Tuesday, August 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Maalkhana property for cops’ use, till claimed
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — There is blatant, misuse’’ of possessions of maalkhanas of various police stations by police personnel.

It is alleged that certain police officers (Sub Inspectors, Inspectors and Deputy Superintendents of Police) are in the habit of ‘borrowing’ the seized or recovered possessions in the maalkhanas property till the owner of the same gets possession with the consent of the court. In wake of almost no serious checking of the maalkhanas by senior police officers, this practice has become a common one in almost all the police stations in the city.

It is learnt that since the charge of the maalkhanas lies with the ‘munshi’’ of the particular police station, all officers senior to him posted in that particular police station have an easy access to the goodies (be it cash, drugs, liquor, vehicles etc.)

Other than the cash seized by the police during gambling, the cash in the maalkhanas is also from the cash in possession of an accused in any case at the time of his arrest, the salaries of all employees posted at the police station concerned arrears etc.

According to the information available from well placed sources, a Sub Inspector (in his own rank and pay of a Head Constable) who is accused of arranging the contract killing of a Canadian woman recently, had “borrowed” over Rs 3 lakh from the maalkhana of the Sadar Police Station, while he was posted as the Station House Officer (SHO) there in 1998.

The money was recovered from him only recently after he was booked on charges of murder by the Sangrur police. Another Inspector, now posted in Fatehgarh Sahib, and earlier posted as Station House Officer of the Sadar Police Station had also “borrowed” Rs 30,000 from the maalkhana and the amount was returned only after a couple of months after he was transferred from the district.

Another Inspector posted as SHO of Sadar Police Station in 1998 and now as SHO of another police station falling under the jurisdiction of the SP (City I) in Ludhiana police district, too, is alleged to be in the habit of misusing cash in the maalkhana and had also borrowed Rs 30,000 from the sadar maalkhana and returned the same only after he was posted elsewhere.

Two other Station House Officers- one of the rank of a Sub Inspector and another of the rank of an Inspector in two police stations falling under the jurisdiction of Superintendent of Police, (City II) are also alleged to be ‘heavily borrowing’ possessions from the maalkhanas of the police stations concerned.

In yet another incident, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (ORP rank) is also allegedly using an Esteem car from the maalkhana of police station division No.5, for his personal use. This car is reportedly a case property of an FIR registered at police station division No. 5 and was recovered by a team of CIA staff from a gang of car thieves a few months ago.

It is learnt that though the recovered cars and other possessions are handed over to the rightful owner on the directions of the court within a fortnight of the recovery, those stolen cars that have been financed and then stolen and their ownership cannot be found out after the fake RC’s have been made, are the ones that remain a part of the maalkhana and are being allegedly misused by the police personnel.

Interestingly, several ‘munshis’ are also learnt to be discreetly selling off seized liquor, opium, poppy husk and oil recovered during police operations. Highly placed sources inform that after these goods are seized from people, they are sealed as case property. “But generally the seal is broken, the goods taken out and adulterated ones of a low quality filled in and sealed. Since at the time of supardari, the court does not generally see what is inside, the police officers can get away smoothly,” he said.

It is learnt that though the DSP concerned or the SP conduct a routine check of the maalkhanas every six months, it is a mere paper work. Since no physical checking is done, the process of “borrowing” goes on unabashedly.


Changing trends in the second-hand car market
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — The entry of various finance companies in the market, the easy availability of loans and increasing affluence in the region have resulted in a sharp decline in the sale of second hand cars while there has been a corresponding increase in the sale of new cars.

“Few years ago we used to sell 800-1000 cars every month. Now the sales have drastically come down to 150-200 cars,” says Baljeet Singh, general secretary, Ludhiana Car Dealers’ Association.” Hopefully the sales may pick up in the coming festive months. But it is matter of fact that recession in the industry and decreasing profit in the agriculture have also affected the market,” he adds.

“Earlier Ambassadors, Fiats and Marutis used to dominate the market. But now you can find latest models of Maruti Zen, Esteem, City Honda, Santro and Matiz. Earlier models are almost non-existent,” says Raju Aggarwal, a car dealer of Rarewala Car Bazar. Some jeeps, and Tata Sumos can also be seen in the Sunday car bazar.

