Monday, October 9, 2000,
 Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City investors taken for a ride
Oasis proves to be a mirage; civil works incomplete
By Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — It is a story of real estate investors and prospective businessmen being attracted by glossy brochures printed on imported ivory paper, promising the sky for those opting for shops on long lease in the prestigious Guru Nan Dev Bhavan Complex, adjoining the Mini Secretariat here and then being taken for a ride since the shopping arcade, named Oasis, had failed to take off even more than two years after its scheduled opening in February 1998.

Some of the buyers, who had paid the full lease amount of more than Rs 10 lakh for each shop are sore at the delay in the completion of the project and the administration's adamant and arbitrary decision to collect even the last installment of 25 per cent of the total cost long ago, which was in fact payable at the time of taking possession. Not only this, the buyers had been served with demand for monthly rental from April 2000 onwards, without being given possession of shops, which in any case are yet to have sanitary fittings and electrical works.

The entire project of Guru Nanak Dev Bhavan Complex was conceived by the Guru Nanak Bhavan Committee headed by then Deputy Commissioner Arun Goyal and quite a number of prominent businessmen and industrialists of the city as its members. The four-acre complex was to have an auditorium, a museum and art gallery, conference halls, a well stocked library in addition to a shopping arcade with 48 shops.

The catchy brochure of the complex prepared by the committee described the shopping arcade Oasis as "one of the most modern shopping arcades, the likes of which has never been seen before in this part of the country. A place where one could shop for international labels in the cool comforts of fully air-conditioned complex while listening to continuous piped music". It also said that the rich and famous of Ludhiana, presently frequenting the shopping malls of Mumbai, Delhi and Dubai could now look forward to a similar kind of experience here.

Amidst tall promises by the administration about the shopping complex, a number of buyers says that even from the very beginning they were not given a fair deal. The initial cost of each shop was Rs7.80 lakh but later 'super area' like open space, verandah and other facilities were added and the cost was jacked up to Rs 10.80 lakh. Then the buyers were to pay cost of the shops in four installments and were liable to pay penal interest on delay in payment of the due installment. On the other hand, those who had paid full lease money more than two years ago and were not handed over possession of the shops were not entitled to any compensation.

As happens to most of the government projects, the execution of the complex was delayed but a part of the bhavan, having the auditorium, library and art gallery was formally inaugurated by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in April last year to create an impression that the project was a part of the tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa. Another reason for undue haste shown by the administration in having the complex inaugurated by the Chief Minister was the expected transfer of the deputy commissioner at that time.

It is common knowledge that civil works like electrical installations, plumbing and air-conditioning of the shopping complex were yet to be taken up when the project was opened to public last year.

Some of those still waiting to get possession of the shops plead that the complex should have been opened only when it was complete in all respects. A few buyers to whom Ludhiana Tribune talked alleged that the administration was withholding payment of the contractor to the tune of Rs 2 crore, which was the reason for suspension of work and the resultant delay.

They feel that the shopping arcade was not on the priority list of the administration. Moreover, only the genuine buyers, who really wanted to set up some kind of business, are suffering most. "Others who had put in their money in the shops in the hope that the investment would appreciate are in no hurry since the real estate market is going through lean period and the prices of property are low at the moment", is the common feeling.

Another interesting thing is that the composition of the buyers is virtually who's who of the megapolis. A senior district officer, who did not want to be named, revealed that among the buyers were mostly those business tycoons or industrialists who either wanted to curry favour with the administration or those who could be pressurised through various government departments.

Deputy commissioner S. K.Sandhu, while admitting that the completion of the project had been delayed, refuted the charge that there had been any reluctance to give possession to the buyers on the part of the administration. He claimed that the civil work of the shopping arcade was complete, the central air-conditioning was in place and the remaining work of sanitary and electrical fittings would be completed within a month.

He denied that non-payment to the contractor had caused delay in completion of the project. "In any case, the civil work is all complete, so whether or not the contractor had been paid is immaterial."

