Monday, February 12, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


NRI murder case: driver accused of rape
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 11 — The sensational NRI murder case of Sanjay Puri took yet another twist today when the Khanna police acquitted Tarun Kanta, wife of the deceased, of all allegations of involvement in the case.

The police also amended the FIR and incorporated allegations of rape and causing hurt voluntarily against the accused taxi driver Sukhdev Singh alias Bittu. The FIR has been registered on the amended statement of the woman who alleged that she was raped twice by the alleged murderer.

The SSP, Khanna, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune, ruled out any possibility of involvement of the women in the crime. He said as per the police investigation and the statement of the woman, the taxi driver, who was also a drug addict, had committed the crime with the motive of robbing the couple of cash and jewellery.

He said the police has found the statement of the women that she was raped twice quite substantial. The taxi driver also forcibly managed to keep her quiet from Panipat to Doraha. At Doraha, the driver again managed to forcibly pull her out of the car and then push the car down the river with the NRI’s body inside it.

According to sources, less space in the car could not have possibly allowed such an activity especially when according to the woman’s statement her husband’s body was lying on the back seat. Secondly, the sources said that the woman must have had got chances to escape much before Doraha.

Other interesting point is that the statement of the accused driver that the woman was involved with her has been totally ignored by the police.


‘MC funds diverted to encroached colony’
Tribune News service

LUDHIANA, Feb 11 — Residents of Bhola colony on the Tajpur road have alleged that the Municipal Corporation (MC) has diverted the development funds earmarked for their colony to the adjoining colony, which has been declared as the encroached area. Now the MC was declaring their colony as an encroached area though they had the proof of purchase of land with them.

Mr Dev Raj Bhatti, President, Mohalla Sudhar Committee, Bholla Colony, in a letter to the Commissioner, MC, has alleged that about 80 families were residing in the colony for the past 30 years. The total area of the colony is about 18 canals. They had submitted a map of the colony to the town planner, MC, for the construction of roads and sewerage facilities. The finance committee of the MC had passed a budget for it which was diverted to the adjoining MC colony. Mr Jagjit Singh took a stay from the court on the ground that the MC colony was on a disputed land. The work was stopped consequently.

The Committee has urged the commissioner to start the construction of roads, laying of sewerage and streetlights in their colony, since the stay order does not apply to them. Mr Ashok Bhatti and Mr Kulwant Singh, vice-president and joint secretary of the committee, respectively, have requested the Commissioner to investigate the matter of encroachment in the area and start development work in their colony at the earliest. 


Gang of robbers busted
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 11 — The Division No 6 police here today claimed to have busted a gang of robbers active in the city for the PAST few months. Five alleged members of the gang have been arrested. A number of arms and stolen goods have been recovered from them.

According to Mr Paramjit Singh, SHO of the police station the police received an information that five persons were meeting at a place and were planning robbery. A police party laid a trap and the five persons were arrested.

2 cases of attempted rape
Two cases of attempted rape were reported in the city in the past 24 hours. While in one case a minor girl of Balmiki Ghatti was the victim, in the other it was a woman employed in a factory in the textile colony.

According to an FIR lodged at division No 4, a 30-year-old man, Lekh Raj alias lucky, tried to outrage the modesty of a minor girl. He entered the girl’s house when she was alone and would have succeeded had the brother of the girl not arrived on the scene . The panic-stricken man then managed to run away. The police has registered a case, but no arrest has been made so far.

In second case, a woman working in a factory in the textile colony has alleged that a number of persons including the owner of the factory, a foreman and some other persons, tried to rape her. She said her clothes were torn, but she managed to escape. Later, her husband was beaten by these persons.

The DSP, Mr Gurjit Singh, has marked an inquiry into the case No arrest has been made so far.

2 injured by robbers
Two salesmen of the local Rana Provision and General Store were injured and looted by armed robbers near Bija, 11 km from here, yesterday.

According to the owner of the store his two salesmen were coming to Khanna after making collections from Payal. Around 7 p.m. near Bija on Payal Road four persons, who came in a Maruti van, stopped the salesmen and started quarrelling with them on the pretext that they had hit a vehicle with their Maruti.


Tax evasion detected
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Feb 11 — A case of token tax evasion by transport companies has come to light with the impounding of two buses with the same registration number by the city traffic police here yesterday.

