Tuesday, July 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Ex-head of Improvement Trust acquitted in Vigilance inquiry
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
A former Chairman of the Improvement Trust Ludhiana and BJP ideologist-cum-RSS activist has been acquitted in a Vigilance inquiry initiated against him early this year to investigate his alleged role in irregularities committed in the allotment of plots under various schemes of the trust.

Vigilance sources said the local Vigilance Bureau conducting the inquiry had found no evidence against Mr Vyas in the case. No significant irregularities in the allotment of plots, first made in 1966, and some two years ago were found against him.

The inquiry report assumes significance in the wake of the recent controversy over the alleged political vendetta started by the Congress government in the state. The SAD-BJP leaders have been making allegations that the Congress government was falsely implicating their leaders and officials with the former government.

The local Vigilance Bureau compiled the report along with a large number of documents seized from the Improvement Trust and sent it for final orders to the state Vigilance Bureau. Sources said the inquiry report would be examined and orders of formally acquitting the former chairman or issuing orders of further inquiry would only be made by the state Vigilance officials.

Commenting on the inquiry outcome, an elated Mr Madan Mohan Vyas, who had no information about his acquittal, said truth has prevailed. Mr Vyas said he was being implicated in a false case by some politicians and bureaucrats having vested interests

“I suffered because of not singing to the tune of certain politicians and bureaucrats who were pressing me during my tenure as Improvement Trust chief for illegal or out-of-the-way works. I would not take their names but would say that some political bias was definitely working against me’’.

Mr Vyas specifically sought to thank the present government, which has conducted an impartial inquiry. He said contrary to popular perception, no political vindictiveness seems to have taken place in his case.

Mr R.P.S. Bajwa, SP (Vigilance), confirming the inquiry report, said the State Vigilance Department had ordered a regular inquiry into the case after a committee formed by the state government last year had recommended a thorough probe in to the allotment of plots amounting to over Rs 10 crore in February this year. He said the department had recovered several documents from the Improvement Trust Department and grilled a number of officials but nothing substantial had been found.

The case pertained to the alleged irregularities committed in the allotment of plots to kin of a woman, late Bhagwant Kaur. She was allotted 16 plots in 1966. After her death, two women — Devinder Kaur and Opinder Kaur — claimed their right over the plots stating they were the legal heirs to the property. The complaint made to Vigilance Department said that some more plots were allotted to the two women in the name of the deceased woman.

The controversy centered around making allotments in the name of a dead woman by the Trust during the tenure of Mr Vyas. The plots were situated in Block-K of Sarabha Nagar besides Rajguru Nagar and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.



In PAU punishment does not fit the crime
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Is the punishment for speaking to the Press against the working of the university, doing private practice while working on the campus and molesting a girl student is almost same on the Punjab Agricultural University campus?

The answer is in the affirmative if the latest controversial decision on the professor accused of molesting a girl on the campus is any indication. PAU had recently reinstated Dr Harmit Singh Thind, a soil scientist, who was indicted by an inquiry committee after he was accused of molesting his girl student in August last year.

PAU has cancelled two increments of Dr Thind with cumulative effect besides transferring him to the PAU Research Centre, Bathinda. Interestingly, the authorities had cancelled two increments of a veterinary doctor last year after he was indicted by an inquiry for doing private practice while working on the campus.

In another case, the authorities had cancelled an increment of Dr R.K. Batra, Professor in the Department of English for allegedly speaking to the Press against the appointment of Dr K.S. Aulakh as the Vice-Chancellor of PAU.

After the recent development the biggest question that stares PAU in its face is that should the punishment for a person guilty of molesting a girl be equivalent to that given to the teachers for minor offences like speaking to the Press or doing private practice ? Is PAU doing some hanky panky in the case?

Meanwhile, many girl students of the university while talking to The Tribune on the condition of anonymity expressed concern about the case. They said it was ridiculous that the authorities were trying to shield the guilty. They also said that they had lost faith in the decision-making process of the PAU authorities after their handling about the case.

