Thursday, February 8, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rescue of bonded labourers exposes false claims
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — The People’s Vigilance Committee criticised the Labour Commissioner of Punjab, here today, saying that claim made by him at a press conference that there was no bonded labour in Punjab was false.

Mr Jai Singh, head of the committee, presented two rescued bonded labourers — Tehal Singh and Ranjit Singh — before mediapersons here today. He alleged that the state government was not doing anything in their case. Mr Jai Singh said, as per the information collected by the committee, there were about 5 lakh bonded labourers in the state.

Mr Jai Singh said the PVC alone had rescued more than 1,000 bonded labourers from various parts of the state and brought their cases to the notice of the government. He said the government was not doing anything for rescuing these labourers and many cases were pending since 1995.

After presenting Tehal Singh, one of the rescued labourers, before mediapersons, Mr Jai Singh said Tehal’s employer had paid him Rs 22,000 in advance and forced him to work full-time as farm servant. He was not paid anything else. In April, past year, Tehal Singh escaped from Rohti Bastawala village in the Patiala district and the committee provided him with shelter at Phillaur.

Tehal Singh stayed in the PVC rehabilitation centre for some months before returning to his village on Diwali, from where he was forcibly taken away by his employer. He continued to work there till a bull hit him and broke his leg. As he could not work, his employer told him to return after he got well.

Mr Jai Singh said this case was pending for the past many months with the state SC-ST Commission, but nothing had been done to rescue Tehal. He said Ranjit Singh, the second bonded labourer had been rescued from a village in the Bathinda district. He said many such rescued bonded labours were staying in the committee rehabilitation centre.

Mr Jai Singh said he had written to the Labour Commission that farm servants were being treated badly. He said the Law of Minimum Wages, 1948, had become obsolete now. He said, as per this law, the minimum wages were fixed according to the calories required by a labourer, which was not justified.


Examiners fail to turn up, students miss test
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — Though today was the last day of the practical examinations of Class X students, several external examiners did not turn up at the Punjab School Education Board centres where private candidates were to appear in the test. As a result, no examination was held today.

As per the date sheet issued by the board, this was the last day for the health sciences practical examinations and science practicals were to be held till yesterday. However, due to a delay in the dispatch of roll numbers, the board had extended the days for science practicals to today for private candidates.

However, it was found that external examiners had not turned up at most of the centres. The examiners, when contacted at their houses, said as no private candidate had turned up at the centre yesterday, they had believed that no one would come today as well.

Some other examiners said they had not received the final list of candidates. They said they had told the attendants at the centres to call them if any candidate turned up there.

Holiday for the second half of the day announced by the government on account of the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidass that falls on Thursday, is also a reason why these examiners decided to stay home.

Due to this half-day holiday, several private candidates could not get their roll numbers even today and, as a result, could not appear in the test as well. Yesterday, officials of the board here had told them to approach the SAS Nagar office of the board to get their roll-number cards. These students could not get the cards from the SAS Nagar office as well, as their names were not in the final list that had been sent there.

Monica, a private candidate of a Barewal academy, said she could not get the roll number till 2 pm today. She said the board officials here had told her to write to the authorities at SAS Nagar in this regard.


Refund admission fee: DM
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — Coming to the rescue of innumerable parents, who were not being refunded the school admission fee of their wards who got admission in more than one schools, the District Magistrate today issued directions to all the schools in the city to refund the fee after deducting the process charges.

According to the orders all private, aided and affiliated schools in the district will have to refund the fee deposited till March 16, after deducting the process charges amounting to Rs 250.

The orders said that it has come to the notice of the District Magistrate that the schools were indulging in economic exploitation of the parents by not refunding the fee. It said that due to different dates of admission, the parents do not have any choice but to deposit fee in any school where the child gets admission. Later, the parents keep on trying in a school of their choice and seek refund of fee from the previous school.


Electric poles a traffic hazard
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — A girl had a miraculous escape when she was unhurt after collision with an electric tower. Those who think this was a freak accident have just to look at a number of areas in the city where electric poles stand precariously in the centre of the road, thus, causing a number of accidents.

