Wednesday, October 24, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

 

 

Crackdown on autorickshaws
Violations of traffic rules
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
The district and transport officials here have launched a campaign against the autorickshaw drivers for alleged violations of traffic rules and plying without valid permits. The campaign has been intensified after the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued directions to the DTO and the SP (Traffic) to appear in the court on October 29. The court has asked them to appear in connection with a writ petition filed by the Ludhiana Mini Bus Operators Association to check the illegal plying of autorickshaws in the area.

Mr Manjit Singh, ADTO, admitted that the campaign has been intensified after the directions of the court. He said,‘‘ We have challaned about 400 three-wheeler owners during the past one week for violation of traffic rules. Most of these vehicles were found to be running without any valid permit. Other violations included overloading and lack of proper documents.’’ He added the department was unable to check the illegal plying of vehicles because of inadequate staff.

The traffic police has also intensified the move against the autorickshaw drivers. Though Mr Arun Pal Singh, SP (Traffic), was not available, officials in his department declined to admit that there was any increase in number of challans. However, they declined to reveal the number of challans issued to the autorickshaw drivers during the past one week.

The autorickshaw unions were of the view that the traffic police had issued more than 500 challans during the past one week. The residents have welcomed the move.

The Ludhiana Zila Auto Rickshaw Union has called a meeting tomorrow at Feruman Gurdwara here to discuss the emerging situation. It has appealed to the Chief Minister to stop the move. The minibus operators have, however, welcomed the move. Mr Harvinder Singh, president, Local Mini Bus Operators Union, said, ‘‘Thousands of autorickshaw drivers are operating illegally in the city, though some of them have permits to ply from one point to other with three passengers, but they pick up passengers on other routes also resulting in losses to bus operators. We have presented documentary evidence through videotapes to prove our point. They must be checked.’’

Mr Lal Chand, president of an association of the three-wheeler drivers of Bharat Nagar Chowk, admitted that some of the drivers were indulging in malpractices, who should be checked by the government. The government should rather ban the registration of new three-wheelers in the city to check pollution, he suggested.
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3 colleges sans regular Principals
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
With officiating principals in three local colleges and principals of two more colleges retiring this month, the academic work seems to be affected here.

Senior staff members have taken over as officiating principals in such colleges as the management committees have yet not advertised the posts. Since these officiating principals are not PhD, they see no chance of getting promoted to the post and take less interest in college affairs. Also, retiring principals, who generally start looking for new avenues, become more lenient in matters related to administration and discipline in the college.

At the Khalsa College for Women, Ms Harinder Dhillon, retired as Principal on September 30 and since then Ms Rameshwari Saini, Head of the Department of Physics, has taken over as officiating Principal. The college management has yet not advertised the post. Moreover, Ms Saini is unlikely to be appointed as the Principal, since she is not a PhD.

Similarly, no advertisement has been given by the managing committee of GGN Khalsa College, Civil Lines, where the Principal, Mr Kuldip Singh, will retire on October 31. The post has also not been advertised at GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sudhar, where the Principal, Mr Manjit Singh Khattra, will retire next month.

At Arya College and Guru Nanak Girls’ College also, command is in the hands of officiating principals. At Arya College, Principal V.K. Mehta was suspended by the college managing committee on September 6, following which Mr S.S. Verma, Head of the Physics Department, was appointed as officiating Principal by the management. Mr Mehta was reinstated on September 14, however, he joined for a day and then proceeded on leave for a month due to illness and mental stress. He has yet not joined the college.

Similarly, at Guru Nanak Girls’ College, Model Town, Principal Jasbir Minhas, is on medical leave for the past one year. Ms Indu Kaushal, the seniormost teacher, was appointed officiating Principal in October last year. When she expressed her reluctance to continue at the post, Ms Paramjit Kaur was asked to officiate. Later Dr Rajvinder Kaur was appointed on the post and finally on March 25, Ms Charanjit Mahal was appointed officiating Principal. Since the management of the college is involved in a legal battle and Ms Minhas is still on leave, no permanent Principal may be appointed for another few months.

