Friday, May 18, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



PAU to deal firmly with staff doing private work
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has decided to deal firmly with the employees indulging in private work against the service rules of PAU. The Vice Chancellor has issued a circular to all employees and teachers through their respective heads warning them of any such activity.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, when contacted said that the circular was the first step in removing this wrong practice being followed by some employees and teachers for years. He said that it would be followed by identification of such people and strong action would be taken against them.

He said that he had come across several complaints that many employees as well as teachers were running their own businesses and were found absent from their duty due to their pre-occupation with their personal work.

With the circular it is almost official now that the employees and teachers of PAU have been running their parallel business at the cost of their work in the university. Earlier , the authorities were not confirming these reports but the new Vice-Chancellor after taking a serious note of these had decided to take action against the errant employees.

The circular, which has been recently circulated, states clause 16 and 17 of the statutes regarding the condition of service of officers, teachers and employees. It states:” An employee shall devote his whole time to the service of the university and shall not without express permission of the competent authority, engage directly in any trade or business whatsoever or any other work which in the opinion of the competent authority may interfere with the proper discharge of his duties.”

The circular further states: “No employee of the university shall arrange, negotiate or accept any remuneration in the form of honorarium, stipend or whatsoever from other sources before getting permission in this regard from the competent authority.”

For the teaching staff of PAU the circular mentions clause 17(i) of the statutes regarding the conditions of the service. It says that the teachers should devote their full time to the work assigned to them by the university and should not engage themselves directly in any trade or business.

The circular, however, states differently while dealing with the teachers assigned to work by a board or public service commission. ‘‘This shall not, however, apply to any work of a university or a board or public service commission or to work in connection with any academic and scientific conference or congress.’’

The circular says that the Vice-Chancellor has ordered to impress upon all the staff members working under the all heads of various departments to take due cognizance of the statutes. ‘‘In case any employee intends to undertake any trade or employment, he may be asked to obtain sanction of the competent authority by making a formal request in black and white, which may also indicate the remuneration or consultation fee to be received by him on this account.’’

The circular asks all the HODs to ensure meticulous compliance of the orders of the Vice-Chancellor, failing which severe action will be taken against him as per the university rules.

While the circular is being welcomed by a number of regular employees, it is coming heavily on others who are running their parallel trades. A number of teachers and employees are running their coaching centres, small industries and even deal in property business. A number of employees even have agricultural farms.


Contradictory inquiry reports?
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 17
An interesting case of two contradictory inquiry reports conducted by the SP (O) and then by the SP (H) pertaining to a dispute between two parties of Dadiana village in the district has come to light. The inquiry reports have raised a great deal of debate here.

According to information available, a case pertaining to Hari Singh Mann, Ravneet Singh and his wife Paramdeep Kaur, is pending in court, and Mr Bant Singh and Dilbar Singh of Dadiana village in the district, who had been cited as state witnesses in the case, lodged DDR No. 16 with police station, Bassi Pathana, that Ravneet Singh and his wife along with certain persons tried to win over them by first offering bribe.

When they refused to accept the bribe, they were threatened to be eliminated.

Then Ravneet Singh and his wife approached the police against this DDR and an inquiry was marked to ASI Amarjeet Singh, who in his report, contradicted the allegations made by Bant Singh and Dilbar Singh and recommended the cancellation of the DDR No 16 and registered a DDR No 26 under Section 182, IPC, against Bant Singh and Dilbar Singh for giving false information.

In the meantime, Mr Mann also submitted an application to the SSP for a fresh inquiry into the case. The SSP marked the inquiry to the SP (Operation), who in his report submitted to the SSP, mentioned that the report submitted by ASI Amarjeet Singh vide DDR No 26 against Bant Singh and Dilbar Singh was false and on the basis of that the DDR against Bant Singh and Dilbar Singh was withdrawn.

Apprehending action, Mr Ravneet Singh and his wife approached the DIG, Patiala Range, for a fresh inquiry into the case, who entrusted the inquiry to the SP (H). In his inquiry report, the SP (H) mentioned that the inquiry conducted by ASI Amarjeet Singh was in order and the calandra sent under Section 182 IPC, was correct and recommended action according to law. Now both inquiries are lying with the SSP and both parties are pressurising the police to register cases against each other.


