Wednesday, September 27, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Millers to get incentive on levy rice
Meeting to decide on slabs soon
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 26 — The rice millers will be paid an incentive of Rs 30 per quintal on supply of levy rice, in excess of the fixed quota of 25 per cent and the government would soon convene a high-level meeting at Chandigarh to work out different slabs for incentive to encourage the milling operations.

This was announced by the Punjab Food and Supplies Minister, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, at a meeting with rice millers at Grain Market, Khanna, about 40 km from here, last evening. Responding to the announcement by the minister, the rice millers, arhtiyas and traders, present in the meeting assured that purchase of paddy, since suspended for want of clear cut policy on levy rice, would be resumed forthwith and the produce lying in the market would be cleared in the next couple of days.

Earlier, putting forth the view point of the millers, Mr Nirmal Sofat and Mr Vinod Ghai said that the delay in the announcement of policy on levy rice had forced the millers to stop purchase. Mr Mittal claimed that the state government had always been sympathetic towards the millers and had been pursuing their cause with a view to ensure procurement of the entire produce of the farmers. This was the first time that the Centre had announced a substantial incentive on levy rice to promote the purchase of paddy by the millers.

The minister also held separate meetings of the representatives of arhtiyas and the farmers to sort out their problems. The arhtiyas operating at Khanna brought to the notice of Mr Mittal that about Rs 2 crore on account of purchase of wheat were still unpaid by the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation and the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation and the money was needed badly to effect purchase of paddy. They further wanted the different procurement agencies to be directed that paddy, meeting the specifications fixed by the government, should be purchased without any delay.

Talking to farmers, Mr Mittal asked them to approach the members of the Disputes Settlement Committee, headed by the SDM, Khanna, in case the purchase of paddy, fulfilling the specifications, was delayed or denied. He also advised the farmers not to bring produce with higher moisture content to the market.

The minister called upon the millers, arhtiyas and officers of the procurement agencies to work in close coordination and understand the problems and limitations of the farmers. They were told in no uncertain terms to ensure maximum possible price of paddy to the farmers in view of the fact that ‘patriotic farmers of Punjab were facing a lot of hardships in producing the crops.’

Among others present in the meeting were Mr Parveen Vij, District Food and Supplies Controller, Mr Sukhminder Singh Gill, SDM, Khanna, Mr Sikander Singh, Chairman, Mandi Board, Mr Sadhu Ram Nanda and Mr Ranbir Sood.


Oberoi accuses Gujral of financial misdeeds
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 26 — The controversy surrounding the UT Home Secretary, Mr R.S. Gujral’s marriage to a local girl and the subsequent registration of an FIR on charges of polyandry, fraud and criminal conspiracy on part of his bride, Manpreet Oberoi, father- in-law S.S. Oberoi and her ‘former husband’ Vishal Aggarwal got murkier with one of the accused S S Oberoi accusing the Home Secretary of large-scale financial bungling.

Talking to TNS here today, Mr Oberoi alleged that Mr Gujral had approached his elder daughter (Manpreet’s sister) Ms Harpreet, a resident of New York, USA and a large scale importer of rayon pashmina shawls for helping him earn foreign exchange for his black money along with his friend, Kuljit Singh Sehgal. He also showed photo copies of the fax that he had received on August 8 from his elder daughter in his and Gujral’s name, wherein she had placed an order of 875 pieces worth Rs. 5 lakh for Gujral alone. The shawls had to be sent from here and the payments to Mr. Gujral had to be made in US dollars.

Mr Oberoi alleged that even before the couple had taken the marital vows, the Home Secretary had coerced Manpreet to talk to her elder sister and arrange for him (Gujral) to get his black money converted into US dollars. “During their 15-day courtship before wedding, Gujral would tell her that after he had earned the foreign exchange, he would construct the farm house on his three acre plot near Nadha Sahib and that they would live there,” he said.

