Sunday, October 7, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Bandh story: tense morning, easy noon
Mixed response to call; arrests in Khamano, Jagraon
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, October 6
There was a mixed response districtwide to the bandh call by various factions of the Panthic Morcha in protest against the recent incidents of sacrilege against Guru Granth Sahib. The public was confused about whether the bandh was on or not. Situation in Ludhiana and Jagraon remained normal, but the bandh was total in Sahnewal, Samrala, Ahmedgarh and Khanna. There was a partial bandh in Raikot, Pakhowal and Sudhar belt of the district.

No incident of violence was reported from any part of the district, but a number of protest marches were organised at various places, especially in towns, to condemn the incidents of sacrilege. There were reports of traffic jams at Sahnewal, Khamano and some other places, besides a heavy police security in the district. In the city, riot police was deployed at sensitive places and mounted policemen were on patrol. However, by noon, the policemen on vigil began to relax as the poor response to the bandh became evident.

News reports also contributed to the confusion, as some of these had mentioned that Mr Sarbjot Singh Bedi, Convener of the Panthic Morcha, and Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar had withdrawn the bandh call, but other leaders like Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal and leaders of the Sikh Students Federation (Gill), the Youth Akali Dal (Amritsar) and the Dal Khalsa wanted the bandh to materialise.

No politician, religious leader or any group of the Panthic Morcha activists was seen forcing shopkeepers to down their shutters like they had done on October 2. However, the shopkeepers had not opened their shops in the morning as they feared attacks and were unsure of the situation.

By noon, it became a usual day of activity here. Local leaders of the Panthic Morcha said the bandh call had been withdrawn yesterday. A faction of the morcha had already urged the party high command to exempt the city from observing the bandh. Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, MLA, said the exemption had been sought as the city had already observed a complete bandh on October 2 and the party did not want to further harass city residents.

Meanwhile, the Punjab State Committee of the Marxist Communist Party of India has condemned the recent incidents of sacrilege in the state. In a press note issued here today, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Secretary of the state unit of the party, said, “Certain forces want to destabilise the communal peace in the state to gain political mileage. These forces want to divide voters with an eye on the forthcoming elections.”

The party urged everyone to maintain peace. Mr Kuldeep Singh said the transfer of Mr S.S. Sandhu, Commissioner of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, was condemnable as it would discourage honest officials from performing their duty.

He said the transfer showed that the CM had succumbed to pressure of the BJP and sought that the transfer be withdrawn. He also criticised the abolition of octroi.


There was a curfew-like situation at Doraha and Sahnewal today. Members of political, social, religious and educational institutions participated in protests against the burning of ‘Birs’ at Rattangarh and Tarkhan Majra.

The bandh in Doraha was total as shopkeepers kept their shutters down and all schools and colleges remained closed. A protest march was taken out from Gurdwara Singh Sabha to the GT Road where the traffic was blocked for about an hour.

Those who addressed the gathering s at the protest marches urged the police to arrest some persons who possessed the banned book of Baba Piara Singh.

In Sahnewal, too, the bandh was complete with all organisations united against the sacrilege. Residents of the town demanded registration of a case against Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara and his followers.


A partial bandh was observed here today to protest against the burning of the ‘Birs’. Organisers of the bandh forced all shopkeepers here to close the shops.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Rajinder Dhoke, said no untoward incident had happened in this police district during the bandh. There were widespread fears of disturbance here.


The police arrested four followers of Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara — Babu Singh, Rajinder Singh, Bakhshish Singh and Darshan Singh — here today as a precautionary measure to prevent any untoward incident in the area.

The arrested men have been sent to the judicial custody. Some other followers of the Baba have gone underground, fearing arrests.

The bandh was total here today in Khamano and an effigy of the Baba was also burnt by protesters who were led by members of the Panthic Morcha and some other social organisations of the area. A peaceful procession was also taken out in the city.

All commercial establishments remained closed and traffic was blocked at Barbali, Dhunda and Suhavi villages. The police had to remove barricades erected by the protesters.


The bandh call evoked a good response at Samrala with all shops, schools and grain markets remaining closed. A protest march began from Gurdwara Sahib of Bondli village near here today and concluded in front of the SDM Courts in the town.

