Friday, March 23, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Tikait threatens nationwide stir from April 14
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
The national President of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), Chaudhry Mohinder Singh Tikait, today sounded a note of warning to the government against continuous exploitation of farmers and the WTO agreement, which spelled doom for the farming community.

Addressing mediapersons here, he said the increasing frustration and resentment among farmers would culminate in a nationwide stir from April 14, if the government failed to take appropriate steps to save the farmers by that time. Mr Tikait, who was here to participate in a delegate session of the Punjab unit of the BKU, informed that the national coordination committee of farmers' bodies from all over the country would meet at Talwandi Sabo on Baisakhi and would chalk out the strategy and modalities of the agitation.

Several prominent leaders of farmers' organisations and members of the National Coordination Committee, including Mr Yudhvir Singh (Delhi), Mr Ghasi Ram Nain (Haryana) and Mr Manjit Singh (Kadian), were present.

Mr Tikait lamented that the removal of quantitative restriction on import of farm products had led to a glut of cheap dairy and agricultural products in the country, which were deliberately being dumped by the multi-national companies (MNCs) to wreck the farm economy of India. Under the WTO agreement, the restrictions from another 715 items would be removed from April. The unchecked imports were already showing detrimental effects on the agricultural sector and there were virtually no buyers for the domestic farm produce.

Charging the government with purposely following “anti-farmers policies” and giving in to the pressure tactics of the powerful lobby of the MNCs and countries like the USA, he regretted that even as the wheat crop was ready to be harvested and arrivals in the markets were expected in next couple of days, the government had not so far announced the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat and other rabi crops.

He was of the firm view that Indian farmers were at a great disadvantage as far as the WTO was concerned and concrete measures had to be taken by the government at the highest level to take agriculture out of the purview of the WTO and GATT. While the government had drastically cut down the subsidies to the farmers, the developed nations, including the USA and European countries, were still providing massive cash assistance and other incentives to the farmers. Coupled with the hefty increase in prices of farm inputs, the farming was no longer remunerative and in particular, the Indian farmers could not compete in the global markets.

Recalling the harassment of paddy growers, who had to face a tough time while selling their produce last year, the BKU chief wanted immediate announcement of the MSP for wheat and elaborate arrangements for the procurement of entire crop from all states. He warned the government against laxity and indifference towards the plight of farmers, saying the farming community has already paid a very heavy price for the follies of the government and it will not take things lying down now.

He opposed the permission granted by the government to the MNCs to sell genetically modified seeds in India and further allotment of big chunks of land to big business houses. “The farmers in India had fought a long battle to end the menace of landlords and the recent government action was tantamount to revival of the same practice in a new garb.” The BKU, he added, would not allow the government to offer the Indian agriculture on a platter to the MNCs.


PAU steps up vigil to check seed pilferage
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
No heads have so far rolled in the seeds pilferage case of Punjab Agricultural University even though a month has passed since the inquiry report has been submitted to the university authorities.

The university has only stepped up vigil to check the pilferage during kisan melas and routine selling of seeds. Dr M.S. Bajwa, Director, Research, while talking to The Tribune said that he had issued the guidelines after the three member committee had said in its reports that the seeds developed by the scientist were being pilfered into open market. Dr Bajwa said that although it was a very difficult job to identify the guilty and fix up responsibilities.

Dr Bajwa said that the university was taking all precautions and was going to check the pilferage definitely. He said the Vice-Chancellor, Dr G.S. Kalkat, had asked him to not spare the guilty and take strict action against them. Dr Bajwa also said that even during the kisan melas he himself had monitored the selling of seeds and had made sure that no such suspicious activity was taking place.

Dr Bajwa said that it was, however, very difficult to check the pilferage as it could take place at any stage starting from growing the seeds to finally developing them and it took years to reach at that stage. So he said responsibility could not be fixed on anybody. He said that he had issued a circular to all the heads of the departments listing various guidelines as recommended by the inquiry panel two months ago.

He said that vigil was stepped up at the substations also and the staff was also trying its best not to repeat the episode. He said that it was very difficult to pinpoint the stage at which pilferage had occurred as coordination was required at the All India level. He said that the developed variety of seeds were not only available with PAU but with many other institutions and it could not be said from where the seeds were pilfered.

The three-member committee headed by Dr J.S. Kollar, Director, Extension Education, had considered various events in the development of a variety and had concluded that it was difficult to mark the stage at which the pilferage occurred.