On being asked that how the monthly rental could be charged on shops which were incomplete and not handed over to the buyer, he said this matter could be looked into and the administration was prepared to redress genuine complaints. 


SI Surjit Chand at it again
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — The controversial Sub- Inspector of the Punjab police Mr Surjit Chand once again hit the headlines for being booked on misappropriation charges.

The said police officer, who had been booked in several cases of custodial deaths, extortion, violence and illegal detention during his long innings in the force, was today booked by the Ludhiana police under Section 409 of the IPC, on the orders of the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ludhiana.

Even in July, the police officer was booked by the Ropar police on charges of picking up a police constable from outside a dhaba, obstructing him in the performance of his official duty, illegally detaining him and beating him up. The constable was so brutally beaten up that he had to be hospitalised. It is learnt that constable had asked for the dhaba to be closed, but this was owned by a close aide of the police officer. He had been infuriated at this and had thus taken out the vengeance on the constable. The police officer had been suspended after being booked in this case.

It is learnt that a Chandigarh-based lawyer, Hardeep Singh Dhindsa, had appealed to the SSP, Ludhiana, on September 12, 1998 and demanded that an FIR be registered against the SI for misusing a scooter that he had taken into his custody. The FIR registered at police station division No. 5 states that in the year 1994, the said police officer was the in charge of the Ghumar Mandi police post. During his tenure there, he had taken a scooter belonging to Jeet Singh, a resident of Barewal into his custody after a fight between Jeet Singh and another person, as case property.

However, the owner of the scooter, Jeet Singh got the supardaari of the scooter from the court on May 10, 1994, but the scooter was not returned to him. He has now charged the SI with misappropriation.


Paddy growers’ stir motivated: Mittal
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — The Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, has termed the agitation of paddy growers as ‘politically motivated’ and misplaced, while reiterating that the state government was committed to safeguarding the interests of the farmers. Speaking to mediapersons at Circuit House here late last evening, he said there was absolutely no problem as far as the procurement of paddy, and conforming to specifications laid down by the government was concerned. “Only where the produce contained moisture more than the permitted level or was of poor quality, the government purchase agencies showed reluctance.”

He, however, added that by responding to the request made by the Punjab Government, the Union Government had already sent a committee of experts to assess the quality of paddy, lying in the Punjab mandis and a final decision would be taken soon, on the basis of the report of the committee. Replying to a question, Mr Mittal scoffed at the observations made by Mr Bhure Lal, Chairman Food Corporation of India, during his recent tour of Punjab mandis. The FCI Chairman, he remarked, should not have made such a sweeping statement that almost 80 per cent of the paddy crop, brought to the market for sale, was of poor quality.

The minister admitted that traders had not shown much interest in the purchase of paddy in the open market so far, simply for the reason that unlike previous years, the gap between the market price of rice and the minimum support price (MSP), fixed by the government had widened. “Earlier, the difference between the MSP and the open market price used to be around Rs 20 to Rs 30, whereas now it had gone up to Rs 150. Obviously, the traders would not like to purchase a commodity, which did not brought profit to them.”

The state government, Mr Mittal informed to had already announced an incentive policy for the rice millers to encourage them to purchase more paddy and milling of extra rice, over and above the levy quantity. The Union Government had also announced concessions for the rice millers in the form of restoring the specifications, which were in force last year.

The minister claimed that the government was fully prepared to take care of the bumper crop pf paddy, which was expected to touch an astronomical figure of 120 lakh tonnes during this season. Out of a total purchase of about 28.64 lakh tonnes of paddy till evening of October 6 in Punjab mandis, the state agencies had procured 12,06,793 tonnes while the FCI had accounted for 5,97,683 tonnes. The millers and traders, between them, had purchased 10,60,347 tonnes of paddy. At present, the average purchase in the state was between 2.5 lakh and 3 lakh tonnes.

Maintaining that the farmers were being paid for their produce within 48 hours by the purchasing agencies, he said, necessary steps were being taken to move the accumulated stocks of foodgrain elsewhere to make room for the paddy. The Union Government might announce a scheme for the disposal of buffer stocks, which were bursting at the seams at present and the possibility of exports to food deficit countries was also being explored.