An effigy of Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawala was burnt in front of the SDM Courts. Protesters were led by Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal and Mr Mewa Singh Sihala of the Bharatiya Kisan Union. A leader of the Youth Akali Dal, Mr Karnail Singh Panjoli, demanded a CBI inquiry into the incidents of sacrilege against Guru Granth Sahib.


Despite the confusion about the bandh call, hundreds of protesters took out a march here today against the recent acts of sacrilege in various parts of the state.

Students of several schools participated in the bandh. Shops near Gurdwara Singh Sabha remained closed in the morning, but were opened in the afternoon.


All commercial establishments remained opened and the bandh call did not evoke a good response here today. Educational institutions and businesses functioned smoothly.

Tension prevailed in some markets of the town in the morning as posters pasted on walls warned shopkeepers with dire consequences and fine of Rs 5,000 each for not observing the bandh.

The Jagraon police said it had arrested two persons here today, who were said to be followers of the Bhaniaira guru, and confiscated two copies of the banned Bhav Sagar Samundar Granth. This is the first ever confiscation of the banned book in the district. According to Mr Balkar Singh Sandhu, the SSP of Jagraon, the arrested men are Rajinfder Singh and Nirmal Singh, residents of Jagraon. Cases under Sections 295-A, 153-A and 504 of the IPC have been registered against them.



DYC chief Mehta seeks CBI probe
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 6
The District Youth Congress has charged Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal with nefarious designs to play the “communal card” to rouse communal passions in a bid to regain his eroded mass base. In a memorandum submitted to the President of India through the Deputy Commissioner, the DYC president, Mr Parminder Mehta, has demanded a CBI inquiry to dig out the real truth behind acts of sacrilege, which took place at several places in Punjab in the recent past.

The DYC expressed apprehensions that the ruling party functionaries had “hatched a conspiracy to create communal tension to draw political mileage in the wake of the coming assembly elections, and the incidents of slaughter of cows in a veterinary hospital, burning of ‘Birs’ and demolition of a part of a temple in the city were carried out in a well-thought out manner.” It was worthwhile to mention that the angry protest marches against the acts of sacrilege were being organised by activists of ruling party, he alleged.



10-yr RI for husband in dowry death case
A Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 6
Mr A.K. Sharma, Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana has sentenced Balwinder Singh (23) of Giderwindi village to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment in a dowry death case. His wife Manjit Kaur, alias Gurpreet Kaur, died due to burn injuries on August 16, 1998, just after two years of marriage.

‘‘Considering unabated cases for bride burning in the country due to dowry demand, casting social stigma on the society, stringent punishment is warranted against perpetrator of such horrendous crimes against the woman,’’ observed Mr Sharma, while pronouncing the sentence.

A case was registered against the accused, his mother Manjit Kaur and father Maghar Singh, on August 17, 1998, at police station Sidhwan Bet under Sections 304-B and 302 of IPC, on the statement of Balour Singh, father of deceased. However, the court acquitted mother-in-law and father-in-law of the deceased, as charges levelled against them could not be proved.

Father of deceased had alleged that he had spent sufficient money on the marriage of his daughter, according to his financial capacity. But about two months after the marriage his daughter’s in-laws started quarreling and beating up his daughter and demanded TV and refrigerator. Twice she was turned out from the in-laws home due to this torture.

On August 16, 1998, at about 7.30 p.m., the father received a message that his daughter was admitted in Civil Hospital, Jagraon, on account of burn injuries. But when he along with wife, a former sarpanch Surjit Singh, member, panchayat Darshan Singh of Bajurg village rushed to the hospital, only to find his daughter dead, added complainant.

The husband of the deceased had pleaded not guilty and alleged false implication in case. But disagreeing with the contentions raised by accused, the court held that prosecution had successfully brought home the charges against accused Balwinder Singh alone, under Section 304-B of IPC, for having subjected his wife to cruelty and harassment in connection with the demand for dowry and that her death was caused by burns or bodily injuries otherwise than under normal circumstances and awarded severe punishment.


10-yr jail under NDPS Act
A Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 6
The Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, Mr G.S. Sran, has convicted Rameshwar of Bhilwara, Rajasthan, on a charge of possessing 12 kg opium and sentenced him to undergo rigorous an imprisonment of 10 years, besides a fine of Rs 1 lakh under the NDPS Act.

