Saturday, November 25, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Trucks remain off the road
Transporters threaten to stop operations in J&K
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 24 — Most trucks remained off the road today in response to a call given by the Ludhiana Transporters’ Welfare Association in a protest against the killing of five truck drivers near Banihal in Jammu and Kashmir. Other transport associations too supported the strike.

A massive demonstration was held at Samrala Chowk marked by shouting of slogans against Kashmiri militants backed by Pakistan. The Jammu and Kashmir government was criticised for its failure to provide security to the truck drivers.

Addressing the demonstration, president of the association Jagdish Chander condemned the killing and issued a warning to the government threatening to stop operations if such acts continued. He said there was a grave sense of fear prevailing among the truck drivers as they had become the soft target for the militants.

Mr Chander urged the government to ensure security for the truck drivers. He suggested that all supplies to the Kashmir valley should be made in convoys with due security escorts. He regretted that these very people who were maintaining the supply line for Kashmir were being targeted by the militants.

Mr Lalit Makhan Ghai, an office- bearer of the association while expressing grief over the incident said, the drivers were reluctant to take their vehicles to the valley. Sharing the concern of the drivers, Mr Ghai said, the truck operators would take up the issue with the state and the Union Governments. He urged the Centre to ensure protection to the truck drivers.

The truck operators pointed out that Punjab would be the worst hit if operations to Kashmir stopped as most of the transporters are based here. They said, most of the goods supplied to the valley were through the truck operators of Punjab.

Meanwhile, trucks remained parked along the national highway and the local Transport Nagar. Even the trucks which were loaded with good remained stationary. Most of the truck operators disclosed that the drivers were reluctant to go to the valley. Since this is the pre-winter season in the valley, maximum supply of buffer stocks is made during the months of November and December, as later the Jammu- Srinagar national highway remains blocked most of the time.

Mr Jagdish Chander said, they were seeking a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in order to impress upon him to take up the issue with his J&K counterpart to ensure security for truck drivers.

He demanded a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the family members of the victims. He pointed out transport operators had always cooperated with the government and without caring about the risks had continued their operations uninterrupted even during the Kargil war. All they demanded from the government was security for themselves. 


BSP warns against move to amend statute
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Nov 24 — The state convener of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Mr Mohan Singh Phallianwal, today flayed the state government and the police administration, for increasing atrocities against the Dalits and alarming rise in the crime rate. Talking to mediapersons here, he said the law and order situation had worsened and the complicity of the police machinery with the criminal elements had further added fuel to the fire.

He said a disturbing trend of police excesses against Dalits was emerging and the grim scenario of heinous crimes, being committed in the daylight, with the police watching the situation helplessly, needed some firm and effective handling by the state government. While organised criminal gangs were moving scot free, innocent citizens and at times, the complainants, were being implicated in false cases by the police.

Expressing his shock at the killing of Congress activist Harmesh Mukhija in Dharamkot town, Mr Phallianwal lamented total inaction on the part of the police and the state government. In view of the allegations of the involvement of a close relative of a Cabinet Minister in the murder, a judicial probe should be ordered in to the case, to bring out the truth, he added.

Earlier, addressing a party meeting at Jalandhar bypass chowk here, the BSP leader warned the NDA government, headed by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee against any amendment in the Constitution, framed by Dr B.R. Ambedkar. He said while the Congress had so far failed to come out openly against the move, the BSP had expressed its staunch opposition by taking out nationwide jeep rallies.

The ongoing jeep rally, according to Mr Phallianwal, will enter Punjab at Pathankot on December 1 and passing through Amritsar, will arrive in Jalandhar on December 2, where the national party president Mr Kanshi Ram will address a massive public meeting.

Taking part in the deliberations, the senior party activists Dr D.P. Khosla made it clear that the Dalit Samaj would not tolerate any ‘fiddling’ with the Constitution of the country. He further said that the jeep rally would arrive in Ludhiana on December 3, where the party workers would accord a rousing reception.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting were Mr Hargopal, former MP Mr Harbhajan Lakha, Mr Gurdial Chand, Major Pritpal Singh, Mr Bhupinder Singh Jassal, Mr Balwinder Bitta, Mrs Surinder Kaur, Mrs Ramesh Rani, Mr Surinder Chhinda, Mr Amarjit Singh, Mrs Nirmal Kaur and Mrs Kailash Kaur.


