Tuesday, June 5, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Witness faces threat in Jassi murder case
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The infamous murder case of an NRI girl, Jassi, allegedly murdered by more than five contract killers including a sub-inspector at the behest of her parents, is back in discussion as one of the key witnesses in the case is allegedly living a life in terror. Not only has he been receiving threats to change his statement, but is also allegedly being implicated in certain cases.

Wishing not be identified as it may further compound his problems, the key witness told Ludhiana Tribune that the reported clash between two groups at a Ludhiana suburb on May 28 was in fact a planned attack on him which was carried out with an intention to terrorise him so that he did not depose against the accused in the case.

He claimes that the local police had booked him, his gunman and seven persons of the opposite party in the clash even though the facts of the case were different. According to him he and his gunman were alone while the opposite party comprised of more than 20 persons. He said the number of persons of both the groups was enough to indicate that who was the victim and who was the attacker.

The SHO of the police station concerned, however, refuted the charges. He said the police had acted impartially and had registered a case on the basis of statements of the eyewitnesses. He said as per the police inquiries, there were five persons on one side and seven on the other.

The witness claimed that he was facing threats from persons accused in the Jassi murder case and had sent telegrams to the local police authorities, the DGP, the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Chief Minister, Punjab, just a day before he was attacked.

He said the claim by the police and the opposite party in the attack that the clash took place because of his affair with a girl was wrong. He said in fact he was being intimidated by persons accused in the murder case and the police at the behest of senior officers was implicating him in criminal cases to put further pressure on him.

According to the witness, his deposition in the case in a court holds much weight as he was the key person on whose statement the murder was traced. He said the reported allegations that the NRI girl, based in Canada was killed by contract killers hired by her mother and uncle who were still in Canada, was true.

He said the girl was punished for marrying Mithu, a youth of Katani Kalan village against the wishes of her parents. He said it was not known to many that earlier also the couple was attacked by a team of youths hired for the job. However, the couple had managed to escape. Later another team of youths killed the girl and seriously injured her husband.


RJD workers beaten up during heated exchange
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
A group of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) workers, led by Mr Rakesh Verma, Chairman, Beopar Cell and Mr Hira Lal Jha, President of the District (rural) unit of the party were beaten up by Bhartiya Janata Party and Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) workers, who were continuing the indefinite dharna against the City Mayor to protest against the lack of basic civic amenities in the outer wards.

According to eye-witnesses, the RJD workers had arrived at the MC headquarters to hold a rally in support of the controversial elevated road project and started to setup a shamiana and sound system for this purpose. The SAD-BJP functionaries objected and reportedly told them to hold the rally at a distance or to wait till the dharna was over in about an hour.

Following a heated exchange, workers from both the groups exchanged blow with each other. It is reported that one RJD worker was taken to a doctor on a cycle-rickshaw.

Meanwhile, senior SAD functionaries, including Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, SAD vice-president, Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, Mr Pritpal Singh Pali, president, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran and many party councillors today participated in the dharna. Among others Mr Sat Pal Gosain, Deputy Speaker, Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, district president and Mr Pran Bhatia, group leader of BJP councillors were also present.

The BJP leadership later decided to call off the dharna after Mr Atwal said that in a message the Punjab Chief Minister had assured that he would personally intervene to ensure that projects for providing water supply, sewerage and other amenities to outer areas in the city were taken up on a priority basis. The matter of the elevated road project would also be sorted out amicably, in consultation with the councillors of the ruling combine, Mr Atwal assured on behalf of the chief minister.

Activists of Hindu Shiv Sena (Punjab) today took out a procession and burnt an effigy of the City Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh, in protest against the proposed elevated road on Old GT Road between Jagraon Bridge and Chand Cinema. The party was of the opinion that the project would adversely affect trade and business activity in the major commercial centres around Chaura Bazar and would also further add to congestion along Old GT Road.