According to the prosecution, the accused was apprehended on April 12, 1998, in an area under police station Dehlon and opium was seized from him.

The accused pleaded not guilty and alleged false implication in case. But after appreciating the evidence on record, the court held him guilty and awarded severe punishment.


Last chance to get voters’ I-cards
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 6
The electorate in Ludhiana North assembly constituency will have yet another chance to get photo ID voter cards from October 10. Giving this information, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, said that this would be the last opportunity for the voters to get themselves photographed. The cards would be prepared and distributed among voters within a week. Besides being necessary for identification during the elections, the photo ID voter cards, he said, were an important document for identification purposes.

The photography session would commence on October 10 when voters of polling station numbers 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9 will be photographed at SDP College for Women, those of polling station numbers 3, 4, 5 at Maha Shakti Middle School, Mohalla Fatehgarh, polling station numbers 10 to 14 at Shivpuri Dharamshala and polling station nos 15 to 19 at Government Technical education Centre, Kila.

The voters of polling station numbers 20 to 26 would report for being photographed on October 11 at R.S. Jugal Kishore Middle School, those of polling station numbers 27 to 30 at SAN Jain Senior Secondary School, polling station numbers 31 to 34 at Arya Senior Secondary for Girls and polling station numbers 35 to 38 at MC Office, New Building.


CMC move on dental course backfires
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, October 6
The move of the management of the Christian Medical College (CMC) to get the approval of the Dental Council of India (DCI) for starting a postgraduate course in its dental college seems to have backfired, as due to certain objections raised by the DCI, it is struggling hard to even save the recognition for the BDS course.

According to sources, the CMC had recently applied to the DCI for approving a first-ever postgraduate course of MDS. However, an inspection team of the DCI that visited the institution subsequently raised a number of objections which were allegedly serious in nature and put the recognition of the undergraduate course in jeopardy. While the CMC authorities have been denying the problem, this correspondent spoke to Mr A.L. Miglani, secretary of the DCI, Delhi, who confirmed the objections. He said the council had raised serious objections to the opening of the MDS course as the present staff of the Dental College of the CMC was inadequate for BDS courses, and in these circumstances the CMC would not go in for the MDS course.

Meanwhile, the executive meeting of the DCI is scheduled for October 11 and 12 at New Delhi, which would take up the case of the CMC. The meeting would examine the inspection report of the DCI team as well as the compliance report of the CMC. The CMC management had in response to a letter of the DCI regarding inadequate staff for starting the postgraduate course sent a compliance report claiming that all objections had been removed.

According to sources, the main objection of the DCI regarding the starting of the post-graduation course was shortage of staff in the dental college. Sources said the staff on paper was allegedly shown as complete but, most of the doctors shown were part-timers or those actually owning private clinics. These doctors allegedly received handsome payment from the CMC also but their services were required only when the inspection team of the DCI visited the place.

According to information available, at least 14 teachers were required for the said course whereas the CMC has only five teachers. Interestingly, on paper the number shown is adequate but in reality the teachers shown were private doctors who were paid by the CMC only to be present when such inspection by the DCI was made.

Dr J.L. Joshi, Principal, Dental College, CMC, when contacted claimed that the CMC had no such problem. He said there was adequate staff for starting any course as the CMC has six professors, nine readers and 10 demonstrators. He said objections raised by the DCI and subsequent filing of compliance report were a routine process faced by any institution.


A hell on earth called Jammu Colony
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 6
Residents of Jammu Colony and several other localities behind Preet Palace Cinema here are living in poor civic conditions. The roads and streets of these colonies have not been repaired for a long time and there is no sanitation here at all. Residents of these parts have become used to seeing heaps of uncleared garbage, emanating unbearable stench, around their houses. Faulty sewerage system and inadequate drainage arrangements further compound the problem.

Due to the poor sanitation, residents of the localities, that comprise residential and industrial premises, face a persistent threat to health from flies, mosquitoes and pigs. Cattle and pigs litter the area with garbage. The situation worsens in rains when there is knee-deep water in streets, causing damage to houses, shops and factories.

