Friday, June 29, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



‘God’ finally gives way to road
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 28
The Municipal Corporation authorities have persuaded management bodies of several religious institutions that are located near Budha Nullah here to remove religious structures and idols to make way for the 11 km road project along the nullah.

The banks of Budha Nullah in Ludhiana are being strengthened for a road project.
The banks of Budha Nullah in Ludhiana are being strengthened for a road project. — Photo Inderjit Verma

In 1999, the MC had removed thousands of illegal structures, including pucca houses and shops, from both sides of the nullah before the work on the project had begun. However, some of the religious structures and idols there could not be cleared then due to a stiff resistance from residents of the area and those who had encroached upon the MC land.

Sources in the MC said about 80 per cent of the work on one side of the nullah was over and the road would be ready for use next month. After this, a lot of traffic of the old city would shift to this road.

Some private land and property is also coming in the way of the road on one side of Budha Nullah, which has delayed the project. The MC Commissioner, Dr S.S. Sandhu, has set up a committee led by the Additional Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, and comprising the area councillor, the SDM and the Deputy Director of the Local Government to carry out a survey of these properties. The survey is aimed at establishing the ownership rights of the claimants for initiating the acquisition process after negotiations to avoid delay and litigation.

This huge project has always been controversial, with allegations of corruption against several MC officials. At least six councillors, including those of Bharatiya Janata Party that is part of the ruling combine, had recently submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister of Punjab to order an inquiry into the allegations of irregularities by contractors and MC officials. The city Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, had also ordered an inquiry into these allegations, following an uproar in the MC House. The report of this inquiry is yet to be placed before the House.

Meanwhile, the DC, Mr S.K. Sandhu, at a meeting of the District Flood Control Committee today, said the desilting of Budha Nullah was in progress.


Pak club behind hacking of city-based site
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Even though the city police remains helpless in taking action against the persons or agencies that hacked the website of, a city- based club recently and defaced it by filling it with anti-India propaganda against Kashmir, the police has reached a conclusion that a hackers club in Pakistan whose job is only to hack Indian websites is behind the act.

According to police sources, the club was hacking at least 10 Indian websites daily but the police was ill-equipped to take any action against it. They said as there were no information technology laws and means to detect the identity or the place of the origin of the hackers they were not in any position to stop this.

The police said only strengthening of the firewalls of the websites could prevent such actions. The police had failed last year also to identify certain persons of the city who had floated a website and filled it with indecent stories about certain influential and rich youths of the city.

Interestingly, the hacked website continued to display the contents while the normal practice was to close such sites immediately. Officials of the Knitwear Club were unavailable for comments. SSP Kuldip Singh said he was looking into the case.

According to the website, certain organisation called ‘ Silver Lords —for the freedom of Kashmir ’, owned by MaDDoNa was hacking the site.The agency was started a long time ago by X-member from Brazil. Its main aim was to muster support for the solution of the Kashmir problem.

The web-site showed a Pakistan flag and an Indian flag stamped ‘owned’ by the hacking agency. The site further showed few pictures of rioting in Kashmir. The caption read ‘‘ The struggle for Kashmiri freedom in 2001 has now entered its 12th year — and this is why we are hacking. ’’ The main text concentrated on anti-India propaganda.


Where no councillor has gone before
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 28
Mr Sat Pal Puri, councillor of Ward 67, stripped down to his undergarments and entered a choked manhole in New Shiv Puri here to remove the blockage. He boldly went where no councillor had gone before to express his resentment against “unresponsive” officials of the O and M Wing of the Municipal Corporation.

Profusely smeared with slush, Mr Puri, who had only a towel around his waist, later, led residents of the affected localities to the zonal office of the MC on Daresi Road.

When the crowd did not find any official concerned there, it descended on the office of MC Commissioner, Dr S.S. Sandhu, while he was in the middle of a meeting with the other senior MC officials.

The angry councillor scolded the MC top brass and alleged that corruption was rampant in all departments of the civic body.

