Sunday, May 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC gets tough with Act violators
36 fined for spreading filth
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 11
In the wake of increasing tendency among residents to throw garbage in front of their houses and indiscriminate littering, which quite often lead to choking of sewer lines and open drains in the city, the Municipal Corporation has decided to get tough. Almost for the first time in the city, 36 persons were fined under penal clauses of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, against throwing garbage in the open during April.

The Municipal Commissioner, Mr R.L. Kalsia, said every year before the onset of rainy season, the entire stretch of open drains was cleaned up and desilted. But the irresponsible manner in which the garbage and other waste material was thrown all over, drains and sewer lines were blocked and the entire exercise of cleaning and desilting became futile.

In order to tackle the problem of choking of open drains, the MC has chalked out a programme and several pre-emptive measures are adopted. Before the first phase of cleaning up of a 2.5-km-long open drain from Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran to the Buddha Nullah was completed in April, the civic body had launched an awareness drive asking residents not to throw domestic waste, plastic bags and garbage into the drain. In addition to the public announcements and messages on local TV network, public notices were put up at 15 places. To drive home the point, 36 persons were fined.

Seeking cooperation of the residents, Mr Kalsia said desilting of the open drain had cost Rs 1 lakh and nearly 3.40 lakh cubic feet silt was removed. Second phase of the drive is expected to be completed before May 31.

According to him, the O and M Cell of the civic body has been directed to complete the desilting of other open drains well before the onset of rains.



Cong changes candidate amidst pay-off charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
The Congress today changed one of its 70 candidates, who were allotted party tickets by the selection committee headed by local MP, Gurcharan Singh Ghalib for the forthcoming elections to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

Mr Kala Jain replaced Mr Ashwani Sharma who had been allotted the ticket in the first list.

Reacting to the decision, a visibly shocked Mr Sharma alleged that Mr Jain had “purchased” the ticket for a heavy price. He claimed that Mr Jain would move around and claim that he can “purchase anything at any price”. Mr Sharma blamed some local leaders, who, he alleged, had taken money for allotting party ticket to Mr Jain.

Mr Sharma asserted that he will not withdraw from the contest. He said he was having the party authority letter. “Even if the party withdraws its authority letter, I will contest independently with the support of my friends from within the party”.

None of the selection committee members was prepared to comment on the issue, although most of them agreed that some “fishy” deal had been struck somewhere, which cost Mr Sharma his seat. Mr Sharma said he was told that the Chief Minister had directed that his candidature be cancelled in favour of Mr Jain.

A number of Congress workers and leaders today expressed their dismay over the party decision. They admitted that it would be difficult for the party to defend this decision.



256 (bogus) votes in a single house!
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
699, Model Gram, Ludhiana. Believe it or not. 256 votes are registered against this address. And they are all claimed to be living in the space constructed on an area of 180 square yards. The house may deserve a place in record books, with so many voters living in such a small space. The area falls in ward number 48 of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, elections to which are scheduled to be held on May 19.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that there are about 20 rooms constructed in this space inhabiting an equal number of families. Ram Sewak, a rickshawpuller from Azamgarh district in UP and one of the tenants of the house, said there might be about 100 people, including children, living in the complex. However, some of the rooms were locked. He claimed that the occupants had gone to their villages in UP and Bihar.

In the latest voters’ list issued for the elections to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation all these voters are listed in booth number 5 of the Ludhiana west assembly segment with the serial number from 831 to 1087 mentioned against 699, Model Gram address. Despite objections filed by a number of people against the bogus entry, the administration did not take any action and all these votes stand valid till today.

This is not the only case of bogus votes having been registered, obviously by some interested parties. There are several such addresses where a number of voters are claimed to be residing. But the spot verification revealed quite otherwise. Similarly in booth number 6, falling in Bharat Nagar area, the residence of an engineer is shown against an address, which is a godown of a timber merchant. The said engineer is residing in Atam Nagar. In another case 97 votes have been registered against 143 at the Nihal Chand Road address falling under booth number 9.

