Sunday, July 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Lathi charge on agitating DMCH employees
30, including 16 cops, hurt in violent clashes; injured 
DSP goes into coma
Shivani Bhakoo

Chronology of events

  • The strike by the DMCH Union starts on June 16.
  • The union leaders intensify their agitation gradually.
  • Both the parties, the management and the union firm on their stand.
  • Patients resort to other institute due to the ongoing stalemate.

July 13

  • 10:45am: Police gherao DMCH, asks union leaders to stage dharna outside the hospital.
  • 11:00 am: Mob restrains police from entering the hospital premises; police start lathi-charge, DSP Gurmel Singh and SHO Tilak Raj sustain head injuries.
  • 11:15 am: Police reinforcement rushes in, cane-charge union leaders.
  • 12:00 pm: Situation under control, police arrests several union activists.
  • Several parties condemn lathicharge

Ludhiana, July 13
As many as 30 persons, including 16 cops, were injured when the month-long standoff between the management and employees of the local Dayanand Medical College (DMCH) took an ugly turn and the police had to resort to a lathi charge and burst tear gas shells to disperse agitating and stone-pelting employees here today.

Among those injured were DSP Gurmel Singh — in a coma after suffering from a serious head injury — SHO Tilak Raj and 14 cops, besides several employees and some attendants who were reportedly caught unawares in the melee. Many outsiders were caught unawares and had to flee in front of the baton-wielding cops. The seriously injured were rushed to the hospital. The patients and attendants, including women, had to seek shelter to escape being thrashed by the cops.

Eyewitnesses told Ludhiana Tribune that it all began at about 10. 40 a.m. when a team of cops led by the DSP entered the premises and asked the employees staging a dharna to disperse in view of court orders. Upon this, a lady employee insisted on taking the mike to address her fellow agitators but was prevented from doing so by some lady constables. This was resented by the employees who roughed up the cops and badly injuring the DSP.

Finding themselves outnumbered, the cops beat a retreat but were chased by the protesters who also allegedly pelted stones at them. They then locked the main gates and climbed onto the first floor of the building adjoining the main gate.


Caught between the charging policemen and angry mob were a large number of innocent shopkeepers and passers-by. Several others got hurt in stoning and tear-gas attack. The crackdown intensified the DSP, Mr Gurmail Singh, received grave wounds. Retaliating policemen barged into several nearby houses and took away any young man they found.

Panic gripped the area after the offensive, following which, houses were either locked from inside or abandoned. Women told their sons to hide upstairs to escape the police ire.

Members of the Tagore Nagar Residents Welfare Association said a boy, Amit (name changed on request), suffered multiple fractures in the arms due to cane hits. The police had dragged him out of the house. The police also took away and beat up two shopkeepers. A house maid was taken away on the pretext that she was a nurse in the DMCH. The family of Mr Tejinder Singh (name changed on request), a man living nearby, was hospitalised after a tear-gas shell was thrown inside the house. The sufferers were too scared to reveal names of attackers. Families were crying for their children, who had been taken away.

Sources said the agitators allegedly began stocking bricks and stones on the roof from one of the building under construction and pelted it on a PCR motorcycle which was on a round to the area. Both the cops injured took shelter in a nearby house, Following this reinforcements led by Mr Harpreet Singh Sidhu SSP, and Mr Naunihal Singh, SP, arrived on the scene and took stock of the situation.

Undeterred by the large police force, the agitators, hiding on the roof, started pelting stones forcing the police to lob tear gas shells. A section of the force scaled the main gate and entered the main compound only to be greeted with brick bats. They fought their way through the building and cane-charged those who stood their ground. Many protesters were also rounded up and taken away.

The acrid smell of tear gas hung in the air and stones and bricks littered one’s way to the hospital. The newly constructed paediatrics wing was also damaged in the violence. Later on the gates to the building were locked by the management and no one was allowed to enter or leave.

Afterwards, all the wards, OPDs, emergency, testing labs, reception wore a deserted look. The corridors were empty, the doors, window panes, chairs and tables in many wings lay broken by the violence. The skeleton staff stood in corners whispering among themselves, were tight-lipped and refused to talk to reporters. The telephones are continuously ringing but nobody is there to answer them.

