Wednesday, January 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cable operators in a dilemma
Plan boycott of some channels
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The cable operators in the city and neighbouring towns are finding themselves in a peculiar situation, as they are finding it difficult to pass on the substantial hike in subscription fee, imposed by the channel networks, to the viewers. After observing black day on January 18 to protest against the hike, various cable operators associations are planning to start an indefinite boycott of some channels in the state.

Insiders say that some members have suggested that the operators should boycott the channels on the eve of elections to force them to revise the new tariff rates. They said that most of the operators in the state have already stopped telecast of different channels of the Star Network in all cities of Punjab except Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar. The Star Network, they alleged, has substantially hiked its rate to Rs 40 per subscriber, and has further launched a campaign to malign the cable operators.

Mr Ravinder K. Ahuja, president, Cable Welfare Club, said that though they have yet to receive the bills with the increased tariff, they are opposing the move of different channels with all their might. He said, “Our organisations are trying to launch agitation at the state and national level to force the companies to review their decision in view of the larger interest of the viewers and industry, which is still in its infancy.”

Criticising the decision of the cable companies, Mr Sriraman Saini, president, New Ludhiana Cable Operators Association, said, “The substantial hike in rates would adversely affect millions of viewers and about 50,000 cable operators. The state and central governments should intervene in the interest of the country.” He lamented that these companies had disconnected the connections of 20 operators in the city without any prior notice.

The operators alleged that the companies have been hiking the rates without any consultation with them. But the representatives of the companies, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The cost of TV programmes has increased manifold during the past year, but the advertising revenue has fallen to the tune of Rs 1000 crore, which has forced us to hike subscription rates. Further, the operators disclose the number of connections to the tune of 40-80 per cent.”

The viewers, on the other hand, are of the view that they are forced to pay even for those channels, which they never see at all. Mr Ram Parkash, a shopkeeper, staying in Kochar Market, said, “Why should we pay for channels such as Discovery, Star Movies or Cartoon Network. The companies should behave properly or someone should move court,” he added.

The Cable Operators Association has also appealed to the state Chief Minister and Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Ms Sushma Swaraj, to intervene in this matter, otherwise their agitation would have serious repercussions during the election time.



A day of nominations in Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
It was a day of nominations here today. Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal of Panthic Morcha, Mr Tarsem Jodhan, Independent, and Bibi Gurdial Kaur Khangura of the Congress filed their nomination papers for the Kila Raipur assembly segment. Mr Harnam Dass Johar of the Congress and Mr Avtar Singh Makkar of the ruling Akali-BJP alliance also filed their nomination papers from Ludhiana West, while Mr Milkait Singh Birmi of the Congress and Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal of the ruling Akali-BJP alliance filed their nomination papers from the Ludhiana Rural assembly segment.

All candidates had tried their best to ensure a grand show and outplay others. It was difficult to make out, who led more people than whom. It was an impressive performance by Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal and Mr Harnam Dass Johar in the Mini-Secretariat, while Mr Milkait Singh Birmi organised an equally grand show in the PUDA office in Samrala Chowk.

Most of the candidates came to file their nomination papers in open jeeps. They were followed by a long caravan of small and big vehicles displaying party flags and banners.

They were also raising slogans in support of their respective candidates. There was a great rush at the Mini-Secretariat complex on the Ferozepore road. The flags of the Akali Dal, the Panthic Morcha, the Congress, red flags raised by Mr Jodhan’s supporters and the blue flags of the Bahujan Samaj Party seemed to make a collage in the air. The candidates and supporters also got mixed with each other.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Grewal claimed that there was massive support for the Panthic Morcha. Buoyed by the presence of a large number of people, Mr Grewal claimed that he would win the seat by a large margin. He said that while he had won the last election from Ludhiana West by a margin of over 12 votes he would win this election by a bigger margin.

Mr Milkait Singh Birmi claimed that he would win the Ludhiana Rural seat, which the party had lost to the Akali Dal in 1997. He was accompanied by the district Congress president, Mr K.K. Bawa, Mr Prthipal Singh Gayal, Mr Jagdish Singh Lote, Mr Surinder Singh Chhinda and other party leaders.