There are several other examples where bogus votes have been registered without the voters residing there. According to Mr Chaman Lal Chatley, a senior BJP leader, there are at least 2000 bogus votes registered in ward number 48. In a representation to the State Election Commissioner, he said he had identified about 1500 such bogus votes. He said the Election Commissioner referred his representation to the ADC (elections), Ludhiana, who reportedly expressed his inability to make any corrections in the voters’ list at this stage. The ADC could not be contacted for his comments as he was said to be out of station.

Mr Chatley alleged that the sitting councillor, Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu, who is again contesting on the Congress ticket had got these votes registered. Despite Chatley’s objections none of the “bogus” votes were deleted from the list. He has now filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which is listed for hearing on May 13. He said he refused to contest from this ward as he was aware of the large number of “bogus” votes registered in the ward by the sitting councillor.

However, Mr Ashu when contacted said that he had nothing to do with preparing of votes. He claimed that the objections raised by Mr Chatley had already been found baseless. He maintained that he had no objection if the “bogus” votes were deleted from the voters’ list.



Ludhianvis groan under scorching heat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
As Ludhiana scorches with the mercury soaring to 45.3º C, the highest temperature recorded in the region, there has been no respite from the heat. The temperature has been at least five degrees above the normal during these days.

Residents are preferring to stay indoors during the day time, except those who have to be present on their work. Much to the respite of many, the traffic on roads has decreased. Swimming pools are witnessing an all-time high presence.

Dealers of air-coolers, air-conditioners and generators are doing brisk business. The moment the electric supply is cut, numerous generators installed in residential and commercial complexes switched on leading to noise and air pollution.

The school-children are waiting for the change in school timing. They are also counting days for their summer break, which in most of the schools will start in the mid of this month.

Girls are seen moving on their two-wheelers with gloves and muffled faces. Umbrellas are also proving to be their good friend.

Doctors advised the residents to stay in shade and avoid sun. They also advised them to drink a lot of water and fluids. They warned against consumption of cut fruits.

The residents are eagerly awaiting rains, but Punjab Agricultural University experts say the dry and hot spell will continue in the coming days.

Farmers are also praying for the rains as the cultivation of paddy nurseries has started in the district. The high temperature can ruin the tender seedlings.

The PAU experts advised the dairy farmers to keep their cattle in sheds throughout the day and offer them water twice or thrice a day. They have been advised to vaccinate their animals against certain diseases like haemorrhagic septicemia. The bee-keepers have also been advised to move the bee colonies at relatively cooler areas or under the shade.



11-month-old murder case solved
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
The police has arrested a female member of a gang of pickpockets, which had severed the hand of one of its members in Delhi and killed another in Ludhiana 11-months ago.

This 11-month-old case of murder of a youth, who was found strangulated to death in a rented house in Bajwa Colony, has come out to be a murder committed by three persons, including a deaf and dumb woman, due to intragang rivalry.

The unique part of the case is that apart from the woman accused, the main eyewitness in the case, Om Parkash, is also deaf and dumb and had the knowledge of the gang members and the incident but had kept quite all these months. He had rented out the house in which the murder took place to the gang members but interestingly previous police investigation had totally ignored him! The man did not report about the incidence as he was wary of the gang members.

The gang is wanted in some other cases of violence done out of gang rivalry or greed for money in Delhi as well. It had shifted to Ludhiana last year to escape the raids of the Delhi police, for its involvements in chopping of the hand of Shakeel Ahmed, a gang member.

The police had to use the services of an interpreter to interact with the deaf and dumb eyewitness to interpret the revelations made by him.

The police has so far succeeded in arresting only the woman member of the gang. She has been identified as Kamla, who had fled away to Amritsar after the murder. The other accomplices — Raju Chikna and Sanjay Builder — are still at large.