Spurt in suicides shakes villages
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Pakhowal (Ludhiana), May 17
There has been a sudden spurt in incident of suicide in the city and its surrounding villages in the past two months, where more than 15 persons have killed themselves so far. The cases are going unnoticed as relatives of the victims, fearing harassment by police, are quietly cremating off the bodies.

The incidents show that not only farmers, but also persons from the other walks of life who are facing economic hardships, are taking this extreme step. This has shadowed the claims that Punjab is a prosperous state. Villagers of Pakhowal, Latala, Rajgarh, Noorpur, Phalewal and Bhaini Arora, where the suicide rate is the highest, do not like to talk about the incidents. They fear loss of reputation and its affect on relatives of the victims. They agreed to speak only on the assurance that their real names would not be revealed.

At least seven suicides have happened in these villages in the past month-and-a-half month. Only two of these were reported to the police. If some villagers and a number of doctors are to be believed, the number of suicides is about 15 and relatives of the victims, fearing police action, are not reporting the incidents.

A number of doctors, on the condition of anonymity, said the number of person who had attempted suicide was much more than this. At least 10 such attempts are made in these villages every month.

A 24-year-old mason hanged himself in his house in Bhaini Arora two weeks ago, but the police was not informed about it. Villagers said the mason had got married only past year and had a 9-month-old daughter. They suspect that he killed himself because of unemployment or some family problem. He took the secret of his death to his pyre.

An 18-year-old boy whose body was found hanging from a tree outside this village past month, had two sisters and the responsibility of getting them married. His father worked in some other state and one of his elder relatives was in hospital. His parents said they had not reported the suicide to the police because it would only increase their problem.

A 45-year-old Class IV government employee and father of four boys stunned everyone in the village by consuming celphos tablets two weeks ago. This was reported to the police, but as the cause of death was declared to be dysentry, no further investigation was conducted. The man was under heavy debt. He had recently built a new house and immediately required Rs 40,000 to pay a financier.

The fourth death took place in Rajgarh village, where a 35-year-old woman consumed celphos as she was reportedly unable to tolerate family bickerings anymore. She was cremated without a post-mortem, but a relative informed the police, following which, a case of murder was registered and her husband and mother-in-law were put behind bars. Her father-in-law said his family had never demanded dowry from her and the tension had been due to minor disputes between the woman and her mother-in-law.

A migrant labourer committed suicide near Latal village by consuming some poisonous substance. It is suspected that he was also under heavy debt. An 18-year-old boy consumed some insecticide due to a family dispute and a mason of Nurpura village committed suicide by jumping in a canal near the village two days ago.

According to a doctor, villagers seem to be ending their lives at the slightest of provocations. He said at least 10 persons who had attempted suicide had been saved by local doctors. He said suicides were more common among drug-addicts. He said a young couple had tried to commit suicide when the girl’s parents stopped her from meeting the boy. The girl consumed celphos, but was saved. However, when the boy heard from her what she had done, he also went ahead and consumed poison. Fortunately, he too, was saved.

A 40-year-old man of a nearby village took an overdose of some medicine to pressurise his family to provide him with liquor. Villagers don’t report such incidents because they want to save the affected family from further trouble.

Villagers said they were doing so because the police extorted money from affected families. Incidents of police high-handedness “are also forcing villagers to commit suicide”

Doctors said they were not reporting these cases to the police because they would lose their patients if they did so.


Miraculous escape for 10
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
At least 10 persons had a miraculous escape when tonnes of rolled iron wires loaded on a truck-trailer accidentally slipped down and crushed a scooter, a rickshaw and a bicycle underneath it near the Dhandari kalan main level crossing this morning.

The traffic at the busy road remained affected for more than four hours as the truck-trailer (HR-29-C-6537) got stuck in sand kept along the road for the construction of a railway overbridge. The driver of the truck ran away.

The vehicles were badly damaged, while the four persons travelling on them escaped with minor bruises.

At least six labourers engaged in construction work of the railway overbridge also escaped unhurt. According to eyewitnesses, the people were saved as the heavy rolls slipped slowly giving them enough time to jump away.

Mr Taranvinder Singh, manager, Aadhar Builders, and owner of the badly damaged scooter (PB-10-Z-3569) said the truck was overloaded and demanded stringent action against its owner. He said the rolls should have been tied with a rope or some other thing so that such an accident could be avoided.

