Sunday, August 13, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sessions Court bomb blast rocks city
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 12 — A powerful blast rocked the District Sessions Court complex here today. The blast occurred around 1.30 am and caused a major damage to a large part of the building, although there was no casualty.

The impact of the blast was quite severe and a deep crater had been created in the wall near which the bomb was placed. The desert cooler that was fitted over the spot where the bomb was placed was also fragmented into pieces. Glass splinters were seen splattered all over the court and the adjoining retiring room of the District and Sessions Judge.

According to information available from the police, the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) hidden behind a hoarding of Free Legal Aid that was kept on the floor outside the verandah of the court. The police has been unable to ascertain the explosive used in the IED yet, but the pieces of the iron pipe, measuring around six inches in diameter, have been recovered from the spot.

Although, no one has owned responsibility for the blast, but the police has not ruled out the hand of militant outfits of Punjab or Jammu and Kashmir for the explosion. Highly placed sources informed that the methodology used in the incident was similar to the one being used by the militants of Khalistan Commando Force (Panjwar). It is also learnt that in the wake of reports about the renewed activities of the Babbar Khalsa International at the behest of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, the police is exploring this possibility.

Highly placed police sources also inform that since a large number of militants had been released on bail recently, it was a major security hazard and the hand of one of these militant outfits could not be ruled out.

Addressing a press conference, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh, said two police parties had been dispatched to round up possible suspects. He said that the police was working on two theories — one, of the involvement of the militants keeping in view the forthcoming Independence Day celebrations and the other, of trying to scare the Sessions Judge on some case that he is to decide in the near future.

Police sources have also not ruled out the hand of an accused in the murder of a local councillor here last year. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued directions to the Sessions Court for the time-bound disposal of this murder case. It is learnt that all witnesses had deposed before the District and Sessions Judge only recently.

The blast has occurred at one of the most high security areas in the city with the residences of the Senior Superintendent of Police and judicial officers being a stone's throw away. Interestingly, when the blast occurred, a police guard comprising two constables and a head constable and a private chowkidar of the court were on duty. At the time the bomb exploded, all these people on duty thought that an electricity transformer in the vicinity of the court complex had burst.

They, however, did not check up and let the things be. All three police personnel have now been placed under suspension. It was only around 6.45 am that the guards detected the damage caused to the building and informed higher officials. Senior police officers in the district led by SSP Kuldeep Singh rushed to the spot. The local dog squad was also put into action and the entire area, which was cordoned off, was thoroughly searched.

Later, the IG Zonal, Mr G.S. Aujla, DIG Counter Intelligence, Mr R.P. Singh, and a team of forensic experts led by the Deputy Director of Forensic Laboratory, Ms P. Goyal, also visited the spot. The SSP informed that the team of forensic experts would identify the explosive used by Monday.

Mr Kuldeep Singh also said that the security in the city had been stepped up in all crowded places, hospitals and government establishments. He urged on the people of the city to be more vigilant.


Vigil stepped up
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 12- Chowk Ghanta Ghar today wore a deserted look as the police chased away rehriwallahs in the wake of last night’s bomb blast in the Old District Courts complex.

The police swooped on the rehriwallahs and other footpath establishments this morning in the old city where people gather in numbers, particularly during lunch hours.

According to sources, vigil has been stepped up at the railway station, the bus stand and on all approach roads to the town.

In view of the security concerns, there may be no Sunday bazaar tomorrow either in the Chaura Bazar or elsewhere in the city as crowded places are favoured by bomb planters.


Girl kept as sex slave by lover
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 12 — A 21-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly abducted by her lover along with three others and kept as a 'sex slave' for over 12 days.

It is also alleged that because the accused belong to a higher socio-economic group and also enjoy the support of a local councillor from the Basti Jodhewal area, the police is pressurising the victim's family to reach a compromise and not arresting the accused.

This in spite of the fact that the FIR about the victim being kidnapped was registered on July 29. She had also given her statement to the SP (Detective), Mr Gurkirpal Singh, on August 5, a day after she managed to return home after her ordeal began.

The victim, while talking to TNS here today, said that she had earlier had an affair with one of the accused, Varinder Kumar, but had stopped seeing him after her marriage was fixed with someone else a few weeks before her abduction.

