Friday, March 30, 2001, Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rs 137.79 crore PAU budget passed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
The Board of Management of PAU that met at Chandigarh today passed the Rs 137.79 crore budget and directed the university to generate its own resources for pooling the deficit of Rs 22 crore. On the suggestions of the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Dr G. S. Kalkat, the Board of Management has demanded from the government that a separate allocation for research projects should be made as due to the implications of WTO this field demands more emphasis.

A university official on the condition of anonymity disclosed that Dr Kalkat had specifically demanded that a grant of Rs 2 to Rs 3 crore should be released to the university every year as a special fund meant for various research projects to be undertaken at PAU. Substantiating his demand Dr Kalkat had said that the agricultural scenario prevailing in the state demanded a special attention as new challenges were being faced by it everyday.

At the meeting the Board of Management asked the university to utilise its revolving fund of Rs 6 crore and offset the deficits by mobilising internal resources. The other important decisions taken at the meeting included the appointment of heads of the various departments and Director of Regional Rice Research Centre at Kapurthala.

Those who have been given nods for headship are Dr Buta Singh Thind from Department of Plant Pathology, Dr J.S. Bains from the Department of Languages and Culture, Dr Sinderjit Singh Gill of Forestry and Natural Resources and Dr V.K. Nayyar of the Department of Soils. Dr G.L. Raina has been appointed as Director, Regional Rice Research Centre at Kapurthala.

Joint Front to fight drug abuse

A number of students and teachers of Punjab Agricultural University along with some non-government organisations of the state have come together to launch a fight against the menace of drug abuse in the state. Besides deciding the year 2001 as addiction-free year, these organisations have targeted important fairs to be held in the state for spreading awareness against drug abuse.

Giving details of the whole action plan Mr Sarabjeet Singh, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism, at PAU said that the 11 NGOs active in the state have decided to dedicate and pool in all their resources, materials and knowledge for carrying out a sustained campaign against drugs during this year.

Mr Sarabjeet Singh, who is also a honorary director of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, said that these organisations would convey their message to fight the drug abuse at various melas of religious, political, social and cultural importance. He said that the students and these NGOs would play their role effectively in the forthcoming melas to be held at Amritsar and Talwandi Sabo on Baisakhi Day.

He also claimed that the slogan to impose a ban on consuming bhang at Hola Mohalla was given by these organisations which was followed by Jathedar of the Akal Takhat. He said that similarly the forthcoming melas would also be targeted in a similar way.

Various NGOs that have come up together include Guru Har Rai Hospital, Anandpur Sahib, Aas Kiran, D.N. Kotnis Hospital, Guru Nanak Charitable Trust, Gurmat Gian Missionary College, YES Club, Ludhiana, PUDAC, S.A.S. Nagar, Voluntary Health Association of Punjab, Chandigarh and Red Cross Centre, Bathinda.

According to Mr Sarabjeet Singh, all these NGOs would take care of the victims in their respective areas. They are also going in for joint and sponsored publication of educative material including handbills, stickers, pole posters, calendars, cloth banners and wall stencils. The joint publication would save the efforts as well as the resources.

These NGOs would also be enlisting and training the volunteers for the prevention of drug abuse and would recruit voluntary counsellors for preventing the relapses. He said the work would be taken up by those come up to fight for a noble cause. The idea behind this coordination is that if the drug peddlers can join in to sell the toxics and make people their victims why can’t the NGOs join together for making the society free of these toxics,” said Mr Sarabjeet Singh.

Farewell to Kalkat

Dr Gurcharan Singh Kalkat, the outgoing Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, will be given a farewell by the teachers, non-teaching employees and students of the varsity tomorrow at 7.30 p.m. in Sukhdev Singh Bhawan.

Dr Kalkat will relinquish the charge of the post of Vice-Chancellor on March 31 after providing leadership to PAU for a period of three years. A communique of the university released here today said that it was during his tenure that university made many significant achievements in teaching, research, and extension education.

The release further said that under his guidance PAU had given sound advice to the state government in scientific agricultural development programmes to meet the challenges of WTO. As a result of the rational and logical approach of Dr Kalkat the last three years were marked by a peaceful atmosphere on campus. It was Dr Kalkat who revived the old ties with the Ohio State University, USA after taking over as VC in 1998 and the doors for the training of PAU scientists in the university were opened. Dr Kalkat is internationally known not only for his scientific calibre but for his popularity among the farmers due to his practical approach to the problems and his sympathy and empathy with the farming community. Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh will assume the charge as Vice-Chancellor on April 1. 


