Tuesday, July 17, 2001,
 Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



One held in minister’s kin murder case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
The city police today claimed to have solved the murder case of Jhangi Lal, a brother-in-law of a Himachal Pradesh Minister Rikhi Ram Kondal, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his residence in Ishar Nagar in the city on October 20, last year.

While five persons have been booked for murder, only one of them has been arrested so far. The police said while four of the accused were members of a notorious gang that had been indulging in thefts, snatching and robbery in the region for the past several months, the fifth one, a new entrant, was a dairy owner who was a neighbour of the deceased.

Ending all speculations regarding some personal rivalry or enmity between the deceased and his relatives that could have led to the murder, the police said robbery was the only motive behind the murder of Jhangi Lal.

Interestingly, in the media reports appearing after the murder, the police had said that no robbery had taken place. There were no signs of robbery at the deceased’s house also. The police explained today that robbery did not seem to be the motive earlier as not enough signs were found, but the arrested accused revealed to the police that they had robbed Rs 20,000 from the deceased house after murdering him.

Addressing a press conference here today afternoon, Mr Pramod Ban SP city-II said one of the accused Amandeep Singh had been arrested. Four others including Swaranjit Singh, Naresh Kumar, Avtar Singh Tari and the dairy owner Gulshan Kumar were absconding. Police sources, however, revealed that the police had detained four other persons in the case and were questioning their role in it.

According to Mr Ban, the police was working on different lines in the case but success was eluding them for the past nine months. The police was specifically banking on the use of a mobile phone of the deceased by the alleged murderers who had taken it away while decamping with cash and valuables from the deceased’s house. On the request of the police Spice Telecom was maintaining a strict vigil on the phone number and the Sim Card but it was never used.

Luck seems to have favoured the police in cracking the case as a team of city police led by ASI Warryam Singh raided a cremation ground in Subash Nagar last night and arrested a man while four other persons managed to escape. The arrested man confessed during interrogation that he was involved in a number of robbery and snatching incidents, including the Jhangi Lal murder case.

Mr Ban said the accused had revealed that their gang had come in contact with Gulshan Kumar, a neighbour of the deceased who informed him that Jhangi Lal was constructing a house and he must having ready cash at his house. The five persons planned to commit a burglary. For this purpose they arranged a long wooden stair and climbed to a small window near the roof. However, when they peeped in they saw Jhangi Ram in the room and decided to kill him to loot the cash.

They knocked at the door and when Jhangi Lal asked about the identity of the visitors, Gulshan, who was known to the deceased, responded by saying he required a matchbox. However, when Jhnagi Lal opened the door, the accused overpowered him.

The police said the other accused would also be nabbed soon.


Panic spreads as wild cat remains elusive
Tribune News Service

Baddowal (Ludhiana), July 16
Panic continues to grip villages near Baddowal as the wild cat which was spotted in this village two days ago remains elusive. The local police and the Forest Department had launched a massive search operation to capture the wild animal but no reports of sighting of the animal have been received as yet.

While the rumours of having seen the wild cat are doing rounds of the villages, a mobile Tata van with 10 team members was tasked by the Forest Department to move in the villages.

Although the forest department was on a lookout for the wild cat, the non availability of the tranquilising gun continued to be their handicap.

The team of wild life officials did not reach the villages even today. The team had to come from Chhat Bir and they were to reach here today as it was a working day after two holidays. The officials on duty, however, said that in case they spotted the animal they would call experts from local Tiger safari who also had a tranquilising gun.

Mr Daljit Singh, Forest Officer, who had been assigned duty in Baddowal, said the animal could be a leopard or a panther. It could have strayed from the foothills of Shivalik near Ropar.

He said the leopard might have entered the territory of some larger animal and the latter would have chased the former to the urban areas from where it could have lost its way.

The Forest Officer said members of the lion family were able to live without food for many days as it would have taken its fill when it had killed a calf in Baddowal. He said the possibility of its feeding on stray dogs could not be ruled out.

The police launched its massive operation last night also but in vain. They had even put up a cage with a bait just near the animal shed where the wild beast killed a calf the other day. But it did not turn up.

