Tuesday, January 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Jaundice outbreak in city creates panic
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, January 28
Panic has gripped the Ajit Nagar Mohalla in Haibowal area in the outskirts of the city following reports of several jaundice cases there.

Although the immediate reason for the outbreak could not be known, health officials said they were conducting investigations to find out the reasons. Remedial measures had been undertaken and people had been issued various guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease. Officials claimed that there was no need to panic as the situation was under control.

The Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, Mr S.K. Sandhu, visited the affected areas and directed the health department to conduct a door-to-door survey to find out persons affected. He promised help from the district administration in treating patients and preventing further spread of the disease.

Taking a serious note of the rise in jaundice cases, Mr Sandhu directed the health department to start a check-up of the whole population of the colony by deputing at least five teams of doctors from today. These directions were given by the Deputy Commissioner while visiting the affected areas along with other district officials.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajinder Kaur, told the Deputy Commissioner that more jaundice cases were being reported from the area and residents of the mohalla had complained about the mixing of sullage from the dug-up toilet pits in the drinking water pipes. The Deputy Commissioner asked the Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, to depute civic body officials to detect the places from where the pipes had cracked, causing contamination of drinking water.

The Deputy Commissioner directed the Civil Surgeon to direct medical teams to keep a record of the persons checked and of patients. He said patients needing urgent care should be referred to the hospital without delay.

He asked Municipal Corporation officials to supply tablets to the health department for distribution in the area affected so that the water was cleaned before use. He also advised the people to use the water after boiling it. He asked corporation authorities to stop the supply of drinking water from the points identified and to supply safe drinking water.

It was not an isolated case of broken pipes leading to the mixing of sullage with drinking water. The pipes had broken at several other places. The Deputy Commissioner asked civic body officials to ensure that such pipes were repaired immediately, lest these led to outbreak of other contagious diseases.


Key witness in child murder case turns hostile
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
In a complete reversal of events, a key witness in the Amit kidnapping and sodomy case that was one of the several such child molestation and murder cases rocking the city in January last year has turned hostile. The witness, Kashmir Singh Sheera, a Municipal Councillor, has stated that he does not know the accused Sanjeev Kumar where as in his earlier statement to the police he had stated that he was close to him.

The case against the accused, who is also the prime accused in several other cases of child kidnapping, sodomy and murder, was infact registered on the statement of the Councillor. He had stated that the accused after sodomising and killing 6-year-old Amit in the old jail premises on January 11 last year had confessed before him on January 14 that he had committed a sin and had requested the councillor to hand him over to the police.

The changing of statement by the key witness is significant and can have a major effect on the case. The witness had deposed in a city court on Friday last. Police sources revealed to the Ludhiana Tribune that they were shocked at the change of statement of the witness and expressed fears over getting the accused convicted. According to the file of the case, the Municipal Councillor was the main witness. Others were police officials concerned with the case. In his statement to the police, the Councillor had stated that the accused Sanjeev Kumar was known to him since the days when he lived in Ropar. He had said the accused was married twice and often used to share with him his domestic problems. On January 14, last year, the accused came to him and was in a disturbed state of mind.

He confessed to the Councillor that he had kidnapped 6-year-old Amit from a playground near the old jail by alluring him with sweets and had taken him to the abandoned ruins in the old jail premises. He had taken his clothes off and “had sex” with him. As the child began crying loudly, he (the accused) strangulated him to death with a sweater. According to the Councillor’s statement, the accused was ‘repenting for his sin’ and wanted him to hand him over to the police which he did.

However, in his brief statement before the court, the witness said, “He has never seen the accused and does not know him”.

Legal analysts, wishing not to be quoted, however have called for a high-level inquiry into the entire investigation of the case as well as on the circumstances leading to the changed statement of the key witness. Analysts feel that if the man was lying now then the steps should be taken to stop this practice or if he was speaking truth then the police officers claiming success with the arrest of Sanjeev Kumar should be taken to task. Interestingly, what goes in police’s favour is that the series of child kidnapping, sodomy and killing cases had come to an abrupt end after the arrest of the accused.

The accused had , in fact, been a subject of public hatred ever since he was arrested. Some media reports had even stated that no advocate was willing to take up his case considering the alleged crime committed by him. Sanjeev Kumar was in the news last month also when the Kotwali Police claimed that he was responsible for the kidnapping and murder case of 14-year-old Mangat, a child missing from the Kotwal area since November 2000.


