Thursday, February 1, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sodomy, murder cases: 1 held
By Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 31 — A man allegedly responsible for a series of kidnapping, sodomy and murder cases was arrested by the district police here today. Two of his relatives, suspectedly involved in one of the incident are yet to be arrested.

Minor allurements like a pack of sweets, chocolates, kites and in one case a pair of clothes were used by this man to entice at least nine minor boys, two of whom reportedly died at the hands of the person. Five of these belonged to Ludhiana and the remaining to Ropar district.

The suspect Sanjeev Kumar, 30, of a light frame and average height, confessed before media persons to acts of child abuse.

He hails from Ropar. He was married to an Amritsar-based girl in 1995. He was forced to consummate his marriage by his wife and an elderly woman relative. He was divorced in 1998. Then on he abused minor boys.

The SSP Kuldip Singh said Sanjeev Kumar was ostensibly responsibly for the murder of two boys and sodomy of three others in the past two months

He has been booked under Sections 364, 365, 377 of the IPC in the kidnapping case of Saddam Husain who lived near Dada Motors in the city. He is set to be booked for case of murder registered at Division No 2 police station.

The SSP said the suspect had confessed to murdering a minor boy and another Minto in the past two months. While Amit was strangulated to death, Minot died due to gagging. He has also been recognised by three other boys whom he allegedly sodomised.

The SSP said Sanjeev was arrested with the help of Saddam Hussain who was enticed by the accused. He took the boy to a few places. The boy managed to give a slip to the accused.

Later, a police party led by DSP Gurjit Singh and Inspector Paramjit Singh laid a trap and arrested the man from a place in Ropar. The SSP said he has recommended a promotion for Inspector Paramjit Singh. The SSP said two other relatives of Sanjeev were also suspected to be involved in the sodomy and an attempt to murder of a 12-year-old boy of Islam Gunj.


Murder mystery solved
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 31 — The local police yesterday claim to have solved a two-year-old murder mystery with the arrest of one of the main accused. His second accomplice, however, has absconded.

According to police records, Shrawan Kumar, son of Madan Lal of the Salim Tabri area, went missing in April 1998. The police had registered an FIR on April 27 under Section 364 of the IPC. The investigation was being carried out by the then SHO, Mr Balwinder Singh.

The SHO, who has since been transferred, said, he detained Kishen Lal on suspicion. Later he confirmed to having abducted Shrawan Kumar and subsequently murdered him in a brutal manner by chopping the body into pieces and throwing it into a pit in Amba in Himachal Pradesh.

It is learnt that the 23-year-old Shrawan Kumar along with his father was doing the business of exchange of old and torn notes. He was a chain smoker. On the fateful day he reportedly went to Kishen Kumar, who was sitting with another accused Rajiv Kumar. They were living in a rented accommodation in the same area and originally belonged to Hira Nagar town in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.

When Shrawan Kumar came to them, he was carrying a cash of Rs 37,000. They reportedly drugged him. Subsequently they snatched the money and allegedly murdered him. Later, they chopped the body and went to Amba in Himachal Pradesh so that no clue was left behind.

The police believes that they were part of a big gang, which was involved in several other crimes besides the murder. However, the details were being withheld lest it may hamper further investigation and subsequent arrest of other accused.

Meanwhile, the police claim to have busted a gang of five people who were allegedly involved in extortion in the sabzi mandi area. 


Rs 10 crore coin phone scam!
‘By Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 31— Local PCO operators in the city are understood to be involved in a scam, which may be to the tune of Rs 10 crore every year. All this is being done by misusing the facility of coin phones in the city. At the same time, the connivance of department officials can not be ruled out.

According to official sources in the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), there are about 2000 coin collecting box phones (CCB) in Ludhiana district. Under normal circumstances one can insert a one rupee coin in the box and make a local phone call. However, none of the 2,000 CCB phones are in order. These phones which are to be kept at public places have reportedly been handed over by BSNL officials to various PCO operators or some shopkeepers, who disconnect the CCB phone and instead install a normal instrument. Anyone who wants to make a phone call is offered the same and charged Rs 2 instead of Re 1. At some places, the PCO operator may charge more. At times, they argue about the longer duration of the call and charge up to Rs 4.

