Tuesday, January 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Villagers confront Mayor, allege land grab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Residents of Gill village appear to be heading for a confrontation with the Ludhiana Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, over the setting up of a petrol station on the village outskirts on the Malerkotla Road. While a former sarpanch of the village, Mr Charan Singh, says that the issue of the ownership of the land is to yet be decided by the court, the Mayor says that he has documents to prove that the land has been leased out to Hindustan Petroleum.

To begin the work, the Mayor wanted to get the village pond filled up, but a protest by villagers stopped the work. Mr Grewal said Hindustan Petroleum had given him permission to set up a petrol pump in the name of his wife, Ms Harsharan Kaur Grewal. Villagers staged a dharna to protest against the government decision to lease out the land to the HP, as “it belonged to the village panchayat”.

Mr Charan Singh says that Mr Grewal brought some labourers and a huge police contingent to the site today and started filling up the pond. He also “asked villagers to vacate their land”. However, the villagers refused, as they have been living there “for a long time”.

Mr Charan Singh says that these residents, mostly Sansis, have been here for several years. The other villagers also joined in the protest. The situation became tense when the Congress candidate from the Dakha Assembly constituency, Mr Milkait Singh Dakha, also joined them. Ultimately, the Mayor decided to stop the work, fearing further confrontation.

Mr Grewal refuted the claims of the villagers and alleged that they had illegally encroached upon the panchayat land. He said the filling had become late yesterday and he had also talked to Mr Dakha, who had told him that he had been misled by the villagers. The Mayor said his name was being unnecessarily dragged into a controversy.

Mr Charan Singh has been charged with causing the panchayat a Rs 2.73 crore loss by refusing to sell the land and a telephone-exchange building. He says that he did not allow the transfer of the pond, which is at a prime location on the Malerkotla Road, to private individuals, as all village water is stored in it. He said the Mayor was trying to occupy the prime land.

Mr Charan Singh said, since most villagers were supporting the Congress, the government was victimising them. He said when the Mayor had come to take possession of the land, he had been give security cover by the police, as the government was trying to intimidate its opponents.



MC to improve traffic flow, sanitation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 21
Educational institutions, business and industrial establishments and commercial centres making use of roads and streets for parking purposes and dumping garbage, will now attract penal action here. Similarly, those encroaching upon foot paths and parts of roads and streets by way of temporary or permanent structures will also be dealt with sternly.

This was stated by Mr R.L. Kalsia, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, here today after a tour of the city along with several senior civic officials on Saturday to make an assessment of the impediments in the smooth flow of traffic, the extent of encroachments and the general sanitation level.

The major bottleneck in the way of traffic movement, it was observed, was the common practice of parking of vehicles, including bicycles and two-wheelers, on the roadside by schools and colleges, industrial houses and other commercial centres all over the city. Rampant encroachments by rehri and phariwalas, “khokhas” and shopkeepers in every nook and corner of the city made the matters worse.

Mr Kalsia said that the MC would serve notices to the defaulters to make arrangements for parking of vehicles inside their own premises. Further, the industrial houses, particularly those located on the national highway, would be directed not to throw garbage, ash or other waste material outside their factory premises and persuaded to develop the open spaces, outside their factory premises as green belts to give a better look to the city. The civic body would not hesitate to invoke the provisions under sections 279, 283 and 284 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, which provides for penal action against littering and removal of garbage at the cost of the defaulters.

Various other steps were being contemplated for better traffic management, Mr Kalsia said. These included repainting of zebra crossing markings on main roads near educational institutions, providing sign boards with directions and speed limits on roads in the interior of the city, providing foot overbridges and sub-ways on busy stretches of roads and effecting a proportionate increase in the traffic police staff, which was grossly inadequate to cope with the growing vehicular movement. It was also proposed to undertake modification and renovation of the Children Traffic Park to put it to better use for imparting education of traffic rules to schoolchildren and members of the public.

The pathetic state of the general bus stand, which was in a poor state of maintenance and almost non-existent approach roads, was also viewed with concern by the team of the MC officials. The Commissioner, while agreeing that immediate remedial measures were called for, indicated that a meeting of senior officials of the Transport Department, PUDA and Town Planning Department would be convened in a couple of days to formulate a time-bound programme for giving a face-lift to the bus stand.

According to Mr Kalsia, the culverts underneath the existing fly-overs, not being put to any useful purpose, were found to have become the hideouts for anti-social elements or shelters for other undesirable persons.