Mr Johar, who had lost in 1997, appeared quite confident. Accompanied by hundreds of supporters, he said that he would regain the seat with a big margin this time. He said it was not only the “Congress wave”, which will help him, but also his personal influence in the constituency which had given him added confidence.

Mr Avtar Singh Makkar sought to play down the dissidence in his party and claimed that all workers were with him. He said the entire cadre of grassroots workers was supporting him in his fight and hoped this would help him to score a comfortable victory.

Among others who filed their nomination papers today included Mr Pran Bhatia of the BJP from Ludhiana North, Mr Amrik Dhillon of the Congress from Samrala, Mr Jeet Singh Independent from Ludhiana East, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bullara of the Panthic Morcha from Ludiana West, Mr Ravinder Singh Sohal of the BSP from Ludhiana West, Mr Pawan Sharma from Ludhiana North, Mr Isher Singh of the Congress from Koom Kallan, Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik of the Akali-BJP alliance from Dakha and Mr Tej Prakash, the son of former Chief Minister, Mr Beant Singh of the Congress from Payal constituency.



Bonanza for encroachment mafia
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, January 22
The encroachment mafia of the city is a happier lot these days . And the reason for this happiness is the election atmosphere prevailing in the city. Because now (it was not the case until a couple of months ago) for every so called “downtrodden” and the “oppressed” and the like who is “tormented” by the law, at least half a dozen leaders would come to his rescue at once, all of them hoping to get their votes.

Call it an irony or whatever, but it is a fact that the beginning of the much-hyped drive against roadside encroachments about a couple of months ago was also the beginning of the rise of the encroachment mafia. When leaders like Sat Pal Gosain started intervening personally in demolition drives, the corporation thought it was time to go slow in view of the election time.

On the other hand, the corporation , by its failure to carry out the drive fully, only succeeded in encouraging the encroachment mafia which wasted no time in cashing in on the election-time relaxation of rules and laws.

Along the boundary wall of the CMC hospital , where there used to be a lone cigarette vendor under the power transformer, there appeared another one to make a pair of them . Earlier, there used to be only one fruit rehri along the wall where fruit juice was available. But now the scene is very different. More than half a dozen rehris selling fruit dot the road in front of the hospital.

On the stretch of the road falling between Christian Dental College and the Church under construction, which had been free of roadside encroachments so far, appeared a number of roadside enterprises.

In the beginning of the drive against roadside vendors on the GT road stretch between Ghanta Ghar and the Jagraon bridge, all fruit vendors’ rehris were taken way by the men of the Tehbazari department on the plea that the same had been banned. However, the merchants were told to carry on with their business by squatting on the road and placing their fruit baskets on the road. The new trend continued for only 10 days or so as the merchants started occupying more space to display their stuff in an attractive manner. And soon, the rehris re-appeared on the scene, and in greater numbers this time.

The vacant area near the Ghanta Ghar, has become even more congested due to the increasing number of rehris. There are unhygienic surroundings coupled with slush caused by wastage from a couple of hotels and rehris.

It was after the launch of the drive that a number of roadside sellers of watches and electronic goodies also put up their businesses in front of the lottery market. An election-time boom, indeed.

The Tehbazari Department officials of the local Municipal Corporation, who form the backbone of the encroachment mafia, have enacted the drama of removing rehris from near the Ghanta Ghar so many times that any repeat performance now fails to excite either the public or the officers involved in the performance . The tehbazari men, on their way from Ghanta Ghar to the Jagraon bridge, warn the shopkeepers that they would be returning soon. On way back, the officials sit back in their vehicles with boredom writ large on their faces and their bodies slumped on the seats against one another. Nothing excites these officers . They have been through the hilarious and boring exercise so many times that now they prefer to pretend that they are doing it in their sleep.

And while the election-time roadside encroachments are on the rise, the corporation is yet to decide firmly as to whether to go ahead with the plan or wait till the elections are over.



Budding scientists ready for next challenge
Deepkamal Kaur

Arshdeep Singh
Arshdeep Singh 

Rosy Shukla
Rosy Shukla

Ludhiana, January 22
Three city students who did well at the state science exhibition at Fatehgarh Sahib a month ago are now preparing for the north zone science exhibition to be held in New Delhi from February 5 to 7.