A postgraduate student said that the victim was the only girl to raise a voice against the sexual exploitation meted out to her. She said that the case was a tip of the iceberg as there were many such cases that went unreported either due to the attitude of the girls or due to the fear of experiencing problems in getting a degree as there is internal evaluation in PAU. She said that after this case many girls had gathered courage not to take such things lying down but the punishment given to the teacher has really discouraged them.

Interestingly, the official explanation of the university was that the sensitive decision was taken on active guidance of the students and their leaders in the PAU. This was revealed to the Ludhiana Tribune by Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, himself, while commenting on the issue.

He said: “It was agreed between me, the students and other senior PAU officials that the molestation episode was not completely confirmed. By stopping his increments and transferring him to Bathinda, we have given him a befitting punishment as his family life has been completely disrupted.”

Dr Aulakh said the university has also barred the teacher from any teaching or guidance work for two years. When asked whether the university has given any weight to its own inquiry which indicted the teacher, he said that was just based on circumstantial evidence.



MC officials in dock over bylaw violations
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 1
The noose is slowly but surely tightening around the necks of quite a few officials of building wings of almost all the Municipal Corporations in Punjab who were said to be a party to grave violations of building bylaws in the major towns of Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana during last five years. In the process, these officials were alleged to have made unimaginable personal fortunes while causing massive loss of revenue to the civic bodies.

To drive home the point that under directions from the new regime, the Department of Local Government meant business, a collective First Information Report had already been lodged with the police against the building branch officials posted at Jalandhar, while the vigilance cell of the Department of Local Government had also carried out exhaustive inspection of thousands of files of the building branches of MCs in three major towns. It was further learnt that the government had set up a team of senior police officials to carry out thorough investigations as a follow-up action to the inspection conducted by vigilance wing of the Local Government Department.

Other relevant steps initiated by the department to nab the civic officials, who had worked in the building wings and were said to be in league with builders’ mafia in the major towns included calling for details of all postings in building wings during the last five years and transfers of several key officials like Senior Town Planners deployed at Jalandhar and Ludhiana and the Municipal Town Planner at Jalandhar given effect only on Friday last.

Information collected by Ludhiana Tribune indicated that the team of Vigilance Department had not only collected relevant details of thousands of files from all the four zones in the city a few days back but quite a few crucial files were taken away to Chandigarh and later concerned officials of the building branch were summoned to headquarters to explain cases of serious violations of building bylaws in scores of commercial and other category VI buildings.

Sources in the MC revealed that unlike the civic bodies at Jalandhar and Amritsar, there were no instances of ‘missing files’ and most of the relevant record of building branch was available. Further, the MC administration had claimed in a report submitted to the Department of Local Government that the final disposal of some 700-odd cases of violation of building bylaws was pending.

However, the inspection by the vigilance wing had brought to light several cases of non-compoundable violations of the norms and dragging of even compoundable offences for years together.



‘Ghuggi’ has a dig at music videos
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
“People are themselves responsible for the proliferation of music videos which cannot be watched in family sitting rooms. If every household pledged not to watch such programmes, we will bring the mushrooming industry to its knees,” asserts comedian Gurpreet Singh of the ‘Ghuggi Express’ programme fame, which is being aired on Zee Network’s Alpha Punjabi Channel.

He was in the city today to attend celebrations on the telecast of the 100th episode which enjoys top ratings on the channel. Accompanying him were Sky TV producer Sukhwant Dhadda and other members of the crew.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, ‘Ghuggi’, as he insists on being addressed, said it was a matter of shame that such programmes were being watched in thousands of households across the region once known for upholding traditions, and accorded the greatest respect to its womenfolk. And to imagine it is being done in the guise of being forward, he pointed out.

Flanked by his government teacher wife Kuljeet Kaur and three-year-old daughter Sukhandeep, he laughingly commented that such was the popularity of his character that his real name had been forgotten by even his family members and sometimes it takes a moment to realise that someone is calling him. At this point his wife intervened, saying that this was a bit of an exaggeration as far as family members were concerned.