The report had further said that ‘’the seed may be bulked at the proposed level when it goes for adaptive research and for multiplication at the level at the regional research stations or seed farms. The multiplication at the farm may also be kept under the direct supervision of the Director of farm or incharge of the farm.”


Rape case stage-managed?
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
How far can someone go to settle a personal score? Well, it seems there is no limit, going by the act of a family in the city which has allegedly gone to the extent of stage-managing an act of rape on one of its female members, in order to seek revenge from another family, living in the same colony.

Investigation conducted by a team from division no. 6 has found substantial evidence that suggests that a family in Parbhat Nagar made a false complaint to the police in the third week of December last year that one of its female members was abducted and raped by three persons from a market in the nearby colony. The woman had identified one of the persons as belonging to the enemy family.

According to police sources, the process of cancelling the complaint has been initiated, as the police has completed an inquiry into the complaint. The inquiry found that the family was on bad terms with the other family. In fact one of the members of the complaining family was facing charges of raping a relative of the accused family. The veracity of this complaint is also being examined in a district court. The sources said that the case was concocted in order to pressurise the accused family of withdrawing the rape case or to get them implicated in a similar case and settle a score with them.

Inspector Paramjit Singh SHO confirmed the findings of the investigation. He said the police was suspecting the course of events from day one in the alleged rape case. He said the case would be cancelled in due course of time after completing all formalities as the inquiry report would be examined by senior officials.

The case, one of its kind, hogged limelight in December last due to the unusual site and time of the alleged rape and the method adopted by the complainant in getting a case registered. According to the FIR registered at the division no. 6 police station and earlier press reports, the victim had gone to a market near their colony at about 7.30 p.m. to buy vegetables but returned about two hours later. Her clothes were torn and she had bruises on her body.

The woman alleged that three persons in a car abducted her from a vacant plot near the market and then raped her. However, instead of reporting the matter immediately to the police, the family went to Civil Hospital and got the medical examination done on their own where normally the police gets the medical examination conducted from Civil Hospital.

The police found that the time and place of the rape was improbable. The vacant plot as mentioned by the woman was quite near the market and it was not possible that no one witnessed the incident. Further, the police said the market does not wear a deserted look in the evening hours where such an incident could have occurred.

Due to the doubts, the police grew suspicious. Further investigation revealed that the family had enmity with another family. The police worked on the theory that the case might be a false one. Now it claims of having found substantial proof of its hypothesis.



Manch to honour Harbhajan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
The Malwa Sabhyachar Manch will honour ace-spinner Harbhajan Singh whose outstanding performance helped India win the cricket series against Australia.

According to Mr K.K. Bawa, chairman, and Mr Pawan Dewan, president of the manch, a function will be organised soon, depending on the availability of Harbhajan Singh in Ludhiana. He will be presented a gold medal and a plaque.

Earlier, the manch had honoured former Indian hockey captain Ramandeep Singh.



Deputy Commissioner pulls up officials
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, directed the officials, acting as inquiry officers, to go into all aspects of cases and submit their detailed report, complete in all respects, within the stipulated period, for speedy and time-bound disposal of complaints and to avoid unnecessary delay and harassment to the public.

Presiding over the weekly ‘sangat darshan’ programme at Mini Secretariat here today, Mr Sandhu took serious note of incomplete inquiries, some of which were conducted by junior officers. He asked the officers to involve the complainant, in the spot inquiry and go through the different angles, while reaching final observations, so that they were in a position to provide exact and factual information about the whole case, so that the complaints could be finally disposed off in the ‘sangat darshan’ programme.

Responding to a complaint of Mr Shamsher Singh of Garha village, regarding the installation of tubewell by a farmer at his residence, situated deep inside the village, instead of the agriculture land for which the connection had been sanctioned, Mr Sandhu expressed his dissatisfaction with the incomplete and vague inquiry report submitted by the Executive Engineer of Punjab State Electricity Board. The inquiry officer was not even sure whether the connection was running at the place, where it had been sanctioned.

The complainant also informed that one of the village streets, paved by the village panchayat, had also been dug up to lay underground channel to take water to the distant agriculture fields for irrigation from the same tubewell. The Deputy Commissioner entrusted the inquiry to Mr Manjit Singh Brar, SDM (East) and asked him to submit the detailed report within 15 days. Further, the PSEB was directed to take punitive action against the erring farmer in case the power connection was running at another place, other than the sanctioned.