“However, Mr Gujral felt that Manpreet’s sister was not very keen on helping him out-although this was not the case. I think Gujral felt that the process suggested for getting foreign exchange by Harpreet was not going to help him out soon. Or maybe, the disagreement between the couple could be a result of the fact that my daughter had caught Gujral with another woman. Although Manpreet has not told us anything but we have now been told of Gujral’s reputation as a debauch,” he alleged.

The distressed father of the UT Home Secretary’s bride said that ever since the controversy had broken out, his daughter was under a deep depression and was taking anti-depressants. He said his daughter had suicidal tendencies and had also undergone treatment for this from a local psychiatrist. “The doctors there have advised her rest. She will definitely come back to India soon in order to salvage her own as well as the family’s reputation that has so callously been spoilt by Mr. Gujral.”

He maintained that Manpreet had been very honest with Mr. Gujral before their marriage and had told him about her friendship with Vishal. He said Manpreet and Vishal were only casual friends as were the Delhi-based two businessmen and the son of a local college principal — who were now been accused of having illicit relations with Manpreet.

He said all letters and the photos that the police claimed to have in its possession had been taken away from his house by Mr. Gujral himself when the police had come to arrest him.” The police just watched and my entire house was ransacked by Mr Gujral and Mr Sehgal. Other than this a few other documents are also missing from my house,” he said. He said he was planning to get an FIR registered on charges of theft against Mr Gujral.


Shaan, Saagarika enthral audience
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 26 — The entry of Rado watch company in the local market here was celebrated last night with the famous brother- sister duo of Shaan and Saagarika swaying the select gathering to their tunes.

The pop stars enthralled the audience with their scintillating live performance set to the tunes of a local DJ Bhanu Loud, foot- tapping music and the song and dance sequence of the troupe almost had the 150 member gathering on their feet.

The show began with a small preview on the history of Rado watches and the popularity of the various brands of the watches- Rado, Swatch, Longines and Omega worldwide. This followed by a dance performance by the four-member troupe of the pop singers on the famous number Larger Than Life.

The evening was lit to life by Saagarika who rendered an emotional ode to her mother in form of her popular song, Maa followed by Disco Deewane. But the real show stealer turned out to be Shaan, who captivated the audience with beautiful redention of a few of his most famous songs Musu musu haasi, Roop tera mastana, Woh pehli baar jab hum mile and Tanha dil. Together, the siblings also sang their first major hit number Fifty Fifty.

In fact, the most captivating moment for the audience turned out to be when the brand ambassadress of Rado, Lisa Ray, recently chosen as the ‘Face of the Millennium’, got up on the stage and began swinging to the songs.

Later, the president of the company, Mr Ronald Streule and Lisa Ray spoke about the excellent quality and customer care for the watches and also announced the prize winners from amongst the owners of the Rado watch owners. Ms Goel from Chandigarh and Mr Rajpal Gupta of Ludhiana were presented a Rado watch each to the prize winners.

The show lasted till well past midnight and among others present on the occasion were Mr Rikhi Thakral, distributor of Rado watches in India, Mr R. Thakre, Regional Manager, South East Asia, Mr Ashok Jain and Mr Chander Kant Jain.


Probe begins into teleprinter scam
By Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 26 — The vigilance wing of the local division telecom circle has started an inquiry into allegations of a teleprinter spare parts scandal levelled against a senior official by an employee of the department.

Mr Tarsem Lal Kalia, a telecom employee, had in letters send to Communication Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, the Chief General Manager Telecom, Punjab and the General Manager, local telephone circle, had alleged that a senior official of the regional repair and overhauling centre had defrauded the department by selling spare and copper parts of several teleprinter machines.

According to the allegations, the repair centre had closed down in 1992 as electronic machines replaced old ones. However, the machines remained here. The complainant alleged that soon an official of the department began stealing spare parts of the abandoned machines and started them selling them in the market. A fraud to the tune of Rs 1.75 lakh had been alleged by the complainant.