Badal sees no anti-incumbency wave
K. S. Chawla

Ludhiana, January 28
The Congress has copied a number of programmes of the SAD-BJP election manifesto and has never fulfilled its promises to the electorate. This was stated here today by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab, in an exclusive interview. Mr Badal arrived in Ludhiana on a two-day election tour of Ludhiana district and began his campaign from Jagraon Vidhan Sabha segment.

Mr Badal maintained that it was the SAD-BJP combine which had religiously implemented its election manifesto and the Congress had never taken steps for the implementation of the election manifesto. This was just a ritual for the congress, he observed.

Asked about the proposal of the Congress for a judicial commission to look into the corruption charges against him and his colleagues, Mr Badal said, “Congress is free to set up a judicial commission. Why is the Congress not going to the Lok Pal? Congress should submit charges to the Lok Pal.”

Mr Badal disclosed that he was addressing six election meetings daily and he wished to cover all constituencies. If this was not possible, he would cover at least 95 per cent constituencies of the state. “My injury has not come in the way for election campaigning”, he said.

When his attention was drawn towards the anti-incumbency factor against his government, the Chief Minister said there was no anti-incumbency wave in the state. He claimed that the achievements of his government during the past five years were his strength. “We have established peace and communal harmony and brought about a lot of development in the state. The-state-centre relationship was at its best during the five years rule of the SAD-BJP in Punjab, he asserted.

He denied that the SAD-BJP government had failed to protect the interests of Punjab, particularly with reference to the verdict by the apex court on the SYL canal issue. He charged that it was Indira Gandhi who had launched this project. The Congress was responsible for the betrayal of the interests of Punjab, be claimed.

When his attention was drawn to the allegations that he had a good friendship with the Haryana Chief Minister and showed indifference, he quipped, “The Chief Minister is the trustee of the state. He is bound to look after the interests of the state. The relationship with the Chief Minister of Haryana is a different thing and interests of the state are paramount”.

He described the Panthic Morcha as an agency and a tool in the hands of the Congress. “The Morcha will not make any dent in our vote bank. People will not waste their votes,” he added. He said the morcha was not a political party.

Mr Madal Lal Khurana, a former Chief Minister of Delhi, met Mr Badal here this morning and they discussed the political situation of the state. Mr Khurana also addressed election rallies with Mr Badal. Mr Badal also met a number of local SAD and BJP leaders.


SAD leader goes against party candidate
Campaigns openly in favour of Independent
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
The Shiromani Akali Dal-Badal (SAD-B) candidate from Ludhiana West, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar has received a serious setback with the vice-president of the party, Mr Amarjeet Singh Bhatia, coming openly in support of an independent candidate, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, from here.

While Mr Bhatia’s opposition to Mr Makkar’s nomination was no secret, so far he (Mr Bhatia) had launched a subtle campaign without coming in public against Mr Makkar. He had been maintaining that he was staying at home and had not considered for whom he should campaign. However, he shocked everyone yesterday when he delivered a lecture at a campaign meeting of Mr Dhanda.

Mr Makkar has been laying great hopes on the official visit of the party president and the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, that he may be able to motivate him to support the party. Mr Badal is reportedly upset with Mr Bhatia’s attitude and activities, since now that he has openly revolted against the official candidate. The Chief Minister is here in the town since yesterday. However, he has not met with Mr Bhatia and has neither expressed his desire to see him.

Mr Makkar on his part had on several occasions tried to seek a rapprochement with Mr Bhatia after getting the party nomination from Ludhiana West, for which Mr Bhatia was also keen. Mr Makkar and Mr Bhatia would not see eye to eye with each other, as their rivalry dates back to Mr Makkar’s nomination as the acting district president of the party.

Mr Dhanda, who is the president of the Ludhiana Bar Association, was also an aspirant for the party ticket from Ludhiana West. Having failed to get the party nomination, he decided to contest as an independent candidate and managed to get the support of Mr Bhatia. Mr Bhatia, in his speeches, has been maintaining subtle silence on the issue of support to Mr Makkar or Mr Badal, but has been focussing only on the “ability and capability” of Mr Dhanda, whom he describes as the best candidate in the fray.


Sale of intoxicants goes unchecked
Enforcement agencies turn a blind eye
D. B. Chopra

Ludhiana, January 28
It is 8.30 a.m. or so when a sleek motorcyle carrying a couple of well-dressed youths screeches to a halt at a roadside tea shop opposite a school in the Focal Point area. The boys help themselves to a tea glass and sit on a vacant wooden bench. Needless to say, the shopkeeper is familiar with them. One of the boys takes out a small bottle from his jacket pocket. Without taking out the bottle from the paper bag in which it is wrapped, the boy twists open the cap and after pouring the contents of the bottle into the glass, throws away the emptied bottle with force so that it lands in a park along the Metro Road which is already littered with empty strips of capsules and bottles of such kind.