He said complaints of residents were not being heard and there was no system to monitor the time taken in redressing grievances regarding water supply and sewerage system.

The MC officials pacified Mr Puri and the others with him and assured them that choked sewers would be cleared soon and officials would personally supervise the work.


Undertrial escapes from hospital; 5 cops suspended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Five policemen were booked today for negligence in duty that led to the escape of an undertrial from the Civil Hospital here last night. The personnel have also been put under suspension till further orders. No one has, however, been arrested so far.

The incident has once again brought to the fore the allegations of criminal-police nexus in the city. Earlier also a substantial number of police personnel, including an ASI, were suspended for allegedly helping an undertrial to escape for a few hours from the civil hospital.

Vijay Sehgal , an undertrial in the Central Jail, Ludhiana, and facing charges under the NDPS Act for the last one year mysteriously disappeared from the hospital yesterday. He was brought to the hospital along with three other undertrials in the morning and was found to have escaped at about 10 p.m. Interestingly, his wife, whom he seemed to have informed in advance about his shifting to the hospital is still waiting for his return there. She said she had come to the hospital to take care of her ailing husband and has no information about his whereabouts.

Head Constable Bant Singh, constables Nirmal Singh and Bhag Singh, and SPOs Bagga Singh and Santokh Kumar, all of Division No. 2 police station, who were assigned the duty of guarding the undertrial were booked under section 223 amounting to negligence in duty, leading to escaping of an undertrial or a prisoner from confinement.

According to DSP Satinder Singh, police parties have been dispatched to various places, including Jalandhar and Amritsar, where the undertrial used to live before caught selling opium. He was nabbed by the Jalandhar police last year and a large quantity of opium was recovered from him.

According to unconfirmed reports, the undertrial had run away from the hospital before noon but the police came to know about it late night only. According to police sources, they came to learn about it only after the hospital staff informed them. Sources said the information came after the change of duty of the doctors. Interestingly, it was also learnt that the doctor who gave duty in the day had written at certain time during the daytime in the patient file that the undertrial was missing from his bed.

It may be pertinent to mention here that this is not the first case of negligence of duty by the police personnel while keeping guard of undertrials or the prisoners at civil hospital. The police has in fact always remained suspicious as several cases of such nature have been reported in the past. The main case was of an undertrial, Nirdosh Dhand, who was taken round the city by an ASI of the Punjab police. The undertrial allegedly went to the houses of a number of persons whom he had financed some money.


Hostel renovation case: more charge
sheets to be issued
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is about to issue chargesheets to two more officials in the infamous hostel renovation scandal within a day or two. The PAU had already issued chargesheets to seven employees in this case a week ago.

Sources in the university disclosed that the Vice-Chancellor had already asked the Registrar to issue the chargesheets to these officials but the case was being delayed as according to the rules of the university the orders were to be sent through a legal counsel of the university.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, confirmed that he had already issued the orders and these were to be sent by the office of the Registrar to the persons concerned. He said that he was not going to spare anybody who was found to be involved in the funds irregularities case.

The hostel renovation case had come to the light about two years ago during the tenure of the then Vice-Chancellor, Dr G.S. Kalkat and he had instituted an inquiry into the case in July, 2000. The report of the inquiry was submitted to the PAU authorities in January, 2001 but no action was taken against anybody.

Those who were issued the chargesheets last week included Mr Piara Singh Gill, former Executive

Continued on page 2 col 1 Engineer, SDE Harnek Singh, SDE A.K. Garg, Mr Harbhajan Singh, Mr V.K. Saggar, Mr Harpal Singh and Mr Mahipal Singh, all JEs. They were given 15 days’ time to reply to the chargesheets in the alleged irregularities in hostel renovation case.

The matter was pending with the university for the last two years. The then Vice-Chancellor, Dr Kalkat, had assigned the Additional Director Research, Dr V.K. Sharma, to probe into the matter.