Substantiating his allegations, the complainant had also stated that no auction of any goods of the department had taken place after 1987. Under such circumstances all ‘condemned’ and ‘abandoned’ equipment along with parts should be in the store houses of the department.

The letters claimed that the complainant had more proof about the fraud. It was also alleged that the complaint was not taken seriously by local officials due to which he had to report to senior officials and the minister.

The letters to the minister hailed his recent speech in the city where he had announced dealing with corruption with an iron hand. The complainant said he had exposed the fraud but certain officials who were allegedly hand in glove with the accused official were obstructing the inquiry. The complainant had appealed to the minister to intervene in the matter.

Vigilance officer G. S. Dhillon only confirmed the initiation of the inquiry and declined to comment on the proceedings. Sources in the department said there was delay in initiation of the inquiry as veracity of the complaint was doubted. It was also alleged that the complainant had a habit of making such complaints.

The complainant, Mr Kalia, refutes these counter allegations. He said he wanted to expose corruption but had not succeeded so far due to the alleged ‘friendship’ between the corrupt employees of the department.

The complainant also alleged that due to the delay in the inquiry the accused official has managed to complete the shortage in the store. He said the official tried to strengthen the case by buying similar material from the market and fitting in the machines.

However, he said if the quality, colour and make of all spare parts in the machine was matched the truth would come out. The complainant had requested for being allowed to join the investigation so that he could prove his allegations right.

Interestingly, the letters also sought the senior telecom officials' and the minister's attention to other bunglings taking place in the department. He had cited instances of fraud in TA bills against certain officials.


Release gas connection without chullah: forum
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 26 — In a significant judgement that may end woes of consumers regarding the forcible selling of chullahs ( gas burners) by the gas agencies, the District Consumer Redressal Forum today directed a local LPG company to give connection to a consumer without the chullah along with compensation of Rs 5000.

Forum President Hardial Singh and member Tilak Raj Arora, while directing the M/s Pannu Gas Service here to release the connection, also observed that it was common that the dealers of gas companies insisted that the hot plate should also be purchased along with the gas connection. The forum observed that the said practice had to be stopped.

According to a copy of the orders received here today, Mr Gurdev Singh, a resident of Aman Nagar along with the Citizens Welfare Society, Upkar Nagar, here had complained to the forum that his application for a gas connection submitted in July 1999 matured in February this year.

However, when the gas company was contacted to release the connection, he was told to buy a gas burner from the company as a pre-condition for the release of the connection. He was also asked to deposit Rs 4,000 instead of Rs 1,910.

The complainants contended that as per the rules it was not mandatory for the consumer to buy the chullah. Alleging deficiency of service, they demanded immediate release of the gas connection along with Rs 10,000 as compensation for harassment and litigation expenses.

Delivering the orders the forum said that the act of the company was unjustified as it could not force the consumer to buy the hot plate at the time of the connection. Holding the complaint justified the forum ordered the company to release the connection forthwith after accepting the valid charges payable by the complainant without insisting for the purchase of the hot plate. 


Unlocking the power of mind
By Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Sept 26 — One can develop the power of mind by doing yogic ‘kriyas’ and meditation. It is the power of the mind that can save us from all mental tensions and physical diseases like hypertension, diabetes and heart ailments. The yogis of the past had such control over their minds that they could sleep on a bed of nails, and not feel any pain, or go into samadhi for days.

