Friday, February 9, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mukhija murder case: accused’s alibi doubtful
By Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — The statement of Gurbax Singh Kuku, one of the accused in the case of murder of a Congress leader, Harmesh Kumar Mukhija, that he was in the police custody here when the murder took place, is being viewed with suspicion. Mukhija was murdered on November 13 at Dharamkot in the Moga district.

The Moga police has reportedly completed its investigations and named Kuku as the prime accused, on the basis of statements of eyewitnesses. The AIG, Mr Paramjit Singh Gill, is investigating the authenticity of Kuku’s statement.

The police sources said a case had been registered against Kuku at the Sadar police station on November 12. However, the sequence of events before the arrest and his release on bail raised suspicion.

The police sources said the man who had been caught at Satluj Bridge near Phillaur for carrying 12 bottles of liquor had allegedly behaved unusually at police checkpoints at Jagraon flyover near the Ludhiana railway station and Jalandhar Bypass Chowk, a few minutes later.

His behaviour at these places before his arrest has been recorded in the inquiry report of the AIG. Sources said the policemen at these checkpoints had noticed that the man was deliberately trying to get arrested. The number of the man’s car has been recorded by the various police personnel. It is being said that the man was kept locked and released on bail the next day. The surety bond had been furnished by two policemen, which was rather unusual. Later, one of these policemen was sent to the Police Lines.

The police is considering three possibilities. The first theory is that the man had hatched the murder conspiracy and prepared an allibi to protect himself. The second theory is that it was not Kulu, but someone else, who was arrested. The third theory is that Kuku is innocent.

The police has interviewed the personnel at the Sadar police station and the checkpoints several times now.

After the murder, when the assailants — Gurbax Singh Kuku, his gunman, Surjit Singh, and Happy — had been identified and a case had been registered against them, Kuku had claimed that he had been implicated in the case.


Park encroached upon in Model Town
By Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — In a daring bid, certain persons have encroached upon a part of the 600 square yard vacant piece of land, shown as a public park in C Block of the posh Model Town Extension colony in the city. After the authorities took notice of representations made by area residents and the welfare society, those trying to occupy the land in an unlawful manner have put up a sign board, saying the structure being raised was a temple.

The enforcement staff of the building branch of the Municipal Corporation and an Assistant Town Planner have visited the site and directed that the construction work should be stopped forthwith, but no steps were initiated to demolish the boundary wall raised around the vacant land and foundations of the building laid there.

The area marked ''open space'' shown as a park in the site plan, is under encroachment in C Block of Model Town Extension locality in Ludhiana.

According to Dr Surjit Singh, chairman of Dr Ambedkar Nagar Welfare Society, who had raised the matter with MC authorities, those under occupation of the land earmarked for the park were claiming that the land was sold to them by One Kamal Kumar and Ms Munni for Rs 75,000, whereas the market price of the land in the area was around Rs 8000 per square yard and the land under encroachment was worth Rs 48 Lakh.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Surjit Singh said that representations to check the encroachment were sent to Mr Balramji Das Tandon, Minister for local bodies and senior MC officials, including the Commissioner Dr S.S. Sandhu. The Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, had also forwarded a copy of the representation, with his comments to the civic administration for necessary action.

A visit to the site by the Ludhiana Tribune team revealed that although no construction was going on, but a sign board proclaiming ‘site for Baba Ramdev Mandir Dharamshala’ was put up by unlawful occupants, purportedly to give the incident a religious touch and to garner the support of certain section of residents. Some persons present at the spot and moving around aimlessly, were evasive when asked about the ownership of the land and details of the deal. Several residents, living around the encroached land, revealed that the construction work was being carried out during the night and the early hours of the morning to avoid interference by residents and authorities.

The MC Assistant Town Planner, Ms Karamjit Kaur, disclosed that on the basis of the report lodged by building inspectors, she had visited the site and had ordered immediate stoppage of construction. A portion of the boundary wall raised at the site was also demolished, which was later reconstructed. She said, on receiving information that construction had again started, inspectors of building branch had rushed to the spot and she would also be visiting the site later in the day. Confirming that the area under encroachment was a public park, according to site plan of the locality, the ATP said any attempt to encroach upon the MC land would be sternly dealt with and any unlawful structure raised at the site would be demolished.

