresome’.


SHSAD lambasts Badal on US Nagar
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 11 — The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), headed by former SGPC President Gurcharan Singh Tohra is gearing up to launch yet another attack on the SAD(B)-BJP government in Punjab on the issue of Udham Singh Nagar, failure to solve the pending problems of Punjab, increasing lawlessness and anti-trade and industry policies.

Addressing a news conference here today, the SHSAD Secretary-General, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, announced that his party would start a ‘nyay yudh’ (fight for justice) on August 17 from Sunam, in Sangrur the birthplace of martyr Udham Singh. The modalities of the agitation would be finalised by party functionaries from all over the state.

He lashed the SAD(B) chief and the Chief Minister, Mr Badal, for betraying the Sikh population of Terai region in Uttar Pradesh. Ruling Akali Dal leaders kept the Sikhs residing in Udham Singh Nagar in the dark while all along assuring them that the district would not go to the hill state of Uttaranchal. But that did not really assert the demand.

Mr Chandumajra further said that the SAD(B), though a constituent of the NDA alliance, had failed to get any major problem of Punjab like sharing of river waters, territorial issues and the state capital, solved. The traditional Akali Dal leadership, on the other hand, had been launching morchas and resorting to agitations.

The SHSAD, he added, watched with concern the increasing lawlessness and spurt in criminal activities all over the state. The people no longer felt secure. Criminal gangs were striking at will, while the police appeared clueless and watched the goings-on like a mute spectator. Disturbing reports of involvement of police personnel with the criminals had come to light.

According to Mr. Chandumajra, the party would also focus on the burden of taxes imposed by the government on the trading community and the industry. In addition to the hike in power tariff, the government had slapped a number of new taxes and jacked up the rates of sales tax and octroi on several items, which had adversely affected trade and industry. Moreover, the government had failed to bring in any improvement in the power generation situation and failed to tackle other major problems like unemployment and poverty.

Meanwhile, the youth wing of the SHSAD held a demonstration and burnt the effigies of Mr Badal and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in front of the mini- secretariat here yesterday to voice protest against the inclusion of Udham Singh Nagar in Uttaranchal.

Addressing party workers on the an occasion, an SHSAD activist, Mr Jaswinder Singh Balliewal, observed that both Mr Badal and Mr Vajpayee had betrayed the people of Udham Singh Nagar and had gone back on their assurance. He demanded that the sentiments of the people, particularly the Sikh population in the region, must be honoured and the government should appoint a commission to review the whole matter.

The party later submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner. Back


Scribes condemn lensman’s killing
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 11 — Press reporters and photographers in the city today condemned the bomb blast in Srinagar yesterday, in which The Hindustan Times photographer, Mr Pradeep Bhatia, and others, lost their lives.

In a joint meeting of the journalists and the lensmen held here today, tributes were paid to Mr Bhatia, who had laid down his life while upholding the traditions of profession. The meeting, which was presided over by Mr Virinder Pramod, demanded that the slain photographer be treated as a martyr and his family be given the incentives and compensation due to the martyrs.

A resolution adopted at the meeting called upon the government to sanction a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the family of Mr Bhatia and Rs 5 lakh each to the journalists who were injured in the blast.

Echoing similar sentiments over the killing of Mr Bhatia, the Atma Raksha Sangh (ARS) declared the photographer a martyr and a great son of India. Lieut-Col H.S. Kahlon, Chief Coordinator of the ARS, said the photographer had made invaluable contribution during Kargil operations last year and in the ongoing fight in Jammu and Kashmir against anti-national elements.Back


Remembrances of things past 

By N.S.Tasneem

Sometimes, I feel like starting all over again. Instead of reading new books, I want to read the old classics. To prepare a lecture before going to bed at night and then to recapitulate it while sipping tea in the morning was an experience that gave meaning to my life.

In the classroom, teaching with a no nonsense air, I felt I was doing the younger generation some good. But now, after leaving college almost a decade ago, I realise that I had been a hard taskmaster. Whenever a student deviated in his conduct, I was wanted to teach him a lesson. This (out-dated) method was appreciated during the sixties and even seventies.

Once I was leaving the classroom, a young man approached me. It happened perhaps in the year 1990. He bent to touch my knee. I patted him on the shoulder and asked, “How are you?”

