Thursday, March 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sarpanch’s election declared void
Our Correspondent

Amloh, March 13
While declaring the election of Harmel Singh as Sarpanch of Baraichan village (Amloh) as void and set-aside under section 90(a) of the Punjab State Election Commission Act 1994, Mr M.P. Arora Election Tribunal-cum-ADC, Fatehgarh Sahib, declared Mohan Singh as the duly elected sarpanch of Baraichan village, tehsil, Amloh, A photo copy of the decision and order passed by the Block Development and Panchayat officer (BDPO ) for the transfer of charge was presented to the mediapersons here today by Mr Mohan Singh.

On June 21,1998 , Mohan Singh, Harmel Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Karam Singh had filed their nomination papers to contest the post of the Sarpanch, nomination papers of Karam Singh were rejected as dues of gram-panchayat were outstanding against him.

According to the order passed by the ADG, Mr Mohan Singh, had alleged that the objection was raised on the nomination form of Harmel Singh, who had not attached a receipt of “chullah” with his nomination paper and was alleged to have un-authorisedly occupied “rasta” (street ) but his papers were accepted and he was declared as elected, whereas Mr Avtar Singh, Presiding Officer (PO) obtained the signatures of Mohan Singh on a blank paper and counting was done in his absence.

Out of 631 votes polled 37 were declared as cancelled. Mohan Singh secured 277 votes and 285 votes were shown as polled in favour of Harmel Singh and was declared elected by a margin of eight votes by the Presiding Officer. It is interesting to note that the papers of objection were missing from the relevant file. In view of the findings, the election was declared void and was accordingly set-aside whereas Mohan Singh has assumed the charge of village Sarpanch.



Minister warns corrupt officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
The Minister of State for Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Mr Ashwani Sekhri, has said that several officials have been forced to return illegal gratification after the matter has been brought to his notice.

On a visit to the city, Mr Sekhri said that he had made public announcements in his constituency asking people to come and report incidents where officials had already taken money for some work or were demanding the same.

Making an appeal to the people, the minister who was on his first visit to the city on an invitation by the district Congress president, Mr K.K. Bawa, asked the people to highlight the cases of corruption and to expose officials who sought illegal gratification.

‘‘A thana-level officer was made to return Rs 50,000 in public view after a local landlord brought the matter to my notice’’, Mr Sekhri said. The minister, a former student leader, who was president of the Panjab University Students’ Union in the 1980s, he said that he had fought for eradication of corruption in his student days and would continue to do the same now that he had been chosen to represent the people.

Disclosing that he had already launched a campaign against the corrupt officials, he said that he did not want any sort of victimisation, but officials must take it seriously that he would make all-out efforts to provide the much-needed relief from corruption to the people. ‘‘I have directed a DSP to return Rs 15,000 sought as illegal gratification within the next 24 hours, failing which he would be proceeded against’’. He said that this had already sent a clear message to other officials in his district.

Mr Sekhri said that unfortunately politicians and officials were working hand-in-glove and it was imperative to break this nexus. He said that strict warnings had been given to some doctors in Civil Hospitals in his constituencies who were charging up to Rs 30,000 to give fake reports that would lead to registration of cases under Sections 326 and 452, IPC. Some doctors selling medicines in hospitals had also been warned against such practice.

He said that though belonging to Batala he had initiated such cleansing measures in his home constituency, but since he was now a Minister of State, he would ask other ministers and MLAs’ to help him in his crusade in wiping out corruption from the state. ‘‘Batala had taken a lead in this direction, but in tandem with the election promise by the Punjab Chief Minister, similar movement will be started in other areas of the state’’, he said.

Besides fighting against corruption, Mr Sekhri said that he would strive for the developmental work in the state despite the economic crunch. He said that he had sought Rs 10 lakh from the MPs developmental fund with which the Punjab Energy Development Authority (PEDA) had been asked to put up solar streetlights in 91 villages of his constituency.

Local Congress leaders later honoured the young minister who assured Ludhiana of its due share in all developmental and other ventures.