The area councillor, Ms Surjit Kaur Dang, has also urged the MC authorities to immediately intervene and remove encroachments from the public park. She has also demanded that all green belts and parks in the locality should be properly maintained to check recurring bids to encroach. 


IT raids on 15 business premises
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — The Income Tax Department carried out survey raids on 15 premises of four business firms situated on Gill Road here today.

A team of more than 100 income tax officials swooped on the suspected premises around 11 a.m. when the firms were looking forward to a good business day.

According to reliable sources, a large number of incriminating documents have been taken into possession by the officials. Tax evasion to the tune of lakhs of rupees was likely to be detected after the scrutiny of the seized documents, the sources added.

The raids were continuing till the time of reporting.

Higher officials of the department could not be contacted for details.


Picket removal issue
Police, hospitals at loggerheads
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — About two months after the district police abandoned the police pickets handling the medico-legal cases in the three main hospitals of the city, the police and the managements of the DMC, CMC and the Civil Hospital here remain at loggerheads over the issue.

While the hospitals have been complaining of facing serious difficulties in handling such cases and patients and their relatives also complaining about harassment due to the delay, the police, justifying the withdrawl of force, said the deployment was affecting the policing in the city.

The policy of creating a police picket in the three hospitals was started about four years ago. The need to depute about 15 police personnel arose from the necessity of medico-legal examination of scores of cases arriving at the three hospitals. The problem was that while on the one side the relatives of the patient or the victim were concerned about his well being, on the other they had to approach the police so that vital time in dealing with the medico-legal angle of the cases was not lost.

However, after continuing for four years, the police, which was drawing flak from the public for a spurt in crime, suddenly decided to abandon the police pickets. The reason put forward was that the police was facing a shortage of staff to deal with crime cases. Interestingly, most of the policeman deputed here were termed as ‘not fit’ for normal duty due to health problems.

The abandonment has now again brought back the problems faced earlier by the hospital staff. According to sources, a number of request letters have been sent to the police for reconsidering the decision but to no avail. Sources said due to the non-availability of the police staff, the entire procedure of medico-legal cases was being delayed. Even bodies have to be kept for a longer duration in the hospitals.

Relatives of the victims and the patients are also facing problems, as most of the time discharging of the patient is delayed as the police work has not been completed. An official of one of the hospitals said earlier the policemen used to handle everything and even called the police here but now the relatives and the patients have to go there in some urgent cases.

Mr Parmod Ban, SP City-II, commenting on the problem, however, justified the police move. He said there was too much pressure on the police force due to which the pickets had been abandoned. He said he has told the hospital staff to depute their own men as the main purpose of the police was to coordinate with the police station concerned.


PTU slashes fee for new IT courses 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — Punjab Technical University has decided to slash the fee for the new postgraduate nine-month diploma course in medical transcription and web synergy to be conducted in a joint venture with two local private companies.

The fee for the medical transcription course has been reduced to Rs 22,500 from Rs 30,000. In addition, Rs 1,000 will be taken as refundable security. However, the university has not finally decided on the exact amount of reduction in fee for the web synergy course. The fee will be taken in two instalments for both courses.

In view of the reviewed fee structure, the university has extended the dates of admission for the two courses. The dates for admission to the medical transcription course, which were scheduled to close by February 3, have now been extended to February 23. The dates for the web synergy course have been extended by another fortnight from February 7.

Mr Paramjit S. Juneja of Offshore Informatique Limited said the decision on the fee reduction was taken by the university authorities as they believed that the step would encourage students to take up the course.

Mr Juneja said the criterion for selection of candidates for the medical transcription course was changed slightly now. A written test with questions based on mental aptitude and English is being taken for every new admission, he said. He specified that 22 to 25 multiple choice questions were being asked in the test. He said that earlier admissions were being taken on the basis of questions being asked after playing an audio cassette.

Regarding the web synergy course, Mr Satvinder Singh of King Infotech Software Solutions said that the response was not very encouraging. He said: ''The response may not be good as this is not an appropriate time for admissions with the students already pre-occupied with examinations. This is the preparatory batch and we expect better response in April when the next batch will be admitted.''


Sale organisers booked
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — The organisers of a cloth's sale at a local hotel have been booked by the police for violating the orders of the District Magistrate for not encashing on the Gujarat earthquake tragedy for economic benefits.

The organisers had inserted advertisements in newspapers that were noted by the District Magistrate as exploiting the sentiments of the people for a better sale. The organisers had said that the clothes were designed by artists from Gujarat.