PAU experts warn cotton growers against weedicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
Cotton-growers of the region are facing problems as the newly-sprouted cotton plants are being damaged due to spraying of a weedicide. The problem is mostly faced by those farmers who have switched over from the cultivation of paddy to cotton.

Experts at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have also received a number of complaints that young cotton plants had suddenly wilted. Experts at the PAU plant clinic, Dr N.S. Butter, Dr R.S. Uppal and Dr D.S. Bhatti said that many cotton crop farmers were facing these problems due to weedicide 2,4-D.

They said that most of the farmers who had been growing cotton for the past many years were aware of the fact that this weedicide was not good for the crop, however, the new farmers, who had cultivated it for the first time, were facing the problem.

Experts said that the old farmers were also having problems as they were spraying the crop with the same sprayer that was used for spraying 2,4-D.

They said that the cotton crops was so sensitive to this weedicide that the tender leaves and shoots became distorted and lanceolated in about 10 days.

Experts have said that this type of damage can be easily prevented by stopping the contamination of pesticide with 2,4-D.

They have advised farmers to use only those brands of pesticides which are recommended by PAU.

They further said that cotton crop was highly sensitive to 2,4-D herbicides and some farmers were using ester form of it for controlling weeds in rice and maize grown near cotton fields.

Owing to the volatile nature of 2,4-D ester, its vapours are carried by wind over long distances.

These vapours can cause serious injury to cotton plants and hence the application of this weedicide in maize and rice should be avoided if cotton was grown in adjoining fields.

Experts further said that if the spray equipment were contaminated with 2,4-D, then all equipment, including tubs and buckets, should be filled with 0.5 per cent solution of washing soda in the evening.

Next morning the equipment should be washed and thoroughly rinsed with water.


Unhealthy plants pose threat
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The local Horticulture Department is worried over the sale of ‘unhealthy’ fruit trees, which are being brought illegally into the city and sold to the farmers, thereby posing a threat to the health of other plants in the district. The illegal trade has come to light following the arrest of two such sellers by the city police recently with the help of two farmers.

The case has given a new dimension to the rampant illegal trade of various consumer items in the city which has become notorious over the years for tax evasion with the help of such activities. While earlier, the manufactured goods were being brought illegally to the city, now even the plant business seems to have been included in it.

These plants are brought into the city illegally by a number of nursery owners from South India along with the ornamental plants which are permitted to be brought into the state. The horticultural experts fear that these plants could bring with them certain diseases which are not reported in this part of the state.

Experts have advised the farmers not to buy plants from those who move from one village to another to sell plants at much higher rate. Dr Rajinder Singh Grewal, Deputy Director, Horticulture, while speaking to Ludhiana Tribune said that the persons belonging to southern parts of the country were visiting the villages and selling allegedly ‘quick growing’ plants of various fruits varieties including coconut, chikoos, mangoes and lemon to the farmers and charging Rs 200 for each plant.

Dr Grewal said that the department had got a complaint from two farmers of Bhairomunna village that they were sold such plants which failed to grow. He said that acting on their complaint the department took the help of the police and nabbed two such plant sellers.

Dr Grewal said that the public should not believe their claim that the plants would yield good fruits. He said that such plants were not able to survive in the environment of Punjab. Dr Grewal also said that they could buy such plants from a nursery approved by the government or the PAU nursery at the cost of Rs 15 per plant.

Dr Grewal said that this was also not the right time to plant such trees due to the high temperature. He said that the best timing for planting these trees was after monsoons. He said that the plants were being illegally brought into the state by such people whose main business was to merely mint money.

He said that it was necessary for anybody willing to bring the saplings of fruit trees to have a permit from the Director of Horticulture. But such people did not have any permit and brought such plants, along with the ornamental plants which required no permit.

Dr Grewal said that the state government and various other institutions were spending crores of rupees on the research of various plants for the welfare of the farmers. He said that the Horticulture Department was taking the help of the police to put up nakas at places from where the trucks carrying plants entered the city. 


