Sunday, September 9, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



School watchman found murdered on premises
Police dog picks up a scent; several rounded up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
A school watchman, Garib Dass, 55, was found murdered in the Government Girls High School of Gill village today. Though the locks of a number of cabinets in the school have been found broken, the police suspects it to be a case of personal rivalry.

Garib Dass had been an employee of the school since 1978. His body was found in a pool of blood in the front lawn of the school by some students who had gone there with a teacher to attend a special music class.

The watchman had a number of injuries on his head and seemed to have been hit several times with some heavy object. The watchman was hit in the main corridor of the school, from where, for some unknown reason, someone dragged his body to the lawns. A thick line of blood on the surface between the two points gives rise to this theory.

The police has not found any significant clue from the site as the assailants cleaned up most of the signs. The assailants even tried to clean the thick line of blood, but failed to do so. The police is learnt to have rounded up more than 10 persons in this case, some of whom are relatives of the watchman and the others are residents of a nearby colony.

Two persons of the family of the in-laws of the watchman’s son have been rounded up because the watchman and his son had a dispute with this family. The other persons of the colony were rounded up because a police dog traced the scent of the alleged assailants to their houses.

According to police sources, the watchman’s son had got married recently, but due to the dispute, the son’s wife had returned to her parents’ house. The case is in the court now and a there had been a hearing yesterday only.

The school sources said, being a second Saturday, the school was closed today. However, at about 9.15 am, the students, who had come there for the special music class, found the door locked and went to the house of the watchman to look for the keys. The watchman’s son accompanied the students to the school and found the body after scaling the wall. They informed the school Principal, Mr Amarjit Singh, who informed the police.

The police hoped for an early breakthrough in the case after a police dog traced the scent of the alleged assailants to some abandoned and locked houses. However, the police was tight-lipped on the progress of the case. School sources said the locks of a number of classroom doors and cabinets had been found broken, but nothing much had been stolen.


Boy ‘tortured’ in illegal custody
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Tunga Heri (Ludhiana), September 8
A 13-year-old boy of this village was allegedly picked up by the police, kept in illegal confinement and mercilessly beaten for several hours before the village panchayat came to his rescue.

The parents of the victim and the panchayat is angry at the Raikot police and the staff if the Lohatwadi police post. They say said the police never took action on any of the panchayat’s complaints, but had acted promptly this time on the directions of some villagers.

Harpreet Singh, a Class VIII student of the local Government Senior Secondary School had a bitter experience of life. His father, Darshan Singh, and the village Sarpanch Mr Bahadur Singh, said the boy was in a state of shock after the torture. The usually cheerful boy has sunk into depression.

While the family and the panchayat did not want anyone to meet the boy, Darshan Singh and Mr Bahadur Singh said, on September 3, a man, under the influence of liquor, had entered Darshan’s fields and destroyed the maize crop. When an alarm had been raised, a number of villagers had gathered there and caught the man.

The Sarpanch, Mr Bahadur Singh, said the panchayat had immediately informed the local police and the Raikot police about the incident. However, when no policeman had come there to take away the man who had been caught, the panchayat had no option but to leave him.

However, three days after the incident, on September 6, a police party led by the ASI Amar Singh allegedly came to Darshan’s house and picked up his son when Darshan was not there. The police said they were taking away the boy because someone had complained that the boy had beaten him.

When the village panchayat went to the Lohatwadi police post, the policemen there told them a middle-aged man, Harnek Singh, had levelled this charge against the boy three days ago. Harnek was the man who was caught in the fields on September 3. The villagers were shocked when the policemen told them that Harnek had been admitted to the civil hospital at Raikot with a dislocated shoulder and multiple injuries.

Mr Bahadur Singh, the village Srapanch, said, “The villagers, later, learnt that Harnek had got himself admitted to the hospital after falsely alleging that the boy had beaten him.” After a long discussion on how could a 13-year-old boy beat a middle-aged man, the policemen told the villagers that the police action was justified.

According to the villagers, the police released the boy late in the evening only after a lot of persuasion. The boy, later, told the villagers about how he had been beaten up in the police station. He said the ASI had started slapping him in the police vehicle itself.