The food scenario, throughout the country, had undergone a sea change and with almost all the state becoming self sufficient in foodgrain, the demand for wheat and paddy had drastically receded, observed Mr Mittal. He said the government was fully aware that traditional wheat - rice rotation of crops was no longer viable and the farmers had to go for diversification. “The government had initiated steps in this direction, but it is going to take sometime before the farmers could be persuaded to change their crop patterns.”

Meanwhile, the Janata Dal (S) State President, Mr Harish Khanna, has held the SAD(B)-BJP Government in Punjab, headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal responsible for the ‘explosive agitation’ by paddy growers and has demanded its resignation.

Mr Khanna said in a statement here today that the state government, which claimed itself to be a champion of the cause of farmers, had no moral right to stay in power, if it could not protect the rights of peasantry. As a result of paddy not being purchased in the mandis, there was widespread unrest, threatening law and order situation.

He further charged the Union Government with bowing to the international pressure for increase in the prices of petroleum products. “The hike will break the backbone of the farmers, as well as the small-scale industrial sector.” According to Mr Khanna, the people of Punjab would have to bear an additional burden of Rs 500 crore on account of increase prices of diesel, petrol, kerosene oil and cooking gas and the farmers alone would have to shell out Rs 1000 to Rs 1500 extra per hectare.


Hawala operators active in city
By Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — Hawala trade is fast picking up in Ludhiana and its centres of operation are being extended to different cities across the country. Leading businessmen and industrial houses here are alleged to be involved in the racket.

According to well-placed sources in industry, traders and manufacturers have been using the services of hawala agents for transactions worth several lakhs of rupees. The total amount transacted through hawala is estimated to be several hundred crores of rupees.

A few dozen hawala agents in Ludhiana are operating as part of a countrywide network. The sources said these agents were working in association with traders and manufacturers and it was difficult to identify them. Local agents have their contacts in places like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Surat, Calcutta, Ahmedabad and the other cities in the country that are economically linked to Ludhiana.

The modus operandi of hawala operators has so far made them immune to detection. Trust holds the key to all such transactions. If a person has to pay Rs 10 lakh to someone in Mumbai, he will need to send it through a bank demand draft normally. However, a number of persons prefer not to make most of their transactions on record to evade taxes. The only alternative is to make the payment by cash, but that is not practical. In order to avoid bringing transactions on record, people take the services of hawala agents. Instead of sending a bank draft to Mumbai, payment is made to a local hawala agent after the eventual recipient in Mumbai approves it. The recipient confirms the receipt of amount through telephone.

Several traders who deal mostly in hosiery goods admitted that they were following this practice. They said, besides being convenient, the procedure also helped them evade taxes. A businessman said the hawala trade had been going on here for several years now. He said such transactions were possible only after several years of business deals that led to mutual trust between two parties.

A leading lawyer of the city said, although it was illegal to conceal business transactions, it was difficult to detect these. Even if these deals are detected, it is difficult to prove in the court of law that these were struck. This is because hawala transactions are possible with the consent of both parties and are kept confidential. Often, hawala transactions are carried out by owners of various business houses themselves.


Victory renews interest in cricket
By Kamal Kishore Shankar

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — India's heroic victory over world champion, Australia, yesterday in the ICC knock out tournament seems to have revived people's interest towards the royal game.

A survey by Ludhiana Tribune on Saturday revealed that the game which was recently maligned by the match-fixing allegations is on the path of recovering the lost popularity.

Gaurav Kumar, a B.Com. final year student, said as long as players facing match-fixing allegations were not included in the team, he would watch cricket keenly. The game would definitely gain popularity again after yesterday's match. He stressed, ‘‘The players involved in the match-fixing case should not be given any chance to play for the country again. A strict action should be taken against guilty players so that in future no one could dare to commit the same offense’’. He opined that two new players, Zaheer and Yuvraj, would be an asset to the Indian cricket team.