Inquiries with the BSNL revealed that on each local call made through the CCB phone, the department charges 60 paise, while 40 paise is given as commission to the operator. Rough estimates made by certain officials revealed that on an average 150 calls are made from each CCB phone daily. This makes the number of calls made in a year from all the 2000 CCB phones to over ten crores and a corresponding amount of money too, involved. The money is allegedly shared by the PCO operators and department officials.

Same is true about other parts of the state with the total number of CCB phones in Punjab said to be over 10,000. This is said to be one of the main reasons for non availability of a properly working CCB phone anywhere in the city. The fate of CCB phones in other parts of the state is almost the same.

Department sources say that officially these phones are installed at all important public places, where the common man can use them at a cheaper rate. However, most of these phones have been reportedly sanctioned to favoured STD and PCO owners. According to BSNL instructions the licensees are supposed to install a coin collection box with the instrument or display a notice that it is a coin-collecting phone.

It has been alleged by a number of PCO owners that they have to pay a lot of extra money to get the connection of a CCB phone. Mr Varinder Kumar, a PCO owner in Ghumar Mandi, alleged that he was denied one connection when he declined to pay Rs 5000 as asked by the official concerned. He accused that these connections were given by flouting the guidelines.

Department sources say that the owners of these phones, in connivance with BSNL officials, are looting crores of rupees from the public every year by charging Re one extra per call. An official, giving a rough estimate of the extent of the scandal said, “About 150 calls are made on an average from a single CCB phone daily. 2000 phones in the district simply means that the customers are paying about Rs 3 lakh extra to the owners of these phones. If the amount is calculated annually, it will cross Rs 10 crore!”

Mr V. S. Srivasatva, General Manager, BSNL when contacted about the ongoing malpractices by the PCO owners in this regard, was of the view that everyone seems to have become immune to the system. since the amount involved is so small that no one bothers to register a complaint. Department officials also know that PCO owners charge Rs 2 per call from other phones for which the actual charge is Rs 1.26. 


Relief convoy flagged off
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 31 — With overwhelming response from trade, industry, social, religious and other voluntary organisations and citizens of Ludhiana for donations towards relief fund for the Gujarat earthquake victims, 8 trucks containing relief material worth about Rs 75 lakh have been sent from the Mini Secretariat Ludhiana for Chandigarh, from where this relief material would be clubbed with the relief coming from the other districts and flown to Gujarat.

Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Technical Education Minister; Lala Lajpat Rai, MP and Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana flagged off the trucks.

Giving details, the Deputy Commissioner informed that this consignment of relief material consisted of 400 tents costing about Rs 36.80 lakh, 6000 sweaters/pullovers costing around Rs 11 lakh, 29 drilling machines worth Rs 9.5 lakh, 6000 blankets costing to Rs 6 lakh, 37 generators worth Rs 5.5 lakh and 3600 T-shirts costing Rs 5.5 lakh.

Mr Sandhu further informed that till Wednesday, the total relief fund collected at relief counter of District Red Cross Society had touched Rs 38 lakh. Today’s donations includes M/S Chabbra Land and Housing Ltd (Rs one lakh), Sacred Heart Convent, Jamalpur (Rs 55,000), Sarabha Nagar Market Shopkeepers (Rs 25,000), Manjit Gill (Rs 10000), one day salary of GM of District Industry Centre staff (Rs 20,200) and Major Bawa (Rs 5,000).

The Deputy Commissioner, while expressing his gratitude for liberal donations by certain industrial houses, trade associations and other organisations’ appealed people in general to contribute for the victims of the worst natural disaster in the country. He informed that the Red Cross relief counters at District Headquarters and at subdivisional headquarters were functioning for the whole day to receive donations. He said, people should submit their donations in the form of cheques or demand drafts only, in the name of Indian Red Cross (Relief Fund), Ludhiana.


MC to contribute over Rs 1 crore for quake victims
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 31 — The Municipal Corporation has decided to contribute more than Rs 1 crore for the relief and rehabilitation of quake victims in Gujarat. A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the general house of the corporation.