The mobile van of the Forest Department was making rounds of all villages between Mullanpur Dakha and Baddowal. A control room was also set up by the department in the DFO’s office.


Liquor smugglers back on job
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
After lying low for few months in the wake of a ‘compromise’ between the warring liquor contractor groups owing allegiance to two ministers of the ruling Shrimoni Akali Dal, the liquor smugglers are back in business in the district.

The illegal activity is causing loss of revenue to the licenced liquor vendors on the one hand and on the other is becoming a headache for the authorities concerned.

While the members of the two groups have so far not gone all out against each other like the previous year and have been respecting the compromise with minor aberrations, the present gang of smugglers has emerged as an offshoot to the last year’s intense struggle between the two groups. A new stream of smugglers that smuggles cheap liquor from outside the district into the city and some rural areas has also surfaced.

While the new stream of smugglers is active in rural areas like Dehlon, Raikot, Jagraon and Samrala, the old smugglers who worked for one of the warring group last year in the city were indulging in the illegal activity in the city. The responsibility of the emergence of the latter gang can be fixed on perpetrators of the liquor war witnessed last year. Most of these persons are said to be involved in liquor smuggling last year but as their ‘leaders’ were now lying low due to the compromise, the persons for whom liquor smuggling had become a habit, cannot find another lucrative business. This is evident from the arrest of some such habitual smugglers from by Tajpur police last month.

While the police and the Excise officials maintain that the liquor smuggling was at a very low scale in the district, inquiries by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that things were otherwise. Almost all slum areas of the city especially in the Focal Point, Dugri area and along the Ludhiana-Jalandhar bypass are witnessing intense smuggling. Jammu Colony seems to have become the hub of the smugglers as liquor is available in small pouches.

According to sources, the high cost of liquor in the district compared to the vends in the border districts was contributing to the smuggling activity besides the rivalry between the different liquor contactors who participate in it with an aim to cause losses to their rivals.

Sources said liquor smuggled into the city was stored in houses and then re-filled in small pouches. The agents of the smugglers then target the consumers and offer them liquor at reduced rates. The liquor is then supplied to the customer at his house or at any other place. A number of agents of the smugglers also roam around in scooters carrying small pouches in the dickey for on the spot delivery.

An interesting case worth mentioning is of one such alleged smuggler who was nabbed by the Tajpur police last month while he was selling smuggled liquor stored in milk containers. The man posed as a milkman and went around on a scooter. He targeted customers and supplied them liquor bottles and pouches hidden in the containers.

The case of this alleged smuggler is interesting as it reflects the ills of using such persons in liquor smuggling last year by their leaders. The man said he was lured into the lucrative business last year but this year the old smugglers were not active. However, as he could not leave the habit and was at a loss to do any other work he had started it on his own. Another case worth mentioning was the seizure of as many as 23 cases of smuggled liquor bottles from Raikot.

While the SSP, Ludhiana, Kuldip Singh, could not be contacted, Mr L.A. Khan Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner, said they had raided several places whenever they received information about liquor smuggling. He said as barriers could not be erected on all roads or approach routes some minor activity might be on but as per his information it was a minimal.

An affected liquor contractor said they were suffering huge losses due to the smuggling but the police and the excise officials were not doing much to bring things under control.


Fewer students take CET re-exam
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
CET for admission to B.Sc. (agriculture) and B.V.Sc. at Punjab Agricultural University went off smoothly. The candidates were unhappy with the university for not disclosing the reason for cancellation of CET earlier.

The result of CET, conducted earlier by the university on June 26, was cancelled amidst allegations of irregularities and discrepancies in the conduct and setting of the papers. The university had prepared a merit list and had displayed the result in Thapar Hall.

The students and parents, whom Ludhiana Tribune spoke to, were sceptical about the outcome and said they had lost faith in almost all the entrance tests conducted by different universities.

Terming these tests as a farce, most of the parents said they were just accompanying their children so that they did not feel bad. They said they knew what all happened in such tests.

The number of students appearing for the test was less than those who had appeared earlier. While as many as 1735 candidates had appeared on June 26, only 1,375 turned up today. The university had published an advertisement in many newspapers about the cancellation of the test and had announced the date of re-examination.