According to SSP Harpreet Singh Sidhu, the police had started fresh investigation into the case recently and SP (D) Shiv Kumar and Inspector Mukhwinder Singh, in-charge CIA-Wing-I, were assigned to investigate.

He said that Om Parkash, after being questioned for several days with the help of an interpreter, slowly and gradually spilled the beans.

According to Om Parkash, he had met the gang members early last year in Chaura Bazaar. He did not know their profession but came to learn about it after he rented the room to the gang members. They used to go out in the morning and come back late in the evening with bags full of money. They even quarrelled sometimes but most of the times Bablu, a member, faced the brunt of beatings and was forced to give away his earnings to the other members of the gang. Bitterness grew and Bablu tried to part ways. This infuriated the other members who strangulated him to death on the night of June 24, 2001, and ran away. They escaped through a window and locked the door from outside.



Day to honour your mums
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, May11
“God found it difficult to be everywhere, so he made mothers.” So goes an old saying. The meaning of this adage holds true in the new world also. Mum or ‘maan’ spells love, protection, safety, security and immense trust of a child. The bond between a mother and a child is strongest of all as mothers are known for their sacrifice and care. To acknowledge the sacrifice of mothers and extend gratitude Mother’s Day was incepted.

Ludhianvis do not want to be left behind in extending their love to their mothers. Earlier, observing the Mother’s Day, celebrated on the second Sunday of May, was an outlandish idea but with the world shrinking into a global village the day has found its way into Ludhiana.

Cards and gifts eulogising mothers have flooded gift shops. Amazing varieties of mugs, flowers and small artifacts of many kinds are on display. Rashmi and Gautmi say:

“We dote on our mothers but we find it difficult to express our love for them. Mother’s Day gives us an opportunity to show our unbridled love for our darling mums. We are planning to bake a cake without egg, as they are vegetarians and take them out to lunch.”

The two epitomise the sentiments of the children in Ludhiana who want to make their mothers feel special on the day.

The Mother’s Day began when the first celebrations in honour of mothers were held in the spring in ancient Greece. They paid tributes to Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 17th century, England honoured mothers on “Mothering Sunday”, celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.

In USA, Julia Ward Howe suggested the idea of Mother’s Day in 1872. Howe, who wrote the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, saw Mother’s Day as being dedicated to peace.

Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia is credited with bringing about the official observance of Mother’s Day.

Her campaign to establish such a holiday began as a remembrance of her mother, who died in 1905 and who had, in the late 19th century, tried to establish “Mother's Friendship Days” as a way to heal the scars of the Civil War.

Two years after her mother died, Jarvis held a ceremony in Grafton to honour her. She was so moved by the proceedings that she began a massive campaign to adopt a formal holiday honouring mothers.

In 1910, West Virginia became the first state to recognise Mother’s Day. A year later, nearly every state officially marked the day. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed Mother’s Day as a national holiday.

But Jarvis’ accomplishment soon turned bitter for her. Enraged by the commercialisation of the holiday, she filed a lawsuit to stop a 1923 Mother’s Day festival and was arrested for disturbing the peace at a war mothers’ convention where women sold white carnations — Jarvis’ symbol for mothers — to raise money. “This is not what I intended,” Jarvis said. “I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit!”

When she died in 1948, at the age of 84, Jarvis had become a woman of great ironies.

Never a mother herself, Jarvis told a reporter shortly before her death that she was sorry she had ever started Mother’s Day. She spoke these words at a nursing home, where every Mother’s Day cards from all over the world pour in.

Today, many celebrations are held throughout the world although they do not fall at the same time. Countries like Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia and Belgium also celebrate the day on the same day as USA.



Sexual harassment at workplace common
Most women ignorant about SC guidelines
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, May 11
Almost everyday there are lectures and seminars on ‘Women Empowerment’ which say “Women should be given equal rights”, “Society should give due respect to every woman”. But at the same time, the “empowered Indian woman” continues to be sexually harassed at the workplace. Studies on the issue and growing awareness among women reveal that there is a rise in the cases of sexual harassment of working women despite legislations to curb it. However only a few such cases are reported.

