Saturday, August 26, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Consolatory return after unceremonious exit
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 25 — Seventeen persons of the city who had an unceremonious one day affair as members of the Telephone Advisory Committee of the Local Telecom Circle have been finally accommodated by the Ministry of Communication and had taken over as the members of the same committee for the next two years.

They were earlier appointed in May this year. They joined on May 27 and had even got telephone connection installed at their houses in their official capacity. Unfortunately for the members there was some goof up in their appointment as their two year term expired on May 31. Due to this mistake, the members instead of feeling honoured were humiliated as even the telephones they got installed then, were withdrawn immediately.

According to sources, the members were stunned at the mis-development and argued with the local telecom officials here who expressed their helplessness in the matter. The members who had become a laughing stock by then in the city dashed over immediately to Delhi to report the matter to Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Telecommunications .

According to one of the members , who did not wish to be quoted, said they suffered humiliation because of some goof up in the telecommunication head office at Delhi. He said their applications for a two-year term were approved by the Ministry six months back. The approval was meant for the term 2000-2002 but somehow they were issued appointment letters for the term ending on July 31, 2000.

According to the new appointments, 28 members have been included in the TAC for a two-year term. Of these 17 re-appointed members are Narinder Pal Singh, Sadhu Singh, Harish Tandon, Kamal Sahni, Sushil Grover, Harish Kumar, Subhash Chander, Balbir Kumar, Jagdish Anand, Bhan Singh, Paramjit Singh, Harpal Singh Kohli, Charanjit Singh, Kuldeep Singh, Teja Singh, Kartar Singh and Jaswant Singh.

Eight new members were D. S. Chawla , Parminder Mehta, Nitin Gupta, Jaswant Singh Sood, Harpal Singh Kohli, Paramjit Singh, Satpal Singh ad Ramanjit Singh and three ex-officio members were the Member of Parliament Lala Lajpat Rai, Gurcharan Singh Galib and Kirpal Singh Libra.Back


MLA accused of shielding accused
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 25 — For 17-year-old Aarti and her 15-year-old brother Vishal, getting justice seems to be a dream. The two children have filed a case of abetment to suicide against their mother's lover for leading both their parents to end their life by causing them extreme mental agony.

However, in spite of the fact that the FIR against the accused was registered almost three weeks ago, the police is allegedly dilly-dallying on the arrest of the accused because of his close association with the ruling BJP party MLA, Mr Satpal Gosain.

Vinod Kumar Sharma and Pooja had been married for 11 years and had two children, when in 1992, the latter allegedly developed illicit relations with their neighbour, Balwinder Singh. It is learnt that the couple was financially unsound and that they often quarrelled over their money. On the other hand, Balwinder Singh is a prominent industrialist and allegedly flaunted his wealth to win over Pooja. It is learnt that over the years, the two got very close and the accused would also often visit the house of Pooja.

However, things began to sour between the lovers after the accused allegedly began to exploit Pooja sexually and send her to a few of his friends. Things reached a point of no return in 1998, when the accused, Balwinder Singh started eyeing Pooja's daughter. The latter reportedly got into a severe depression and in a fit of depression, she committed suicide on September 17, 1998.

It may be noted that the accused, allegedly taking advantage of the fact that Pooja was enamoured by him, also coerced her into getting a power of attorney signed by her husband Vinod Kumar in the name of his own friend Vinod Kumar, a resident of Pratap Nagar. The latter then transferred the registry of the house of Pooja and Vinod Kumar, valued at around Rs 15 lakh, in the name of Balwinder Singh. However, when Pooja reportedly cornered him about this before her death, he assured her that he would buy them a new house somewhere else.

But after Pooja's death, the accused instigated the maternal family of Pooja to register a case against Vinod Kumar for causing her mental agony and leading her to death. It is alleged that the accused did this to win the ownership of the house. However, Vinod Kumar was later acquitted by the court of all the charges and upon his release, he started on with an ordeal to get the papers of his property back from Balwinder Singh.

It was then that the two parties went to the local MLA, Mr Gosain and asked him to intervene and resolve the dispute. "However," alleges Mr Kailash Sharma, President of the Punjab Book Sellers Association, who brought the this story to light, "the accused used his money power and the fact that he was a staunch supporter of and an aide of the MLA prevented him from helping the victims and the MLA started dilly-dallying the matter. It was then that Vinod Kumar also went into a severe depression and on July 17 this year, he too ended his life by consuming poison."

It was only around a fortnight after Vinod Kumar died that his daughter Aarti found the suicide note written by him. He had accused Balwinder Singh of ruining the lives of all his family members and bringing him to this extreme stage.

Subsequently, the police registered a case under Section 306 of the IPC against Balwinder Singh on August 2. "However, he has not been arrested so far because of his close links with Mr Gosain. The police tells us that they are conducting raids to arrest the accused, but he still continues to be a free bird," says Mr Sharma.