The parents who accompanied their children from all over the state were feeling cheated as they had to rush to the university for the test for a second time.

The parents of the candidates who had figured in the earlier merit list were apprehensive whether they would again appear in it or not. A parent who was accompanying her son from Amritsar said she had to take leave from office to come with him. “Who knows what will happen again? Because my son had put in a lot of hardwork and effort, I had to accompany him,” she said.

A student who had come from Patiala and had his name in the top 20 in the merit list earlier said it was mental torture on the students. He said he could never think that the test would be re-conducted.

He said earlier he was happy and at peace that at least he would get admission in B.V.Sc. “The university should bring the real culprit to book,” he said.

Two girls who had come from Muktsar said they were on the move for the past 48 hours. “We had first gone to appear in Manipal Academy test in Chandigarh yesterday. Then we were not in a position to go back to Muktsar. Then we came to Ludhiana and stayed in a hotel. Can you ever imagine what kind of problems the girls can face while staying in a hotel in a city like Ludhiana,” they said.

The cancellation of the test had become a blessing in disguise for many students. They were the ones who could not appear in the merit list last time.

“We have got another chance. This time the physics paper was difficult. We have come with a hope that we may get good marks this time,” said three boys who had come from Jalandhar.


PAU officiating Registrar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
Dr V.K. Sharma, Additional Director Research, College of Engineering, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), has been appointed the officiating Registrar of PAU. The orders of his appointment came today as the Registrar, Mr Alok Shekhar, is on leave for a few days.

Dr Sharma would look after the office of Registrar till July 22.


NCP women wing state chief resigns
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
The state president of the women wing of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Mrs Bimla Verma, has resigned from her post in protest against indiscipline in the party and the refusal of the state chief, Mr Swarn Singh, to recognise the appointments made by the party high command.

The NCP, particularly its district unit, has been plagued with fierce faction fighting and groupism and a score of party office-bearers had either resigned or were expelled from the party by the district president in the past few days. The district chief, Mr Rashpal Singh, and the state president have also been at loggerheads, blaming each other for creating indiscipline and division in the party.

In a letter, addressed to the party President, Mr Sharad Pawar, and the national President of the women wing, Mrs Veena Nayyar, the state chief has said that the prevailing circumstances and abject indiscipline had forced her to quit the party post.

Meanwhile, Mr Rashpal Singh has warned certain party functionaries who had declared themselves as candidates for the coming Assembly elections and threatened them with disciplinary action, if they did not desist from such activities.

In a statement issued here today, he made it clear that no candidates for the Assembly seats were finalised as yet and the selection would be made on merit, in due course, by the party high command in consultation with the state election committee and the respective district units.


Deadlock over elevated road project continues
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
The core committee, comprising leaders of all political parties in the Municipal Corporation and members of the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC), which met at the residence of the Mayor today to arrive at a consensus over several items on the agenda for the General House meeting, to be held on July 18, will meet again tomorrow to discuss the controversial elevated road project with the representatives of the sangharsh samiti of traders and shopkeepers from the affected areas.

Besides Mayor Apinder Singh Grewal, who presided over the meeting, Akali Dal legislator Hira Singh Gabria, Senior Deputy Mayor Jagdish Prasad Loomba, Deputy Mayor Santosh Aneja, Jai Parkash, Madan Lal Bagga, Harcharan Singh Gohalwadia, Kulwant Singh Dukhia, Surjit Singh Ahluwalia, Darshan Singh Shivalik, Sunil Mehra, Sunita Sharma, Indu Parashar and Om Parkash Soni, all councillors, attended the meeting.

A meeting of the core committee members with a delegation of the sangharsh samiti had to be called off in a huff as the samiti stuck its ground against the elevated road, saying the project had been listed in the agenda for the General House meeting, scheduled for July 18, and discussion with the representatives of shopkeepers and traders was an eyewash.

Mr Grewal, at the outset, objected to the large size of the sangharsh samiti delegation and expressed his apprehension that no meaningful outcome was possible. He suggested that around five representatives could present the point of view of the shopkeepers in the markets, along the Old G.T. Road from Jagraon Bridge to Chand Cinema in the city area, where the elevated road was to come up. This led to a heated exchange and at one time the sangharsh samiti members were told that they had come to the meeting uninvited and now they were trying to create trouble.