District Magistrate S.K. Sandhu took exception to the advertisement and sent one of his officers to inquire. Later it was found that the sale had no connection with the people of Gujarat. After seeking legal opinion the registration of a case was ordered.

SAD playing communal card in Majitha: Cong
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — Congress and Youth Congress functionaries have taken strong exception to the SAD President and Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, using communal card to mislead the electorate in the Majitha byelection.

In separate statements here, they alleged that the report card of the SAD-BJP combine on peace and development was blank which had forced the Chief Minister and his colleagues to emotionally exploit the voters in the name of religion.

Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, Secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, and Mr Pawan Diwan, Chairman, Urban Development Cell of the Indian Youth Congress, said that the nefarious move by the ruling Akali Dal to vitiate peace and communal harmony for political benefits would be rebutted by the Majitha voters. The electorate, they added, had to make a choice between the Congress, which was committed to peace and development, and the SAD, which had a poor track record with ineffective governance and widespread corruption.

The Punjab Youth Congress General Secretary, Mr Sumit Batish, and the DYC (Urban) Development Cell General Secretary, Mr Parveen Bansal, claimed that the Congress nominee would win the Majitha byelection with a huge margin.

"The ruling combine was upset over the anti-government mood of the voters and in desperation, it had resorted to exploiting the religious sentiments of the people by raising issues like Operation Bluestar and 1984 riots."

Senior Youth Congress functionaries, Mr Sunil Puri Shammi, Mr Varun Mehta and Mr Parveen Bakshi, have urged the party rank and file to sink their petty differences and mobilise support for the party candidate in Majitha. They claimed that the voters had already made up their minds to oust the government and a beginning in this direction would be made in the byelection.


Cupid is in the air
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — The much awaited Valentine’s Day is still a week away, but already unbound enthusiasm can be seen among college and school-going students, who have been awaiting this day. Shopkeepers find it lucrative to offer a variety of gifts to people in love. Colourful greeting cards and gift articles are at display at all gift stores in the city.

Interestingly, most of the shopkeepers said that the clientele this year was more of school and college girls. “Girls seem to be more excited than boys. They want something new and unique. Some of the girls visit several times to find out something ‘exclusive’”, said Mr Pawan Kumar Makkar, who has a gift shop at College Road.

Shops are flooded with a variety of gift items like packs of chocolates, candle lamps, soft toys, hanging hearts, heart-shaped wall-clocks, decorative flower sticks, CDs with love songs, perfumes and deodorants, bangle boxes with little hearts, perfumed candles and heart-shaped photoframes. A shop owner at the Jhansi Road said, “Some of them have kept the gift items at the shop itself. They will be carrying their gifts on the Valentine’s day. They are scared of their parents”.

Almost all customers demand a present with a heart on it. Little hearts are much in demand. The crystal hearts range from Rs 50, to Rs 100. Small teddybears with hearts in their hands range from Rs 50 to Rs 1,000. Shopkeepers have introduced ‘speaking flowers’ this time, which convey your message to your loved one. A single flower costs around Rs 200. The cards give a variety of messages like ‘Be my Valentine’, ‘100 reasons why I love you’, you are always close to my heart’.

Ebony at the Mall offers surprise gifts for couples. Every customer will be asked about the innermost secrets about their partners and if they give the right answers, they will get lots of gifts.

Sutlej Club will also be organising a show on Valentine’s Day, the profits from which would go to the Gujarat Relief fund. Lodhi Club will celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 12.

Not only youngsters and the unmarried, married couples also give gifts to their loved ones. Mr Vikram, who loves his wife very much said,”The day is all about love and friendship. To make it special and memorable, gifts, flowers and cards are ideal”. 


PUDA colony residents feel cheated
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — The high income group flats at Urban Estate, Phase I, is yet another example of wastage of resources of the government as well as of the hard earned money of a number of people as the colony wears a deserted look even after two years of construction.

The HIG flats were constructed by the Punjab Urban Development Authority in 1998 and only 19 houses out of 64 have been occupied by residents so far. The rest lie abandoned and partially constructed. Due to lack of facilities and proper civic amenities, most of the residents are willing to resale these flats but they do not find any takers.