The victim said that she had first met Varinder Kumar, a middle-aged married man with three children, in December. "His wife was a client in the beauty parlour where I was doing a course. He would come to drop his wife off and on and developed a liking for me. They had a chance encounter at a cloth factory, that is situated right across the parlour and owned by another accused, Vajinder Singh, who was Varinder Kumar's friend. After that, Varinder started sending me messages through Vajinder and requesting me to become friends with him."

She says that in spite of her refusals, he began persuading her and she finally yielded to his offer and the two began an affair. However, the girl's family soon got wind of it and she was sent to stay with her brother, Ramanjit Singh and his family.

"But he soon found about my whereabouts and visited my brother's house on the pretext of doing business with him. However, my brother did not concede and he left. Later, I was sent back to my parent's residence in Basti Jodhewal a few weeks ago," she says.

It was on July 16 when the victim was going to the beauty parlour that the accused, Varinder Kumar, intercepted her on the way and allegedly asked her to get in the car on pretext that her sister-in-law Daljit Kaur was unwell and was calling her as Ramanjit Singh was away.

The victim claims that without suspecting any foul play, she got in the car and he then took her to a deserted factory in Guru Vihar. "He said that he had some work in the factory and would later take me to her sister-in-law's residence. He took me inside the factory (this was owned by accused Vajinder Kumar and the factory had been shifted from the Basti Jodhewal area, where it was earlier located near the beauty parlour where the victim was working). There, the other accused Vajinder Kumar, Ravi and Sudhir were also present and enjoying their drinks."

The four men allegedly then mixed some sedative in a cold drink and gave it to the victim and she fell unconscious. She says that she was then raped and when she came to her senses after a few hours, the accused then again sedated her and Varinder Kumar took her in a car to a resort near Chintpurni. "Whenever I would come to my senses, I would again be drugged and was repeatedly raped. In the morning, I was again brought back to Ludhiana where the other accused joined Varinder Kumar and took me to Delhi."

The victim claims that in Delhi, she was kept in a deserted house for 10 days and repeatedly sexually harassed. It was only when the accused got wind that the victim's family had approached the police and named Varinder Kumar as a suspect in her kidnapping, that they left her in a public park and ran away.

"It was then that a good Samaritan, Sanjay, who was in the park came to my rescue when he saw me crying and helpless. He took me to his home and provided me with shelter. He asked me my address, but when I refused to divulge much fearing the wrath of my family and the shame that the entire incident would bring to my family, he sent me to the house of his friend, Raka. It was there that I stayed for the next nine days till I was able to tell him about my family in Ludhiana. He assured me that he would ensure that no one in my family said anything and then brought me back here," she said.

Mr Komal Khanna, who brought the case to light, said that the accused had now been making offers of money to the victim's family to hush up the case.


MC demolition team faces resistance, 
12 hurt in clash

From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 12 — At least 12 persons, including some employees of the Municipal Corporation, were injured in a clash over the demolition of a cemented platform outside an automobile showroom on the Ferozepore Road here yesterday.

While MC officials alleged that staff of the showroom refused to remove vehicles parked unlawfully in the encroached area and pelted stones at the members of the MC demolition team, car dealers charged the MC staff with damaging the vehicles parked outside.

Following the clash, the MC staff, left the site and reported the matter to senior officers, who got in touch with the police and a case under Sections 148, 149, 186, 332, 353, 427 and 506 of the CrPC was registered.

In the evening, another MC team, led by Assistant Commissioner B.K.Gupta and accompanied by a large police force converged on the spot and demolished the structure uninterruptedly.

According to the car dealers, the MC had not served any notice prior to the demolition but the MC Assistant Commissioner said two notice were served to the car dealer, which were not responded to. Mr Gupta further claimed that the MC employees had not resorted to violence but had acted to protect themselves.


Hindus had to pay for funeral

Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 12 — Freedom was an avowed dream of all Indians. After Mr Atlee took over as the Prime Minister of Great Britain, India's freedom was a foregone conclusion.

"It was a much awaited moment in history, more so in our own lifetime," recalls Mr Ram Swaroop Kapur, who was 24 at that time. He and his family had arrived here from Sargoda in Pakistan much before Partition. The family used to run a cinema hall there. The hall was shifted first to Khanna and then to Jagraon.