Though, the Supreme Court laid down certain guidelines in 1997, which are to be followed by organisations in cases of sexual harassment yet the National Commission for Women (NCW) in a recent study of government offices found that 60 per cent of the working women were not aware of the Supreme Court’s guidelines in a landmark judgement in a case titles “Vishaka vs State of Rajasthan”. Nearly 50 per cent of the offices have neither put up these guidelines on the notice boards as directed by the court nor have setup complaint committees.

The “Vishaka Guidelines” of Supreme Court named after the petitioner who fought sexual harassment up the Supreme Court define sexual harassment as — * physical contact and advances; * demand or request for sexual favours; * sexually coloured remarks; * display of pornography or any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.

Ms Shubha Sharma (name changed to maintain privacy), who has been married for the past three years, is working in a local private bank said that her boss started complimenting her about six months ago. “I did not take it seriously and thought that it was ‘normal male flirting’, but recently he pressurised me to spend an evening with him”, she said. Shubha is lucky to have an understanding husband, who advised her to politely yet firmly snub her ‘superior’ and the message was well conveyed to the boss.

Dr Meeta Arya (not the real name), an intern in a reputed city hospital said her boss always tried to speak to her at some “private place”. “He always criticises that I am not competent enough to handle the patients and suggests that I should spend some time with him, but I know the hidden motive and try to ignore him. That is the best I can do”, she maintained.

Ms Vasudha Goel, working in a government office revealed,”My superior used to scold me in front of my colleagues and juniors without any reason. And I failed to understand why he was behaving in such a rude manner. My family suggested me to sought out the problem with him. To my utter surprise, when I went to his cabin, he was a totally changed personality. He said he was sorry about his behaviour and even tried to hold my hands”, she added.

Unfortunately, all these educated women expressed ignorance over any such directions by the court. They maintained “Even if we knew of any such guidelines, we would not approach any women commission or the complaint committee, because we know that neither our colleagues not the family members would support us. In such situations, evidence can not be produced”.

Ms Manjit Sodhia, former Principal Government College for Women said it was shocking that most of the educated women were not aware of the guidelines. “They are not even aware of their rights. Even the CBSE-affiliated schools and UGC has directed the colleges to form a redressal committee in which such cases are solved but that is all paper work. Hardly any result come out of it”, she said.

Ms Sodhia stressed that there was a need to make women aware of their rights. "The point of law is to deal with sexual harassment where it creates an unpleasant working environment, results in discrimination against women, makes it extremely uncomfortable for her to continue to work there and affects her sense of well-being and safety”.

However, a more serious fallout rises from the fact that most women continue to remain ignorant nearly five years after the directive, issued by the three member bench of the Supreme Court presided by none other than the then, Chief Justice of India, Justice J.S.Verma. Most women, including representatives of NCW, say gender equality was unattainable till sincere efforts were made to get the Supreme Court directive implemented that ensured no harassment of any kind to women in workplaces.



DSP’s appeal against drug addiction
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, May 11
Mr Tarsem Singh, DSP Mullanpur, appealed to the panchayat members and sarpanches of block Dehlon to inspire the youth to shun drug addiction. He was addressing a gathering of rural people, at a seminar held recently at police station Dehlon.

Mr Singh claimed that drug addiction was the root cause of all evils which were mushrooming among the rural youth . Besides making an appeal to representatives of people, he directed the representatives of NGO’s posted at police station to be polite to public in general and elected representative in particular. He assured that senior citizens and women would not be called to police station in connection with petty complaints. Mr Sikander Singh, Inspector and Mr Nidhan Singh also addressed the gathering.