Mr Harpreet Sidhu, SSP, said that the management did not want police intervention earlier as they felt that their dialogue might get affected because of their intervention. The authorities maintained that the court had issued directions for ensuring that inconvenience was not caused to the general public due to the agitation.

“We restricted entry into the hospital except with identity cards. This was done since we wanted that no anti - social got in. We warned the union leaders that they were not allowed to stage the dharna inside the hospital premises, but they flouted the order and instead assaulted our officers and pelted stones at us “, maintained Mr Sidhu.

Several staff nurses, who were on duty when the whole episode occurred, alleged that the staff nurses were severely beaten and dragged by the lady police. Mr Vikram Bhanot, the Chief Officer on Special Duty, said that the action of the police was planned and the management knew everything about it. “We made several requests to the management for stopping this brutal activity but they refused to listen to us”, said one of the staff nurse.

Another employee on duty said that the leaders were agitating peacefully and the police suddenly started lathi-charge. ‘When everyone was running to save his/her life, the management was sitting quietly in their rooms”, said the witness.

Harvinder Singh, an attendant of a patient, said that he had listened to the requests of Dr Puri for vacating the premises. “All of a sudden the police fired the tear-gas shells. I had to rush back to my brother in the surgical ward”, he said.

Vidyawati, whose son is suffering from brain fever, had to wait for two hours to get the medicine of her child who is admitted at DMCH.

Mr H.K.Verma, president and Mr L.R.Khera, general secretary of the Tagore Nagar Association have condemned the police action against the agitating employees. “It is a democratic country and everyone has the right of speech. Lathi-charge on the innocents is a brutal step. The police even dragged my sweeper Darshana, but my son intervened and told them that she was the domestic servant. Two persons at one karyana shop near DMCH were also beaten up by police without any reason”, said Mr Khera, an eyewitness.

The Punjab Agricultural University Employees Union has also strongly condemned the police lathi-charge on the agitating employees. Mr D.P.Maur, president of the union said that the leaders were sitting on a peaceful agitation and this kind of a step was a proof of dictatorship. Mr Maur said that union was trying to negotiate with the management but the management was reluctant on its stand.

The local unit of Democratic Teachers Front, Punjab, has also condemned the police lathi-charge on the peaceful agitating employees. Mr Jaswant Jerath, president of the front, said that it was an unfortunate step taken by the police.

Mr Naunihal Singh, SP, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune admitted that more than 15 police personnel were injured in today’s incident. He said that several others were also injured. “We cannot give the exact figure of the injured persons and the arrested union leaders at this stage as the main focus now is to improve the law and order”, said Mr Naunihal Singh.

It may be mentioned that the union’s strike is going on in the hospital premises since last month. The leaders want that Hero DMC Heart Institute and DMCH should not be considered two separate entities, but the management is of the view that in any circumstances, both the institutes cannot be treated equivalent as HDHI was a super-special institute.

The district administration also tried to sort out the differences between the two parties. They arranged meetings to put an end to the tussle between the management and union but to no avail.



70 persons booked for attempt to murder

The police has registered a case of attempt to murder against 70 persons, including 20 women, for assaulting government officials on duty and causing damage to public property here today. The police has also booked the Medical Superintendent of the hospital and eight members of the management for breach of peace.

The condition of the DSP, Mr Gurmel Singh, who was allegedly hit on the head by a brick thrown by the protesters, is stated to be serious. He is undergoing treatment at the CMC. He has reportedly slipped into coma after the incident. According to doctors, his condition is critical.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, and the SSP, Mr H. S. Sidhu, visited him in the hospital and talked to doctors about his condition.

According to sources, the police is investigating if the attack was pre- planned. Eyewitness accounts suggest that the entire scenario of confrontation was well thought out and all the advantages of the dharna site had been taken into consideration. In this context, bricks and other construction material had been stacked on the rooftops of nearby buildings. As soon as a police party entered the premises and urged the agitators to move out in view of the Court orders, they were attacked with rods and pelted with bricks.