The house observed two minutes silence mourn to the loss of lives and to pray for the speedy recovery of those injured in many towns of Gujarat. The meeting also mourned the death of the Punjab minister, Mr Parkash Singh Majitha, Mr Des Raj, an uncle of Mr Madan Lal Bagga, councillor, Mr Amit, a nephew of Mr Mohan Lal, councillor and brother of Mrs Neelam Pathak, councillor.

Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, who presided over the meeting, announced that Rs 1 lakh each will be deducted from the allocation of development funds of each councillor and the five city legislators and Rs 25 lakh will be contributed by the civic body from its own funds. In addition, the Mayor and all the councillors will donate their one month honorarium to the relief fund. Cutting across party lines, the councillors lent their complete support to the proposal and it was adopted unanimously.

The house also resolved to raise more collections for the earthquake victims by approaching the people. All the councillors, led by the Mayor will march through main commercial areas of the city for this purpose on Thursday.

According to Mr S.K. Sharma, Additional Commissioner, the officers and the employees of the corporation will donate one day salary to the earthquake relief fund.

The meeting condemned the attacks on husband of Mrs Manjit Kaur Gogi, councillor and brother of Mr Kuldip Janda, councillor, while placing on record the action taken by the police to bring the culprits to book.

A meeting of the Sanitary Inspectors’ Association of the corporation presided over by Mr Ashwani Sahota has decided to contribute one day salary for the quake victims.


Khanna MC donates Rs 11 lakh 
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Jan 31 — The local Municipal Council today donated Rs 11 lakh to the earthquake victims of Gujarat.

Mr S.S. Gill, SDM, Khanna, has sent three trucks with goods worth Rs 6 lakh; Baba Manjit Singh of Doburji has sent four trucks of medicines, foodgrains, bandages and blankets worth Rs 10 lakh; the Khanna Vikas Club and the Lions Club (Vishal) has donated more than 2,000 blankets.

Meanwhile, the president of the Civil Supplies Food Inspectors, Punjab, said all inspectors of the state would donate their one month’s salary.


Boy missing since January 16
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Jan 31— A school student is missing since January 16.

According to the police, Ms Jasmeet Kaur, a resident of Model Town, complained on January 25 to the police that her son Ravinder Pal Singh, alias Vicky, a student of the local AS Senior Secondary School, was missing since January 16. She said in the complaint that her son went to school at 8.45 a.m., but did not return. She alleged that her son was in the hands of a group of gays. She named a teacher of the missing student. She also alleged that Vijay, a servant of the teacher, was also involved in these activities and it had been learnt that Vicky was called regularly by him.

According to the police sources, the teacher told the police that his servant Vijay and Vicky were in Jakhal town with eunuchs.

The sources said that another person of Bhattian village, near here, also suspected to be involved in the racket, was absconding.

Intriguingly, Vicky told her mother on telephone that he was well and was calling from Patiala. However, the telephone number used by him was traced to Bhattian village.

Vicky had gone missing earlier also for four days. Mr R.N. Dhoke, SSP, Khanna, confirmed the boys were indulging in homosexual activities. He said investigations were on and police parties had been sent to various places in this connection.


Courier company directed to pay compensation
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 31 — In a significant decision, the District Consumer Disputes and Redressal Forum has directed a courier company to pay an amount of Rs 93,764 as compensation for negligence in services to a local export company.

The forum has directed M/s DHL Worldwide Express, a courier company, to pay the amount along with an interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum as compensation to M/s AGG Export Company which had sent some urgent documents to its client abroad through DHL worldwide.

The complainant had sent a performa invoice on July 19, 1997 to a Mexico-based company M/s S.A. Decv regarding the proposed sale of bicycle parts. The importer got the documents on August 4, 1997. After that the shipment of goods was made. The required documents were submitted to the State Bank of India, Link Road, Ludhiana, for collection of the proceeds and for observation of instructions. The bank received the documents on October 14, 1997. However, the documents did not reach the banker of the importer though the goods had reached the port of destination.

The complainant stated before the forum that since the valued documents did not reach the banker named by importer the goods could not be got released by the importer. The storage expenses mounted. The importer, in the meantime, sent an e-mail on January 21, 1998 and made a demand of US $ 2,016.67 on account of storage charges. The complainant remitted the said amount. The importer required 60-day extension for delay in getting the delivery of goods on account of the fact that the document had not reached the place of destination. The complainant had to agree to the said extension.