In a written communication submitted to the Mayor by the sangharsh samiti activists, led by Mr Som Nath Grover, president, and Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, convener, it was pointed out that inclusion of the elevated road project in the agenda for General House meeting was contrary to all democratic norms and practices. No public notice had been issued for inviting objections from residents of the city likely to be affected, and no opportunity was given to the shopkeepers in the area to offer their views, suggestions and objections.

The sangharsh samiti asked the MC administration that the project ought to be brought before the House for discussion only after wide publicity was given to the elevated road project, along with the cost and the objects sought to be achieved. The general public must be invited to express their views, suggestions and objections, if any, and all suggestions and objections, thus filed before the MC, should be thoroughly analysed.

The Congress and BJP councillors, even after several rounds of formal and informal discussions on the agenda of the General House meeting, could not evolve any strategy so far. Sources in both parties revealed that civic elections being barely a year away, no political party could afford to earn the wrath of traders, who comprised a sizeable chunk of the city electorate. 


PSEB told to pay Rs 3,000 as relief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
The district Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to pay Rs 3,000 as compensation on account of deficiency in services to Mr Malkit Singh and Baldev Singh, residents of Ramgarh village, Ludhiana. The forum further directed the PSEB to pay Rs 500 as cost of litigation to the complainant and quashed its demand of Rs 17,807 from the consumers.

According to the complaint, the meter of the complainants was not working properly and they made complaints to change it. The consumers stated before the forum that they had received a bill of Rs 17,807 in which it was mentioned that sundry charges were included in the bill on account of overhauling of the account because the meter was burnt. It was alleged by them that despite repeated requests, the burnt meter was not changed.

The PSEB pleaded that the meter of the consumer remained dead from October 1997 to December 1999. The board disclosed that the audit party checked the account and it was overhauled for the said period on the basis of average consumption recorded from June to August 1997.

The respondent maintained that the demand had been rightly raised and the meter was changed in time. However, it was denied that the consumers had made any requests for the change of the meter.

The forum observed that according to the documents produced before the forum, the meter continued recording reading from November, 1999, till its change in January, 2000, as such the meter was defective during the said period.

The forum stated that the PSEB overhauled the account on the basis of average consumption, considering only the consumption from July to August, 1997, which were the hot months. The forum further stated that it would have been better if the average had been taken for the previous year. However as per rules six months average could be taken if the same was reasonable, the forum added. The forum said that it was desirable that the average of at least six months should have been taken into consideration while overhauling the account.


DCC kicks off poll campaign
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
The District Congress Committee has started its election campaign. Several meetings of the party were recently held in Islam Ganj and Prem Nagar by the party workers, where the DCC (urban) president Mr Surinder Dawer, was honoured.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dawer criticised the Akali-BJP government for ignoring the problems of the people and indulging in large-scale corruption. He alleged that while the Badal government was an overall failure, it had been too callous and indifferent to the urban areas.

Referring to the deteriorating civic amenities in the city, Mr Dawer pointed out that most of the city areas always got flooded by rains and the administration acted as a silent spectator. He alleged that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had failed to provide any facility to the people in urban areas.

The DCC president pointed out that while the Chief Minister was claiming that the state had no funds, he was lavishing spending crores of rupees in his sangat darshan programmes. Mr Dawer alleged that these programmes were politically motivated and were being organised only with an eye on the forthcoming Assembly elections.

The Congress leader claimed that the countdown had started for the Akali-BJP government in the state and now in a desperate bid it was trying to woo the people with false promises in the sangat darshan progammes. He observed that people would understand the designs and they would ensure the exit of the “corrupt government”.

Mr Dawer, while claiming that the Congress was certain to come to power in the state, promised that the party would provide a clean and corruption-free government. He said people were fed up with the government and were waiting for the Congress to provide some relief.