The agitators, locked the main gate of the hospital and pelted police reinforcements with bricks and stones. The retaliation caught the cops unawares and 16 were injured in the violence. The execution of the attack also confirms the suspicion that some anti-social elements were among the protesters. The process of identifying those rounded up from the venue was in progress at police stations of Division No 8, Sadar and Division No 6, the sources pointed out. 



No one spared a thought for patients
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
Today’s unsavoury incident at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here was the culmination of the unbending posture struck by both the management and the union with the local administration playing the role of a passive onlooker. While the former did not exhibit concern for the people, the latter did not step in earlier to resolve the dispute and initiate measures to defuse the situation. Nobody for a moment spared a thought for the suffering of thousands of patients and their attendants.

But then the violent end to the ongoing feud has not come as a surprise for the people of Ludhiana. It was for over a month now that the DMC Employees Union was holding the management of the hospital to ransom and was not allowing the hospital to function normally.

Not that the DMCH management is all clean and that the entire blame should rest on the union, but the latter’s approach during the entire month has remained hostile and confrontationist. The management, too, has many a skeleton in its cupboard which has already led to the resignation of Dr V.M. Kohli from the Hero DMC Heart Centre. The union strike needs to be viewed in a larger context.

However, the stubborn attitude of the union ultimately led to its losing sympathy of all sections of society. At no point of time was the union able to justify its strike. Despite the management having conceded most of its demands, the union remained unrelenting and did not allow the normal functioning of the hospital.

It was not for the first time that the union members were forcing the closure of the hospital. They had done so on earlier occasions also. So far the DMC management apparently exercised lot of restraint and at no stage sought the police help or intervention. But when the situation reached a flashpoint today it had ultimately to call in the police.

In fact the DMC management has come under severe criticism for having allowed the employees’ union to get too emboldened to defy law and even the court directions. Most of the people observed that the management should have taken today’s step much before. Moreover, the stoning of the building and breaking of a number of glass plates, besides other damage to the hospital property by the union members, has also drawn sharp criticism.

It is not for the first time that the union has resorted to such hostile and confrontationist tactics bordering blackmail and holding the management to ransom. In fact it had become a routine feature for the union to resort to strike after every six months on flimsy grounds without having any respect for the conditions of the patients who are admitted in the hospital.

While things have calmed down for the time being, with the police having arrested a number of union leaders, the DMC management also needs a thorough introspection as to what is ailing the institution considered to be one of the biggest and reputed in the entire state. It should also ensure that the reins of such a big institution are not handed over to a single person who tends to become bigger than the institution. Resignation of Dr Kohli from the Heart Centre gives reason for such apprehensions and management necessarily needs to feel concerned about it.



‘Corporal punishment no solution’
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, July 13
There has been a mixed reaction among the teaching community over the child’s thrashing case that lead to death of Jagroop Singh, a Class X student of Government Senior Secondary School, Pakhowal, yesterday.

While some teachers feel that exemplary punishment ought to be given to Jinder Pal Kaur, teacher, who has been booked for murder, there are others who feel that the incident is being given political colour.

Majority of the teachers feel that the incident will lead to further deterioration in student-teacher relationship. They believe that the teaching community has been maligned in the process and it is being viewed with hatred by society. Since the incident involved a government school teacher, teachers from such schools are even more worried and feel that a campaign should be launched to counter any wrong propaganda against teachers.

Interestingly, even after the tragic incident many teachers believe that corporal punishment is a must to maintain discipline in schools. Mr Gurdial Singh Gill, a lecturer at Government Senior Secondary School at Hargobindpura and district secretary of the Government School Lecturers’ Association, said the incident was being exploited to malign teachers. He opined that punishment in schools was a must to maintain standard of education and to ensure good results.

He said, “A teacher punishes students for their benefit so that they are able to differentiate between the wrong and the right.” Prohibiting corporal punishment would mean that the teachers would not be able to punish children even if they brought bad results, he said.

Mr O.P. Arora, Principal, Nauhria Mal Jain Senior Secondary School, said children should not be hit on their back or head, but they could be hit on their palms when a teachers wanted to punish them. A child should not be asked to stand in the sun, but he could be made to stand in a covered verandah. “Such punishments do no physical or mental harm to the students, but at the same time make them take their studies seriously,” he said.