College teachers may revive agitation
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, January 21
Teachers working in government-aided colleges of Punjab are restive over the failure of the state government to implement their agreed demands and may revive the agitation soon.

The government had agreed to issue a notification regarding payment of gratuity and pension to the teachers working in the government-aided colleges and also to release arrears of grant worth Rs 21 crore given by the Centre to the state government within four weeks at the time of withdrawal of the ‘cease work’ agitation in Punjab and Chandigarh colleges last month.

Mr K.B.S. Sodhi, president, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU), said here today that he had met the Secretary, Higher Education, Punjab Government, Ms Geetika Kalha, at Chandigarh on January 18 and urged her to implement the two major demands of the teachers as promised. She put him off by saying that because of the election code of conduct, the same could not be done. He, however, maintained that the Chief Secretary, Punjab, had assured them that these demands had nothing to do with the election code of conduct as these were part of the ongoing process and there would be no hitch in issuing the notification and releasing the grant. Mr Sodhi alleged that the Centre had sent an amount of Rs 21 crore to the state government a long time back, but the same had been spent by the government on some other works. The teachers were suffering for no fault of theirs, he said.

The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union along with the Federation of Managements of Private Colleges, principals’ federation of these colleges and non-teaching staff of the private colleges had started the ‘cease work’ agitation from December 4 to press for the demands jointly. The main demand was payment of gratuity and pension through the state treasury, which the state government was reluctant to concede, and also the release of arrears worth Rs 21 crore. The teachers also resorted to ‘jail bharo’ agitation and 18 senior leader were arrested and kept in jail till December 18.

The academic functioning of colleges in Punjab came to a halt during these 15 days and studies suffered badly. In Ludhiana, colleges first remained closed for the National Games from November 19 to December 2 and then teachers agitation began from December 4.

The PCCTU president maintains that to compensate the loss of studies, the teachers did not have winter break and the December examinations were also completed in 10 days. Another spell of agitation by the teachers would spell doom for the students and their parents as the annual examinations are due to be held in March.

Mr Sodhi said the teachers were going to organise a protest rally at Jalandhar on January 23 to press for the implementation of their demands and if the government failed to take immediate steps in this direction, the responsibility for the loss of studies would be of the state government. They would decide the next course of action on January 23 at Jalandhar. They would be holding rallies in all Vidhan Sabha constituencies and a final rally would be held at Lambi in the constituency of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Mr Sodhi called upon the state government to issue the notification immediately and also to release arrears of Rs 21 crore and save the situation from taking an ugly turn.



Stolen rice bags: who’s eating up the proof?
D.B. Chopra

Ahmedgarh, January 21
Some of the local FCI officials are trying to cover up a theft of about 200 bags of rice from one of its godowns. The theft was committed in the first week of December 2001.

The theft, reportedly, came to the notice of the FCI officials on December 4 when a godown employee opened the shutter. However, for reasons best known to some officials, the theft was not reported to the police. A senior FCI official who visited the town a couple of days later was also not informed about it.

According to sources in the FCI, the thieves damaged the steel mesh covering a rear window of the godown to take out the bags and take these away in a Tata 407 truck. The stealing continued for about four days and no one noticed it except for a couple of employees of a nearby ‘gaushala’, who keep silent as men entrusted with security were involved or a couple of thieves might have worn ‘khaki’ to scare them into silence.

The thieves took out the bags from the window and carried these over a couple of walls, besides the boundary walls of the godown and the ‘gaushala’, before loading these onto the mini truck. This was a job of at least 10 persons.

When the theft was reported to the local FCI officials, the window was sealed with bricks and the yanked steel mesh was also placed at its original position. In the absence of any complaint, so far, by the FCI officials, it was hard to collect the facts, and meanwhile, the officials have done their best to remove the traces of the crime.

Insiders said the stolen bags were from two-year-old stocks and the officials concerned had not informed the police for the fear of exposing their men. It appears to be an inside job.

Instead of following the legal course, the officials concerned are trying to replete this stocks by tampering wih stock figures of a number of other godowns. Reportedly, 20 bags each, “damaged by rats”, have been shifted here from these godowns.

The cover up seems to be good, but the window and the condition of the damaged steel mesh show that a theft had been committed.



Spurious mineral water floods market
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
In winter, the demand for mineral water might have declined, but it has also provided dubious companies with a chance to supply spurious mineral water. The Health Department is active in summer and lies low in winter, exposing public health to high risk.