Closure of industrial unit sought
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 4
Residents of several localities like Kucha Parkash Puri, Gokal Road, Bagh Wali Gali, Kucha Nathi Ram and Bagh Khazanchian around Mandi Bagh Bute Shah are a frustrated lot. Even after several long drawn out battles on administrative and judicial fronts, they are yet to get any relief from unending disturbance, created by a pulveriser.

The noise and tremors, created by the unit, have made the life of the residents miserable, particularly due to its operation during late evening and night hours, which has been incidentally restrained by the SDM (East) during the disposal of a petition filed under Section 133 of the CrPC by the affected residents.

Says Prof Y. P. Dosanj, a resident of Kucha Parkash Puri, “The working of the pulverizer, which operates with an electric motor of over 25 HP, creates a shattering noise, with the doors, windows and even the walls of adjoining houses, feeling the impact. The noise level is so high that at times it becomes difficult to sleep and converse within the four walls of the house. Apart from causing intolerable disturbance, the emission of residue of wheat floor and other items pounded and ground in the unit, were posing a serious health hazard and many residents had complained of respiratory problems.

It was found during an inspection conducted by the Pollution Control Board officials that the noise level in the locality was between 55.1 and 57.1 db, against the permissible maximum limit of 55 db during day time and 45 db during night hours. The noise level already being on the higher side, no such unit should logically function here, which would further add to the noise level, several residents said.

Enquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the unit was operating without a mandatory licence and no objection certificates from the Municipal Corporation and the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB). The MC staff, acting on the complaints lodged by the residents, had issued five successive challans to the firm, all within a period of one fortnight. Subsequently, the civic body also served a notice for closure of the pulverizer within seven days, which, however, were not acted upon for the lack of proper follow-up action.

Residents said that the PPCB had also issued directions to the firm for the closure of atta chakki (grinder), which was running without prior permission and ensure that operations of the unit did not emit noise over and above the prescribed decibel level. Notwithstanding the directions of the MC or the PPCB, issued from time to time, the pulverizer was operating, with the owners unmindful of the agony and misery of the area residents.

Residents are sore at the indifferent and pathetic attitude of the civic officials towards their plight. It was either vested interest or connivance of the concerned MC officials which saw the offenders go scot free in a case filed by the civic body under Section 343 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act against the firm, for operating business without a proper licence, they said. Though the court had initially ruled that a prima facie case was made out against the accused, at a later stage, the prosecution (MC in this case) failed to produce even a single witness to substantiate its case. As a result the accused was acquitted, giving him benefit of doubt. The residents further pointed out that the locality has been declared a residential area in the city master plan and therefore no industrial as commercial units should be set up in this area.

The common question asked by the residents, which eludes any reply from any quarter so far is: Will some government department, administration or judiciary come to their rescue and rid them of the perennial nuisance ?


Probe ordered into registration of case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The Punjab Government has directed the SSP, Ludhiana, to hold an enquiry into the registration of a case under Section 307 of the IPC against Mrs Rima Jain, a housewife, on the basis of a complaint filed by her sister-in-law the other day.

According to official information here today, the order was passed on a petition addressed by Mrs Jain to the Chief Minister and the DIG (Crime), Punjab Police, alleging that the case against her was “false and fabricated”. The Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), Mr Naunihal Singh, who is officiating as the district police chief in the absence of the SSP, Mr Kuldeep Singh, who is on leave, has been directed to institute the inquiry.

Official sources said that the inquiry was being entrusted to the ASP, Mr Shiv Kumar.

Earlier, a case under Sections 307, 356, 323 and 34 of the IPC was registered against Mrs Rima Jain on the basis of an FIR lodged against her by her sister-in-law following a scuffle between the two at the Satluj Club a couple of days ago.


Sunflower seeds costlier
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 4
The arrival of sunflower crop in Khanna grain market is low as compared to the last year. Its price is very high this year.