The post of Principal remained lying vacant at the Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women for almost eight months. While Principal Kuldip Kaur retired in December last year, Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota was appointed as the principal on August 27. In the meantime, Ms Rajvinder Kaur, the seniormost teacher, worked as the officiating Principal.

Also at the Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women, Kidwai Nagar, Ms Sudesh Sharma worked as officiating Principal from September 25, 1999, for almost 19 months till Dr Rekha Sharma was appointed as permanent principal in April this year.

Several teachers of these colleges said there seemed to be a trend of officiating principals these days. They alleged the college managements preferred to appoint officiating principals with a view to avoid various liabilities. Commenting on the situation, Prof K.B.S. Sodhi, President, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union, said the college managements should appoint permanent principals for a better academic atmosphere. He said, in case a principal was to retire, the post should be advertised well in advance so that the retiring principal was able to hand over the charge to the new principal and the college work was not affected.
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Cable mafia harasses city subscribers
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
Nine months after the district administration and the police effected a compromise between several cable operators to end the nuisance of a cable mafia in the city, the mafia has raised its ugly head again. Not only a number of operators who do not have the muscle power to fight them were being harassed, a number of citizens were also being threatened and physically assaulted by members of the mafia who wanted them to toe its line.

While on the one hand, the cable operators were being sandwiched in the bitter competition between Siti Cable and Wincable who are at loggerheads with each other by attempting to win over connections in each other’s area, on the other they were being harassed by increasing activities of the mafia. Last week a cable operator beat up a family in the Focal Point area for not taking connection from him. Police sources said the incident took place because of the mafia as the victim was being forced to take connection from a particular subscriber.

Information gathered by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the mafia includes two categories. One, a number of independent operators, aided by musclemen, continue to appear in various areas of the city Information gathered by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the mafia includes two categories. One, a number of independent operators, aided by musclemen, continue to appear in various areas of the city and blackmail the existing cable operator for leaving the area. Then there is the third category of local ‘dadas’ who charge a monthly (extortion) from the cable operators to allow them to function in the area.

There have been reports that the competition between two key cable companies in the city was fuelling the activities of the mafia. The companies were planting new operators in an area covered by a cable operator of the other company. The new operator slashed the subscription rates by 75 per cent and crippled the functioning of the existing operator.

A large number of complaints were filed in different police stations about the activities of the last two categories but nothing much could be done to stop the activities. The warring parties of Siti Cable and Wincable had with the intervention of the district administration in January this year decided to ‘adjust’ with each other. The parties had decided that they would not intervene in each other’s area but now the compromise seems to have failed as both the parties have again approached the district administration with complaints against each other. A meeting of the parties with a representative of the district administration is likely to be held shortly.

Investigation revealed that the cable mafia, which was hitherto heard of only in metropolitan cities of the country like Mumbai, Calcutta and Delhi, has established deep roots in this city as well. In purely filmy style the well-known ‘dadas’ of various colonies and even streets are forcing the cable operators to pay ‘mahina’ (monthly), if they wish to function peacefully in the area.

The modus operandi of the mafia is simple. First of all they demand money from a cable operator who wishes to lay wires in an area. If the cable operators refuses to budge, the ‘dadas’ cut the cable wires from different places daily and even steal amplifiers, thus causing harassment and financial loss to the operator who finally has to surrender to their demands.

Secondly, the mafia comes in picture in areas already covered by an operator. They simply start laying wires on their own in that area and provide connections at very low rates. The mafia does this to extract money from the existing cable operator whose business is severely hit by the mafia’s act of providing connections at low rates.

As the mafia man does not pay any taxes or registration charges and thrives on showing obscene films or new releases in violation of the copyright act, he can afford charging less while the existing cable operator cannot withstand such a loss.