Rupika Sodhi, a brilliant student in her college days and now a housewife, says, “I was almost going round the bend after my marriage. My in-laws had turned my husband against me. I was not allowed to meet my parents. None of my friends and relatives were allowed to meet me. Then I read a book, “You Can Win” by Shiv Khera. I also listened to some tapes of Rajneesh. Slowly my attitude changed. I decided not to take things lying down. My bubbly nature resurfaced. I began to reason with my husband and in-laws. It was difficult to be calm in in the face of provocative remarks of my in-laws. But my husband, who had always loved me, realised the truth of my arguments. He tried to change his parents’ attitude towards me, but in vain. So, we separated from his parents, and are now living happily. Our cup of happiness was full when we were blessed with a son and my in-laws came to live with us”

Mr R.K. Mishra, an industrialist whose business was sliding, has this to say, “My wife made me realise that I was very critical of every thing. I criticised food, servants, neighbours, politics in the country, teachers and my children. I found only negative things around, for I had convinced myself that people were cheats. I changed from a pleasant-looking person to a sulking looking individual. My wife clicked my photograph with a big scowl on my face. I was shocked to see it, and asked my wife to help me. We talked things over and I decided that I needed to change my outlook and thoughts. I had become bitter after suffering losses in my business. When my thinking changed, I found people to be honest and helpful. I regained my zest for life. It was the power of my mind that had helped me overcome all my prejudices and fears and I started to succeed in my business again.”

Parents and teachers have to teach the children to think positively. They have to help them develop values of honesty and compassion. 

They have to teach them self-confidence.

Aman Sood, a teenager, says, “I was to appear in a competitive examination last year. I was not perturbed, or nervous. I thought positively and visualised success. I got admission to the medical college of my choice. I know I am going to do well in life too irrespective of circumstances.”

Lt Col R.M. Kapur says,” I had just been made a Lt Col when I decided to quit the Army and run a plant nursery, I had been thinking of taking this step for some time, but I wasn’t able to make up my mind. Once I made up my mind, there was no looking back. I have this habit of communicating with my mind whenever I am in turmoil. After gaining an insight into my mind, I always feel that formidable and unsurmountable problems can be overcome.”

Sunaina Jodhaka, a medical student, believes strongly in the powers of the mind. She says, “It is all in the mind. If you unleash its potential, you can realise all your dreams........ I tried to get admission to a medical college, but I did not succeed in the first attempt. I was disappointed, but then I thought of Helen Keller, and Bach who achieved so much despite being handicapped. So I thought that I could certainly get admission to a medical college if I worked hard and ultimately I succeeded.”

Dr G.K. Nakra, a physician, says, “My wife had a stroke of paralysis. I felt devastated. Then my mind came to my rescue and helped me take decisions which eventually aided me in coming to terms with this problem. I now have the courage to face this problem and tackle the complications that arise from it. I thank God for giving me good health and a balanced mind.”

A mediocre student till X standard, Amit Anand improved his grades when he reached the XII standard. When asked about the secret of his success, he said, “I always knew I had the potential, but I was too lazy to work. Then a teacher and my parents motivated me. I decided to give myself a chance. I have not looked back since then. Now as an industrialist, I find the challenges of business very exciting.”

Mr C.M. Kumar, a chemistry teacher in a convent school, has this to say, “If one is determined to achieve something, one acts accordingly. I started as a teacher, but I wanted to give a comfortable life to my children. I made up my mind to make a success of my life and with God’s grace and my hard work, I have been able to give security to my family.”

Sughanda was a student of science till XII standard, but she was not happy studying science. So she switched over to psychology for her B.A. Her brother also left science and joined NIFT, Mumbai. “Being in different banks, my parents never had a chance to stay together for long periods. So we were trained to think for ourselves and solve our problems. We were encouraged to take our own decisions. I am glad that I switched over to psychology as I am at peace with myself and I have time for quizzing and writing. I firmly believe in the power of the mind”, says she.

“So unleash the power of your mind. Be an optimist. Turn your dreams into reality by positive thoughts. People do let us down at times. But remember when one door closes, another opens and never forget that every cloud has a silver lining,” says Prof Kathpalia who teaches Philosophy in Delhi University.


Insurance firm told to pay relief
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 26 — The District Consumer Redressal Forum today directed New India Assurance Company to pay Rs 62,445 as payment of an insurance policy to Arora Samrat Woolen Mills, Hargobind Nagar.