The complainant alleged in the complaint that it was clear negligence on the part of the bank and the complainant suffered losses of US $ 2,016.67 and also Rs 45,342 as bank-guarantee charges.

The bank took the plea that the complaint was not maintainable as the bank was not liable if the documents could not reach the destination. The bank stated before the forum that the documents were received on October 14, 1997 and the same were sent on that very day through the DHL courier.

The forum observed in this case that the bank had sent the document on the same dates on which the documents were received through the courier company and there was no negligence on the part of the bank. The forum further stated that the documents were lost due to the negligence of the courier company and were not delivered at the destination. The forum observed that due to the non-delivery of the documents the complainant suffered damages. The forum held that the DHL courier company was liable to compensate the complainant for the loss which comes to Rs 93,764.


Gang of robbers busted
From Our Correspondent

MANDI GOBINDGARH, Jan 31 — With the arrest of four persons yesterday the local police and CIA Sirhind claim to have busted a gang of robbers. The police also claimed to have seized a Maruti van (No. DHC-8182), two colour and a black and white television set and a deck from them.

While talking to mediapersons Mr Harnek Singh Saroh, SSP, Fatehgarh sahib, and Mr Kamaljit Singh Sandhu, SP (D), said the arrested persons had confessed to having committed three murders.

According to Mr R. Sarah, SSP, the head of this gang Nand Lal, alias Gabbar, a Nepali resident of Mandi Gobindgarh had already been arrested by Rajpura police, a few days back. Other members of the gang Neelu Tirah Ram, Raju, alias Bawa Deen and Jagu Bahadur were arrested by the local police and CIA, Sirhind police.

According to the police they had confessed that the van had been stolen from Delhi and TV sets from Patiala. 


Man killed, body thrown on railway line
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 31 — a 30-year-old unidentified man, was allegedly killed last night and his body was thrown over the Lakkar Pul to make it appear as an accident case.

However, in their haste to dump the body, the suspected murderers, missed the aim and the body fell just near a railway line through which an engine was passing at about 2am. The alert driver brought the engine to a halt and reported the matter to the senior railway authorities. He, however, could not clearly see the persons who threw the body.

The deceased’s throat was slit open. Inspector Lakha Singh, SHO Railway police station, said no clue had been found about the identity of the man so far. 


Food adulteration goes on unabated
By Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, Jan 31 — Food adulteration continues unabated in the city. According to sources, in the Civil Surgeon's office, a number of samples collected in the year 2000 in the city, have failed tests. A number of cases have been registered under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act against those found guilty. They can be subjected to a rigorous imprisonment upto 10 years with or without fine.

The sources disclosed, about 203 samples were taken for the tests by the department. These included all the items right from pulses, rice, wheat to cold drinks, milk, salt, pepper and turmeric. About 40 samples failed the tests. The result of another 10 samples is still awaited by the department.

One of the officials with the department said that it took at least 4 weeks to 6 weeks to get the results of the collected samples. He said that all the specifications were same under the Government of India's PFA act. He said, "We keep on getting complaints. The local health authority assigns district health officer and food inspectors, who conduct raids and collect samples throughout the district. Samples of every edible item with manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are collected".

The collected samples are sent to Public Analysis Laboratory, Punjab. If samples get a clearance certificate, then it is passed, but if not, proceedings are launched under the PFA Act at the Chief Judicial Magistrate's court.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune here today, the official said that yesterday only the department had collected six samples of 'spurious' tea from the Kesar Ganj market. One sample of namkeen of a renowned company was also collected for the test. Most of these food adulteration cases were found in the urban area of the district, due to a great demand of edible items. The officer also said that the spurious eatables could cause many dreadful diseases like cancer, ulcers and gastro-enteritis. He also revealed that a majority of adulterated condiments were on sale in the city and efforts were being made to check the same.


