Monday, June 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


55 pc voting in ZP, samiti poll
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 9
There was a lack of enthusiasm among voters for the Zila Parishad and the Block Samiti elections. Only 55 per cent polling was reported for the 10 Zila Parishad and 68 Block Samiti seats in the district here today.

Seven Congress candidates had already been declared elected unopposed. Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr B. Chandra Sekhar, SSP, claimed that the polling was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from any booth in the district. They said the counting would start tomorrow at 8 am.

A survey of the area revealed that there was a wave in favour of the Congress. Rural voters, who were considered to be the traditional vote bank of the Akalis, were seen sitting in the pandals of Congress candidates. Ludhiana Tribune team visited the villages of Madhopur, Bhatmajra, Nabipur, Hansali, Badali, Dadiana, Ghel, Railon, Nandpur, Marwa, Karimpura, Nogawan, Kaleran, Sanipur, Tarkhan Majra, Ambey Majra and Dadheri. People told that the crusade against corruption launched by the Chief Minister had inspired them to support Congress candidates. They said they had never hoped that the Akalis whom they had been supporting blindly had been indulging in corruption. The Congress seemed to have reached to the grassroot level and infiltrated into the strong rural vote bank of the SAD.

At many places, there were no booths of the SAD candidates, whereas the Congress had booths everywhere. In most of the villages the candidates arranged a common polling booth and the voters were taking slips from the same booth. People manning these booths said they belonged to different parties and would vote for different candidates, but just to maintain peace and communal harmony they had decided to erect only one booth. They were also seen discussing the corruption issue and the involvement of Akali leaders in various scams. The PPSC scam was also being discussed by these rural people and they were aware of every latest headway in the case.

Interestingly, no leader of BSP, which was considered to be a big political force in the state, was seen campaigning in the district. The party failed to put up its candidates even on the reserved seats.


Ludhiana records 50 pc polling
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
The Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti Polls passed off peacefully and 50 per cent polling was recorded in the district.

The highest percentage - 60 per cent was recorded in Ludhiana - 1 and Ludhiana 2 zones, while the lowest polling, 35 to 40 per cent, was recorded at Raikot, Sidhwan Bet and Khanna areas.

The sweltering heat kept people indoors and till noon only 20- 25 per cent polling was recorded in most of the zones. However, polling picked up after 3 p.m. and in many villages supporters could be seen exhorting voters to cast their franchise. Voters too were being openly ferried to the polling stations. 


Liquor flowed despite ban
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

A liquor-vend worker on the Dehlon-Gujjarwal road brings a liquor bottle
A liquor-vend worker on the Dehlon-Gujjarwal road brings a liquor bottle from the rear of the vend, despite the orders of the DM prohibiting the sale of liquor. — Photo Inderjit Verma

Pakhowal (Ludhiana), June 9
In stark violation of the orders of the District Magistrate regarding the closure of liquor vends and ahatas in view of the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections, liquor was sold in clandestine manner in rural areas of the district today. The orders regarding the ban on defacement of property were also violated with impunity.

While the liquor vend owners chose to keep the shutters down, they had asked their workers to sell liquor from the back doors. But they did so only after fully convincing themselves that the customer was genuine.

Ludhiana Tribune team visited a number of villages in the district and found that despite the ban, it was not very difficult to buy any brand of liquor. The only problem the buyers faced was that it was being sold in black and was costing at least more than 50 per cent of the actual price.

The team witnessed the entire scenario by standing at a safe distance from a vend on the Dango-Gujjarwal road. Some persons were lying on cots placed at a safe distance from the vends. These persons got up after spotting a prospective buyer. When a member of the Ludhiana Tribune team asked for liquor from a man, he at once responded positively but then was taken aside by one of his colleagues who seemingly had got suspicious. The man then refused to sell liquor quoting the DM orders.

The team then tried the move at another liquor vend on the Gujjarwal-Dehlon road. An employee of the vend, when asked for liquor, said it was available, but the stock was less. He was given Rs 60 for a bottle of beer although the market rate was Rs 40 only.

Enquiries from residents of Alamgir, Dehlon, Raipur and Pakhowal villages revealed that same was the story at other places also and the liquor flowed freely in the district last night.

The District Magistrate, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, had, two days ago, ordered the closure of country and foreign liquor vends on June 9 and 10 (on polling and counting days, respectively) under Section 54 of the Punjab Excise Act.

Besides the violation of the ban on liquor, the team also witnessed violation of the Defacement of Public Property Act. The candidates and their workers seemed to be caring two hoots for the violation as posters and pictures were seen pasted on walls, buildings, notice boards, telephone poles, exchanges and many other places.