Mr Harish Khanna, President of the Ludhiana Small-Scale Manufacturers Association and owner of a factory in the area, said stagnating water at various places in these localities was posing a health hazard. The Health Department of the Municipal Corporation has failed to notice the plight of residents or the area, despite repeated requests. With corrective and preventive steps remaining elusive, the risk of the outbreak of malaria, dengue and other epidemics has increased in this area.

Several other residents of these parts said the area councillor had also turned a blind eye to the poor civic conditions. They said residents of the area were being discriminated against in the allocation of funds for development works. All residents and industrialists of the area have demanded immediate steps to improve the sanitation and the maintenance of roads, streets, sewerage and drainage systems here. They said, if things did not improve, they would have to resort to an agitation.



Roadside eateries gain popularity
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 6
The road adjacent to Khalsa College for Women has become a popular place for families eating out in the evening. These unauthorised shops in the area have not only made encroachments, but have also become a traffic hazard. Moreover they sell unhygienic food at exorbitant prices. Instead of shunning this dirty and unhygienic food, a large number of citizens of the mega city, are unwittingly promoting these eateries by increasing their sale. Neither does the customer closely checks the quality of food, he is served, nor does the health authorities take any pain to do something.

The Ghumar Mandi road lights up in the evening as these roadside entrepreneurs start their business. The aroma of the food can be smelt by the passersby which often compel them to stop for a while and have delicacies especially prepared for them. There is a wide variety of eatables available at these shops. One can have Chinese, South Indian and other fast food items like channa bhatura, burgers, hot dog, tikkis, chaat and samosa.

The entrepreneurs do their best to allure the customers. Those who purchase the food in bulk are given special discounts.

This is not the only facility given by the entrepreneurs. The customer are provided special sitting facilities. A lot of chairs and tables on the roadside can be seen which cover a larger part of the road. These encroachment by about 10 eateries ultimately make the wide road, a narrow one in the evening.

The innocent customers do not know the insanitary conditions in which the food, they are eating, has been cooked. They do not even know that which kind of raw material used for preparing eatables, like oil, vegetables, sauces, grains and other material. Moreover these roadside eateries sell eatables charging exorbitant rates.

The customers who think that they will save money if they eat at these open air places then they are under a misconception as these places charge exorbitantly from the customers. The menu of these fast food joints offer a lot of variety like any popular restaurant and hotels. But the rates of the eatable are slightly less. But there is an enormous difference in quality of food and service. Many customers only see the bright side of the colourful shops but may have to pay heavy price healthwise after eating.

These entrepreneurs employ illiterate labourers for cutting vegetables, washing utensils and other petty jobs who do not know anything about hygiene. They give raw material for cooking food to the chef having dirty and unwashed hands. Sometimes in absence of the chefs these labourers play the role of chef.



BSP flays policy on regularisation of encroachments
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 6
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has termed the state government’s policy on regularisation of encroachments a big fraud, aimed at befooling poor people and the Dalit community in particular.

Addressing a party workers’ meeting at Rajesh Nagar in Haibowal, the vice-president of the party, Dr D.P. Khosla observed that 20 per cent of the market price of land, being demanded for making the possession lawful, had turned the entire exercise futile. He claimed that if the BSP was voted to power, all dalits and poor people, occupying government land, would be made lawful owners with title deeds registered in their names absolutely free of cost.

Charging the SAD-BJP government in Punjab with failure on all fronts, he alleged that prices of essential commodities had registered a steep rise and unemployment had increased.

Dr Khosla reiterated the determination of his party to contest elections on all 117 assembly seats. At another meeting, held in the office of the District Valmiki Sabha, Mr Ram Parkash Gill, chairman of the sabha informed that a Valmiki sammelan would be organised at Amritsar on November 1. The BSP chief Mr Kanshi Ram and several other dignitaries would participate in the function, he added.


Soda-water magic set up Government College

THE oldest college of this region is Mahendra College of Patiala, followed by Randhir College of Kapurthala. These institutions are older than Panjab University (Lahore), fourth Indian university to be established. The only universities older that the PU are in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.

Compared to these, Government College of Ludhiana came into existence when some of these institutions had already celebrated their golden-jubilees and the other colleges their silver jubilees. However, the college is still older than many reputed universities like Aligarh Muslim University, Delhi University and Benaras Hindu University.