The population of Ludhiana at that time was less than one lakh. The city has increased thirty-fold in 53 years and is still growing, remarks Mr Kapoor. Describing the contours of the city, he says, "It did not extend beyond Clock Tower and railway station on one side and the court complex on the other. They were separated by the railway line. A flyover, called Lakarhanwala Pul, bridged the divide."

Going back to the day when India realised its long cherished dream of freedom, Mr Kapoor narrates the event, "Modes of communication were far less, rather negligible. The newspapers would reach late. The only source of information was All India Radio. Not many owned radio sets. Even our family did not, as we were in the process of settling down in a new place. Some persons who had heard Jawaharlal Nehru's famous speech would discuss it."

According to Mr Kapoor, since Punjab was the worst hit by the communal riots in the aftermath of Partition, the jubilation and celebrations remained subdued. A sense of fear prevailed all over. This part of the state was not untouched. Many lives were lost here.

"There were some atrocious practices going on even in Ludhiana till Independence. When Hindus had to take bodies to the cremation ground located near the Daresi Ground, they had to pass through a Muslim locality adjacent to the ground. There was a practice that the funeral would not be allowed to pass in case four annas were not deposited by the mourners with the (Muslim) community account. A person was deputed to collect the money and only then the funeral procession could pass. The practice stopped only after Independence. It may not sound of much significance today, but at that time, it meant total subjugation," recalls Mr Kapoor.

It has taken a long period for Ludhiana to grow by leaps and bounds. It is prosperity all around and nobody had visualised it to grow so fast, he remarks.


They came for interview, told to write test
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 12 — Hundreds of disabled candidates who came here to appear in an interview for posts of patwari staged a dharna and also blocked traffic for some time when the authorities failed to conduct the same.

The candidates who had come from all over the state were sore with the authorities, because while they had been called for the interview only, they were required to appear in the written test also.

When some candidates boycotted the test, it was decided that the written test would be conducted on August 27.

According to an official spokesman, the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana Mr S.K. Sandhu, had sought application for the posts of patwari in the handicapped category. About 1,000 candidates had come with their applications.

The centre of the test and roll number would be intimated to the candidates individually by post.


Kisan Bhavan not for farmers
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Aug 12 — Kisan Bhavan or Kisan Rest House which has been built by the market committee of Khanna at a cost of Rs 5 lakh in Grain Market is perhaps not for farmers.

The building was constructed in the mid 70s. Earlier, farmers used to enjoy facilities given to them by the market committee, but in 1984, the building was was “captured” by the BSF. During Operation Blue Star, the BSF personnel camped here for six months and when they left, the building was “captured” by the CRPF. It remained in its “illegal” possession for two years.

Meanwhile, Khanna was made a police district, but with no suitable place in town to house policemen. It was planned that the building would be temporarily used for the purpose. However, this temporary arrangement has become permanent.

The farmers who visit Khanna now have to either sit under the sun or seek shelter in shops of commission agents. The market committee, despite its best efforts, has failed to get the building vacated so far. The committee has sent many reminders to the police, asking it to pay the rent which is more than Rs 90 lakh.

Mr Jeet Komal, Secretary of the committee, said the SSP of Khanna had assured him that the rent would be paid as soon as the government released funds.


Councillors warn Ghalib of black flag protest
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 12 — Nearly six Congress councillors of the Nagar Panchayat of Sahnewal have threatened to hold a black flag demonstration against the Congress MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, whenever his visited the township if immediate action is not initiated against another party councillor, Mr Sarbjit Singh Sukhi, for violation of the party discipline.

Speaking at a press conference here today, the councillors, Mrs Kulwant Kaur, Mr Ramesh Kumar Pappu, Mr Swaran Singh, Mrs Kuljit Kaur, Mr Jiwan Kapila and Mr Jasmandir Singh Sandhu, alleged that Mr Sukhi had been responsible for ensuring the election of Mr Shamsher Singh Kalle, a SAD-BJP backed councillor, as the President of the Nagar Panchayat despite the fact that the Congress party commanded a majority in the 13-member Nagar Panchayat.

They complained that the party in Sahnewal was divided into two groups. While one group functioned under the leadership of Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, a former minister, the other owed its allegiance to Mr Nahar Singh Gill, General Secretary of the Punjab PCC. They alleged that Mr Gill had ensured the election of an Akali as the President of the Nagar Panchayat of Sahnewal just to score a point against Mr Birmi. They openly hobnobbed with the Akalis and held meetings at their residences to devise a strategy to defeat the Congress nominee for the post. "This is nothing short of betrayal of the party and the party High Command must take notice of this and take action against these people," they said.