According to investigations the entire city has the presence of such mafia. The problem is acute in localities like old city, Islam Gunj, Field Gunj, Prem Nagar, Mata Rani chowk and even Sarabha Nagar. Of late, the mafia people have devised a novel method. They simply disconnect one of the main wires of the cable operator and in its place join their wire. Thus, they provide connections of showing films to subscribers and them lure them into becoming their subscribers.

Some cable operators have now taken remedial measures on their own. They have given instructions to the subscribers to immediately inform them when there is disruption. The cable operators have also employed persons to keep a vigil in the area. As a small measure they have also tried to instal amplifiers on the premises of the subscribers’ houses to minimise the incidence of theft.
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Sena seeks board on SGPC pattern
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
The Shiv Sena (Bal Thackray), Punjab, has asked the state government to set up a separate board, comprising representatives from all Hindu organisations, on the pattern of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, to manage all historic temples in Punjab.

In a memorandum submitted to the state government, Mr Pawan Kumar Gupta, president of the state unit of the party, has also urged the government to send a proposal to the Centre for broadcast and telecast of ‘kirtan’ and recitation of ‘ved mantras’ from prominent temples like Durgiana Mandir, Amrtisar, Devi Talab Mandir, Jalandhar and Durgiana Mandir, Ludhiana.

The party has alleged that the bureaucracy in the state was making deliberate moves to sour the relations between the Shiv Sena and the ruling combine in a bid to disturb the congenial atmosphere in Punjab and to render political benefit to the Congress in the coming elections. It further charged the officialdom with discriminating against the party.

The party chief, Mr Gupta, called upon the government to immediately withdraw ‘false cases’, registered against Shiv Sena activists at the instance of pro-Congress bureaucrats at Patiala, Ludhiana, Phagwara, Amritsar and Gurdaspur. The Shiv Sena wanted the government to formulate a comprehensive policy for providing relief and rehabilitation to families of the party activists, who had laid down their lives in the war against terrorism.

Among other demands made in the memorandum, the party has called for a timebound probe into the decade-long militancy and the role of certain politicians, representation to the party functionaries in various government committees, package for relief to trade and industry, a clearcut policy to lend a helping hand to the police officers who had fought valiantly against terrorism and were now charged with violation of human rights and firm handling of the nefarious activities of anti-national elements, who were out to create J & K like situation in Punjab, at the behest of ISI.

The Shiv Sena, Mr Gupta further observed, supported the government stand on the inquiry into the issue of ‘Bir burning’ and sacrilege of the holy Guru Granth Sahib.
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Dept fails to make paddy payments
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 23
The Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Department has not made any payments to the commission agents here since October 2. The officials in the department disclosed that the funds had not been released by the banks due to lack of coordination with the state government, and they were facing problems at the state level. They said in Ludhiana district alone, the department had procured 1.10 lakh tonne of paddy so far, and the payments worth Rs 25 crore were pending towards the commission agents.

The Arhtiyas Association of Khanna Mandi has called an emergency meeting tonight to chalk out the next course of action if the department failed to release the payments by tomorrow. Mr Sadhu Ram, president of the association, said, ‘‘ The Food and Civil Supplies Department has not released payments worth Rs 15 crore for the paddy procured since October 2. Though the other agencies are also delaying the payments by one week or so, but the department has crossed all limits.’’

Officials of the department admitted that the payments had been delayed due to some unavoidable reasons, but said they had already got a cheque worth Rs 5 crore and the payments would be released soon. One of the officials on the condition of anonymity, said, ‘‘It is not the fault of the department, but the state government, which has not made timely arrangements with the banks. In fact, payment worth more than Rs 200 crore had been delayed due to negligence of the government. The commission agents and the farmers are consequently making hue and cry.’’

The market committee officials here said 20.52 lakh tonne of paddy had already reached at Khanna mandi by October 22, as compared to 22.21 lakh tonne of paddy in the last season. Out of this, the State Food and Civil Supplies Department had procured 33,515 tonnes of paddy, PUNSUP 27,694 tonne, FCI 38,565 tonne, Markfed 25,035 tonne, Punjab Warehousing 23,400 tonnes, Punjab Agro 21,970 tonne and the private agencies had procured 35,096 tonne.
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Residents go in for pvt guards
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, October 23
Call it what you will. Inefficiency of the police or the general scare and panic caused by petty criminals which has compelled the residents of Model Town Extension, Block-A, to go in for privately hired security.