After the annexation of Punjab by Lord Dalhousie in 1849 and the 1857 War of Independence, the East India Company felt certain that the colonial rule was here to stay in India. Soon, establishment of government departments was followed by the development of railways and roads, courts and cantonments, besides other institutions like schools, colleges and universities.

Educational institutes were a friendly face of the British foe. After the Army, it was the western educational system that brought Indians close to the British. After the victory in the first World War, the Government of India wanted to reward places from where most of its army recruits came. For this purpose, they established educational institutes here and western Punjab reaped the benefits. In eastern Punjab, institutes of higher education were set up at Kangra and Hoshiarpur.

The government called a meeting of its officials at Ambala to discuss plans for establishing a Government College here to reward the people of the area for their service to the British Army. The location of a cantonment at Ambala added to the claim.

It was here that pragmatism of a Ludhianvi proved decisive. It happened in the summer of 1919 at the Ambala civil station. Prof Thakar Singh, a legendary head of the Physical Education Department of the college records, “I was told this story by Mr Dasaundha Singh, an advocate. After the first Great War, the Punjab Government wanted to reward the people of Malwa for their contribution in the victory. It wanted to establish a college at Ambala for this purpose, for which, they invited five-man delegations from neighbouring districts. The delegation from Ludhiana was led by Sardar Bahadur Sardar Gajjan Singh, a member of the Viceroy’s Council. Mr Dasaundha Singh was also a member of the delegation. While leaving Ludhiana, SBS Gajjan Singh carried two crates of soda-water bottles with him and reached late at the venue of the meeting, intentionally. When he entered the meeting hall, he brought in the crates. When the Commissioner of Ambala Division asked him why he had brought these, he said he would answer the question at a proper time. The meeting began and the President announced the proposal to set up a college at Ambala. SBS Gajjan Singh got up and told everyone there that there was a scarcity of water at Ambala, so, the people there ran about in search of drinking water.

He said he had brought these bottles from Ludhiana for the convenience of the those present at the meeting. He made his point that Ambala was not a proper place for setting up the college.”

Alternative proposals were discussed and, finally, Ludhiana was selected. A memorial dedicated to the wise advocate, SBS Gajjan Singh, stands near Bharat Nagar Chowk here. Only two persons became Cabinet ministers in the pre-1947 Punjab — Dasaundha Singh and Mian Abdul Hayee. Abdul Hayee was the Education Minister. The college was set up in 1920 and it would take a full book or many such write-ups to trace its rich history.

M. S. Cheema


A mapseller’s lost childhood
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, October 6
The word childhood has a different meaning for Sunny, a 12-year-old, who sells all kinds of maps. For many children, childhood is the time when a child has an opportunity to study in school, play games with friends, living life without any tension and hardships. Moreover, many children thinks that childhood is a part of life when parents are supposed to make everything available for them and they have to enjoy only. But Sunny thinks otherwise as he has to work for eight to nine hours to support himself as well as his family.

He laughs at a joke, surprises after listening suspense stories from his grandmother and need the hug of his mother when he feels lonely like any other child of his age. But he could not go to school as he want his three younger brothers could study. Ignoring studies and working hard at this tender age is his compulsion. His father and elder brother work in a factory as labourers, but their earnings are not sufficient to run family. So he is another person to support the family.

Sunny is a resident of Vishwakarma colony, where a large number of children who start their day begging on the road. But Sunny believes in working hard and honestly to maintain his self-esteem.

One can buy map of any city, state, country or continent from him. In case he does not has the map of customer’s choice, he makes it available on special demand. From dawn to dusk he does a lot of leg work to achieve his target of sales everyday.

Despite facing hardships at this early stage of life, he is quite optimistic. The lad saves a little part of his earning everyday which would help him to start a big business one day. Sunny do not has any chance of going school but as far as names of important places, cities, states and capitals of states are concerned he can beat any student of geography.


Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra taken out
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 6
Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra was taken out from Durga Temple here today amid much enthusiasm and religious fervour. The yatra, which was scheduled to start at 2 pm. from the temple on the Club Road, was delayed by about 90 minutes.

Thousands of people had gathered at the starting point to view the 40 feet long and 60 feet tall rath, which was the main attraction of the yatra. The rath presented the spectacular view of a mobile temple.