Cops accused of looting cash
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 24 — A car driver with a local firm here has accused two constables posted at Jagat Puri post of snatching money and intimidating him.

The police has denied the incident and maintains that the two constables were innocent. The car driver, Sukhwinder Singh, however, claims otherwise. He has alleged that the two constables — Dilbagh Singh and Chinda, snatched Rs 4700 from him on the night of November 14, near South City.

While talking to TNS here today, Sukhwinder Singh alleged that while he was going over to a relative’s house in South City, he was stopped by two police men in plain clothes. “The duo said they were police constables posted at Kailash Chowki and had been deputed by their seniors for checking ‘bad elements.’ They asked me if I was carrying any weapons. They abused me while talking all along. I got scared and said they could search me only in the presence of another person. They agreed and I was frisked by the policemen in the presence of a photographer, whose shop was nearby. When they did not find anything, they let me go off and I again started off for my relative’s house.”

When he went a little further, he was again followed by the two policemen, who asked him to stop. They reportedly asked for Sukhwinder’s purse and when he handed it over to them, they took out all the cash from his purse and fled away. “In fact, I had borrowed Rs 3000 from my employers, M/s Kishore Sounds, that day itself. I was looted of all my cash and hurriedly went back to the photographer’s shop to ask him if he knew about the two policemen. In the meantime, I also called up the Kailash Chowki police and they reached there within no time. The police told me of their names and also said that they were posted in Jagatpuri.”

He says the next day, he went to the Jagatpuri Police Post and identified the two constables who had snatched his hard-earned money. “But the two constables threatened to falsely implicate me and beat me up if I complained. I then approached the Senior Superintendent of Police with my complaint, but even this has yielded no results,” he said bitterly.

However, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh, was not available for comments. The in charge of the Jagatpuri Police Post, ASI Varanjit Singh, when contacted denied the allegations. He said that the two constables had stopped Sukhwinder Singh for questioning and searched him, but no case of snatching had occurred. 


PSEB engineers caution govt
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Nov 24 — The Punjab State Electricity Board Engineers Association has reacted to the move of the state government to make operative the state Electricity Regulatory Commission by next year, saying the proposed Electricity Bill 2000 will pave the way for economic enslavement of the country under the pressure of the World Bank and other multi-national corporations.

Mr M.S.Bajwa, president of the association, said in a statement here today that the adamant attitude of the Centre over pushing ahead the Bill, despite vehement opposition from all professional groups and technocrats, as well as strong reservations of several state governments about the need and role of the Bill was really surprising.

The Bill did not spell out the specific areas where electricity boards were not able to deliver the goods. By accepting the proposal to set up the authority, the state government had, in a way, expressed agreement with power reforms being pursued by the Centre on the dictates of the World Bank and other similar global institutions.

He observed that the Bill, being forced by the Government of India, would seriously restrict the rights of the states in the power sector. The ruling party in Punjab had been a strong advocate of federal structure and more powers to the states, whereas the said Bill, when enacted, would deprive the state from their constitutional rights under the Electricity Supply Act 1948.


Textile city on periphery of Ludhiana mooted
By Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, Nov 23 — A new ‘textile city’ is being planned on the periphery of Ludhiana. It is reliably learnt that the project has the approval of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. This project was discussed at a meeting of the officials of the district administration, municipal corporation, town planning department, representatives of dyeing and finishing industry, knitwear club and textile industry.

The crack down ordered by the Supreme Court against polluting industries in the national capital region (NCR) seems to have awakened the district and civic administration, as well as the industry. In order to work out modalities for shifting polluting units out of thickly populated residential and industrial localities to a place, a ‘textile city’ is being planned. Here common treatment plants will be set up and effluents discharged in a convenient manner, without exposing people to the hazards of water and air pollution.