The residents who had purchased the houses for more than Rs 8 lakh each are feeling cheated as they say that they had bought the houses keeping in view that PUDA would be providing all facilities and perfect surroundings in Urban Estate area. But to their disgust the unoccupied houses are serving as perfect meeting grounds for antisocial elements, ignored parks are serving as jungles of wild vegetation where pigs coming from piggeries in a nearby village and have a field day and the children of villagers defecate in the open plots in the area.

“I spent my hard earned money for buying this house. They had advertised that they would be giving the possession of partially finished houses to the owners but when we got the possession houses were not complete. There were no doors, no floors and no plastering of the walls. We felt cheated. Now we are trying to sell it off. But who so ever come to see the house looks at the ill maintained parks and abandoned houses and go away. No body is willing to pay the cost price of the house which we paid two years ago. We are loosing interest a well as the capital also,” said a resident who did not want to be quoted.

The residents said that even after two years of construction of the colony PUDA was not able to pay attention to the parks. It could not even stop the villagers from taking the piggeries away. They said that the nearby village has many junk dealers who set the old tyres on fire every night.

“This pollutes the environment badly every morning. Sometimes we fell breathless due to the dark smoke but cannot do anything about it. We cannot stop them as they will not listen to us. Moreover, they send their children to defecate in the open spaces and unoccupied houses of the colony,” said a resident.

One resident even said that the abandoned houses were even being used as shelters by drug addicts and thieves. We are not safe here. Every other day there are incidents of thefts in the area. Just the other day a man was climbing up the roof of my neighbours house. He was fortunately seen by him as he was still awake and the man ran away. 


Doraha MC donates Rs 1 lakh
From Our Correspondent

DORAHA, Feb 8 — The Doraha Municipal Council has donated Rs 1 Lakh for the earthquake victims of Gujarat .

Payal, Mr Sudarashan Kumar president, Municipal Council, Doraha, said that there has been an overwhelming response from the people of the town . The members of various organisations and unions have contributed in cash. Contributions of various bodies and individuals are as follows: Electrical unions (Rs 5100), Chakki unions (Rs 5100), Tempo unions (Rs 5100), Mahila Mandal (Rs 2100), Maniari unions (Rs 5100), Raj Kumar (Rs 2100). Paramjit Singh (Rs 5100) and Balwant Singh (Rs 1100). Thirteen councillors have also contributed Rs 13000 for the noble cause . A cheque for Rs 11000 has also been sent by the staff of the Municipal Council to the Regional Deputy Director, Local Government, Ludhiana.

The Arhtiya Association of Sahnewal, too has sent a draft of Rs 51000 to the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. Also employees of the Market Committee have donated their one day salary and sent a cheque worth Rs 9000 to the DC

Five trucks containing relief material were flagged off from Daburjee village today.

Baba Manjit Singh of Daburjee flagged off five trucks containing blankets, eatables and material for preparing food, early this morning. The sarpanch, Kuljinder Singh, lambardar, Mr Gurcharan Singh, and the villagers, who have contributed generously for the noble cause, were also present on the occasion.

Relief material consisting of 400 blankets and 100 suits alongwith Rs 9,556 were given to Mr Harkanwaljit Singh, BDO, Doraha, by Mr Harinder Pal Singh, Sarpanch and the villagers of Ghudani Kalan.

Also Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, is collecting material in cash and kind from the staff as well as the students to offer it to the DC, Ludhiana for the quake victims of Gujarat. Besides, the arhtiya association has contributed Rs 20,000, the truck union has donated Rs 21,000 and the Government contractors have given Rs 11,000 for the quake-hit people.


The students, staff and management of Gupta Model High School have collected and sent relief material including clothes and other goods for the Gujarat earthquake victims. The material was handed over to the Red Cross Society through the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.R.Kler, on Wednesday, said Ms Simmi Gupta, Principal of the school.

Aid for the quake-hit Gujarat continues to flow in unabated to the relief fund started by the district administration. Rs 3,20,143 was donated to the fund today by various individuals, trade and industrial associations. Mr Pran Arora and Mr Rajeev Arora, Chairman and Managing Director respectively of Ritesh Industries, presented a cheque for Rs 2.50 lakh to Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner.

Mr Niranjan Singh Toor, president, Haibowal Shopkeepers’ Association, handed over a demand draft for Rs 33,843 to Mr S.R. Kaler, Additional Deputy Commissioner.


Collection of money for the Gujarat earthquake relief is still going on in the Khamano area, according to Tehsildar Satinder Kumar. Rs 1,89,136 has been collected till now and this amount has been presented to the SDM, Khamano, Mr Nirbhai Singh .

