Sunday, October 22, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Police takes no action despite HC orders
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 21 — The local police is allegedly shielding five persons said to be involved in grabbing the house and other household goods of a person, besides being involved in a firing incident. Despite an FIR having been registered against the five accused on the directive of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, they continue to move scot free.

According to Mahavir Singh, a factory worker, his household goods were allegedly locked out by a woman Neelam, who with the help of her security guard provided by the police is not prepared to return the same. Mahavir Singh said he had hired two rooms in the house of Harnek Singh in March in the Salim Tabri area. However, on the night of May 21, when he had gone out along with his family, his rooms were found to be sealed, allegedly by Neelam, who is claiming to be the owner of the house.

He said that he went to Harnek Singh, who stayed in another house and told him about it. When Harnek Singh accompanied Mahavir Singh, the security guard of Neelam allegedly fired at them. While Mahavir Singh managed to escape unhurt, Harnek Singh suffered a gunshot in his leg.

Mahavir alleged that the police did not take any action. Ultimately, he sought the intervention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which directed the police to take action under law. Mahavir revealed that while an FIR was registered by the Salim Tabi police, no action was taken against the culprits. He alleged that the police made a weak case as it was not registered under the relevant sections.

Mahavir who broke down several times while narrating his tale of woe said he his wife and four small daughters had nowhere to go as all their household goods remained locked. He alleged that the police was shielding Neelam. She reportedly threatened Mahavir Singh several times claiming that she was “highly connected”.



Harassment charge against police 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 21 — Mr Rakesh Sood, president of the Dandi Swami Shopkeepers Association and former joint secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress (I), has alleged that he was harassed by the local police and illegal demands for money were made by the SHO Santokh Singh.

Narrating the incident at a press conference, he said he had gone to attend a marriage party at Saggar House, Civil Lines, on October 8 where some unknown persons in connivance with policemen, who claimed to be belonging to the anti-goonda staff, had beaten some people of marriage party. He complained to the police on phone but without any result. Rather the SHO and other policemen illegally took into custody nine persons of the marriage party along with his son, Mr Nishant Sood. They were detained in the police station till late night and the matter was settled after the payment of Rs 30,000 to the police, he alleged.

Mr Sood said the SHO concerned is threatening to eliminate him or to implicate him in a false case. The SHO is openly declaring that he has to settle some personal score with him. Mr Sood claimed that on October10, a police party had come to his house and tried to enter his house and threatened him with dire consequences, but his neighbours’ intervention saved him.

He feared that he may be implicated in some false case. He has complained to the higher authorities, including the Governor, but without any result. He has also complained to the National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi.



Innocent terrorist’ back in mainstream
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 21 — More than 10 years after he was listed as a terrorist by the Punjab Police, Jaswant Singh can now ‘officially’ visit his village, Sidhwan Bet. He can meet his old friends and roam freely with his head held high as the process to clear his name from the list has been initiated by the District police after he surrendered before the police today.

The 30-year-old man had almost spent a fugitive’s life in several countries, when he ran away from India in 1990. Little did he realise that when he would return to the country 10 years later, his past would continue to haunt him.

Produced before mediapersons by DSP Harmanbir Singh here today, Jaswant narrated his tale of woe. He was of 19 years old in 1989-90 when terrorism was in full swing. His classmate Parminder Singh, alias Bhinda, along with another hard-core terrorist Jagga Singh used to visit his house regularly for having food. They also tried their best to incite Jaswant to join terrorist movement but he refused. However, under pressure he continued to serve them food whenever they visited his house.

Jaswant was living alone with his grandfather while his father was working in the USA. Due to frequent visits of terrorists he too caught the eye of the police and was picked up several times. Unable to tolerate further his condition of being sandwitched between the terrorists and the police, he ran away to Bangkok and finally reached the USA in a year after spending weeks in places like Hong Kong, Costa Rica and Mexico.

In the USA, his life was smooth but his roots kept calling him back. When he landed in India with his newly wed wife of Fiji Republic origin, he had thought all dust over his suspected associations might have settled. He was wrong as the police raided his possible places of dwelling, but he managed to escape.

“But I did not want to run again ”, revealed Jaswant Singh and thus he himself offered to surrender before the police provided he was given a patient hearing. The police kept its promise and discovered after proper verification that though his name was mentioned in the “non-hardcore terrorist list” yet there was no case registered against him in the state.

SSP Kuldip Singh said the police’s investigation establishes the man as a “victim of those days” rather than being a terrorist. He admitted that the police was very excited about his arrest as it thought he was a big, catch but subsequently it turned out to be an anti-climax.

The police said there would be other youths like him languishing somewhere for fear of punishment and Jaswant’s case might encourage them to come back in the national mainstream.


Mohan singh Mela concludes
Stress on conserving Punjab’s cultural heritage
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 21 — The Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University Dr G.S. Kalkat, today stressed the need for conservation of rich literary and cultural heritage of Punjab to take the state ahead towards prosperity and all-round development. Folk singers, dhadi jathas and kavishars, he said while presiding over the concluding function of the two-day 22nd Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Mela here today, had always responded to the call of the time and had worked for the welfare of the state.