Is it time for work or play ?
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana March 29
“Child labour is cheap, easily available, passive, can be made to work long hours, has no unions, is unlikely to change jobs. Therefore, millions of children are forced to grow up to be stunted adults suffering from life-threatening diseases,” says a study on research on child labour in small-scale industries in Punjab by Pratibha Goyal, lecturer at PAU.

Children have been employed in guilds, trade occupations, domestic and non-domestic work, agragarian and non-agragarian sectors, carpet weaving, construction work, scooter and sports industry. Even though child labour is prohibited as per the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation Act), but who cares?

India found itself in a very embarrassing situation when Germany and the USA refused to import carpets from Mirzapur as child labour was involved. Similarly, European countries are not accepting the sports goods in which child labour is employed. The government has to implement the provisions like working hours, which should not be more than 6 hours, including rest period, overtime payments, but the Punjab government has not paid heed to these important factors and it has hardly devised any laws to safeguard the young workers.

Ms Goyal says in her study that 75 per cent of children work as long as 10 hours a day at a meagre salary, whereas 50 per cent of the children work overtime in the construction industry. Though the children are supposed to get double the salary for overtime work, they are paid at normal rates.

It is the economic necessity which sends the eldest children to work and support the family. According to the study, it was found that inspite of Punjab being an affluent state, the percentage and ratio of children employed is the same as at the national level. About 42 per cent of the child labour is illiterate and employed in the construction industry. In contrast the children employed in the sports industry go to schools as the parents get the work at home and children help them in their free time.

According to the study of Pratibha Goyal, “most of the times, the children do not reap the labour of their fruits as their parents take away their salaries. Generally, these children earn between Rs 500 to Rs 1000. Some lucky ones are able to make between Rs 1500-2000. About 5 per cent of the children are employed in congested, unhygienic, hosiery industries where they have to work on linking machines, folder machines, winding of yarn, thread pulling, embroidery and knitting. In the factories, a lot of pollutants like fibers, dyes, wool, cotton, fluff affects their health. The children do complain of bad eyesight and headaches, and their poor health will make them prospective victims of serious diseases like asthma, tuberculosis and poor vision. There are hardly ever any toilet facilities. They are never provided with clean drinking water.”

About 32 per cent of the children go to work without breakfast. Around 30 per cent of the children are abused, scolded and threatened constantly by their employers, thus making their lives hell, devoid of any childhood pleasures. It was found that the families of the child workers were above poverty line and without their contribution, the families could not function, as 20 per cent of the men in these families are addicted to gambling and drinking and never work. The mothers cannot find employment for they have children to look after. Hence, these young children (can we call them young) whose nimble fingers are used in bidi and other hazardous industries have to sacrifice their childhood to keep the kitchen fires burning.

Since from the tender age, they remain in the company of adults, they pick up bad habits of smoking, chewing tobacco and eating gutkas. About 48 per cent of them would like to study in non-formal schools and would love to see action-packed movies.

She concludes that the problem of child labour cannot be abolished. The NGOs and the government have to make concerted efforts to provide non-formal education to them. The government has to restrict the population and also to regulate the conditions of work place, provide protection to working children through observance of minimum standards of welfare, safety and health. Gradually, the government should plug loopholes and see that no child labour is employed in hazardous industries. Children need protection and not exploitation.


Tiger turns away from meat
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, March 29
Former WWF champion and Ambassador for Peace to the United Nations, Tiger Jeet Singh, ate raw fish, chicken, eggs and snake and drank snake’s blood before turning a vegetarian. Today he says he has developed an aversion for violence.

He had come here to attend a function, organised by the Asian Club. Talking about his childhood, he said,” I basically belong to Ludhiana and my native village is Sujapur, near Jagraon. I had some interest in wrestling in my childhood. I saw a wrestling match between Dara Singh and King-Kong. It impressed me a lot. I could not practice it when I was in India. When I went to Canada with my father, I got an opportunity and I entered wrestling.”

He said,” When I went for training to my Australian sponsor and coach Frank Tany for the first time, I was in a typical Punjabi dress. I wore kurta, lungi and Punjabi jutti. He asked me a lot of questions in English, but I did not understand what he was saying”.