On his future projects he said the programme was going global and new episodes would be shot abroad. This is being done to tap the vast Punjabi audience overseas. Like his namesake, this ‘Ghuggi’ too has to flit all over, he added in a lighter vein.

He is also planning some new parodies on popular songs and a cassette will be launched soon. A hitherto untapped medium in Punjabi — full length comedies inspired by the successful Pakistani ones — is also in the pipeline, he revealed.

Commenting on the election campaign he did for the Akali-BJP alliance during the elections, he said it was purely a professional and commercial assignment and he had no political affiliations.

On his journey from the amateur drama club of the GND University to a slapstick comedian to a successful anchor, he said he was interested in acting from his childhood and this nascent passion blossomed through his years in school, college and university.

“The big break came when he was cast in the popular ‘Raunaq mela’ programme on Doordarshan. He acted as a sidekick to famous comedians and somehow the name ‘Ghuggi’ stuck. Soon everyone was calling me by that name. It did not matter so long as people remembered me and I got paid for programmes”, he added laughingly.

“It is a matter of fate that I started out as an actor but became a comedian, not that I don’t enjoy it. Certain Punjabi film offers too have come my way and I am seriously thinking about them”, he revealed.

The comedian is presently settled in Jalandhar and frequently travels for his programmes.

Commenting on the programmes being produced by Sky TV Productions, Mr Sukhwant Dhadda said his anti-war film ‘Nishaat’ is due for release. It is based on the happening in a family settled in Dharamshala in the backdrop of the 1971 war.

On why he did not attempt a film after ‘Ek Chadar Maili Se’ starring Hema Malini and Rishi Kappor, he said it was not a commercial success initially although it made profits later on. Once producers do not recover their money, they are reluctant to invest their money.

Next in line is a film ‘Gatha’, a joint production between Korea, France, England and India, he added.



Soccer mania too much for cricket
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
For a while it seemed that cricket had lost to soccer as the World Cup football final generated a lot of excitement and enthusiasm here with almost the entire city coming to a virtual halt, as people stayed indoors to watch the ultimate clash between the two soccer giants, Brazil and Germany. The interest was so intense that people forgot about the cricket match being played between India and Sri Lanka in England, which was being telecast live on the ESPN.

Almost all leading hotels in the city like Majestic Park Plaza, Nanda and others had installed giant screens to show the football final. In fact most of these hotels had advanced booking. Some places were so overcrowded that many people, mostly youngsters had to watch the entire game standing. With three great stars — Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho — on their side, Brazil remained obvious favourites among the soccer fans here.

And, not unexpectedly, the match generated huge betting with stakes running into crores of rupees. For most of the punters, the day proved to be lucky as the result came on expected lines. When the game started the bets opened at 1:1 for Brazil, 1:2 for a draw (in stipulated 90 minutes) and 1:4 for Germany. According to the sources, most of the punters placed their stakes on Brazil, while some preferred a draw. Very few people had put their money on Germany.

However, when the score remained 0-0 in the first half, the rate for Brazil went up at 1:1.5 and it came down for the draw (in stipulated time) at 1:1.6, while it remained the same (1:4) for Germany. But two successive goals by Ronaldo in the 67th and 79th minutes drastically brought down the rates for Brazil as by that time the result of the game had almost become obvious.

While for the bookies and punters it was another game to make money, for the youngsters, whose interest was precisely confined to the sport, these were probably the best moments to enjoy. And for some time it looked as if the young enthusiastic Indians had forgotten cricket, particularly when India was playing Sri Lanka in England and the match was being telecast live on another television channel.

They cheered and shouted at each move made by the two teams. Since Brazil were the favourites, it drew much support. The excitement reached its crescendo when Ronaldo struck in the 67th minute and beat the goalkeeper, Kahn, to score first goal of the game thus tilting the balance heavily in favour of his team. And when the second goal was scored only after 12 minutes it was excitement and celebration all around.

For some hoteliers like Mr N.S. Nanda of Nanda Hotel, the final match also generated some extra business. He disclosed that he had to refuse advance reservation to a number of people as the demand was phenomenal. Nanda hotel was one of the few hotels in the city to have installed big screens to show the World Cup football matches live. 