The Punjab Labour Commissioner, Mr Sarwan Singh Channi, who was the guest of honour at the awards ceremony, observed that multi-directional efforts were needed for desired level of cultural development in Punjab. Making a special mention of Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, who was the man behind launching and sustaining Prof Mohan Singh Memorial mela, for such a long time.

The Deputy Commissioner Mr S.K. Sandhu, said cultural events, which tended to involve the masses, make big contribution towards preservation of rich heritage of the state and to keep the people tied with their roots. His announcement that the district administration would provide an annual grant of Rs 1 lakh for the event evoked repeated applause from those attending the function.

Awards were presented to Kavishar Karnail Singh Paras Ramoowalia, noted writer Prof Kirpal Singh Kasel, playwright Gursharan Singh, TV artist Balwinder Vicky, Sajan Raikoti, ghazal singer Jagjit Singh Zeervi, Tara Singh Raikot, Amarjit Gurdaspuri, singer Kamaljit Neeru and sports coordinator Santokh Singh Mander on the occasion.

Other highlights of the function on the second day were songs by schoolchildren, in which 18 children participated, a professional presentation of Punjabi play ‘rabba rabba meenh vasa’ by child artists from Jaitu in Faridkot district, a slide show by photo artist Tej Partap Singh Sandhu on the history of Mohan Singh Mela and performance by prominent folk singers and other artists.

Through resolutions adopted at the mela, it was demanded that the Union Government should initiate effective steps to keep under check the cultural invasion by foreign satellite channels, to launch a village library scheme to connect the rural population with the book culture, to grant pension to aged sports persons, artists and writers, to install a life size statue of Prof Mohan Singh on the Ferozepore Road outside the PAU campus and to issue a commemorative postal stamp in the memory of the one of the greatest Punjabi poets.


Improvement Trust demolishes 16 shops
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 21 — Today a team of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) officials demolished 16 shops that had been built on encroached land in Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road here.

The demolition squad was led by a trust engineer, Mr J.S. Pandher, and accompanied by a police force. It arrived on the site at about 8 a.m. and ordered shopkeepers to empty their shops immediately to avoid any damage during the demolition. Some of the shopkeepers who had anticipated the move, had already removed their goods.

Once the operation began, in no time the shops were reduced to rubble. Only one drug store whose owner had obtained a stay order from the Commissioner of the Patiala division, remained intact. The rest turned to heaps of concrete blocks, bricks, twisted iron rods and wires.

Later, the LIT Chairman, Mr Madan Mohan Vyas, said a person named Mr Karnail Singh of Jawaddi village had been the owner of the land before the trust had acquired it in 1982. He said the previous owner had been compensated for his land. “Taking advantage of the delay caused in the development of the trust scheme due to law suits, the land was encroached upon and 16 shops were built on it by its previous owner,” he said.

Mr Vyas said the lawsuits dragged on for a long time and the Supreme Court gave a verdict in favour of the trust in 1996. Meanwhile, the shops were sold or rented out and the occupants, once again, filed cases in the lower court, seeking relief. Left with no alternative, the trust launched proceedings under the Public Premises Act and obtained orders from the court for demolition of the shops,” he said.

Although, the encroached land was about 1,200 square yards, the disputed piece of land formed a part of five residential plots of 500 square yards each. “With the land back in the control of the Improvement Trust, it will now be possible to give the possession of the residential plots to the rightful owners,” Mr Vyas said.


Fake-lottery sellers arrested
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 21 — A gang engaged in the business of selling fake lottery tickets was caught by the police here today. Seven persons have been arrested while one is absconding.

According to CIA staff, the gang was duping a number of persons by selling fake tickets of Divali bumper prize of the Punjab State Lotteries. A case under Sections 420,467,468,471 IPC has been registered.

The gang had made fake copies of the lottery on a computer and printed several thousand tickets. The police recovered tickets worth Rs 1.50 lakh from the accused along with the computer used for the purpose.

A district court today sent the seven accused to police custody till October 23.



Forum objects to album cover
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 21 — While the controversy over Daler Menhdi’s number Ek Dana has died down. another one is in the making. T-Series, an audio-cassette company, has reportedly placed the pictures of Guru Gobind Singh and Hans Raj Hans side by side on the cover of the album Wada Mera Gobind.

The album includes devotional songs dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh. However, several social and religious organisations have objected to the placing of the pictures on the cover.

The issue has been raised by the Sarvdharam Ekta Forum in a letter addressed to the Jathedar of the Akal Takht. The forum wants that the Jathedar should ask T-Series to withdraw the cover of the album. Copies of the letter have also been sent to the President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee and the Chief Minister of Punjab.

The Chairman of the forum, Mr Jasbir Singh Rana, said the act had hurt the feelings of Sikhs and Hindus. He said Hans might be a reputed singer, but he could not be equated with the Guru.

They forum has also urged the company and the artiste to withdraw the cover. The forum chief, the President of the Shopkeepers Association of Akal Market, Mr Amarjit Singh Happy, Mr Gurpreet Singh Winkal, Mr Parshotam Singh Vohra and Mr Arvinder Singh Tony, Chairman of the Akal Seva Society, have urged the Akal Takht Jathedar to ask the company to withdraw the cover soon or face mass agitation against it.