Regarding a complaint of Mr Ashok Kumar of Haibowal Kalan on the installation of high density machines being run by big power motors, which caused a lot of noise pollution in the surrounding area, the inquiry officer, an XEN of Pollution Control Board, submitted that the machines installed were of a low density than as mentioned in the complaint. The report was contested by the complainant, who was present in the meeting, claiming that the big machines were still in operation and creating nuisance for the residents.

At this, the Deputy Commissioner made it a test case and directed the XEN, Pollution Control Board, to immediately make a surprise check, along with the complainant and submit the factual report. He made it clear that defaulting person should be sternly dealt with in case the allegation was established and also warned the complainant with punitive action if the complaint was found false.

Disposing of another complaint of Mr Kulwant Singh of Bhaurla village about the exchange of the possession of his plot with another allottee, on which both of them had constructed houses and the required alteration was not being done in their favour, Mr Sandhu directed the BDPO to initiate the case to rectify the error after obtaining required sanction from the higher authority for mutual exchange, so that the alteration could be executed.

The Deputy Commissioner asked the SDM, Khanna, to initiate action against revenue officials, who were allegedly involved in a fraudulent entry of an alteration for a plot in Rasulra village. The complaint lodged by Mr Parkash Singh stated that the co-purchaser of his plot had got the alteration entered in his name, in connivance with the revenue staff.

In the ‘sangat darshan’ programme, 38 complaints were taken up, out of which 18 were disposed off and the remaining were marked to the concerned officers for detailed inquiries.

Others who attended the programme, included Mr A.K. Sinha, ADC (D) , Mr S.R. Kaler, ADC (G), Mrs Anita Darshi, Assistant Commissioner, Grievances and senior police and civil officers.


Ex-employee holds CMC to ransom?
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, March 22
Promila Samuel’s case at the Christian Medial College refuses to die down, with the employees once again protesting against Dr J.L. Joshi and the CMC Management. During a protest rally held at the hospital gate on Thursday, about 50 female staff and a few male staff members shouted slogans, demanding action against those responsible for harassing Ms Samuel. The rally was supported by some members of local Istri dals.

Promila, was dismissed for misappropriation of funds on May 5, 2000. She later accused Dr Joshi of sexual harassment and in her allegations, said, “Dr Joshi has been harassing me from 1989. He made sexual advances towards me and when I turned down, he threatened me, but I am not going to be cowed down and will fight till the end.”

Ms Samuel accused the management of shielding Dr Joshi and added that the Director, Silas Charles; Dr T.M. Jaison and Dr J.L. Joshi were trying to bury the case. Asked why she had kept quiet all these years, she said that since December 15, her story of sexual harassment had appeared 37 times in the newspapers. She said, “I have been a dedicated worker of this hospital for the past 22 years and I was accused of misappropriating a paltry sum of Rs 125 and an inquiry was set up. The retired Principal of GGN Khalsa College was brought in to conduct the inquiry because he was a friend of Dr Joshi and the management.”

Asha Garg and Brijender Kaur, the counsellor for wards no 10 and 13 respectively have also come out in support of Promila.

Harbhajan Kaur, president, Istri Akali Dal (Badal) said that they had to intervene as the management was not listening to her and when they met Dr Charles, he replied that the management had done the right thing. Surinder Devi, President Congress Istri Sabha, also wanted to know why her appeal was not being entertained.

Dr Joshi, in his first ever interview to the media told this correspondent that Promila was employed in the hospital as an ‘aayha’ in 1989. She was found to be dedicated. She was given two years of training and later became a ‘junior and then the senior dental technician. The new dental college came into existence in 1992, but the old dental wing in the CMC hospital continued functioning, and she was a part of it.

Since Promila was the senior most, she was given the charge of handling the wing. Whereas dentists in the old wing were temporary, Promila was the only employee, who was permanent. Two assistants were employed later on. She used to take money from patients and instead of depositing it with the cashier, kept it with herself. This fact came into light during the inquiry as in many cards, treatment like X-rays, fillings, extraction were mentioned, but no payment was mentioned against them. Moreover, according to the rules of the hospital, she had to get the receipts countersigned by the doctor, which had not been done.

On May 22, 2000, she made out a bill for a patient for Rs 125 for extraction of a tooth whereas on May 20, in her absence, her assistant Zeenat, had received Rs 250 from the patient. This was on a Saturday. On Monday, Zeenat questioned her about the bill for the rest of Rs 125, then Promila made another bill of Rs 125 and hid it under the towels and later on handed it over. The bills are on the records, and since they were made out in haste, the tooth number extracted was not mentioned.