Market watchers say that spurious and contaminated mineral water is freely available at some of the bus stands in the district and specific outlets in the city. They say that this is due to the negligence of the local health officials and a lack of public awareness.

As local companies that supply this “mineral water”, pay more commission than others to dealers, dealers push these local brands in the market, citing non-availability of standard brands in winter. Even rag pickers can be seen collecting empty mineral-water bottles from Shatabadi trains at the railway station. These bottles, then, reenter the market.

Mr Susheel Malhotra, head of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Social Forum, a local NGO, has tried to bring this issue to the notice of the Health Department. He had recently written to the state Chief Minister and the Health Minister, urging them to check the sale of non-ISI-marked mineral water and packed water in the market. However, no action has been taken so far.

He said some local companies were openly flouting the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry by selling non-ISI and substandard mineral water brands like Super (Dhuri), Sunrise (Hoshiarpur), Visi (Ludhiana), Smile (Patiala), and Prism (Ludhiana) in the region.

The forum has urged the state Health Department to take samples of these and many other brands, as most companies do not have even the infrastructure to provide standard mineral water. It has also raised the issue of a high cost of mineral water. Most brands are priced at Rs 12 per bottle, the price of most soft drinks.

A number of shopkeepers in the city and its outskirts are selling these substandard brands. The dealers target ‘dhabas’ on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh and the Ludhiana-Delhi roads to supply this material. These brands are also available at Samrala, Morinda, Khanna and the other nearby towns.

Some dealers, on the condition of anonymity, said these brands did not contain genuine mineral water, but they sold these to get a high profit margin. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had conducted a survey in 22 states of the country in 2001, according to which, out of 878 samples, 262 were found spurious. 



Woman commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 21
Upset over the behaviour of her brother-in-law and his family, a woman committed suicide by burning herself.

According to the dying declaration made to the local police by Savita, a resident of Kacha Malak Road, she was married to Kuldip Chand about 22 years ago and for the past 20 years her husband’s brother, Aaya Ram, and his wife, Ram Lubhayee, used to quarrel with her on the issue of partition of the house. Savita stated that her husband and children were away when Aaya Ram and Ram Lubhayee, along with their children Narinder Kumar and Reena, started quarrelling with her. Aggrieved over this, she poured kerosene over her and set herself on fire.

Her husband took her to the Civil Hospital. She was referred to a hospital in Ludhiana, where she succumbed to her burns today. The local police has registered a case under Sections 306, 511 and 34 of the IPC.



Dhanda to contest as Independent
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Levelling serious charges of sectarian politics on the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the District Bar Association president, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, today regretted that he was denied the
Akali ticket “just because he had not a turban on his head”. He has decided to contest as an Independent.

Addressing a press conference here today, he announced the formation of the Ludhiana Vikas Manch which would support his campaign. The manch is a forum of people representing different sections of society who had decided not to support any political party. The manch would actively campaign in the constituency on positive issues only.

Mr Dhanda, who was an aspirant of the SAD ticket from Ludhiana West, said that he was “totally alienated” with the SAD, which, he claimed, was resorting to communal and sectarian politics.

Mr Dhanda also released the election manifesto of the Ludhiana Vikas Manch which, he claimed, was a “caravan of socially and politically aware people dedicated to the peace, prosperity and development of Ludhiana city”. The manifesto lists 25 issues, which the manch plans to implement. These issues mainly concern the educated urban middle class which dominates the Ludhiana West constituency.

This includes providing quality and affordable education for all sections of society, ending the “menace of hefty donations” for the admission to various educational institutions, including schools and colleges, arranging grants for aided and private schools and colleges and getting more funds for Punjab Agricultural University.



Shiv Sena to contest from Ludhiana North
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 21
The Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), Punjab unit, has nominated Mr Pawan Sharma, chief spokesman of the party, to contest from the Ludhiana North constituency.

Giving this information in a press note, the acting district president of the party, Mr Krishan Sharma, said the candidate enjoyed the support of a significant section of industrialists and several social institutions in the city.

The District Congress Committee (Urban) president, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, today said a meeting of party councillors would be held in Congress Bhavan here on January 23. The group leader of the councillors, Mr Surjit Singh Ahluwalia, would attend the meeting, which would finalise the electoral strategy for running a campaign for all party candidates on the local seats.