Both the boys share the amaranth-coloured drink, which is in fact a cough syrup containing some sedatives and anti-allergic drugs which induce drowsiness and sleep. Bottle finished, the boys order tea with plenty of sugar. One after the other, they consume two cups of tea each. The sugar in tea acts as a catalyst and soon a glaze starts appearing in their eyes and both their speech and physical movements become sluggish.

The boy who pays for the tea, has to make an effort to reach for the purse in one of his trouser pockets. The motorcycle has to be started with a lot of effort.

At another roadside tea shop frequented mostly by rickshaw-pullers and auto rickshaw drivers in the Focal Point area, a driver in his early twenties, arrives early morning and orders tea . At the same time, he takes out a strip of brown-coloured capsules. The driver then takes the capsules out and gulps them down with water. The sugary tea follows. While waits for the capsules to take effect, he orders another tea to hasten the process. It is only after he has got the desired ‘kick’ that he feels ‘energetic’ to start his day.

The driver of a mini bus, on his way from Samrala Chowk to Ghanta Ghar, signals the driver of another mini bus going in the opposite direction to stop. It is not to inform him about the presence of the DTO somewhere on the route but to ‘borrow’ some ‘badams’ (almonds) as he is running short of the ‘supply’. He gets some ‘blue almonds’ which he swallows without the help of water. But a blue almond? Yes, that is how the addicts have code-named the capsule. It may be of any colour, blue or maroon or whatever.

A particular medical store on the Chandigarh Road at Jamalpur opens early morning and closes quite late at night. Genuine customers asking for medicines are rare at the shop. A constable, posted at a nearby naka, is whiling away his time at the shop. A couple of young customers, keen on buying some ‘badams’, are headed for the shop but they stop in their tracks at the sight of the cop. The shopkeeper realises the hesitation of the youths and requests the cop to go away for a while. The cop also realises that he is harming the business interests of the shopkeeper and ‘voluntarily’ vacates the stool occupied by him. No problem, he says.

Drug-addiction in the city is on the rise as the law enforcement agencies prefer to turn a blind eye to the unchecked drug trade. One can buy all ‘intoxicating’ pain-killers and other drugs without any restrictions on quantity from the wholesale medicine shops in Pindi Street. Even a bill is not considered necessary for these drugs. Various drug inspectors employed by the State Health Department to keep an eye on the activities of chemists remain silent with their fixed ‘incomes’ from these chemists. The Civil Surgeon also allegedly gets a cut from this collection. This explains the phenomenal rise in the number of chemist shops in and around the city. Medical stores have come up in remote and small villages where there are no doctors at all. Such shops are flourishing only due to trade in ‘badams’ and cough syrups.

The city police has not apprehended any chemist so far on the charge of selling prescription drugs without a valid prescription. And considering the fact that possession of opium or charas invites the much harsher NDPS Act , the sale of ‘nasha-inducing’ medicines is burgeoning like anything. A bottle of cough syrup that used to cost only Rs 13 or so until a few years ago is selling for more than Rs 40.

Free accessibility to these drugs is the main cause for their growing popularity. There are a number of NGOs in the city which are working to check drug addiction but none of them has seriously taken the issue of the illegal sale of these drugs without a valid prescription by the chemists.


Commoners deserve better quality of life, say residents
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, January 28
The hard working people of the state have a lot of expectations from their future representatives who would be elected for the 12th State Assembly by the end of next month. They want the political parties to understand their expectations need from them seriously and work on it to make the state with the highest per capita income more developing and prospering consistently.

The local residents, however, feel that the city needs more bridges, flyovers and elevated road for faster communication as traffic congestion is one of the major problems in the district. They also want that the representatives must work on improving some of the services such as health, education, and basic amenities.

An undergraduate student, Ms Puneet thinks that the city is a very over-crowded place and improvement in the state of roads in the need of the hour and is necessary for improving the productivity. She says that there are many such projects which have been started with the condition of completion within a limited timeframe. But it actually does not happen and the commuters are the only sufferers as due to construction work, roads remain unfit for heavy flow of traffic, she adds.

She opines that going by the way the city is growing proper regulation of traffic for faster commuting would be needed to cope up with the work pressure.