This collection includes Rs 85,000 from Khamano only. The collection from villages has been done by patwaris with the help of sarpanches. No cash has been accepted and only cheques and drafts has been accepted to avoid rumours regarding mismanagement of money collected.


DMC team back from Bhuj
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — A 21-member earthquake relief team of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital which had gone to Bhuj on February 2 by an IAF carrier returned here yesterday.

The team comprised eight senior doctors, four junior doctors and nine para-medical staff members. The team, lead by Dr Ashwani.K. Choudhary from the Department of Neuro Surgery, stayed there for six days and carried with it two ambulances, medicines and other supplies worth Rs 8 lakh.

The team carried out round-the-clock medical relief operations in the town of Anjar and its surrounding villages, which is about 50 km from Bhuj.

“It was a touching experience. So much of pain, misery, wounds and helplessness of victims were terrifying. Our team managed to do a little for the victims”, said Dr Ashwani Choudhary.

The team divided itself into three groups. The groups set up two base camps and one group by rotation visited houses in ambulances from Anjar and treated patients. It provided the patients with necessary medical supplies.

“The people do not need food, clothes or even blood. All they need is manpower. People should go and do something for them as they were still in a state of shock”, said Dr Harpal Singh of the Orthopaedics Department, who also accompanied the team.

The doctors taught the patients to dress their wounds. They were provided with adequate dressing material, medicines and anti-septic lotions.

The team treated about 1300 patients, out of which 550 patients required orthopaedic services, 440 required debridement and dressings. 225 patients suffered various medical problems and 70 patients required anaesthesia services.

The team also carried a mobile X-ray and dark room unit. About 200 X-rays were done while the area had only one X-ray working unit. With the help of X-rays, many patients’ fractures were reset satisfactorily. Dr A. Choudhary reported that 80 per cent of the town was raised to the ground again.

“The need of the hour is to provide shelter to the victims, safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities. Blood transfusion was not possible as blood could not be cross-matched. People should not unnecessarily donate bottles of blood for the victims”, said Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent, DMCH.

The team of doctors said that Mr Brij Mohan Munjal, Dr S.C. Ahuja, Principal, DMCH, and Mr Prem Nath Gupta, secretary, managing society, were the source of inspiration to them during their stay at Bhuj.


Guru Ravi Dass Jayanti celebrated
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — The birth anniversary of Guru Ravi Dass was celebrated with religious fervour and devotion in the city yesterday. A number of processions were taken out in various parts of the city to mark the occasion.

A big shobha yatra was taken out from Dr Ambedkar Public School in Issa Nagri which culminated at Ravi Dass temple in Basti Jodhewal. The procession passed through Division Number 3, Subhani Building, Jail Road and Ghanta Ghar Chowk. Devotees along the procession route bowed before the palanquin to pay their obeisance to the Guru.

Devotees atop several tractor-trailers were singing hymns and devotional songs. Kirtani jathas accompanying the procession regaled the devotees with their rendering of holy shabads. Langar or community kitchens were also organised at several places in the city by religious and social organisations.

SAMRALA: On the eve of the birth anniversary of Guru Ravi Dass, many projects for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes were started here today. On this occasion Mr Sandeep Hans, SDM Samrala and Jathedar Kirpal Singh Khirnian, member, SGPC, distributed cheques in a gathering where Dalits participated in large members.

On this occasion, councillors Santosh Marwaha, Amar Nath Tagra, Gurmeet Singh Bedi, Nachhattar Kaur and former councillors Kuldeep Khullar, Som Nath Bains and Raj Kumar Thapar were also present.


FMD kills 50 animals in village
From Our Correspondent

DORAHA, Feb 8 — At least 50 dairy animals, including cows and buffaloes, of Ghudani Kalan village have died of foot-in-mouth disease in past week.

Mr Harinderpal Singh, Sarpanch of Ghudani Kalan village, said, “There is no cure for this disease which kills an animal within seconds. While eating, the animal’s throat gets swollen and mouth becomes still, and in no time, the animal is gone.” A team of doctors arrived in the village from Ludhiana and various tests were conducted on dead animals. The reports of these tests are yet to arrive.

However, villagers are worried, as five animals die each day. Mr Balwant Singh Ghudani, General Secretary of the district unit of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, said the situation could have been controlled in time if the village had a pharmacist.