Mr Mangat Ram, a shopkeeper, said the popularity of the cricket had been affected much due to match-fixing episode in the past few months but yesterday’s match served as balm for the old wounds. He said, "earlier my customers used to talk less about the game but now people have again started discussing cricket". He opined that the popularity of the cricket would definitely increase in days to come.

He proposed that some able players who are currently involved in match- fixing allegations may be given another chance to prove their mettle as well as loyalty to the game and the country.

Mr Anup Sharma, owner of an advertising agency, was of the view that the cricket would soon make its place in the present sports scenario. He asserted that the players found guilty in match-fixing case, must be short-listed. He said that the new players, who are doing something for the game, should be given more encouragement.

Mr Balbir Chand Tiwari, a police officer, remarked, ‘‘If India wins this tournament the people will forget everything that happened in the past and the cricket will again become favourite among the masses.’’

Mr Sukhwinder Singh, a business man, however, said, ‘‘The Indian victory over the Australian team would make no difference, since people lost their faith in the game. Those found guilty should not be given another chance.’’

Mr Ravi Kumar, a salesman, was of the view that the performance of the Indian team in yesterday's match would definitely improve the image of our cricketers. He said that the good player who are involved in the match-fixing case should be given at least one more chance. He opined, "If India wins this tournament then people will forgive the cricketers and once again the game will be talk of the town."

Mr Sanjeev Aneja, an insurance agent, said that although India played very well against Australia, yet it would take time to regain its popularity. He asserted that the guilty players in the match-fixing case must be punished so that in future nobody could dare to commit such offense.


Telecom firm set to enter market
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — The competition between the government and the private telecommunication service provider in the city is all set to hot up as one of the leading company, HFCL Infotel, will enter the market by the end of this month.

While HFCL will launch a multimedia service under the brand name Connect, the Department of Telecommunication has also stepped up its scheme of providing the Internet service along with the wireless loop technology in the otherwise non-feasible areas of the city.

Market analysts are keeping an eye, especially on this city which has the highest population in the state and a good potential of a good market. While the war over the costs of services has still not begun, analysts expect luring the business community would be a main weapon.

Mr Vijay Kaul, Chief Marketing Officer, HFCL, told Ludhiana Tribune that the company had finalised its testing process and would enter the market this month.

He said with an investment of over Rs 1200 crore in Punjab, Connect aims to provide subscribers with a service that will provide a price competitive environment supported by a good infrastructure and customer care. This infrastructure will provide a boost to the software development and e-commerce applications in the state, besides creating a job opportunity for over 6000 persons in the state.

Connect has already received connectivity with the DoT network in Mohali and Chandigarh thereby allowing the Connect network subscribers to receive local, STD and ISD incoming calls and make outgoing calls.

He informed that the network in Ludhiana would be a combination of both wire lines and wireless technology. Fiber optic cables have been laid across the city connecting these nodes. Wireline deployment has already commenced in Sarabha Nagar, Feroze Gandhi Market, Industrial Area and Mall Road. The city network will be served through the switch at Mohali to being with. The fiber optic link between the Mohali switch and Ludhiana is already working effectively connecting the Chandigarh, Mohali and Ludhiana networks.

This will enable CONNECT to provide new technology services like Internet, IN services, VPN, free phone services Centre, DID and ISDN for high speed data transmission and broad band services.

Intelligent network (IN) services would enable the called party to pay for the call instead of the calling party. This would be of tremendous use to marketers and organisations with their headquarters in the city who want their customers to call on a particular number free of charge to find out about their products.

The company also plans to offer specialised information services like stock trading information, sports, elections etc on special numbers. Connect plans to install PCOs all over Punjab. Added to this would be a network of pay phones that would include the smart card operated variety. This would enable access to a Connect phone even when a person who lives in Ludhiana is on the move in Punjab.

The DoT is also gearing up for competition with services of smart cards, mobile telephone and wireless phone connections and is looking for new directions from the newly-formed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. Sources said that mood of the employees was upbeat and the department was striving to improve its services in order to keep the interest of the people intact.