Interestingly, the city boys demand new brands but the landlords of Malwa and Doaba region come here to look for mostly Maruti-800. Customers from as far as Gorakhpur, Azamgarh in U.P. and Bihar, Himachal Pradesh visit these bazars to look for much-tested Maruti models.”

In fact, Ludhiana has two big car bazars- Rarewala Car Bazar and Feroze Gandhi Market Car Bazar. The other major ones are in Malaut, Jalandhar and Chandigarh besides small ones in almost every town.

Regarding the price trend of second-hand cars Mohanlal Bubby, another car dealer says,”You can easily get a 8-10 year old Maruti-800 model for just Rs 40,000. One year old Santro may be purchased for 2.75 lakh as compared to new one for about Rs 3.30 lakh.”

“As far as outdated Ambassador, Contessa models are concerned, they are even cheaper than a two-wheeler. You can have an 80’s model of Ambassador (petrol driven ) for just Rs 15-20,000 . I have arranged a deal of Fiat 118 NE, AC,95 model for just Rs 15,000,” he further says.

Citing the reasons for the slump in the sale of second-hand cars, Varinder Singh, an industrialist says, “A young industrialist prefers to buy a new car through financiers for which loans are very easily available at low interest rates.” “Some times people sell their cars just to get cash. Later on, they may get finance for a new sleek and trendy model like Tata-Indica, Santro or Maruti-Zen,” he says.

Interestingly, the NRIs visiting their villages in Jalandhar, Nakodar and Hoshiarpur area come to the city to buy a Maruti-800 for just Rs 30-40,000. For the next two-three months, they use it like a taxi and then sell at generally at the almost same price before going back abroad.

Elaborating the modus operandi of the market, Baljeet Singh of Maharaja Motors, said,”We charge Rs 2500 or 1 per cent of the sale price from both parties to arrange a deal . For this, we provide guarantee for the genuine sale and documents”. Customers also seem to be satisfied.

Darshan Singh , a landlord of Malak village near Jagraon , says,” I have visited almost every car bazar of Punjab. But I find this most satisfactory one because the dealers even provide after-purchase services like transfer of ownership documents and most ‘importantly’ right’ prices.” He has earlier purchased two cars. Dealers even help to get finance from market.


Where scaling standards of excellence is not new
From Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Nam mera jahan, jahan pahuncha,

Saath pahuncha is dayar ka nam,

Mein yahan mezban bhi, mehman bhi,

Aap jo chahen mujhe dijiye nam.

This is the tribute eminent poet Sahir Ludhianavi paid to Government College, Ludhiana, on its golden jubilee celebrations in 1970. Sahir had come all the way from Bombay to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of the college he had studied at.

Founded in 1920, the college started functioning from the Army barracks along the Ferozepur road. It was shifted to its present location in the early thirties under the stewardship of ACC Hervey, an eminent academician and educationist, who shaped the future of the college. The oldest complex in the college, built on the pattern of buildings in Oxford University, was constructed during his tenure as the Principal. In fact, Hervey has the distinction of being the longest-serving Principal of the college. He joined as the Principal in 1927 and retired in 1942.

Besides Mohindra College, Patiala, and Government College, Lahore, Government College, Ludhiana, was one of the premier educational institutions in north India. However, Partition had its impact on this college as well. Almost the entire Muslim staff and students left the college in 1947. A number of teachers and students who had to leave Government College, Lahore, joined here.

Subsequently, the students of the two colleges tried to bridge the gulf that partition had created. Students from here and Lahore used to visit each other regularly, thus creating an atmosphere of peace and mutual amity. The exchange continued for a long time. However, with the passage of time, this also became a thing of the past.

The college in its present form has tried to maintain the grace it had inherited. The memories in the minds of old students remain fresh. Moreover, there is a strong sense of belonging among these students who treat their association with this college with pride.