Sources disclosed that the office of the Director, Students Welfare, had released an amount of Rs 70 lakh for the renovation of the hostels and it was alleged that the university had not advertised any notices inviting tenders and quotations for the materials required. Sources also said that this procedure was not followed only if the repair work amounted to not more than Rs 10,000.



PAU student missing since June 23
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
A student of the College of Agricultural Engineering, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has been missing from a hostel of the university since Saturday last. Gurvinder Singh, an M. Tech student, was found disappeared from Hostel No 4 in the morning by his roommates on Saturday.

His father Mr Balwinder Singh, said that he got the information on Sunday last and he rushed to the city from Faridkot but despite his best efforts to locate him, his whereabouts could not be found.

He said that he was married to an NRI girl for the last one and a half years and his friends found him missing only when his wife had called up from the USA at around 7 am. His friends said that they had last seen him in the midnight and he was feeling well. His father said that he had no tension. His father also said that the police was investigating the case.



Mixed reaction to Chohan’s return
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
While the Opposition parties have strongly reacted to the return of Khalistan protagonist Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan to India, the leaders of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bhartiya Janata Party are cautious about their comments. Leaders of different political parties today expressed varied opinions about his return and the possible consequences.

The acting president of the SAD(B), Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, said Dr Chohan’s return would hardly make any difference. The Khalistan issue was already a closed chapter and there was no chance of its revival, he added. “When he could not do anything even after declaring himself as the President of Khalistan, what can he do now”, Mr Makkar pointed out.

However, the president of the District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (Urban), Mr Surinder Dawer, was highly critical of the Badal government for trying to bail out people like Dr Chohan and Wasan Singh Zaffarwal. He feared that this trend may lead to revival of militancy in the state.

Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, district president of the Bhartiya Janata Party, was cautious and guarded in his reaction. “The law should take its own course”, he said, while hoping that the government will take all necessary legal action in such cases.

Mr Harish Khanna, state president of the Janata Dal (Secular) alleged that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was adopting double standards. He said Mr Badal by acting as a silent spectator was encouraging people like Zaffarwal and Chohan to return to India. He pointed out that these people were responsible not only for spearheading the Khalistan movement but were also guilty of killing thousands of innocent people.

Senior Akali leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon ruled out revival of militancy or any threat to peace with the return of Dr Chohan. He observed that people like Dr Chohan and Zaffarwal had already realised the futility of what they were doing. This trend should be encouraged so that more and more people leave the radical and extremist path to join the national mainstream, he added.

Mr Gurmail Singh Sanghowal, member, SGPC, observed that the return of such people was possible only in the regime of Mr Badal as they had full faith in his government. He claimed that during Mr Badal’s regime the people had developed trust in the government and police atrocities have been stopped altogether. Had they tried to return earlier they might have been harassed by the police, he added.

Mr Pawan Dewan and Mr Parminder Mehta, two youth Congress leaders, demanded immediate arrest of Dr Chohan alleging that he can be a threat to the peace in the state. In two separate statements Mr Dewan and Mr Mehta criticised the Badal government for its soft corner for such people. Mr Dewan alleged that these people were allowed to return under a proper plan in view of the forthcoming assembly elections.

Mr Prithipal Singh, president of the Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran, said Mr Badal or his government had nothing to do with the return of Dr Chohan as he had been granted permission by the court. He asserted that the SAD-BJP government had perfectly strengthened the peace and communal harmony in the state and no force can disturb it.



Present-day politics eyewash, says
Admiral Bhagwat
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, June 28
Former Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, during a visit here, said the present day politics was an eyewash and no emphasis was being laid on development. Various scams had engulfed our country viz. telecommunications, defence, share market etc, he added. The NDA government had brought the country on the brink of disaster by raising the Ayodhya issue. What would be gained by constructing a temple there, instead setting up of a public welfare institution like school, hospital would be more beneficial for public, he added. There were 20,000 Ram mandirs in Faizabad district only, he further added.