While the ASI could not be contacted, the SHO of the Raikot police station, Mr Prithipal Singh, said he had no knowledge of any such incident, but he would look into the allegations. He also said that the complaint could be motivated as there were rival factions in the village.

However, the village Sarpanch and the father of the boy said, if they had a rivalry with anyone, they would have sorted it out long ago. They said they had even not approached the Press and journalists had contacted them on their own.

Senior officials of the Jagraon police could not be contacted.


Seven cases of dengue reported in city
Aedes is alive, despite claims of health officials
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
Seven persons have been admitted to the local Christian Medical College and Hospital with dengue fever in the past few days, showing that the problem persists in spite of claims of the health authorities that it has been controlled. There has been hundreds of cases of typhoid as well here and the disease has already claimed three lives so far.

Dengue has not claimed any life so far in its latest attack here, but the number of patients is increasing. Though it is not new for the local hospitals and clinics to receive hundreds of persons suffering from dengue fever, the local Health Department is always caught unprepared for the fight-back.

Not only the CMC, but also many other local hospitals are receiving patients with suspected dengue fever. Cases of typhoid have been reported from several nursing homes and clinics all over the city. According to doctors, typhoid has not only affected slum-dwellers, but also residents of posh colonies.

According to the sources in the CMC, three persons have died due to enteric typhoid in the past few days. The hospital has received 193 patients of typhoid in the past one month and this number is increasing consistently.

Dr J.K. Dhanoa, acting Principal of the CMC, said most patients lived in the Industrial Area, Haibowal, Dugri, Salem Tabri, areas near Budha Nullah and villages on the periphery. She said that the dengue attack began with low fever, at the onset of which, the patient bled through the skin and the stomach. “The platelet count goes down and, at times, when the body temperature is receding, bleeding can occur. If the platelet count is less than 40,000, it is a serious situation and the patient should be taken to the hospital immediately. If the bleeding becomes intense, blood transfusion is the only thing that can make up for the loss of blood,” she said.

She said, “As the aedes mosquito bites in daytime, water should be completely drained out of room coolers and the other containers. The water should not be allowed to accumulate or stagnate.”

The doctor also said, “These days, the typhoid cases have to be treated in hospital. Antibiotics have to be administered intravenously because the strain has become resistant to most antibiotics. When a patient contacts the fever, only comprehensive tests can detect it. Typhoid is a waterborne disease and caused due to the consumption of impure water.”

Dr Dhanoa says that, to prevent this disease, one should carry one’s own boiled-water bottle everywhere. This water should be boiled for three more minutes after it has reached its boiling point.

Usually, rain water enters the surface to mix with the drinking water, due to which the potable water gets contaminated, giving rise to typhoid. People can get themselves inoculated against typhoid as the vaccine protects a person from the disease for three years.”

Cases of typhoid are on the rise in posh localities, too. Dr G.K. Nakra, a physician who has been practicing for the past 30 years in Sarabha Nagar, said, “This year, everyday I receive four to five cases of typhoid, whereas earlier, this number used to be far less.”



MC terminates streetlight contract for poor performance
Imposes Rs 2.14 lakh penalty on contractor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
Making it explicitly clear that the private participants, entrusted with the job of providing civic amenities, would have to deliver goods, the Municipal Corporation has terminated the contract of a streetlight contractor in Zone B of the city, in addition to imposing a heavy penalty of Rs 2.14 lakh and forfeiture of his security deposit of Rs 32,000.

Giving details, the MC Additional Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, told Ludhiana Tribune that in the wake of widespread complaints of non-functional streetlight points in several localities of the Zone B like Kidwai Nagar, Samrala road and Focal Point, the contractor was first issued a warning and imposed penalty. When he failed to perform up to the desired level, a statutory notice was served on him and the contract was terminated. The job has now been entrusted to another contractor.

Mr Sharma, who had recently undertaken a concerted campaign to bring about a qualitative improvement in the streetlights in the city, further informed that the working of private contractors, manning the streetlight points in the city since June 2001, was closely being monitored and defaulting contractors in other areas of the city were slapped with penalty ranging between Rs 1950 and Rs 14,500. In all Rs 36,000 were recovered from non-performing contractors by invoking penalty clause of the agreement, which came into force if the streetlight points remained off beyond 48 hours.