Though minor incidents of snatching had been occurring in the colony, earlier also but what precipitated things was an incident that took place in the beginning of this month when Ms Sarna, wife of Mr Jagjit Singh Sarna, secretary of the Model Town Extension Welfare Society, Block-A, was accosted by a chain snatcher. who tried to throw some chemical powder into her eyes before making a bid to snatch the heavy gold chain around her neck. Probably Ms Sarna’s height spoiled the snatcher’s designs as instead of the eyes the powder fell on her neck which caused instant burning sensation. The snatcher, who was wearing rubber gloves, made an unsuccessful bid to snatch the chain which did not snap, thanks to the heavy connecting loop of the ornament. The incident was enough to send shock waves throughout the colony. Ms Sarna is still being treated by a private doctor for the burn injuries caused by the chemical powder.

The Model Town police was informed but since the chain snatcher had failed in his plans no complaint was formally lodged. A delegation of residents had also called upon the SSP who assured the residents that police patrol in the area would be increased and there was no need to panic.

But finding little help coming their way from the police, the welfare society convened a general house meeting on October 7 which decided that it was time to hire private security for the colony.

Now six security guards, including four armed ones, from the G-7 Security Group, patrol the colony at night. Since hiring private security is an expensive proposition, the welfare society decided to collect Rs 500 each from every house in the colony. There are 110 houses in the block. For the time being,these security guards have been engaged on a trial basis, according to Mr Sarna. So far their working has been satisfactory, he added. But still there are no signs of any increased police patrol in the area as promised by the higher police authority.

Col M.S. Sidhu (retd.) has been nominated as chairman of the security. The general house meeting of the welfare society also decided to cover the area by installing gates on all sides of the colony. It was also decided to approach the owners of vacant plots in the colony and ask them to construct at least eight feet high boundary walls around their plots.
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Last chance to get voter cards
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
Photography sessions for voters in Ludhiana rural Assembly constituency, who have not so far received their voter cards, were on from October 21. Giving this information, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, said this was the last opportunity for the voters to get these cards. The cards would be provided to the voters within a week. Besides being necessary for identification during elections, these cards, he said, were an important document for identification purposes.

Under the ongoing programme, on October 24, photography sessions would be held for voters of polling station Nos 57 and 58 at Guru Gobind Singh Senior Secondary School, Indra Colony, for polling station Nos 59 and 60 at Ludhiana Dharamshala, Street No 2, Atal Nagar, for polling station Nos 61 to 64 at Sham Memorial Public High School, Shastri Nagar, for polling station Nos 65 to 68 at Government Primary School, Bhaura, for polling station Nos 69 to 72 at Durgeshwari Bal Vidya Mandir, Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar, and for polling station Nos 73 to 77 at Government Middle School, Jassian.
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Anthrax fear continues to haunt people
A Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
Anthrax panic seems to have entered deep into the minds of the people. People are even scared of receiving greeting cards from their near and dear ones.

Most of the people are avoiding sending letters and greeting cards to their and friends by post. A girl who wanted to send greetings to her sister staying abroad said that she would inform her sister in advance about it so that she could open the envelope without any fear.

In another case the parents-in-law of a girl who is settled abroad called up the family of the girl in Ludhiana and warned it against sending birthday cards to their daughter.

Card shop owners say that this time the early sale of Divali greetings is going down.