Servant killed in mishap
From Our Correspondent

KHAMANO, Oct 21 — Rama Shanker (22), a servant in the jewellery shop of a person named Mr Subhash Chander, was killed in a shooting accident in the house of his employer near Durga Mandir here. The Khamano police has registered an FIR under the Arms Act against Kuldip Singh, driver of Mr Subhash Chander.

According to the FIR, yesterday at about 9 pm, Mr Subhash Chander and his wife returned home from a party. The driver, Kuldip Singh, picked up the rifle of Mr Subhash from the car along with some other things. An accidently fired shot hit Rama Shanker in the head. He was taken to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana where he succumbed to his injuries.

The driver has absconded.


5 held in robbery case
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 21— The Chowki Vardhman police today claimed to have solved a robbery case that took place in February this year with the arrest of five persons.

Mr Dalip K. Bedi, in charge of the police post, said that the five accused — Raj Kumar, Rajan Sharma, Kuldip Kumar, Rajinder Singh and Dalip Kumar — were caught during a raid in Baba Jiwan Singh Nagar today.

The accused admitted to robbing a goldsmith of Mullapur in February of gold and silver worth Rs 1 lakh when he had come to the city for some business deal. The accused lured the goldsmith to travel along with them in a car to his village and robbed him of his belongings at gun-point and left him at a deserted place outside the city.


Market receives a bear hug

IT was a bearish trend in the stock market past week. The LSE index opened at 119.98 on Monday and closed at 117.24 on Friday, down by 2.74 points. The BSE Sensex opened at 3908.73 on Monday and closed at 3692.75 on Friday, down by 215.98 points.

Mahavir Spinning Mills Limited, part of the Vardhman group, that produces of yarn, thread and steel, has recorded a turnover of Rs 773 crore in the year 1999-2000. Its turnover was Rs 661 crore in the year 1998-99. The turnover has increased by Rs 112 crore in absolute terms. Profit of the companies before depreciation, interest and tax increased from Rs 89 crore in the year 1998-99 to Rs 104 crore in the year 1999-2000 (an increase of 16.79 per cent). The profit after tax for the works out to nearly Rs 57 crore (an increase of 15.45 per cent) with a capital of Rs 25.75 crore, the earning per share of the company is Rs 22.30.

The textile industry all over the world is witnessing a change. The industry is going through a sluggish patch for the past five years. This worldwide restricting and consolidation has affected the Indian textile industry as well. The new world order will bring out real heroes who have been able to anticipate the likely changes in the international textile business. A unified textile chain is the objective of any company that is facing international competition. The government has introduced the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme to assist the textile industry in modernising its operations. However, more is required to be done. The government should withdraw its discriminating excise duties on yarn and thread.

In the year 1999-2000, the production of yarn increased to 28,455 MT from 27,584 MT in the pervious year. The increase in production was on account of the first full year of production at the third 100 per cent EOU at Mandideep. In the same year, the production of thread also increased by 10.17 per cent (from 4719 MT to 5199 MT). The steel division of the company also showed good performance due to better capacity utilisation than before. The sales revenue of the steel division has shown an increase of 18.39 per cent in the previous year.

In same year, the company raised term loans of Rs 80 crore and foreign-currency loan of $ 4 million. Unable to beat domestic unorganised thread manufacturers on price front, the company has shifted its focus to the industrial segment of threads. It has introduced several new products in the market for embroidery, kite flying, denim, readymade garments and handicrafts. The company has introduced gassed mercerised yarn and melange yarn both for the premium segment of the market. In the steel division, the company has introduced several new products in the special and alloy categories for critical components.

The company has several joint ventures like Barbour Vardhman Threads Limited (BVTL), VMT Spinning Company Limited (VMT) and Vardhaman Acrylics Limited (VAL). Out of these, VAL is the most crucial. In the first year of its full-year operation, VAL was able to achieve a turnover of Rs 126.7 crore. VAL has earned a profit of Rs 6.27 crore. Once full-scale production begins, VAL will contribute significantly to the total revenue of the group.

For the quarter that ended on June 30, the company has declared a profit of Rs 13.55 crore (an increase of Rs 2.72 crore). The company declared a total dividend of 42 per cent in the year 1999-2000 and the scrip is presently traded at Rs 40. It touched a high of Rs 80 and a low of Rs 37 in the past 12 months. Considering the dividend payout of 10.5 per cent, the scrip is an ideal investment.

It seems that the market has not been able to find its true potential. Every fall raises the hopes that the market has bottomed out and a bullish phase is ahead. Several factors are responsible for this volatile behaviour of the market. The market has not been able to assess the true value of the ICE sector companies. The other factor for the decline is the irresponsible behaviour of the FIIs. The FIIs, too, have to report to their investors and they cannot take risks in the bearish market by making purchases. The relationship between NASDAQ and Indian stock markets seems to be firm, but immature. Indian markets rise and fall with every movement of NASDAQ irrespective of the reasons behind the fall.


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