Around 2,700 acre of land in Ladhowal, on the banks of river Sutlej, which was returned to the possession of the state government after a long lease is being finalised for this site. The city will have textile units engaged in dyeing and finishing, hosiery, knitwear and textiles.

According to industry circles, the planned ‘textile city’ would serve a dual purpose. It would facilitate shifting of polluting units out of the city, with the river Sutlej providing an easy outlet for discharge of treated effluents. Also the units, proposed to be located in the new industrial township, would also have all integrated facilities in the vicinity.

The initial response of the industry, particularly the dyeing industry, which is under tremendous pressure from the civic body and the Pollution Control Board to shift further from residential localities, was reported to be positive.

The only reservation, expressed by representatives of the dyeing industry at the meeting, was the poor track record of departments concerned. Sources revealed that the failure of the administration to make available adequate land and necessary infrastructure, at Phase VIII of Industrial Focal Point, where many of the dyeing factories were made to shift about two years ago, had come under criticism.

The Pollution Control Board, and civic authorities, in a bid to check the alarming increase in air and water pollution, particularly in residential localities in the city, had forced a large number of dyeing factories to shift elsewhere from Tajpur Road and other congested areas. A large number of units however, could not be relocated. The government, as well as industry, were now coming around to the idea that the new textile city could provide answers to many of these problems. The industrial units, appeared to be prepared to go along, as far as government efforts were sincere and result-oriented.


Not coins, but temple tokens found
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 24 — The coins found during the digging of a tubewell in a suburb here have proved to be only temple tokens.

The first temple token found dates back to the period of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It was in this period that a gold coin called mohar was brought out with the portraits of Guru Nanak sahib, Bala and Mardana on one side. On the reverse side was thrice inscribed Wahiguru in Gurmukhi.

This was followed by the tokens with pictorial representations of different religious deities. The subsequent temple tokens were brought out in brass, copper and lead.

The temple tokens are used by people as they are believed to bring good luck. Even Islamic tokens are available, although Islam does not approve of putting up images or pictures. The Islamic tokens have Quranic verses written on them.

According to Narinder Pal Singh, a collector of antiques, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century gold tokens called Butki, were brought out. The tokens weighted about 8 grams. But over a period the gold was replaced with other metals.

Narinder Pal Singh has collected about 100 such temple tokens which range from Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s period to the present. Currently he said, the tokens with the image of Laxmi on them were quite popular. These tokens are used during auspicious occasions for puja.

The people keep these tokens for good omen. A number of people keep these tokens at their cash counters and in the safe so that they do not fall short of money. Even some woman keep these tokens so that it ensures a male child. However these days only silver tokens are made with the image of Goddess Laxmi inscribed on them.



PAU teachers resent selective raise in retirement age, partial pay hike
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 23 — The teachers of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), like their counterparts in universities and colleges across the country, have alleged that the commitments made by the Union Ministry to the All India Federation of University and College Teachers' Organisation (AIFUCTO) at the time of the withdrawl of the 25-day nationwide strike in 1998 have not yet been honoured. They are unhappy over the partial implementation of the notification and agreement reached between the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the teachers' bodies.

The teachers allege that the HRD Ministry had categorically mentioned in its notification that the teachers' retirement age would be raised from 60 to 62 years. As a consequences, they say, a number of universities have decided to enhance the retirement age of their teachers by two years.

The PAU teachers are piqued over the ICAR's decision to grant extension to the scientists working in its institutions upto the age of 62 years on a selective basis considering the merit, eminence and scientific contribution of the scientists concerned.

The state agricultural universities, which are largely governed by the ICAR, may also adopt the same mode of retaining scientists beyond the age of 60, some PAU teachers apprehended. They are critical of this mode because they fear that it may encourage sycophancy, favouratism and nepotism. Therefore, they say that the retirement age of all teachers should be revised to 62 years uniformly.