Meeting to discuss BJP’s poll debacle
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 13
The district executive of the BJP, which is to meet here tomorrow to discuss the performance of the party in the recently held Assembly elections and the ensuing civic poll, among other things, will in all probability, give further momentum to the ongoing campaign for the removal of the district (Urban) chief, Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, who is being held responsible for the party’s poll debacle.

The dissident group, in particular has been gunning for Mr Sethi since the declaration of results of the Assembly elections. While the defeat of Mr Pran Bhatia at the hands of Mr Rakesh Pandey of the Congress in Ludhiana North did not surprise anybody, the beating that the party stalwart and then Deputy Speaker, Mr Sat Pal Gosain, received from a first timer, Mr Surinder Dawar, was humiliating if anything.

Several senior party functionaries have been seeking the resignation of Mr Sethi, who, they observed, should own moral responsibility for the defeat of the party and make way for somebody, who might put up a better performance. Party circles maintained that while factors like anti-incumbency had played a significant role, the failure of the party leadership to organise the resources in a better way and make judicious selection of candidates had also led to the ‘flop show’ of the BJP. “If that was not the case, why the SAD-B, an alliance partner of the BJP has fared relatively better?” the party ranks ask to drive home their point.



Compensation sought for negligence in tubectomy
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 13
A Dalit resident of Nolari Kalan village, Jarnail Singh, has alleged that Khanna Civil Hospital authorities had performed tubectomy on his wife negligently as she had conceived and subsequently given birth to a child. He demanded compensation from authorities responsible for the birth of the fourth child. However, the SMO Civil Hospital, Dr Dharmpal said at the time of tubectomy operation it was not necessary to check the patients for confirmation of pregnancy.

According to the complaint lodged by Jarnail Singh to the Health Minister, Punjab, that a nurse Rani Gill posted at their village government dispensary had persuaded the couple to go in for tubectomy. They agreed as they already had three children. The nurse brought his wife, Shinder Kaur, to civil hospital on June 12, 2001. On that day Shinder Kaur was operated upon. A tubectomy certificate was also issued bearing seal OT Number 128 and registration No. 135.

However, after some time a doubt arose that his wife was pregnant. They got an ultrasound scan done on September 27 last year from Dr Ila Sood of Khanna. The ultrasound scan report indicated a 20-week pregnancy when they informed the village nurse about it, she advised them to terminate the pregnancy but they did not prefer that. Subsequently Shinder Kaur delivered a female child. Jarnail Singh said he was not able to afford the burden of fourth child and demanded compensation for negligence of the hospital authorities. He also sent the copies of the complaint to Health Secretary, Punjab and Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana. The SMO, Dr Dharampal said termination of pregnancy can be done upto eight weeks. However, he said the patient who is being operated upon for tubectomy herself has to inform the doctor about her pregnancy as it was not necessary to investigate all patients for pregnancy.



Golden Forests directed to refund money
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
In an ex-parte order, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Golden Forests India Limited (GFIL) to pay Rs 6,000 as maturity amount of a fixed deposit of Rs 3,000, to Ms Jyoti Khanna, a resident of Partap Colony. The forum has further directed the company to pay interest at the rate of 15 per cent per annum on the principal amount (Rs 3,000) from December 22, 1999 (maturity date) till actual payment to the consumer. The forum has also directed the company to pay Rs 500 as cost of litigation to her.

According to the complaint, the consumer had deposited Rs 3,000 under a fixed deposit scheme with M/s Golden Forests (India) Limited on July 24, 1996, with the insurance value of Rs 6,000. The consumer stated before the forum that the said ‘fixed deposit’ was to mature on December 22, 1999. She said that the maturity amount was not paid on or after the maturity date.

The consumer alleged that there was a clear deficiency in services on the part of the company for not paying the maturity amount of Rs 6,000 on the said date. She demanded from the forum the company should be directed to release the maturity amount along with interest at the rate of 24 per cent per annum till realisation. Besides a compensation of Rs 50,000 for deficient services should be paid by the company, she added.