Punjab Kisan Club annual function today 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 31 — The annual function of Punjab Kisan Club will be held at the Kairon Kisan Ghar, PAU campus, Ludhiana on February 1, 2001. Dr G.S. Kalkat, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, will preside over the function and Bhai Narinder Singh, Member, Board of Management, PAU and a progressive farmer will be the chief guest. Dr K.S. Aulakh, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor Designate of PAU will also be special guests of honour.

On this occasion the progressive farmers of the state will share their experiences regarding the innovative methods adopted by them on their farms and will also exhibit their farm produce. The technologies for improvement of the quality will also be exhibited.

According to Dr G.S. Momi, professor cum head, Department of Extension Education, Punjab Kisan Club, is a voluntary organisation of progressive farmers of Punjab. They meet regularly every month on the PAU campus to interact with the experts and share the experiences among themselves. Apart from this the members also share the improved seeds among themselves and also organise conducted tours to the successful farms within and outside the state. The club was started as a village-level club by Dr T. S. Sohal, former head, Department of Extension Education at the farm of Mr Ishar Singh at Barewal Awana village, about 30 years back and later grew into a state level club with late Lt. Gen. (retd.) Mr Sant Singh as its founder president. At present the club has a membership of about 2500 life members with a separate women’s wing.


School children have narrow escape 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 31 — The directions of the district authorities to avoid overloading of three- wheelers and rickshaws carrying school children were being flouted with impunity and in the absence of any deterrent action violations were a routine rather than an exception.

In yet another instance of overloading, a rickshaw carrying nearly 25 children dismantled, throwing tiny tots on the road in the Midha Chowk market, near general bus stand, this morning. However, what could have turned out to be a major disaster was averted due to slow speed of vehicles in the morning. All children, packed like sardines, escaped unhurt.

According to shopkeepers, who were witness to the incident, any vehicle coming from behind even at a moderate speed could have caused havoc.

The rickshaw puller Jhinak Prasad said all students were from Jhoolewal Government School, Model Town.


City traffic ‘scares’ globe-trotters
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 31 — It was a pleasure for Sonke Bemmann, a 24-year-old car mechanic from Berlin and his girl friend Suzann (23), to pedal their bikes into the city early morning today .

They had spent the night about 25 km from the city in a gurdwara on their way from Amritsar, having crossed the Wagah border two days ago. Though Suzann had been to India about three years ago, for Sonke it is a maiden trip. The pair, surrounded by curious onlookers in the Bhadaur House, was trying to have a peaceful cup of tea, soon after their arrival in the city when this reporter met them.

The two had started on a world tour in September last year, and have already covered nearly 14 countries, including Turkey, Iran, Greece, Pakistan. They were refused permission to visit Afghanistan.

Sonke seemed to possess a deep insight in the Indian scene. He attributed the country’s poverty to three factors. Lack of education which hindered people from seeking more opportunities, excessive population that constantly negated progress and the very geographical position of the country. Monsoons, a phenomenon that does not occur anywhere else in the world, was not very conducive for agriculture, the very basis of the country's economy.

Suzann, who had not been able to visit Panjab during her previous visit, was all praise for its people whom she found very hospitable and friendly. They were planning to proceed to Delhi in the afternoon. After a week's sojourn in Delhi, they plan to visit Nepal and come back to India for the rest of their six-month visa period. Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Kerala, and Rajasthan are among the places they hope to visit . Covering 70 to 100 kms. a day on their sturdy bikes, it may well take another couple of years or so before they wind up their world tour with a visit to South America.

While Sonke was talking, Suzann was merrily clicking with her camera and capturing some memories.

However, the two did not have much to say about the city as they had just arrived. But both of them were unanimous in their views about the city traffic which according to them was ‘dangerous'.

Bon Voyage.


Seema wins best rider trophy
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 31— In the equestrian events, Cadet Seema Madan of the NCC group Ludhiana got the best rider trophy along with the silver medal in the veteran show jumping event held at the Republic Day camp in New Delhi.

Senior Under Officer Amrita Dhaliwal was appointed as Camp Cadet Adjutant, which was a rare honour for the Ludhiana group. Cadet Madhu Bala won a silver medal in the hack competition.

Twelve boy and six girls cadets from here participated.