They said that they had made a series of complaints to the Ludhiana DCC(R) chief, the Punjab PCC chief, the Congress High Command in Delhi as also the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, demanding immediate intervention and disciplinary action against Mr Sukhi. They added that nothing had been done apparently because he enjoyed the protection of the local Congress MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, who in turn was in the good books of the PCC chief, Capt Amarinder Singh.

They threatened that if the party leadership took action in the matter, they would be left with no alternative but to hold a black flag demonstration against Mr Ghalib whenever he visited Sahnewal.


Tandon opens single-window facility
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 12 — The Punjab Minister for Local Bodies, Mr Balramjii Dass Tandon, today said that despite the BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) holding divergent views on the issues of Udham Singh Nagar and free power supply to the farm sector, there was no threat to the coalition government.

Talking to mediapersons in Circuit House here, he said these differences of opinion could not affect the relations of the two parties. He said the BJP, both in the Centre and Punjab, was aware that the regional parties which were partners in the NDA and formed governments in many states, had their own policies which could differ from those of the BJP.

Mr Tandon also said his party was opposed to the free supply of power to the farm sector and had made it known to the Chief Minister. He said it was now for Mr Badal to take a decision in this regard.

He condemned the past night's bomb blast in the courts here. He said it appeared to be the work of some militant outfit supported by Pakistan. The minister said the state government and the district administration were determined to foil all attempts to create chaos in the state.

On being asked whether the bomb blast could be related to the violence in Jammu and Kashmir, he said it was too early to draw a conclusion. “However, the possibility of Kashmiri militant groups resorting to such acts to make the government succumb to their demands cannot be ruled out.”

Mr Tandon did not give a convincing answer to whether the octroi abolition would be the main issue of the party in the next assembly elections. Rather, he gave facts and figures to prove that the octroi collection was the lifeline of civic bodies. He said the octroi collection in the state was Rs 500 crore in the past year.

He supported the privatisation of octroi collection in Punjab. He said after the privatisation of the octroi collection, the revenue to the state from it had increased from 35 per cent to 100 per cent. He said the fear in the minds of municipal employees that the move would lead to the retrenchment of some employees was unfounded.

Earlier, Mr Tandon laid the foundation stone of a multistorey commercial complex — LIT Vision 2000 — on Maharani Jhansi Road. He also inaugurated the computerised single-window facility in the office of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust.

Speaking on the occasion, he said the computerised single-window service would be helpful for persons visiting the office. The minister said, with the use of computers, it would become possible to hold employees accountable for non-performance. He said the government also planned to take several other measures to streamline the working of the Improvement Trusts, improve recoveries of old dues and clear encroachments on the government land.

The Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, Mr Madan Mohan Vyas, talked about various residential and commercial schemes planned and developed by the trust.

Mr Tandon also released a booklet on Guidance to the Allottees published by the LIT and drew lots for the allotment of 96 flats in Rajguru Nagar. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, and an Akali Dal legislator, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, also spoke on the occasion.


Khanna roads in bad shape
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Aug 12 — Roads in Khanna sub-division are in a pitiable condition which causes several accidents.

A number of roads, constructed about a couple of years ago, have not been repaired yet. They are full of potholes and in the rainy season, it is practically impossible to use them.

The Samrala-Khanna road, used by thousands of persons daily, is in a bad condition. Heavy rains have further worsened its condition. A few kilometres of the road is particularly bad and there is no sign of any repair work.

The Khanna-Khamanon road also faces a similar plight. Nearly a 4- km stretch of the road is in of need immediate repairs. Little wonder, bad roads have been taking their toll on vehicles regularly.

Others road that are in a bad condition include the Amloh-Khanna road , Chandigarh-Khanna road and Rahon-Khanna road. It is learnt that the PWD has prepared estimates for the repair of these roads but due to lack of funds, the work has not been started.

Only the Malerkotla-Khanna road is under repair at a cost of Rs 1.70 crore. It is learnt that the PWD had made estimates for the repair of these roads but due to lack of funds, no work has been undertaken so far.


Budha Darya grieves before Sutlej

By M.S.Cheema

Honey! As far as you are concerned, Papa has given his consent. Mama, as you know, has already spotted in you a suitable son-in-law.... but...”