“Fine, Sir”, he smiled a little, “Did you recognise me?”

“You are the person whom I turned out of my class three years ago.”

“True, Sir,” he looked into my eyes, “for a minor lapse on my part.”

“Minor or otherwise,” I asserted, “A lapse is a lapse and cannot be wished away.”

He told me that I had turned him out of the MA (English) class for not bringing the textbook of King Lear. In those days, at the beginning of the session, I used to din into the student minds the necessity of bringing textbooks to the class. That indicated their genuine interest in the subject, as otherwise students took up studying for the masters to merely show off. I used to shunt out such students on flimsy grounds early on.

“Sir, after I was turned out of the class for a week I never came back. I did my MA (English) from a different place and suffered much hardship besides feeling belittled in my own eyes. Later, I did B.Ed. and I am now a lecturer in a school.”

“That’s good, my boy,” I realised that he was nursing a grudge against me. “What brings you here today?”

“I wanted to know, Sir” he lowered his eyes, “Was it right on your part to be so harsh when a little reprimand could have served the purpose?”

For days I felt depressed because a young person had to suffer to my misplaced zeal of setting him right.

A couple of months passed before I received a greetings card signed by a Major Jagjit Singh on the eve of the new year. I could not recollect the name, even though he had mentioned underneath: ‘Your old student’.The mystery was solved the next day when I received his detailed letter. The letter brought tears of a different sort into my eyes.

I recollected that during my stay in Faridkot in the early seventies. I happened to take a stroll on the college lawns one sunny afternoon. When I went near a rose-bush, a shadow lengthened itself out in front of my eyes. I became aware of the presence of a very thin boy with shaggy hair.

“Have you run away from your school?”

“No Sir,” he replied, “I work here on daily wages.”

“Why?” I could not believe him. “You are too young to earn. You should have been in a school at this time.”

“I have done my matriculation in second division, Sir.”

“Is it? Then study further and make your career.”

‘No way, Sir,” his eyes moistened, “I belong to a very poor family where it is difficult to make both ends meet.”

“Then pursue your studies privately.”

“How, Sir?”

I told him to do Gyani and then go up the ladder step by step. He had no money to buy the Gyani guide. I bought the book and gave it to him the next day. Thereafter, I had no contact with him except that he used to bid me ‘Sat Sri Akal’ with folded hands, whenever I passed by him. After two or three years, I was transferred from that place. Now, after two decades, the boy (Major) Jagjit Singh had written that the Gyani guide opened many doors for him and he joined the Army after graduating.

The rest was a very joyful account of a happily married man with two children. He had managed to trace my address after a long search.


Club says no contest, DJs sing different tune 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 11 — It is going to be a colourful musical extravaganza tomorrow at the Satluj Club. Star performers like Akbar Sami, Dhruv and Tinoo Senior are all set to rock the town with their foot-tapping music as part of the Friendship Day celebrations being organised by the club.

The Secretary of the club, Mr A.S. Chawla, said the club had decided to organise a musical show with two DJ groups — Studio 69 and Rhythmics. The two groups are making it a competition among themselves. Each group wants to give a better performance than the other.

Both groups are led by promising DJs like Bhanu and Pankaj. Both of these were established in the town only. To be the best, the groups have hired well-known artistes. While Rhythmics of Pankaj has invited Akbar Sami of Jalwa fame, Bhanu's Studio 69 will present Tinoo Senior and Dhruv.

Pankaj said he had been waiting for a chance to establish himself in Ludhiana as he belonged to the place. He said the programme was his best chance to do so. He operates from Chandigarh and it is said that he has hired Akbar Sami only to beat Bhanu. However, He said his association with Akbar Sami was rather old and Akbar had done a show for him in Chandigarh on July 27.

Pankaj said Akbar had not come here to compete with anyone. He said Akbar was one of the best DJs in Asia and could not be compared with anyone. He said the competition was only between Studio 69 and Rhythmics.

Pankaj said he would introduce a latest music system in Ludhiana.

However, Bhanu said he had never said he would compete with Akbar Sami. He said, “Akbar is the second best DJ in South Asia and it is an honour for me to perform on the same stage as his.”