He claimed that the entire system of booking of complaints for non-working streetlight points had been streamlined and the contractors were required to maintain proper record of registration of complaints and time taken for rectifications of faults. Senior officers of the Electrical Wing, including an Executive Engineer, SDO’ and Junior Engineers, were directed to maintain a close watch on the functioning of streetlights and a system had been evolved under which responsibility of the concerned supervisory officers was fixed for lapses and non-performance.



Hike in paddy MSP fails to cheer farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
The Union Government’s decision of hiking the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy by Rs 20 has failed to bring the smiles on the faces of the farmers as well as the Punjab Agricultural University experts.

The farmers have termed the decision as a cruel joke with them while the PAU experts are of the opinion that the real challenge being posed in front of the government is the opening of international market and the small baits like hiking the MSP negligibly would not help in quality production which has become a necessity if the farmers wanted to compete in the international market in the WTO era.

Farmers said that when the Vajpayee government took the reins of power, they were given false assurances that the MSP would be announced before the cultivation of the crops but this time it was announced even after the produce had started hitting the markets.

Dr Joginder Singh, Head, Department of Economics and Sociology, PAU, said the government is all set to feel constraint about the procurement as already 16 million ton of grain was lying in the granaries of the state. Unless old stocks were disposed off, their would be problem to store procured paddy, he added.

He said there was not much scope of selling the produce in the international market as the quality of the grains was not that good. He said Australia was selling the good quality paddy for Rs 600 per quintal and the chances of Indian produce were marred by the quality produce. This time the government would procure it in view of the elections but who would help these farmers next year, he asked. The government should instead lay an emphasis on encouraging the farmers to go in for dairy farming, fruit and vegetables cultivation. “But for all these steps, infrastructure and a sound export policy was required,” said Dr Joginder Singh.

A farmer, Mr Narwinder Singh of Lalton village, said it was peanuts which were being offered to the farmers. The farmers had to put in a lot of resources into the crop as there was a severe attack of plant hopper and they had to spend a lot of money on the labour and purchase of the insecticides. But now they would have to face huge losses, he added.

Although the farmers were not happy with the declaration of the MSP, they were quite confident about the procurement of the produce. Mr Gurmeet Singh Bassi, a farmer of Lalton Kalan village, and Mr Navdeep Singh of Brmi village, said due to ensuing Assembly elections the government was compelled to procure all the paddy to keep the farmers satisfied. They said the Chief Minister was offering so many election sops to the farmers which he had announced just yesterday, why he would not help in the procurement.

Gurbhej Singh of Nurpur Bait village said, “We cannot survive without cultivating paddy and wheat as we don’t have sources to experiment. The government cannot understand this and is offering us peanuts for our hard labour.”

Bhinder Singh of Lalton village said he was ready to come out of the wheat-paddy cycle if the government provided the farmers with storage facilities to store the vegetables and other perishable crops. He further said when he would come to sell the paddy, nobody would give them even Rs 530 for their produce. “Somebody would say that it has a high moisture content and others would say the grains are damaged.”

Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, MLA and former Minister for Health, said the MSP of paddy declared by the government was inadequate. A hike of Rs 20 was nothing for the farming community who had to invest a lot of money in raising the crop, he added.

He further said that the government would have earlier told the farmers to diversify and would have fixed the MSP at that point of time only. He said the announcement of the MSP of other Kharif crops was too late. He said in the mandis of the state, the paddy was being purchased for Rs 450 to Rs 500 per quintal and this practice was causing a huge loss to the farming community.

Meanwhile, the Bharti Kisan Union (Punjab) has criticised the amount of hike in the MSP by terming it as a mockery with the farmers. The BKU demanded that the MSP should be related with the price index.



MC, temple body in land dispute
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 8
A piece of land adjacent to Jai Bajrang Bali Temple of Purana Bazar in the old city has become a bone of contention between the Municipal Corporation and the temple management committee. The MC had disposed of the land as commercial property past year. However, though the committee has been paid the price of the land, the temple management and some residents of the locality are resisting the attempts of the buyers to takeover the possession of the shops.