As MC sleeps, it’s dirt, filth all over
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
As the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation sleeping into a deep slumber, a number of city areas remain mired in dirt, filth and sleaze thus posing an imminent danger of an epidemic. Whether these are the old city areas like Basti Jodhewal, Sunder Nagar, Shimlapuri and other parts or the new and posh localities like Sarabha Nagar, Gurdev Nagar or Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, every place stands as a dirty example of MC’s callous and careless attitude towards the city’s cleanliness.

Even hundreds of cases of malaria, gastroenteritis, cholera and eye flu are daily pouring in at various city hospitals, the corporation and health officials seem to be waiting for them to take shape of an epidemic. While the corporation has been maintaining a silence, Health Department officials have been blaming it for not maintaining cleanliness in the city.

Residents of Kartar Nagar, Atam Nagar, Model Town Extension D Block, Dhuri Line and Dashmesh Nagar are a harassed lot.

The area near the railway line, Kartar Nagar has turned into a huge dump of garbage as all residents of nearby localities throw their rubbish there.

Mr Sikandar Singh, a resident of the area, complained that last year also maximum cases of dengue were reported from this particular area. He said, “Due to unhygienic conditions and poor insanitation, the people in the locality are suffering with one disease or the other. The area is flooded with mosquitoes and flies”.

Mr Mintu Sukhija, a resident of Model Town D Block, said, “We get polluted water from taps. The drinking water gets mixed with rainy water during the monsoon causing a number of diseases”.

Dr Pradeep Sharma, another resident of the area, said that they had approached officials concerned many times but to no avail. “The residents of Model Town, Atam Nagar, Kartar Nagar, Dhuri Line and Dashmesh Nagar throw their garbage here. Despite repeated requests, the department has failed to get the area cleaned”.

It may be mentioned that due to unhygienic conditions and poor insanitation in the city, over seven persons have so far lost their lives due to diseases like cholera, gastroenteritis and malaria.

Though the corporation officials and the Health Department have been claiming to do the needful yet hundreds of patients suffering with a number of diseases are pouring in several city hospitals everyday.


Patchwork fails as road sinks again
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
A stretch of the Ludhiana-Ferozepur road sunk in again today near Rajguru Nagar, disrupting the traffic for some time. However, unlike on earlier occasions, this time the repair work was carried out immediately and normal traffic was resumed within an hour.

The residents, however said that the road had sunk at the same spot for the third time in a month. Mr K.K. Bawa, chairman of the Labour and Employment Cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, who is also a resident of the area said, the authorities were only doing patchwork and not making any permanent arrangements.

Pointing out that it had become a recurring phenomenon, he said, “whenever there are rains, the road caves in and interestingly at the same spot”. He claimed that the local people were worried and most of them preferred to take the alternate routes, fearing that the road might cave in anytime. The authorities have already carried out the repairs however, the residents say, these were merely patch work and the threat of the road sinking again still looms large.

However, the residents wanted that there should be some permanent solution to this problem. Mr Vijay Kumar, who was coming from Baddowal village said it would be dangerous if the road sunk while a vehicle was passing through it. He suggested that the PWD authorities should conduct a survey of the road and find out the reason for the frequent caving in of the road.

Mr Kumar observed that the PWD authorities were taking the issue quite casually. “This can lead to a major tragedy”, he warned, while pointing out that it can lead to a major accident. For the time being the PWD authorities have repaired the road with bricks and have also set up a barrier. “This is all patchwork and some concrete and permanent needs to be done”, he said.


Sacked staff seek service benefits
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
Twentythree workers of a leading cycle parts export company, Bombay Metal Works (P) Limited, who have been shown the door by the management without any notice, are running from pillar to post, not to get back their jobs but just to get the service benefits available under the labour laws. The workers allege that as they had worked for 6 to 17 years, the management wanted to recruit new labour at lesser wages, so they were forcibly retrenched, and the service benefits amounting about Rs 2 lakh had not been paid to them. Under the rules every worker would have got Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 as service benefits, they said.

The management has allegedly warned them not to try to enter the factory premises, otherwise they would have to face serious consequences. Interestingly, despite complaints to the Deputy Commissioner, the Senior Superintendent of Police in the sangat darshan, the Secretary, Labour Department, Punjab, and the Labour Commissioner, the workers have not succeeded in getting either service benefits or the money due to them so far. But the long battle has made them more determined for the ensuing battle.

