Thursday, January 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Telecom official suspended for duping people
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
The Department of Telecommunication has suspended Dalip Singh Chauhan, a senior telecom office assistant, who was arrested by the Mansa police in December last for allegedly duping many people by taking lakhs of rupees from them in lieu of providing them lucrative jobs in Punjab and Haryana.

Departmental sources revealed that the official had been absent from duty for the past six months or so and no one knew where he was. Sources said the department learned about his whereabouts and activities only after reading news reports that the Mansa police had arrested him in the sensational case. The sources said as he was absent from duty, no clue about any involvement of a telecom employee had been found.

When contacted, Mr V.S. Srivastava confirmed the suspension order. He disclosed that he had also written a letter to the Mansa police demanding further details, a copy of the FIR and other related documents so that further action could be taken against the official.

Mr Srivastava added that the suspension order would be effective from the date of his arrest by the Mansa police i.e. December 15, 2001.

The alleged swindler, who was arrested along with his wife from his residence near Guru Nanak Engineering College, was charged with pocketing over Rs 60 lakh from several persons promising some of them with a petrol pump connection and selection in the Haryana Civil Service in Haryana and others with the appointment of DSP and inspector in the Punjab police. The man also boasted about his links with senior Akali leaders like Mr Sukhbir Badal and Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, besides Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala.

The police also admitted that the accused used to take Rs 30 lakh to Rs 35 lakh for the post of DSP and Rs 20 to 25 lakh for the post of inspector. For getting selection in the Haryana Civil Service, the accused used to get Rs 40 to 45 lakh.

The official had duped persons in Patiala, Mansa and Haryana. It came to the notice of the police when a resident of Mansa first made a complaint of fraud against him. Further complaints were lodged against him during questioning. Some of the irked persons who had given him huge amounts threatened him with dire consequences. The accused even gave fake cheques to them.

The SSP, Mansa, however, maintained that the accused was only making money by using the names of the leaders but actually had no direct or indirect contact with them.



327 centres for Class VIII examination
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, January 9
The District Education Department has marginally reduced the number of centres for Class VIII examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board this year. While the number of centres was 338 last year, 327 centres would be set up for the examination to be held from February 18.

The department has added a few new schools to the list of centres while also deleting a few of them. The new schools in the list include Welfare Public Senior Secondary School at Giaspura, Guru Nanak High School at Sargodha Colony, Skyway Model High School, Evershine Public High School and Government High School at Khasi Kalan. The schools which have been rejected for the purpose this year include Government High School at Rasulda, Government High School at Kot Gangurai and Smt Satvi Gupta Sarvhitkari Vidya Mandir at Jagraon.

Keeping in view the over-crowded situation at a few schools, the second centre at 10 schools which had two centres till last year has been deleted in the current list. Such schools include Government Multipurpose Senior Secondary School at Cinema Road, Malwa Khalsa Senior Secondary School at Model Gram, Guru Nanak Senior Secondary School at Janata Nagar, Arya Senior Secondary School, Teja Singh Swatantra Memorial Senior Secondary School, P.S. Khalsa National Senior Secondary School, Ritambra Public School at Sunder Nagar, Guru Harkrishan Public School at Dugri Road, Guru Hargobind Sahib Senior Secondary School at Gurmat Nagar and Ranjit Modern Senior Secondary School at Haibowal Kalan.

The department officers said that since Class X and XII examinations were also scheduled in most of these schools, it was difficult to accommodate students for two centres of a particular class. They said that most of the alterations had been recommended by the State Education Department on the plea of several schools facing the difficulty.

Meanwhile, the department has also marked the duties of supervisors, superintendants and cluster incharges for the examination. While no cluster incharges were appointed last year, at least 70 lecturers, headmasters and principals have been assigned the duty this year. The department has also not received any notice for assigning duties on rotation basis this time.

Ms Manjit Kaur, Deputy District Education Officer (Secondary), said the duties of superintendants, supervisors and cluster in charges for Classes X and XII would also be finalised and sent soon to the state authorities. No such preparations, however, seem to be going on in the primary wing which would conduct examination from February 21 onwards.