The college has produced legends as great as Sahir Ludhianvi, besides an internationally known artist Harikrishan Lal. Others include eminent space scientist Mr Satish Chander Dhawan, after whom the college was renamed in the seventies, Gen T.N. Raina, Mr Joginder Singh, former CBI director, Mr N.N. Vohra, former union Home Secretary, Mr K.P.S. Gill and several others.

The college has also produced outstanding sportspersons. These include Jagdev Singh, Jagmohan Singh, Sukhbir Singh Grewal, Iqbaljit Singh, Jagdeep Singh, Upinder Singh Grewal, Sanjiv Kumar, Sukhdev Singh and Yash Pal Sharma.

One of the Principals of the college, Dr Jahangir Mohamad, later rose to become the Education Minister of Pakistan during the regime of Gen Ayub Khan. His son was the eminent cricketer Mahajid Khan. Another outstanding Principal of the college was Mr U. Karamat, whose son General Karamat became the Chief of Army Staff in Pakistan.

The college continues to maintain its high standards of excellence. Spread over a sprawling lush green area of about 90 acres, the college continues be a centre of attraction for most of the students in the city. There are about 3,500 students on the rolls of the college. According to the principal Dr S.S. Sooch, against 600 seats for B.A. I in a college, 1600 applications were received. The college sold about 9,000 prospectuses this year for all classes. It also runs postgraduate courses in English, Punjabi, Hindi, mathematics, geography, economics and commerce.

According to Dr P.S. Sohi, a lecturer in political science, the college enjoys the distinction of having 32 doctorate holders among its teachers.


Creating funky ID names
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — Mere sapnon ki rani kab aayegi too, Ladka bada anjana hai, Tum ko dekha to yeh khayal aayaa, Dil cheez kya hai.

These are not just the titles of popular Hindi songs. These are the ID names used by some Ludhianvis for their e-mail addresses.

Most of the regular users of the Internet in Ludhiana have created at least two e-mail addresses: one in which the ID name is composed of simply the first name or the last name or both and the other which in which the ID name is usually funky displaying one’s creativity. While the former is used for business purposes, the latter is used for chatting and flirting on the Net. Names like Lafandar, Cyber devil and Shokeen kuri give netizens an idea of their attitude and help them choose their Net pals.

Besides, these ID names help a person conceal his or her real identity. Karan who was fond of his class-mate Megha did not have the guts to propose to her directly. He somehow got to know of Megha’s e-mail address and decided to propose to her on the Net. Karan chose forever yours as his ID name and without revealing his real name was able to convince Megha to be his friend. Later when they decided to meet, Megha got to know that the guy with whom she had been chatting for the last three months was her classmate.

In yet another case when Karina deleted Akhil’s name from her friends’ list in Yahoo chat section, Akhil found a way out. He created a new ID name ‘Guy of the Millennium’ and asked Karina for authorisation who added the name to her list. Thus unknowingly Karina was once again friends with Akhil.

Interestingly, several Ludhianvis have opted for an ID name which will identify them with their city. Some guys are using Ludhiane da munda and Ludhiane da ranjha and some girls have chosen Sohni kudi Ludhiane di and Ludhiana girl for their ID name.

Others have identified themselves with their community using ID names like Jatt Jagga, Putt jattan da and Lallijatt. Still others have preferred to include their state in IDs like Desi kudi Punjab di and some have tried to identify themselves with their state as well as community using an ID name like Jatt Punjab.

Before you create an ID for yourself, you too can go through the list of IDs people from Ludhiana have opted for by simply typing ‘Ludhiana’ and clicking on the search button in ‘find people’ section of Yahoo messenger.


Sant Ishar Singh remembered
From Our Correspondent

DORAHA, Aug 28 — Sant Ishar Singh was remembered by thousands recently on his 25th death anniversary.

In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh laid the foundation of the Khalsa Panth. Bhai Daya Singh was among the five purged piaras who had entrusted his holy throne to Baba Sobha Singh (Anandpur Sahib), who in turn gave it to Baba Sahib Singh Bedi (Una Sahib). Baba Bhag Singh (Kure Wale), Baba Vir Singh (Naurangabad), Baba Maharaj Singh, Baba Ram Singh, Baba Karam Singh, Baba Attar Singh (Reru Sahib), Sant Baba Ishar Singh and Sant Kishan Singh followed.