The route of the yatra had been decorated over the past week with lights. Lord Narsingh was leading the yatra and behind the main rath, there was the chariot carrying Banke Bihari.

As many as 350 organisations performed aarti of the rath en route. Children from 60 different countries, carrying their respective flags, were the centre of attraction for the onlookers. The rath was showered with floral petals everywhere by the devotees. There was a scramble among the devotees for the special parshad brought from Jagannathpuri.

Members of the Rath Yatra Mahotsav Committee, which organised the yatra in collaboration with ISKCON were wearing specially tailored dresses for the occasion.

Eight short-circuit TV cameras were helping in keeping a watch over whole of the yatra. Four ambulances also following the religious procession.

The yatra culminated at Haridev Mandir late at night after passing through Ghanta Ghar Chowk, and Division Number Three Chowk.


4 hurt in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 6
Four persons, including an Akali Dal leader, were seriously injured when the Tata Qualis in which they were travelling collided head-on with a tempo coming from opposite direction near Doraha last evening.

Mr Vijay Danav, advisor to the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), and Mr Rajesh Rodra, owner of Greenland School, were seriously injured and rushed to the CMC hospital in Ludhiana. Two others, including Gurminder Singh, a transporter, and a gunman received minor injuries.

The accident took place at Rajagarh near Kanech village on the GT road, Doraha, at about 4 pm. The Tata Qualis (PB-10-AQ-0125) going from Ludhiana to Patiala collided with tempo-407 (PB-13-C-4455).

The driver of the tempo, Baldev Singh, escaped unhurt. No case has been registered so far.


Relief for 550 widows
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 6
The Shri Gyan Sthal Mandir Sabha would distribute ration and other household goods of daily-use among 550 widows of the town at its 50th monthly relief distribution function to be held tomorrow, according to a press note by the temple body. Mr H.S. Sidhu, SSP, would be the chief guest.


Man clubs wife, son to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
In a gruesome incident, a man clubbed to death his wife and a son at his house near the Tibba road in Basti Jodhewal here today. The police came to know about the killings after some neighbours complained about some smell emanating from a nearby house.

When the locks were broke open the bodies of a 41-year-old woman and her 13-year-old son were found.

The bodies were lying in a pool of blood. According to the police, both were clubbed to death with a heavy cricket bat. The police sources said the prime suspect of the murders was deceased woman’s husband Amarjit Singh, who had been missing since morning.

The police said preliminary inquiries revealed that Amarjit Singh and his wife, the deceased woman, did not have cordial relations for the past several months and frequently used to fight with the each other. The man is suspected to have killed his wife in a fit of rage.

Police sources said this was the second wife of the man while it was the third marriage of the woman.


Minor girl raped by ‘husband’
Our correspondent

Jagraon, October 6
In a shocking incident of forcible child marriage and subsequent rape by a so-called husband, a 13-year-old minor girl of Sadarpur village here complained to Mr Balkar Singh Sandhu, SSP, Jagraon, on Thursday, that she had been raped by Satta of Fatehgarh district.

She alleged that a marriage party of five to six persons from Fatehgarh Sahib had come to her house to marry her elder sister, but as her elder sister was not present, so her father Pritam Singh forcibly threw her in their car. She accused Satta of Fatehgarh Sahib of raping her claiming himself to be her husband. However, she managed to escape and came to Amargarh Kaler village and informed about the incident to Sarpanch Surjit Singh and the panchayat. The Sidhwan police has registered a case under Sections 366, 366-A/344 IPC and 4/5/6 of the Child Marriage Act against Pritam Singh, Satta, Jagan Singh and Melo.

Poppy husk seized

The CIA staff seized poppy husk worth Rs 4.44 lakh contained in 54 bags while on patrolling near Manuke village here yesterday. The staff had signalled a truck (PB 04 C 9761) to stop followed by an Indica car (HR - 61-449), which immediately turned back and sped away.

The police seized 457 kg husk from the truck driver Kuldip Singh of Rasulpur village. The police also took into possession truck. During interrogation by ASI Gurcharan Singh Neela, the truck driver disclosed that he had brought 54 bags of poppy husk out of which 29 were concealed in a house at Jhordan village. The police seized these bags weighting 885 kg, 500 gm.

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