While during the MC elections, over 60 cases of violation of this Act were registered, but in the Zila Parishad election, the registration of not even a single case has come to notice.


Orders to attach SBI property
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, June 9
In a rare case of its kind in the region, the State Bank of India has been penalised for wrongly debiting Rs 17,370.84 to the cash credit account of a local export firm, Guide International, on August 6, 1983, after pursuing the legal matter for about 16 year by the plaintiff. But the bank officials are not ready to digest this and are allegedly trying to avoid the order.

The Civil Judge, Mr Rajesh Ahluwalia, has awarded the degree for the payment of Rs 1,00,731.40 to Guide International on account of the wrong entry made by the bank in the books. Mr Ahluwalia has also ordered for the attachment of the property in the case of default in payment of the amount which includes computer system, cash with the cashier of the bank to the extent of Rs 1,00,731.40, 50 chairs and 20 tables of the main branch of the bank at Civil Lines, Ludhiana.

One of the partners of the firm, Mr S.K. Sharma, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune disclosed that earlier, the judge had ordered the bank to pay Rs 1,00,731.40 on account of the amount and interest on it, but the bank did not pay the said amount. Ultimately the firm had to file an application for attachment.

Mr Sharma further disclosed that the court had ordered for attachment on June 4, 2002, and ''we approached the bank officials for recovery of the amount. But despite repeated requests, the payment was not made''.

Mr Sharma alleged that the bank officials had misbehaved with him and other officials of the firm when they approached them for the recovery of the amount. He alleged that the bank manager concerned refused to make payment and said that they had already applied for a stay order in a higher court. While the firm had already filed a caveat, he added.

Mr Sharma said, ''Although we had spent much more than what we would get after the court order, the entrepreneur like me wanted to give a clear message to the bankers that we could fight.''


2-Sikh veterans feel betrayed
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, June 9
The Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, laid a wreath at the 2-Sikh Infantry Martyrs’ Memorial in Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum on the Jalandhar road here today, but several veterans of the battalion were unhappy at being left out of the gathering.

Many such unhappy ex-servicemen are in the twilight of their life, with only memories of the regiment to cherish. They say that it is an insult to them that they were not invited to the gathering, where they could have met old buddies and refreshed memories.

Even Lt Col H.S. Grewal (retd), oldest surviving officer of the 2-Sikh Infantry at 86, was not invited by the organisers to the get-together. He said here today that he was not the only one to have missed out on the invitation. “I received a call from Armour Karnail Singh, another veteran of the battalion, who lives in Khanpur village. He, too, was upset at not receiving the invitation,” said Lt Col Grewal.

He had joined the 2-Royal Sikh Regiment in 1935 and received commission in 1940 when Maharaja Yadwinder Singh was the Company Commander. “We used to play hockey together and Yadwinder Singh recommended my name for the services and I was selected. This battalion was, later, renamed 2-Sikh Infantry,” he said.

Later, he joined the OTS at MHOW and was selected for the Armoured Core, the only one to achieve this out of 350 officers. He also served EP Malaysia as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was part of Four Horse, previously named Hudson’s Horse.

He has participated in a number of wars and killed hundreds of enemy soldiers. He retired in 1954 and, now, lives in Model Town here. He has arthritis. “Except this pain in the knees, I have no problem. Even at 86, I am strong and fit to travel. Had my fellow officers and I received the invitation today, it would have been a great experience for us.”



Old regiment receives its Captain
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, assured members of the 2 Sikh Association here today that a one-time grant of Rs 50 lakh for the completion of Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum and an annual grant of Rs 18 lakh for its upkeep would soon be released. He also said a special advisory cell for redressing the grievances of ex-servicemen would be formed in the CMO.

He was here to attend the general-body meeting of the regiment of his father and grandfather. He is the president of the association. The CM laid a wreath at the war memorial of the 2nd Battalion of the Sikh Regiment and planted a sapling in the memory of the martyrs.

The CM told the gathering that his government would give all facilities approved for ex-servicemen and their families. He said gallantry award winners would receive due honours. Regarding the backlog in the ex-servicemen quota in government jobs, the CM said he would look into the matter and take necessary steps. He said, till date, 6 PCS posts and 137 other jobs had been given to war widows or the next of the kin of the Army martyrs.

Capt Amarinder Singh said he had a deep regard for all ex-servicemen of the regiment. He also accepted the office of the association president for life, offered to him earlier at a meeting of the executive committee of the body. The CM said he would visit the places where 2-Sikh Infantry and the other office-bearers of the association were working to boost the morale of the forces. He said special identity cards would be issued to the ex-servicemen of the battalion, so that, all such veterans could have an easy access to his office. Earlier, Brig K.S. Kahlon, Director Sainik Welfare Board, talked about the objectives of the museum and the forthcoming events. He sought the refurbishing of the galleries.