A boy sitting at a cyber cafe said that sending a card through e-mail is convenient as well as less time-consuming, and it reaches the receiver in time. He said that although there was always the fear of virus in the online services, that could be handled if managed properly. 
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LUDHIANA CALLING

AS the festival season has started colourful tableaux have started coming out daily in different parts of the city, representing cultural themes. Interestingly, most of these are led by elephants. These days, hundreds of people can be seen prostrating in front of these elephants, much to the delight of thier owners, as every believer pays some money also to the elephant’s owner. Putting the faith aside, the owners of these elephants seem to have become so greedy that they do not allow a picture of the elephant in case money is not paid to them. One mahout even argued with press photographers saying he would not allow them to click “the Maharaj photograph”, unless they paid for it. He explained that elephant was no ordinary animal that was why he was not worshipped and that was why people said. “hathi kay paoon mein sab ka paaon”. (see picture)

A witty tribe

Politicians’ is a witty tribe. They always try to outsmart each other in arguments, charges and counter- charges. Recently the Delhi Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (DGPC) chief, Mr Avtar Hit, who is a close confidante of the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal was in town. Like any other politician who misses no opportunity in lavishing generous praise on his leader, Mr Hit went on listing Mr Badal’s achievements. Obviously, at the same time he could not spare his (Mr Badal’s) critics and opponents, particularly those belonging to the Panthic Morcha. Mr Hit alleged that the morcha had a single point agenda to defame, destabilise and dislodge the Badal government. He said every day, they (the Panthic Morcha leaders) woke up from their beds with a single resolve to criticise Mr Badal. Taking the criticism too sportingly, a senior leader of the morcha, who has also served as a minister in the Badal Government, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, retorted. “We are perfectly target oriented and we choose a single target at a single time”. And, dislodging the Badal government is their only agenda as of now.

Callous apathy

The tragic incident in a Model Town Extension park, in which a five-year-old girl died because the slide was not properly fixed by the authorities concerned, has once again exposed the (in) efficiency of the Municipal Corporation. Instead of digging the foundations for resting the slide supports to the required depth of three feet, the contractor concerned had dug up holes only three inches deep. But then according to the procedure, any job done by any contractor has to be verified to be okayed before payments are made.

Of course, an official inquiry would be ordered which will take its own time. But in the meanwhile, the corporation may order a check on all such slides and other infrastructure meant for playing children which have been provided by it in the city’s various parks. Let not a tragedy like this one happen again.

Whether the farmers get the benefit of this mandi is another thing. The latest to join the bandwagon are the milk sellers. Their jeeps full of big plastic containers can be seen parked in the mandis. This further confounds the confusion prevailing in the mandi.

— SentinelBack

 

Man rewarded for honesty
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
Mr Kamalpreet Singh, a security guard with the Hero Heart Centre of the Dayanand Medical College, has been rewarded for his honesty.

On the night of October 16, while he was on duty, Mr Kamalpreet found a purse on a chair in the lobby of the centre. He found Rs 20,000, besides diamond and gold jewellery worth Rs 45,000, in the purse.

He took the purse and handed it over to the duty officer. They were unable to establish as to who owned the purse. They then notice some persons, including Ms Ashok Angra, looking around for her purse.

When Mr Kamalpreet asked her about the details he told her that the purse was in safe custody. A relieved Ms Angra and her relatives offered Rs 500 to him for his honesty, but he declined to accept the money. “There was nothing unusual about it, except that I acted the way I should have”, a modest Mr Kamalpreet said.

On the evening of October 18, he found a costly cell phone, which he handed over to the duty officer. Later it was found that the mobile belonged to Mr Naresh Kumar, one of whose relatives was undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Taking note of his honesty, the DMC management decided to honour Mr Kamalpreet with cash. A function was organised by the management in which the secretary of the managing committee of the DMC, Mr Prem Nath Gupta, handed over a cheque to Kamalpreet. 
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Scrap dealers booked for polluting canal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
In a first ever case registered against some persons accused of polluting the Sidhwan canal, the district police has booked a few scrap dealers on charge of throwing pollutants into the canal. They have also been accused of stealing barbed wires put up by the government on the banks of the canal at some places.

Sources in the Sidhwan Canal Division revealed that the case was registered after about 10 complaints were filed with the police. No action was taken on the previous complaints.