DYC: summon Badal, Bibi to Akal Takht
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — The District Youth Congress (DYC) president, Mr Parminder Mehta, has appealed to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti to summon the SGPC president, Bibi Jagir Kaur, and the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to Akal Takht for their role in the alleged killing of Harpreet Kaur and its effect on the image of Sikh community.

Addressing a party meeting in Haibowal Kalan here today, Mr Mehta said it was for the first time that a president of the SGPC, the highest temporal body of the Sikhs, had been named in an FIR for a heinous crime like killing her own daughter. The entire episode would be remembered as a ‘black chapter’ in the Sikh history. More so, because Mr Badal had, in a way, tried to give a clean chit to Bibi Jagir Kaur by attending the last rites of Harpreet Kaur amidst the uproar that the death was ‘unnatural’.

Lambasting the ruling SAD(B) for mass the scale rigging and the misuse of power in the Sunam byelection, the DYC chief said it was not a victory for the SAD(B) candidate but that of the government machinery, money power, intoxicants and corrupt practices. “If the ruling party had any misconceptions about its popularity, let it call the midterm poll in the state, which alone can bring the ground realities to fore.”

He announced that the Youth Congress would further intensify its agitation against the anti-people policies of the SAD(B)-BJP government and would actively take part in the district-level dharnas against price rise, being organised at the call of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC).



Beautify Daresi Ground

IN the Civil Lines area of the city there are many places like the Rose Garden, the Rakh Bagh, the campus of P.A.U. and many big parks in new colonies where people go for walk and breathe fresh air. However, in the old city of Ludhiana there is no other place except the Daresi Ground which is fit for the purpose. The ground has two parts: one is Ram Leela Ground where Dasehra is celebrated. Otherwise this ground looks like a barren place throughout the year. The area is quite big and can be developed into a beautiful park.

The Ram Leela Committee in Cooperation with the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, can undertake the task of beautification of this ground. Trees of different varieties can be planted all around the boundary wall. Green lawns can be laid. There is no scarcity of water for this purpose.

The other part of Daresi Ground is under the control of Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, where three tube wells are installed.

The gardeners employed there have grown trees and grassy plots. There is a fountain which plays at times. Still this ground needs proper care for its beautification and sanitation.

In both these parts of Daresi Ground, there is no arrangement of urinals and toilets.

The municipal corporation authorities and office-bearers of the Ram Leela Committee can turn Daresi Ground into a beautiful spot for the public.
K.K. Sharma


Carpets lend warmth to homes

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — With the onset of the festival season, and Divali round the corner, people are sprucing up their houses. Carpets are being dusted and cleaned for now they are required. They can lend warmth and beauty to the otherwise ordinary room.

Carpets still have their own magic. They can give a bare floor a very warm and welcoming look. Their rich background of maroon, navy blue, sunshine yellow, beige matched and contrasted with different colour shades and hues show the mastery of the artisans who slog over the looms till their eyes become misty.

One can choose from a large variety of carpets available. Alas! the most beautiful Persian carpets are not at all available in India. Their export has been banned. Eversince Kashmir has been embroiled in militancy, Kashmiri carpets have also become a thing of past. All those who possess them are really fortunate as these can be passed as family heirlooms. Kashmiri carpets, with their lovely paisley designs have become a collector’s items. Instead, have come imitation Kashmiri carpets. The designs, colour schemes are the same.

The most common size in carpets is six feet by nine feet. A carpet of this size in Kashmiri style is available for Rs. 9950. The cost varies from Rs. 80 per sq. ft. to Rs. 250 per sq. ft. Due to liberalisation policies of the government, a lot of foreign companies have entered the carpet market, Belgium paving the way. A Belgium carpet of this six is for Rs 4500, whereas a Mirzapur carpet, hand made (sometimes by using child labour) costs about Rs. 6700.

The life expectancy of a Belgium carpet is between five and seven years whereas Kashmiri and Mirzapur carpets can last for 10-15 years. A cheaper Belgium carpet can also be bought for just under thousand rupees.