A committee and a subcommittee of the MC officials, besides the MC House had approved the sale of the property after resolving that the civic body was the lawful owner of the land.

The temple management, however, contests this claim. According to Mr Rajinder Datta, a spokesman of the management, the land on which the temple was constructed more than 25 years ago and the vacant land around it is one composite plot. In support of this claim, the management produced a TS-1 form and a copy of the building plan of the site that had been approved long ago. The management says that the land is a Waqf Board property and the MC has nothing to do with it.

Senior MC officials, on the other hand, tell an entirely different story. Mr O.A.K. Sondhi, Assistant Commissioner, said, “The temple management was asked several times to produce a proof of ownership of the land, but they failed to do so. As far as the old building plan of the disputed site is concerned, the MC records show that the management had got the plan approved by misrepresenting facts. That is why no building has been constructed on the land till date.”

A delegation of the management and residents of the area that met the MC Additional Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, earlier this week, was told that the MC would not demolish the temple, but it would also not forgo its claim to the land around the temple that had already been sold at an open auction.

Earlier, a committee of the MC officials, comprising Mr Harjinder Singh, Joint Commissioner, Mr O.A.K. Sondhi, Assistant Commissioner, Mr Ashok Bazaz, Law Officer, Mr Krishna Murty, Assistant Town Planner, and Mr V.C. Puri, Superintendent Sales, had studied the revenue record of the land and found the land to be “nazool” and the MC to be its lawful owner.

Later, the report of the committee was discussed by the MC House committee and approved on the condition that the temple would remain undisturbed. Besides the City Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, the other members of the committee were Mr Jagdish Prasad Loomba, Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Pran Bhatia, group leader of the BJP councillors, Mr Surjit Singh Ahluwalia, group leader of the Congress councillors, Mr Sunil Mehra, a BJP councillor, and Ms Nirmala Jain, councillor of the Purana Bazar locality.

As of now, both parties are unrelenting. While the temple body will not hesitate to make it an issue of religious sentiments, the MC is determined to deal firmly with it. “We shall not succumb to any pressure and discourage all encroachment on government property in the city,” said a senior MC official.



NGO visions cleaner Ludhiana by 2010
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
If everything goes well, Ludhiana will be a clean city by the year 2010. A local non-government organisation, Sambhav, is working in this direction and has already chalked out an ambitious plan.

The organisation is involving young and old people and even schoolchildren to propagate civic sense among its residents. Since its inception in October 1997, Sambhav has helped to maintain cleanliness in parks with the assistance of Municipal Corporation. It has taken a number of vaccinations drives. In the summer camps organised for children, they were taught to understand the importance of good environment and means to preserving it.

It has also found a novel way to teach people — by sending them Diwali and New Year cards carrying messages of conservating the environment. Now they are looking for a mass participation.

Sambhav Ludhiana 2010, is a movement started by committed people who want to translate their dream of sprucing and beautifying Ludhiana by 2010. To initiate the movement they had organised a get-together in order to strengthen the movement.

Mamta, the anchor of the show, urged the audience to follow three As — awakening, awareness and action. To achieve the goal of a clean Ludhiana schoolchildren were also being involved.

Dilpreet, another member, stressed on the need for a change in people’s attitude.

Mr S.S. Sandhu, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said: “Every one wants to shift the responsibility to the next person and our biggest problem is that we keep shifting the blame on others. We just love to pass the buck. Every department is characterised by corruption and harassment to people. There is no value system and people are not clear about their motives. Urban management is not sensitive to the needs of public and to public problems. Public will have to co-operate with the MC to get the results otherwise the dream of clean Ludhiana is near impossible.”

He further said any three residents living around the parks could draft an application on a plain paper for the maintenance of the park. The MC would make the civil structure around the park and residents could look after the park. The MC was giving Re 1 per square yard as maintenance. The scheme had been very successful as out of 680 parks, 400 parks were being managed by the residents with excellent results. Similarly ‘Neighbourhood Sanitation’ on the similar patterns of parks, was running successfully. 



Tribes Dal: NHRC order not implemented
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
The All-India Tribes Dal, a body of Scheduled Castes, including Sahnsi, Boria, Bengali, Teha, Biharia and Sikligar, has alleged that the state and Central governments have not implemented the orders of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) regarding the declaration of these communities as Scheduled Tribes since 1996.