Delay in issuing NOCs flayed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 11
The Ludhiana Electroplaters Association has deplored the ‘inordinate delay’ in issuance of no objection certificates by the Punjab Pollution Control Board. In a joint statement Mr Joginder Kumar and Mr Manmohan Singh Ubhi, president and secretary of the association, respectively, urged upon the chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board to direct his field staff to issue NOCs without any delay.



Assault on scribe: case registered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 11
The Civil Lines police yesterday registered a case under Sections 420, 468, 379, 342, 323, 295-A, 149 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Gurbakash Singh, Editor, Arjun Patrika, Ludhiana, against Jasdev Singh, a clerk in the DTO office at Ludhiana, Avtar Singh alias Taari, Sohan Singh , a typist in the New Courts and Surinder Singh Sodhi, a car bazaar dealer.

In the FIR (dated May 10, 2002) the complainant stated that on May 8, he had gone to the office of the DTO to cover the nominations for the corporation elections when he got information that some middlemen were getting some papers stamped in the room of clerk Jasdev Singh in a suspicious manner.

Gurbakash Singh further stated that when he informed the DTO about it, the officer sent one of his gunmen with him. When he knocked at the door of the room, the occupants did not open the door. Then he went to have a look from another window of the room at which the men stamping the papers threw the papers out which were picked up by him. The papers collected by him included some unfilled forms and some bank forms relating to taxes. Gurbkash Singh stated that when he told the men that he had obtained the proof of their misdeeds, Avtar Singh got annoyed. Then, at the instance of clerk Jasdev Singh, Avtar Singh and his cronies gathered around him, attacked him and snatched the papers from him. In the ensuing attack, his turban was thrown away and his clothes were torn. But in spite of the attack, he managed to retain some of the challan forms which he later handed over to the DTO. The challan forms were later handed over to the ADTO by the DTO for conducting an inquiry into the incident.

Gurbakash Singh told that he had already complained on March 26 last to the state Transport Commissioner about the bungling in tax forms as a result of which taxes worth crores were being denied to the state exchequer. The so-called middlemen and clerk were already angry with him because of that complaint.



Six booked for stealing vehicles
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 11
The Civil Lines police has registered a case against a gang of vehicle lifters under Sections 379, 467, 468, 471, 392 and 420 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act. The accused have been identified as Naresh Kumar, a resident of Bhagwan Nagar, Dholewal, Rajinder Singh, a resident of Krishna Nagar, Balraj Gupta, a resident of Ashok Nagar, Harjit, a resident of Sultanwind village in Amritsar, Mandip Singh, a resident of Jalandhar, and Rakesh, a resident of Solan.

According to the police, the modus operandi of the gang was to snatch vehicles at gunpoint and prepare forged documents later. The snatched vehicles, with changed documents, were later used in smuggling poppy-husk. Most of the snatched vehicles were generally resold by the gang. No member of the gang has been arrested so far.

Fraud alleged: The Model Town police has registered a case of fraud under Sections 420, 467, 448, 468 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Mukhtiar Singh, owner of a sweets shop in Shimla Puri, against Amarjit Singh, a resident of Daba village, Mohan Singh and Milkhi Ram, both residents of Parbhat Nagar. The complainant alleged that the accused hatched a conspiracy, prepared forged documents of his shop and later took forcible possession of the shop. The accused also stole away his shop goods, he added.

Kidnapping case: The Focal Point police has registered a case of kidnapping under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Jaswant Singh, a resident of Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar, Makkar Colony, against Tahir and Indu of Parkash Da Dhaba, near Gurdwara Dukhnivaran. The complainant alleged that the accused had lured away his 16-year-old daughter on April 29. His daughter had not been traced so far, added the complainant.

11 held for gambling: The city police has arrested 11 persons for gambling.

The Kotwali police has arrested Amarjit Singh, a resident of Bora village, Kirpal Singh, a resident of Nawan Mohalla, and Jagdishwar, who resides near the railway station. The Division No. 4 police has arrested Anil Kumar, a resident of New Shakti Nagar, and the Haibowal police has arrested Lakhwinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh and Vijay Kumar of New Tagore Nagar on the charge of gambling. The police said cash had been seized from their possession.