Till today 4500 bags of 40 kg each have arrived, whereas during the last year 25004 quintal of sunflower had come to the market.

The secretary of the Market Committee, Mr Jeet Komal Singh, said in the last year private traders purchased the crop between Rs 800 and Rs 1,000 per quintal. But now it is selling between Rs 1,350 and Rs 1,600 per quintal.


Cutthroat competition ruining social fibre
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
The success of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ on the Star Plus channel made many other channels to start similar shows in their attempt to over take Star Plus. Zee TV made one such attempt through the launching of ‘Swal Das Crore Ka’ which flopped badly and the channel lost a lot of money in the process.

The concept of competition is a beautiful thing. Many feel that it is an essential ingredient in a man’s which helps him in enjoying a fuller and happier life. It has a tremendous influence on his personal, social, economic and cultural growth of a man. If so, what is wrong with competitions. “Everything” says Mr S.K. Mathur, who takes coaching classes for IAS exams. “Cutthroat competition in every field has proved detrimental in the sense that it is giving rise to distrust among human beings. My students show lack of trust and cooperation. There is only one aim left in life - ‘compete’. They are tense. Calmness, peace and beauty has gone out of their lives,” he continued.

Actually the concept of competition is what has brought in all the distrust among the people. The moment we hear the word ‘competition,’ we decide we have to do better than others. Even housewives are not unaffected by this concept as various ladies’ clubs keep on organising one competition after another. Mrs A.S. Chawla, a housewife says” In my club, there are flower arrangement, summer queen, spring queen , salad making and many other competitions which keep us on our toes. We, friends, now have become very secretive and do not talk freely, lest we should disclose our plans for the competition”.

But is it the real concept of competition? The real concept of competition is to improve upon one’s own previous achievements. The achievements of others can be inspiration for one’s own endeavours for advancements. In the process of his own achievement, he may go past others and reach the top. Even if he did not reach the top, he would be better than what he was yesterday.

The modern concept of cutthroat competition teaches you to ‘get to the top’. It tells you that others are your opponents, beat them. Do not allow others to grow. Whereas, the second concept tells you to build yourself everyday. Improve on your past performance each time. That is what is called growth, “ said Mr Ghanshamdas, a retired school teacher.

‘In our age at least the concept of competition meant that you should allow others to grow. Those who are above you are not rivals. But a source of inspiration for you . But this concept is a thing of the past. I see a fierce rat race now-a-days. Even my three sons and their wives are forever competing with each other. If one has a Lancer, the other one goes for a Safari and the third one will go for even a more expensive car. There is no love lost among them. Whenever I try to tell them the harm being done to the harmony of family, they dismiss my advice with contempt,” “ he said sadly.

Which is the breeding place of this unfair completion prevalent in society? Can you guess? Schools of course! Earlier it was said, “The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.” Now there is no cooperation, but cutthroat competition. This is the hard truth. Almost every activity of the school promotes this concept.

“It is rare to find two or three school working together. Sometimes schools get together to form a question bank and organise sports, but soon they drift apart due to intense feeling of jealousy, to show superiority etc.” says a teacher of a leading school. All this inculcates a spirit of unhealthy competition. Rivalry, jealousy, suspicion, hostility are all learnt in a classroom, “says a psychologist.

“The fierce competition between Coca Cola and Pepsi have made these companies to invest millions of dollars on promotional measures. The same amount could bring relief to many poor families. Cutthroat competition is bringing about ruination of society,” says a retired Professor, Mr S.S. Sharma.


Counselling important at all stages in life
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
In earlier ages when Manu laid down different tasks to be performed by people of different castes even then, counselling was given by gurus, elders and astrologers alike. In the case of Pandavas, for example, Guru Dronacharya made Arjun an archer, whereas Bheem and Yudhisthar were given different weapons to fight with. Dronacharya had seen their aptitude and decided the best weapons for them accordingly.