“However, later he was convinced of my talent. He gave me training, money and other necessary things, but I had to sign a 5-year contract with him. I was very glad to listen to that. He gave me free training as well as money. After that, I did not look back”, he said.

He further said,” I fought many bouts in my career, but my fights with Antonio Econi was very crucial. I fought him in Pakistan and in Japan. Many film producers approached me to sign a movie, but I refused.”

He added,” During my career, my diet was not ordinary. I used to eat raw fish, chicken, eggs, and snakes. But now I am completely vegetarian. My elder son Tiger Ali Singh is a wrestler. He has also acted in an English movie’ Return of the mummy.’ My younger son Kulbeer Singh runs a restaurant near Sahnewal.”

He further said,” I have got everything from God. Now, I want to do something for the youth of Punjab. I am talking to senior officials for it. I have a soft corner for children.”


Salem Tabri hub of narcotics trade
D. B. Chopra

Ludhiana, March 29
Though there are reports of narcotics trade being carried out at several places in the city by various drug lords, Salem Tabri appears to have emerged as the hub of narcotics in the city.

Name anything, poppy husk, opium or hashish and you get it provided you have the right connection and the money. To receive a supply regularly, do not grumble if the opium is adulterated or hashish is of a poor quality. The moment a peddler sells his stuff, he tells customers in a sharp tone to take to the heels as cops are around.

Till about four years ago, Chhawni Mohalla, opposite Chand Cinema, was the unofficially recognised as a heaven for hashish peddlers and smokers as the police did not enter the locality until the Inspector, Mr Shankar Dass, descended on the scene. He became such a sustained terror for peddlers that slowly and gradually all of them opted out of the business. But after trade in Chhawni Mohalla came to an end, some drug dons living in Salem Tabri and elsewhere, who had been dealing in opium mainly so far, decided to expand their operations. In addition to opium, they also started offering poppy husk and hashish to the customers.

According to sources, the locality is not only catering to the addicts in the city but also to a large number of those who come from nearby villages and towns to buy their favourite nasha. The peddlers of the colony are concentrated in an area close to the shamshan ghat on the banks of the Buddha nullah.

Some time ago, the Salem Tabri police had captured a couple of opium smugglers with the contraband. When contacted today, the SHO , Salem Tabri, said he had no knowledge about the past seizures as he had taken charge only recently.



Factory workers stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 29
The striking workers of Pearl Oswal Factory staged a dharna in front of the office of the Labour Commissioner here today to press for an early acceptance of the their demands.

On the fourth day of their strike, the workers were joined by members of other workers’ unions like Moulders and Steel Workers’ Union, Inquilabi Kendra, Panjab, Lok Ekta Sangathan and Panjab Industrial Workers’ Union, in their struggle.

Addressing the agitating workers, who were demanding implementation of the Labour Act in the factory, abolition of contract system and fixation of labour or rate per piece, labour leaders condemned the factory owners and the contractors for their highhandedness and discriminatory attitude towards workers.

They also demanded stern legal action against the contractors who had allegedly kidnapped some labourers and got their signatures affixed on blank papers.

Later a delegation of the demonstrators called on the Assistant Labour Commissioner and urged him to get the demands of Pearl Oswal workers settled as directed by the Deputy Commissioner. They also impressed upon the labour authorities that if the demands were not met in the near future, the struggle for justice would be intensified.

Among those who addressed the workers were Mr Vijay Narain, Mr Umesh Kumar, Mr Rajinder Kumar, Mr Ramesh Kumar, Mr Kanwaljit Khanna and Mr Jagat Singh Leelan.



Tractor-trailer damages vehicles
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, March 29
Two cars, an autorickshaw a bicycle were crushed and traffic lights were damaged by a tractor trailer after it hit a tempo here yesterday evening.

According to sources, a tractor trailer (HR 38C-2831), carrying two containers, was going from Ludhiana to Khanna when it collided with a tempo (PCN-9285), going from Dehlon to Kohara village. The trolley smashed the traffic lights and a bicycle nearby. It then damaged a Maruti van (PAM-4325) and also shattered an autorickshaw. It stopped after damaging an Esteem car.

Due to the sudden jerk from the collision, a container fell on one of the cars standing nearby, while the other container fell on the other side without causing any harm. No loss of life was reported. The cyclist moved away when he saw the tractor trailer coming in his direction. The nagar panchayat has reported the matter to the police.