INTUC to intensify stir
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) will intensify the struggle to achieve the pending demands of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) employees and will force the board authorities to put an end to discrimination against workers.

Addressing a rally organised by the Workers Federation of the PSEB at Sarabha Nagar here, Dr Subhash Sharma, President, INTUC, Punjab, focused on the pending demands of the PSEB employees.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Swarn Singh, President, Workers Federation, INTUC, Punjab, lamented that the policies of the PSEB were loaded in favour of the officers, while the fact was that the affairs of the board were being run by clerical and technical class III employees.

He attributed the worsening financial situation of the PSEB to poor maintenance which was the result of lack of an adequate number of technical and clerical staff. The other demands raised at the rally were withdrawal of condition for compulsory medical check up of employee above the age of 50 years, regularisation of the work-charged employees, hike in medical and risk allowances and abolition of the two-tier system.


Youth Cong leader joins NCP
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — The Youth Congress (Urban), got a setback when its general secretary, Mr Nasim Ansari, alongwith his followers, joined the Nationalist Congress Party here today.

According to an NCP press release by the party’s senior vice president, Mr Ramesh Kumar Nanchahal, Mr. Ansari was appointed district general secretary on joining the party. He said the defection by Mr. Ansari once again showed that the Congress was pursuing wrong policies and claimed that the future belonged to the National Congress Party.

Musharraf’s effigy burnt
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — Hundreds of activists of the Urban Development Cell of the Indian Youth Congress, led by the Chairman of the body, Mr Pawan Dewan, staged an anti-Pakistan demonstration in front of Clock Tower here. They also burnt the effigy of the Pakistani military ruler, General Parvez Musharraf, to protest against the recent killing of Sikhs by militants in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Dewan said the Indian Government should declare Pakistan a terrorist state. He said, while on one hand, Pakistan had sent relief for the earthquake-affected persons of Gujarat, on the other, it was masterminding the killings in Jammu and Kashmir. He said all terrorist outfits, including the Lashkar-e-Toiba, were being supported by Pakistan.

Mr Dewan criticised the unilateral ceasefire, saying that it had tied the hands of the security forces in the valley. He said the ceasefire had given a breather to terrorists and they were striking at will now.

He demanded that the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, should resign on moral grounds as the killings of innocent people in the country had increased. He also said the Farooq Abdullah government in Jammu and Kashmir should be dismissed.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mr Akshay Bhanot, Mr Jaswinder Singh Sabi, Mr Navnish Malhotra, Mr Sumit Batish, Mr Nimral Keram Bikkar Singh, Mr Dhyan Singh, Mr Nimral Kaura and others.

A meeting of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front was also held here today under the chairmanship of the district head of the body, Mr Suresh Rudra. The Front criticised the Vajpayee government for introducing unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir and demanded that it should be withdrawn.

Mr Balraj Singh Sekhon, Vice-President of the DCCI, has also condemned the killing of six Sikhs by militants.


French team visits city
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — “We had a very different image of India before we actually saw it. We had thought it to be a land of snake charmers and had thought people to be moving in bullock carts or mounted on elephants. Well! we are pleasantly surprised to see its progress, the architecture, the museums, the well-stocked markets, the swanky cars. We never thought that people will be possessing mobile phones. We are impressed with your democracy and the way it is functioning despite of all odds,”There were some of the observations made by members of a French team which is in Ludhiana as guests of the Rotary Club.

The Rotary Club had organised a dinner meeting in the team’s honour yesterday at Rotary Bhavan, Ludhiana jointly with Rotary Club Mid-Town.

The team landed in India on January 20 in Delhi. Members have so far visited Kapurthala Hoshiarpur, Dharamsala, Chamba, Palampur, Shimla, Pathankot, Phagwara and were in Ludhiana for two days.

Blandine, a receptionist in a hotel in a small town, and Sylvie, an exporter, said people are very hospitable in India. We think that we French can take a lesson in hospitality from Indians. But we think that women are more independent in France, for we live independently and not with our families. The first question that people ask is whether we are married. Though both of us are in early thirties, we are not married. Of course, our families would like us to settle down, but there is no urgency about it. We are enjoying our stay in your country, but the schedule is rather hectic.”

Both young ladies were charmed by the colourful clothes the people wore. They liked the riot of colours in the streets and bazaars. Blandine said,” In France, people generally wear black and grey colours only. We eat a lot of beef back home, but here we have been offered chicken, but it has been a good change.”