Sant Ishar Singh was born on August 5, 1905, at Alowal in Patiala district. He was the son of a rich landlord, Ram Singh, and Mata Ratan Kaur. The child was named Gulab Singh. He was admitted to Model School. He became a renowned hockey player. But he was more inclined to spiritualism.

One day, Gulab Singh got an opportunity to attend a kirtan darbar by Baba Attar Singh (Mastuana) at Patiala. The words of the baba changed the meaning of his life. He arranged a meeting with Baba Attar Singh (Reru Sahib), after which sewa and simran became the be-all and end-all of his life. He drank the amrit and became Ishar Singh. Baba Attar Singh (Reru Sahib) gave the verdict that Ishar Singh would prove a real sant with the spirit of renunciation and devotion to the Almighty.

Baba Attar Singh's proclamation proved to be correct and Ishar Singh devoted his life to the good of his follow men. For 50 years, he advocated the philosophy of God. Eternal silence is said to have prevailed at the place where Sant Ishar Singh sang the melodious hymns and uttered the holy shlokas. He purified 8 lakh persons with amrit and showed them the way to enlightenment.

Giani Badal Singh, incharge of the UP Sikh Mission, is of the view that the name of Sant Ishar Singh ranks first as far as the zest for achievement of the real worth of life is concerned. The new world of love for brethren and dedication towards the Creator was best advocated by Sant Ishar Singh.

On August 26, 1975, when the sant was in England, he went into his daily routine of samadhi, never to return. At present, Sant Teja Singh is continuing the sacred mission of Sant Ishar Singh.


Bitta to mobilise public opinion against terrorism
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — Former All-India Youth Congress President and Chairman of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, is all set to launch a campaign to create public awareness against terrorism in the country. Besides setting up the organisational base of the front, he intended taking out a ‘rath yatra’ across the nation, observe ‘Anti-Terrorism Day’ and hold a training camp for office-bearers of the front.

Addressing a news conference at Circuit House here, he observed that while the front would strive to maintain peace and keep a vigil over the activities of anti-national and disruptive elements, it was not in favour of bowing before the terrorism, as was being done by the NDA government, with militant outfits in Jammu and Kashmir. He criticised the governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over their inept handling of the issue of forest brigand Veerappan after the kidnapping of matinee idol Dr Raj Kumar. If the governments of the day could order Army action on Golden Temple in Amritsar and Hazrat Bal mosque in Srinagar to flush out terrorists, what was stopping the government to deal with Veerappan in a similar manner, he asked.

Mr Bitta observed that the demand for autonomy raised by the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, had given rise to similar demands from various states and had initiated a dangerous process, which could spell disintegration of the country. To nip the evil in the bud, the Centre should dismiss the National Conference government of Dr Abdullah, scrap Article 370 and put the state under President’s rule. He also lambasted the government for soft policy towards Pakistan in the face of provocative and aggressive activities and overt and covert support to the terrorism and disruptive activities in India.


DYC to observe Beants’ anniversary
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — The District Youth Congress (Urban) is making hectic preparations to observe the fifth death anniversary of Beant Singh to be observed at Payal on August 31.

Presiding over a meeting of party workers at Congress Bhawan here, the DYC (Urban) President, Mr Pawan Diwan, assigned duties to block and ward-level party activists for the state-level rally, being organised to mark the occasion. He said the then Chief Minister had fought a battle against terrorism during his tenure. The rally would be presided over by the PPCC President, Captain Amarinder Singh, and some senior party leaders from the Centre were also expected to participate and pay tributes to Beant Singh.

Meanwhile, another meeting was held at Lalton Khurd village in the district to finalise arrangements for the state-level rally at Payal on August 31 to mark the death anniversary of Beant Singh. Mr Sukhwant Singh Dugri, a former Vice-President of the Punjab Youth Congress, who presided over, said the sacrifice made by the then Chief Minister was for the sake of the unity and integrity of the country and not for any political or personal gains. The occasion, should be observed collectively by political parties and the state government should come forward to coordinate the programme and observe the anniversary in a befitting manner, he added. According to Mr Dugri, a series of meetings were being held all over the district to mobilise Youth Congress and Congress activists for the rally. The meeting was convened by Mr Dilraj Singh Lalton.