Promila is making a hue and cry that she has been turned out for a petty sum of Rs 125. But that is not what was found during the enquiry. Promila had been misappropriating funds for a long time, but nobody had checked as everyone had full faith in her. Dr Joshi wrote a letter to the Personnel Officer on August 6 to conduct an enquiry and find out the truth. Dr Joshi says, “My role ended then. As head of the department, I had to follow procedures and notify the authorities which I did. She was issued a show cause notice.” While the inquiry was going on, Promila was shifted to the Dental College to look after the library, where she worked peacefully till October.

The enquiry conducted by Prof Joginder Singh took almost a year as she would demand concessions on account of ill health. Prof Joginder Singh, while talking to this correspondent said, “I was surprised that throughout the inquiry, she did not utter a single word against Dr Joshi. When Dr Joshi appeared before me, I asked her to cross question him, but she kept quiet. She was found guilty according to the records. She produced only three witnesses. One of them was the Vigilance Officer of the Hospital, but he never uttered a word. The evidence produced by the management was enough to prove her guilt and hence the verdict delivered was ‘guilty of misappropriating the funds’.” Her services were terminated on May 5, 2000, by the management.

Dr Abi Abraham, Reader in the Dental College, who presented the case for the hospital, showed Promila’s statement given on January 21 during the enquiry. It reads, ‘I was in the good books of the Head of the Department, Dr J.L. Joshi. Ms Anita Rawat and Zeenat were jealous of me. Both connived and entangled me in a false case. I am innocent and I have not misappropriated any funds,”.

There are a few question that show a lot of holes in the story of Promila. a) if Dr Joshi was against her and her husband who is also working with Dr Joshi as Senior Technician then Dr Joshi could have spoilt their records and not given them promotion or increment, which they continued to get. b) Promila signed on every page of the enquiry c) She told that she had confessed before the enquiry that Dr Joshi was like her Godfather d) She was fired from her services on May 5 but she kept quiet till November and then she unleashed a malicious campaign against Dr Joshi e) In her allegations, she has accused Dr Joshi of harassing her since 1989. Why did she remain silent? f) Has some one been instigating Promila?

Promila’s grouse is that her appeal has been put in the cold storage by the management. Dr Vijay Obed , who was appointed Director to look into the matter, had gone to Bhuj to help quake victims and hence the delay, says the management. 



A day of tension for satta operators
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22
While it proved to be a thrilling day for the Indian cricket fans today, it was a nail-biting day for the satta operators, who had invested lakhs of rupees in the betting with India as favourites. As the match kept swinging between the two sides, the satta operators kept their fingers crossed as anything could happen. Despite much thrill and uncertainty, the result was the same as was expected in the morning.

When Australia started with their overnight score of 241 for 7, the market was poised in favour of India in the ratio of 10:1. Anyone who would put Rs 100 for India, would be offered Rs 10 only in return, in case India won. Things were moving on smoothly as Australia were all out for a score of 264, giving India a visibly easy target of 155 runs with almost a full day to spare.

Since the pitch was taking turn the satta operators did expect a thrilling day, but they never expected it to be as uncertain as it proved today. However, they had not expected such a close finish when the stakes would be equal, which happens rarely. At one stage the two teams came at a par with the rates coming too close, almost equal, depending on the interest of the operators.

According to the people closely watching the cricket betting, in Ludhiana, where huge money is invested on cricket betting, at least Rs five crore changed hands today only. “In fact there is not much interest in the Test matches since the results are usually determined by the trend during the first few days, but this match proved to be a big bonanza for the satta operators”, a source said, while pointing out, “It proved to be more exciting, thrilling and nail-biting than a one-day international”. 


City needs a better transport system
D. B. Chopra

Ludhiana, March 22
The claims of the local administration of providing a point-to-point transport system in the city notwithstanding, there appears to be a total lack of concern while planning the overall transport system here. Not only is the city transport system inadequate, it is also unplanned, making commuting a nightmare.

The city transport system is so out of place that a resident of Haibowal who wants to go to the Focal Point has to catch an auto-rickshaw up to Ghanta Ghar and then either walk or hire another rickshaw up to the Laxmi cinema, from where he can hop on to another of those autos or mini-buses for the last leg of the trip that is very arduous.