Meanwhile, the BJP MLA, Mr Satpal Gosain, when contacted by TNS, denied all allegations levelled against him and said that he was not way concerned with the case. "I was neither approached by the complainant nor the accused and at the time Vinod died, I was not even in the city," he said.Back


‘Defective goods sold can be returned’
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 25 — The shopkeepers’ practice of mentioning ‘goods once sold can not be taken back’ on the cash memos amounts to unfair trade practice.

This significant observation was made by the District Consumer Forum here today while deciding on a complaint made against Matta Footwears, Chaura Bazaar here. The forum consisting of Mr Hardial Singh, President, and two members, Mr Shashi Saini and Mr Tilak Raj Arora, also observed that the practice of selling duplicate goods under established trade names means deceiving the customers and is an unfair trade practice.

The forum has directed Darshan Lal and Kishan Lal both partners of Matta Footwears in Chaura Bazaar, here to refund Rs 900 which was the cost of the defective shoes sold by them along with compensation of Rs 1000 and costs of Rs 500 to a complainant Mr Lav Babuta, who works as an advocate in the district courts here.

The forum also directed the shopkeepers not to use the name of those renowned companies for which they were not the authorised agents.

The complainant had purchased a pair of shoes in December, last year. He claimed before the forum that the shoes developed cracks, within days even though the shopkeeper had assured him of the good quality of the shoes and also assured to replace the pair.

However, the shopkeeper refused to change the shoes and instead showed him the cash memo which clearly stated that goods once sold could not be ‘taken back’. The complainant then approached the forum for justice.Back


The accommodation commotion at PAU 
Dilapidated quarters, muddy water supply
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 25 — Punjab Agricultural University is short of accommodation for its staff, particularly the teachers. Against about a few thousand employees of the university, there are only 325 residential quarters. Given the paucity of funds, there is no scope for fresh construction in near future.

Both the teaching and non-teaching staff of the university feel that the accommodation was much less than the requirements. The accommodation available is so short of demand that those who joined service wayback in 1984, still continue to be in the waiting-list for a house.

Even those who are lucky enough to get accommodation in the campus, are not satisfied due to the lack of most facilities. Most of them feel that the living conditions in these quarters are not worth the monthly rent charged. There appears to be lot of resentment among the employees in PAU over the allotment of houses, lack of periodical services like repair work ,whitewashing and other facilities. Besides, the residents also complained about the dirty water supply.

Some of the employees had raised the matter about the facilities with the authorities. The employees pointed out that every year, they paid about Rs 32 lakh as house rent to the university. Not much out of this amount is spent on the maintenance.

However, the Vice-Chancellor had assured the employees last year, that at least half of this amount would be spent on maintenance. But, the employees claimed that nothing was done and they continue to live in the dilapidated houses. The university is said to have allocated Rs 3.25 lakh for civic and sanitary purposes and Rs 1.5 lakh for water supply in this year's budget.

Despite the shortage of accomodation in the university, there are several people who continue to stay in the houses, unauthorisedly.

Although the university imposes heavy penalty in the shape of penal rent on such occupants, most of them have reportedly not paid this rent.

One senior professor in the university, who was subsequently nominated to the Board of Management of the University reportedly owes over Rs 50,000 to the university. However, he admitted to The Tribune that he owed Rs 24,000 only to the university and was ready to pay, if the VC asked him to do so.

The employees are also sore over the reported amendment in the house allotment rules, which they alleged may deny accommodation to deserving people.Back


ADC talks tough at sangat darshan
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 25 — The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.R. Kaler, today issued a stern warning to officers of various departments to solving various problems raised by people at the weekly sangat darshan.

Mr Kaler took strong note of the inaction on the part of the police regarding a complaint by a Ms Mandeep Kaur of Leela Pind village, who had been allegedly harassed by her in-laws for the past one year. She had made a written complaint about a month ago, but no action had been taken so far.

Ms Mandeep Kaur was married to a boy in Dadal village. She alleged that immediately after her marriage, her husband and in-laws started demanding a colour television, a motorcycle and other things. Her father, Mr Sarjit Singh, a truck driver, said he was not in a position to meet all these demands. The ADC ordered that the DSP concerned should submit his report at the next sangat darshan.

An unemployed youth, Mr Surjit Singh of Bhairon Muna village, complained that he had been sanctioned a loan of Rs 40,000 under a self-employment scheme in 1999. The loan was to be provided by the State Bank of Patiala. Mr Kaler asked the District Coordinator of the bank to ensure the payment of the loan within a week.Back


‘FCI to procure grain from Punjab mandis’
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 25 — The Punjab Food and Civil Supply Minister, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, today sought to set at rest the controversy over the procurement of foodgrain in the state by the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

Talking to media persons here, he denied that there was any move by the FCI to not purchase paddy from the Punjab mandis due to paucity of funds and storage space. The minister said the FCI was established under an Act for the purpose of purchasing foodgrain for the central pool at the minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the Union Government. Until the Act is amended, it was the duty of the FCI to procure foodgrain. On the reported shortage of funds and storage space, Mr Mittal commented that it was for the FCI authorities and the central government to make the necessary arrangements. Back


Badal appeals religious sects to spread education
Tribune News Service

TALWANDI KHURD (LUDHIANA), Aug 25 — Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has called upon religious and social organisations to come forward and help in spreading education in rural areas.