Heritage immaterial for materialistic city
From D. B. Chopra

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 - The wealth of Ludhiana's heritage continues to be squandered away and plundered with impunity by none other than its own citizens, who are definitely more interested in making money than in preserving "old buildings and monuments", which could otherwise be major tourist attractions and a source of distinct pride for the city.

In this ever-expanding city of Punjab, the number of social service organisations engaged in welfare and charity work also keep on increasing. Name any public cause, from pensions for widows to tree plantation to free books for destitute children, and you have an organisation that is fighting for it. Hardly is there a sphere of life that has escaped the attention of these service groups. So much so that we have more than one social service group working for the same cause.

But an organisation or a group that is conspicuous by its absence is an active one of either of these that could fight for the preservation of the city's historical buildings and monuments.

So, it is not surprising that in the absence of such an organisation as well as administrative efforts and an overwhelming presence of material greed all over the city, the vast wealth of the city's heritage is gradually vanishing under the impact of materialistic modernity.

The majestic residence of Shah Shuza that stood in the premises of the General Post Office for all these years was razed to the ground a few years ago. The fort near Daresi, known as the Lodhi Fort, has been in a state of decay for years now.

Even historic places of religious worship have not been spared. The grand memorial or chilla of Hazrat Mianmir Muhi-ul-din Zilani, to the east of Lodhi Fort and on the other side of Daresi ground,is one such monument.

It must have been a great building at the time of its erection ages ago. But now it lies obliterated from public view, hidden behind the cluster of shops that have sprung up around it over the past thirty years or so.

The exact dates of its construction are not known.People living in its vicinity remember that there used to be a caretaker until about 25 years ago when the shops started coming up on the periphery; but he left, allegedly after receiving some money to abandon the place.

One thing about the chilla, the people believe, is that it possesses special divine powers, which explains the existence of the monument inside the complex. Nobody has dared to touch it so far, in spite of the greed that has been displayed in taking possession of whatever land was available around it.

The chilla, built with the help of Nanak Shahi bricks, must have come up simultaneously with the fort. Both the chilla and the Lodhi Fort are inter-connected through a tunnel. An elderly man who runs a shop in the neighbourhood remembers travelling through the tunnel as a child with other boys of his age.

Part of the monument has been converted into shops and part into residential quarters. Only the main sanctum sanctorum remains, in which oil lamps are placed at the head of a rectangular platform covered with a green, cloth sheet. On all sides it is surrounded by shops and houses. There is a narrow path on the southern side that leads to the surviving place. A wooden door on the western side remains locked. People from all walks of life visit the place every Thursday to light lamps and offer prayers. They are not interested in the history of the place; for them it is an old 'abode of the pirs'.

The huge ancient walls around the monument have started crumbling. The bricks are falling out. It is only a matter of time before they collapse totally to make way for the land sharks living around the place.

If and when it happens, it would be a classic case of living history getting hacked to death by the cruel axe of materialism.

Over to the Deputy Commissioner and the citizens of Ludhiana.


New varieties of tomato, chilli okeyed
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — The state Variety Approval Committee in its meeting held here under the chairmanship of Dr Kuldip Singh Sandhu, Director Horticulture, Punjab, approved two tomato varieties: Punjab Upma and Castle Rock and one chilli hybrid, CH-3 evolved by the scientists of the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

Dr M.S. Bajwa, Director of Research, revealed that the new chilli hybrid is suitable for sowing at the end of October and transplanting in the mid of February. It has dark green foliage and pendant fruits. The immature fruit is dark green, which turn dark red on maturity. It is resistent to a number of diseases. In the trials conducted at farmers’ fields, it was found that they preferred CH-3 over the old variety, CH-1, due to early and good fruit size, better colour and higher yield. It has an average yield of 240 quintal per hectare.