City girl tops in BA exam
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 1
Harpreet Kaur, a student of the Government College for Women, has stood first among city students by securing 1904 marks out of 2400 in the BA final examination, conducted by Panjab University this year.

Meena from the Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women has stood second by obtaining 1862 marks. The third position has gone to Neeru from the SDP College for Women with 1856 marks, while Charanjeet of the same college has been declared fourth with 1846 marks.

Anu Verma from Government College is fifth with 1841 marks. The next three positions have gone to Rekha Bhanot from the SDP College for Women, Gurmeet from the Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women and Hema Sharma from the SDP College for Women, who have obtained 1827, 1815 and 1813 marks, respectively.

Among the students from the Khalsa College for Women, Payal Gupta stands first with 1783 marks, Rupali Dhawan is second with 1768 marks and Shelly is third with 1745 marks. In Ramgarhia Girls College, the first position has gone to Vijyeta Dhanda with 1775 marks, Amandeep is second with 1656 marks and Naveeta third with 1623 marks.

Top position holders from other colleges include Gagandeep from the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Model Town, Harmeet from the Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women , Geetu from the Arya College for Women, Ashwinder Kaur from Guru Nanak Girls College , Deepak Sehdev from SCD Government College , Surjeet Singh from GGN Khalsa College , Rajeev Kumar from the Arya College for Boys and Rajan from Kamla Lohtia Sanatan Dharam College.



Legal notice slapped on 7 Cong rebels
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 1
In a move that might further intensify the ongoing faction fighting between senior functionaries of the ruling Congress party in the city, the party MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, has served legal notice on seven party rebels, charging them with defaming him and causing damage to his reputation by levelling false and unfounded allegations.

Mr Ghalib was the chairman of the committee for selection of Congress candidates for the civic elections in Punjab. Having been denied party nominations, the rebels not only contested election against official candidates but also charged the party leadership with allotting party tickets on considerations other than merit and even accepting money for allotment of tickets.

The Congress functionaries, who have been served legal notice through Mr Kamaljit Sharma, a local advocate, to tender a public apology to Mr Ghalib within 15 days or face criminal and civil proceedings for defamation and damages to the extent of Rs 1 crore, included Mr Ravinder Singh Syan, Mr Banwari Lal Rajasthani, Mr Varinder Kapoor, Mr Harvinder Happy, Mr Sita Ram, Mr Avinash Goel and Mr Bharat Bhushan Thapar.

Mr Ghalib, through his counsel, has charged the party rebels with purposely making false statements against him, which were published and telecast in print and electronic media with the sole intention of “tarnishing” his image and causing damage to his political career. According to party circles, the rebels, under fire from Mr Ghalib, enjoyed the patronage of some of the senior Congress functionaries in the city and the move, rather than curbing the growing dissension, could even prove counter productive.

Earlier, the party legislator from Ludhiana Rural Assembly segment, Mr Malkiat Singh Beermi, had virtually revolted against allotment of party tickets in municipal elections and had completely boycotted the election campaign. Not only this, Mr Beermi and Mr Ghalib had levelled charges in the open. The role of party legislator and Minister of State for Printing and Stationery, Mr Rakesh Pandey, had also come under cloud. The minister was openly charged with fielding his close supporters against official candidates, which led to loss of quite a few seats to the party in the civic body.



FDI in print media opposed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Mr Katar Singh Bowani and Dr Arun Mitra secretary and assistant secretary, respectively, of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Ludhiana, have criticised the government’s decision to allow foreign direct investment in print media.

In a joint statement here, the CPI leaders observed that this medium was not just a business, but also a means to bring truth forward for the information of society to create a value system and to make a certain mindset of the people on issues around. Every newspaper represents some particular thoughts, values and ideology. That was why during the freedom movement Mahatma Gandhi, Shaheed Bhagat Singh and various other freedom fighters and social activists brought out their own newspapers to counter the British propaganda and to inculcate among the masses the necessity of freedom.