PSEB asked to pay compensation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to pay Rs 1,000 as compensation on account of deficiency in services to Mr Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Meharban village in Ludhiana district. The forum has further directed the PSEB to pay Rs 500 as cost of litigation to the consumer. Moreover, the demand of Rs 7,446 by the PSEB has been quashed. The forum has also directed to pay interest on the said amount at the rate of 12 per cent from the date of deposit till the actual payment.

According to the complainant, the electricity meter installed on his premises was changed in July, 2000, and on August 31, 2000, he was issued a memo by the PSEB to pay Rs 7,446 on account of theft of energy. The representative of the complainant, Mr S.S. Sarna, stated before the forum that it was mentioned in the memo that the meter was running slow and that was why fine had been imposed. He was asked to deposit the amount by September 11, 2000, otherwise the power supply would be disconnected.

To avoid disconnection, the consumer deposited the amount. However, he pointed out that the demand had been raised wrongly as the consumer was not present at the time of checking of the meter in the M.E. Laboratory which was mandatory. Moreover, the consumer was not given any notice about checking which was necessary as per the PSEB rules, he added.

The PSEB pleaded that during a special drive launched to curb power theft in the area, the meter was removed and sent to M.E. Laboratory. The respondent stated that according to the laboratory report, the meter was recording less consumption of energy to the extent of 49.4 per cent. It further stated that it was clear case of theft of energy and as such the demand had been raised. It demanded that the complaint was liable to dismissed as there was no deficiency in services.

The forum observed that the PSEB had only placed an M.E report as an evidence, on which it was not mentioned that the meter was packed and sealed properly when it was removed which was necessary as per rules. The forum stated that the presence of consumer or his representative had also been recorded on the said report and no notice had been issued to him to attend the checking, which was mandatory.

The forum stated that there was no evidence that the consumer was actually committing theft. The forum held that there was clear deficiency on the part of the PSEB to raise wrong demand.



Kargil martyr remembered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
Tributes were paid to Army jawan Paramjit Singh, who laid down his life fighting against enemy forces in Kargil sector, at a function held at Government High School in Gill village to mark his third martyrdom day.

To perpetuate the memory of the martyr, a life-size statue has been installed in the village which was unveiled by Col H.S. Toor. Speaking on the occasion, Colonel Toor exhorted the youth to inculcate the sense of patriotism and nationalism and prepare themselves to make any sacrifice to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country. He suggested that the school should start a merit scholarship in the memory of Paramjit Singh.

Ms Balbir Kaur, Headmistress of the school, announced that free education would be provided to all children of the martyr. Baba Gurmel Singh recited ‘kirtan’ while Sikander Singh enthralled those present with recital of ‘vaars’.

The local unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party presented Rs 1100 to the school.

Among others Ms Jaswinder Kaur, incharge, Youth Wing, BSP, Mr Gurdial Chand, Mr Charanjit Singh addressed the function. Prominent among those who paid homage to the martyr were Mr Harpal Singh Dhandra, Mr Sikander Singh and Mr Balwant Singh Mahto.



Raikot patwari caught on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau has caught a patwari, posted in Raikot tehsil, on the charge of taking a bribe for completing some official work.

Mr R. P. S. Bajwa, SP (Vigilance), claimed in a press release here today that DSP Gurjit Singh Romana arrested the accused patwari, Sohan Singh, yesterday for taking Rs 1,500 from a complainant for giving a number to the mutation of land.

The graft amount was recovered from the dicky of the accused’s scooter. Government officials were a witness to the incident.

A case under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against the accused.



Bitta for stringent law to deal with terrorism
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
Being of the firm view that the anti-terrorism law that replaced POTO had been rendered ineffective and ‘teethless’ under pressure from various political parties, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, Chairman, All-India Anti-Terrorists Front (AIATF), today pleaded for a more effective law to deal with terrorists.

Addressing mediapersons here, Mr Bitta further advocated a positive and uniform line of action by all political parties on this crucial issue, which was of great importance for unity and integrity of the country. “Until we have effective laws to deal with terrorists, the demand for extradition of terrorists from countries like Pakistan, the USA, Canada, England and Germany will be an exercise in futility”. He said if the past record was any indication, the prosecution rate of notorious terrorists was very poor, if anything and at times, those charged with heinous crimes like mass killing, went scot free.