According to Roopinder Singh, driver of the scooter, the driver of the truck-trailer tried to drive fast out of the sand and in the process he lost balance and the vehicle tilted towards the left, making the rolls slip down on the passers-by.

Hira Lal, a rickshaw-puller, said he and a passenger just jumped off the rickshaw when the rolls came over them. His rickshaw was badly damaged. The same was the condition of the bicycle of Jagdev Singh who also escaped miraculously.


Man gets life term for murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 17
The District and Sessions Judge, Mr Justice S.S. Arora, has given life imprisonment under Section 302 of the IPC to a 25-year-old man called Dharminder Singh for murdering a man called Kuldeep Singh. Dharminder has also been fined Rs 3,000.

However the other accused in the case, Sukhwinder Kaur (46) and Surinder Pal Singh ‘Chinnda’, got the benefit of doubt and were acquitted.

Sukhwinder Kaur was the mother of Kuldeep and allegedly had an illicit relationship with Dharminder. When Kuldeep objected to the relationship, Dharminder killed him allegedly with the help of Sukhwinder and his brother, Chinnda.

Kuldeep was killed with a sharp-edged weapon and his body was thrown in a drain at Lasara, in the jurisdiction of Payal police station, on January 12, 1998. The Police found the body on the same day and Kuldeep’s wife, Raj Kaur, identified it.


Consumer forum rejects PSEB plea
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 17
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has quashed a demand of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) against Mr Ram Lubhaiya a resident of Mangaldeep Colony. The forum directed the board to refund an amount of Rs 11,995 deposited against the disputed demand along with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of deposit till the date of actual payment. The forum further directed the board not to charge any re-connection charges or minimum charges for the period during which the connection remained disconnected.

According to the complaint, the meter was changed about one and half months before filing the litigation. After that the consumer received a letter on October 10, 2000, in which Rs 11,995 was demanded by the PSEB on account of theft of power. The consumer stated before the forum that it was mentioned in the letter that the meter was running slow by 60.20 per cent and the current coil was disconnected. After that he approached board officials for further clarification and he was told that he had to deposit the said amount and in case of default, his electric connection would be disconnected. The consumer stated that being a poor man, he could not deposit the amount and his connection was disconnected by the PSEB.

The PSEB pleaded that the meter of the complainant was checked on September 2, 2000, and meter clamps were found disconnected. The respondent stated that after checking the meter by standard heater load and stop watch method revealed that the meter was recording 50 per cent less consumption of power and for more specific details it was sent to M.E. Laboratory after packing and sealing it properly. The board informed that the seal of the meter was found tampered with and it was recording less consumption of energy by 60.20 per cent. It was alleged that it was a clear case of theft of power. The respondent maintained that the demand was rightly raised and there was no deficiency in services.

The forum observed that there was no evidence to prove that the meter was sealed and packed properly at the time of removing the meter. Moreover, the consumer was not present at the time of checking of the meter which was mandatory as per the rules of the PSEB. The forum further stated that the board had not issued any notice to the complainant to be present at the time checking of the meter in the M.E. Laboratory which was also mandatory. The forum held that the disputed demand was not raised as per the rules so it was liable to quashed. 


Govt aid has not reached farmers’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 17
Former Union Minister and president of the Lok Bhalai Party Balwant Singh Ramoowalia has said that the SAD-BJP combine will meet the same fate in the coming assembly election in Punjab, as that of other allies of the NDA government in the recently concluded assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and some other states.

Addressing a function organised by local taxi operators unions to felicitate him, Mr Ramoowalia alleged that both the SAD and the BJP had failed to mitigate the sufferings of the masses. The problems of unemployment, poverty and illiteracy had assumed alarming proportions and farmers, businessmen and traders were reeling under the impact of ailing economy, multiple and cumbersome taxation and rising prices.

Charging Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal with betraying the farming community, he said the exploitation of the farmers during the last paddy season and the ongoing wheat procurement had crossed all limits. The government, which claimed to be champion of the rural cause, had left the farmers in a lurch and even the compensation package, announced by the Union Government with big fanfare, had not reached the real beneficiaries.

The Lok Bhalai Party chief claimed that his party would contest a minimum of 90 seats in the coming assembly elections and efforts were on to forge a third front.