Now when the foreign companies will enter the sector, they will use it for their own ends and for creating a particular mindset and value system in society. They pointed out that for this reason the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru opposed it in 1955. The CPI leaders apprehended that this decision will threaten our hard earned freedom and sovereignty and play down sacrifices made by our freedom fighters.

This will also affect our socio-cultural values. This move will destroy the small and medium scale newspapers and monopolise the press in the hands of foreign investors . The so called safeguards set by the government will be easily flouted. It is therefore necessary that all people, social activists and other political parties stand up to the occasion and oppose this move of the government at various forms the leaders appealed.



Local bodies officials transferred
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 1
The Department of Local Government, Punjab, has issued new posting orders to several senior officials, including Superintending Engineers, Executive Engineers and Municipal Town Planners, in various local bodies of the state.

According to orders issued by Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Principal Secretary to the Government of Punjab, Superintending Engineers (O and M) Mr A.K. Prabhakar, posted at Amritsar, and Mr Kartar Singh, posted at Jalandhar, will swap places. Similarly, Executive Engineers (electrical) Mr S.P. Singh, posted at Amritsar, and Mr K.L. Malhotra, posted at Jalandhar, will replace each other.

Other Executive Engineers served with new posting orders include Mr D.K. Sharma who goes from Patiala to Ludhiana, Mr V.K. Setia from Amritsar to Patiala, Mr P.K. Goel from Patiala to Amritsar, Mr A.S. Dhariwal from Amritsar to Jalandhar, Mr K.S. Dhillon from Jalandhar to Amritsar, Mr V.P. Singh from Ludhiana to Jalandhar, Mr D.S. Malhotra from Jalandhar to Ludhiana, Mr Arun Sharma from Ludhiana to Jalandhar and Mr P.S. Gill who has been shifted from Amritsar to Jalandhar.

Among Municipal Town Planners, Mr Hemant Batra moves from Patiala to Jalandhar and Mr Raj Kumar from Jalandhar replaces him. Among Senior Town Planners, Mr A.S. Tuli and Mr B.S. Brar posted at Jalandhar and Ludhiana, respectively, have been transferred to the Department of Town and Country Planning in Chandigarh.



Kamalinder Singla is Political Adviser
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
A local advocate and veteran Congress leader, Mr Kamalinder Kumar Singla, has been appointed Political Adviser to the Printing and Stationery Minister, Mr Rakesh Pandey. Mr Singla has been a close associate of Mr Pandey for the past three decades.

At present he is president of the Punjab Shooting Ball Association, general secretary of the Aggarwal Trust, Jawalamukhi (HP), and an executive member of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturer's Association. 



Delayed US justice adds to father’s grief
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
For Sunil Virmani it has been a long and unending ordeal. He lost his 20-year-old only son Manav Virmani in most tragic circumstances and though one year has passed, he is yet to learn as why his son was killed and who were the persons responsible for his death in Canton Mississippi in USA. Manav had gone there from Florida to spend holidays with his friends.

In a letter to Mr Robert Blackwill, the US Ambassador in India, Mr Virmani said during his vacation, his son Manav had gone to Canton Mississippi. However, unfortunately on July 2, 2001, he lost his life while he was in a departmental store run by his friends. At the time of the incident Manav was alone in the store, while his friends had gone to meet someone.

While pointing out that the USA was the oldest and the most respected democracies of the world, where nobody was denied justice, Mr Virmani said, in his case it was proving to be otherwise. He disclosed that the police there was yet to identify the culprits who had killed his only son, who was studying in the USA.

Pleading for justice, Mr Virmani has urged Mr Blackwill that he expects at least to know whether the culprits responsible for his son’s death and for shattering his life have been brought to the book or not. He said, “I understand that this will not bring back our dear one, but still I want that the justice should prevail”.

Since Manav’s death none of the officials either from the US Government or the Government of India had cared to visit them or inquire about the matter. Expressing his desperation he said, “one year has passed, but I could not receive any information as to why he was shot dead and by whom world’s two democracies could not provide any sort of information. I fail to understand whom should I contact.