Addressing a rally on the occasion of the 16th death anniversary of Swami Ganga Nand of the Garibdasi sect here today, the Chief Minister lauded the role of these sects in spreading education among the rural masses.

Admitting the inability of the government to provide modern education in all areas, Mr Badal appealed the heads of various spiritual sects to accord priority to set up educational institutions in the rural areas and provide quality education and computer training to the children so that they do not lag behind.

The Chief Minister said Punjab is the land of great Gurus and saints, where, since ancient times they had preached peace, mutual brotherhood and humane values. He said that only because of the spirit of peace and service to the suffering humanity, Punjab had succeeded in overcoming the turbulent days of terrorism during which much blood of innocent youth was shed.

He appreciate the efforts of the head of the sect, Swami Shankranand Ji, to provide computer training , technical education and promote sports among the youth.

Paying tributes to the late Swami Ganga Nand Ji, he said the saint had preached peace, tolerance and mutual brotherhood among the people and worked for the promotion of education in the area. He said that such religious personalities were the main source of inspiration for the people.

Referring to the demands of the village, the Chief Minister announced the construction of a link road from Talwandi Dham to Majri village and a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the construction of a sports stadium.

Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Local Bodies Minister, Punjab, said Swami Ganga Nand Ji was a great saint who served the suffering humanity and preached peace and love amongst his followers. Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Technical Education Minister, Punjab, said the Punjab government had also decided to make the education job oriented and the Technical Education Department had arranged to launch a special computer training programme in collaboration with an international computer company which would also ensure good job opportunities. He assured full help of the government to the technical education programme and computer training started by Swami Ji in the area.Back


KBC hits night business
From Iqbal Singh

KHANNA, Aug 25—The TV serial, Kaun Banega Crorepati, anchored by Amitabh Bachchan, which has badly affected the other TV channels by drawing maximum viewership and advertisements has also affected the general lifestyles of the public. while earlier, people could be seen strolling on roads and shopping or visiting restaurants, ice cream parlours and chaat points, now the streets give an empty look from 9 to 10 p.m. The sale at eating points is very low during the serial time. This has, in turn, changed the working cycle of small businessmen like rehriwalas selling eatables in the towns.
They leave their points by 9 p.m. on five days of the week coinciding with the screening days of the serial.      


Barsi Mela of Baba Gajju Ji
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 25 — The Barsi Mela of Baba Gajju Ji Thapar will be held on August 29 at the samadhi premises in Gurdev Nagar.

Dr Vijay Kumar Thapar, president, Thapar Biradari, informed that it was a place of pilgrimage and worship for the past 300 years. The monument is a source of hope for the sick, the despite as well as a source of love and inspiration.

The General Secretary of the Thapar Biradari disclosed that the Thapars had migranted to India around 300 years ago from Kabul. It is believed that Babaji, was born in the Thapar clan. This saint, who later came to be known as Baba Gajju Ji, performed miracles during his teenage years. Considering his miracles to be a nuisance, his mother asked him whether he could vanish. Babaji immediately merged himself into the Mother Earth for ever.

During migration, the Thapars brought some bricks and soil from the place where Babaji had stayed and installed some part of it at the present samadhi. On the Amavas of Bhadon, a large number of devotees, especially Thapars, assemble at the holy place.Back


Student assaulted for appearing in exam
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 25 — A student was allegedly assaulted by fellow students for appearing in an examination that was boycotted by them.

According to an FIR registered under Sections 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC, the victim, Sikander Singh, a student of Guru Nanak Engineering College, alleged that on August 16, he was attacked with kirpans by Harpreet Singh Fareedpuria, David Masih, Harkamalpreet Singh and Ladi in his hostel room for disobeying their wishes. The victim received multiple injuries and was sent to LM Civil Hospital for treatment.

Man killed

An unknown cyclist was crushed to death near Jamalpur on August 23 by a vehicle (PB-10-AJ-9496). A case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered against Amarjit Singh, driver of the vehicle.

Child attacked

Sunny (12) was allegedly attacked by Labha, Saleem, Shashi and his mother on August 19 when he was going to the upper storey of his house to deliver a message about a phone call. The accused allegedly intercepted him on the way, but he ran into his house. The accused followed him and attacked him with sharp-edged weapons. The motive behind the attack is old enmity.

Liquor seized

Nine bottles of liquor was seized from Amit Kumar, alias Bobby, from Cheema Chowk. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered.Back


Tata steel page updated
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 25—Tata Steel yesterday launched a customer page on its web site
This new facility, which was launched by Mr G.S.N.Murty, General Manager, (Purchase), Hero Cycles Ltd., enables a customer to access information online directly from SAP, the world renowned enterprise resource planning system.
With this comprehensive facility, the customer would have access to information anytime, from any place ranging from the order status to delivery status, invoices to credit status and many more reports desired by the customer.   

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