But the Electricity Department seems unperturbed as several colonies of the city have transformers fixed in the centre of the street, causing serious traffic hassles. Such transformers, which are located at Sarabha Nagar, Chaura Bazar, Dal Bazar and Sunder Nagar, are not visible during the foggy nights.

The vehicles can not move safely as the electric poles have blocked the road. The poles are not visible at nights as the poles are not painted.

Sometime back the PSEB has stated drive to remove the electric poles from the Pakhowal road but left the drive incomplete. These removed poles are also creating traffic problem as they are still lying on the road.


All set for census operations
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — The district is all set to undertake the census operations, the sixth in independent India, from February 9 to 28. Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner and Principal Census Officer for the district, except Ludhiana city, said that the district had been divided into 11 sectors. The Additional Deputy Commissioner would be the district census officer with the respective SDMs as subdivisional census officers.

The district and subdivisional census officers will be assisted by the respective tehsildars and executive officers of the municipal councils who would function as the census officers. Mr Sandhu said the district had been divided into 2,637 small units termed as blocks in which 2,536 enumerators and 436 supervisors would collect the detailed information in the prescribed forms.

The Deputy Commissioner further said that the census data of the houseless population would be collected on February 28, the last day of the census operations, after proper verification. There would be a revision round of the census from March 1 to 5 for those who had missed the first round.

Mr Sandhu appealed to the public to extend their cooperation to the enumerators and provide correct information regarding the household and members of the family. He said the census was not mere a head count but was a comprehensive source of data with information on housing, household, amenities, literacy, work force, occupational characters, migration and disability, which further proved to be a vital basis for formulation of various policies and programmes of development by the government.

The overall census work will be carried out under the directions of 30 charge officers, which would comprise 25 civil and five special charge officers for census work in the CRPF, armed forces, Punjab Agricultural University and the Railways. 


Researching the art of tying the turban
By Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — The art of tying the turban may not necessarily be unique to India or the Sikhs, but here it is definitely at ites best. According to Georgia Scot, the style of turbans among the Sikhs is the most elegant and compact. She feels, probably that makes their headgear the most unique in the world.

Georgia Scot, a 31-year-old art director with the New York Times, is on a visit to India as part of a year-long trip around the world to research headgear, particularly the customs of wearing turbans and handscarves. While in Punjab, she is focussing her research on the styles of Sikh men. She has been introduced to a number of local citizens and customs by her Sikh friend Mr Rabinder Singh.

Ms Scot said that ,” Rabinder taught me how turbans were tied and explained things which books never mentioned. I was surprised to know that he spent 5-7 minutes tying his neat and fine turban”.

“Sikh men are known around the world for wearing neatly tied turbans, but people outside the community have no idea why they wear them, or how varied they are”, said Ms Scot, who first got an understanding of Sikhs through books purchased in New York.

Ms Scot has been making comparisons about people and their style of headgear for eight years. On July 23, 2000, she left the United States for a voyage of 38 countries to see things for herself. She has been to Africa and Eastern Europe, and after leaving India on February 15, she will be travelling to other parts of Asia, Caribbean and South America.

While sharing some of her experiences with Ludhiana Tribune, Ms Scot said that she had come to the country for the first time. Ms Scot has been really impressed with traditional Indian outfits, specially Punjabi suits. She feels, “The suits are elegant, graceful and very comfortable. I have got four salwar suits for myself from Ludhiana itself”.

She said that each country had some new custom behind tying headscarves and turbans. Russian unmarried girls do not cover their heads, but as soon as they get married, they cover them for the well being and long life of their husbands and children. The young men in the country still cover their heads with colorful caps and scarves.

She found great difference between the cultures and traditions in the countries. In some wearing turbans was a fashion, whereas some cancer patients covered their heads with scarves due to their baldness. She has already travelled 24 countries and experienced some memorable moments.


Tortured man bad character: police
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — Claiming that Avtar Singh Taari, who had been allegedly tortured by CIA police yesterday, was a ‘known’ criminal involved in about 20 cases, the district police today chose not to take any action against the accused police officials.