A college lecturer, Ms Rashmi Gangawani, however, feels that the increasing population of the district has also led to a need for more vocational courses. She thinks that the elected representative should think on these lines to make thousands of youth, who would have no jobs after studying in college for such a long time, self-reliant.

She opines that there is no dearth of human resources in the state which could be exploited properly for development by providing need-based vocational and professional education. According to Ms Gangawani for overall development of a state proper exploitation of human and natural resources was very important.

An Arjuna Award winner, Sajjan Singh Cheema says the state in which people are not healthy and have low stamina, could not do well in any field. He is of the view that the only way to improve the status of health in the state, is through promotion of sports. He, however, rues the fact that sports is nobody’s baby in the state and thus there is a need that people’s representatives take it seriously.

He says the energies of youth of the state could be directed in the right direction by promoting sports which would save them from evils like drug addiction. He opines that sportspersons are not getting proper incentives and political leaders must promote sports as a career option too.

An entrepreneur, Sandeep Makkar, is of the view that the citizens are sick of false claims and promises of the politicians and they want better living conditions. He maintains that the commoners get poor services from the government as far as health, education and basic amenities are concerned. He says, “When we pay our water, electricity and telephone bills regularly, then why do we have to live on the mercy of these officials holding high offices in government departments and suffer everyday”.

He opines that now people want such politicians who can really improve the efficiency of these services for which the common man is paying from his own pocket. He says that mere technological advancement or by saying that we are living in cyber age, the process improving the quality of life does not cease.

A senior citizen, Mr Avtar Singh, says no matter what are the people’s expectations from the government, the politicians have been ditching them since 1952 when first State Assembly was formed. He says the main problem is lack of national character among politicians as they work for themselves and not for the people. He says, “Since 1952, we have remained consistent only in increasing population while the basic needs are still a luxury for a majority of citizens”.



India should wipe out terrorist camps: Khurana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
“After a series of diplomatic victories over Pakistan, India should not relent till Pakistan hands over the 20 listed terrorists hiding in Pakistan and wanted by New Delhi. If Pakistan does not stop aiding and abetting terrorism, India should snap all diplomatic ties with Pakistan and wipe out the terrorist training camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir”. This was stated by the BJP vice-president, Mr Madan Lal Khurana during his visit to the city today.

Mr. Khurana said that political parties had frittered away gains that the armed forces had achieved in various wars with Pakistan since 1947, it was for the first time that India had secured a significant diplomatic victory and isolated Pakistan from countries like the USA, the UK and France coming out openly in support of India. It was therefore imperative that India must see that Pakistan aid to terrorism and its meddling with India’s internal affairs should come to an end.

Not ruling out war as an option before India, Mr Khurana said that Pakistan’s President General Pervez Musharraf should abide by in letter and spirit to the policy statement made by him. Mr Khurana, however, added that other than banning a few terrorist outfits, Pakistan had shown no restrain in its hostile attitude towards India. He said that the terrorist camps in Pakistan were still training mercenaries and India needed to firmly tackle the situation.

Later addressing an election meeting, Mr Khurana described the charges of corruption against the ruling Akali-BJP alliance as humbug. “If there is any truth in the allegations made by the Congress against the members of the Akali - BJP alliance why did the Congress members not approach the Lokayukt”, he questioned.

Describing the charges of corruption against state Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his cabinet colleagues as baseless, Mr Khurana said that these were politically motivated, and totally false. The BJP leader said that since the Opposition parties did not have anything concrete against the ruling alliance, the Congress was trying to throw up charges of corruption.

On the other hand highlighting the achievements of the Akali-BJP alliance, the BJP vice-president said that during the past five years Punjab had remained free of any communal tension. He said not a single incident of communal tension between Hindus, Sikhs or Muslims could be cited. Further lashing out at the Congress, he said that the Congress had given out a manifesto, which its leadership should have fulfilled during its forty years of rule in the country. He termed the five-year of Akali-BJP rule in Punjab as the golden era for the state in which the state’s economy had been put back on track.


3 candidates withdraw papers
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 28
On the last day of withdrawal of nomination papers today, three candidates withdrew their nominations for the forthcoming Assembly elections. Mr Bachan Singh Cheema, the sitting MLA (SAD), who had filed his papers as an independent candidate on being denied the party ticket, withdrew his nomination today and assured support to Ms Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal, the official SAD candidate. Mr Cheema was accompanied by Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, SGPC president, to the SDM office here.