Mann for protection of minority rights
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Slogans: Nalaayi Takbeer Alla-hu-Akbar, the Muslim war cry, Jo Bhole So Nihal Sat Sri Akal rented the air at a rally organised by the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) against some sacrilegious acts committed in different parts of the state recently. The SAD (A) supremo, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, may not admit, but the rally sounded the bugle of his election campaign. Notwithstanding his denial, he exhorted people to stamp his party’s symbol on the ballot paper for the forthcoming Assembly poll.

Primarily the rally had been organised to register the protest against recent incidents allegedly committed by the activists of the Hindu Suraksha Samiti at some religious places. The rally condemned the incidents and demanded the resignation of the Vajpayee Badal governments. It accused both the governments of “anti-minority bias”.

Mr Mann condemned the incidents. He said, earlier the Christians were targeted and now it was the Muslims. He said, the minorities had been guaranteed certain rights by the Indian Constitution. Later when asked whether he recognised the Constitution, he retorted, “I may or may not recognise the Constitution, but the fact is that it guarantees certain rights and these should be safeguarded”.

The SAD(A) leader said, the Vajpayee government had forfeited all rights to govern the country. He pointed out, “while the RSS claims to be patriotic, its people had sold Bharatmata for a mere Rs 2 lakh”. “They have raped Bharatmata”, Mr Mann repeated several times during his speech.

All the speakers blamed the government for towing the line of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. A resolution was also passed on the occasion which said, “the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) would ensure that the dignity of Islam was maintained.

The resolution further stated the RSS would not be allowed to succeed in its nefarious designs it was noted with concern the statements of RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan regarding the Indianisation of churches and mosques.

The party appealed the SGPC to constitute a committee of experts to study the alleged attempts being made by the Rashtriya Sikh Sanghat and other bodies to tamper with the Sikh history in school text books. It demanded, the Rashtriya Sikh Sanghat and the RSS should be banned in Punjab.

Those who addressed the rally included the party general secretary Charan Singh Lohara and two Muslim leaders Munshi Mohammad Ashraf and Mohammad Bashir from Malerkotla.



Phone subscriber compensated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 29
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Telecom Department to pay Rs 1,000 on account of deficiency in services to Dr Sarbjit Singh, a resident of Dugri Road.

According to the complaint, Dr Sarbjit Singh had applied for the shifting of his telephone (426117) in his new house at Dugri Road on September 14, 2000. The complainant alleged that despite reminding the concerned officials to shift the telephone, nobody listened to him .

The complainant stated that only after approaching the S.D.O., the J.E. concerned visited his house on October 13 and demanded the copy of registration of his house. The complainant alleged that when he produced the allotment letter, he went away without verifying the same. That evening the connection was severed. The complianant pointed out, “As per the rule after issuing the advice note no document can be asked for.”

The department pleaded that the telephone could not be shifted in time because the address of the complainant was not traceable as there were no HIG flats in Phase-I at Dugri Road.

The respondent stated that since the address was not traceable, a letter was written to the subscriber and then he confirmed about the address. The respondent further stated after confirmation of the address on October 14, 2000 the telephone was shifted on October 26, 2000. However the allegation against the J.E. concerned was denied by the department.

The forum observed, “As per the documents produced by the complainant, there are HIG flats in Urban Estate, Phase-I, Dugri Road and the plea taken by the respondent in this regard was not correct at all.” The forum stated that the telephone was shifted after about one month and 10 days of filing the application. The forum further stated that normally the telephone should have been shifted within a week. The forum held, “The department is directed to pay Rs 1,000 to the complainant as there has been almost undue delay of about one month in shifting the telephone.” 



Trends in hair styling
Asha Ahuja
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 29
Looking good and glamorous has become important to a woman. She may be a housewife, a working woman or a young budding teenager.

Hair is woman’s crowning glory. Hair and how it is styled makes a lot of difference to a person’s personality. Lady Diana generally spent £ 1000 for colouring her hair and Lady Diana’s hairstyle was a big rage with young girls.

Shue Nuii of a parlour says: “These days the biggest problem is thinning of hair, the causes of which she puts to stress, faulty diet, lack of sleep, environmental pollution, dandruff, split ends, hard water and some diseases like typhoid. Whatever the case of thinning of hair may be, the problem is becoming acute. Earlier, this problem was faced more by the women undergoing hormonal changes but these days young girls due to faulty eating habits are also losing their hair rapidly.”