Wall-to-wall carpets are in vogue these days. An American company Shaw, a company from Holland have brought in carpets with Scotch Guard which does not let the carpet get stain. These carpets are moth proof too. Their range is quite wide and can suit all pockets. The lower range starts from Rs 70 per sq ft and goes up to Rs 145 sq ft The more the price, the more tufty it will be. The cost of laying this carpets is quite nominal. One may or may not use the spongy sheet underneath the carpets. These imported carpets (so it is said) are washable but the shopkeeper was quite skeptical about this washing part and advised dry cleaning.

Indigenous Indian carpets are also available ranging between Rs 10 and Rs 35. These are not moth proof and cannot be washed. Trancasia of the Birla Group has come out with tufty, carpets ranging between Rs 90 and Rs 120 per sq ft and very attractive shades. The money spent on the carpets is directly proportionate to the size of the room.

Children and teenagers have not been ignored by the American and Belgium companies. Most attractive carpets depicting Mickey Mouse and other popular figures are available. For teenagers there are nice, cheerful carpets again showing some popular cartoon figures.

Beautiful hand-made tigers, lions, zebras, crocodiles in thick carpet material can be used again to decorate the kid’s room and give a very personal look. The price range of such articles are Rs 575 onwards.

A carpeted pair of feet looks very welcoming at the entrance, can be bought for Rs 250 only. There is a variety of shapes and sizes in the carpets. According to one shopkeeper, the round and oval carpets are out of fashion.

Runners and bed side carpets are also available in plenty. They come in the range of Rs 1300 for machine made carpets and Rs. 2000 for hand-made carpets.

Carpets give a rich and welcoming look in the winters. Moreover, the carpets can cover the rough floor. — AA


Tradition and modernity go together
By Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — Traditional cultural influences among people appear to be too deep, thorough and dominant that no winds of change, can uproot them. Affluence may give people exposure to the modernity and westernisation and yet they remain tradition bound at heart.

The nine days of navratras which concluded recently stand testimony to the fact that people value their tradition as much, if not more, as they value change, progress and modernity. Monica Maini considers herself a real modern woman, emancipated and liberated. Belonging to an affluent business family in Ludhiana, she has travelled a lot. She is a regular member of several clubs. She participates in almost all club activities. But for the full nine days of navratras she observed fast, besides visiting the temple daily. In fact, she makes it a point to visit the temple every Monday.

Anjali Kohli (not her real name) also observed fast for nine days. She is a housewife. She has been keeping fast for the full nine days for several years. “My faith in Mata is unfailing. I feel whatever we are we are because of her blessings”, she said. At the same time she wants that the faith should not be publicised.

There are hundreds of young girls studying in colleges and university, who also observed fast during the entire period of navratras. Gudu a medical student said she found tremendous joy in observing fast. “It gives me immense mental satisfaction. It is an experience which is beyond expression”, she revealed. Being a student of medicine in no way hinders her faith in the Almighty.

It is not that women or girls alone observed fast during the navratras. Probably prodded by the family and environmental influences men including the young ones have also been keeping fast during navratras. Many people gave up drinking and non vegetarian food during this period. Rajiv Sharma in late thirties revealed that he was fond of drinks. “In fact I cannot sleep without having one or two drinks. But during navratras I never felt the desire for liquor”, he disclosed. He said, although his brother did not keep fast, but he too did not touch liquor for this entire period.

According to Mr Amit Verma, a leading businessman, with a lot of travelling experience across different countries feels, “faith is an important part of life. Without faith you stand nowhere”. He said, even in the countries like the USA and the UK, supposed to be the most modern, people regularly visit church every Sunday. He disclosed that even if he was travelling during navratras he keeps fast for all nine days. In fact the nature of his business keeps him mostly out during the navratras as the hosiery season starts at the same time. But that in no way deters him from keeping the fast.