The Division No. 6 police arrested Ravi Kumar, a resident of Kidwai Nagar, Deepu, a resident of Ambedkar Colony, Suresh Kumar, a resident of Prem Nagar, and Mannpreet Singh, a resident of Kidwai Nagar, while they were gambling in a park near the Cheema chowk on Thursday. All accused have been booked under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act.

Five arrested: The Division No 2 police has arrested three persons on charge of quarrelling at a public place and booked them under Section 160 of the IPC. The arrested persons have been identified as Jagtar Singh, a resident of Gobind Nagar, Jitender Singh and Pardeep Kumar, resident of Shimla Puri. The police of the same division, in another similar case, arrested Raju and Muni Lal, while they were quarreling near the Jagraon bridge on Thursday.

Chain snatched: The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case under section 356 of the IPC against two scooter-borne chain snatchers on the complaint of Raman, a resident of Dyal Nagar. The woman has stated in her complaint that while she was shopping in Sarabha Nagar on Thursday, the accused snatched her chain.

Beaten up: The Division No. 3 police has registered a case of beating under Sections 341, 342, 379 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Baijnath Yadav, a resident of Chhawni Mohalla, against Monu, his mother and a cousin brother. The complainant has alleged that the accused intercepted him on the way, beat him up and also snatched away the cash. However, no arrest has been made so far.

Two held for jamming traffic: The Kotwali police has arrested Bajrangi, a migrant rickshaw-puller, on charge of obstructing traffic by parking his vehicle in a wrong manner on the road and the Division No. 3 police has arrested Vijay Malhotra, a resident of the Neemwala chowk, on charge of parking his scooter in a way as a result of which traffic had been impeded.

Driver booked: The Sarabha Nagar police has booked a jeep driver under Sections 279, 338 and 427 of the IPC on the charge of hitting a motorcyclist, Wassan Singh, on the Sunet bridge on Thursday and injuring him seriously.

24 booked: The Shimla Puri police has registered a case under Sections 452, 323, 427, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Vijay Kumar, a resident of New Janta Nagar, against Laddi, a resident of the same area. The complainant has alleged that the accused entered his dhaba on Thursday evening, beat him up and damaged goods. The accused also threatened him, he added.

The police of the same area has registered a case on the statement of Mr Harjit Singh, a resident of New Amar Nagar, against Ranjit Singh of the same locality, under Sections 323, 341 and 334 of the IPC. The complainant has alleged that the accused intercepted him on the road and beat him up.

On the statement of Ms Paramjit Kaur, a resident of Inder Nagar, Phullanwal, the Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 323 and 341 of the IPC against Darshan Singh and Charan Singh. The woman had alleged that the accused had beaten up her husband, Mr Rajinder Singh, on Thursday.

The Haibowal police, on the statement of Ms Kamaljit Kaur, a resident of Haibowal, has registered a case under Sections 323, 341 and 506 of the IPC against Rajesh Sharma, a resident of Post Office street, Haibowal. The complainant alleged that the accused beat up her husband, Sucha Singh on Thursday and also threatened him.

The Division No. 7 police has registered a case on the statement of Ms Manjit Kaur, a resident of Adarsh Nagar, against Suraj Parshad, Gobind Singh, Pinku, Sonu and 15 others under Sections 452, 323 and 506 of the IPC. Ms Manjit Kaur alleged that the accused beat her up on Thursday and threatened her.

Cash stolen:
Burglars decamped with cash and books related to the business on Friday night from a shop, Pammi Di Hatti.

According to Mr Neeraj Karkra, when he came to the shop on Saturday morning he found the locks of the shop intact, but the cash and books were missing.

Mr Balwinder Singh Randhawa, SHO, Amloh, said the police was investigating the matter.