Mr Inder Nath, a partner in the mill, had complained to the forum that there was a fire in the factory in an evening in December 1998. Acrylic waste weighing 9535 kg, worth Rs 4.34 lakh, was burnt. A claim was lodged with the insurance company and all required documents were submitted.

Though more than a year had passed and a surveyor of the insurance company had assessed the loss, compensation was not paid. The insurance company contended that the claim of the complainant was repudiated as per the terms of the policy.

After hearing both sides, the forum found the argument of the insurance company did not hold much ground. It directed the company to pay Rs 62,445, along with 12 per cent interest per annum, with effect from November 1999 to the consumer.


Husband kills wife’s paramour
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 26— A husband, along with two of his friends is alleged to have stabbed his wife’s paramour to death.

According to information available, the police recovered an unidentified body with multiple stab wounds near Sector 32 in the Focal Point area this morning.

Later the body was identified as that of Tarlok, alias Sonu, an autorickshaw driver and a resident of the same locality.

The police found that the deceased had illicit relations with the second wife of his friend, Tona. It was then that the relations between the two friends began to deteriorate.

The accused, Tona, along with the other accused, Mona and Khabri hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Tarlok. As part of this, the accused called Tarlok last night and stabbed him to death.


THE TV show Kaun Banega Crorepati has caught the fancy of Ludhianvis like the rest of the nation. Critics have been trying to analyse the show to explain its success. Many of them feel that one of the reasons is that every participant gets a chance to rub shoulders with Amitabh Bachchan.

Everybody seems to be watching the show. The participation, prize and drama of the show have ensured that this show is among the top-rated shows. Analysts say people actually tune in to the show not just to see the prize being won, but also to see the real millionaire who resides in their hearts.

Due to the success of this show, there has been brisk sale of new books about the show, a new variety of jokes, and new lingo with computerjee, confident and lock kar diya jaye. Few know what kind of marketing blitz was mounted to make the show a success. Motorcades passed through busy streets and hot spots of a few cities, carrying placards of the show. On July 2, money-making machines were setup at Lucknow, Kanpur, Bhopal, Ahemdabad and Delhi. The public could play simple games with the machines and win prizes. This was done to lure the passing crowd to win prizes and to know about the show.

A designer Kaun Banega Crorepati transparent mobile van, with cutouts of Amitabh Bachchan, passed through the cities. On July 3, buses were given the Kaun Banega Crorepati branding. Messages were sent to people of metros on their pagers and their mobile phones, reminding them about the show.

Traffic blues

If you happen to pass through the Civil Lines at 1 p.m., you are bound to be caught in a traffic mess as a college for girls is closed. This continues in spite of a truckload of traffic police posted outside the college. The canter of traffic police is parked opposite the college, further impeding the flow of traffic.

Girls are seen going helter skelter in all directions towards their two-wheelers, parked in rows of fours. There are a lot of cars and scooters of the parents, and guardians parked outside the college. A number of ‘roadside Romeos’ are waiting outside to have a look at the girls.

Adjoining the college lies a heap of rubbish, which occupies half of the road, causing hindrance to the smooth flow of traffic. Rickshaw-pullers and three-wheelers also arrive to pick up their passengers.

The traffic police has helped in easing the traffic movement to a certain extent. The boys have been kept at bay, but much needs to be done.

Sweetmeat sales

With the festival season round the corner, the production and sale of traditional Indian sweetmeat has begun to rise. Visit any mithai shop in the city and you will find men, women and children crowding around the counters, either buying the delicacies or gaping at these.

The sweetmeat sellers are making a special effort to improve the quality and presentation of their products. They take care to ensure that the mithai is displayed in an attractive manner at their shops and is fresh.

Jalebis remain a favourite with buyers. Hot jalebis are generally fried in front of the customer and then dipped in the sugary solution. There is an old Punjabi saying that a simple and rustic jatt from the village, whenever presented with a choice from amongst a variety of sweetmeats, will always go for the jalebis.