The man was admitted in an unconscious state to a local hospital near Arti Cinema here about three days ago. On regaining consciousness, he alleged that he was called to the CIA wing and brutally tortured by the police, due to which his problem of hernia surfaced,

However, SSP Kuldip Singh, while denying the allegations, said the complainant was a known ‘bad character’, against whom at least 20 cases of criminal offences were registered in different police stations of the district. He said of those, the most heinous was the case of kidnapping of a child Kashish Aroroa of the city, who was released after a ransom of Rs 9 lakh was paid to him.


Several schools to be closed from today
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — Several schools of the district will close down for a month from tomorrow itself as a holiday on account of the birth anniversary of Guru Ravi Dass, is to be followed by holidays for a month as census duties begin from Friday.

According to information gathered from various school teachers, more than 70 per cent of enumerators for the census are teachers. While the whole teaching staff has been deputed from some of the schools, nearly 60 per cent has been drawn from a majority of the government and aided schools here. Teachers and parents of the students are worried as they feel that this is the peak time for studies and the situation may affect the results this year. Several teachers unions had demanded relaxation of duties, in vain.

While the census duties will begin from February 9 to March 5, the Punjab School Education Board examination for Class V will begin from March 7 and those for matriculation and senior secondary classes will begin from March 12. Thus, no time would be left for revision for any board class examination. 


BKU to force ships to return from Mumbai port
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) plans to launch a nationwide agitation against the import of farm products. A massive rally in this regard will be organised at the Mumbai port on February 19 to force ships loaded with imported farm products to go back.

This was announced by the President of the state unit of the BKU, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, its General Secretary, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, and its Press Secretary, Mr Bhupinder Singh Maheshri, in a joint statement issued here yesterday.

They claimed that farmers of Punjab were keen on joining the Mumbai rally and farmers of North India would begin a rath yatra from Jammu and Kashmir. Farmers of South India would begin a similar rath yatra from Kanyakumari on tomorrow. In Punjab, farmers would receive participants of the rath yatra at Khadoor Sahib in Amritsar district on February 8 and Arniwala in Ferozepur district on February 9.

The BKU functionaries said the rath yatra aimed at educating farmers about threats to the economy from the WTO and GATT agreements. At several places, the BKU and the other farmers’ bodies would organise kisan panchayats where senior leaders of these parties would address farmers.

Mr Kadian said policies of the government were anti-farmer. “The Government of India could have imposed a 100 per cent duty on imported wheat to save Indian farmers, but this was not done. The Union Government had also agreed in principle to slap a 300 per cent duty on the import of oil seeds. However, in the face of pressure from the USA and the other developed nations, only a 25 per cent duty was imposed.”

The BKU leaders said the government should pull out of the WTO if it was unable to get the detrimental clauses deleted from the agreement. “As an alternative to the WTO, the government can bring developing nations on one platform for mutual trade ties.” They criticised the government for not declaring the minimum support price for wheat so far and demanded that the hike in the MSP should be according to the increase in the cost of farm inputs.


Doubts over viability of ban on smoking
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — While the union governments move to ban smoking at public places and stopping sponsorship of sports events by tobacco manufacturers has been widely welcomed, there is also cynicism about the viability and practicability of the idea. Instead of the ban, the common suggestion, is that the government should create massive awareness against the harmful effects of smoking and discourage them by persuasive methods.

A number of persons The Tribune talked to, pointed out the poor implementation of the earlier orders enacted by certain state governments like Delhi. Delhi had banned smoking at public places a few years ago, with severe penalty for those violating the ban. However, it did not ultimately work.

Ranjit Sharma, a businessman said, such decisions hardly worked. Given the number of people used to smoking, it may be difficult to impose a ban no matter with what punitive measures. He agreed that the ban on smoking at public places would definitely be beneficial for passive smokers, but it may not be practicable in the long run.

Dr Daljit Pooni, a physician working in the Punjab Agricultural University hospital here observed that in principle, the ban would certainly be a healthy step towards the good health of citizens. But, he asks, will it be possible to implement it. He said, if implemented in toto, it would be one of the great achievements, as thousands of passive smokers will be saved from a number of health hazards.

Mr Sanjiv Bittu, a businessman said, it would be too premature to comment on the decision. But in case the government is able to execute it properly, it would definitely be a landmark achievement. He stressed the need for massive public awareness campaign in order to discourage people from smoking.