Moreover, corruption in the defence services had touched the peak. An amount of Rs 76,000 crore per annum was being spent to maintain national security by various Defence Department whereas an amount of less than half of it i.e. Rs 34,000 crore were being given for agriculture, irrigation and rural development. In such a peculiar situation, it was next to impossible to decrease the number of people below the poverty line, he further added.

Reacting to the suspension of Brig Surinder Singh, he said that he was an honest Army officer, who had foretold about the Kargil intrusion to General Malik and others. But these people did not bother and preferred their own conveniences to the safety and integration of the country. He blamed General Malik and other Army officers for getting Brigadier Singh and Maj Manish Bhatnagar suspended.

He further said that the incidents of fire in various ammunition depots happened due to negligence of these officials, who were hiding their blunders and weaknesses.

Lashing out on the NDA government. Mr Bhagwat said that he would support every party which would promote secularism for the welfare of the poor people. He expected every party to be honest enough for the defence of the country.

Describing his own position after retiring he told that he had been working on his own expenses on Dr Arrole’s Jamkhed Health Model in UP to provide the poor people better health services especially in the field of pediatrics and veterinary. In this model the women were being trained to provide the above mentioned facilities to the needy.

He said his next step would be to launch a mahila gramin vikas bank based on the model of Dr Muhammad Younis, a well-known economist of Chittagong University of Bangladesh. This sort of bank was already being run in Bangladesh, by Dr Younis — having a membership of 40 lakh poor women and men, he added.

He made it clear that Indian nationalised banks did not provide easy loans to poor people but on the other hand the prominent industrialists were supposed to pay a capital of Rs 40,000 crore and the same amount of interest which they were not paying.

Mr Bhagwat was addressing a gathering at a nearby village Panjeta. He was accompanied by Mr Bharat Parkash, a National Council member of the CPI and Mr Gulzar Gauria, general secretary of the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union.

Later , Mr Bhagwat visited Charhdi Kalan farm at nearby Hiyatpura village and praised its owner Mr Darshan Singh, a Jagjeewan Ram Kisan Puraskar Award holder for diversifying. Admiral Bhagwat was welcomed by Dr Gurdev Singh Momi, Head of the Department of Extension Education, PAU, Ludhiana and his subordinate Dr Kanwal Kumar, Deputy Director Department of Extension Education, PAU.



Power thefts down after campaign
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The campaign of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) against power theft here has gained momentum. The new PSEB Chief Engineer, Mr J.S. Grewal, is the force behind this campaign. His tough approach has created a terror among power thieves, besides corrupt officials and linesmen, who are responsible for more than Rs 100 crore of annual loss to the board. The recent efforts have led to the recovery of over Rs 3 crore.

An awareness campaign was launched to sensitise consumers about the consequences of stealing power. Officials have been given clear instructions to check power theft or face action. The board has also extended the daily timings of depositing bill payments. Separate counters have been opened to accept cheques in the evening, besides the introduction of computerised billing. All eight divisions in the city are to be computerised in the next three months.

Mr Grewal says, ‘‘We have identified areas where power theft is high and meters show consumption to be 20 per cent less than the actual. Now, we are fitting meters on feeders and transformers as well . The JEs concerned have been asked to check power theft in their areas or get bad ACRs.’’

He says, “The experiment has paid rich dividends in Akalgarh and Gur Mandi, where special meters have been installed and the difference between billing and actual supply has come down from 23 per cent to 1.5 per cent, which is the normal loss during transmission. The board has recovered about Rs 3 crore so far in this campaign.’’

The board employees say that Mr Grewal has been sent to here because he has successfully handled similar campaigns in Khanna.

Power theft in the city is to the tune of more than 2 crore units per month, for which industry, traders and residents all are responsible. Faulty, damaged and obsolete meters are a major cause of power leakage, according to Mr Grewal.

In the first phase of the campaign, the board has installed electronic meters where the load is more than 70 kw or where air conditioners have been installed. The board has changed about 20,000 meters over the past two months including about 2,000 meters of industrial units. Mr Grewal says, “About 80 per cent of the faulty meters of consumers who have air conditioners have been changed.