Taking strong exception to the war hysteria being created by senior government functionaries in the Centre, Mr Bitta said the war cries were being raised to exploit sentiments of the masses in the wake of ensuing Assembly elections. “The open war with Pakistan will not yield anything except for causing immense financial burden on the common man and wrecking the national economy”.

The AIATF Chairman pointed out that rather than pushing the country towards a war, which would in all probability cost dear in terms of money and manpower, the government should initiate immediate steps to enact more effective anti-terrorism law and try to evolve a consensus among all major political parties to achieve this objective. He also asked the government to take steps to identify and apprehend many of those Pak nationals, who had stayed back in India after the suspension of bus and train services between the two countries and had been recruited by the ISI to carry out disruptive activities.

Mr Bitta while observing that it would be unjustified to identify the Muslim terrorists, working at the behest of Pakistan, with Islam, called upon the leaders of Muslim community to come forward, cutting across party affiliations, and unequivocally denounce terrorism so that the name of Islam was not tarnished by those who had nothing to do with the religion.

Suggesting some of the measures to effectively deal with apprehended terrorists, he asked the government to shift those awaiting trial to far off jails so that they could not take advantage of local contacts. Further, the government should appoint presiding officers of designated anti-terrorists courts from amongst senior Army officers and ensure a time-bound trial.

Mr Bitta, a former President of the Indian Youth Congress, lamented the disgraceful behaviour of some of the Congress MPs and other senior leaders, who were trying to blackmail the party leadership into giving tickets to their kith and kin. It was all more unfortunate that certain new entrants, who could pull strings and enjoyed support of certain senior leaders, were being given preferential treatment over the family members of great Congressmen like former Chief Minister Beant Singh. He further remarked that the party should not overlook the claims of genuine and loyal party workers.

He also supported the electoral adjustment between the Congress and the CPI and asked the leadership not to give in to pressure from certain quarters from within the party, who had their own vested interests.



Akali wing to mobilse masses 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
The All-India Youth Akali Dal will launch a mass mobilisation programme in the state to propagate policies and achievements of the SAD-BJP government to create a wave in favour of the ruling combine for the coming Assembly elections.

The newly nominated president of the wing, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, announced this while addressing a felicitation function organised by the District Akali Jatha (Urban) at Saluja Estate, Gill Road, here. He said the party would work for making society free from drug addiction and other social evils.

Mr Dhillon, who assumed charge recently, observed that he would convene a meeting of party activists from all over the state before setting up the state executive and the district units in next couple of days. Mr Jatinder Pal Singh Saluja, general secretary, District Akali Jatha, presented a sword and ‘siropa’ to Mr Dhillon. He also accorded a formal welcome to the chief guest and other dignitaries.

Mr Jaspal Singh Sandhu, Mr Arjan Singh Cheema, Mr Kashmir Singh Seera, Mr Manjit Singh Mundi, Ms Manjit Kaur Gogi, Ms Harpreet Kaur, Mr Tehal Singh Dhanjal, Mr Surjit Singh and Mr Bhupinder Singh Sandhu, among others, addressed the function.



DYC pleads for representation to youth in poll
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
The urban development cell of the District Youth Congress today made an appeal to the party high command to provide adequate representation to the youth in the coming assembly elections in Punjab.

Addressing a party workers’ meeting here today, the district chairman of the cell, Mr Akshay Bhanot, remarked that the YC ranks had always played a significant role in the mobilisation of people in favour of the party during elections but their genuine claims were overlooked at the time of allotment of party tickets.

Mr Bhanot and other party activists advocated that YC functionaries, who had been serving the organisation with dedication and had “clean” image, should be fielded so that the party could score a convincing victory. Taking strong exception to the reports that some outsiders might be nominated as party candidates from one of the local assembly seats, the YC activists observed that while the move would dishearten the local party workers, the electorate might also reject such outside candidates for the simple reason that once elected such politicians would return to their native places.