Mr H.S. Dhaliwal, Executive Engineer, Sidhwan Canal Division, said a number of persons, especially settled along the Malerkotla road, were throwing different pollutants into the canal. They had paid no heed to the requests of the department. He said the department had complained to the police. The complaint was not by name as the names of the persons were not known.

According to an FIR, the accused were using the canal as a dumping ground. The department had warned the persons and had even put up barbed wires at some places. However, the miscreants even allegedly stole the wires and the iron pillars and sold them. The accused have been booked under the Canal and Drains Act, 1873.

According to the sources, the pollution in the canal has reached at an alarming stage. Due to the pollution, aquatic life has been affected. Further, the waste settles on the bed of the canal resulting in silting of the canal. This causes danger of floods. The sources said the canal was clean on the Doaraha side but the moment it enters Ludhiana it becomes polluted.
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Pensioners’ demand
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
The Joint Action Committee of all PSEB Pensioners Associations has stressed upon the Punjab State Electricity Board to implement the accepted demands of the PSEB pensioners.

The meeting regretted that the things had not moved and were at the same stage from where these had started. The non-implementation of the demands had agitated the pensioners and they were feeling cheated.

Mr S.K. Kapoor, Secretary of the joint action committee of all PSEB Pensioners Associations, said here today that the issue was becoming complex as the PSEB authorities were busy taking into account the plethora of laws and rules which could not be perfected.

Mr Kapoor said the unusual pre-election announcements by the Punjab Government like the grant of 50 or more units electricity free of cost to some sections of the society had created great uncertainity among PSEB pensioners whether their demand for free electricity would be accepted. Those who served PSEB in their prime and were now in the evening of their lives consider themselves worst of those sections of society whom this concession had been granted causing a loss of Rs 100 crore to the PSEB.

Mr Kapur said the PSEB would incur Rs 1,500 crore in releasing 40,000 tubewell connections but could not bear a loss of Rs 1 crore by granting free electricity to the pensioners.

He called upon the Punjab Government and the PSEB to formulate a definite policy and give the free electricity to the PSEB pensioners and they would be grateful.
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Shobha yatra on Oct 31
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
A grand shobha yatra will be taken out from the Daresi grounds on October 31 on the birthday eve of Bhagwan Valmiki, according to Mr Rakesh Ghai, press secretary, District Valmiki Sabha.

Mr Ghai said in a press note here today that a meeting in connection with the preparations for the yatra was presided over by Mr Ram Parkash Gill, chairman of the sabha. It was decided at the meeting that mohalla-wise meetings would be started soon to make it a grand success.

Mr D.P. Khosla, vice-president, Bahujan Samaj Party, Punjab unit, who attended the meeting as a special invitee, said the yatra would be a historic one.

Mr Walaiti Ram, another BSP leader, told the meeting that a number of committees had been formed to look after various aspects of the yatra.
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Driver averts rail mishap
Our Correspondent

Khanna, October 23
A mishap was averted at Lalheri Road railway crossing here this morning, on account of the alertness of the driver of the Amritsar-Barauni Express 5210 Down.

According to sources, a rickshaw-rehri collided with the train when it reached near the crossing. Entangled in its engine and later in its wheels, the rehri moved along with the train for a distance. However, the driver applied the brakes in time and took out the rehri from the train’s wheels. Mr Manjit Singh, station superintendent, told Ludhiana Tribune that the train got delayed by about an hour because of this incident.
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Reservation of seats for BCs demanded
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
Bairagi Mahamandal, Punjab, has sought provisions for reservation of seats for Backward Classes in state assemblies and Parliament. In a joint statement issued here today, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president, and Mr Jiwan Das Bawa, general secretary, of the mandal, charged the SAD-BJP government in Punjab with neglecting Backward Classes and discriminating against them.

Demanding certificates for BCs on the basis of their caste, mahamandal activists warned the government that unjust treatment being handed out to BCs would have serious repercussions during the coming Assembly elections.