Eunuch nightmare on rails
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 28
The organising secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party Mandal of Khanna, Mr Vijay, said, when he had been travelling to Sahranpur on Jalandhar-Delhi Express 4682 on June 23, some eunuchs had boarded the train at Khanna and started demanding money from passengers. Those who did not pay were insulted. To add to the insult, the eunuchs also became naked before everyone.

This went on till Rajpura, where more eunuchs joined this gang and demanded Rs 10 to Rs 100 from passengers, besides using filthy language. When Mr Vijay resisted, they told him that no policeman or railway official could stop them because they paid them a monthly “cut”.

The travellers included many women, who, too, had to bear these insults for a long part of the journey. On reaching Saharanpur, Mr Vijay lodged a complaint with the authorities.


Inquiry ordered into tampering of report
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The State Department of Animal Husbandry has ordered an inquiry into the alleged covering up of deaths of sheep and goats in Jagraon recently by allegedly tampering with the reports gathered by the department from the affected area.

According to Dr G.S. Chahal, Director Animal Husbandry, a joint director of department has been directed to inquire into the alleged tampering which amounted to keeping the government in the dark, and fix responsibility for the same.

The action comes in the wake of a news-item carried with supporting document in this paper on Monday last that the local Animal Husbandry (AH) Department was hiding the deaths of hundreds of sheep and goats caused by the PPR disease during the past three months.

Dr Chahal further said that the Animal Health Institute at Jalandhar was also asked by the AH department to prepare a detailed report explaining the diagnosis and control of the disease that attacked the animals in Jagraon. He said that they would prepare a complete report on the mode of infection, number of deaths, magnitude of the disease, losses incurred by the shepherds and suggestions about the treatment of PPR.

The news-item had also mentioned that while the data collected by scientists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) indicated that as many as 400 such animals had died in the outbreak, the AH department in its report to the Deputy Director had claimed that less than 200 animals had perished due to the disease.

Ludhiana Tribune had also published a copy of the departmental report which had been sent by the Veterinary Officer of Jagraon to the Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, which claimed that in all 38 adults and 158 young animals had died, while 386 suffered from the disease. On the other hand the data collected by PAU scientists clearly indicated that as many as 89 adults and 304 young animals were consumed by the disease.

Moreover, the copy of the report of the AH Department clearly indicated that in the columns showing the total number of animals, over-writing was done, thereby reducing the number of dead animals.

The department had also passed the responsibility of the spreading of the disease the scientists of the PAU. The report mentioned that the shepherds had gone to the PAU directly to get their sick animals treated but the scientists did not tell the AH Department. It also mentioned that the shepherds had given in writing that they went to the PAU on their own and there was no fault of the Veterinary Hospital Jagraon.

Both reports differed on the time of spread of the disease. While the department’s report said that the disease spread in late March, the PAU report said that according to the farmers it spread in mid-April.



Hasanpuri — creator of folk songs

THE beauty of a song lies in its being nearer to the sentiments of the folks. It may even make the people oblivious of its creator and invest it with the charm of a folksong. This has been the case with regard to some popular songs of Inderjit Singh Hasanpuri’s. Like his predecessors, Nandlal Nurpuri and Shiv Kumar Batalvi, he has given a new dimension to his song. In them the earthiness of Punjabi life has been mirrored so vividly-

Je mundia meri tor tun vekhni

Garwa lai de chaandi da

Ve lukk hille majajan jaandi da


Saare pind’ch puare paaye

Haaye nee tere gore rung ne


Charkha mera rungla vich sone dian mekhaan

Ve main tainun yaad karan jad charkhe val vekhaan

Hasanpuri has many literary and artistic tastes. He is a painter, poet, singer, film-maker and producer of tele-films. He has been endowed with refined sensibilities and subtle perceptions. He has an uncanny instinct for the right word and an unfailing ear for nuances and modulations. He is a seeker of joys of life, but never hestitates to face unpleasant situations. He has seen the sufferings of life closely. He lost his father when he was hardly fifteen years off. He had to cut short his studies and fend for the entire family. In these circumstances, he was deeply attached to his mother for whom he was ready to make any sacrifice. He left home for long spells of time but his wife and children always kept the company of the old lady in the village.