Wadala’s conditions for Panthic unity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
The Panthic unity may prove to be a still-born concept with the leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic), Mr Kuldip Singh Wadala, laying several conditions before agreeing to such unity with at least a minimum common programme to be drawn up prior to such unity.

Although the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, had announced on Monday that all the Panthic groups including the one headed by Mr Wadala, had given their consent to the unity, Mr Wadala, told TNS yesterday that certain conditions were to be fulfilled before such unity was accepted and announced.

The SAD (D) chief said he was not in favour of appointing a single president or forming single constitution and projecting single party symbol as it led to authoritarianism. He claimed Mr Parkash Singh Badal whom they (including Mr Tohra and Mr Wadala) had projected as a leader had ultimately proved to be “an authoritarian dictator concerned with himself and his family only”.

“I am not prepared to repeat that mistake again”, he remarked. Mr Wadala favoured collective leadership based on the idea of a politburo or the Panj Pyaras so that power was not concentrated in a single person.

Mr Wadala made it clear that Panthic unity should be preceded by a comprehensive programme based on at least a minimum agreement on various issues. “Only then unity can be possible”, he said, adding, “sitting together and announcing that we are united without any policy and programme does not mean real unity”.

The senior Akali leader favoured “going beyond the beaten track of Panthic unity”. 


Water ‘reaches’ the thirsty
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, May 17
With the mercury soaring, water is always needed to moisten parched throats, but taps often go dry, creating hardships for all. Now, a company has come up with a novel idea of supplying water to shopkeepers of markets like Calibre Plaza, Minerva Market and Chaura Bazar.

One thought it was the duty of the local Municipal Corporation to provide everyone with potable drinking water. Their failure to do so has made private parties take up the job.

The enterprising company supplies water in containers of 20 kg capacity each. Not only do shopkeepers get clean and chilled drinking water for their customers at only Rs 15 per container, but also a carrier called Mr Sant Tam takes these containers right up to their shops on any floor.

Mr Sant Ram said, “I fill up 20 containers with filtered cold water from Model Gram Station. I begin the filling at 9 am and, after that, I carry the containers on my cycle cart to various markets. I deliver this water by noon to shopkeepers, for which, the company pays me.”

Mr Dinesh Pradhan, a shopkeeper of Chaura Bazaar, said, “We are much relieved since the introduction of this service two months ago. It is good to get cool drinking water at my doorstep. Earlier shopkeepers had to hunt for water and worry about the quality of ice that had been put in it. This is because our customers, too, drink this water. Though we have to pay Rs 300 per month for the service, it is worth it.

Mr Triloki Sachdeva, a magazine-shop owner, says, “The water is being supplied to us through a carrier, just like ‘dabbawalas’ supply tiffins in Mumbai. We are relieved that we don’t have to hunt for water anymore as taps often run dry. Earlier, we had to pay a watchman to fill water when the supply began at about 3 am. The MC is not doing anything to remove this water scarcity. We can’t afford to buy mineral water every day.”

“For now, there are only a few water carriers here, but soon their number will grow as the water shortage is becoming more serious and a harsher summer is still ahead,” said another shopkeeper.


22 complaints settled
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 17
Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, today asked all the SDMs to activate Sub-division Level Local Disputes Cells and settle all the cases relating to property at their level, so that the people could get their property disputes settled at the earliest.

These directions were given by the DC in the weekly sangat darshan programme held at the Bachat Bhavan here. Fifty one complaints were discussed during the session, out of which 22 were disposed of on the spot and the remaining were handed over to the concerned officials for inquiries.

Mr Sandhu said in future, no case relating to property dispute would be taken up in district level sangat darshan programme and maximum time would be utilised to settle other cases.

The Deputy Commissioner, taking a serious notice of the absence of Assistant Labour Commissioner from the sangat darshan, directed the officer to present himself and further warned of strict action in case of similar lapse in future. Mr Sandhu also directed the ALC to personally inquire into the complaint of Ms Shanti Devi, a resident of Badowal, regarding payment of dues from the employers of his late husband. The report was sought within one month, so that the complaint could be settled amicably.

Among others who attended the sangat darshan programme included Mr A.K. Sinha, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ram Singh, SP, Khanna, Mr Guriqbal Singh, SP(D) and all the SDMs.


Overcharging’ telephone rents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 17
The telephone subscribers of Maloudh, 45 km from here, have complained that they are being overcharged in the monthly telephone rents.