Both Mr Gagandeep Singh and Mr Bhomik Sharma, are of the view that the campaign against smoking should be started from schools and colleges. They pointed out, it is at this stage when people take to smoking. If they are regularly cautioned about the harmful effects of smoking, they would definitely desist from it. Moreover, they suggested that the government should also create a powerful campaign to make everyone aware of the adverse effects of smoking.

Some people have even been questioning the sincerity and seriousness of the government in carrying out its own orders. They pointed out that earlier also, the government had mooted the ban on ghutka. However, the idea was shelved after the powerful ghutka lobby prevailed upon the government against it. Same may also happen to the idea of banning smoking at public places.

Some multinational cigarette companies are also eyeing the Indian market. After China, India is believed to be the largest market for cigarettes in the world. Given the amount of money involved, it may not be possible for the government to execute its own orders.


Introducing new concepts in beauty culture
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — Make up is no longer restricted to the world of fashion. Be it working women, a business entrepreneur or a middle-class housewife, everyone wants to look good. And it is no longer a belief that you need to be born beautiful for being so. Beauty parlours have been proving the old myth wrong and that probably explains the widespread mushrooming of beauty parlours, more so in Ludhiana.

Even body-tattooing is no longer alien to Punjab now. Hundreds of women, particularly younger ones, get different parts of their body tattooed. A promising young beautician Natasha, has been claiming credit for it.

Twenty-year-old Natasha claims that she was the first to introduce the art of tattooing in the north, after learning it from Britain and Bombay. She disclosed that women, particularly young girls have been fond of tattooing themselves on the arms, hands, neck and the back.

She displayed her talent at a workshop in Bombay about two years ago. She has never looked back since. Natasha, besides beauty culture has also been studying fine arts. She is in her final year with music as one of her special subjects. “It is my deep interest in the fine arts that has helped me to perform better in the beauty culture”, she remarked.

Natasha has been helping her mother, who is a leading beautician running a flourishing beauty parlour in the city for the past many years. Besides her ‘innate talent’, Natasha gives the credit of her success to her mother.

She observes that the traditional definitions of ‘make up’ do not hold true. While earlier it was the women from the affluent classes only who would visit the parlours on special occasions, like marriages or parties, now women want to look good at all times and visit parlours as part of a routine.

But, Natasha disclosed, there is a difference. Women want a subtler make up which does not look too prominent. Although this trend is more common at places like Bombay and Delhi, but it is certainly picking up in Ludhiana also. The trend is no longer limited to the upper classes. Women belonging to middle-classes are also coming out to get themselves ‘made up’ for different occasions.

Natasha believes that beauty culture is going to be an enterprising business in the coming days and will be an important part of the services sector. Although having won accolades at a young age, she believes she still has a long way to go. “My endeavour has always been to introduce latest trends and concepts in the beauty culture and I think I will always remain in the process of learning” remarks a modest Natasha.


Response to relief call overwhelming
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — Members of trade and industry, as well as social, religious and voluntary organisations in the city, continued making contributions towards the relief and rehabilitation of earthquake victims of Gujarat here.

According to Mr S.R. Kler, Additional Deputy Commissioner, cash donations were received at the relief counter set up by the district administration from Shopkeepers Association Grain Market, Mullanpur (Rs 1.05 lakh), Baba Jaswant Singh Trust (Rs 1 Lakh), Arhtiya Association, Jagraon (Rs 31,000), M/s Vas Dev Naresh Kumar, Raikot (Rs 25,000), Sherpur Shopkeepers Association (Rs 21,000).

The local chapter of Punjab Hotel and Restaurant Association, today contributed Rs 1 lakh in cash and a truckload of eatables, worth Rs one lakh for the quake victims. Mr N.S. Nanda, president and Mr Surinder Singh, general secretary of the association, handed over a cheque to Mr Kler, who later flagged off the truck of relief material for Gujarat. The association has also sent five volunteers for the distribution of relief to the affected people in Bhuj district.