The forum observed that the evidence produced by the complainant was unrebutted. The forum held that since the payment was not made on the maturity date, it was desirable that interest at the rate of 15 per cent per annum on the principal amount should be given to the consumer even after the date of maturity. 



Raid on ultrasound clinic
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
For the strict implementation of Pre Natal Diagnostic Test (PNDT) Act 1994, the Senior Medical Officer (SMO), Civil Hospital, Phillaur, with the help of members of the Volunteers for Social Justice, a non-government organisation, raided an ultra-sound clinic at Jandiala today.

Dr Bir Inder Pal Singh, SMO Civil Hospital, Phillaur, said that a private clinic, Sumeet Hospital, Jandiala, was raided and found to be an unregistered scanning centre. The doctor at the centre, Dr R.P.Singh, failed to produce the required documents. ‘‘There were all female entries in the register and the age of the patients was between 25 to 40. The doctor admitted that he had been doing the ultra-sound tests for over past six to seven months,’’ said Dr Bir Inder Singh.

The SMO also said that a case against the doctor would be registered in the court of Judicial Magistrate.



One shot in Gill village
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
One person was shot dead, while two received serious gunshot injuries, in an incident that occurred at Gill village, on the outskirts of the city, here this evening. According to police officials, the deceased, Kulwant Singh, had a dispute with the suspect, Kulwinder Singh, over a purported false case. Infuriated over the case, the accused shot at Kulwant Singh and his son, Paramjit Singh, with a .12 bore rifle, killing the father and injuring his son. The second injured has been identified as Paramjit Singh, having the same name as the son of the person killed. The injured have been admitted to the local Christian Medical College and Hospital. The Ludhiana Sadar police has registered a case.



CPM workers hold rally, flay Budget
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
Hundreds of CPM workers participated in a protest rally today and flayed the BJP-led NDA government in the Centre for bringing in an anti-people Budget.

Various speakers, including Mr Mohinder Singh Neelon Kalan, Mrs Manjit Kaur Koom Kalan, Mr Om Parkash, Mr Raghbir Singh Benipal, Mr Amar Nath Koom Kalan, Ms Jasbir Jodhan, Mr Vijay Dogran, Ms Gurmeet Kaur Jawaddi, Mr Baldev Singh Latala and Mr Sanjeev Verma, condemned the Budget which, they observed, had put the common people under a financial burden of Rs 11,760 crore. In particular, hike in prices of kerosene oil, cooking gas and sugar would hit poor people the hardest, they said.

The party activists later presented a memorandum to the Union Government through the Deputy Commissioner demanding roll back in the price hike of essential commodities, withdrawal of the proposed hike in the second class rail fare, season tickets and freight and exemption of assessees with income up to Rs 5 lakh from 5 per cent surcharge on income tax.

Mr Raghbir Singh Benipal, secretary, district committee, CPM, said the party had urged the government to restore the earlier rate of interest on small savings and cut in the subsidy on fertilisers. Other demands put up in the memorandum included withdrawal of increase in postal rates, revocation of the privatisation clause slapped on the state government for Central assistance and the restoration of the income tax exemption limit for small savings.



BKU plans stir to safeguard river waters
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) will launch a mass agitation to safeguard the river waters of Punjab and the detailed programme of the agitation will be announced on March 15.

This was stated by Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, President, BKU, in a press note issued here today. He said the union had also filed a special leave petition against the decision on SYL canal in the Supreme Court, which was expected to be taken up soon. He said the review petition filed by the SAD-BJP government, headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was rejected by the court for poor follow-up and lapse on the part of the government.

He expressed his concern over an estimated drop of almost one foot per annum in the groundwater level, with the result that the total availability of river waters to Punjab from all three rivers was quite inadequate. Moreover, a large portion of the sub-soil water in the state was saline, which was highly detrimental to fertility of land and yield of crops. He said the government should set up a technical committee to assess the total availability of river waters with Punjab and to deal with the problem of salinity of sub-soil water.