“The solution is of course to improve one’s diet, but at the same time, if one gets the hair trimmed, it helps in stopping the fall of hair as split ends are cut. When split ends are cut, hair grow faster and become better. So more and more ladies are coming to get hair trimmed,” said another popular hair stylist.

So hair-dressers advise those who have long hair, but due to thinning of hair, want to sport a ‘boy-cut’, to go about it gradually. It should start with long steps cutting, to be followed by razor-cut then blunt-cut, mushroom or wedge-cut, and finally if they insist, to a boy-cut. But this process takes a long time. So women can choose the style that suits them, during the process of changing hairstyles.

Hair-stylists say that people with a round face should go for a wedge-cut, and with hair-cut thin at the back of the head, and short on sides and front. The crown of the head should have bouncy hair. Then their face will give a longish look. A person with a thin face should go for a blunt hair-cut or a soft perm, that gives a bounce and makes the face appear rounder.

Hair-colouring and highlighting of hair has been adopted by many a society women. The hair colour of foreign countries have captured the market and fired the imagination of Indian women as never before. Dimple Kapadia’s auburn hair have inspired many to colour their hair auburn. Most of the well-known hairstylists have attended workshops in the art of hair colouring.

“It is a long and tedious process, as one has to colour and remove strands of hair and highlight them. Earlier, when there were no caps, the strands to be highlighted were wrapped in silver foil for highlighting the effect,” says Ms Rohini Kadam. She further says: “I keep changing my hairstyle and colour. Everytime I do, I feel a new person and I do turn many heads. So it is worth it. Most of the women want to look like Urmila Matondkar or Madhuri Dixit or have a bun like Miss World. The hairstylist can cut them but how to maintain is the problem faced by women.”

Men, too, from decades have been emulating hairstyles of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand. Now with changing times, after Titanic, the youngsters wanted to have a haircut like Leanardo de Caprio. The men these days are going in for wedge-cut. Mushroom-cut and crew-cut are also in fashion. Shaving off the head is gaining popularity with boys for they believe that this will stimulate the hair growth.

That Habib has given a franchise in Ludhiana speaks for itself the importance of hairstyling. Habib and his sons are well known in India for giving stylish cuts to famous personalities like Indira Gandhi, but in Ludhiana since neither Habib nor his sons are cutting hair, women are quite disillusioned. The hair since ages have been the most important part of a woman’s personality and so the obsession with hair will always remain.


Power cuts hit units, students
Our Correspondent

Amloh, March 29
Frequent and long power cuts, especially in the morning and evening hours, have hit studies of students. They cannot bathe in the morning before going to appear in the examinations as water supply has also been disrupted.

Dr Sakinder Singh, president of the District Congress Committee, Fatehgarh Sahib, has criticised the government for its failure to safeguard the interests of the public. He said on the one hand the government claimed that there was shortage of power, but on the other, on March 28 all search lights on G.T. Road, Mandi Gobindgarh, were not switched off during day-time. He added that a special meeting of the District Congress Committee had been called at Congress Bhawan in Sirhind on March 31.

Meanwhile, the Knitwear Club here has in a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, demanded adequate power supply to the knitwear units.

Frequent cuts throughout the day has led to under-utilisation of machinery and workforce idle. This has forced the producers to use generators which increases the cost of production. Mr Vinod Thapar, president of club said the production for the winter was done in the summer. He was of the view the problem of power has been adding to woes of about four lakhs workers.


Master of the game
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 28
A newly married postgraduate of Kurukshetra University sees a letter written to her husband in an alien language and starts crying for she feels she is illiterate. The letter was written in Amritsari landes, a language mostly used for communication and accounts by most businessmen of Punjab. So Ritu Mehra persuaded her father- in-law to teach her landes and now she is not only proficient in the almost out- going language but has become computer savvy as her only daughter Kritika is studying medicine in England. She finds it convenient to chat with her daily on computer.

Ritu, of course, was very fond of good sarees and was quite knowledgeable about the different varieties of sarees. But she never knew that she would be handling the saree business. Her husband, Mr Amrit Mehra, had a wholesale business, and had to go on a tour for quite a few days in a month. With the loving support of her family, she started handling the business. In the beginning, she did find it difficult to adjust to the code language used by the cloth merchants. Soon her husband started retailing and in 1982 she was the first woman to attend to business in the entire Chaura Bazar. Infact, the shop became popular as ‘husband-wife shop’.