He knows the ethos of the working classes and can well depict their joys and sorrows. His sympathies lie with the so-called dregs of society and he has an ingrained aversion for the wielders of power and pelf. The exploitation of the under-privileged people, that is taking place around him, has driven steel into his soul. His heart goes out to those who have been marginalized one way or the other-

Kakh lain jadon jawaan

Vairi jaapan hawawan

Kakhon hauli na ho jawaan

Mere magar na pai je mukh ammiye

Nee main khotdi bagaane khet kakh ammiye

His magnum opus is his long narrative poem-Kithhe gye oh din. In it he remainisees about the days when he and his Muslim friend Aslam lived together in their village before partition. It is in the form of a dramatic monologue in which Gurmukh first recalls the days of innocence spent in the company of Aslam. Then he reminds his friend of the shared experiences in the days gone by. In the end he apprises Aslam of the new situations that have developed in the intervening period. In this way the poet depicts the social and cultural scenario of the rural Punjab in a nostalgic manner. The tone of the poem, though wistful strikes the chord of hope and joy in the heart of the reader-

Main haan prem pujari maithhon

Pyaran bharya jaam no khoho

Aslam maithon khoh chukke ho

Maithon mere ram na khoho

Aakhar kad takk jeena jogg te

Duss chanan ton bin,o’Aslam

Kithhe gaye oh din,o’Aslam!

Inderjit Hasanpuri has become a legend in his lifetime. He has a queer nack of using common words in such a way that they conjure up sensuous images. His songs swift his contemporaries off their feet and now the next generation is under their spell. He has been honoured with many awards but the Kartar Singh Dhaliwal Award , that he received sometime ago, carries a distinction of its own.



Organisations flay Punjab Govt
Our Corresponent

Ludhiana, June 28
Several organisations have flayed the Punjab Government for non-implementing decisions announced by the Finance Minister, Punjab, at a political rally in Fatehgarh Sahib recently.

A meeting of the representatives of Atam Raksha Sangh, All-India Ex- servicemen Action Committee, Punjab Pensioners Confederation, Indian Railways Pensioners Federation, Bharat Pensioners Samaj and Teachers Pensioners Association was held here on June 24 in which Col H.S. Kahlon, who presided over the meeting, said the political leaders should stop fooling the public by making false statements.

Major Harcharan Singh Neelon, senior vice-president, All-India Ex- servicemen Action Committee, said the decision announced by the Defence Minister regarding one rank one pension at Anandpur Sahib during the tercentenary celebrations of the founding of the Khalsa was not implemented so far. Mr S.N.Vinaik, assistant general secretary, Indian Railways Pensioners Federation, said they should pledge to save the country from the clutches of “unscrupulous politicians” who had looted it for the last fifty four years.

Col. H.S.Kahlon, chief coordinator, Atam Raksha Sangh, appealed the pensioner organisations to pledge to ensure bright future for the youth and people of the country. The organisations decided to held a rally at Amritsar in July. and a seminar at Ludhiana in August.



JD (U) to contest 7 seats in Ludhiana
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 28
The Janata Dal (United) has decided to contest seven assembly seats in the district. The party candidates have been announced with the directions that they should create a rapport with the electorate and nurse their respective constituencies in the intervening period.

A meeting of the district unit of the party held with Mr Mohinder Singh Kamboj, district President, in the chair, deliberated upon the prospects of the party in the coming elections and the electoral strategy in broader terms. Mr Kuldip Singh, general secretary of the state unit, attended the meeting as an observer.