And a resident of Focal Point who has to go to the bus stand has either to get another bus from Samrala Chowk or the local adda. No direct transport is available in any part of the city for another part of the town.

A student who has to reach the PAU, say from Jamalpur, first has to reach the local adda and then Bharat Nagar Chowk from where he or she can hope to catch something for the final leg. There is no direct service to PAU from the local adda or some other ‘adda’ in the town.

To reach the interior of the old city as also some other parts of the town, one has to solely depend upon the highly undependable rickshaws. Besides cycle-rickshaws are time-consuming and expensive these days. But the cityfolk have to bank on these rickshaw, for they have no alternative available to them.

Unlike Bombay, taxis do not carry passengers within the city. Also there are no electric trains to look after the bulk of commuter traffic in the mega -city.

Currently, mini-buses and auto-rickshaws operating here run on fixed routes. All auto rickshaws are currently running on fixed routes, carrying as many as eight passengers at a time, making it impossible for anyone to hire one exclusively. Auto-rickshaw drivers find it more profitable to transport people in bulk , very much like the tongawallahs of yore.

The decision of the Municipal Corporation to withdraw corporation local buses from the roads and let private bus operators take care of the city commuters has undoubtedly created more problems than it has solved. For, these buses move only on those routes which are profitable. The concept of city transport being a tool of public service has been totally ignored.

Moreover, the mini-buses have no fixed stops, making long trips time consuming. And these buses produce a lot of noise with their air-pressure horns and stereo decks playing on high volume.

It is only the municipal corporation which can run local buses on all routes irrespective of the possible losses on certain routes. Local electric railway, which is an acknowledged pollution-free mode of transport, is a dream for the city residents.

The mess created by “un-roadworthy” auto-rickshaws and mini-buses has to be cleared because these cause air as well as noise pollution.

Challans of such vehicles are done regularly by the officials concerned but there is no improvement in the overall scenario which remains as murky as ever. The vehicles are back on the road after paying the fine. No provisions exist in the law to ensure that such vehicles do not ply again.


Stop digging, demand councillors
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 22
Municipal councillors of the Khanna Municipal Council have alleged that private contractors, who had got contract for cable laying for Connect Telecom, in league with the president of the MC, have dug roads and streets in the city without obtaining permission from the council and causing financial loss to the council.

The councillors namely Mr Vijay Sharma, Mr Vijay Diamond, Mr Jaspal Singh Lotey, Mr Sanjeev Dhamija, Mr Amrit Lall, Mr Iqbal Singh, Ms Daljeet Kaur and Ms Kartaro Devi had said that no bank guarantee of Rs 8.50 lakh was furnished with the MC before digging the roads and a prior permission of the MC was also necessary.

The councillors further stated that the matter was raised at the meeting of the council on March 12 and the executive officer and the president were asked to stop the work.

It is pertinent to mention here that the councillors had alleged that the government had already favoured the contractors as it has allowed them to deposit Rs 25 per running meter for the repair of road, while the government is charging Rs 250 per running meter from the Department of Telecommunication.

To justify this amount they had asked them to lay 1'' thick CC flooring to repair the roads instead of 4'' thick CC flooring.

The SDO concerned confirmed, when contacted, that they had paid Rs 60 per square foot which cost Rs 300 per running meter for CC flooring and metaled roads and more than Rs 70 for brick paving roads to the MC.


Cong, SAD (A) for removal of NDA govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 21
Activists of the Mahila Congress and the youth wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (A) organised rallies and demonstrations in the city today demanding the resignation of the NDA government over Tehelka dotcom exposures, while several other leaders of various political parties lambasted the government for involvement of senior functionaries of the government in the so called ‘defence deals’.

The Congress workers, headed by the district president, Mrs Usha Malhotra, took out a protest march from the Congress Bhavan on the GT road to the Clock Tower chowk, where they squatted on the national highway and disrupted traffic for more than half an hour.

The SAD (A) youth wing organised a rally at the mini-secretariat and the party chief, Mr Balwinder Singh Bains, later submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner calling for the immediate dismissal of the NDA government for what it termed as compromising the strategic issue of the national security and defence.

Mr Bains observed that the BJP, which claimed itself to be more honest, nationalistic and patriotic than other political parties, stood exposed before the masses. In the context of Punjab, with the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, continuing his party's unconditional support to the BJP, it had been amply proved that the SAD(B) and BJP were birds of the same feather.