State authorities have advised students and their guides to make further improvements in their models and these students are getting ready for the challenge ahead. The students are Arshdeep Singh Bedi of Guru Nanak Public School of Sarabha Nagar, Rosy Shukla of the BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School of Shastri Nagar and Ravinder Singh Grewal of Government Senior Secondary School of Threekey village. All of them are Class X students.

Arshdeep Singh had won the first prize for his model on automatic dipper streetlight and parking system under the category ‘Transport and Communication’. The model based on the principle of light-dependent resistance (LDR) was adjudged the best in the category at the tehsil, district and state levels.

The budding scientist says, “I conceived the idea while watching ‘Gyan Darshan’ on DD I during summer vacations. I discussed the idea with my father, a professor of physics in Punjab Agricultural University, and started working on it. I spent eight days in collecting the required equipment and fitting these together. When I showed the model to my teacher, Mr R.S. Osahan, he suggested further changes.”

Arshdeep said, though competition at the zonal level would be tough, he hoped for success. He said he had decided to improve his model by converting streetlight system to solar-type.

Rosy Shukla, who had won the first prize for her model on environment management, said she had demonstrated how cow dung, eggshells and coal ash could be used for various purposes. Cow dung can be used for producing biogas and electricity. Eggshells, rich in calcium carbonate, can be used for producing toothpaste and cement. Coal ash leftover in thermal-power centres can be used for manufacturing bricks. Rosy said she oweed her success to her teachers and father, Mr Ram Rattan, who runs a chemical factory.

Ravinder Singh Grewal’s made a working model of a radar that was adjudged the best at the state exhibition. Ravinder may look like any other country boy, but he has a unique creative mind.

Ravinder’s model used simple light-detecting radiation (LDR) circuit comprising a control board, computerised display board, antenna with a receiver and a transmitter for receiving and echoing the radio waves. It also has equipment for monitoring height, direction and speed of flying objects, besides an emergency signal.

Regarding the working of the model, Ravinder’s guide and mathematics teacher, Mr Taneja, said, “The transmitter in the radar sends a beam of electromagnetic waves using an antenna. When these waves strike an object in the path of the beam, some are reflected, forming an echo signal. The antenna collects the energy contained in the echo signal and delivers it to the receiver. Through amplification and computer processing, the radar receiver produces a visual signal on the indicator, a computer monitor.

It took Ravinder and his teacher at least one month to develop the model that caught the attention of everyone at the science exhibition.



Robberies at gunpoint scare residents
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 22
Two robberies at gunpoint within a span of four days have scared people of the area. In the first incident that took place on Thursday at around 6 pm in the house of a jeweller, four persons came in a car to the house of Paramjit Singh, a jeweller, and robbed his family members of their gold ornaments.

While one of the miscreants, carrying a pistol, went inside the house, others waited for him outside in the car. Though the family did not get a case registered with the police as it did not consider the loss to be much, the incident has left residents of the surrounding area scared.

A similar incident took place here on Sunday afternoon, when three-four persons entered the house of Billor Singh, owner of a local general store, and demanded money from him at gunpoint. He gave them all the money he had, and the miscreants fled in the car (PB-12-A-2943). The police has started investigations in the case, but no headway has been made yet.

The ease with which the robbers have been able to rob people in their own houses has created panic among people of the town as they fear that they could also be the victims of robbers. 




AS the elections to the Punjab Assembly are only three weeks away, campaigning has picked up. All the candidates have already started organising rallies and meetings seeking public support in their favour. It is a difficult choice for the voters, more so in urban areas. As traditional methods of mobilising large number of people for big rallies are no longer practicable, the candidates are trying to develope personal rapport with maximum number of voters. Not surprisingly, all the candidates claim that they will win by huge margins. While someone claims a wave in favour of his party, others claim that they have deep roots. Knowing well that only one of them can win from a single constituency, the candidates are getting over-optimistic. But there are some people also who understand chances. They do not admit that they are going to lose, they will just say: “It is difficult but not impossible.” For the common man it does not seem to matter much, because nothing is going to change after the elections, except for the people occupying the corridors of power.