Making a passionate plea to Mr Blackwill to consider and take up his case Mr Virmani asked, “How can a father stay in peace, while knowing that the murderers of his son have not been punished and that too in a country which claims itself to be the most law abiding”.



Award for Dr Alag
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Renowned writer and Sikh scholar Dr Sarup Singh Alag, Chairman, Alag Shabad Yug International Charitable Trust Ludhiana, has been awarded life time achievement award for the year 2002 by the United Writers’ Association, Chennai, for his outstanding contribution to the field of English and Punjabi literature. The award would be presented to him on July 26 at a special function to be held in Chennai. Dr Alag is a prominent writer who has authored and got published 40 books in English, Punjabi, Hindi and Bengali. 



8 kg of poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 1
The Jodhewal police has registered a case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act against Harbilas Singh, a resident of Habas village, following seizure of eight kg of poppy husk from his possession yesterday. He was arrested at Booth Garh village by a police party headed by Mr Nirmal Singh, SHO, Jodhewal.

In another case, the Sadar police has registered a case against Dinesh Kumar, a resident of Salem Tabri, under Sections 22, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act for retailing ‘intoxicating’ capsules at Barewal village.

Kidnapping case: The Division No. 7 police on Sunday registered a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Paramjit Kaur, a resident of mohalla Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, against Preeti of the same locality and another woman accompanying her. The duo had allegedly kidnapped the complainant before June 16 and taken her to Phagwara from where she managed to return home. However, no arrest has been made so far.

Rape accused held: The Model Town police on Sunday arrested Barjinder Singh, a resident of Bareilly, and booked him under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Bhagwan Din. According to an FIR, the accused had kidnapped the daughter of the complainant, taken her to Laddowal and raped her on June 28. Later, he had abandoned the girl near the village.

Fraud alleged: The Civil Lines police on Sunday registered a case of fraud under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Punit Goel, a resident of New Prem Nagar in Civil Lines, against Davinder Singh, Surinder Kaur, Karnail Singh, Bhajan Singh and Kuldeep Kaur. The complainant alleged that the accused committed a fraud on him by preparing forged papers pertaining to his land near Jawaddi. No arrest has been made so far.

Theft case: The Division No. 1 police on Sunday booked the owner of a shop and some of his cronies, who allegedly broke the rear wall of a shop on the GT Road, near the Raikhy chowk, a couple of days ago and carted away shop goods belonging to his tenant. On the statement of the tenant, Mr Sukhpal Singh, the police has booked the shop owner, Shakti Jaggi, Vipan Bhandari and others under Sections 457, 380 and 506 of the IPC. However, no arrest has been made so far.

Girl kidnapped: The Jodhewal police on Sunday registered a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Sukhdev Singh, a resident of Ramesh Nagar on the Tibba road, against Raju and Rakesh Kumar. The complainant alleged that the accused kidnapped his 16-year-old daughter on Sunday. No arrest has been made so far.

Man beaten up: The Shimla Puri police on Sunday registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kishan Singh, a resident of mohalla Azad Nagar in New Shimla Puri, against Kala, Babu and four others. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him on the Tedi road on Sunday and beat him up.

Case registered: The Division No 8 police on Sunday registered a case under Sections 427, 448 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Suresh Xaver, a resident of Tagore Nagar, against Lokesh Sharma and Rakesh Sharma, both residents of the same locality. The complainant alleged that he had given a shop to the accused on rent but the accused had occupied it forcibly. No arrest has been made so far.

Liquor seized: The Sarabha Nagar police on Sunday arrested Raju, a resident of Vishal Nagar, and seized 11 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.

And the Model town police on Sunday arrested Ashani Kumar, a resident of Abdullapur Basti, and seized 12 bottles of country-made liquor from his possession. Both the accused have been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

One arrested: The Division No 2 police on Sunday arrested Sunil Kumar, who resides in a slum near the Jagraon bridge, and booked him under Section 294 of the IPC for teasing a girl in the area.