Mr Pradeep Kumar, Mr Rambhadur, Mr Ram Milan and their colleagues in their complaint, submitted through the Punjab Sanhati Mazdoor Sangathan, to Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, on July 6, 2001, alleged: “The management of Bombay Metal Works Pvt. Limited had terminated the services of 23 workers on April 9, 2001, who had worked for 6 to 17 years, without paying their salaries for the period March 1 to April 9, 2001, and without any service benefits.’’

The workers had complained to the Labour Inspector, Mr Khazan Singh, on April 10, but he could do nothing. Thereafter, the workers served a demand notice under Section 2-A of the Industrial Disputes Act 47 alleging ‘their termination without any notice or chargesheet or enquiry’ and have demanded their ‘reinstatement on the old posts and terms and conditions of employment with full back wages.’

The workers have alleged that Mr Dharam Pal Mittal, the owner of the company, and his two sons, Mr Anil Kumar Mittal and Manu Kumar Mittal, were threatening them to take back their charges. Mr Anil Mittal, however, denied all these allegations. He said: “Ours is a prestigious export house running for the past 50 years. We do not owe anything to any of the workers, except 3 to 4 workers. They have resigned themselves and their accounts have been cleared.’’ Regarding the allegations of threats, he said: “The workers are blackmailing us to get monetary benefits. I do not have time even to talk to anybody, and I remain out of the country for most of the time in a year. The charges of threats are totally baseless.”

The officials in the Labour Department revealed that the owners of the company were not ready to make any compromise despite serving of the demand notice. The workers have remained on their rolls for a long period, and the service rules have been clearly violated by the management. Now the case would be put up before the Labour Commission at Chandigarh who would refer it to the labour court.

They said the management was trying to buy time, as it was aware that the workers who belong to UP and Bihar would not be able to sustain their struggle for long. The labour court may take years to announce any decision against them. Till then the management could evade the payment of any service benefits or the genuine payment of the salaries of the workers. Mr Anil Mittal said smartly: “We would accept the verdict of the court, but would not pay anything to the workers now.”


Drive to weed out fake journalists
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
The district administration has initiated a drive to collect official information on working journalists in the district in order to take necessary measures against misuse of the word ‘Press’ by impostors and fake journalists.

It was officially stated that the administration had taken a strong exception to a large number of vehicles operating in the city with the stickers of ‘Press’ as many such vehicles and their owners involved in anti-social and illegal activities. There have been instances when these self-styled ‘Press persons’ had even threatened the police and other officials and got away with it.

Recently, the city police had apprehended a local businessman, who claimed to be a reporter with a national newspaper and even possessed a bogus identity card.

The authorities said genuine field journalists would be issued identity cards and special stickers for their vehicles so that the impostors could be identified and brought to book.


Delay in notification irks residents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
In a press note issued here yesterday by the Ludhiana House Owners Association, it alleged that the state government had been delaying the issue of notification of the Punjab Rent Bill 1995 under the pressure of the BJP.

It said the Bill was duly assented by the President of India and its implementation would give relief to landlords.

The Bill was prepared on the basis of the Model Rent Control Legislation, New Delhi, to give relief to the owners of the house so that the rented house, shops, residential and commercial buildings may got vacated from the tenants on certain conditions.

The association has appealed to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to introduce the Bill in the coming session of the Vidhan Sabha for implementing it with certain amendments suggested by the Sub-C Committee which are:

Compulsory registration of tenancy agreements, stamp duty from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000 and registration fee up to Rs 100, exemption to newly constructed buildings for 10 years from the preview of the Act, provision for appointment of rent authorities and tribunals; and to empower the non-resident Indians, retiring and retired government employees to recover immediate possession of rented premises.


Faulty phones draw residents’ ire
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
The residents of Dashmesh Nagar have criticised the Telecom Department for its “callous” and “non-cooperative” attitude in dealing with the complaints of subscribers from the area.

Major Joginder Singh, a resident of Link Road, Dashmesh Nagar, has in a complaint alleged that despite repeated requests, most of the telephones of the locality have remained out of order for the past over 15 days.