Frail or flexible

Shakespeare once remarked “fraility thy name is woman”. The great playwright might be forced to change his observation if he sees modern days politicians, particularly in India, more so in our part of the country, the land of ayarams and gayarams. And this is witnessed during these days when elections are scheduled next month and parties are nominating candidates. Loyalties change overnight. Since there are hundreds of candidates who could not secure the party nomination, they took no time to switch loyalties to other parties, no matter what its ideology would be. There are so many candidates who, after being refused the party nomination by their party, decided to join the other party. One such candidate when asked about this frail character retorted: “This is flexibility of thinking and not fraility of character.”

Politicians and dancing girls

Gone are the days when people thronged public rallies addressed by politicians during election time. There was a time when people participated in rallies with much fanfare and great enthusiasm. But now that seems to be a thing of the past as people prefer to avoid such meetings. Given the compulsion to organise such rallies and ensure good presence, politicians have started presenting dancing girls on the stage. These semi-nude girls are made to dance for sometime to attract crowds. And by the time the presence is good, candidates start making speeches to put forth their points of view.

Uncivil residents

When one takes a round of the city at any time of the day, one can see mounds of rubbish comprising papers, peels and rotting vegetables piled up on both sides of the roads, narrow lanes and alleys. What hurts most is the sight of discarded plastic bags which one day would choke us. Everyone is aware of the pitfalls of accumulating plastic bags for they are not biodegradable. The residents would put the blame squarely at the door of the Municipal Corporation. Yes! They are responsible for the cleanliness of the city, but so are the residents. If each resident, like in the tiny countries of Singapore and Malaysia, does not throw garbage on the road side, well there would be no garbage. Similarly housewives and shopkeepers should collect the garbage in two separate bags — one for biodegradable and other for non- biodegradable rubbish. Some NGOs can be involved in educating the masses. The Municipal Corporation should provide rubbish bins at crowded places and see that they are cleaned out every morning. The residents have to learn to take pride in their city and vow not to throw rubbish in the city.

On the hunt

Though civilisation has been older than a couple of centuries, and the modern man is wearing a veneer of civilisation, underneath he still has the basic instinct for hunting or else how can one explain the stickers on the back screens of the cars that read ....‘On the hunt’. Since they could not be hunting for wild and ferocious enemies in the cities, they must be hunting for the fairer sex. But do they have to proclaim it to the world?

Pirated CDs

With the increase in demand of audio-video CDs, Ludhiana’s Chaura Bazar, especially some shops in Bhadaur House, have developed into a special market for selling pirated CDs. The dealers from all parts of the state visit this area to purchase this pirated stuff. Though the police has conducted raids number success, but without much success. The dealers say that it is not pirated or illegal CDs, but specially prepared music albums with the aid of computers. Secondly, they do not bother to keep the original CDs, and indirectly push the customer to purchase this illegal material. One of the customers, who was purchasing some CDs, was heard saying, ‘‘The sale and purchase of these pirated CDs is a sign of patriotism, as it affects only the profits of MNCs and not Indian companies.’’

Professional PROs

The increase in the number of city editions of English and Hindi language newspapers here has created a market for the public relations personnel. Smart companies look for those who can ensure ‘adequate’ press coverage at the minimum price. Some of the mediapersons, not getting enough wages, have exploited the situation to their benefit by volunteering themselves for the service. They organise press conferences and prepare press notes for publicity-seekers, all at a price, of course. One such reporter recently visited this paper’s office with a request to get a particular press note published. “Bhaaji, zaroor chhapwa dena, sadi izzat da sawal hai. Asin taan khana vi kha ke aye han,” was how he put his request.

Cynicism vs optimism

The voters and the candidates (contesting elections) seem to be placed in diametrically opposite directions as far as their attitude towards elections is concerned. The candidates are always too optimistic. They do not just dream of moon, they feel themselves right on it. Every contesting candidate, if he is to be believed, is sure to be going to become a minister, if not the Chief Minister. Placed against the great optimism is the cynicism prevailing among the people who have to elect them. Most people seem to be unconcerned with the election process. This is also reflected in the polling percentage as well. More and more people seem to be disinclined to vote as they ask that why should they contribute towards somebody grabbing power only to be misused to make himself rich by all fair and unfair means.