“Darling, then why this hesitation?” asked the bewildered lover over the telephone.

“Well, dear, the problem is that our people do not like going over to the other side of this stinking ganda nullah. Why can’t your father get a house on this side of the nullah in Civil Lines or Sarabha Nagar?”

“You have to marry me, not the location or the house," said the lover. Ask your mother to convince your father.” Needless to say, in spite of the lovers’ best efforts, ganda nullah did not permit the their union.

The girl lost a suitable match for no fault of her. The boy sighed every time he crossed the stinking water-feature. The girl sighed even more and cursed the ganda nullah.

On her 35th birthday, she came to the ganda nullah to commit suicide. She could not drown because there was not much water. She burst out, “If Chenab could accept the body of Sohni to save her soul, why can’t you provide me with enough water to drown myself.”

At this, the drying and decaying sheet of slush-thickened water said, “Dear Sutlej, my esteemed friend, geology records you as older than the Himalayas, Brahma loves you as his son, Rigveda was composed on your banks, glory be to thou. Do not get confused for I am no different from you.”

“I understand. I was called the Budha Darya till a few decades ago.”

“Yes, you are right. Do you understand what made you the ganda nullah?” The Sutlej asked its old channel.

“I am confused by the inhuman treatment I have received from human beings,” replied the old channel.

“Man brings destruction in the course of material progress. He calls it civilisation which is the main cause of pollution and we are its victims. You are a bigger victim than I,” said the Sutlej.

“Who is the biggest victim?” said the ganda nullah.

“Man, himself,” tersely spoke the Sutlej.

“Ludhiana is rich in wealth. It is so much overcivilised,” said the ganda nullah.

“This is why its land and ground water are poisoned and its air polluted. I moved away to save my life,” said the Sutlej.


Teej celebrated
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 12 — The wives, sisters, daughters and friends of the members of the Sutlej Club, yesterday celebrated Teej and sawan at the club lawns. The lawn presented a festive look, with organisers having created an atmosphere resembling the Punjab countryside.

The floor was sprinkled with fodder, lime and flowers. To add to the beauty of the entrance path, artificial banana trees, symbolising joy and happiness, were erected on both the sides.

The ambience of a rustic village life was created with the stalls of bangles, Punjabi juttis and parande.

Kulli was created depicting the relaxed and tension-free life of a village with charkha, chullah, chhaj, peedhe, baltoi, gagar and hara. It depicted Kulli yaar di, Swarag da jhuta, Agg la mehalan nu.

The sets were created by Daljeet Jassal in a beautiful and aesthetic way. These included a khoo, khurli and gahira, also important features of a village life.

A competition in rural chores was also held on the occasion. These included chaki da muqabala, peengh and charkha katna. A contest was also held to select the Sawan queen.


Apple tastes delicious this year
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 12 — There is a good news this year. Apple will taste more delicious. The apple is selling at about Rs 200 less per box as compared to the last year. Besides, the season also started early. The market is zooming with optimism as the demand is growing and supply continues to be uninterrupted.

Ludhiana’s fruit market is supposed to be the biggest after Delhi in the northern India. On an average these days, about 6,000 apple boxes arrive in the market here everyday.

According to Mr Kripal Singh, a leading apple merchant in the market, so far the market is dominated by the Himachal Pradesh apple. The famous Kashmiri apple is yet to flood the market. However, some varieties have already arrived in the market. But the main varieties like Delicious and American are still awaited.

Mr Singh said that currently the A grade Delicious apple was selling between Rs 300 to Rs 380 per box with about 18 kg of weight and the B Grade variety was available between Rs 200 to Rs 380 per box.

The apple dealers’ optimism this year is rooted in their information of a bumper crop in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. This will obviously lead to fall in the prices which may also percolate to the consumers. According to the figures available from the market last year, an A grade apple box sold for as much as Rs 500 primarily due to low production, while the production is likely to be bumper this year both in Himachal Pradesh as well as in Kashmir.

There are about 50 wholesalers who deal in apple in Ludhiana, besides, about 5000 retailers. Mr Kripal Singh said, the reports from the retailers suggested heavy demand for the apple, which will further grow in next few months with the arrival of the festival season.

According to Mr Somnath Fauji, President Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, currently a business worth about Rs 1.5 crore is transacted daily in the fruit market here. This is likely to double by the end of this month. He said the spontaneous flow of apple from Himachal Pradesh had brought down the prices which are unlikely to pick up again.