Mr Rana Bawa Singh Sahnsi, Chairman of the Dal, in a statement claimed that the NHRC had instructed the Punjab and Central governments on November 22, 1996 to declare these tribes as Scheduled Tribes. He said: ‘‘The commission had asked both governments to provide benefits to these communities that are currently provided to the Scheduled Tribes, including 7.5 per cent reservation in government jobs. The commission had also asked the Centre to provide a grant of Rs 50 crore and the state government to provide Rs 10 crore to constitute a special fund for these communities in the state.’’

He alleged that the governments had agreed before the commission to provide all these benefits, however, despite repeated representations to the state, the Centre the Prime Minister and the President, the orders had not been implemented.

He said these tribes were declared criminal tribes by the British and that order was revoked by the Indian Government on August 31, 1952. The communities were included in the Scheduled Castes. However, no benefits had been provided to them resulting in poor education, social and political status of the community. They were considered to be criminal tribes by the state police and were mostly ignored by the political parties due to their low population.

He said these tribes had a population of about 15 lakh in the state, 10 lakh in Haryana, two lakh in Jammu and Kashmir, 70,000 in Chandigarh and more than two crore in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and other states. A study conducted by the Institute for Development and Communication, Chandigarh, in Punjab during mid-nineties had also highlighted the backwardness of these tribes, besides suggesting action to improve the lot of the communities. Nothing had been done by the government in this regard, he added.

Mr Rana has now approached the Chairman of the NHRC to issue orders to the state and the Centre to implement the orders, besides providing reservation in legislative assemblies and Parliament.



‘Badal playing havoc with Punjab economy’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Youth Akali Dal has charged the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, with wrecking the state economy by squandering away crores of ‘borrowed money’ at his sangat darshan programmes, in order to woo the electorate.

Addressing a party workers meeting in Vikas Nagar here last evening, Mr Sukhwinderpal Singh Garcha, secretary general of the party, said the funds being doled out in an indiscriminate manner by Mr Badal for development works all over the state, were in fact, borrowed from commercial banks and other institutions at heavy interest. While the populist measures would fail to ensure another victory for the ruling combine in the coming assembly elections, these would have far reaching and disastrous effects on the economy in the days to come.

According to Mr Garcha, unity between all factions of the Akali Dal had become a compulsion of ruling SAD. Terming the sangat darshan programmes as sheer political opportunism, he said the voters were too intelligent to fall into such traps and would clearly see through such cheap gimmicks.

Mr Garcha claimed that the Panthic Morcha, comprising of all Akali groups and headed by Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi would score a win in the coming assembly polls and would fulfill its promise of providing an effective and clean government to the people of Punjab. The Panthic Morcha, he added, would also take up, on priority, other pending demands of Punjab and important issues, which were deliberately pushed to the back burner by the present government.

Mr Sohan Singh Goga, district president (Urban) of the party, and another senior functionary Mr Bharpur Singh also addressed the meeting. Among others present at the occasion were Mr Gurmeet Singh Jassal, Mr Kuldip Singh Deepa, Mr Gurjit Singh, Mr Navdeep Singh Navi, Mr Dhanwant Singh, Mr Balraj Singh, Mr Parwinder Singh, Mr Tarwinder Singh, Mr Gurdip Singh, Mr Sanjiv Kumar Sharma, Mr Kishore Kumar, Mr Jagroop Singh, Mr Harmandeep Singh Honey, Mr Jagjit Singh Neeta, Mr Balbir Singh Khalsa, Mr Harpreet Singh Happy, Mr Narinderpal Singh Panesar, Mr Devinder Singh Matharoo, Mr Rajesh Kumar Maini and Mr Jashandep Singh Jassi.


Encroachments on approach road to hospital
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
While the Christian Medical College and Hospital has opened a trauma centre equipped with special provision for paediatric and coronary patients, its efforts to get the approach road cleared of all encroachments to facilitate speedy arrival of patients have failed.