In a significant development, several activists of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha, including Mr Nirmaljit Singh Virk, Mr Kulwinder Goldy, Mr Rinku Sharma and Mr Ravi Kumar, joined the Youth Congress. At a meeting organised at Vijay Nagar, Block No 7, the DYC president, Mr Parminder Mehta, welcomed the new entrants.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mehta held the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, responsible for setback suffered by Punjab as a result of the Supreme Court verdict on river waters.

Mr Hira Singh Gabria, Panthic Morcha candidate from the Ludhiana Rural Assembly seat, claimed to have completed the first round of electioneering in the constituency. He addressed election meetings in Arjun Nagar, Moti Nagar, Sherpur, Urban Estate, Mundian Kalan, Noorwal, Aggar Nagar, Kakowal, Sahnewal, Paddi, Dharor, Dhandari, Tibba Road, Kailash Nagar, Dashmesh Nagar, Salem Tabri, Paramjit Colony, Mundian Khurd, Meharban, Jassar, Basti Jodhewal and Simlapuri. Mr Jogi Tilak Nath, national vice-president, Hindu Maha Sabha, also addressed election meetings in support of Mr Gabria.



First-timer versus sitting MLA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The Ludhiana East Assembly constituency will see a tough fight between the sitting legislator and the Assembly Deputy Speaker, Mr Satpal Gosain, and the head of the District Congress Committee, Mr Surinder Dawer.

While Mr Gosain is said to be an old horse, Mr Dawer says he can spring a surprise this time.

Mr Dawer launched his campaign with much fanfare, with his wife, Ms Neelam Dawer, mobilising women’s support for him.

At one of his public meetings, he said Mr Gosain had lost contact with the people of the constituency after becoming the Assembly Speaker. The DCC chief, a first-time candidate, levelled several charges against Mr Gosain. He raised the issue of the alleged involvement of Mr Gosain in the transfer of land to the Ludhiana MC for setting up a mini Rose Garden near his house in Kidwai Nagar.

Mr Dawer is banking upon a strong presence of Panthic Morcha supporters in this constituency who are reportedly opposed to Mr Gosain. The morcha supporters met two days ago at Gurdwara Shaheedan, where they criticised Mr Gosain.

Mr Gosain, who has won twice from this constituency, realising the challenge posed by the Congress candidate, has been trying to woo some Congress dissidents. Mr Gosain said opposition by the Panthic Morcha would not harm his prospects. The dissident Akali Dal leader and the party vice-president, Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, is also opposing him in this constituency.

Mr Dawer says, “There is a wave in support of the Congress and against the ruling combine.” In the previous elections, Mr Gosain had defeated Mr Om Prakash Gupta of the Congress by about 25,000 votes. Mr Dawer says, “I will avenge that defeat.”



Beermi completes first round of campaign
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The Congress candidate from the Ludhiana Rural constituency, Mr Milkait Singh Beermi, today said the party was committed to usher in a new era of peace, progress and prosperity in the state.

Addressing a series of meetings at various places, Mr Beermi pointed out that it was the Congress government led by Mr Beant Singh that had secured peace in the state.

The former minister observed that the people had now realised the difference themselves. “You have seen our rule between 1992 and 1997 and the Akalis rule between 1997 and 2002 and you can better judge it of your own”, he told a gathering at Meharwal village. He said the Congress had gracefully accepted the people’s verdict in 1997.

He said only the Congress could provide a stable government. He today visited Bajra, Taneja, Jamalpur, Kakewal, Bahardaike, Kutbewal, Kadian, Jassian and Bandal villages. He was accompanied by local Congress leaders and councillors, including Mr Surinder Chhinda, Mr Kuldeep Jeda and Mr Kanwardeep Pappi.

Talking to this reporter at Kasabad village, Mr Beermi said he had completed the first round of campaigning in all 55 villages of his segment. He will now visit urban areas. He disclosed that he had found widespread disillusionment among the people against the Akali-BJP government, which had not fulfilled any of the promises made to the people.

Mr Beermi, who served as a minister in Beant Singh’s Cabinet, had won elections in 1992. However, he was denied ticket in 1997. He has remained actively associated with the people in the area and has been getting a good response. He said he would file his nomination papers tomorrow.



Despite dirty politics, all not lost

Election time means the most to both candidates and supporters. Politics makes good copy and politicians are painted in quickly changing hues. All parties present promises. It is time for settling scores and airing frustration.