Anu Seth is a leading socialite who spends good time in ladies clubs. But when it comes to faith, it is unfailing. She has been keeping fast during navratras for years together. “I cannot explain the joy and satisfaction I get from observing fast. And I attribute all my welfare to my unfailing faith in God”, she disclosed.Back


Nahar Singh honoured at Dasehra Mela
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — The Dasehra Mela organised by the Urban Estates Ram Lila Dasehra Committee of Dugri was attended by the Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal. The chief guest on the occasion was Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP.

According to the General Secretary of the committee, Dr Shiv Gupta, and its President, Mr Adarsh Vijay Manga, Dr Utpal Joshi, SP (Headquarters) hoisted the flag and Mr Gagan Pal inaugurated the mela. Mr Bharat Bhushan Garg, Executive Magistrate, gave away the prizes.

Mr Mohinder Singh Kalyan, a former MP; Mr Subhash Kejriwal, Managing Director of Subhash Polytex; Ms Barjinder Kaur, Councillor; Mr Dharam Dev Singh Kaka; Mr Harpal Singh Kohli, Vice-President of the District Unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal); and Mr B.K. Rampal, Convenor of the Legal Cell of the PPCC, were the guests of honour.

The committee honoured many social workers on the occasion. Nahar Singh, a physically challenged person and a former state and national champion of various sport was also honoured. Urdu poet Ishwar Dutt ‘Anjum’ was also honoured on the occasion.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib congratulated everyone on the occasion of Dasehra. He also announced a grant of Rs 50,000 out of his MP Area Development Fund for the construction of a cremation ground in Urban Estates at Dugri.


Bhail cremated
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — Mr Ranjit Singh Bhail, an NRI and general secretary of the Shri Guru Nanak Public School Trust, was cremated at his native village, Bhail, in Kapurthala district today. He expired on Thursday night due to heart attack. 


Husband beaten up, wife raped
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — A Nepali woman is alleged to have been raped by three persons yesterday while she was returning home along with her husband after visiting the Dasehra Mela.

According to information available, the victim and her husband, Prem Bahadur, had come to the city in search of work only a fortnight ago. The couple was staying in a colony near Jamalpur.

It is learnt that while the couple was returning home last evening from the Dasehra Mela in Urban Estate, Jamalpur, they lost their way. The couple reportedly reached near the Dry Port in Dhandari Kalan and saw three men standing near a truck on the deserted road. The couple approached them for help, but the three accused — Pappu, driver of the truck, Ram Jatan and another man beat up Prem Bahadur till he fell unconscious. They then allegedly raped the victim in the truck.

The police has registered an FIR under Sections 376, 342 and 506 of the IPC. However, no arrests have been made.Back


Pedestrian, cyclist die in mishap
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Oct 8— A cyclist and a pedestrian were killed in a road accident on the G.T.Road near Bhatian village here late last evening.

According to additional SHO police station city, Sawarn Singh, a tempo loaded with goods was coming from Ludhiana and it hit the cyclist and the pedestrian who suffered serious injuries.

They were rushed to Civil Hospital, where both were declared dead .The cyclist was identified as Nirmal Singh of Bhatian village while the identity of the second deceased could not be established. He was cremated today by the local police. The driver of the tempo escaped. The police has registered a case and impounded the tempo.Back



Woman crushed to death
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 8 — The body of a 70-year-old woman was thrown away by a truck driver 13 hours after he had injured her.

It is learnt that Junkiye Babi, wife of Ram Ashish Yadav, was standing on a road in Jagdishpura area around 6.00 a. m.The accused Satnam Singh, who was reversing his truck, accidently crushed the victim, who sustained serious injuries.

A large crowd reportedly gathered at the spot and the accused was pressurised to take the victim to the hospital. It is alleged that the accused left the spot with the victim after saying that he was taking her to the Civil Hospital. However, when a few associates and family members of the victim reached the hospital a little later, they were surprised at not finding either the victim or the accused there.

After waiting in vain for some time, they searched other hospitals and nearby clinics but all in vain. It was at 8.00 p. m. that they found the body of the victim lying on the road in the Jagdishpura locality itself. The police has booked the driver of the truck on charge of murder.

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