There are some teachers who are strictly against even minor physical punishments. Mr H.S. Bedi, a retired school teacher and national award winner, said, “Whenever a student creates indiscipline, efforts should be made to know his psychological problems. In case students show bad results in examination, a teacher should accept it as his own responsibility and try to improve upon his teaching methods rather than punishing children. There are some weak or irregular students in all classes and teachers should give them special attention rather than beating them.”

Mr B.K. Verma, Principal, Arya Senior Secondary School, Old Sabzi Mandi, said he had strictly told his teachers not to punish students. He said, “In case some students do mischief, they are given warning and their parents are called. If situation does not improve, the student may be rusticated from the school, but never scolded or physically punished.”



Town forces action against teachers
Victim of corporal punishment cremated
Tribune News Service

Pakhowal, July 13
Angry relatives of 15-year-old Jagroop, who died as a result of corporal punishment in school, and hundreds of persons of Pakhowal and Bhaini Arora villages staged a sit-in at Pakhowal Chowk today. They forced the police and the administration to accept all their demands.

The Subdivisional Magistrate, Mr Ajmer Singh, and the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr H.S. Brar, told protesters that the police had registered a murder case against the accused teacher and transferred six teachers, including the school Principal. Orders are out to arrest the accused teacher within 24 hours. The District Education Department has been directed to take action against the six teachers named in the incident. The services of the teacher who hit Jagroop have already been suspended.

The boy was cremated only after the demands were accepted and the last rites were performed at his native village, Bhaini Arora. No one from the staff of the school or the District Education Office was at the cremation.

Government Senior Secondary School, where Jagroop was punished, was closed today due to the protest.

However, the school authorities made no announcement that the closure was due to the student’s death.

Pakhowal remained tense today due to the protest and a road blockade. Almost all shops in the town remained closed. Jagroop’s family stuck to its decision of not cremating the boy until a case was registered against the accused teacher, Jinder Kaur, and strict action was taken against six other schoolteachers who had allegedly hidden the facts from it.

The protest began at about 7 am outside the school, where the huge gathering raised slogans against the school staff. Later, the protesters moved to Pakhowal Chowk. Hundreds of women squatted on the road and performed mock last rites of the school staff.

Mr Lakhbir Singh and Mr Sarbjit Singh, father and uncle of Jagroop, respectively, told protesters how the family had been harassed by the school staff. They said the school staff was trying to shield the accused. Jagroop’s sister Lalkhwinder Kaur had been barred from attending the morning assembly in school and students had been told to give a statement in favour of the accused teacher.

The school also ordered girl students to be kept away from boys, allegedly to prove that the main witness, Lakhwinder Kaur, never saw the beating of her brother. The school staff also misbehaved with Jagroop’s relatives at the hospital and tried to force them to withdraw the charges.

A number of political leaders, including the Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Jagdish Singh Garcha and a former legislator Tarsem Jodhan, also addressed the gathering.



Government plans to restore forest wealth 
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 13
The state-level Vanmahotsava function will be organised at Harbanspura village in Fatehgarh Sahib district on July 18. On this occasion, the foundation stone of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Forest Bhavan would be laid, besides planting saplings in 20 acres at Harbanspura village, said Dr Harbans Lal, State Minister for Forests, Food and Supply, while talking to mediapersons here on Saturday.

The minister gave a reference of the report of experts on environment that the land under forests in the state has come down to 6 per cent, whereas, it should have been at least 30 per cent, posing a big threat of droughts and pollution.

“In view of this problem, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, is going to take a decision at the forthcoming Cabinet meeting in which every village will give 10 per cent of land to the government for plantation of ornamental and fruit trees. By another decision, a committee with special powers will be formed which will get the encroachments on the forest lands cleared and get saplings planted there. In yet another incentive to the farmers, the government will declare 100 per cent ownership rights on all those trees which are grown up by the farmers on both ends of the road adjoining to their fields. Agro forestry programme will also be offered to the farmers”, the minister added.

Among other steps, the Forest Department has taken up plantation of trees on each side of the streets within municipal limits. The minister thanked the NGOs, banks, industrialists and other organisations who had offered to supply tree guards free of cost. The minister appealed to schools and general public to join this campaign. Each person should plant 20 trees to make the state greener, he said. “The government has planned to establish nurseries at different places, in which imported plants according to the nature of soil and climate will be planted”, he added.

The minister provided a detailed programme to celebrate ‘Van Mahotsava’ on July 23 at Sangrur, on August 3 at Hoshiarpur, on August 6 at Amritsar, on August 8 at Bhathinda, on August 9 at Mansa, on August 13 at Muktsar, on August 14 at Ferozepore, on August 19 at Patiala, on August 22 at Ropar, on August 23 at Gar Shankar, on August 27 at Dasuha, on August 28 at Pathankot, on August 30 at Ludhiana and on August 31 at Jalandhar.



PHRC raps civic body for ‘casual attitude’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 13
The Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC) has come down heavily upon the officials of the municipal corporation for what it considered as a ‘casual attitude’ in conducting the case pertaining to discrimination and apathetic attitude in providing basic civic amenities in a particular locality.

While taking up the complaint of Mr Sher Singh, a retired Railways official and city resident, which came up for hearing on June 12, Justice V.K. Khanna, Chairperson of the PHRC, took strong notice of the absence of the Law Officer and an Executive Engineer of the O and M Cell of the MC despite being specifically directed to be personally present vide an order passed March 5.

The orders passed by Justice Khanna made it clear that if the Law Officer of the MC failed to present himself in person before the commission on next date of hearing (on October 22), other steps would be taken in accordance with the law to ensure his presence. Similar directions were issued to the Executive Engineer (O and M) who would be required to be personally present on the next date to make his deposition on oath in connection with the case.

The complainant, Mr Sher Singh, had charged the MC of being discriminatory in providing basic facilities like water supply, proper sewerage, paved roads and streets and functional streetlights.

In a rejoinder to the complaint, the MC had maintained that the allegations made by the complainants were incorrect. It claimed that facility of water supply and sewerage were already available to the residents of the locality. Further, the estimates for paving of streets had already been sanctioned and tenders invited for the work. However, the work got delayed as the model code of conduct for the Assembly and municipal elections had come into effect.



Erratic power supply irritates residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
As the unscheduled power cuts and erratic power supply continue to irritate the residents, the complaints against the PSEB are also piling up.

Tired of not being heard by the PSEB staff, the residents have started ringing up newspaper offices to publish their complaints which according to them would “at least be redressed”. A resident of Urban Estate, Phase - I, Focal point, today complained that there was no power supply in the area since 7 p.m. yesterday. He said the telephone of the complaint centre of the area was not responding and if it was attended by someone, then there was a curt reply that there is no one in the office right now. The complaints at night were not redressed at all as the attendants said the faults would only be rectified in the morning, he added.

The sarpanch of Kila Raipur village, Mr Kuldip Singh, complained that his village came under the special scheme of the PSEB where the power supply was to be provided for 24-hours as the village panchayat had paid a sum of Rs 2 lakh under the special scheme. But the village was experiencing numerous power cuts and the supply was only for less than 12 hours.

“Only yesterday there was an unscheduled power cut rom 11 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. Then there was no supply at night also. Today also there was a cut from 9 a.m. to 4 pm. and we were without power throughout the day. “ the sarpanch rued.

He further said he had learnt that the Kila Raipur feeder was treated as an urban feeder but now they have started treating this feeder as rural feeder and that too without informing us. I contacted the Executive Engineer also but he could not give me a satisfactory answer.” The sarpanch demanded that if the power supply to the village has to be cut then it should be during the mornings and evenings and not during afternoon and night hours.



Cong hails drive against corruption
Tribune News Service

Members of the District Congress Committee take out a march in support of the CM’s anti-corruption drive
Members of the District Congress Committee take out a march in support of the CM’s anti-corruption drive, in Ludhiana on Saturday. — IV

Ludhiana, July 13
Members of the District Congress Committee (DCC) took out a march in support of the state campaign against corruption, here today. The march began from the Congress office and concluded at Clock Tower.

Besides the DCC (urban) president, the other prominent Congress leaders at the rally included the city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, a local MLA, Mr Surinder Dawer, and the senior vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan.