More intra-party wranglings are becoming public. Inter-party tussles are ridden with charges and counter-charges. Emotions are slowly catching up speed. Thinking is mostly laid to rest. Money is the in-thing. Power is the sole object. The fall of values is evident.

Independence held high hopes. Partition bled us deep, but not white. People had the spirit of sacrifice, enthusiasm for national reconstruction and faith in the future. Rehabilitation, emotional integration and drawing up of Constitution got top priority. Those who drafted the Constitution were honest, clear-headed and imaginative. They provided due space to the judiciary and recognised the authority of the executive. The voter was conceived as a responsible citizen of an ideal republic in the making.

We gratefully recall the role of Sardar V.B. Patel in integrating over 500 states with the Republic. Lal Bahadur Shastri inspired hope and proved honesty with his sterling character.

The Supreme Court is worthy of faith. The Election Commission is a great institution. It is the politician who causes delays and obstructions. Our defence set-up is a steel frame.

The real malady is hunger for money. With money, is the ladder to power. Power excites hunger for more power.

There are honest, hard-working and upright persons in society. Despite odds and obstructions, they work. There are people who see clearly through the mist of money and the fog of corruption. Their work culture inspires hope. M.S. Cheema



ARS wants its charter in poll manifesto
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 21
The Atma Raksha Sangh (ARS) has decided to support that candidate who would lend support to the organisation’s charter.

This was resolved at a meeting of the ARS, an organisation of war veterans, ex-servicemen, and central and state pensioners, at Gurdev Nagar here yesterday.

Col H.S. Kahlon, chief co-ordinator of the organisation, said in a press statement that the organisation emphasised that its demand charter should be included in the poll manifesto.

All these bodies resolved and nominated Col H.S. Kahlon as spokesman of the organisation.



Television — a storehouse of information
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 21
A look at television forces one to change one’s opinion and say that it is no longer an idiot box but a storehouse of information. The information can be extremely varied. It can include revelation of beauty secrets by filmstars or beauticians to learning of computers or getting education in science subjects to vast information regarding politics and scientific breakthroughs.

Who can forget the television coverage of shocking bomb attacks on the World Trade Centre or September 11 and the detailed coverage of its aftermath. The whole world witnessed these abominable acts on small screens. The Afghan war and its horror, its refugees, the dead innocent Afghan kids came right into our homes to torment us. Was it all possible earlier? Whether it was the terrible accident that caused Princess Diana to die in a car crash or repair of Mir space station, or awards for Oscars, or back home the Tehelka exposure of our corrupt politicians, it all reached the world through television.

Ms Lalita says,” I do not know what I would have done without TV My husband has long working hours. After he and children leave, television opens new vistas for me. Through various advertisements, I get to know of a wide variety of new products in the market. One can get information from the newspapers but the TV advertisements are a visual treat. Moreover, the serials entertain and let me know about the latest things in vogue. The cookery shows help me to cook mouth watering meals for my family. I think TV should be called information box and longer an idiot box. Her feelings are shared by many house-wives.

A retired Army officer, Col J.K. Sud, thinks that television helps the retired people to spend their time pleasantly. He feels that now that satellite has given access to many channels, the touch of ‘remote’ can unfold the jungles of Africa and its wildlife. He can also watch golf tournaments and a lot of English movies. “I enjoy the ‘soaps’ on various channels despite their similarities in plot and characterisation.”

Senior citizens of a home also think that only television brings some entertainment in their lives. Various religious channels that have come up offers talks, kirtans that gives them a lot of solace. News keeps them posted of the latest developments of the world.

Some college students to whom this correspondent spoke were very happy with the telecast of cricket matches, practically round-the-year. They said,” The sports channels are too good. They arrange sports quizzes and numerous other quizzes. Moreover, some channels have such glamorous VJs and we can see the live telecasts of fashion shows, Ms India Show, star award nights etc. Everything we watch in the comfort of our homes. Why should anyone call television an idiot box?”

Mr and Mrs T.N. Takkar, both members of opposing political parties, feel that television is a ‘life saver’. “We get to know of local politics from local channels and of national politics from national channels. Hourly news keeps us abreast of the latest developments in our parties. What we read in the newspapers, we have already seen on the television.”



Identify factors behind female foeticide’
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, January 21
The Manav Ekta Society, with the active cooperation of the Bharat Vikas Parishad, the Rotary Club and the Lions Club, organised a district-level seminar here on the issue of female foeticide.