The BKU President made it clear that if the judiciary failed to deliver justice to the people of Punjab, the union would be left with no other option but to launch a decisive battle with the help of each and every citizen of Punjab and would not even hesitate to launch a ‘morcha’.



Devotees high on ‘bhang’ prasad
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, March 13
Shivratri spirit was high last night as most of the city residents went high on one or the other “bhang” preparations that were served at most of the temples as “prasad” of the dhatura-eating Lord.

Milarious scenes were witnessed all over the town as people high on “bhang” lost their sense of time and proportion under the intoxicating effect of hemp or cannabis. In fact, at most of the temples, “bhang sherbet” and pakoras had been readied well before noon. Those who took the heady prasad for the first time or in excess provided a lot of fun to others by their awkward behavior.

Some of the local bus drivers on the Ghanta Ghar-Metro route, who had consumed “bhang” sherbet and pakoras, lost all sense of time as they forgot the scheduled timing and started creating problems for other drivers. But they were considerate enough to take the chaos created thus in their stride. They blamed it all on “bhang”.

Two migrants riding a cycle, who were obviously high on bhang, fell from their cycle on the busy Metro Road in the evening. One of them got up quickly and tried to straighten up the bike and his friend who refused to get up after failing to do so. The scene generated laughter among the onlookers. Here goes another “talli ram”, said the onlookers as the intoxicated migrant was somehow dragged away along with the cycle by his “not-so-intoxicated” companion.

Residents of Focal Point gave an overwhelming response to the shobha yatra taken out by the management of Shri Ayappa Temple through various colonies yesterday. Following a public announcement regarding the route of the shobha yatra in the morning, women were quick enough to arrange stalls of parsad for the shobha yatris. Seventeen women of a street in the HIG/MIG Colony contributed Rs. 50 each and put up a ‘prasad’ stall on the roadside. Elsewhere in the city too, Shivratri was celebrated with great religious zeal and fervour.

A function was held at the Shiv Mandir in Phase-8 of the Focal Point area on the Chandigarh Road near Mundian Kalan under the supervision of Baba Kirti Giri ji Maharaj.

The programme began with Ganesh vandna which was followed by bhajans. Later, the audience were held spellbound by the musical rendition of “Shiv-vivah” or Shiva’s marriage. A bhandara for the general public was organised at the temple today also.

In the old city, people had started thronging the Sanglan Wala Shivala soon after midnight on Monday itself. The poojan ceremony there was performed by Mahant Narayan Dass Puri. A round-the-clock langar was also organised by the temple management.

Shiva’s marriage was also solemnised at Shri Nav Durga temple in Sham Nagar. Other temples of the town where Shiva- worship was performed, included Shri Ramanand Ramavati Shiv Mandir, Bengali Baba Bhagwan Bholenath Shiv Mandir, Kalyan Nagar, Durga Mata Mandir, Partap Nagar, Shri Radha Krishan Mandir, Parbhat Nagar, Maa Sheetla Devi Mandir, Janta Nagar and Shiv Shakti Mandir, Kot Mangal Singh.

Among the associations which also held functions and langars to mark the occasion were the Sarraffa Bazar Welfare Association, Shri Amar Nath Sewa Sangh, Lok Kalyan Social Welfare Society, Ek Jyot Club, Shiv Naujawan Sabha, Naujawan Sabha of Harnam Nagar, Shivala Road Hosiery and Textile Association, Nishkam Sewa Society, Bihar Yuva Parishad and the Ludhiana Sewa Sangh.



Club election on March 31
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
The annual election of the Sutlej Club will be held on March 31. This was announced by Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner and president of the club, at a meeting held here last evening.

It may be mentioned that graduation clause for contesting elections to various posts in the club has been withdrawn. Senior members, who are keen on contesting elections but are not graduates, can contest for any post this year. The members, including some former office-bearers, were awaiting the decision of the president.

One of the Senior members, on condition of anonymity, said the graduation clause had been introduced with ulterior motives. A leading businessman, he said the clause was introduced to oblige some influential members.