Two other independent candidates, Mr Rulda Singh and Mr Ujagar Singh, also withdrew their nomination papers. In total, 12 candidates, including independents, had filed their nominations, and now only nine of them are left in the fray.

Weighed against coins

The Panthic Morcha candidate, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, while addressing a public meeting at Chhapar village, thanked the people for their support. He was weighed against coins by the local people, who assured him of full support. He was weighed against coins at Kila Raipur also.

Mr Grewal, who has been campaigning along with senior Panthic Morcha leaders like Mr Charan Singh Lohara and Kamikar Singh, rued the fact that corruption had entered into every sphere of life under the Akali-BJP regime. He pointed out that the moment they realised that the situation was getting out of control and the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal was not prepared to share their concerns they left power and started a struggle under the leadership of senior Akali leader and a former SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

He pointed out, “while people are lured by the promise of power and ministries, we gave up power and left our ministries, just because we were not prepared to be a party to the corruption and other excesses committed by the Badal government”. He hoped that with the “massive support” of the general public, the Panthic Morcha was all set to form next government in the state as people were fed up with both the Akali-BJP alliance as well as the Congress. Mr Grewal promised that he would again become the minister and contribute to the development of their area.

‘Cops coercing voters’

Mr Abdul Gaffar, a former minister and NCP candidate from the Malerkotla constituency, has alleged that the Sangrur police is using coercion to help the Congress nominee, Ms Razia. He says this is being done at the instance of the candidate’s husband, who is a DIG. Demanding immediate action by the Election Commission, Mr Gaffar says police officers of the SP and district chief rank have been visiting the town to mobilise local leader in favour of Ms Razia.

Poll arrangements

Fatehgarh Sahib
All arrangements for smooth conduct of poll have been completed as per the directions of the Election Commission of India in the two constituencies of the district. This was stated by Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer, Fatehgarh Sahib.

He said 459 polling stations had been set up and nearly 2,000 employees had been deployed in both the constituencies. He said the administration had received 454 electronic voting machines, out of which 362 machines would be used on the polling day and rest would be kept reserved.

The rehearsals of staff deployed in the Sirhind constituency would be held on January 31, February 5 and 12. Similarly, in the Amloh constituency it would be on January 30, February 4 and 12.

He said the staff would be sent on duties directly after giving the material for polling on February 12.

In the Amloh constituency there are 1,48,262 voters and in the Sirhind constituency there are 1,31,996 voters.

Mr Param Pal Singh Sidhu, SSP, said elaborate security arrangements had been made to avoid any untoward incident.


Cong rebel falls for plum post
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
The Congress candidate from Ludhiana East, Mr Surinder Dawer, received a shot in the arm today after a rebel candidate and Youth Congress leader, Mr Ahok Prashar Pappi, withdrew from the contest in his favour.

Mr Prashar was appointed general secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee with an assurance that he would succeed Mr Dawer as district president. Mr Nagarmal Rajasthani of the Rajasthani Biradri also withdrew in favour of Mr Dawer.

After a day of consultations initiated by the Congress general secretary, Mr Ahmad Patel, and the secretary, Mr B.K. Hariprasad, Mr Prashar agreed to withdraw last night.

Mr Prashar reportedly expressed his resentment to the senior Congress leaders. He initially refused to accept the new post, arguing that he had joined the fray to put forth his point. Mr Prashar, Mr Dawer and their supporters reached the office of the returning officer today. Mr Prashar withdrew his papers and assured Mr Dawer that he would ensure the victory of the latter.


Fire destroys thread mill
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
A devastating fire that broke out in a thread mill in the Focal Point area yesterday gutted most of the raw material, ready stocks and machinery. As the news of fire at Simran Spinning and Weaving Mill in Phase VI spread in the area, a large number of people gathered at the spot.

It took six hours for the fire fighters to extinguish the blaze. The firemen had to break certain walls of the building to control the inferno. According to factory officials, the total loss was being estimated to be anywhere between Rs 1.5 and 2 crore. The cause of the fire has not been ascertained.


Horses, dogs vaccinated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
As a part of the animal welfare fortnight celebrations, the People for Animals, Ludhiana unit, has organised an animal welfare and awareness camp at Rahon Road, with the cooperation of the Rahon Road Dairy Farmers Association.

Horses were given anti-tetanus injections and anti-rabies vaccination was given to stray and pet dogs. Free medicines were distributed among dairy farmers. Dr Rajeev Bhandari and Dr Amandip examined animals. The local unit has also set up Karuna Club at USPC School. Lectures on vaccination, care and nutrition of animals were delivered.