Four held:
Sidhwan Bet police arrested Avtar Singh alias Tari, Pal Singh, Baljinder Singh, alias Maru, Nirmal Singh of Patti Multani for causing injuries to Bablu and Kulwant Singh with an intention to kill them and registered a case under Sections 307/326/324/506/148/149 of the IPC. The four persons alongwith some others had caused the injuries in order to take revenge.

Cop held for looting vend: The police arrested constable Kuldip Singh for allegedly taking away 45 bottles of XXX Rum. He was aprehended whereas his accomplices — Jaskaran Singh and Kala Nepali fled in the car in which they were carrying the looted liquor. Two cartridges were also recovered from the dash board of the car. Kuldip Singh was arrested and Jaskaran Singh and Kala Nepali managed to escape.

Arrested: The Dehlon police has arrested Vinod Kumar and Ravinder Partap Singh of Hardoi (UP) for cheating Tejinder Singh of Dehlon and has registered a case under Section 420, IPC. According to the information both the accused had contacted Tejinder Singh, who works at a printing press in Dehlon and told him that they were going to Vaishno Devi and their car had developed some defect and hence they wanted to sell five gold rings at the rate of Rs 2,000 per ring. However, Tejinder Singh purchased one ring for Rs 1000. Thereafter he got the same checked and found that it had only 13 per cent of gold.



Two bookies figure in suicide case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
The illegal trade of book makers, mainly involving betting on cricket matches, not only causes financial loss to the government by the use of hawala transactions but can also consume some lives. The latest example is the death of one such alleged punter in Sunam town in Sangrur police district, who committed suicide recently due to the non-payment of money, he had won in betting, by two bookies of Ludhiana.

The case came to light when a team of Sunam police descended on the city to remand of some of the bookies nabbed by the city police early this week. However, the police had to return empty-handed as the two bookies wanted by them were still at large.

Police sources revealed to Ludhiana Tribune that a Sunam resident, whose name could not be known, had allegedly committed suicide. He was a punter and used to bet heavily on cricket matches. He had lost a huge amount of money but continued to bet. Subsequently he made some money but the two bookies — Parveen Kumar alias Tony and Gulati — did not pay him his dues.

The man allegedly committed suicide and left a note stating that he was under huge debt as the two did not pay him a large sum on which he had based his investments. On the basis of the note, the police registered a case of abetment to suicide against the two Ludhiana-based bookies.

Sources said after learning about the busting of bookies’ racket in Ludhiana, the Sunam police found out that the names of the two accused wanted by them in the case also figured in police investigations. The team, however, could not find the culprits as they were yet to be arrested by the police. 



Concern over hike in raw material prices
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 11
A sudden spurt in the prices of iron and steel products like HR Coils and the basic raw material of CR Strips and allied items of steel has endangered the very survival of the cycle and parts industry, auto parts industry. and other engineering units in the city.

Taking a serious note of the situation, Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president and Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) observed that this unprecedented hike in the prices of basic raw material and allied steel products during the past one-and-a-half months had led to a big rise in the cost of production, rendering the manufacturing units here unviable and uncompetitive.

According to Mr Avtar Singh, the prices of HR Coils had shot up from Rs 12,500 to 14,500 per metric tonne exclusive of central excise duty. There were four major manufacturers of HR Coils in the country both in the public and private sector and all of them had raised the prices of the material by almost Rs 2000 per metric tonne. The adverse impact of such unprecedented hike in the prices of basic raw materials for engineering industry had not only put in jeopardy, the local sales of engineering products but had also had shrunk the profitability of the exporters.

Similarly the prices of furnace oil had also risen from Rs 9 to 14 per litre within two months and the prices of M S Rounds had registered an upward trend from Rs 13,600 to 14700 per metric tonne during the past one month. The arbitrary and sudden spurt in prices of the raw material for engineering industry had sounded the death knell of the industrial units here.

Mr Pardhan has urged the Union Minister for Steel to intervene immediately to bring under control the sudden upward trend in the prices of iron and steel.