She found the business to be a tough job for in spite of being vigilant, many a times, the customers walked away with the sarees without her being aware of it. Some customers took advantage of her naviety and would confuse her and walk away with the stuff without paying. But soon, she learnt the ropes and even when her husband went away to foreign countries or to Banaras to do shopping, she could handle the business on her own. She says: “I used to have problems with the embroiders and other workers because they would haggle and try to be oversmart, but now I have managed to handle them. I had a young daughter and our house to take care of. After finishing my duties at the shop, I would go home and cook for my family and teach my daughter. I taught her till 10th standard. My daughter also fully cooperated with us by being very patient when we were busy dealing with the customers.”

Mrs Mehra is well-known and respected in the market. Earlier, she was often asked as to why she did not take up a job of a teacher, but she found satisfaction in helping and supporting her husband in the business. She loves gardening and tends her own plants. She has mastered the intricacies of the business and is a perfect housewife and a smart business woman. She says: “My education has stood me in good stead as I can deal with foreign customers. Moreover, I can handle all the correspondence work. My advice to all parents is that education is a must for girls as it gives them confidence and prosperity in life”.


Rain brings mud on roads
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 29
The rain in the city over the past two days may have come as a relief from the heat, but it has further worsened the condition of most roads in the city that are in need of urgent repair.

The residents of Atam Nagar, Model Town Extension, Dugri Road and Kartar Nagar are a very angry lot as they have been very badly affected due to digging of roads by phone companies HFCL Connect and Bhartiya Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The earth on either side of these roads has turned into open water-filled trenches.

Till recently, for city residents, it was BSNL that used to play havoc with city roads by digging trenches for laying cables and leaving them open, causing a safety hazard. The arrival of Connect added to the woes of local residents. The residents were perturbed over these open deathtraps because recently the Municipal Corporation had provided a carpet look to these roads.

Mr G.L. Pahwa, a resident at Atam Nagar, said that about two months back, Connect started digging to lay cables in these areas. The company failed to do the restoration work of the roads in a time-bound manner. Mr Pahwa said that earlier one side of the roads was damaged but 15 days back, BSNL also started digging these roads.

Mr Pahwa said though, they had approached the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu last month, complaining about the open trenches on roads, no action was taken by the administration so far. A week ago, the residents met Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, the Mayor, regarding the difficulties faced by the residents of these areas.

Mr M. Virmani, another resident, complained that he was facing great difficulty while parking his car inside his house. “Sometimes the tyres get struck in the open pits and we have to call four or five people for help”, added Mr Virmani.

Mr Rajiv Aggarwal, project manager, Connect, Ludhiana, when contacted, said the restoration work of these roads had been started and would be finished in 15 to 20 days. He added,” we have to rely on labour, weather and many other factors that delays work”. The general manager of BSNL and area incharge were not available for comment.



Lathi charge on Cong men flayed
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, March 29
A meeting of the District Youth Congress was held here today at Vikas Nagar under the chairmanship of Mr Akshay Bhanot.

The meeting which was attended by a large number of party workers condemned the lathi charge and use of plastic bullets on party workers at Chandigarh yesterday, who were demonstrating against the NDA government in the wake of the tehlka. com exposure.

Mr Pawan Dewan said the BJP government had been shouting against the Bofors deal, but now it was bent upon using force to repress the Congress. But the government would not succeed in suppressing facts for long, he added.

Similarly, various organisations of Khamano have criticised the lathi charge by the police.

In different statements Mr Mohinder Singh SAD(A); Mr Surinder Singh Maneli, AISAD, Mr Bhinderjit Singh Kang, Congress, Mr Gurdial Singh, BSP, Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, MLA, Samrala, and Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, MP, Ropar, have criticised the use of force to suppress the voice for justice.


District Credit Plan launched
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 29
The Deputy Commissioner today launched the District Credit Plan for 2000-2001, prepared by the State Bank of Patiala, other banks and various development agencies, in a specially organised district consultative committee meeting here today.

 Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sudan appreciated the efforts of the bank for preparing the District Credit Plan and launching it before the stipulated date. He said in Fatehgarh Sahib district, bankers had committed a loan budget of Rs 317.27 crore as compared to Rs 249.96 crore for the current year. Out of this, Rs 235 crore was for agriculture and allied sector Rs 49.76 crore for SSI and Rs 32.33 crore for trade and services. 