The District Youth Congress (Urban) has sent a truck of relief material for the quake victims to Rajiv Gandhi Social Welfare Fund, which was flagged off by former Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Mr Harnam Das Johar. Apart from the DYC president, Mr Parminder Mehta, others present at the occasion were Mr Ravinder Syan, Mr Jasbir Johny, Mr Sarbjit Bunty, Mr Surjit Kaushal and Mr G.S. Arora.

A truckload of relief material, including rice, pulses, sweaters, woollens, match boxes and candles for earthquake victims was sent by Shri Sidh Peeth Shanti Dham. Mr Jiwan Dhawan, president, Vishwa Mitter Charitable Hospital, who flagged off the truck, made an appeal to the people to come forward with an open heart and do their best to alleviate the sufferings of their fellow beings.

Mr Sushil Tandon, Mr Naresh Kundra, Mr Narinder Kalra, Mr Mehar Chand and Mr Vipin Verma were present at the occasion.

The Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE) has raised contributions from its members and staff for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for Earthquake Victims. Mr R.C. Singhal, president, LSE, presented a cheque for Rs 2.13 lakh to Mr Kuldip Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police.

A medical team of the local Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), which had left for Bhuj district in Gujarat on Feb 2, had so far examined more than 1,300 persons injured in the earthquake. Out of these, 550 patients required orthopaedic services, 440 needed dressing, 225 had medical problems and another 70 needed anaesthesia services.

According to Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent of DMCH, the medical team was carrying a mobile X-Ray and dark room unit and had two Maruti Van ambulances with them, which proved to be handy in approaching remote villages and providing treatment to the patients at their door steps. The team, headed by Dr Ashwani Chowdhari, had 8 senior doctors, four junior doctors and requisite para-medical staff.

The Sutlej Club has already donated Rs 2,50,000 for the relief fund of earthquake victims of Gujarat. In addition to the above, another amount of Rs 2 lakh has been donated by the members of club.

According to Mr A.S. Chawla, general secretary, Sutlej Club, Mr Keshav Ram Vij donated Rs 1,05,000; Mr Chaman Lal Tangri, Rs 25,000; Innerwheel Club Rs 11,000; Ms Usha Mehta, Rs 5100; Mr R.P. Handa, Rs 5000; players of Rummy Room Rs 50,000; Mr Jaswinder Bhogal, Rs 2500 and Mr Sanjay Mohindru, Rs 11,000.

The general secretary said that the Club would celebrate Valentine Day on February 14 and the profits from the function would be sent to earthquake victims.


CICU opposes 2 pc surcharge on taxes
Tribune News service

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — The voluntary organisations, industry and the international community were providing sufficient relief for the rehabilitation of the victims. The government should not have imposed 2 per cent surcharge on income tax and corporate tax without estimating the losses and the money required for the rehabilitation of the earthquake victims.

These views were expressed by Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, President, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings. He said, "The voluntary organisations, including the chamber, were donating goods and money worth hundreds of crores of rupees for the relief fund established for the Gujarat rehabilitation. The world community had also promised additional money required for the relief victims. The hasty imposition of additional taxes would badly affect the spirit of the countrymen to donate money for the relief fund.’’

Mr Pardhan in a press note issued here yesterday regretted that the initial statement of the Prime Minister that the relief coming from the foreign countries in the shape of money was returnable with interest was baseless since no country providing relief so far has mentioned that they would demand the money given for the relief measures.

Mr Pradhan and Mr Avtar Singh, General Secretary of the chamber, urged the Central Government to withdraw the taxes. They said the enhancement in taxation should have been considered after calculating the actual receipts received by the Government of India under the earthquake relief fund. The balancing amount could be collected through taxes.

Mr Pradhan further asserted that talk of the tough Budget as indicated by the Prime Minister had further spread sensation amongst the trade and the industrial community because they were already facing the challenges of the WTO. The tough Budget would only affect the competitiveness of the industry.


MC plan to clear roads gathers dust
By D. B. Chopra

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — The much-touted plan of the local Municipal Corporation to clear 12 roads of the city of all encroachments remains a non-starter, thanks to the hold of the encroachment mafia which it enjoys over the local administration.