According to the party Vice-President Mr Sukhchain Singh Tuli, the following were named as party nominees for the respective assembly seats: Mr Mohinder Singh Kamboj (Ludhiana-Rural), Mr Kuldip Singh (Ludhiana-West), Mr Daljit Singh Akalgarh (Ludhiana-East), Mr Mehar Singh Devgan (Ludhiana-North), Mr Major Singh (Jagraon), Dr R. Kakkar (Raikot) and Mr A.S. Mann (Payal). The party leadership has nominated Mr K.S. Budhiraja as head of the Ludhiana north, east and west constituencies.



Akalis fight for power not justice: Babbu
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 28
Out of the five-year term of the Akali-BJP government in the state four years have lapsed without any development work, alleged Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, president, Youth Congress Punjab unit, while addressing a meeting of Youth Congress workers here today.

Corruption, unemployment, menace of drugs, flourished during this period, he further said. Ban on new appointments affected teaching in schools and work in the offices. The SAD which was partner of NDA government at the Centre, had failed to get any one of its demands accepted for which it had been launching morchas (agitations) during the Congress rule. The Akalis forgot their demands when they were in power and raised a hue and cry, when they were out of power, he further alleged. They were not sincere in their demands, but the demands were made to regain power, Mr Babbu said.

He lashed out at sangat darshan' programmes of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, which were organised and funds granted from the State Exchequer for appeasing the voters for the coming Assembly elections. Earlier, there was a ban on new appointments in the past but now in the fifth year of its term Mr Badal had lifted the ban on fresh appointments in the selected departments, through whose committees money could be collected.

Mr Badal’s utterances at the sangat darshan gatherings that no development works were undertaken by various Congress governments during the last 40 years, was belied by the youth leader as he claimed that much development had been done through five-year plans in industry and production which began from needle and had entered space age, green revolution in agriculture and construction of dams were all development works done by the Congress.

He claimed that large gatherings at the Congress rally showed that the congress would come into power after the elections. He also claimed that the gatherings at sangat darshan programmes were gatherings through government machinery which had been worrying the Chief Minister who had initiated false propaganda against the Congress. He added that the Congress party was united while the Akalis were divided in the state. He claimed the party would form the government under the leadership of Capt Amarinder Singh. Mr Babbu announced that the state committee of the Youth Congress would be formed before July 15 next month.Mr Pawan Dewan, chairman, Indian Youth Congress (urban development cell), Mr Gursharan Singh Bittu, Mr Dharminder Rana, Mr Jaswinder Singh Shahi, Mr Pardeep Malhotra, Mr Kala Jain, Mr Rajinder Puri, Mr Hardeep Sheli and Mr Harinder singh Bhambri, president Youth Congress, Fatehgarh Sahib unit, also addressed the meeting and criticised the Akali-BJP government.


Burnt transformer not replaced
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 28
Residents of Talwandi Rai have been facing the problem of poor supply of electricity for the past 15 days due to burning of a transformer.

The requests and representations of the people had fallen on deaf ears of the officials of the Punjab State Electricity Board of Raikot with no effort to change the transformer for the redress of the grievances of the village though the electricity board is morally and legally bound to either carry the repair or to change the same immediately.



Two dowry cases registered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 28
A case has been registered at Sarabha Nagar police station on the complaint of Nitu, residing on the PAU campus, against Kuldeep Chawla, her husband, Mohinder Chawla, father-in-law, Veera Chawla, mother-in-law, Pardeep Chawla and Mohinder Chawla, both brothers-in-law, all residents of Kanpur, under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC.

The complainant has alleged that she was subjected to mental and physical torture for bringing less dowry. The case is being investigated by the in charge of the marriage dispute cell.

Another similar case has been registered under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC on the statement of Mr Anbar Lal, a resident of Prem Nagar, against Avtar Singh, Laini Chand and Chawli Devi, all residents of Sirsa, for demanding dowry articles from the complainant. This case is also being investigated by the in charge of the marriage dispute cell.

Girl abducted: A case has been registered under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Tilak Raj, a resident of Mohalla Fatehgarh, against Titu of Jalandhar for abducting Bandna, daughter of the complainant. Mr Kashmira Singh, ASI of division No. 4, is investigating the case. However, no arrest has been made so far.

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