Bhanu said he was excited and happy because he had been performing on his own for a long time. “It is a great opportunity for me to show my talent,” he said. Bhanu has been performing regularly for the club.

Earlier, the club had asked only Bhanu to perform on Friendship Day on August 6. However, due to the massacre of Amarnath pilgrims at Pahalgam, the function had been postponed.

Mr Chawla said, by that time, the club had received more sponsorship, so, the management decided to hire other DJ to make the evening more entertaining. He said the club was not holding any competition.


Car thieves caught
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 11 — The police has arrested two youths for stealing a car from outside a marriage palace on the Ferozepore Road in March.

The accused — Sukhwinder Singh alias Kaka and Balwinder Singh, both residents of Begowal near Payal — were arrested by the police from near the Ludhiana bus stand. They had stolen a Maruti car (DAG 16) from outside Shehnshah Marriage Palace earlier this year.

Murder charge

Cases were registered against Ram Saroop and Shamsher Singh, both residents of Shimlapuri locality, for leading a person to death. According to an FIR registered under Sections 304 and 34 of the IPC, on August 8, the complainant, Maghar Singh, and Bhag Singh allegedly had a scuffle with the accused outside the court of the JMIC, Mr H.S. Purthi, following which, Bhag Singh died.

Opium seized

The police seized 1 kg opium from a person named Ajit Singh from near Bhagwan Chowk past night. The opium was seized by SI Randhir Singh. A case has been registered against the accused under Sections 18, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

Cheating case

The police registered a case against Bhagwan Das and his wife Raj Rani for forging documents of a plot for claiming to be its rightful owners.

They had then mortgaged the plot to the LIC Housing Finance Limited for a loan of Rs 4.80 lakh.Back


Cassettes, CDs of blue films seized
Tribune News Service

Aug 11 — The police seized 20 compact discs and six cassettes of blue films in a raid at a video parlour in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar last night.

The SP (Detective), Mr Gurkirpal Singh, informed that a police party led by SI Gurpreet Singh was on patrolling duty, when it received information about the accused, Jeevan Kumar, proprietor of Durga Music House who lent CDs and cassettes of blue films.

A case has been registered against the accused under Sections 292 and 292-A of the Indian Penal Code.Back


Power tariff hike burdens industry
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 11 — The Punjab State Electricity Board has put a heavy burden on industry through indirect means. Minimum charges for power supply to steel furnaces have been raised from Rs 360 per KW to Rs 450 per KW. For the other LS units, the increase is from Rs 1120 to Rs 200 per KW. Industry is facing a recession, so the hike in these charges will put more burden on it.

The PSEB had promised the Chief Minister that it would introduce a voluntary disclosure scheme for industry after the power tariff hike. However, after that, it has been silent on the issue. The PSEB had promised to reward consumers who maintained power factor at 0.88 from 0.85 and penalise those who failed to do so. The penality clause has been enforced, while the reward part has been ignored.

The procedure of the load declaration is also complex which causes harassment to consumers. While submitting the reports after inspections, officials force consumers to sign on blank papers. Consumers are also upset after receiving reports that coal worth about Rs 40 crore is missing from power plants. Consumers are being forced to pay the increased tariffs to compensate for low efficiency of some officials of the board. It is high time for the board to tone up its administration to avoid losses.


Gifts distributed to knitters
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 11 — Groz-Beckert Asia Ltd., the Indian arm of Groz-Beckert KG, Germany, manufacturers of needles for the textile industry, held a function at Satluj Club on August 9 to distribute gifts to knitters who had won these in the customers’ gift scheme organised by the company from April to July.

Mr N.S. Brar, Assistant Commissioner, Excise and Customs, said that the hosiery industry in Ludhiana had played a leading role in enhancing the excise collection in the city. He stated that any industry which laid emphasis on quality and technology adoption and followed a good work ethic was bound to meet with success.

Others present on the occasion were Mr Vinod Thapar, President Knitwear Club, Mr R.K. Dhawan, President Readymade Hosiery Manufacturers Association, Mr Narinder Miglani, General Secretary Knitwear Club and Advisor, Readymade Hosiery Manufacturers association and Mr J Takkar, Treasurer, Knitwear Club.

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