He assured the CM that the work on galleries would be expedited once the funds were released. Mr S.S. Biswas, adviser to the museum administration, assured the CM that once the funds were released, the work could be finished within six months. The CM said more material for the museum could be acquired from the Sikh Regiment, the Department of Archaeology and Culture and the Patiala Museum.

Prominent among the persons who attended the meeting included Mr Rakesh Pandey, State Minister for Printing and Stationery; Col Harwant Singh, senior vice-president of the 2-Sikh Association; Brig D.S. Sidhu, vice-president of the body; and Col A.S. Dharni, Secretary of the Ex-servicemen Welfare Association.

The CM, later, interacted with old timers and listened to their grievances.


Mystery shrouds child’s disappearance, recovery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
Mystery shrouds the sudden disappearance of a seven-year-old son of a gardner from his house in Gurdev Nagar last evening and his subsequent reappearance at Ghumar Mandi this afternoon. While the child claimed that he was kidnapped by a man, beaten with his hands and legs tied and confined at a jungle-like place, the police is doubting his story.

If the child, Rahul, is to be believed he was kidnapped for being selling off to someone. But he managed to escape from the clutches of the unknown kidnapper. The child said he tricked the man near Ghanta Ghar chowk, when he was taking him to meet a prospective buyer.

Police sources said a complaint about the missing child was made to the police control room today morning at about 10 a.m. They said the police was relieved that the child was found, but suspected his theory of kidnapping and intended sale.

Sources said a number of such cases had taken place several time in the past, where a minor child went away on his own and on returning cooked up a tale of kidnapping or some other weird incident. They, however added that the police would not take the incident casually and thorough investigation would be conducted. Police sources said if the child’s story was true then it was an alarming development.

The parents of the child are convinced that the child was kidnapped to some one. Raja Ram and Raj Kumari, father and mother of the child respectively, said Rahul had disappeared late last evening. They looked for him at every probable place, but could not trace him.

In the morning, they contacted Mr Bau Ram Kashyap, a fruit supplier and president of the Ghumar Mandi Shopkeepers Association, who was known to the family. Mr Kashyap said they complained to the police.

Today late afternoon, someone told Mr Kashyap that a weeping child was seen roaming in the market. He was later recognised as the missing boy. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, the child said he was walking down the street in front of his house when a man, wearing turban, came and kidnapped him. He was taken to some dark place and his hands and legs were tied. He was dumped under a tree. The man used to beat him up whenever he cried or tried to raise an alarm.

He was taken to some unknown place in the morning. The man was saying that he would sell him to some persons. Near the Ghanta Ghar chowk, the child told the man that he wanted to answer the call of nature. Once in a public toilet, he ran away and started weeping loudly. Some persons stopped him and arranged that he reached Ghumar Mandi.

The child’s parent said they had no enmity with anyone and the child had not run away on his own. They said they lived happily with their three children. Besides Rahul, they had a four-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. They live in a small house in plot belonging to someone else. 


Without power for 13 hrs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 9
Ahmadgarh, 27 km from here, went without power for 13 hours at a stretch — from 8.30 am to 9.30 pm and then for most part of the night — following a snag in the 66-KV grid supplying power to the town.

It was the hardest day of the current summer season so far by all means for the residents as even the inverters installed by some people at their homes were exhausted. The people heaved a sigh of relief when power was restored at around 9.30 pm.But even then they had to bear with the frequent cuts throughout the night. The noise of generators was an added nuisance. It was only in the morning that power supply to the town was normalised.

Today being Sunday, no official of the Electricity Department was available for comments.


NRI killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 9
Mr Jagdish Lal Chahal, vice-president, Vishwa Guru Ravi Dass Mission, UK, who had come to the city last week in connection with the damage caused to his ancestral property, died in a road accident, near here yesterday.

A condolence meeting was held by the Ludhiana chapter of the mission today which was attended, among others, by the mission chairman, Mr Jaswant Kataria, Mr Shiv Ram Saroye, president, Mr Amarjit, Master Gurmeet, Mr Tara Chand, Dr Jagdev Rai and Mr Roshan Lal.

The last rites of Mr Chahal would be performed at Boparai in Jalandhar district, his ancestral village.


Gang of thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
The police has foiled a major incident by busting a gang of seven youngsters which was planning to commit a robbery in one of the new colonies on the outskirts of the city here last evening.