According to sources, transport companies in the state buy an extra bus and get route allotted by the authorities. They run two buses for one route. Registration numbers of all buses of the transport companies are mentioned in the route permit. Getting benefit of this, transporters use the extra bus by using fake registration number.

Sources say it is a scandal involving transport companies, which is causing loss to the tune of crores to the government. They say there is a big market value of route permit which is more than Rs 5000 per kilometre. So a permit of 200 km has a cost of Rs 10 lakh. An original route permit bears lot of expenses like token tax, registration fee and passenger tax, which cost lakhs in a year.

A few months ago the government started a campaign against the transporters who were indulging in this practice and impounded dozens of buses.

Recently two buses of Rajdeep Bus Service, running under one registration number were impounded. It is learnt that a single bus having no registration number saves Rs 36,000 as token tax in a year, besides registration and passenger tax.

Meanwhile, the owner of the transport company, Mr Rajdeep Singh, alleged that the bus was not running and was standing in the compound of the company workshop. He also alleged that the traffic police inspector forcibly took the buses to police station and planted duplicate number plate on the bus.


‘Adopt non-chemical methods of pest control’
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 11 — Punjab was known to produce the maximum amount of cotton in the country till 1997, but later productivity declined. The factors responsible for the decline were, shift in rainfall pattern, subsoil water, rise in water table and poor soil health. The major reason however was resistance of pests to insecticides due to their indiscreet use and over use.

These were part of the inferences of a research paper by Dr Joginder Singh, Professor, Department of Entomology, Punjab Agricultural University, titled ‘Integrated pest management for sustaining cotton productivity in Punjab’. He delivered the leading lecture at the Fourth Punjab Science Congress, being organised at Punjab Agricultural University, here yesterday.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Joginder Singh said farmers were now using pesticides worth Rs 380 crore while the produce amounted to Rs 255 crore. He said that they were facing a net loss of Rs 1,000 per acre in the state. He said if conditions remained same, the state would face total crop failure.

He said that the most important point was the increased severity of the cotton pest, American boll worm, which contributed about 30 per cent to the decline in production.

Dr Joginder Singh said that to overcome the present circumstances, farmers would have to adopt a new strategy which upheld non-chemical methods of control. These included choice of early maturing varieties of cotton, timely sowing, judicious use of Nitrogen and destroying all alternate host support.

Dr M.K. Sidhu, Professor in the Department of Family Resource Management, has worked on ‘Distribution system of processed food followed by different manufacturers and their popularity in the common household’. Her observations are that processed foods are gaining popularity because of the fact that many women were now working and due to shortage of time and to save energy they were slowly switching over to processed foods.

She also observed that the distribution system adopted by the manufacturer, quality of product and packaging were important because the consumer wanted ultimate product and the publicity factor was quite important for the same.

Dr O.P. Singh, Professor, Department of Clothing and Textile, PAU, has worked on a natural dye for woollens. His paper dealing with ‘Dyeing of wool with Arjun dye’, deals with the environment-friendly nature of the dye, which gives many shades at different concentrations.

According to Dr O.P. Singh, synthetic dyes gained importance around 100 years ago and before that only natural dyes were used for wool. He said under the project, which is being run all over India, he had researched on the dye, which is non-carcinogenic and bio-degradable. He said that recently, Germany and other European countries banned the use of synthetic dyes and with the invention of natural dyes, Indians could explore international market.

There was an urgent need to monitor the resistance levels of pests who had become resistant to insecticides. These were the views of Dr Gursharan Singh of the Department of Entomology, PAU, who, in his paper presented at the Science Congress titled, “Study of Esterage Polymorphism in white fly” has held that certain biochemical techniques were required to monitor resistance.

He said that new molecules and insecticides should be tried as per need and new mechanisms be found to stop the flaring back of insect pests.


Roses turn dearer
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 11 — As the Valentine's Day draws closer the prices of flowers especially roses are also shooting up. A red rose bud, which would sell for about Rs 5 each earlier is currently selling for at least Rs 10 each and the prices could go to Rs 15 each in the next two days. Mr Nishant Jain, who is running a flower shop on the College Road, said the supply of flowers had come down, particularly at a time when the demand had grown. He revealed that while on an average he would sell at least 200 flowers in a day, loose or in the shape of bunches and bouquets, now the demand had more than doubled with at least 500 flowers being sold on a single day. The demand is likely to grow in the next two days. Flowers are imported here from Bangalore, Chennai and Pune.