BSP meeting
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 29
A meeting of the Ludhiana unit of the BSP was held here today which was presided over by Mr D.P. Khosla, regional vice -president of the party.

Addressing party workers, Mr Khosla said in order to spread the party policies to every village, 12 secretaries had been appointed in different parliamentary constituencies of the state.

He said functions to celebrate the birthday of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar on April 14 would be held at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar where Mr Kanshi Ram, the party supremo, would address partyworkers.

The party had also drawn a tentative list of party meeting at the village and block levels according to which meetings would be held at Mullanpur Dakha, Jagraon, Kilaraipur, Koom Kalan, Payal in the first week of April.


Lok Jan Shakti rathyatra

Ludhiana March 29
Organisational work of all area units of the Lok Jan Shakti Party will be completed by May 31, while district presidents of some units have already been appointed. Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, the state unit president of the party, Mr Amar Singh Mehmi, the party would start a rath yatra in June.


Labourers behind rape, murder?
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
What led to the brutal murder of a 14-year-old girl of Doraha three days ago? Was it love or lust ?

Investigations made by a team of Doraha police and certain evidence found by them have now almost established that it was lust and not love that led to the barbaric killing of the minor girl. While initially the needle of suspicion fell on two boys of the town, one of whom was a close friend of the girl and the other seemingly fond of her, latest police findings strongly suggest it to be the handiwork of two or more labourers who first raped her and then silenced her by stabbing her several times.

Following the labourer theory, a team of the Doraha police has been dispatched to Delhi and certain towns in Uttar Pradesh to locate the whereabouts of the two persons who suddenly went missing after the crime, thus inviting suspicion. The stab injuries on the body also suggest that the girl was repeatedly hit by a tool used for digging purpose. The labourers are said to be employed with some digging process near the victim’s house.

In one of the most hair-raising incidents reported in recent times, the victim, Rajkumari, was found lying naked in a pool of blood by her old father in Doraha at about 10 p.m. on the morning of March 29. The body had several injuries and it seems she was beaten being mercilessly before being done to death. The man works in a factory. The girl used to visit the factory for giving food to her father. On that fateful day when she did not come, the father become worried and had come home early to inquire.

The sordid crime has become the talk of the town. Anger prevails among the residents at the cruel manner in which the young girl was killed. People also aired a sense of insecurity after the crime and have demanded a severe punishment for the persons responsible for her murder.

The police had recovered certain love letters from the house. They suggested that the girl was in love with a boy named Sanjay. They also contained reference to a boy named Rajesh, a friend of Sanjay, who according to the girl was keeping an eye on her. Due to the reference, the police grew suspicious that the girl was killed because of jealousy by a lover or because of suspicion by her current friend.

However, latest inquiries reveal that the police have not find much weight in this theory and have almost ruled out the involvement of the two boys in the crime. Instead, sources claimed that the police has found enough evidence against two labourers or more said to be responsible for the crime.

Sources said the two boys had reached their factory by 9 a.m. on that day and as per the suggested timing of the death in the post-mortem examination, the boys could not probably be at the site of the crime. The post-mortem examination also suggested that the girl was raped before her death.

Though the report by the state chemical and examiner’s laboratory on examining the swabs collected from the body would be the final confirmation of the rape, the police claims to have got enough evidence of it.

Police sources said interrogation of the boys and the consideration of their age does not suggest that they could commit such a barbaric murder. The police also found a bunch of hair clasped tightly in one hand of the victim. The hair yet to be matched with that of any suspect seems to hold the key to the murder mystery.

Meanwhile, the police started looking for other leads. It found that two labourers were missing since that day. Certain persons have also reportedly told the police that they were seen near the girl’s house and had left the place in a huff. They have not informed their employers also.

Giving further credence to the suspicion, the police said the medical examination also suggests that the girl was inflicted injury by a heavy tool used for digging purpose. This evidence also points towards the labourers who were doing some digging work.

Seeking to explain the need to murder the girl after the probable rape, the police sources said the persons might be afraid that the girl would report against them. The police is anxiously waiting for the team to return with the suspects to find the complete story.