Beauty contest on February 2
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
Herbal Glow, a company in skin, hair and body care products, will hold a beauty contest at Guru Nanak Bhavan, Ludhiana, on February 2. Shikha Swaroop, a former Ms India, will crown winners.

The contest will be held during the workshop for professional cosmetologists and beauticians. Mr Kishor Thakkar, make-up artist, will discuss new therapies.



One held for selling adulterated oil
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
On a tip-off, the Division No. 8 police conducted a raid in New Deep Nagar on Saturday and arrested Hanuman Verma, an employee of a gas company located near the Jagraon bridge, on the charge of selling adulterated kerosene on the black market in the area.

The police also seized 1,200 litres of the adulterated kerosene from his possession. He has been booked under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act.

Kidnapping case

The Sarabha Nagar police station has registered a case under Sections 365 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghumman, a resident of Sarabha Nagar, against Sukhdev Kaur and her son, Gurdev Singh, both residents of Rajasthan. Mr Ghumman had alleged that the accused had kidnapped his six-year-old grandson, Rajeshwar Singh. He stated that since both the parents of his grandson had expired, the child was living with him. Sukhdev Kaur is the maternal grandmother of the child.

Beaten up

The Shimla Puri police station has registered a case of beating on the complaint of Mr Amit Sharma, a resident of New Amar Nagar, against Sandip Kumar, a resident of Mohalla Durga Nagar, Darshna Rani, a resident of Dashehra Nagar, and two others. The complainant has alleged that the accused beat him up and injured him.

The Jodhewal police station has registered another similar case on the statement of Ms Shashi Bala, a resident of Mohalla Gita Nagar, against Sanjay, a resident of the same locality. The complainant has alleged that the accused assaulted her and injured her.

Gambling case

The Division No. 6 police on Saturday arrested Vinod Kumar, a resident of New Janta Nagar, on the charge of gambling and arrested Hira Singh from the Cheema chowk on the charging of betting on ‘darra’ and ‘satta’.

The Model Town police arrested Daljit Singh, a resident of Dhuri Lines, on Saturday on the charge of gambling. All accused have been booked under the Gambling Act.



Exporters ask parties to commit to industrial development
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
The Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), apex body of the exporters in the state, has urged the SAD-BJP ruling alliance and the Congress to announce their commitment for the industrial development of the state and announce a detailed policy to bring the sick industrial units back on track.

Commenting upon the Congress manifesto, released yesterday, Mr S.C. Ralhan, Chairman (NR), EEPC, lamented, ‘‘The Congress has included promises for every section of the society except industrialists, especially the exporters’ community. There is nothing concrete to satisfy the exporters of the state. We are waiting for the release of the manifestos of the ruling alliance, and then would organise a seminar of the representatives of both the parties to draw their attention towards exporters’ issues.”

Interestingly, most of the industrialists and traders’ bodies are avoiding the political leaders fearing that they would be asked for contribution to the election funds. One of the leading exporters, who did not wish to be quoted, said, “We have not given any representation to the leaders of any political party as they are asking us first to contribute to their election funds. The report card of the ruling alliance is before us, which has not accepted a single demand of the exporters during the past five years. The Congress should announce its industrial policy before the elections.”

Mr Rajinder Jindal, president, Engineering Exporters Association of India (EEAI), is among those exporters who are indifferent to the election process. However, regarding their expectations, he said, “The parties should commit to waive 8.8 per cent sales tax on the transfer of import licences, which is no longer imposed in other states. They should also announce adequate transport subsidy to compensate the competitive disadvantage to the exporters of the border area state.”

The exporters have condemned that anti-industry policy of the ruling alliance. They said neither the state exim policy had been announced nor about Rs 500 crore capital subsidy had been paid as yet. However, they were still hopeful that the political parties would have to take care of these issues, even to resolve the severe unemployment problem.

Mr Ralhan said, “We want a transparent and single window system, where our problems could be solved by the accountable officials without any involvement of inspectors. There should be special incentive in the export promotion zones ( EPZs) to boost exports from the state,” he added. 


Biz clip

Prizes given: M/s Dilbagh Singh and Sons, dealer, Bharat Petroleum, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Ludhiana, sponsored prizes for its customers. The scheme was launched between December 17, 2001, and January 26, 2002. The draw was held at the dealer’s office on Sunday. Mr Puran Singh won the first prize, Mr Ramesh Lal got the second prize and Mr Harminder Singh won the third prize. Four surprise gifts were also given. OC

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