The plan , finalised after a meeting between Mr S. S. Sandhu, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, and the Traffic Superintendent, in the last week of November, was aimed at removing encroachments from the 12 congested roads of the old city. These roads were the CMC road, Jail road, the stretch between Books Market and Mali Ganj chowk, road from old Sabzi Mandi to Kakowal road, road from division number 3 chowk to Samrala chowk, road from division number 3 to the CMC chowk, road from Division number 3 chowk to Subhani building chowk, road from Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital to Montgomery chowk, road from Ghanta Ghar to Division number 3 chowk, Ghumar Mandi road, Kochhar market road and the Haibowal Bazar.

Most of these roads, which fall in the old city area, lead to the CMC. Removal of encroachments from these roads is of paramount importance to ensure smooth traffic, not only for the general public but particularly for those emergency patients who have to be rushed to the hospital for one reason or the other.

The road outside the CMC hospital remains congested due to a number of things. First of all, there is the row of auto-rickshaws lined along the hospital wall. Then there are roadside tea shops opposite the hospital which do brisk business throughout the day. The men running these stalls also treat the public road as their personal property. So much so that If one has to just stand and wait on the other side of the road outside the hospital for someone, one has to order a cup of tea. An electricity transformer, a public urinal and a garbage bin along the hospital wall occupy enough space. These not only occupy a lot of space but also encourage encroachments by roadside sellers. An office of the Electricity Department opposite to the hospital which is frequented by bill depositors also contributes to some extent to the overall congestion effect. While entry to auto-rickshaws is prohibited for major part of the day from Baba Than Singh chowk side, mini buses ply both ways with full freedom.

Dr Sandhu could not be contacted for comments on the feasibility of the encroachment removal plan.


A clarification
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — Referring to a news item ‘‘Coal traders to take extortion head on’’ published in Ludhiana Tribune today, Mr Prem Nath Aggarwal, President of the Punjab Coal Merchants Association, and members of its executive committee today denied that they had mentioned at any platform that either Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha or Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal was supporting R.S. Gandhi.

On the contrary, they said, it was due to the help of the state and local administration, particularly SSP Kuldeep Singh and DSP Gurjeet Singh, that the racket was being kept under check.


Former SHO booked
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — Chain Singh, former SHO, Model Town, was booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act by the district police here yesterday. He has been accused of taking money from a person for helping him in a land dispute case, according to an FIR registered by the police. Besides Chain Singh, 24 persons have also been booked in the case for trying to forcibly possess a plot at Bindra Nagar opposite Chatar Singh Park here. 

It states that Bhan Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Paramjit Singh and Narang Singh along with 20 other persons had on January 29 tried to forcibly occupy a plot claimed to be owned by the complainant. It also states that Chain Singh arrived on the spot with force and took Rs 10,000 from the complainant who did not take any action and then also demanded another Rs 40,000. ASP Shiv Kumar who is investigating the case said that the case has been registered on the complaint of Balwinder Singh.


Police monitoring health club waiters
Steps to check anti-social elements
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 7 — The health clubs in the city, especially in the outer colonies, have become a major meeting ground for certain anti-social elements. Besides, there is also growing incidence of involvement of waiters, commonly employed in marriage palaces, in criminal activities.

As a precautionary measure, the police, besides keeping watch on the waiters, has decided to make it mandatory for all the health club owners to maintain a record of all the trainees with their addresses and photographs.

Stating this to reporters at a press conference here today, Mr Parmod Ban, Superintendent of Police (City-II), claimed that the district police had achieved a major success against anti-social elements by busting two gangs of robbers allegedly responsible for a number of robberies in the Salem Tabri and Focal Point areas of the city.

Giving details about the gang members, he said most of them were employed as waiters. During questioning, they had found that the health clubs had become a convenient meeting ground for anti-social elements who did not have any worthwhile occupation.

He said the four persons of the five-member gang, active in Salem Tabri, had been arrested. These were Bal Kishan, Arun Yadav, Mahesh Kumar and Paramjit Singh. The fifth member, the alleged kingpin of the gang, had gone to Bihar to buy more arms. A number of arms and cartridges had been seized from them.

The second gang had been busted by the Focal Point police. A number of firearms and cartridges along with stolen goods like TV sets, VCRs and gold jewellery had also been recovered from them.

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