Dr Bajwa further said that the new tomato variety, Punjab Upma, is a sturdy plant, with dense foliage cover and broad leaflets. The fruit is oval, medium, firm and deep red. It takes 181 days to ripen if sown during the last week of October. This variety is preferred by farmers due to firm fruits, excellent plant retention, attractive fruit colour and shape. It has an average yield of 550 quintal per hectare under normal conditions.

A new tomato variety, Castle Rock, has also determinate plants and dark green foliage. Its fruit is oval, large, firm and deep red. It takes 165 days to harvest, when sown in the last week of October. It is also comparatively less damaged by early and late blight. It has an average yield of 537 quintal per hectare.


Pensioners flay govt
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — In a meeting held at Arya Senior Secondary School yesterday, the pensioners of Punjab aided schools flayed the government over the non-implementation of the Fourth Pay Commission report. The meeting was attended by Mr K.K. Tandon, president of Pensioners’ Cell, and Mr Manohar Lal Chopra, General Secretary of the cell, and 40 members from all over the state. It was decided that a convention be held on November 5 at Jalandhar.

The pensioners were sore over the fact that though the notification was issued on March 31 last year to revise the grades of pension, they were still getting pension as per the old grades. Some pensioners, who at that time were in-service, got their salary according to fresh scales. But when they retired after six months, they were given pension as per old grades. These pensioners plan to file a petition in the High Court.

Pensioners also decided that they would reiterate their demand for getting pension through banks for their convenience. The members also planned to have the next meeting on September 10.


Saving schemes popular in city
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — With the recession-hit industry not attracting investment from the masses and people losing interest in saving through jewellery, a number of small saving schemes run by the Ministry of Finance are increasingly becoming popular these days.

The success of the saving schemes have special significance for this city as it continues to be at the top of revenue collection figures from the schemes for the past 20 years. This, despite the fact that the collection in the district was severely hit by the closing of the Indira Vikas Patra scheme last year.

So popular have these schemes that more and more people are even reinvesting the money withdrawn after maturity of the scheme back into the same or other one. Due to this factor, not only the authorities were successful in meeting the targets but have actually increased the revenue collection. From Rs 256 crore two years back the collection has shot up to Rs 408 crore last year. Even up to July 31 this year the savings almost touched Rs 193 crore, while in the corresponding period of the last year the collections were less than Rs 170 crore.

Explaining the growing trend, Mr A.K. Sharma, Senior Small Savings Officer, here recently revealed that the schemes were becoming popular as they were hassle free. The member does not need to have a PAN number, his photo is not required and there is no tax deduction at the source. Further, there is 100 per cent deduction in income tax and above all there is no risk of losing money.

According to him the people have fear of investing money in the industrial sector due to the continuing recession in the industrial sector. He said earlier people used to buy gold with excess money as security for a rainy day but now the price of gold keeps fluctuating and it is risky to invest in jewellery. Further, even if there is an increase in the prices of gold, it was in no way comparable to the interest accrued in small savings scheme.


PSEB assailed for hike in tariff
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — Mr P.D. Sharma, president, Punjab Chamber of Commerce and Industry, today accused the Punjab State Electricity Board of shifting the burden of its “inefficient functioning” and free electricity to the agricultural sector to industrial and commercial consumers.

In a press note, Mr Sharma alleged that the board had also raised the minimum charges immediately after raising the tariff. The charges had been raised from Rs 96 per kw to Rs 200 per kw for MS connections and from Rs 120 to Rs 200 for LS connections, he said.

He claimed that the tariff for minimum charges was based on connected load and most of the industries did not use the entire load. He demanded that the minimum charges should be worked out on the basis of contract demand and the rates should be reduced. The contract demand is about 50 per cent to 60 per cent less than the connected load.

According to Mr Sharma, the increased charges will not only increase power theft but will also damage the board’s equipment. He claimed that power theft was encouraged by the board’s employees. In connivance with the board’s establishment, the wrongdoers will get their load reduced, putting more load on the equipment than the documented load.

While thanking the chairman of the board for ending unannounced power-cuts, he urged him to demand from the government due compensation for the free electricity supplied to the agriculture sector. He claimed that the Punjab Government had not paid Rs 200 crore as compensation for this free electricity.