Stressing the need for unity among BCs, they urged the Union Government to conduct a special census for BCs, ensure reservation for them in government jobs and legislature on the basis of their population and free education for children belonging to Backward Classes.
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Back in bondage, and free again
A Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
Owing to the failure of the government to rehabilitate a family of bonded labourers, freed by the People’s Vigilance Committee Phillaur, they are back with their former employer. Jagdish and his mother Kera were forced to become bonded labourers again as they had no means of survival.

However, they again managed to escape and approached volunteers of the committee. The committee has decided to take up the case with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The mother-son duo belong to Nadaun village in Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh. Four members of the family — a couple and their two sons — had been working at a brick kiln for past four months. They revealed that their employer never paid them their salary regularly. Sometimes, he used to pay them Rs 300 after eight or nine days.

When Jagdish asked for his salary on Saturday, his employer refused to give him any money. He also beat up the brothers. Jagdish said when he ran from the place, his 10-year-old brother was lying unconscious. He also had injury marks on his arms.

This was for the second time that the family was trapped in bondage. Ms Prabhjot of the Peoples Vigilance Committee said when the committee got the family freed earlier, they were not paid any money and were not rehabilitated. She said the committee would now report the case to the NHRC, New Delhi. 
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Mystery shrouds patient’s kidnapping
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 23
The police has failed to make any breakthrough into the alleged kidnapping of Rajesh Kumar (34) on October 12 from the local Civil Hospital. The police has registered a DDR on the information of Dr Gupta, SMO, of the hospital.

According to the information available, both legs of Rajesh Kumar were fractured and he had 18 stitches on the head besides other minor injuries. These were allegedly inflicted by eight persons, against whom the local police had registered a case, but no arrest had been made in the case. He was kidnaped from hospital where he was undergoing treatment .
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5 traders booked
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, October 23
The local police has booked five traders under the Explosives Act for keeping crackers without proper licence. According to an FIR registered here, a police party lead by Mr Kamikar Singh, in charge of the CID, Malerkotla, caught around 58 boxes of crackers from Pyare Lal, Vijay Kumar, Ram Kumar, Gobind Ram and Mangat Rai. Three of them were arrested.
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Two booked on assault charge
Tribune Reporters

Doraha, October 23
A resident of Bhukhari Khurd village, Mr Harjinder Singh, has been admitted to the CMC in Ludhiana following an assault by two persons.

He was attacked with kirpan and sticks, due to which he fell unconscious. The police booked Darshan Singh and his son Sukhman Singh in this connection. A personal dispute was stated to be the reason behind the attack.

Sarpanch booked
The sarpanch of Kanech village was booked for disobeying the orders of the Deputy Commissioner. Officials checking out whether a thikri pehra, as had been instructed, was being observed in Tibba village, found no thikri pehra in the village. A case under Section 188 of the IPC was registered against the sarpanch.

JAGRAON

Poppy husk seized
The Dakha police arrested Satpal, alias Pali, of Talwandi Rai near the drain of Talwandi Khurd and recovered nine bags of poppy husk worth Rs 90,000 from his possession. A case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act was registered.

Held with liquor
The police arrested Suraj from Bihar, a resident of the New Grain Market here, from Agwar Ladhai and seized 9 litres of illicit liquor from his possession. In a similar incident, the Sudhar police arrested Sikandar Singh of Punjab Mata Nagar, Pakhowal Road, while carrying 18 bottles of IMFL without permit on his motor cycle (PB-10A-5507). Two cases under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act were registered.

Phillaur Robbery
About 15 armed robbers wearing masks entered the house of Mr Inderjit Singh Sehmbi, an industrialist at Goraya in Phillaur sub-divison and looted more than Rs 2 lakh and gold ornaments worth Rs 2.5 lakh after injuring five members of the family late last night. The injured were admitted to different hospitals. Mr Irwinjit Singh, who managed to give a slip to the robbers, informed the police from a nearby telephone.

A police party rushed to the spot and opened fire but the robbers managed to escape in the dark. The Goraya police registered a case under Sections 307, 459, 148 and 149 of the IPC. This was the fourth such incident in the sub-divison in the past three days.
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