Presiding over the function, Dr Joginder Singh, Director, Health and Family Welfare, said the sex-ratio in the state was alarmingly low. He pointed out that factors responsible for the prevalence of female foeticide should to be identified first and only then the social organisations could produce the desired results.

Dr Puran Singh Jassi, former Director, Health, and UNICEF consultant, North India, too, expressed concern over decreasing sex-ratio in the state. He said in 1991, the female-male ratio was 882:1000, which declined to 793:1000 in 2001, although the national ratio was 933:1000. He added that Fatehgarh Sahib district had the lowest sex-ratio (754:1000) in the country.

Mr D.R. Bhatti, Additional Director General of Police, who is also the Director of the Police Public Academy, Phillaur, in his address, lauded the role of social organisations in creating awareness among the people regarding the adverse impact of female foeticide.

Prof Udey Partap Singh, Chairman, Population Control Committee, lamented that the government had not been able to register more than a couple of cases under the PNDT Act. He alleged the law had only enhanced the cost of sex-determination tests and the subsequent female foeticide.



One arrested with opium
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 21
The Haibowal police has arrested Sanjay Kumar, a resident of Laxmi Nagar mohalla, on Saturday and recovered 1420 grams of opium from his possession. A case under Sections 18,61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered against the accused.

Cases of beating: The Model Town police has registered a case under Sections 323,341,448,506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kundan Lal, a resident of Urban Estate, Dugri, against Pawan Kumar and his wife Santosh Rani. Mr Lal had alleged in his complaint that because of a family feud, the accused beat him up and injured him.

Another case of beating was registered at the same police station on the statement of Mr Gurmeet Singh, a resident of the Dhaba Road, against Gurpreet Singh, Manpreet Singh, Johny, Lakhwinder Singh, all students of Har Krishan Public School, Model Town Extension. The complainant had alleged that the accused beat him up over a minor dispute and injured him seriously.

The Focal Point police on the complaint of Mr Hardev Kumar, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar mohalla, has registered a case under Sections 323,325 and 120-B of the IPC against Dinesh Narang, owner of a cycle factory at Dhandari Kalan. The complainant had alleged that over a business transaction gone sour, the accused beat him and injured him seriously. No arrest has been made so far.

Arrested: The Model Town police on Saturday arrested two brothers , Vikram Singh and Ajit Pal Singh, residents of LIG Flats, Dugri, in connection with a fraud case registered against them under Sections 420,462,471 and 170 of the IPC. But their accomplice, Ashwini, managed to avoid an arrest by the police.

Cases of theft: The Civil Lines police has registered a couple of cases of alleged theft. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered on the statement of Mr Surinder Kumar, a resident of Vikram Vihar, Lajpat Nagar, against Gopal, a rickshaw-puller.

A case under the same section of the IPC has been registered against an unknown accused in connection with the theft of a Maruti car belonging to Mr Ashok Kumar Dheer, a resident of Shakti Nagar, on Saturday.

The division No 2 police has registered a case of alleged theft under Sections 380 and 454 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Dalwinder Singh against an unknown accused who allegedly entered his house on Friday night and decamped with household goods.

The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case of theft on the statement of Mr Ravinderpal Singh, a resident of Mohali, against his tenants, Trilochan Singh and his wife Virender Kaur for allegedly breaking open the lock of a room owned by him and stealing some household items from there.

Vehicles recovered: Acting on the complaint of Mr Devinder Singh, a resident of Bharatpur village in Patiala district, the Division No 6 police on Saturday recovered a stolen jeep and registered a case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC against Harjinder Singh, alias Jinda, a resident of Dhulka village in Amritsar district, and Hardev Singh, a resident of Nangal village, also in Amritsar district. The accused are reported to be absconding.

Following a tip-off, the Jodhewal police on Saturday, arrested Ajay Singh, a resident of Himmat Nagar, and Bobby Kumar, a resident of Jawaddi Khurd village, and recovered a Maruti car from their possession. The other two accused in the case registered under Sections 379 and 356 of the IPC, Upkar Singh and his mother Jaswinder Kaur, residents of Urban Estate, Phase I, Dugri, are still absconding.