“In the complex world of today, counselling is of great importance. Few individuals can determine what is best for them on their own . Only if one gets the right people for counselling at important turns of life, does one succeeds. In career guidance, aptitude determines the capabilities of a child. Secondly, the attitude of the parents plays a vital role. It has been seen that parents impose their will on children and force them to take up careers quite contrary to the child’s aptitude. The result is that the child grows up to be an unhappy doctor or engineer,” says Dr J.S. Jaswal who has specialised in human development.

Most of the times, parents do not take into consideration the choices of their children while choosing a career for him/her. If a child shows an artistic bent of mind and has an aptitude for painting, parents do not allow him to choose the hobby as a career for they have already chosen a certain career which is more socially acceptable for their child. Come what may, they do not change their attitude and force their child to live a life of misery.

Dr Jaswal says that aptitude testing should start early, when the child is in class VI or VII and aptitude tests should continue as sometimes the interest of the child shows a change. When the child is about 10 or 12 years of age parents have to be sensitised to his/her needs. Teachers, too, have to understand the potential of the child. They have to interact with parents and make them aware of the child’s interest. At this point of time, psychological testing should be done to determine the child’s interest.

Aptitude tests should be made mandatory in schools so that children make the right choice about their careers. Schools, through guest lecturers should make students aware of the range of careers open to them. Most of the times neither parents nor children are aware of the emerging careers options before them.

Moreover, students should be allowed to make flight corrections or change course mid-stream. For example, if a student has taken up engineering and while studying for it, realises that he cannot make a career of it and he wants he become a civil servant , then he should be allowed to take up this career option. It has been increasingly noticed that many candidates, after taking their MBBS or engineering degrees opt for ‘civil services.’

“Joint counselling of the family is advised with an expert counsellor. Parents have to be supportive of the choice of their wards. Many famous film personalities like Shri Ram Lagoo and Nitish Bhardhwaj,were medicos but decided to opt for films and have not only shown their talent, but have also satisfied their creative urges.People who make or are forced to make a wrong choice on screen in their profession are under great stress both at their work places and at home, causing great tension to their co- workers and family members.. Such individuals are potential victims of coronary artery disease and probably develop diabetes, hypertension and other stress-related diseases. This is a grave socio-psychological problem and hence counselling becomes very important,”says Dr. Jaswal

Who should play the role of counsellers since the ‘guru - shishya parampara has been done away with? Dr Jaswal suggests that government social organisations and NGOs should be sensitised to the needs for counselling by youngsters. In the Western countries the ‘church ‘plays an important role in guidance and counselling. In India too, religious institutions can organise ‘aptitude test camps’ for youngsters.”Without proper counselling , we are producing mis-fits in the society who instead of assets turn into liabilities for the country”.He further says that like family physicians, the families should have a family counseller as the need for counselling is always there at different stages of life . The family counseller has to maintain a record of aptitude tests, resources available, help in obtaining scholarships, monitoring studies and even seeing to the job placement of the client.

Dr Jaswal even suggests that the government should open a counselling bureau for the young people desirous of going abroad. They should counsel people about the job opportunities, there and the educational qualifications needed so that the young people are not cheated by unscrupulous agents.

“Where to find counsellers?” “Seek and you shall find them in plenty.” Actually, it is the public which is not aware of the need of cousellors as yet, “says Dr Jaswal.


Dreams shattered, hopes belied
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
“Yeh dag dag ujala, yeh shabh-guzida sahar woh intizar tha jiska, yeh woh sahar to nahin”. This famous couplet of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, probably describes best the predicament of people like Dewan Jagdish Chander, former MLA and general secretary of the All India Freedom Fighters’ Association. He is upset over Ms Jayalalitha having been sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, despite having been convicted in a court of law.

Mr Dewan, who is an advocate himself, has appealed to the President of India, to use his constitutional authority and dismiss Ms Jayalalitha. He pointed out how Ms Jayalalitha, had been convicted for corruption, could who be trusted to govern a state.