Serving humanity

The 10 great Gurus have established a great tradition of service, sacrifice and renunciation. The Sikh religion still observes these traditions with religious zeal and devotion. On every Gurpurb, Sikh devotees provide free food, called appropriately Guru ka langar, to people. Whether they are in India or in Canada, the Gurus’ followers observe this tradition, which is indeed welcome, particularly in these times. The Gurus’ followers offer great hope. (see picture)



Promises galore before Assembly elections
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 22
Activists of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Youth Akali Dal (SHSYAD) have stepped up their efforts in the Dakha constituency to mobilise support for the sitting legislator and the Panthic Morcha nominee, Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa. The party secretary general, Mr Sukhwinder Pal Singh Garcha, said the party workers had launched a door-to-door campaign to reach out to voters.

At election meetings in the constituency, Mr Garcha has been telling voters about development grants distributed in the area. He said the SAD (B) and the Congress had betrayed the masses.

Mr Harnam Das Johar, Congress candidate from the Ludhiana West Assembly constituency, said, if voted to power, the Congress would redress the grievances of traders and industrialists on priority and reduce taxes. At a meeting with traders and industrialists here yesterday, he said the Congress would make a long-term policy to do away with the “inspector raj”.

Mr Johar visited several colonies, including Friends Colony, Bharat Nagar, Fauji Mohalla, Manjit Nagar, Manohar Nagar and Jawahar Nagar Camp, where he urged party workers to forget their differences.

The All-India Sikh Students Federation (Peer Mohammed) has asked its ranks to join the election campaign of the SAD (B) candidates and stop the Congress from coming to power.

The AISSF secretary general, Mr Devinder Singh Sodhi, and the party general secretary, Mr Gurcharanjit Singh Dalla, have said in statements here that the AISSF would campaign for the SAD-BJP combine headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal. They accused the Congress and the Panthic Morcha of rousing communal feelings.



Police inaction alleged in murder case
Kamal Kishore Shnakar

Ludhiana, January 22
Only brother of four sisters, Harmeet Singh, 20, a resident of Khalchian village in Amritsar district, was killed in an altercation on January 13 in Barkat Nagar of Jaipur. Government officials are, now, trying to save his killers. After the arrest of the accused, Pappu Saini and Rakesh Jain, the police has done nothing in this case, so far.

Harmeet Singh had visited Jaipur for a one-year training for becoming a sanitary inspector in the Self-employment and Empowerment Institute. He lived there in Barkat Nagar. On January 13, when he was returning home after watching a movie, he had arguments with two car-borne youths. Both youths were residents of Balkar Nagar there, who called up their accomplice and, together, bashed up Harmeet, who, later, died in hospital.

A former student of the institute, Sunil Joshi said, “The police is not doing anything in this case, as the accused are relatives of powerful persons. The police report says that Hameet fell in a nullah and died.”

Sunil said, a case had been registered, but to save the accused, they had been charged with murder attempt and not murder. He said, “One of the accused is brother of the Personal Assistant of a local minister.”

Sunil said, “A few days ago, I was in Jaipur for collecting my course certificate when I learnt of the tragedy. Every student of the institute is angry, but it is not certain whether Harmeet’s family will ever get justice or not.”



Kashmiri shawlwalas a disappointed lot
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, January 22
As the weather starts turning nippy from November onwards, one sees a large number of young, middle-aged and old Kashmiris selling exotic, plain, embroidered shawls on their bicycles. Most of them have been visiting the city for the past many years. The seasoned traders have fixed clients. Year after year, these Kashmiris frequent the houses of elite and not so elite houses.

Ms Santosh, a local resident, says Mehraj, a Kashmiri shawl seller, has been selling shawls to them for years now. “Such is our faith in him that we buy all sorts of shawls — expensive as well as inexpensive — from him. We never go to the market to cross check the prices”, she adds.

Mrs Rita Mahajan also has a shawl seller coming to her residence for over three decades. She says: “I trust him as far as quality of shawl is concerned. I don’t buy very expensive from him though he sells Pashmina shawls but I do haggle with him as far as prices are concerned. Usually we negotiate hard and I manage to bring the prices down by 30 to 40 per cent. Sometimes we keep two or three shawls for days as some friends have asked us to buy for them. So he leaves the shawls and even if they are not sold, the relations remain good”.