— Sentinel


30,000 bags of paddy procured
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Sept 26 — Although the FCI is yet to start paddy purchase, various government agencies on Tuesday purchased 30,000 bags of paddy in the local mandi.

After a slow pace of procurement, the government agencies stepped up with bulk purchases. Due to the overnight rains the procurement started late on Tuesday. However, it picked up fast during the day as officials did not raise much objections about the moisture. Meanwhile, no purchase was made by private millers and commission agents as they are on strike.


Ram Lila panel
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 26 — The launch of a parallel Ram Lila Dashehra Committee was announced at a press conference by the splinter group of the Ram Lila Committee, Daresi Grounds, here today. Mr Sanjeev Bhandari, joint secretary, Ram Lila Committee, announced that Mr Mewa Singh Chauhan had been nominated as the president of the new body. He will constitute the committee shortly, he said. 


Maid arrested in theft case
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 26 — The police has solved a theft case with the arrest of a woman and recovered a large part of the booty.

Gold ornaments weighing around 41 gms. and cash amounting to Rs 1000 was allegedly stolen from the Sunder Nagar house of Raman Jethi three days ago. Other household articles were also stolen and the value of the stolen goods was estimated at Rs 25,000.

It is learnt that the complaints had kept a new maid, Meena Kumari in their house around 10 days ago.

The owners were suspecting her hand in the theft. The police raided the house of the maid and most of the stolen goods were recovered. A case under section 381 of the IPC has been registered.

Illicit liquor seized
Around 40 bottles of illicit liquor were recovered from two persons in separate incidents in the past 24 hours.

Twenty bottles of illicit liquor were recovered from Gopi Nath in the Sarabha Nagar area and a similar number of bottles of illicit liquor were recovered from Reghasha.

In both the cases, the accused have been booked under various sections of the Excise Act.


Rado chief unveils future goals
By Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 26 — The opening up of the huge Indian market, that remained closed for over half a century, has resulted in flooding of the foreign consumer goods, the prices of which may seem incredible not only to the poor people but also to the so-called neo rich software millionaires. Can someone believe that now watches costing more than Rs 32 lakh are available in the Indian market! Mr Roland Streule, president of Rado Watch Co. Ltd., Switzerland, who claims to be the biggest watch maker in the world with a sales of more than five lakh watches per year, was in the city to launch their products in the region.

Talking to TNS here, Mr Streule said, Rado is an 80-year-old Swiss company which used the brand name of Rado for the first time in 1957. It had launched the world’s first scratchproof watch in 1962 named Rado DiaStar. He claimed that in the last decade the turnover of the company has increased threefold to $ 2.5 billion. Regarding the Indian market he said though 14 Swiss watch companies had entered the Indian market in the early nineties when economy was opened, most of them closed their counters due to one reason or other. Rado, however, entered only three years ago after a full-fledged survey of the market.

Interestingly, the company had not started any production unit in the country and even its marketing operations were being conducted by the Singapore-based Thakral group. The price range of products was exceptionally high varying between Rs 9,000 and Rs 32 lakh. The watches were made of diamonds, and now increasingly of ceramics. The core business of the company might be watch making, specialisation in micro mechanics and micro electronics but it also worked for cell phone, computer making and textile companies.

Born in 1945 in Switzerland, Roland Streule had been associated with the company since 1978. When asked about the future goals of the company, he was of the view ,“we want to be number one in each segment of the market. We are doing aggressive marketing and communicating with wider sections of the society. Our motto is to provide beautiful, stylish and quality watches with assured after sales service.”

The price of products, the style of the product campaigning, by throwing big bashes in the five star hotels, however, disclaimed his assertions. He felt quiet when asked about per unit profit earned by the company or the actual investment in the production and marketing campaign, and the annual gross profits generated from India. 

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