A number of PAU scientists are also miffed over the ICAR's decision to grant super time scale of Rs 22000-500-24500 only to directly recruited professors who have rendered 28 years of service. They argue that according to the rules of the university, there is no distinction between professors, irrespective of whether they are appointed through open selection or through promotion. Therefore, they plead, all professors, irrespective of their mode of appointment should be eligible for super time scale.

The library and sports personnel of the university are peeved that they have been discriminated against in the matter of pay fixation. While the salary of the teachers in the pay scale of Rs 12000-18300 has been fixed at Rs 14940 after five years of service w.e.f. January 1, 1996, the library and physical education staff have been denied this benefit although according to the statutes of the PAU, they are designated as teachers. The affected teachers allege that they have made several representations to the authorities for justice but these have failed to evoke any reply.

In accordance with the HRD Ministery's commitment, the teachers were to be paid arrears of the revised pay scales in a single instalment. The PAU teachers, however, complain that the arrears of three years have been paid to them in at least four installments.

Mr S.K. Bhatia, Comptroller of the PAU, when contacted informed that the arrears were disbursed among the teachers as and when funds were received from the Centre/ICAR. He also informed that the order for payment of arrears of 12 months had been issued and some departments had already drawn the amount from his office. According to him, only arrears of three months were to be paid to the teachers.

Regarding the raising of age of retirement of the teachers to 62 years, Mr Bhatia said in this connection the university would follow the directive of the Punjab Government. He clarified that the retirement age could raised only if the Punjab Government took such a decision.

Mr Bhatia also informed that the university had taken up the issue of pay fixation of library/sports personnel with the Punjab Government at the stage of Rs 14940 after five years of service in the scale of Rs 12000-18300. He was hopeful that the government would accede to the demand of the employees concerned, since, according to the statutes of the university, they were designated as teachers.


67-yr-old man’s divorce plea dismissed
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 24 — In an interesting case, a district court here has turned down the divorce plea of a 67-year-old man, seeking divorce from his 62-year-old wife. The court did not find any evidence in a number of allegations levelled by him against his wife with whom he shared an over 40-year-old matrimonial life.

Rejecting his plea, the court upheld most of the allegations levelled against the man by his wife. It found that the man wanted divorce not because he had problems with his wife but because he had illicit relations with certain woman and wished to live with her.

Interestingly, as it normally happens in such cases a number of allegations and counter-allegations surfaced in the court but it was the evidence of the mother of the woman having illicit relations with the man that proved to be the clinching evidence in the case.

The mother stated that her daughter was working as stenographer in the same department where the man was working. She said her daughter had developed relations with the petitioner and was even living with him in Urban Estate Dugri road here.

According to a copy of the recent orders issued by Mr Harminder Singh Madaan, Additional District Judge Mr Ved Parkash had in a petition filed in November 1994 demanded the dissolution of marriage with his wife Kanta by a decree of divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act.

As per the petition, the two got married to each other in January 1957. They were blessed with two sons who are presently aged above 35 years. However, things started going wrong about a decade ago. The husband complained that his wife was ignoring him and even deserted him for the past four years. He even alleged that his wife did not have good character and had been caught with a stranger by the city police.

The husband said apart from this, his wife continuously humiliated him in public and used to beat him up in their house. He said the behaviour and conduct of his wife had created such a situation that he was forced to live separately.

His wife initially chose not to respond to the petition but when the court decided to proceed ex-parte in the case she appeared and counter-alleged that her husband had illicit relations with a woman. When she objected she was persistently beaten up.

She even brought to the court’s notice that the man had actually been living been with the said woman for the past couple of years on his own and not because of any ill-treatment by her.


By Asha Ahuja

Nov 24 — The month saw festivities revolving round Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birth anniversary. There were ‘prabhat pheris’, nagar kirtans, and night-long shabad kirtans in gurdwaras. Scores of women prepared food through the night for the langar in the morning. The functions attracted people from all sects and walks of life.

Chrysanthemums are in full glory. The flowers present a riot of colour in different sizes and shades. These flowers have a long life and make beautiful arrangements.