Dr Anna Parry ,who has been specially trained to deal with trauma victims, and an Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Lousiana State University, stated that the number of patients is on the increase in the trauma unit. She said,” A trauma victim if given medical aid during the first crucial hour, called the “golden hour” after accident, increases the chances of victim’s survival dramatically. Despite having the best treatment at the trauma centre, it is the Brown Road leading from the Lakshmi cinema to CMC&H which is proving the biggest obstacle in patients reaching in the golden hour.

Hospital sources said they have made numerous representations to the Municipal Corporation to clear the encroachments on the road and repair it in the interest of the patients. The hospital authorities are of the view that the removal of encroachments and the repair of the road would ensure smooth flow of traffic and thus help the patients in the crucial hour.

Sources also said that the hospital authorities had advised the MC to make the road one-way.

The road which leads to the CMC is the reduced to half its area due to encroachments. Almost all shopkeepers are using the road to park their vehicles. Moreover, some of them have extended their shops to the middle of the road.

A visit to the area by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that very little of the road was free of encroachment. The encroachments had narrowed the road considerably and were obstructing the free flow of traffic. Building material was further narrowing the road.



Convention of women employees
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
A convention of women employees of various banks was organised here today by the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Ludhiana. The convention was presided over by Ashok Awasthy, president, Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Ludhiana, and inaugurated by Amarjit Kaur.

Mrs Amarjit Kaur, secretary, AITUC, and general secretary, National Federation of Indian Women, in her address, called upon women to come forward to play more active role to strengthen the unions in order to fight the onslaught of privatisation and liberalisation in general and on financial sectors, in particular.

Ms Kaur said that structured adjustments programmes being carried on the dictates of IMF-World Bank and the WTO regime have affected job security, increased joblessness, and resulted in hike in the price rise of essential commodities, and education and health. Women and children are worst victims of the emerging scenario. Impact studies from countries of Latin American continent and South-East Asia have convincingly shown that the policies of free-market economy and the state giving up its role to provide basic necessary services the masses have brought ruination to the vast majority of vulnerable downtrodden sections of society, including, women.

The rise in female infanticide and female foeticide would be alarming with increasing commercialisation because the economic hardships in an orthodox society imbedded with gender discrimination brings backlash on girls — born and unborn.



Lala Jagat Narain remembered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
Tributes were paid to Lala Jagat Narain, founder Editor of Hind Samachar, at a function held at the Lala Jagat Narain memorial near Hardy’s World, near here, where he was assassinated 21 years ago. Mr Chander Shekhar, IG, who was the chief guest, in his address said Lalaji was a fearless journalist who sacrificed his life for the sake of press freedom.


Scribe threatened
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
Ravi Kumar Gadra, correspondent of Desh Sewak daily, today lodged a complaint at the Ladowal police post that one Buta Ram along with some “shady characters” came to his house last evening and issued threats to him.

Gadra said in his complaint that since he had been investigating the role of the accused in the Sutlej sand-mining scandal, Buta Ram was trying to intimidate him. He said the whole market was witness to the incident that took place around 6.30 pm yesterday.

Copies of the complaint have also been forwarded to the SSP, Ludhiana, and the Journalists Association.


Bank celebrates foundation day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
The Bank of India organised a zonal-level function here today to celebrate the bank’s foundation day.

Mr O. P. Munjal, co-chairman and Managing Director, Hero Cycles Ltd, was the chief guest and Mr Raminder Singh, IAS, Additional Commissioner, MC, Ludhiana, presided over the function.

Mr H.S. Bhatia, Deputy General Manager of the bank, welcomed the guests and highlighted the achievements of the bank. He said that the Bank of India earned a net profit of Rs 252 crore after adjusting VRS cost (Rs 330 crore) and provisions for pay order scam (Rs 135 crore). In spite of all these expenses, the rise in net profit over last year was 46 per cent.

Mr O. P. Munjal congratulated the staff and customers on the occasion and extended his best wishes to the bank. He appreciated the initiatives taken by the bank for improving customer service.

Mr Raminder Singh, while congratulating the staff on the occasion, also called for their involvement in social welfare activities like tree plantation, organisation of blood donation camps and cleanliness drives in the city. He assured his full co-operation in such activities.

Mr S. Y. Dhavale, Assistant General Manger of the bank, proposed a vote of thanks.


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