According to sources, the members are contesting for the posts of vice-president, general secretary, joint secretary, treasurer, bar secretary, mess secretary, sports and cultural secretary and two executive members. The nominations for the election will be filed from March 21 to 23. The scrutiny of the nominations will be done on March 24 and final list of the candidates declared on March 26.

Many new faces are likely to contest for the posts. Another senior member of the club said he was happy with the decision of the president.



Proclaimed offender held
Our Correspondents

Ludhiana, March 13
The Division No. 2 police station, on a tip-off from the special Proclaimed Offenders’ wing, arrested Prabhjot Singh, a resident of Lal Bagh Colony, Ferozepore Road, on Monday. The accused was booked under Section 406 of the IPC on September 1,1996, after which the accused had jumped bail.

Two injured: A man and a woman were injured in separate incidents on Monday in the city.

Mr Kulwant Singh, a resident of Janak Puri, was injured when his former partner Ram Parkash allegedly attacked him. According to information, both the accused as well as the complainant were partners in some business for quite sometime. Sometime ago, the complainant had terminated the partnership on the basis of some doubts regarding the partnership accounts. Ram Parkash, the expelled partner, tried to settle the score by beating the complainant.

Ms Sunita, a pregnant housewife living in New Puneet Nagar, was allegedly injured by some of her women neighbours on Monday following a minor scuffle. According to information, Sunita’s daughter was playing with other children when a minor scuffle occurred among children. At this, Sunita scolded the children concerned which allegedly infuriated four of her women neighbours who beat her up in a fit of rage. The police has registered a case but no arrest has been made so far.

Two sustain burns: A man and a woman have been admitted to the local Civil Hospital with burn injuries.

Shambhu, a rickshaw-puller, living in Kot Mangal Singh received 60 per cent burns after he was engulfed in stove flames caused by a sudden spurt of kerosene while he was cooking in his room on Monday night.

Sunita, 25, a resident of Dhandari Kalan, also sustained burns following a similar mishap on Monday.

Theft case: Burglars decamped with a revolver, cash and gold ornaments on Monday night from the residence of Mr Krishan Lal, a resident of Nirankari mohalla. At the time of the burglary, Mr Lal, along with his family members, was attending a ‘puja’ ceremony at a nearby temple in connection with the Shivratri celebrations.

Liquor seized: The Division No. 6 police on Monday arrested Raj Kumar, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar, and seized 30 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. In another case, the Sidhwan Bet police on Monday arrested Nanak Singh and seized 30 litres of illicit liquor from his possession. Both the accused have been booked under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

14 held for gambling: In a campaign against gambling in the city, the Salem Tabri police on Monday conducted two raids at different places in the area and arrested Dado Sharma, Mohan Sharma, Kailash Sharma, Ranjila Sharma, Ram Parkash, Chanda Taaris, Happy Sharma and Om Parkash on charge of gambling.

Mr Harjinder Singh, in charge, CIA-2, raided a gambling den on the Tajpur Road on Tuesday and arrested six persons on charge of gambling. A sum of Rs 30,500 was seized from them. The accused have been identified as Naresh Kumar, alias Toti, Ashok Kumar Ahuja, Kamal Kumar, alias Raju, Kashmiri Lal, Krishan Lal and Subhash Kumar.

Shopkeeper booked: The Division No. 6 police station on Monday booked Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Surinder Nagar, under Section 188 of the IPC for keeping his tea shop open till 1.30 am.

Bodies recovered: Two bodies were found in areas falling under the jurisdictions of the Division Nos. 2 and 3 police stations on Monday. The police has sent the bodies for post-mortem to the Civil Hospital.



Seminar on fashion trends in European market
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 13
The European market will witness new fashion trends in the coming spring and summer season. An urbanised vision of contemporary living with digital art is expected to take over with geometric, angular and chaotic signals in the coming season. These views were expressed by fashion experts at a biannual seminar on ‘‘Fashion forecast for spring and summer season — 2003 in the European market’’ organised here today.