Most of the Kashmiris hire rooms in the Field Gunj area. Four to five Kashmiris stay in one room as it turns out to be economical. Anwar, who comes to Ludhiana every November and goes back in March, said: “The business is going down every year. Throughout the long winters, our families sit huddled up embroidering shawls, bedspreads and we come with great hope of earning enough money that would last us a longtime. It seems that women are not splurging any more. Earlier they wanted to own shawls of every shade to match their ensemble, but now it appears they just mix and match. We are a disappointed lot. As our state is disturbed and the environment is very depressing. The lack of sales are further demoralising us”.

Billa, another shawl seller, says a large number of us descend in winters to different cities of Punjab. He said those who go to Amritsar or Patiala or any other city would continue visiting that city only. Moreover, we also know which house to visit. The shawl sellers with expensive shawls have fixed clients in very rich families. The women don’t hesitate buying from them shawls as expensive as Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh or even more than that. Earlier when ‘shatoosh shawl’ were not banned then our profit margins were more. Those with medium quality of shawls visit middle-class homes”. 



Octroi abolition panel submits report
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, January 22
The officers’ committee set up by the Punjab Cabinet to suggest ways and means to raise revenue to make up the loss due to the abolition of octroi has submitted its report to the state government. The committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, Mr N.K. Arora, consisted of Mr Y.S. Ratra, Financial Commissioner (Taxation), Mr P.K. Verma, Finance Secretary, and Dr B. Gupta, Secretary, Local Government was asked by the state Cabinet to study the implications of the abolition of octroi and suggest means to mop up the revenue for the development of the towns.

The abolition of octroi would cause a loss of about Rs 500 crore to the municipal corporations and the municipal councils in the state. The committee has given a number of proposals to raise the revenue, it is learnt.

Although octroi was abolished but the additional excise duty on liquor and the PSEB cess continue to be charged and earnings from the same come to about Rs 80 crore.

When contacted, Mr Arora refused to divulge any details of the report submitted to the government. He said that the Cabinet would discuss the same.

The Punjab Government had abolished octroi first in the month of September which was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and later in December.



Ex-servicemen’s problems discussed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 22
A state-level executive meeting of the Indian Ex-services League, Punjab and Chandigarh units, was held here on Sunday, which was presided over by Lieut-Col C.S. Dhillon (retd), league’s president.

According to a press note, all district presidents apprised the executive of problems concerning ex-servicemen, widows and their dependents.

It was reported that there was no progress on the setting up of cells neither at state nor at the district level to monitor the rehabilitation of ex-servicemen. Compensation to war widows in lieu of land was still pending for the past three decades.

The soldiers who left barracks in the wake of Operation Bluestar were on the streets and families of those who were killed or dismissed from service had not been provided with suitable financial grants.

The government despite repeated requests had not made canteen goods excise free. It had preferred to keep its political clout in grievances and various other committees and had taken no action to nominate members of the league to such committees as used to be earlier. The executive took a serious view of the sudden deployment of armed forces and described as panic or political impulsiveness of the government.



Body with stab marks found
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 22
Munna Lal, a Bihari migrant in his early 20s and an assistant in an audio-cassette shop near Mata Rani Chowk who lived in the nearby Chhauni Mohalla, was stabbed to death by unidentified persons on Sunday night. His body, bearing about 20 stab wounds, was spotted yesterday morning by a farmer of Sandhu Nagar in whose field it was lying.

The evidence suggests that the youth might have been lured to some place by at least three persons who were known to him. The police has begun its investigations and, as it appears to be a case of personal enmity, the police is tracing all acquaintances of the youth.

Munna’s employer said Munna had left the shop at 6.30 pm on Sunday. Mr Shankar Rawat, Munna’s father, runs a tea vend in Niggar Mandi.

Though the police is working on the personal-enmity theory, some villagers said this might be the work of a gang that was active in the area for some time.

A case under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered at the Haibowal police station.



5 youths booked
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 22
The police has arrested an opium smuggler and booked five youths on the charges of not paying for the petrol purchased by them.

According to police sources, the CIA staff arrested Azad Kumar of Chhota Khanna village, and recovered 1 kg of opium from his possession. A case has been registered against him.

In another incident, five youths came to a local petrol station on the Malerkotla road yesterday to get their car filled. Threatening the staff, they fled without making any payment. The police has registered a case under Sections 382, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC against all the accused, one of whom has been identified as Kulwinder Singh of Bhari Panaich village.


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