Criticising the stand of the Prime Minister that the government was prepared for a probe and his challenge to prove his strength on the floor of Parliament, Mr Bains said the shamelessness of the ruling party was a slur on the democracy.

In separate statements, Mr Pawan Diwan, chairman, Urban Development Wing of the IYC, Dr D.P. Khosla, vice-president, BSP, and Mr Rashpal Singh Gill, district president, Nationalist Congress Party, have condemned the senior leaders for their involvement in corrupt practices. Mr Diwan said the YC would organise a state-level demonstration at Chandigarh on March 28 to press the demand for dismissal of the NDA government.


Sukhdev memorial awaits another ritual
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, March 22
Not many people would perhaps be aware that tomorrow is the seventy first martyrdom day of three great martyrs, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. And fewer still would know that Sukhdev was born and brought up in Ludhiana and his ancestral house still stands as a dilapidated structure.

It was on May 15, last year on the birth anniversary of Sukhdev, that the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, had reiterated the commitment of the government to set up a memorial at the ancestral house of Sukhdev. The function was also attended by film star-turned-politician, Raj Babbar and it was resolved that a memorial would be set up at Nau Garah in Chaura Bazar area.

Even the Thapars of Ludhiana, who claim kinship to Sukhdev, had made tall claims about setting up a memorial.

Sukhev was born in the Chaura Bazar area called Nau Ghara (Nine Houses). About two years ago the Thapars had set up a trust called Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust, to look after the historical place and to create awareness among people about the great martyr. The Thapars and the district administration had also decided to setup a memorial at the birth place of the great hero of the freedom struggle.

Currently, the ancestral house is inhabited by a 50-year-old widow, Saroj, who has a son and a daughter. The Thapars have reportedly found a suitable place to rehabilitate her. Saroj, said to be a close relative of Sukhdev, has been living there for a couple of decades.

The house presents a dilapidated look, since the family living there is not in a position to carry out any repairs or maintenance. The room in which Sukhdev was born will be vacated tomorrow on his birthday at a function. Raj Babbar is also expected to attend the function.

Mr Vinod Thapar, President, SSTMT, said the trust had done considerable work during the past two year to keep alive Sukhdev’s memory and also create awareness about the forgotten hero. It is the trust which organises the birth anniversary and martyr day function of Sukhdev. He disclosed that the trust would also bring out literature about Sukhdev so that future generations could learn about his sacrifice.


Punjab Roadways men hold meeting
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
Important decisions were taken at the joint action committee, convened by the General Manager, Punjab Roadways, Ludhiana, here recently in which union representatives of the Conductors Union, Employees Union, Karamchari Dal, Driver Ekta Union and Inspectors’ Union participated.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting were Mr Prem Kumar, Mr Gurmukh Singh Ghudani, Mr Narinder Kumar, Mr Gurbachan Singh Mangli and Mr Haqiqat Rai.

According to the decisions taken at the meeting, the explanation of drivers in relation to consumption of diesel would be accepted, so as to avoid undue harassment to drivers. Separate diesel books would also be issued to the drivers to keep track of fuel consumption and also to avoid any wrong entries by pump operators. Measures taken last month by conductors to minimise malpractices at diesel pumps were lauded by the General Manager at the meeting.

It was also decided to settle all pending claims regarding overtime. A revised seniority list would also be released soon. Higher authorities would be approached for filling up of various vacant posts but for the time being, senior officers would be requested to fill the void on a temporary basis.

Difficulties being faced by Inspectors because of their out station stay would also be looked into, all pension cases would be dealt with on a priority basis , employees working for more than two years would be confirmed and buses would be run according to their due rotations only.

At the end of the meeting, it was resolved to maintain the spirit of common endeavour in the interest of the management and employees of Punjab Roadways.



20,800 animals vaccinated 
Our Correspondent

Samrala, March 22
Seven teams of veterinary doctors have vaccinated 20,800 animals against foot and mouth disease in Samrala tehsil, Dr Ashok Kumar Sharma, president of the Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association, said here today.

Dr Sharma claimed that the disease in Punjab was now under control.

He appealed to the veterinary officer to educate the dairy farmers against contagious diseases like foot and mouth disease and haemorrhegic sepllecaemia (galghotu).

The association will make dairy farmers welfare committee at village level for educating the farmers of Punjab.