SDM orders action against teachers
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Aug 28 — The local SDM, Mr Sukhvinder Singh Gill, has recommended action against some teachers of Government Middle School, Model Town, Khanna, for being absent from the school.

According to information, the SDM referred the case to the District Education Officer to initiate departmental action against erring teachers.

Following the complaints of residents, the SDM deputed the acting Block Development and Panchayat Officer to inspect the school. It was reported by him that on the day of inspection, of the seven teachers, only three teachers were present and one was on leave for the past few days and her application was in order.

While casual leave was being entered against the name of one teacher, Gurmail Singh, but no application was received in the school. Mohinder Singh had recorded that he was going to Government Girls School, Khanna, while Joginder Pal, a Hindi teacher, was stated to be on half pay leave. The application stated that he had some personal work. It also carried the noting by Mohinder Singh that the application was forwarded to Government Girls School, Khanna, for sanction but it was lying in the school.

However, the residents had a different story to tell. They alleged that he was indulging in various trade union activities during school time. As per the rules sanction is required before availing such leave. It may be recalled that in another inquiry against the same teacher conducted on the directive of the Education Minister, he had been found guilty and action against him had been recommended.

Mr Mulakh Raj Mashal, senior vice-president, Bazigar Cell, SAD, has demanded action against the teachers.


ICAR official visits farms
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — Dr P Das, Deputy Director-General (Agricultural Extension), ICAR, New Delhi, visited the farms of Jagjiwan Ram Purskar winner, Mr Darshan Singh Tabiba, at Hayatpura village and the farm of Dr Daler Singh of Laddowal village in Ludhiana district.

At the farm of Mr Tabiba, Dr Das was impressed by the innovative ideas developed by him. He appreciated the soil scrapper, pig feeder and floating fish feeder. He said the programme of feeding sugarcane press mud to pigs, fish and dairy animals adopted by Mr Tabiba should be extended.

At the farm of Dr Daler Singh, an agricultural graduate, Dr Das saw excellent crop of paddy transplanted of ridges and without any puddlings. He hoped that this practice could result in improvement of soil structure and saving irrigation water. He said research trials might be conducted on this practice to evaluate its applicability and usefulness on a large scale.


5 of family die in accident
From Our Correspondent

CHAHLO (LUDHIANA), Aug 28 — Five members of a Dalit Sikligar family were killed and eight were injured when a speeding car, allegedly being driven by a drunk driver, pulled off the road and ran into them.

According to the information available, the driver of a car with registration number PB-12D-1134 was coming from the Chandigarh side and was trying to overtake a bus. However, another vehicle came from the opposite side and to avoid ramming into the other vehicle, the driver of the car pulled off the road and then ran into the victims.

The car after moving down the victims banged into a wall some 200 yards away. Tika Singh, one of the accident victims informed The Tribune that the driver of the car was in an inebriated condition and immediately after the accident, he ran away. “ Some people who witnessed the accident rushed to the aid of the victims, and this gave ample time to the culprit to make good his escape,”he said.

He lamented that since there was no electricity in the village, all of them decided to have an afternoon nap in the shade of the tree.” But we did not know that for a large number of our family members, this would be the final sleep, “he wailed.

Among those who died in the accident were Meeto, her two children, Rimpi and Kashi, and the two daughters of her brother-in-law,— Anu and Radha.


Mystery shrouds disappearance
Tribune News Service.

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — Mystery shrouds the disappearance of a woman from Ishwar Singh Colony here yesterday after a minor altercation with her husband. The clothes of the woman were found near the canal, near the Mirado police post, this morning.

According to information, Preet Kaur and her husband, Jhujhaar Singh, were staying on the first floor of their house and the ground floor was occupied by Jhujhaar's sister. It is learnt that the couple had a minor altercation because of the latter's sister yesterday and in a fit of rage both husband and wife threatened to leave the house.

It is learnt that while Jhujhaar Singh had left home for the railway station and was found from there by the local police, the whereabouts of Preet Kaur could not be known. Meanwhile, the parents of the woman are alleging that their daughter was being mentally harassed by her husband and his sister.