Pollution is on the rise. The sky is hazy and cloudy but on Thursday one could have a glimpse of blue sky after a long time. There is dust everywhere. Trees which looked clean and washed are again covered with a coat of dust. Certain organisations had declared with great fanfare that they would take steps to keep the city clean. But nothing has materialized. It is time they started doing what they had promised and make Ludhiana green and clean.

Children’s Day kept the teachers on their toes for they were the ones who had to entertain the children. They organised different kinds of programmes such as fancy dress competitions, song, dance, mimicry and also took the children out on picnics. Some enterprising children even hired the services of DJ’s and enjoyed the pleasure of dancing. On the other hand, slum children and children belonging to the lower middle class were bereft of all these pleasures and were even ignorant of what Children’s Day stood for. Happiness never touches their lives. Let some organisation do something to bring happiness to their lives.

Three movies — ‘Mohabbatein’, ‘Mission Kashmir’ and ‘Kahin Pyar Na Ho Jaye’ — are going strong. This week, there has been no new release. The three films are different and offer different fare. Film star and TV artist Renuka Shahane was in the city to promote ‘Aao Bune’, a programme launched by the Vardhman group. Renuka was here to motivate children and women to take up this age-old hobby.

Nishkam Sewa Ashram celebrated its silver jubilee. It has been rendering yeoman service by taking care of the aged, slum children, women and the sick.

Winter clothes are out for sale. The markets are flooded with jackets and windcheaters. The markets are also full of second hand clothes which could pass for new. These clothes have been a boon to students for the price suits their pockets. Men are going for bright colours. Girls are wearing knitted skirts and figure hugging tops. Affluent people are going for brand names and designer wear.

The boutiques and tailoring shops are busy in marriage season. Bandwalas, ghoriwalas, lightwalas, halwais, flowerwalas, tentwalas are extremely busy. Reciting ‘sehras’ has gone out of fashion, but DJ’s are having a field day.


Teacher sets things right
by N. S. Tasneem

IT is my old belief that teaching is not a profession but a way of life. A teacher has a peculiar bent of mind that prompts him to set things right. A teacher considers it his duty to safeguard against future lapses. Sometimes he earns the ire of the persons around, as his zeal to set things right is likely to be misconstrued as a self-righteous attitude. It is not always appreciated.

Personally, I have encountered many unpleasant situations where I could not turn a behind eye to the wrongdoings of a person. As a result, he felt estranged from me without realising the seriousness of his mistake. In certain cases I tried to placate such a person, but it rarely produced any appreciable results.

When I go to an office to hand over an application, I take care that it is written neatly and contains no ambiguity of expression. I even try to correct grammatical or spelling mistakes of the clerk who receives any application if he jots down a line or two on my application. In case he is a young person, he tries to learn. A grown-up person puts on a mocking smile and I beat a hasty retreat.

At the computer centre where I get my articles typed I tell the typist to put a full stop at the end of a sentence first and then close the inverted commas. I even embarrassed the reporter of a prestigious English daily when she came to interview me when I received the Sahitya Akademi Award. When I used the expressions ‘interior monologues’, ‘avant garde’ and ‘rapport’, she hurriedly wrote down something and then looked at me for a while. I took the hint and started dictating the spellings of these words which, I discovered later, she had already written correctly.

Once the principal of our college, who had been a professor of English for three decades, told me that he was a purist so far as the English language was concerned. I looked into his eyes for further elaboration. He told me a story with great eclat. Once the daughter of a professor of English eloped with a boy. She left behind a note - ‘kindly excuse me for my — elopement’. The professor called his wife from the other room and handed over the note to her. She started sobbing inconsolably but in between she blurted out.

“She should not have taken such a step when she knew that we seldom turn down her wish”.

“I don’t mind at present her hasty step, however painful it is to us, but my grouse lies elsewhere”.

“What else?”

“She has spelt the word elopement without the vowel ‘e’. All my teaching to her lover the years has gone waste. There lies the rub”.

Well, I have not had such an experience, luckily or unluckily.