He also counters the argument that she had been elected by the people. “Democracy should not be made to mean mobocracy”, he remarked. He pointed out the flaw in the system was that while on the one hand everyone was given the right to vote, they were not given proper education how to exercise this right. He pointed out, not everyone was able to appreciate the problems being faced by the country. So it is not necessary that people’s choice is always right.

The octogenarian freedom fighter feels that this was high time for people who feel concerned for the future of the country to come forward and assert themselves. “Just showing disappointment and regrets will not help, we need to act”, he emphasised. While, earlier it was one or two criminals getting into the legislature or the parliament and that hardly made any difference. “But now we are handing over reins of power not to an accused but a convicted person”, he regretted.

Mr Dewan has served as a Congress MLA from 1952 to 1957. He observes that moral values had never come down to the degree at which they are now. Recalling his days of freedom movement, he said, when Gandhi Ji called for individual ‘Satyagraha’ people had to submit application and there were some eligibility norms which had to be fulfilled before going to jail and character was one of the important norms. The ‘Satyagraha’ had been launched against Indian participation in war. And now it is other way round.

“If we continue like this, we will slip into anarchy”, he concluded, while reminding one of Iqbal’s famous couplets “Wattan ki fikr kar nadan, museebat aane wali hai, teri barbadiyoon ke mashwaray hain asmanoon mein, na smajho ge to mit jao ge ai Hindustan walo, tumhari dastan tak bi na hogi dastanoon mein”.


Withdraw notice of demolition’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
M/s Travels Star Hotel (India) has sought the withdrawal of the May 5 notice issued to it under the Works of Defence Act, 1903, alleging that the notice was “illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and violative of various provisions of the Works of Defence Act and the same was liable to be withdrawn”.

The hotel is one of the four parties which have been served notices by the district administration to demolish their structures falling within a radius of 1,000 yards of the Baddowal Ammunition Depot.

In a reply to the notice, the company argued that according to the March 19 judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court a direction has been given to the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, “To issue statutory notice under Section 9 of the Act to the interested persons and dispose of their claims in accordance with the law at the earliest”. It also demanded compensation amounting to several crores, under Section 9-A of the act.

It also pointed out that more than 400 persons have raised constructions within the “alleged prohibited” area yet only four persons have been singled out and notices have been served upon them. It added that hundreds others have not been issued similar notices despite the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. It observed that “the administration has created its own categories and adopted a policy of pick and choose in complete violation of the judgement of the court.

It also brought to the notice of the administration that a special leave petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the High Court judgement, but due to vacations in the Apex Court, the petition had not come up for hearing. The case is now fixed for hearing on July 9 and urged that no action be taken for removal or demolition of the structures built there.

The reply also challenged the authority of the ADC to order demolition. It pointed out that only an officer appointed by the Central Government under Section 6 of the Act could order and cause removal or demolition of a structure within the area of 1,000 yards. It said, since the ADC had not been authorised by the Central Government to effect removal and demolition, the said notice was liable to be withdrawn.


Villagers stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 4
Hundreds of labourers, employees and villagers of Bhatian staged dharna in front of the SDM office. The dharna was staged in response to a call given by the Lok Sangarsh Committee, Khanna. The protesters demanded that the three youths and activist of the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union arrested by the Khanna police on May 19, should be released immediately. It was also demanded that the alleged highhandedness of octroi contractors should be checked immediately. The dharna was addressed by Mr Joginder Azad, Mr Jagdev Singh, Mr Charanjit Singh, Mr Lachman Singh, Mr Harmesh Kumar, Mr Mohinder Singh, Ms Navraj among others. A number of women also participated in the dharna.

It may be mentioned here that a delegation of the Lok Sangarsh Committee led by its convener, Mr Jagdev Singh, had met Mr R.N. Dhoke, SSP, Khanna, on May 3 and demanded that Harjinder Singh and three other leaders, who were arrested in connection with the burning of octroi posts, should be released immediately. They demanded stern action against the octroi contractors of Khanna for their highhandedness against the general public.