Rs 1 lakh given to sarpanch
Our Correspondent

Samrala, March 22
A cheque for Rs 1 lakh was given to Mr Jasbir Singh Tiwana, sarpanch of Baghaur village, 7 km from here, by Jathedar Kirpal Singh Khirnian, SGPC member, today.

In a simple but impressive function in the village, Rs 30,000 was given to six poor families for constructing pucca houses.


Raikot doctor charged with fraud
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
The Indian Medical Association has taken a serious note of the complaint made by Gurjinder Singh, a student, against A.K.Banerji, a doctor from Raikot for his involvement in a case of threats and violence.

According to a press statement made by Dr Ramesh Jain and Dr Manbir Singh, president and vice-president respectively of the IMA, Raikot, Gurjinder Singh of Fazilka accused the SHO and Dr A.K.Banerji of conspiring to get him involved in a false case. Gurjinder Singh, a student of Indian Institute of Paramedical Training, Raikot, went with his father to Bengali Hospital to collect the refund of his fees, as he could not continue with the institute as the institute which was started by Dr Banerji had no affiliation with any university or recognised body.

The president also alleged that Gurjinder Singh was forcibly taken to the police station by the doctor from where he was rescued by the members of the local IMA unit with the help of the SSP, Jagraon.

Dr Manbir Singh said that Dr Banerji himself had confessed at the office of the SSP, Jagraon, to the fraud committed by him for running a college without approval from any council or university.

Dr Banerji had called the parents of students on March 17 to refund the money deposited by them but the parents returned without money.

The IMA vice-president said a complaint regarding the alleged fraud by Dr Banerji was pending with the SSP, Jagraon for the last one month. Though he has received the documentary proof from the All-India Council for Technical Education stating that no affiliation had been granted to his institute.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Mr S.K. Sandhu, on the complaint of the IMA has ordered an inquiry into allegations against Dr Banerji. The ADC(D) has been asked to submit the report.

The ADC(D), when contacted, said the investigations of the case were going on and the report will be submitted in a week or so.


Rape alleged
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
The Focal Point police has registered a case under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC, against a resident of Dhandhari Kalan near here for allegedly raping a married woman of the same locality on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the statement of the victim, Raj Kaur, wife of Mr Bharpur Singh, belonging to Kila Raipur, Lakhbir Singh alias Lekhi, son of Mr Saudagar Singh, entered her house at about 3 p.m. and forcibly raped her and threatened her of dire consequences if she revealed the fact to anybody. However, the accused is yet to be arrested.

Travel agent booked
The police of division number four has registered a case of fraud under Section 420 of the IPC against Raju Bunty, son of Mr Mela Ram, resident of Manjit Nagar, on the complaint of Mr Kulwant Singh, son of Mr Gurdev Singh, resident of Taihalgarh mohalla. The accused, according to the FIR, promised the complainant to send him abroad, for which the latter was made to part with Rs 1,32,000. But in return for the money, the complainant was sent to Malaysia on a month’s tourist visa, at the expiry of which, the complainant had to return to India. The case has been handed over to the Economic Offence Wing of the city police.

Case against driver
The division number five police registered a case under sections 304A, 279 and 427 of the IPC against Sunil Kumar, son of Mr Devinder Kumar, resident of Kaunke Kalan village, falling under the Jagraon Sadar police station, for crushing Baljit Singh, a resident of Virasi Nagar, Ferozepur Road, yesterday, under his truck (HR 37- 4811). The victim died on the spot. The case has been registered at the Ghumar Mandi police post on the complaint of Mr Gurmit Singh, son of Ganda Singh.

Dowry demand case
The Haibowal police, vide FIR No. 63, yesterday registered a case under Sections 406 and 498A of the IPC on the application of Seema, wife of Rajan, daughter of Mr Surjit Singh, resident of Rajesh Nagar, Haibowal Kalan, against Sarabjit Singh alias Rajan , resident of Panduri village near here. The accused demanded more dowry and threatened the complainant.

Knife recovered
The division number six police yesterday arrested Deepak, son of Mr Des Raj, a resident of Subhash Nagar in the city, for possessing a kamanidar knife and booked him under Sections 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act.


No breakthrough in suicide case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 22
Neither of the accused in the death of a college clerk here on March 20 has been arrested so far.

Though the suicide note left by the deceased, Parminder Kaur, has clearly mentioned the name of the two youths, allegedly responsible for creating circumstances leading to the suicide, but the police has not succeeded in locating the address of the two persons.


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