Woman dies of burns: Twenty-eight -year old Seema, a housewife residing in Shashtri Nagar falling under the jurisdiction of Basti Jodhewal police station, succumbed to burn injuries at a hospital yesterday . The woman had reportedly sustained serious burns as a result of the bursting of a kerosene stove on Saturday. Her husband, Suresh, and one-and- half- year- old son, Anil Singh, also received burns.

Illicit liquor seized: The Kotwali police on Saturday arrested Vinod Kumar, a resident of Saharanpur (UP), and seized 12 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession while the Division No 3 police has arrested Ram Lakhan, a resident of Bareilly, on Saturday and seized 12 bottles of the contraband liquor from his possession. Both the accused have been booked under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Liquor seized: The Sidhwanbet police arrested Mukhtiar Singh, alias Mukha, and seized 60 litres of illicit liquor from him. He has been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Minor girl abducted: A minor girl has been allegedly abducted from her place by three people including a woman of Bishanpura village, recently. The father of the girl has lodged a complaint with the police that his daughter was engaged to Kuldip Singh but due to some conflict, it broke.

According to the complaint, Kuldip Singh and Balbir Singh of Amloh and Karamjit Kaur of Bishanpura have abducted the girl in which the woman had played the leading role. A case has been registered at the Payal police station.

Scooterist injured : A scooterist was injured by a driver of Punjab Roadways bus here recently. Sukhwinder Singh of Katana Sahib who was going on his scooter near Kohara chowk was injured by a bus. He was immediately taken to a hospital in Ludhiana. A case has been registered while the bus driver is reported to have absconded.

Woman commits suicide: Ms Kulwinder Kaur (23) of Kakrala Kalan village has allegedly committed suicide yesterday. The body was handed over to her family today after post-mortem in the local Civil Hospital.



12 bags of poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 21
The CIA staff recovered 12 bags of poppy husk worth about Rs 1,20,000, from the possession of Lakhbir Singh, alias Kala Singh, of Lalesan village under Goraya police station and Piare Lal of Kandhole village under Bilga police station in Jalandhar district. A case has been registered against them at Humbran police station under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act, and the tempo in which they were travelling has also been impounded. The accused were arrested when they were trying to flee on being intercepted by the police on patrol near a bridge in Khairabat village. 



Industrialists sore with ruling alliance 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Industrial associations here have alleged that the ruling alliance has failed to fulfill any of the major promises relating to the industry during its five-year regime. Representatives of the industry have alleged that ‘anti-industry policies’ of the government have badly affected the interests of thousands of units in the state.

They say the government has no doubt fulfilled its promise of abolishing octroi in the state, but only at the end of its term, inviting allegations of political compulsions behind the move. The government has failed to announce state export policy or take any bold initiative to boost industrialisation. It has not released the capital subsidy amounting to more than Rs 500 crore to the units, as part of the government incentives.

Condemning the indifferent attitude of the state government, Mr Satpal Beri, patron of the Readymade and Hosiery Garment Manufacturers’ Association, says, “The hosiery units could not avail benefits under the Technological Upgradation Fund to modernise the units, as the state government had banned the issuance of no-objection certificates for machinery worth more than Rs one crore.” The promises of abolishing ‘inspector raj’, simplification of labour and sales tax laws have not been fulfilled. Rather the government has burdened the industry with higher taxes including the sales tax, adds Mr D.S. Chawla, president, United Cycle and Cycle Manufacturers’ Association, a body of more than 1,500 units.

He admits that the cycle industry has benefitted from decrease in sales tax, but he adds, “The ruling party has not provided any representation to the industry. It is time that it corrects its biases, otherwise it would be labelled as a party of ruralities.”

In fact, the industrial growth in the state has declined over the past few years which has resulted in increase in unemployment. The policy of focal points to boost industrialisation has also failed due to lack of adequate infrastructure and other incentives. The power supply to industrial units has also deteriorated over the years.

Echoing the resentment of hotel industry, Mr N.S. Nanda, president, Punjab Hotels and Restaurants’ Association, says, ‘‘Although hotels and restaurants were declared industry in 1996, the government has failed to give them the benefits of industry, like charging of power tariffs at industrial rates etc. There is widespread resentment among industrialists and traders about the performance of the government.

Mr Vinod Thapar of the Knitwear Club is among the few industrialists who have decided to oppose the candidates of the ruling alliance. Expressing his disenchantment, he says, “The performance of the government, especially multistage taxation on hosiery items, has convinced us that the future of the industry is not safe in the hands of the ruling alliance, so we have decided to support the Congress candidates.”


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