Man beats up wife, booked
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
Jutsana, a resident of Arya Mohalla, has alleged that her husband, Deepak, and two others namely Sanjiv Kapoor and Gaggan Sood entered her parental house and beat her up. She alleged that they threatened her of dire consequences and tried to kidnap her child.

According to her, a dowry case against Deepak, who is a resident of Maya Nagar, and her in-laws is pending in a court. She says they have been living separately for long time. A case has been registered under Sections 323, 504, 506, 452, 363, 511 and 34 of the IPC at the Division No 1 police station.

In another incident, a resident Model Gram, Ms Parkash Kaur has alleged that Santa Singh Bedi and Upkirat Kaur, both resident of Sant Nagar, forcibly entered her house and beat her up. No arrest has been made so far. However, a case has been registered under Sections 323, 452, 324, 506, 34 of the IPC at the Division No 5 police station.

Knife seized

A knife has been seized from Govinda, a resident of Nehru Market, near railway station, during a special checking. A case has been registered under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act at the Division No 1 police station.

Man arrested

A cart owner, Bush, has been booked for overloading the cart with hosiery goods. The accused is a resident of Balmiki Nagar, who was released on bail. However, a case has been registered under Section 11 of the Animal Act, 1960, at the Salem Tabri police station.

Rash driving case

A resident of Delhi, Varan Kumar, was arrested by the police for driving Maruti van (DL-3CL-5989) rashly near the Shiv Puri chowk here. A case has been registered under Section 279, IPC, at the Jodhewal police station. The accused was released on bail.

Cylinders recovered

The police has recovered three LPG cylinder from the possession of Rajesh Kumar, alias Rimpy, a resident of Shimla Puri. The accused allegedly stolen the cylinders from Simran Gas Agency on December 31, 2001. A case under Sections 379 and 41 of the IPC has been registered at the Focal Point police station.



Exporters seek govt assistance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The Engineering Exporters Association of India has expressed its apprehension about new export-oriented units that might close down due to lack of support from the state government.

Discussing problems of exporters, especially of Punjab, Mr Rajinder Jindal and Mr Chaman Lal Tangari, president and general secretary of the association, respectively, said though capital subsidy had been sanctioned to the units, the units set up after April, 1998, were still waiting for it.

They lamented that the import licences provided by the Centre as an incentive against exports were taxed by the state government. He said the exporters of Punjab were disappointed due to VAT, which is expected to be implemented from April 1. Though the export turnover had been exempted from VAT the exporters would have to pay VAT while procuring inputs for export. He urged the government to keep the exporters outside the purview of VAT.

Mr Jindal also asked to cut down the bank rate of interest from 15 per cent to the normal lending rates in cases where their foreign payments were delayed. Echoing the voice of exporters against high transport costs, he said, the railway freights were very high. He claimed that it was cheaper to transport goods from Mumbai to Singapore as compared to goods sent from Ludhiana to Mumbai. He said: “We have sent representations to the Union Finance Minister, the Union Commerce Minister and the Chief Minister of Punjab to look into our problems otherwise the exports of the country will get a major setback”. 



Bharti plans expansion
Tribune News Service

Humbran (Ludhiana), January 9
In view of the increasing demand of telephone users, Bharti Teletech Limited, a company of the Bharti Group, has decided to enter the market in a big way. The company is increasing capacity of its local plant and two other units at Gurgaon and Goa.

This was disclosed by Mr V.J. Parkash, CEO of the company, here today. He said: “Besides enhancing the capacity of the plants to meet the requirements of the land phones, the company is bringing out cordless, speaker, caller identifiers and other models with additional features. The market of these phones is expected to grow between 80 per cent and 200 per cent over the next few years. The company has currently a share of about 30 per cent in the domestic market”.

Mr M. L. Chopra, head of the local plant, said the company was selling phones under the brand name Beetel and was currently exporting instruments. He claimed that the local plant had made a history by producing 9,950 telephones in a day and achieving a productivity record of 47 telephone instruments per worker per day against China’s benchmark of 10,000. “This is perhaps the highest productivity record among manufacturing units worldwide”, claimed Mr Parkash.

He said the local plant had been adjudged the runners-up for the Peacock National Quality Award — 2000 among the manufacturing SMEs for outstanding achievement in pursuit of total quality.


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