Mr Vijay Kumar, who runs a courier service in the area says, “We have approached the department officials several times, but to no avail. Even the linemen behave in a rude manner, making one prefer to remain silent “. He says a complaint (number 180) has been registered with the department and the officials have assured them that the fault will be rectified within two or three days, but the phones remain dead.

Mr Teetu, another resident, complains that the fault lies with the telephone cables. “One of the linemen has disclosed that cables have been damaged due to the continuous rains. These will be changed only when department will provide the new cables”, he says.

The residents say they have suffered loss of work all these days due to the faulty telephones and have threatened to move the Consumer Redressal Forum if their phones are not made functional within two days.


YC flays govt stance
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
Activists of the District Youth Congress, led by its President, Mr Parminder Mehta, today held an angry demonstration in the Civil Lines area in protest against the appeasement of known militants by the state government.

Mr Mehta alleged the state government was going out of the way to provide relief and rehabilitation to militants and the government circular to this effect, made public by BJP legislator Laxmi Kanta Chawla, spoke volumes for the leanings of the SAD (B) leadership towards terrorists and anti-national elements. He said it was shocking that in their lust for power, a majority of the BJP legislators and ministers, were maintaining silence over this sensitive issue.

Mr Mehta apprehended that the visit of Mr Badal to the USA, under the garb of getting medical treatment, might be a cover for manipulating more ‘homecomings’ for militants, staying abroad. He said the Chief Minister had backed out from his poll promise of setting up an inquiry commission to look into the spread of terrorism and government assistance was being offered to militants and their families rather than the victims of terrorism. “The ruling SAD (B) might go to the extent of contesting the next elections in the name of religion and separatism to exploit the sentiments of the masses.”

The DYC President expressed despair over the blind support by the BJP leadership to their alliance partner. 


Vimukt jatis seek 5 pc job quota
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
The All-India Vimukt Jati Sewa Sangh has flayed the state government for its failure to concede the long-pending demand of the Scheduled Tribes for separation of 5 per cent reservation in jobs from the scheduled castes and further charged Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal with adopting delaying tactics in fulfilment of the demands, which were accepted in principle.

The sangh, a representative body of the Scheduled Tribes, has launched a series of protest rallies at the district headquarters and submitted charters of demands to the district authorities. According to Mr Buta Singh Azad, president of the sangh, the scheduled tribes were up in arms against the SAD-BJP Government.

In a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, after a rally here today, the sangh has reiterated its demand for separation of 5 per cent reservation of jobs from the Scheduled Castes on the pattern of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, allotment of suitable sites for residential houses to homeless families and unlawful occupants and stay on operation of an order issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Faridkot, to 1872 unlawful occupants for shifting within a week.


MLA honoured
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 16
“Though the SAD-BJP alliance made tall promises during elections to provide a clean administration, it has only bred corruption and hiked the fee of educational institutions after coming to power. This was stated by Mr Harbans Lal, MLA, Sirhind, while addressing a gathering of Congress workers at Ambey Majra village, 3 km from here, today.

Among others who addressed the gathering were Mr Jagmeet Singh Bawa, president, Anti-Terrorist Front, Punjab. Mr Lal was later honoured by Mr Bawa.


Machine tools fair in Germany
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
About 15 Indian medium-sized companies from the machine tool sector will participate in the machine tools fair, “ EMO 2001,” to be held from September 12-19 in Hanover, Germany. The Ludhiana machine tools industry, which exports more than Rs 100 crore machines to African and some Latin American countries, will also participate.

The Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) will send an Indian delegation to the fair, held once in four years, with the objective of enabling Indian companies to examine possibilities to acquire know-how and technology transfer with German companies. This was disclosed by Mr Ajay Singha, Regional Director, IGCC, recently.

He said the fair will also provide an opportunity to the Indian companies to induct latest technological innovations to enable them to become globally competitive. The chamber is organising an awareness workshop here on July 17 so the participants can plan to visit the fair. Regarding the fair, Mr Singha said the entire range of industrial manufacturing technology and automation from all branches of metal working will be showcased in the workshop. All exhibitors will be presenting their products and services within the wide industrial process spectrum.

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