He asserted that the rate of draw back allowed to the exporters would not go up in proportion to the sudden hike in the prices of the raw material and as a result the exporters would not be able to compete in the global market.



‘Subsidy withdrawal a setback to industry’
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 11
Mr Surinder Singhi, member national executive, All-India Steel Re-rolling Association (AISRA), in a press note here today termed the Punjab Government's recent decision to impose a ban on capital and interest subsidy granted to new and existing industrial units as anti-industrial growth especially when the industry is passing through recession.

Mr Singhi further stated that letters have been received by the district industries centers not to process new cases for the grant of subsidy till the new industrial policy is announced. It will affect the industrial growth. The state government should withdraw subsidies already being granted to agriculture sector, which is already exempted from sales tax and income tax, to help sustain the industry, he commented.

He has welcomed the decision of the state government to file a special leave petition (SLP) in Supreme Court challenging the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashing the abolition of octroi in the state. He has proposed to introduce entry tax in place of octroi, which will provide requisite revenue to local bodies for the development of urban areas.

Mr Singhi also requested the state government to keep at abeyance the proposal to hike the power tariff and to withdraw the free power supply being given to farmers.



Street Smart Challenge contest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 11
Maruti Street Smart Challenge, a competition open exclusively to Maruti car owners, is being organised in Ludhiana on Sunday (May 12) to improve customer-company relationship, according to a communication from Maruti Udyog. This event is the first of its kind in the region and the city has been selected due to a large customer base here.

According to a communication, four pre-event ads are being released before the event day wherein a brief about the event is given and the customers have been advised to call any of the Maruti dealer to register for the event. They have also been informed that there will be 10 clue points in the Sunday newspapers which participants need to crack and reach these points. They could chose any route.

All the participants start from their respective homes and chalk out their own plan to cover all the checkpoints. When the participant reaches the first checkpoint, he will be issued a time card and odometer reading and time is entered. The participant then goes to all the checkpoints and ends at the checkpoint he had started from. So all the participants will cover the same distance. Time and odometer reading is entered in time card at each of the checkpoints.

The time card is taken at end checkpoint after the participant has covered all the 10 checkpoints. At each checkpoint a gift is given to the participant that will be provided by the dealers. Starting and ending time for the event (which is the maximum time limit) is 8 am to 1 pm.

According to the company, the winner will be decided based on the distance covered, time taken to cover all the checkpoints and average speed during the route. The fast drivers and very slow drivers will be penalised . So the participants who maintain the speed limits and know the city well are likely to be the winners. In the evening prize distribution will start at 6 pm and top 100 winners will be invited for the function. Top 20 winners will be given the prizes.

The first prize is a trip for two from Delhi to Bangkok, the second prize is Maruti Genuine Accessories worth Rs 10,000 and the third prize is Kenwood car stereo system. Besides, there are 10 Nippon car safety systems to be won.

The co-sponsors for the Street Smart Challenge are Nippon Audiotronix, Ebony and ICICI car loans.



Seminar for architects
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 11
A seminar on Modern trends in lighting — showcasing ultra-modern range of luminaires and fans was organised here by Crompton Greaves Limited for the Ludhiana Architects Association.

On display were T5 lighting fixtures in place of conventional tube fixtures, modern type of ceiling lights, floodlights and down lighters and tower fans. A Crompton Greaves lighting team from Mumbai, headed by Deputy General Manager S. Chakraborti, explained about lighting design software for various installations, including offices, homes and trade centres. In a bid to equip the architects with this software, the team talked at length about technicalities of the products.

Addressing the gathering Mr A.K. Maniktala, branch manager, said the company laid great stress on giving quality products. Fans Division in charge Vipin Aggarwal and Luminaires Division in charge Puneet Dhawan said company executives would be available in the city to address the needs of the customers.

Mr Ravinder Khosla and Mr Arjan Dev of the Ludhiana Architects Association were actively involved in arranging the seminar.


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