According to police sources, personnel of the CIA Staff-2 led by SI Gurpreet Singh received information that a gang was planning to strike in a big way. A raid was carried out in which the seven accused, including Gagandeep, Satpal, Amarjit, Manmohan, Atul Sharma and Ajay, alias Deepak, were arrested from a room in Grain Market on the GT Road. The police recovered two knives, two iron rods, besides a cleaver, from their possession.

After sustained interrogation the accused revealed that they were all initially pickpockets. But they were fed of the small pickings and wanted to strike it rich and for this purpose were planning a big strike in one of the new colonies mushrooming around the city.


Gursher wins chess title
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 9
Gursher Singh, a student of class IX of GTB National Senior Secondary School, Shimlapuri who had been state champion in the under-12, under-14 and under-16 categories, proved his supremacy over others when he secured full five points to emerge winner in the junior section of the Ludhiana District Chess Championship which concluded at RS Model Senior Secondary School, Model Town, here today. In the senior section, Ajay Bawa collected five points to win the title.

The first 10 positions in the senior section were as follows: Ajay Bawa ( 5/5 points) 1, Raj Kamal (4/5 points) 2, Jaipreet Singh (4/5 points) 3, Anirudh Garg (4/5 points) 4, Rajeev Verma (4/5 points) 5, Diljeet Singh (4/5 points) 6, Satrajeet Sharma (4/5 points) 7, Harminder Singh (4/5 points) 8, Ashok Kumar (3.5/5 points) 9 and Sanjay Garg (3/5 points) 10.

Junior section - 3, Gursher Singh (5/5 points) 1, Divjot Singh (4/5 points) 2, Priyanka Kalra( 3.5/5 points) 3, Ankur Mahajan (3.5/5 points) 4, Akhil Mehra (3/5 points) 5, Sumit Marwaha (3/5 points) 6, Piyush Kalra (3/5 points) 7, Mani Marwaha (3/5 points) 8, Hari Mittal (3/5 points) 9 and Madhur Gupta (3/5 points)10.

These players will represent the Ludhiana district in the Punjab State Chess Chamapionship scheduled to be held next month at Jalandhar.

Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, gave away prizes to the winners.

Cricket meet

The Chauhan Club thrashed the FTI XI by 66 runs and the PAU XI defeated the Singhania Club by 39 runs in the 7th Invitation Cricket Cup Tournament being organised by the College of Agriculture at the PAU ground here on Saturday.

Brief scores — Chauhan Club 203 for 9 (Rajnish 31, Ballu 26, Ajay 31, Manjeet 2 for 42, Harmeet Bawa 3 for 40 and Jagdev 2 for 47)

FTI XI: 137 for 8 ( Jagdev 28, Manjeet 26, Richa 3 for 24 and Vicky 3 for 20

In the second match, PAU XI defeated the Singhania Club by 36 runs.

Brief scores — PAU XI: 185 for 6 ( Baljeet 59, Varun 59, Nitin 27, Harjeet 10 not out, Ashu 2 for 14 and Vishu 2 for 27); Singhania Club: 146 for 9 ( Rajan 20, Sanjay Singla 40, Mohit 19, Varun 2 for 33 and Baljeet 2 for 21).

Sargodha school win

Sargodha National Public School scripted an easy 5-wicket win against LDCA XI to begin their title hunt in a style on the fourth day of the Sixth Chaman Lal Malhotra Cricket Cup Tournament for Boys u-15 being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association at the Arya College for Boys ground here today.

Brief scores: LDCA XI (B) — 112 all out in 23.3 overs ( Savneet Singh 28, Vishavpreet 23, Gagandeep Dhand 12, Pankaj Kumar 3 for 28, and Sushyant Kohli 2 for 10); Sargodha National Public School — 116 for 5 in 15.5 overs (Dushyant Kohli 13, Amarpal Singh 30, Gagandeep Dhand 2 for 6 and Amit Sharma 2 for 26.


Hockey matches

In the ongoing series of hockey matches being played at Guru Nanak Stadium here, Khanna defeated Jalandhar 1-0, thus making its path clear for the semi-finals to be held on June 10. The goal was scored by Avtar Singh.

In another match played between the teams of Amritsar and Hoshiarpur, Amritsar secured a thrilling victory 2-0. Prabhjit Singh and Gurdev Singh secured two goals for Amritsar.

In another match, Ropar defeated Nawanshahr 1-0, the goal for Ropar being secured by Navdeep Singh.

The semi-finals shall now be played between the teams of Khanna and Amritsar and Ropar and Ludhiana on June 10.

Besides, the first and second teams shall be awarded on June 11 with a prize of Rs 21,000 and Rs 11,000, respectively, as informed by Prof R.S. Pali, vice-president of the championship.

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