The traders had a grievance against the corporation which is maintaining the fruit market. It is pathetic to walk in the market. Mr Kripal Singh alleged that about Rs 1 lakh was being paid to the corporation daily by various traders in the fruit market and yet there was no arrangement of cleanliness. He said huge garbage dumps had accumulated in the market which can lead to spread of diseases.


Flavour of the week

Hardly had the anguish of the killing of Amarnath pilgrims dimmed and the protests and anger simmered down when there were strong bomb blasts in Srinagar, killing and injuring a large number of police personnel, scribes and other persons.

After Friendship Day, most youngsters were seen wearning friendship bands. The festival of Teej has been stretched too much. It started much before Teej and is still going on.

Two new romantic movies were screened — Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega and Dhadkan . Those who can suspend their beliefs and immerse themselves in the abused tales being unfolded before them will enjoy these movies.

Mangoes are finally on their way out and apples are in. When colleges opened, students went on strike. Veterinary students and students of Government Institute of Textile Chemistry and Knitting Technology staged dharnas.

Jewellers are ready with trinkets of gold which can be given as raakhi gifts to sisters. Raakhis sales have picked up.

The preparations for Independence Day are underway in a big way as usual. The schoolchildren are preparing items for a gala cultural event. This year, the function is going to be held in Government College for Men.

Crime has been on the rise. Kidnappings have been increasing.

— AA


Transport Nagar haven for drug smugglers
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 12 — The arrest of a truck driver from Transport Nagar by the CIA staff team here yesterday has revealed that the area is a den of drug peddlers.

Gurnam Singh, a resident of Jamalpur, was arrested by a team of the CIA staff led by SI Gurpreet Singh and 1 kg of opium, worth Rs 12,000, was seized from him. He was heading towards Transport Nagar when the police arrested him after laying a trap near the Sanghowal canal.

The accused, while talking to the TNS after his arrest, said he was himself an opium addict and used to get the drug from Mangalwara village in the Bhilwara area of Rajasthan. He said he used to sell the opium to customers at Transport Nagar. He said most truck drivers coming from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh smuggled drugs into the state and sold these at Transport Nagar.

He said, because opium cultivation was legal in these states, cultivators gave a fixed quota of it to the state governments sold off the surplus to local smugglers. He said this opium was then brought to the other states by truck drivers who were often addicts themselves.

The accused has been booked under Sections 18, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.


Bootlegger caught

The Sahnewal police has seized 15 bottles of illicit liquor. ASI Kuljit Singh caught Kuljit Singh of Kumkalan village and found the liquor in his possession. The accused was planning to smuggle the liquor out of the village.

A case has been registered against the accused under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Poppy husk seized

The Sahnewal police has seized 1 kg of poppy husk from Majara village. After the police had laid a trap at the village, Sub Inspector, Mr Shiv Dyal, caught Raj Kumar who was carrying the poppy husk in a bag.

A case has been registered against the accused by the Sahnewal police.Back


PSEB’s day off for industry flayed
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 12 — The Apex Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings has criticised the weekly off-day imposed by the Punjab State Electricity Board on all industries in Punjab and said the measure had come as a shock to the industrial sector in the state.

Mr Avtar Singh, General Secretary of the chamber, said here today that the Chairman of the board had repeatedly been claiming that there was no shortage of electricity in the state and there would not be any power cut during this season, but this had proved a false promise. The reason advanced for the off-day was to spare enough power to ensure 10 hours of uninterrupted power supply to the agriculture sector.

Mr Avtar Singh said the chamber had failed to understand why the industrial sector, which was paying the highest electricity tariff, was subjected to power cuts, whereas the agricultural sector, which was enjoying free supply of electricity, was being benefited at the cost of industry. He added that the industry was reeling under recession and imposing restrictions would further aggravate the situation, which showed that the board was giving a step-motherly treatment to the industry.

On the one hand, the board was unable to supply uninterrupted supply to the industry, and on the other, the board was imposing restrictions and fines on the industrialists who installed their own diesel generating sets.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, President, and Mr Avtar Singh, General Secretary, respectively, of the chamber, urged the Chief Minister to intervene direct the board to remove the weekly off-day restriction and to allow the industrialists to install their own diesel generator sets without any restrictions.

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