Mr Rashpal Singh, a resident of the town, complained that despite the fact that the subscribers of the village were being served through a rural telephone exchange, they were being charged at the city rates. The residents said the rural exchange had a capacity of 1,000 lines and the rates charged should be in accordance with the rural telephone exchange. 


Anju is Summer Queen
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 17
Ms Anju was declared Aar Cee Princess, while Ms Priya Kapoor and Ms Shally Grover were declared first and second runners-up (under 35 age group) in the Summer Queen contest organised by the club here today.

Ms Lovely Chadda became the Summer Queen and Ms Sharanjit Bhatia and Ms Ujjal Bindra were adjudged the first and second runners-up in the above 35 years age group. The contests were divided into two categories.

Ms Sudershan Sood and Ms Neelam Sharma were the two judges. The stage was conducted by Dr Gurmeet Miglani.

Various surprise gifts were given to the members who also played sponsored games of tombola on the occasion.


Murder case registered after a month
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 17
Balbir Singh of Toose village was poisoned to death by his brother, Gurcharan Singh, on April 16, 2001. In spite of the postmortem got conducted by the police, no case was registered.

It is only after a month that the Sudhar police has registered a case under Sections 328 and 302 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Kuldip Kaur, widow of the victim.

In her statement, Ms Kuldip Kaur stated that she was married to Balbir Singh about 14 years back and her brother-in-law, Gurcharan Singh, and his wife did not like her and used to beat her. When she was beaten up in February, 2001, she made a complaint to the Sudhar police. But the police, at the instance of Gurcharan Singh, got implicated her husband in security proceedings pending in the court of the SDM, Raikot.

Balbir Singh was not in senses and uttered that his brother and bhabi had administered him poison. The information was given to SI Kuldip Singh through the sarpanch on telephone. In the presence of Surjit Singh and his wife, Surinder Kaur, panch, Balbir Singh repeated about the poison given to him in tea by Gurcharan Singh and his wife.

After SI Kuldip Singh had reached, her husband died. She could not take her husband to any hospital. SI Kuldip Singh got the postmortem conducted and told Kuldip Kaur that he would register an FIR in the police station. Balbir Kaur said later she came to know that no case had been registered.Back


Three killed, two hurt in accident
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 17
Three persons died on the spot and two were injured in an accident near Gurudwara Atarsar Sahib today.

The mishap occurred when a Maruti Zen car (PB-10-N-0838) hit a stationary truck (HR-29-B-8072) from behind. The truck had broken down near the gurdwara. Three occupants of the car — Dr Charanjit Sharma, Sangeeta Devi and Parul — died on the spot. The other two occupants of the car — Kiran Devi and Rahul, wife and son, respectively, of Dr Charanjit — were injured and admitted to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana. Their condition is said to be serious.

The family was travelling from Jalandhar to Ambala. A case under Section174 of the CrPC has been registered.


Woman alleges molestation
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, May 17
In an FIR lodged at the Sahnewal police station, a woman has alleged that she was physically harassed by two persons here.

Amarjit Kaur, widow of Kuldeep Singh of Sahewal, has alleged that when she was walking with her son in the old bazar of Sahnewal, Ranjit Singh and Jang Singh, sons of Sampooran Singh Thekedar, assaulted her son and threatened to kill him. When she tried to save the boy, the men forced removed her clothes and clicked her pictures. She said these men had also murdered her father-in-law earlier.

A case has been registered under Sections 342, 506, 323, 354 and 34 of the IPC against the men.


Man shot at, injured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 17
Two unidentified youths shot at an old man at his house in Tagore Nagar this morning. The injured man was rushed to the DMC Hospital where his condition was reported to be stable.

According to Mr Shanker Dass, SHO, Haibowal, the incident took place at about 10.30 am, Harichand Pahwa (60) and an employee of the AARJAY Apparels ltd., was having breakfast when two persons came and said they wanted to meet him.

When he went close to them, one of them took out a revolver and fired at him. The youths who had covered their head with a cloth ran away immediately. The police said the youths seemed to be in a hurry. They missed the mark and the old man was fortunately hit on the right thigh. His daughter Ashi rushed the bleeding man to the DMC Hospital. The police has registered a case of attempt to murder against the two unidentified persons. Efforts to establish the motive, besides establishing their identity, were on. The police said some personal enmity seemed to be behind the incident.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |