Wednesday, July 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Colour change continues amid confusion
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 2
Even as the deadline for switching over to new colour scheme registration plates expired on July 1, vehicle owners are still confused on what to do although officials warn that the people have to adhere to the new colour scheme.

While painters are having a field day and are making the most of the prevailing confusion, the people are in a fix due to the lack of clear cut directions from the authorities on this issue. Just get it done — is the predominant motive rather than trying to get the matter sorted out clearly. People feel that changing of the number plates is a costly proposition, especially, when they will again have to change these to switch over to the high Security Registration Plates (HSRP) to be introduced shortly.

Long queues of vehicle owners, getting the number plates painted or changed, could be seen at various places in the city. Most vehicle owners grumbled that why is it that such changes are always enforced without issuing clear instructions to the people well in advance.

According to sources the confusion has arisen as people were confusing the relaxation given by the government on the introduction of HSRP with that of changing the colour scheme of the plates. This simple change would see the vehicle owners through till the time the HSRPs are available.

In this context, the sources point out that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had issued a notice informing vehicle owners that the colour scheme of the existing registration plates of non - transport vehicles from white letters and numerals on black background to letters and numerals in black on white background have been notified in terms of Rule 50 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. The time schedule envisaged for completing the change in the colour scheme was July 1, 2002, the sources pointed out.

Although most enforcing agencies have decided to give a few days’ grace period to people to switch over to the new colour scheme, it is erroneous to assume that vehicles could be plied using the old registration plates. This would be in violation of the guidelines issued by the ministry, they added.

As compared to Punjab, the Haryana Transport Department had issued notices at regular intervals informing the people that the vehicles not adhering to the new colour scheme could be challaned or even impounded in the state.

Like Punjab, Delhi too issued notices informing people about the new dates for getting HSRPs but did not inform them on following the new colour scheme of the plates, the sources pointed out.

It may be recalled that on the basis of recommendations by technical experts, detailed specifications for the plates were notified by the ministry under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

The ministry had stipulated that the prospective vendors will have to get their products certified for meeting the specifications by the two notified testing agencies in the country - the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), New Delhi, and the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Pune.

After getting their products certified, the vendor has to approach the respective state governments to obtain the rights to manufacture and supply such plates. The decision to select one or two vendors to produce and supply the plates will rest with the state governments.

As of date, no vendor has obtained the Certificate of Approval from any of the two testing agencies, the sources added.

Sensing the practical difficulties in implementing this scheme, the government finally extended the date of implementation by eight months. Those who purchase vehicles after Feb 2003 will have to immediately go in for the HSRP - if available - while the deadline for others remains the same - February 28, 2005.

This will also give time to the vendors to get their products verified from the testing agencies and supply the same to the states, the sources added

According to the Motor Vehicles (New High Security Registration Plates) Order, 2002, two alphabets representing the name of the vendor / manufacturer would be preceded by the mini seven digit permanent identification number of the vehicle on the HSRP.

An HSRP requires yellow background with black letters for transport vehicles and white background with black letters for other vehicles. Besides, it should have a chromium based hologram sporting a chakra in blue - on both front and rear plates - permanent identification number laser branded into reflective sheeting on the left bottom of the plate. Besides this, a hot stamped film applied on the numbers shall bear the inscription — India.



DC intervenes to sort out DMCH trouble
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 2
In an effort to put an end to the ongoing tussle between the management and the union of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal today intervened in the matter and assured that things will be sorted out within a week.

According to reliable sources, Mr A.K. Sinha, Additional Deputy Commissioner, on behalf of the administration took a meeting of the representatives of the management and union leaders of DMCH at Mini Secretariat today to resolve the matter. The administration has asked the union leaders to present their demands, which will be discussed with the representatives of the management later. The next meeting of the two parties will be held on Friday, July 5.

The administration has asked the union to maintain the peaceful atmosphere in the hospital and refrain from slogan shouting to avoid any kind of disruption.

When asked about the administration’s intervention at such a later stage, Mr Aggarwal said the administration had been approached only recently by the two parties. “The decision has still not been taken yet but issue will be settled down within a week”, said Mr Aggarwal.

The meeting was attended by Mr Sinha ADC, Dr J.S. Bhullar, Civil Surgeon, Mr Nau Nihal Singh SP, Mr Ajay Sharma SDM, Mr Chander Mohan Kalia, union president, Dr S.C. Ahuja, Principal, DMCH, Dr Rajoo Singh Chinna, Medical Superintendent (P) and Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent.

According to the sources, Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, is personally looking into the matter and has directed the administration to intervene to end the deadlock.

It may be mentioned that the ‘war of words’ between the two parties had badly affected the smooth hospital functioning. Not only are there no new admissions in the emergency ward, the telephone exchange, the billing section, the test laboratories and the maintenance departments have also been adversely affected.

Not only this, the continued stalemate has also taken the life of 60-year-old NRI, Veer Singh, who met with an accident yesterday. Suffering from serious chest and head injuries, he was refused entry to DMCH due to the ongoing strike. One of the relatives of the victim said that it took them about 40 minutes to reach Christian Medical College and Hospital, where the victim was declared “brought dead”. “We could have saved his life if timely treatment was given at DMCH”, complained one of the victim’s relative.

Meanwhile, some of the senior faculty members at DMCH on condition of anonymity also alleged that the prestigious posts in the institution were not based on merit, working efficiency, qualification and experience. The appointments were based on pick and choose method and the criteria was liking and disliking. The doctors said many experienced and efficient doctors were not being promoted, which had created a lot of frustration and resentment among the doctors.

When asked about the administration's assistance at a later stage, Mr Prem Nath Gupta, secretary managing society, said that they had approached the administration earlier to resolve the issue but it had now intervened in the matter. He also said, “Management is all ready for talks but the union is adamant on their stand and we cannot do anything at that stage”.

Meanwhile, the union leaders were up in the arms against the management. They alleged that during all these negotiations, not even a single representative of the management came forward to resolve the issue which showed their ‘callous’ attitude. They assured that they will resort to a peaceful agitation. One of the Union leaders even said that all the nursing staff was there in the emergency ward to attend the patients but the authorities were adamant not to entertain the serious patients.



Union workers booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 2
The over three-week-long stand-off between the DMCH management and the employees union over the issue of shifting of gastroenterology ward to Hero DMCH Heart Institute has taken a serious turn with the district police registering a case against the union leader, Mr Chander Mohan Kalia, and seven other activists for allegedly disrupting hospital work and causing inconvenience and harassment to patients and their relatives.

Two cases based on separate statements by DMCH officials have been registered against the union leader and activists. However, the charges and sections framed against the accused in both FIRs were the same. The first FIR has been lodged with the Division No. 8 police station on a complaint by Mr Raju Singh Cheena, Medical Superintendent, DMCH, while the second FIR, lodged with the same police station, has been registered on the statement of DMCH officials Mr B.T. Kalia and Mr S. Malhi.

According to the FIR, besides the union leader, the other seven accused are: Balraj Kaur, Veena Khanna, Rajwant Kaur, Hardeep Kaur, Surinder Naggi, Arfal Ahmed and Hardish Mahesh. There were several other unidentified accused as well. Police sources said the incorporation of unidentified accused meant more activists of the union could be included in the FIRs during further investigation.

The police said the accused had been booked under Sections 147 and 149 (rioting or being a part of an unlawful assembly) along with 341 (wrongfully restraining a person) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

Police sources said no person had been arrested.

The police action comes in the wake of intervention by the district administration into the stand-off between the DMCH union and management.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, has reportedly convened a meeting of both the parties and given a one week time to sort out the matter.

Interestingly, union sources said they were not aware of the registration of cases against them.

They called it a breach of trust as on the one hand the management was discussing the matter with them and on the other they were being booked in a criminal case. Management sources said they were justified in lodging the case as the union strike had caused immense inconvenience to the patients and their relatives.



Hope, at last, for Sukhdev Memorial
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 2
The Sukhdev Memorial will finally see the light of the day with the local administration roping in private persons and industrialists to help in the cause of setting up a befitting memorial of the martyr.

An industrialist, Mr O.P. Munjal, has accepted to shoulder the responsibility of providing residential accommodation to a family staying in his ancestral house for years due to which the work at the memorial had not taken off for the last three years.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, told Ludhiana Tribune that he had held a meeting with the industrialist, Mr Munjal, who had agreed to provide accommodation to the poor family already staying there. He said this was the only hiccup in the setting up of the memorial.

The DC further said the family would now be shifted to the flats provided by Mr Munjal along with his workers and the work would start on a fast pace at the memorial. He also said the administration would look for the belongings of the martyr and exhibit them into the memorial. "We will ask his relatives to provide us things related to him and display them here," the DC said.

Sukhdev, a martyr who was executed with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru, was born in the Chaura Bazar area called Nau Ghara (Nine Houses) in the city. While the house remained unknown to anybody till three years ago, the Thapars of the city set up a trust named Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust (SSTMT) to look after the historical place and to create awareness among people about the great martyr.

The Thapars and the district administration had then decided to set a memorial at the birthplace of the great hero of the freedom struggle. His ancestral house was occupied by a 50-year-old widow Saroj who lived here with her two children. The idea of setting up the memorial had suffered a jolt because they did not want to shift from there due to poverty.

Soon the Thapars found a suitable place to rehabilitate her. They paid her Rs 50,000 for shifting from here, but the matter came to a standstill after she died. It became very difficult for the trust to rehabilitate them.

One of the close relatives of Sukhdev said after the house would be vacated, it would be renovated and some belongings of Sukhdev Thapar would be exhibited here. "Besides, we would make available the literature of the freedom struggle of India and especially the freedom fighters of Punjab, so that the visitors and especially the new generation could know about the tough time faced by the countrymen," he said.

The house is presently in a dilapidated condition and has not even been whitewashed for years together. The latest development will help in preserving the memorial and conveying the message of patriotism to the generations to come.



Mayor vows to provide clean administration
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 2
City Mayor Nahar Singh Gill today exhorted the officials and employees of the Municipal Corporation to strive for giving a clean and effective civic administration to the people of Ludhiana. Addressing his first meeting with the MC officials here, he said rooting out corruption and pursuing the agenda of development were among the top priorities of the elected representatives.

Besides senior MC officials, Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner and Mr Prem Mittal, Senior Deputy Mayor, attended the meeting.

The Mayor remarked that the civic officials and the members of the MC general house had to work in tandem to ensure all-round development of the city and time bound completion of major projects. "Performance of their duty with dedication and diligence alone form the service record of the MC staff." Mr Gill impressed upon the officials to make sure that the ongoing projects of flyovers and the elevated road from the Jagraon bridge to Chand Cinema were completed on schedule because the delay would add to the inconvenience of city residents.

He issued a veiled threat to certain political functionaries and contractors to put an end to their corrupt and nefarious activities, which were not only causing a financial drain on the MC funds but were also adversely affecting the development process. "We are well aware of the evil designs of these officials and contractors and will see to it that they no longer continue with their activities."

Speaking on the occasion, MC Commissioner S.K. Sharma recalled that on the very day he assumed office, he had told every member of the staff that they were answerable for the duty assigned to them and that no laxity in performance would be tolerated. He urged MC officials to work like true servants of the people and not to act in partisan manner on political considerations.

The Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Prem Mittal, said that the entire house of the MC would stand behind the civic administration in the interest of the people of the city.



Honesty led to my ouster: Sekhon
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Issewal (Ludhiana), July 2
Finally breaking his silence on the issue of his forced ouster from the Indian Air Force, Air Marshal Manjit Singh Sekhon (retd) today said had he not conducted an inquiry into the alleged navigational error by Air Marshal Vinod Bhatia and reported against him, his fate would have been different.

He was at Issewal, his native village, today where he was given a heroic welcome by villagers on his homecoming. Speaking about the controversial verdict announcing his forced retirement, Air Marshal Sekhon said he was approached by ceratin “vested interests”, while he was conducting the inquiry to modify the actual report.

“But I refused to cheat the Indian Air Force and gave the report strictly according to the black box. I am facing the consequences now but I have accepted the decision of the Union Government as well as the Indian Air Force like a soldier and I salute it even today. I have never disgraced the country by leaking the secrets of the state. Even when I was asked about writing a letter to the former CM, I had said, “Yes I have written it”. I cannot be a liar. After my retirement, which is little early, I am feeling elated and relaxed. The Air Chief has given me a warm farewell besides all retiral benefits,” he added.

“Indian Air Force is the best force in the world. I have devoted my 40 years to it and during my next birth also I will serve the IAF only.” He was presented a ‘siropa’ by the sarpanch of Issewal village and was accorded a warm welcome.

Talking exclusively to Ludhiana Tribune, Air Marshal said he has a different mission on his mind now. He has planned to encourage children to opt for defense services. He has chosen his home state for this mission. “I will go from school to school in Punjab to inspire children to opt for defense services. I will tell them about the kind of life offered by the Defense services. Down South I had seen that schoolchildren were being constantly brought in contact with defense personnel and encouraged. And at the time of interview, selection boards are filled with huge number of candidates.”

“So I have decided that I would work for the children of the motherland and give them a direction. Being a soldier I am open to any challenge. I have refused an offer from Civil Aviation, Jammu as I want to work for my home-state now,” he added.

Talking about the Badal episode, he said the only motive behind writing the letter to the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was that he wanted to be in the Western Command and in touch with the children here like in South. “I did not know him personally. He had met me at a function where he started discussing about the youth in Punjab and their problems like drug abuse out of unemployment. He asked me about the number of Punjabi youths in the IAF. He only told me to help youths and I told him that this would be possible only of I were in the Western Command. This was the entire story. I had not asked for any promotion. I just wanted to be with the children of my state as I love educating them.”




IF the Commissioner of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, Mr S.K. Sharma, is to be believed, the city is all set for getting a facelift soon. The process seems to have started with the Mr Sharma already having made a beginning. For the first time in the recent past there have been minimum complaints about shortage of drinking water, drainage and sewerage problem or the streetlights. Mr Sharma, who is said to be a hard taskmaster, has sent a clear message to the staff and others involved in the functioning of the corporation — “Deliver or go”. And it seems to have worked well. While newspaper offices usually receive complaints against various departments for their non-performance, it is rarely that people come forward with some positive comments. Recently a resident of the Model Town area walked into the office, saying that his complaint was redressed within 24 hours by the MC staff. “It is incredible”, he admitted, adding, “that is why I want you to take note of it.” Good luck to Mr Sharma that such things become routine. It seems to be a good beginning.

Where’s recession?

Most of the industrialists have always been found harping on recession. Manda in local parlance. And the hoteliers are not exception. Day in and day out like industrial associations, the hotel association has been demanding subsidies and concessions, claiming that it has been hit by recession. It may be noted that the three new hotels that have recently come up in Ludhiana are claiming to be doing brisk business. People have to wait for their turn in most of the hotels for food. Still everybody cries manda hai!

Poor response

Few games have become so popular in India, barring perhaps cricket, as football became during the recently concluded World Cup. While people adjusted their schedule according to matches, most of the hotels in Ludhiana installed giant screens to attract customers. And the scheme seemed to work well. Hoteliers claimed that they did some additional business on the days of matches. However, the climax came on Sunday during the final between Brazil and Germany. Most of these hotels remained crowded to the capacity as people had made advance bookings for tables. The hoteliers have not stopped at football. They are trying to follow it up with tennis. As the Wimbledon Championship is going on, these hotels are now showing the tennis matches live hoping to repeat the trick. But that seems high improbable as the response so far has been quite poor.

Stinking secretariat

The mini-secretariat in Ludhiana presents a nauseating atmosphere. The moment you enter the main complex, you are greeted by stinking toilets. The foul smell gets too intense during the ongoing hot and humid season. While the officials seem to have got used to the smell, it is for the occasional visitors only to whom it seems a problem. One wishes some “alert” official in the secretariat smells it foul to order some cleanliness drive.

Entry into PAU

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) may be having so many unique things to its credit but some things are ridiculous. Anybody who enters the university in a vehicle is thoroughly grilled at the gate and asked to enter his name and other details. While there may be nothing wrong in it, people are asked to deposit their important documents at the gate. It may be driving licence or the registration certificate of the vehicle which is held by the gate-keepers. And while returning, the person has to park his car and collect his document by himself after rummaging through the rust-ridden tin box. Some people may even be losing their documents because nobody takes the responsibility. One wonders why PAU has resorted to such a practice as it hardly serves any purpose.

Crowded vehicles

Ludhiana may claim to be having the largest number of vehicles in Punjab. There are thousands of private cars and public transport vehicles. Still there are a number of vehicles which are overcrowded, with passengers virtually hanging out from the sides (see picture). Despite claims of the local administration of strictly enforcing the traffic rules, vehicles in the outskirts and suburbs continue to carry passengers much more than their permitted capacity. And at times these lead to accidents and loss of life as well.




DIG: No political favouritism
Tribune News Service

Mr Mohammed Mustafa

Ludhiana, July 2
Mr Mohammed Mustafa, new DIG, Ludhiana range, said here today that the residents of all four police ranges, irrespective of their political affiliation, would be treated equally and impartially in his office.

He said this when his comments were sought on the general impression that being the husband of a Congress MLA he would be considered close to Congress leaders or activists in the region. His wife, Razia Sultan, is the Congress MLA from Malerkotla.

“My doors are open for all. I have never favoured any political party. You can go to Malerkotla and ask people if there is any interference in the police working by me or my wife. Same is the condition at Faridkot or at any other place where I had worked”, the DIG said.

“The aim is to provide 100 per cent satisfaction to anyone coming to my office for any official work”, he said. He said he did not believe in not listening to the political leaders. “Politicians are representatives of the public and deserve due regards”.

He said crime in the range, especially in Ludhiana, was under check and he would strive to make the police working better. He said all schemes initiated by his predecessors would continue.

He said as he was new to the area, so he required more time to talk in detail about the general crime scene and policing in the area.

The DIG is a 1985-batch IPS officer. He is the only police officer in Punjab who was awarded gallantry award five times. He has worked in almost all police districts of the state in different capacity.



Victim’s family awaits justice
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, July 2
The family of the minor Dalit girl, who was abducted and gang-raped, is shocked as the Khanna district police has still not been able to nab the culprits.

The girl was reportedly raped by around six youths, at a house here after being abducted when she was on her way home after attending a religious function at Bhikhi village. After hearing about the incident, when this reporter reached Kuhli Khurd village, none of the residents was ready to speak on the matter. Though residents of the Dalit colony confirmed the incident, nobody came forward to comment due to fear of a “pimp”.

Mrs Charanjit Kaur, mother of the victim, said the family had gone to Bhikhi village to attend religious diwans on Gurpurab. Paramjit Kaur, a close relative and neighbour of the family took the victim with her to walk down some distance. Hardly had they gone a short distance when a car with a lion mark on the rear side stopped near them and Paramjit asked her to board the car. The girl resisted and tried to run away but was soon overpowered by the youths and the woman, who dragged her into the car and reached Ahmedgarh. She was kept in a room of a big house, which had a huge metallic gate. Paramjit’s 12-year-old daughter, who was accompanying them, stayed outside the room, but Paramjit witnessed the six youths raping the girl. Conversations of those who were present there revealed that Paramjit had allegedly received Rs 5,000 for her role in the episode. She had been bringing girls to this house earlier also. The house reportedly belongs to a person who works in FCI godowns. The girl narrated the incident to her mother who kept silent for the sake of her daughter’s future.

After about a week when the condition of the girl deteriorated, her mother disclosed the matter to her family members, who reported the matter to the village Sarpanch. In the meantime, the brother of the victim had a tiff with Paramjit, who refused to own responsibility for the incident. After this, the Sarpanch declined to interfere in the issue on the pretext of the rude behaviour of the brother. The family then approached the Malaud police for action but it was told that as the crime had been committed in Ahmedgarh, the Malaud police could not register a case. On the other hand the Ahmedgarh police said the girl had been abducted from the area falling under the Khanna district police, so the latter would register a case. Meanwhile, the maternal uncle of the victim has taken her to his village Natan near Sahnewal.



Stamp of Sargodha is visible everywhere

About 55 years ago Ludhiana and Sargodha were two of the 29 districts of Punjab. Only a few families from here had settled in the newly developed canal colony. Come August 1947, rivers flooded. The Sutlej broke records, still un-broken. Amrita Pritam remarked. “Chenab was then full of human blood.” She particularly mentioned the Chenab as a symbol of love, associated with Heer-Ranjha besides Sohni-Mahiwal.

Those familiar with history and culture know that Ranjha was born at Takhat Hazara (Bhalwal). It is the soil associated with Tiwanas — Sir Sikander Hayat Khan, Sir Khizar Hayat Khan (both Panjab premiers); also of Khuranas — Sir Sobha Singh, S. Ujjal Singh, Khushwant Singh, Dr Hargobind Khurana (Nobel laureate). Also Balraj Sahni, Kuldip Nayyar besides others. Several well-known persons with surnames Ahuja, Arneja, Bajaj, Batra, Baweja, Makkar, Gadh, etc have ancestral roots there.

Their forefathers traded up to Central Asia. The Aroras of Punjab duly qualified for the truth: ‘Lakk Badhdha Arorian, Munna Koh Lahore’ (When Arora tightens belt, Lahore is a mile and bit away!). It is this spirit which the migrants carried with them. A good part of it contributed to the making of Ludhiana, a new better Ludhiana. Sargodhias made historic entry almost pennylessly. They were blessed with inherent energy which materialised progress.

They luckily had a friendly philosopher in the person of Dr Lehna Singh Sethi, a Cabinet Minister re-settled at Brown road. He managed to get allotted the district of Ludhiana to migrants from Sargodha, rural and urban. Jawahar Nagar refugee camp was organised. It attracted the homeless. Rest is a true story of self-help, lending of help and sharing of sources and resources.

Villages acquired new profiles. Irrigation was modernised, agriculture made progress. Horticulture followed. They took to vegetables. Organised the sabzi mandi. Expanded dairy farming. Took to fruit markets. Entered whole-sale cloth business, even made mark in hosiery. They developed wholesale shoe business. Took to spare parts, transport, pharmacy, etc. Arjun Singh Khurana holds the monopoly in ball-bearing. Manna Singh became a model. Mohinder Singh Salemtabri excelled in modernisation. Gulab Singh headed the municipal committee at partition. Dr Chhabeel Dass won fame.

From Ladian-Bhattian to Bajra-Bahadurke one can see the change in landscape. From Salem Tabri to Sherpur one finds the stamp of Sargodha. Kohara to Machhiwara tell a true tale. In the heart of city, Jail Road, one finds good schools and gurdwaras.

M.S. Cheema



3 booked in water dispute case
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 2
On the statement of Surjit Singh, a resident of Raipur Arayan village, the local police has registered a case under Sections 341, 506, 323 and 34, IPC, against Pal Singh, Charan Singh and Randhir Singh (former Sarpanch), sons of Nachhater Singh of Kahnpur village, 8 km from here.

According to the complaint, the complainant and his nephew were on their way to check the flow of water from the Gobindgarh minor to their fields on the night of June 23 when they were intercepted and attacked with ‘lathis’ by Raghbir Singh, Pal Singh, Randhir Singh.

Thereafter, they were admitted to the local Civil Hospital. The police arrested the accused on July 1 but later released them on bail.

Mr Harbans Singh and others in a representation to the SSP on July 1 had stated that the land of their village was fed by the Gobindgarh minor and they were facing shortage of water due to theft. On June 29, some persons from Kaulgarh, Raipur and Faizullapur villages had visited the SDM’s office at Amloh to complain against the theft of water from the minor, but they could not contact him since he was on leave. Thereafter, they tried to contact the DSP and tehsildar but they too were not available. They were advised to lodge a complaint at Mandi Gobindgarh police station.

They also stated that they had informed the Irrigation Department about the theft of water by the accused persons and the department had imposed some penalty on them.

Mr Gurdial Singh Ghulumajra, Senior Vice-President (district), Akali Dal (A), in a press statement alleged that the police had not taken any action against the persons. He threatened to launch a stir if the police failed to bring the culprits to book.



Woman alleges murder bid
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 2
The Salem Tabri police registered a case under Sections 307, 406 and 498-A of the IPC against in-laws of a woman following allegations by her that an attempt had been made to kill her after her failure to meet their demand for more dowry.

The woman, Ms Mamta Sharma, wife of Parmod Kumar, who resides in Kot Kishan Chand mohalla in Jalandhar, had reported that she had been thrown out of a running vehicle near the Jalandhar bypass at Ludhiana by the accused with the intention of killing her, but she was lucky to escape with minor injuries. The accused in the case are Parveen Kumari, Vinod Kumar, Parmod Kumar and Sadhu Ram, all residents of Kot Kishan Chand. However, no arrest has been made so far.

In-laws booked: On the statement of Ms Gurpreet Kaur, a resident of Model Town Extension, the Model Town police on Monday registered a case under Sections 498-A, 506, 406 and 120-B of the IPC against her husband, Rupinder Singh, Baljit Kaur, Jagdeep Kaur and father-in-law, Sukhcharan Singh, all residents of Phase IV, Mohali. The complainant had alleged that the accused demanded more dowry from her and threatened her on March 23. No arrest has been made so far.

Poppy seized: The Division No. 2 police on Monday arrested Kirpal Singh, a resident of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, and seized 11 kg of poppy husk from his possession. He has been booked under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

Beating cases: The Sadar police, on the statement of Ms Parminder Kaur, a resident of Jhande village, on Monday registered a case of beating and intimidation under Sections 342,149 and 506 of the IPC against Amrik Singh and eight others. The accused came to her house while she was standing outside , beat her up and also threatened her, she added.

Another case of beating involving a woman was registered at the same police station under Sections 341 and 323 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Amar Kaur, who lives in Khanpur village, against Charanjit Singh of the same village. She had alleged that the accused intercepted her in the morning of June 30 and beat her up without any provocation.

The Division No. 5 police station registered a case under Sections 341, 506, 323 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Harpal Singh, a resident of Manjit Nagar, against Sonu and his father, Jeet Ram, both residents of the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him on the road, beat him up and also threatened him on Monday. No arrest has been made so far.

Another case of beating was registered at the same police station on the statement of Mr Ram Lal, a resident of Jawahar Nagar Camp, against Kamla Rani, a resident of the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted his wife, Seeta Rani, on the road and beaten her up. No arrest has been made so far.

The Haibowal police on Monday registered a case under Sections 452 and 323 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Nigam Bindra, a resident of Sant Vihar Colony in Rajan Estate, Haibowal, against Sanjiv Kumar, a resident of Raghuvir Park. The complainant had stated that the accused came to her house and beat up her son, Sumit. The accused was arrested from the spot, the police said.

Four booked: The Division No. 4 police on Monday registered a case under Sections 353, 186 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Subhash Chander, SE, Commissioner (D), Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, against Rakesh Jain, Keemti Lal Jain, Jain Dass and Shekhar Chand Jain. The complainant had alleged that the accused scuffled with Ashwini Kumar and Dinesh Kumar on June 29.

Gambling cases: The Division No. 3 police on Monday registered three cases under the Gambling Act. The first case was registered against Roshan Lal after he was arrested and Rs. 3,445 seized from his possession. The other case was registered against Ashok Kumar, a resident of New Janta Nagar, from whose possession Rs 3,110 seized and against Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Dehlon, from whom Rs 2,500 seized.

Racket unearthed:
The district police claimed to have unearthed a racket involving manufacturer of synthetic milk.

Mr Amardeep Singh Rai, SSP, Sangrur, said the police had arrested Mohinder Singh, a tempo driver. He said the owner of the tempo, Bhajan Singh, used to buy the milk from dairy owners and sell it to units manufacturing milk products after mixing other materials into it. A case under Sections 487 and 420 of the IPC and Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act has been registered. Mohinder Singh has been sent to judicial custody, whereas Bhajan Singh is still absconding.

Labourer booked:
The Payal police has registered a case under Section 377 of the IPC against Kishore Chowdhary, a Bihari labourer, on charges of sodomising a 10-year-old boy at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, here on Monday night.

Four held:
The local police has arrested Rupinder Singh, Inderjit Singh, Jagpal Singh and Jagjit Singh on charges of attempt to murder.

In a press note, the SSP, Mr Devinder Singh Garcha, said they were allegedly involved in anti-social activities. He said the accused attacked Shivinder Singh on April 18 and injured him. In another incident, they allegedly attacked Devinder Singh at the Amloh road on June 29. Cases have been registered against them.



‘Revamp PSEB dispute settlement panel’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 2
The Federation of Small Industries Associations has termed the constitution of the Dispute Settlement Authority set up by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) as a cruel joke on the consumers.

According to Mr V.P. Chopra, president of the organisation, nothing could be far from truth than certain reports in the media that the setting up of the authority has been welcomed by the people and that its decisions have been widely accepted. In fact, every day the consumer forum decides against the imposition of penalty by the PSEB authorities which is a clear verdict that the consumers are not satisfied and have to move the forum in order to get justice.

“The settlement committees constituted by the board consist of officials of PSEB and it is ironical that the penalties imposed by the officials are to be adjudicated by the officials of the board itself who too have an inflexible mind set,” he said.

He said PSEB Chairman Sudhir Mittal had conceded at a meeting with entrepreneurs on May 17 that the Dispute Settlement Committee required to be to recast since it was unjustifiable to let their officials decide the waiver amount.

Mr Chopra added that the state government should take urgent steps to reorganise the dispute settlement committees by including representatives of the industries as its members to provide justice to the consumers.



Role of IT in industry highlighted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 2
Information technology has assumed an important role in business development. These observations were made at the conclusion of the three-day seminar on ‘Business Development through Information Technology’, organised here recently by the Small Industries Service Institute, Government of India.

It was the first in the series of programmes being organised on the role of information technology in the hosiery and knitwear industry of Ludhiana. Management personnel from different small-scale units of the city participated in the seminar. During the seminar, experts from the field deliberated with the participants upon the uses of IT.

Speaking on the occasion, Assistant Director SISI, Ludhiana, Mr S.S. Bedi said the industrial scenario had changed drastically after the post-WTO regime and there was tough competition both at the domestic as well as international level. IT holds key to success under these circumstances, he observed.

Among those who participated in the seminar included Mr Ravinder Zadu, Mr Deepak Rana from CEDTI, SAS Nagar, Mr A.K. Agnihotri from SBI and Mr B.S. Nagi from SIPO. The seminar generated considerable interest about IT among the small-scale industrialists.



Market Pulse

Showroom opened: SKF Bearings, a leading bearings company, today opened its first showroom in the city. Addressing a press conference at the launch, the Managing Director of the company, Mr C.R. Chindalia, said since Ludhiana was an important industrial centre, the company decided to make its products available. He said, the company was diversifying by offering complete range of products, including bearings, Y bearing units, mechanical and hydraulic pullers etc. TNS


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