According to a press note issued here today by Col P.S. Bedi, Commander of the group, SUO Harsangeet and Sergeant Harpreet Singh participated in the guard of honour contingent. Apart from this, SUO T.S. Mann, Under Officer Shailza, Cadet Ikram-ur-Rehman and Cadet Vijay Karan Singh participated in the Prime Minister’s rally.


A hard working housewife

MEERA BAJWA, a dynamic, charming person, has had a chequered career. At present, she is working for Net Cradle India, a software development company for online education of the primary age group. Meera is in charge of showing the finished products that are to be launched in the UK in March. Presently, she is showing software for teaching Mathematics and English to students of primary classes of four schools to get feedback. It seems the children are thoroughly enjoying the novel way of being taught through animation, sound and colour.

Before marriage, Meera was an air hostess with Air-India for seven years. She flew all over the world, her favourite haunt used to be Beirut, the Paris of the East, before the civil war wrecked the city. Her job taught her patience and to deal with emergencies with calmness and fortitude. She had to handle difficult passengers, at times. These qualities have been helpful in dealing with stressful situations that arose later.

When her husband, who was working in the private sector, moved from Mumbai to Delhi and from there to Chandigarh, Meera took the changes in her stride and never felt bored as she found the challenges of motherhood quite fulfilling. When her children grew up, she took up a job of an elocution teacher in Saint John’s School, Chandigarh, and perfected children’s pronunciation and voice modulation. She enjoyed her job and was a favourite, both with her students and her colleagues.

When her husband decided to start a business in Ludhiana, she never discouraged him. Though she found the city to be a bit different, she kept herself busy with a school job at first and later as a business-woman.

Meera has a deep social conscience. She has been a regular blood donor and has also run a school for the slum children in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Ludhiana.

— Asha Ahuja


Theft in village
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 31 — A theft took place at a house in Karebare village in the SalemTabri police station area last night.

According to a case registered at the police station The thieves struck at the house belonging to Gurpreet Singh and decamped with Rs 4,600 and some gold earrings. The owner of the house, some guests and servants were sleeping in the house when the theft took place. They came to know about it in the morning only.


Cut in prices boosts TV sales
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 31 —The sale of colour televisions (CTV) has been rather sluggish in December as compared to last year. The industrial recession, decline in the agriculture growth rate and a severe drought in many states have badly affected the demand of the black and white (B&W ) as well as CTV sets.

Indian and foreign companies till recently were offering zero per cent interest schemes and exchange offers, which failed to boost sales to desired levels. The entry of Chinese TV companies has forced were Indian and other foreign TV companies to revise their market strategies to remain in business.

Two major players in the TV market, BPL and Videocon, have consequently announced price cuts upwards of Rs 1,000, across all sizes and models of televisions effective from January 26.

One of the local TV dealers disclosed that till December the sale of almost all TV brands was 40-50 per cent less than the sales figures in the previous year. Companies did not offer any good scheme this year. The TV market was also hit like other sectors of the economy.

However, as the financial year is coming to a close on March 31, companies are offering heavy discounts to boost a depressed market. Enquires with local dealers revealed that the price of 20-inch Indian brand televisions varies between Rs 8,500 to Rs 9,500. On the other hand, as foreign companies have not yet announced any cut in the their rates hover around Rs 11,000. Needless to say rate of Chinese TV substantially lower than Indian as well as foreign brands.

The price of 21” and 25” brands of Indian brands companies varies between Rs 10,000 to Rs 13,000 and Rs 15,000 to Rs 18,000 respectively. Foreign companies are selling these models in the range of Rs 14,000 to Rs 15,500 and Rs 23,000 to Rs 32,000 respectively. Similarly, the rate of 29” Indian TV models varies between Rs 22,000 to Rs 24,000 as compared to foreign brands, which are being sold in the range of Rs 28,000 to Rs 38,000.

Another TV dealer was of the view that the cut in prices has indeed helped increase sales up to 25 per cent in the last week of January, as compared to sales in the corresponding period in the previous year. Though customers, as well as dealers, expect a greater cut in prices and free gift schemes in the coming days, market watchers caution against too much hope. They say due to the impact of the recent earthquake in Gujarat on the coming budget, the Finance Minister may not be in a position to provide any cut in the excise duties on TVs and their components. 


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