Complainants ignored by inquiry officials
Sangat darshan a tame affair
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 24 — The initial euphoria about the problems being faced by people getting solved after they are listed at the weekly sangat darshan appears to be fizzling out, with a number of them alleging that the officials deputed for inquiries and investigations file their own reports while ignoring them (the complainants).

The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr S R Kaler, today took serious note of the practice resorted by certain officials. He stressed upon all officers to ensure that the complainants were also involved in inquiries and investigations. He warned that in case any of the officers was founded to flout the directive action would be initiated against him.

While earlier the complaints raised in the sangat darshan were taken seriously and also followed up, over a period, the officials involved in investigation and follow up started taking them casually.

A complaint of similar nature was raised today in which it was alleged that the officials entrusted with the inquiry had not involved the complainants. The ADC asked the DDPO, Ludhiana, to re-inquire the auction of the government land belonging to Government Senior School, Dehlon, by the sarpanch without keeping a proper record of the returns. The DDPO had not identified the owner of the land and the person who had been auctioning the land without any record. The ADC also directed the DDPO to associate the complainant in the inquiry and ascertain that the guilty were punished.

In another complaint, a complainant was found guilty of fraud with Punjab and Sind Bank. He had complained that the bank officials had entered less amount in his account than deposited actually. In the inquiry it was found that the amount he had deposited was entered in all the vouchers and account of the bank, while on the other had he was himself found guilty of getting a loan amount of Rs 8000 waived off on the plea that he could not repay it. The inquiry revealed that there were Rs 6000 pending in his account when he made this plea. The ADC has ordered an inquiry against him.

A total of 63 cases were listed today and 43 of these were disposed on the spot. The investigating officials were asked to submit their reports for the remaining 20 complaints in the next sangat darshan.


Renuka Shahane visits KVM
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 24 — During her Wednesday's visit to the city, Renuka Shahane, the ever-smiling Bollywood celebrity, visited Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines. She was welcomed amidst a thunderous applause, following which she addressed students.

Renuka spoke about her experience of working in films, serials and advertisements. The students asked a few questions about her future plans. On the request of students, she also sang a song from the film Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. While she was about to leave the campus, Principal Ms Indira Kumar, presented a bouquet of roses to express her love and gratitude. She also gave autographs to the students. Renuka spent about two hours in the school. 


Solve murder case, demand councillors 
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Nov 24 — A meeting of municipal councillors, leaders of the SAD and the BJP was held at the residence of the local Akali leader, Mr Iqbal Singh, to discuss the Aman Sood murder case.

The SAD-BJP councillors namely Mr Vijay Diamond, Mr Amrit Lal, Mr Sanjeev Dhamija, Mr Vijay Sharma, Mr Iqbal Singh, Mr Harjap Singh, Ms Urmila Sahnewalia, Ms Kamlesh Rani, Ms Santosh Bharti, Ms Daljeet Kaur, Ms Kartaro Devi and the Akali leaders namely Mr Devinder Singh Cheema, Mr Mulkh Raj Mashal, Mr Gurpreet Singh and Mr Inderpal Singh and passed a unanimous resolution that the police should solve the murder case on a priority basis and all culprits involved in this heinous crime should be punished.


Swimming pool in a state of neglect
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 24 — The swimming pool of Government College of Boys here is almost lying abandoned. Rain water is the only source of filling the pool, grass and shrubs have grown on the sides of the pool. The dressing rooms and bathrooms on the pool premises are also in bad shape.

Swimmers either to the PAU swimming pool or Municipal Corporation swimming pool.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune on the condition of anonymity some of the students said they were peeved at the sorry slate of the pool.

Dr R.S. Sooch, principal of the college, explaining the reasons behind the bad condition of the pool said it was not operational only a few students had applied for use of the pool. He said due to resource crunch the college could not maintain the pool.


Fancy dress contest at Niharika 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 24 — ‘Fancy-dress’ does not necessarily mean that the term is associated with kids, at least not for the members of Niharika Club. The club organised a fancy dress competition for members at Basant Resorts here today.

About 10 contestants took part in the contest. The club members were well dressed up for the occasion and contestants had worked hard for dresses and makeup.