Stephen, a teacher, and Mohamed Ojriaghli, a Moroccan, but living in east of Paris, said, “We find every thing different here. We come from small towns and we have never ever seen so many people on streets. The traffic scares us. In France no body honks. The streets are very quiet. We find the surroundings too noisy. We find the food different. It is very spicy. What we do not understand is why the women do not like to converse with us. We find them too reticent.

Dominique Bonte, the leader of the team, and the only Rotarian, is in India for the second time. A retired hardware computer engineer, he has set up his own consultancy service. He said,”I think India is very important from investment point of view. We could help in building roads. I appreciate the projects undertaken by Rotary Clubs, specially concerning education. We have come here to exchange ideas and know more about culture and problems of your country. All of them liked Dharamsala the best of all for its scenic beauty.

In Ludhiana, the team visited Rural Museum at PAU and other places of historic interest.

They are on their way to Amritsar where they would stay for five days and then go to Jalandhar. From Delhi they would fly back home.


Bodhi congregation
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — The three-day National Mahadhiveshan of Indian Bodhis will be held at Red Fort Park, Delhi, from February 9 to 11, according to Mr Vijay Dasavar, president, Budh Dharam Parchar Samiti, Punjab. Apart from considering bodhi affairs, the congregation will also give shape to a new body to be called the National Buddhist Council, he added.


Case registered after 4 months
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — After a wait of nearly four months, a woman of Daulo Khurd village in the district has finally received some justice as the Sadar police has registered a case on her complaint filed on September 20 last year.

The complainant, Harkesh Kaur, had in a statement to the police alleged that one of her relatives, Lakhwinder Singh, came to her house with some persons that day at about 11 p.m. There were only some women in the house and the man attacked her with arms and threatened her due to some family issue. The man ran away when she raised the alarm.

However, the real ordeal of the complainant had only begun. Her complaint could not be registered as when the police went to the accused person’s house, he had already filed an application in the court that he was being harassed. Interestingly, the police found itself in a piquant situation as on one side the woman was pestering it to register a case and on the other, police officials concerned were appearing at dates in the courts.

The rescue came only when the woman attended a sangat darshan recently. An inquiry was ordered. On the submission of the report by DSP Harmohan Singh the case has finally been registered.


Man kidnapped, beaten up
From Our Correspondent

MACHHIWARA, Feb 8 — A resident of Machhiwara, Gurdev Singh, an employee of a wine contractors, was reportedly kidnapped and beaten up last evening by some persons.

According to the victim, who is still under treatment, he was on the way to the liquor shop at Behlolpor on his scooter from Shatabgarh village. Four persons in a Maruti car (PCN-6330) stopped him near Behlolpur. One of them, was identified as Manjit Singh, alias Pappu, of Behlolpur. They forcibly took him to the house of Manjit Singh and beat him up. One of them attacked him with a sharpedged weapon and wounded his right hand. When he raised the alarm, the culprits fled.

The police has registered a case under Sections 364, 324 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, but no arrest has been made so far. The wine contractor alleged that a case of kidnapping and beating up was also registered at Machhiwara police station against Manjit Singh in the past.

Lure of money makes him poor
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 8—The lure of making quick money has left a city resident poorer by more than Rs 3.5 lakhs. The incident has also brought to fore activities of a gang dealing in fake currency notes and duping gullible persons in the city.

According to an FIR registered by the Haibowal Police, a city resident Harbans Singh complained that he was approached by a group of four persons who promised to increase his money five times. They gave him fake notes of Rs 2500 when he gave them Rs 5000.

However, later when the man deposited about Rs 3.5 lakh with them, the persons duped him, giving him a bag which contained paper notes. The police has registered a case of cheating and forgery against Jaspal Singh, Mukesh, Anil and Ravi — all from Delhi. However, no action has so far been taken against the complainant.

Brawl in prison
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 8 — The Focal Point police today registered a case against two undertrials presently lodged in the Central Jail for beating up a murder convict, Chaman Lal.

According to the FIR, the undertrials Gurdial Singh and Ranjit Kumar, had some alteraction with the convict over the issue of giving duties in the jail. The undertrials when got the opportunity beat the convict. Interestingly, the attackers even used spoons while hitting the convict. A case has been registered after the medical examination.

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