The florists have been reaping the benefits of the increase in demand by increasing the costs at their own will. However, Satish Kumar, another florist in Ghumar Mandi, refuted the charges. he claimed that the prices had been increased by the flower growers. He said, instead of getting the desired quantity they had to be content with less than the half of their requirements. There are not many shops in Ludhiana which sell flowers. So people have limited choice resulting in the florists charging exorbitant rates.

He said, it is only once in a year on Valentine's Day that the demand for flowers, particularly the roses grows several times. He explained, in view of limited supply the prices are bound to shoot up and even the customers do not mind paying extra.


300 kg poppy husk seized
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Feb 11 — The Khanna police has claimed to have arrested two persons and recovered 300 kg of poppy husk from them.

According to the DSP Khanna, Mr Mohinder Pal Singh Shocker, the SHO city, Mr Rajesh hastir, laid a naka on the GT Road near local grain market here yesterday. He stopped a truck (UP 12-B-9828) and during search 10 bags of poppy husk were seized. The police arrested two persons, Jafar and Indervesh. Both of them are residents of UP. A case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPC Act has been registered against them.


22 marriages performed
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Feb 11 — Twenty two marriages were performed by Nishkam, a voluntary organisation, at Daad village, near here, on Sunday. Five Hindu and 17 Sikh couples tied the knot.

The ceremony was performed as per the rituals of Hindu and Sikh traditions. Each couple was given household goods, including sewing machine, ornaments and clothes worth Rs 15,000.

Mr Kewal Krishan Sood, the founder member of Nishkam, said “We are using the bonus years of our life in serving society”.


51 widows given pension
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 11 — The Minister for Local Bodies, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, today lauded the role of NGOs in providing aid to the needy. Mr Tandon was speaking at a function organised by the Gyan Sathal Mandir Sabha for distribution of ration and other relief material among 51 widows.

The management of the sabha provides relief and ration to 351 widows every month. Besides, the girls from poor families are provided vocational training in various trades like cooking, knitting, stitching and beauty culture.

Mr Tandon also inaugurated a computer centre set up at a cost of Rs 5 lakh. Free training will be imparted to students from the poor families.

The president of the sabha, Mr Jagdish Bajaj, said 15 volunteers had distributed Rs 12 lakh among 3,500 persons in 14 villages of Gujarat.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were Lala Lajpat Rai, MP, Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, MLA, Mr Vijay Chopra of the Hind Samachar Group, and Mr D S Chawla of the United Cycle Part Manufacturers Association. 


Exporters demand cut in inspection fee
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Feb 11 — The cycle and cycle parts exporters had to pay a hefty sum of 1.3 per cent on the value of the goods for quality inspection and other check ups while exporting to more than 29 countries in Africa, since it was mandatory for them to get all their export goods inspected particularly by SGS, a Switzerland-based company, which had offices in more than 125 countries.

The company must decrease the inspection fees, keeping in view of the local conditions and salary of the local staff of the company, said Mr Rajinder Jindal, president, Engineering Exporters Association of India, while speaking at a meeting held here. He said, ‘‘It is importing countries which used to engage SGS for inspection and they were forced to accept its services. But the charges of the company are too high.’’

The meeting was sponsored by Mr Onkar Singh Pahwa, director, Avon Cycles. It was arranged a face-to-face interaction of exporters with Mr Peter Halls, Executive Director, SGS India Limited, who is visiting the city to resolve the problems of the exporters.

Mr Peter Hall, while talking to the TNS said, “It was not possible for the company to cut the charges, as it was providing quality service to its customers. The purpose of the company was to create trust between the buyers and sellers.’’

Regarding the preparedness of the Indian exporters to face the challenges of WTO, Mr Hall said, ‘‘The level of awareness among the Indian exporters to improve the quality of their products is appreciable. They must concentrate on improving the quality of their products besides, cutting the cost of production.’’

Mr Onkar Singh Pahwa was of the view that the issue of quality and delivery was very crucial for Indian exporters. Exporters of the city were satisfied with the services of SGS company. Mr S.P.S. Bedi, branch manager, SGS India Limited, informed that the company was diversifying in other areas such as energy conservation audit and consultancy to improve the quality of the manufactured goods. 

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