Mob booked for attack on power station
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 29
The police has registered a case under Sections 452,427,332,353, 506,148 and 149 of the IPC against a mob which damaged the 220-kv station at Shanbana village on Tuesday night.

According to the complaint lodged by Mr Balwinder Singh, Senior Executive Engineer, PSEB, 30 to 40 unknown persons, armed with sticks, broke open the main gate of the power station at about 9.15 p.m. and entered the compound. They attacked the PSEB employees present, broke some panes and damaged a few bicycles and the building before fleeing. No arrest has been made so far.

Car thieves nabbed
The police arrested Sanjay Kumar, of Sant Nagar, Delhi, and Rajesh Kumar, of Saharsa in Bihar, when the duo was trying to sell a Maruti van stolen by them from Delhi at Ghanta Ghar chowk here yesterday. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC has been registered.

Scooterist injured
The police registered a case under Sections 279,337,338 and 427 of the IPC against Satnam Singh, alias Satta, resident of Dhari village, for injuring Joginder Singh, a resident of Basti Mani Singh, Rahon Road, on March 26. The complainant was riding his scooter when he was hit by the accused, driving a Tata Indica car. Joginder Singh has been admitted to CMC.

Attempt to murder
The police yesterday registered a case of attempt to murder and dowry harassment, under Sections 307, 406 and 498-A of the IPC, against Manohar Lal, resident of Chander Nagar, on the complaint of his wife, who stated that the accused, who had been harassing her for more dowry, tried to kill her on March 17 by forcibly administering some tablets of Avil-50 to her. The complainant had approached the SSP on March 21, who ordered the registration of a case.


One held for selling minor girl
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
A man was arrested for trying to sell a minor girl here today.

According to a police press note, the alleged accused, Sat Narayan, kidnapped a 12-year-old girl from Dhandari Kalan on March 26. The girl’s father in a complaint to the police named the man as suspect. However, later on a police team headed by the Sub-Inspector, Mr Dalip Kumar, traced the man and found that he was in the process of selling the girl.


Ray of hope for electroplating units
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
There is a ray of hope for the industrialists of the country in general and electroplating, forging and light engineering industry in particular to beat the competition arising due to the GATT treaty. By adopting a cleaner production technique, the industry can become a part of environmental-friendly industries that are going to stay here due to a healthier environmental approach, says Mr T.P. Singh, Assistant Manager, Research and Development Centre for Bicycle and Sewing Machine, in an interview to Ludhiana Tribune here yesterday.

Mr O.P. Aggarwal, Manager of the centre, says, “In view of the growing threat from the domestic and international competition, we have decided to create awareness among the local industrialists about the cleaner production technology that has been developed under the United Nations Development Programme and fine- tuned according to local needs”.

What is a cleaner production technology? It is a technique of integrated preventive environment strategy for processes and products which helps in conserving raw material. It is a mission of increasing production efficiency while at the same time eliminating and reducing wastage, says Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, Deputy Manager of the centre.

While elaborating the concept, Mr T.P. Singh says, “A team of a manager, foreman, operator and top management is formed in an industrial unit which studies the present process of operations and lists the desired and followed processes and prepares a plan to minimise wastage of input materials without compromising with the quality in consultation with experts.”

Regarding the wastage minimisation, he says the units can reduce it at the source itself and by recycling the waste within the unit. In many cases good housekeeping can decrease waste generation up to 10 to 20 per cent. It include avoiding of all leakages, spillage and water usage.

He asks the entrepreneurs of small- scale units to use cheaper but efficient chemicals whose treatment and control is easy. The use of standard machinery and other equipment can cut the energy bill by 12 to 15 per cent. The extra cost incurred will be recovered in 6 to 8 months.

Mr T.P. Singh, who had gone to Europe to get the training of this technology under the UNDP project, says one can have even lunch in the electroplating units there as the environment is clean but in our units one cannot even stand for a minute as the dangerous gases from the chemicals make it difficult to stay. Most of the workers in the light engineering units are sick, he adds.

He further says, “The industrialists should use drip hanger and store tanks of appropriate capacity. The electroplating units should apply static rinsing and spray instead of continuous rinsing.”

Some of the industrialists using the technology are of the view that the adoption of cleaner production technology has helped them to improve quality, working environment and image of their company. It has further cut the use of raw material by about 25 per cent and pollution by 50 per cent.

The centre is organising seminars and providing consultancy services to the industry to create awareness and utilisation of this technology. 

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