The SSP assured the delegation that no innocent person would be harassed.


Residents continue dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
Protesting against the construction of a road divider near the bus stand flyover, residents of the area continued their dharna for the third day claiming that it would cause a nuisance.

Residents staged a dharna near the site of construction for more than an hour. However, the SP (Traffic), Mr Arun Pal Singh, reached the spot and was able to convince the residents, who then lifted the dharna.

Residents of Sham Nagar, Sita Nagar and Harpal Nagar have been protesting against the construction since Saturday claiming that it will block the way to various colonies and shops on either side of the road. They are insisting that a chowk with traffic lights, similar to the one near the Police Division No 5 down the Jagraon Bridge, be constructed instead of a road divider.

Shopkeepers have alleged that their sales have gone down significantly since the day the construction began. Mr Harpal Singh Arora, president, Dhayan Singh Complex Shopkeepers Association, said that they would meet the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, and apprise him of the problems they were facing.


3 accused of sodomy arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
Three persons accused of sodomising a 10-year-old boy five days ago were finally arrested by the Model Town police this evening.

According to Sub-Inspector Randhir Singh, SHO, Model Town, the police had been raiding the various hide-outs of the three accused and in one such raid today the three were arrested.

The three persons Goga, Vijay and Gaggu have been accused of sodomising the boy on May 29. Dharampal had alleged that the three had sodomised his 10-year-old son in their house where they were watching some adult movie.

The family had later also alleged that the accused were terrorising his family and not even allowing the family to venture out.


Engineering trade fair in Venezuela from July 18
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
More than 150 engineering exporters are expected to participate in the engineering trade fair to be held in Venezuela from July 18-21 in Carcass. Out of the total participants around 100 are expected to be small scale exporters. The government would provide upto Rs 1.40 lakh assistance to each exporter to participate in this fair. It would meet about 65 per cent of their costs for participating in the trade fair. This was disclosed by Mr C.S. Shukla, Executive Director, Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC).

While talking to mediapersons, Mr Shukla said, “There is great scope to increase export of engineering goods to traditional markets and to Latin American markets. The EEPC has simplified the process of providing export-related grants to the exporters. It has further asked the government to provide grants under the market development scheme in a big way.”

He further revealed that the trade fair would be inaugurated by the President of Venezuela, Mr Ommar Abdulla. The State Minister for Commerce and Industry would lead the Indian delegation in the trade fair.

He was in the city to attend an awareness programme on the modifications in the market development scheme of the ministry of commerce and industry. The seminar was organised by the EEPC.

Addressing exporters, Mr Mangal Singh, Under Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said, “The scheme has been modified to provide benefits to genuine exporters to increase and diversify exports. Now exporters having ISO 9000 or recognised by the Department are eligible to get government assistance for two sale-cum-study tours or for participation in trade fairs and exhibitions abroad in a financial year.”

He claimed that in addition, they could get assistance for a third visit to any Latin American country in the same year. However, exporters would be eligible for MDA assistance for three visits, including past participations. He further said the exporters could also get up to Rs 15,000 financial assistance for distributing publicity material at trade fairs. The proposals for assistance would have to submitted by the concerned export promotion council (EPC). The government would also provide assistance to EPCs in organising trade fairs and exhibitions abroad. During 2000-02, a budget provision of Rs 4 crore would be available for supporting marketing promotion activities in Latin American countries.

Interestingly, the scheme had been in operation since April, 1998. Officially, it is run to encourage small and new exporters to export to unexplored markets, but few exporters had benefitted from the scheme due to the reportedly complicated procedures. During 2000-01, only about 100 persons have benefitted from the scheme.

Mr Sittal Gupta, Managing Director, Fitex Industries, pointed out that even the modified scheme did not provide adequate concessions to exporters for travelling via business class in case of emergency business meetings. Secondly, the ministry demanded clearance of the visit at least 14 days in advance.

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