The seminar was organised by the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC ), as part of its export promotion activities in association with National Institute of Fashion Technology ( NIFT), Delhi, and Promostyl, a leading fashion designing company of Paris.

While inaugurating the seminar, Mr R.N. Sharma, senior director, AEPC, said,‘‘ The Ludhiana knitwear exports are gaining momentum in the European markets despite decline in total exports from the country this year to this market. The ability of the local exporters to adapt to the fast changing fashion trends have helped them build up competitive edge in the international market. They should minutely study the changing trends cater to the market.’’

Ms Asha Baxi, a fashion expert from NIFT, in her presentation, said, ‘‘According to our study of the market, the European market will be dominated by the hard-line cotton in dense-weave textures. For men’s wear the inspiration is being drawn from summer military uniforms for citywear, from yachting styles for sportswear and from techno-functionality for urban bear.

Ms Danielle de Diesbach from Promostyl, was of the view that the fashion designers should keep in mind that denim fabric with feminine look would be in fashion as far as women's’ wear were concerned. Denim was coming back to its origin in purplish hues or in block indigo finishes. The focus would be on heritage and origins, classics distinguished by their spirit of moderation and balance.

The experts explained different themes of fashion — radical, noblesse, ideal, and trance, currently influencing the Western markets, with visual aids.

More than 40 representatives from the leading export houses participated in the seminar.

Later, talking to the mediapersons, Mr R.K. Singh, claimed that these seminars had helped the industry become aware of the latest trends in the European markets. Though no statistics were available in this regard, but the feedback from the participants indicated its worthiness.

However, some of the exporters alleged that though they had paid a hefty amount of Rs 1000 per participant, but they failed to get adequate guidance regarding the fashion trends in knitwear garments. The show concentrated more on woven garments, they said.

Referring to the benefits of the seminar, Ms Manpreet, a merchandiser with Nahar Spinning Mills, opined, ‘‘The seminar is more helpful for the fashion designers than other professionals. The AEPC should consider to implement the suggestions of participants such as to bring new experts in fashion and technology every year. The same agency is organising the seminars for the past three years. ’’

Ms Anuradha, another participant suggested that the AEPC should organise special seminars on knitting industry to promote exports. 



Spring collection launched
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 13
Satya Paul, the complete women's wear premier designer brand unveiled its spring summer collection 2002 at Kalamandir in Ludhiana. Presenting an exquisite line of fabrics, saries, scarves, stoles, fabric and a pret collection, bags and accessories the collection ushers in the freshness and vibrancy of spring, which is apparent in the choice of colors, fabrics and design. Sheer fabrics such as georgette, crepe, chiffon, kotta, organdy in a wide range for colours be it thirst quenching limes, cool aqua, wild and beautiful reds, natty oranges and valentine pinks are a treat for the e beautiful, intelligent and desiring woman of today.

The flawless drapes and designs come in a wide range of choose from - intricate embroideries, bright foals, abstract graphics, evergreen polkas, optical illusions, bold and beautiful animal prints each bringing forth desire, drama and dimension the three essential for uniqueness in design.

The look is both Indian as well as Western. The collection boasts of chic short kurtas with trousers, churidaars, salwars and stoles to match. There are spaghetti tops and halters for the bold and traditional styles for the more conservative.

Outlets opened: Spice Telecom has no proposal to provide free incoming calls in the near future. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune here on Wednesday, the company’s Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Mr Rohit Malhotra, said the company had already established its credibility in the market. The company strengthened its customer care network in the city with the inauguration of three more showrooms, one company-owned showroom at Industrial Area-A and two franchisee outlets at Model Town and Gill Road.

While inaugurating the company’s showroom, Mr Vinod Sawhney, MD, Spice Telecom, said: “In order to cater to the needs of the rapidly expanding Spice family we are continuously expanding our already extensive customer care network across Punjab. The opening up of the new outlets in line with our efforts to bring our services closer to our subscribers.” 


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