Dr Ruchika was appreciated for her role of a mad woman. Jasmeet gave a genuine ‘Rabri Devi’ look. There was a light atmosphere throughout but when the two ‘pregnant women’, Zinny and Neelam came on the stage, ladies could not resist laughing. Ruby Aneja, who was dressed like a puppet, gave a good performance. A real beggar appeared on the stage, when Swaran Malhotra started harassing (through her acting) the ladies present.

Ms Ruby Aneja (puppet) got the first prize, Ms Swaran Malhotra (beggar) was given the second prize while Ms Urmil Aggarwal — ‘the spirit’ was declared number three. The consolation prize was given to Ms Jasmeet Kaur (Rabri Devi).


One booked on extortion charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, Nov 24 — The police has booked one person for demanding Rs 20 lakh as ransom from Ram Pratap Handa and threatening him.

According to information, the complainant had received a call at around 11:30 p.m. on the night of November 21 and the caller demanded the amount and threatened to eliminate him.

Case registered

The police has booked two persons on charges of tearing the uniform of an SI posted in the traffic police. The case has been registered on the complaint of SI Jaswinder Singh.

The police has registered a case against Gurmit Singh and Balwinder Singh under Sections 332, 353 and 186 of the IPC. It is alleged that the two accused who were travelling in a car skipped a red light at Aggar Nagar. However, the car was stopped by the public at some distance. The two accused reportedly got out of the car and tore the uniform of the policeman. 


Insist on contract note, investors told
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 24 — Investors should be vigilant while dealing in the stock market. They should insist for the contract note while dealing with the brokers to confirm the trade. Payments should be made through cheques only. Investors should also ensure that the contract note issued must belong to a member of a recognised stock exchange, said Mr Tarvinder Dhingra, vice president, Ludhiana Stock Exchange in his key note address. He was speaking at the seminar organised here today on “Investors’ awareness”. The seminar was organised by the Bombay Stock Exchange in association with Ludhiana Stock Exchange Association Limited.

The seminar had been organised as part of the series of seminars to be conducted by the exchange to educate the investors. The other seminars will be conducted at Jalandhar and Amritsar in the near future.

Mr Niranjan K. Nanavati, Director, BSE explained that the BSE had introduced derivatives trading for the first time in India. It was also planning to introduce Internet trading, debt market trading very shortly. Trading in few securities in rolling settlement with carry forward facility had been already started. Through constant technology upgradation both in hardware and software, the BSE was able to reduce transaction cost from 0.30 basis points to 0.25 from April,1 which was very low compared to other exchanges. He also stressed that in order to move towards regional consolidation the BSE had given membership to 11 regional stock exchanges, including the LSE. He also highlighted the BSE’s superior risk management measures like margin collection, on-line surveillance and trade guarantee fund available with exchange which was to the tune of about Rs 2100 crore as on October, 31.

Mr J.J. Bhatt, Director, ISC and Listing spoke about the steps taken by the BSE to protect the interest of investors. He added that during the current year governing board of the BSE had announced Rs 1 crore assistance to investors’ associations to help investors to fight legal cases against companies for fraudulent transfer, and to create awareness among investors by conducting seminars on topic related to capital market. He also highlighted the steps taken by the BSE like shifting of investor-unfriendly companies to ‘Z’ group, filing of winding up petitions and other initiatives for investor protection taken by the BSE.

Mr Kamlesh D. Shroff, member- BSE, briefed on Central Depository System Ltd (CDSL) set up by the BSE for the users, giving its salient features which included central database. On the current market scenario, Mr Shroff said in the current market conditions where volumes were of speculative nature, investors must impose self governance and if investors were not in a position to take any investment decision, they may route their investments through mutual funds as they had expertise , infrastructure and technology to identify investment opportunities.



Credit cards given to farmers

KHANNA, Nov 24 (FOC) — Credit cards worth Rs 21.84 lakh were distributed among 40 farmers at a function held at Chakohi village, nine km from here, on Wednesday by Indian Overseas Bank. Mr G.S. Mata, Regional Chief Manager of the bank, was the chief guest.

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