Gambling cases:
The Payal police registered three cases under the Gambling Act on Saturday. The arrested persons have been identified as Mohan Lal, Kewal Singh, both residents of Khanna, and Sukhram.

Fatehgarh Sahib
Video shop owner held:
The Sirhind police raided a video and CD cassettes shop in main bazaar and seized 55 video and 15 audio-cassettes of blue movies and arrested the owner, Atul Sood. A case has been registered.

Three arrested: The Bassi Pathana police has arrested Darbara Singh and the Sirhind police has arrested Kala Ram of ward no. 3 and Hardev Singh of Brahman Majra for allegedly operating satta in their respective areas. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered against them.

Poppy seized: The Nabipur chowki in charge, Mr Ajaib Singh, has arrested Madan Lal of Ludhiana and seized 24.5 kg of poppy husk from him. A case has been registered.

Opium seized:
The local police seized 370 gm of opium from the possession of Rajesh Kumar on Saturday.

In another case, 25 bottles of illicit liquor were seized from the custody of Bhagat Ram of Kotta Afgana village and a case registered under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act on Sunday.

Mohan Singh of Bhatian village was booked under the Gambling Act by the local police on Sunday.



Minor girl raped
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
An eight-year-old girl was allegedly kidnapped and raped by a man who committed the act to take revenge from the girl's father. According to the police, the medical examination has confirmed that the girl was raped. The girl was kidnapped in the morning and recovered from an abandoned plot in the Dugri area. The culprit was arrested from near the plot. He admitted to the police that he had a grudge against the girl's father and wanted to take revenge.



‘Exploit Punjab’s tourism potential’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
The president of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) , Mr B. K. Gupta, has suggested that Punjab should focus on religious and cultural tourism as the state had a rich heritage which could attract tourists not only from all over India, but from across the world as well. Besides, FHRAI, Mr Gupta is also the president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI).

Mr Gupta, who was here in connection with a meeting at Chandigarh, said the state had got a great tourist potential which should be exploited in the best possible way. He appealed to the state government to speed up the work at Hari Ke Pattan Ranjit Sagar Dam and develop tourist spots there to attract tourists.

Mr Gupta reiterated the demand of the Hotel and Restaurant Association, Punjab of building a rope-way between Naina Devi and Anandpur Sahib to attract more and more religious tourists and also to renovate all historical buildings in the state to give them a facelift.

The FHRAI president also appreciated the work being done by the HRAP under the stewardship of Mr Nanda and assured the members that he would soon meet the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and bring to his notice various problems being faced by the hotel industry in the state.

He revealed that the hotel industry was passing through a critical phase across the country, particularly after the September 11 attack on World Trade Center and December 13 attack on Indian Parliament house. Mr Gupta supported the demand of the hotel owners that they should be provided electricity at commercial rates by the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Mr Nanda presented a memento to Mr Gupta on behalf of HRAP. 



‘Focus on religious, cultural tourism’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
The President of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) , Mr B.K. Gupta, has suggested that Punjab should focus on religious and cultural tourism as the state has a great history which can attract the tourists not only from all over India, but from across the world as well. Besides FHRAI, Mr Gupta is also the president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI).

Mr Gupta said tourist potential of the state should be exploited to the best possible way. He appealed the state government to speed up the work at Hari Ke Pattan and Ranjit Sagar Dam and develop tourist spots there.

Mr Gupta reiterated the demand of the Hotel and Restaurant Association, Punjab, building a rope-way between Naina Devi and Anandpur Sahib to attract more and more tourists and also renovate all historical buildings of Punjab.

The FHRAI president also appreciated the work being done by the HRAP under the stewardship of Mr N.S. Nanda. He revealed that the hotel industry was passing through a critical phase across the country, particularly after the September 11 attack on World Trade Centre and December 13 attack on Indian Parliament. Mr Gupta supported the demand by the hotel owners that they should be provided electricity at commercial rates by the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Mr Nanda presented a memento to Mr Gupta on behalf of the HRAP. 


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