Two booked: The Sarabha Nagar police has booked two persons on the charge of a theft attempt in Sunet on August 20. The complainant, Nipolian, has alleged that the accused, Buta Singh and Tara Singh, tried to steal the gold earrings of his wife while they were sleeping in their house.

A case under Sections 457, 354 and 34 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.

Illicit liquor seized: Seven bottles of illicit liquor have been seized from Sunil Kumar Arora by ASI Amrik Singh from Guru Gian Vihar, Model Town, during a checking by the police. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act has been registered against accused.


7 MC employees booked for graft
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — The Vigilance Bureau has booked seven employees of the Municipal Corporation posted at an octroi post on the graft charges.

According to information given by the Inspector, Vigilance, Mr Balraj Singh, a team of the bureau led by the DSP, Mr Sarup Singh Chauhan, and the DSP, Mr Sarup Singh Mann, conducted a raid at an octroi post on August 26.

The raiding party found that though the team of MC officials were present on the duty and but issued receipts of octroi for only Rs 3,25,689, whereas Rs 3,56,673 was recovered. The team of MC officials present were Inspector Prem Singh Behal, Gopal Singh, Shiv Kumar, Sukhminder Singh, Harnek Singh and Harcharan Singh.


Purse snatcher held
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — In an exercise in public confidence building, the police today publicly returned the cash and valuables stolen by a notorious purse snatcher to the owners, after the accused was nabbed by the focal point police here yesterday.

The police-public interface organised at the office of the DSP Industrial Area, Mr Gurjit Singh Romana, and presided over by the Superintendent of Police (City II) Mr Pramod Ban, saw many a happy faces upon getting back their stolen belongings. As many as eight persons whose valuables had been stolen by the accused, Arun Kumar alias Sonu, got their cash and kind back.

The stolen cash, approximately between to Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000 had been recovered from the accused. However, the police is still investigating the case and the jewellery that was stolen by the accused is yet to be recovered, informed DSP Romana. Among those who were returned their belongings back were Laveena Bhatti, Asha Rani, Jaswinder Kaur, Balwinder Kaur and Rupinder Kaur.

It is learnt that the accused owns an embroidery shop in the Hargobindnagar locality and had been involved in over 15 incidents of purse snatching in the past two months in the localities of Urban Estate, Jamalpur, Hari Nagar and Moti Nagar. He used to travel on a scooter and would guise himself by wearing a helmet with tinted glass. “After identifying his victim, the accused would rush towards her (his victims were generally women) and after snatching the purse would rush off on his scooter,” informed Inspector Paramjit Singh, SHO.

Arun Kumar was nabbed by the police while he was attempting to conduct another theft near the Jamalpur T point. He has been booked under Sections 382 and 411 of the IPC.Back


7-year-old thwarts kidnap bid
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — The alertness of a seven-year-old girl helped in thwarting an attempt to kidnap her from outside her house in HL Colony yesterday afternoon.

According to the information available, Manvi Sharma was standing outside her house in the Focal Point area around 12.45 pm when a van stopped near her. It is alleged that there were two women and one man in the vehicle and one of the women asked Manvi to come and accept a handkerchief that they were distributing to young girls.

It is learnt that first Manvi moved towards the car, but a labourer working nearby shouted at Manvi warning her not to go towards the car. The child withdrew herself and started running away from the car. Sensing trouble, the occupants of the van sped away.


Decision on FDI cap hailed
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 28 — The Ludhiana Machine Tool Makers Association today hailed the decision of the government to retain FDI cap for small- scale industries at 24 per cent.

The association President, Mr Sukhdial Singh, in a press note appreciated the government decision to retain export obligation for large-scale units producing items reserved for SSI at 50 per cent. He hoped that the central and state governments would do everything possible to save SSI units from the onslaught of multi-national companies in the post-WTO environment. The SSI sector was the only sector that was job-oriented and productivity-linked. It was the backbone of the Indian industry, he added. He hoped that the government would keep in mind the interests of the SSI while planning industrial policies.

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