The Congress workers, at the conclusion of the rally, praised the anti-corruption drive of the state government.

The leaders also said the Congress government in Punjab had initiated a massive development process.



Probe sought into Punjab Agro ‘scam’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
The senior vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan, has demanded a CBI inquiry into the alleged scandal in Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Ltd Ludhiana. He claimed that the inquiry would reveal a scandal worth crores of rupees in the implement section of the corporation.

Mr Dewan alleged that during the past five years the corporation had manufactured thousands of wooden crates which were much below the specified size. Besides the wood used in the manufacturing of these crates was also not of the standard quality. He pointed out if the money saved by these methods was calculated it would amount to crores of rupees which had gone into the pockets of a selected few.

He urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to get a CBI inquiry done in this scandal which would lead to revealing disclosures. 



NGOs resent restrictions on pilgrims
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 13
The NGOs that provide Amarnath pilgrims with free food and tents have criticised the recent directives of the Jammu and Kashmir Department of Tourism.

The Bhole Bhandari Trust here headed by Mr Rajan Gupta and the Delhi-based Shri Amarnath Yatra Welfare Board headed by Mr Rajinder Sharma have said that the new rules have hurt the religious sentiments of pilgrims.

The bodies resent the decision to disallow pilgrims’ stay in tents at their ‘langar’ sites. The NGOs say that the J and K government has not made sufficient arrangements for the pilgrims’ stay and security.

Initially, the state had allowed the NGOs to have 25 sewadars at each ‘langar’ site, but the number was revised to 100 on a tough condition. All sewadars had to be taken to Srinagar for screening and receiving identity cards. The NGOs said sewadars were being treated like terrorists.

Another condition is that all rations for a 40-day kitchen should be transported in one go. These NGOs also resent the decision to reduce the number of pilgrims this year and say that there should be no such limit.



80 cows captured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
As many as 80 stray cows, commonly known as ‘Ram Gaus’ that had created a havoc for the farmers of Pakhowal, Narangwal, Kila Raipur and other villages, have been captured in a week-long operation.

Only a month ago, the district administration had called a meeting of gaushalas and animal welfare organisations of the district to tackle these cows as farmers of surrounding areas repeatedly complained about these.

According to a PFA release, Dr B.S. Gill, former Director, Animal Husbandry, and Director, Jeev Daya Sadan (PFA Hospital and Shelter), officials of the Animal Husbandry Department and villagers kept a watch that no cruelty was meted out to the cows during the process.

A special team of animal catchers was summoned from Patiala. An isolated place surrounded with trees was selected and an enclosure was formed with the help of ropes and trees.

All animals of the herd were driven toward this temporary enclosure and animals went inside the enclosure which was later moved.

Dr B.S. Gill along with some vets supervised the operation. He said these cows would be shifted to gaushalas after 2-3 days.



Smuggled liquor seized, one arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
During the special checking to curb smuggling of liquor from Chandigarh to Ludhiana, the raiding party of the Excise Department led by Mr G.S. Bahia, Excise and Taxation Officer, seized 70 pouches of whisky from Surinder Singh, a resident of Ghawaddi village.

Giving details, Mr Bahia informed that his party had put up a naka at Ramgarh village on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road and at around 7 pm a bus was checked and 70 pouches of Hero whisky meant for sale were recovered from Surinder, son of Ajaib Singh of Ghawaddi village who had concealed the whisky in his bag.

Mr Bahia said that a case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Punjab Excise Act has been registered at Sahnewal police station. Mr Bahia disclosed that this year the liquor was much cheaper in Chandigarh as compared to Ludhiana and a large number of unlawful elements were engaged in the smuggling of the liquor to make a fast buck.

He asserted that the anti smuggling campaign would be further intensified and nobody involved in this illegal trade would be spared. Mr Bahia was accompanied by Mr Inderjit Singh, Mr Balwant Salhan, Mr J.P. Singh (all excise inspectors) and excise and police staff.



Robbers injure 50-yr-old man
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 13
Jarnail Singh, a 50-year-old man, was injured by robbers who struck at his residence on the Amloh Road yesterday night. He was rushed to a private nursing home for first-aid.

The police has taken two persons into custody in this connection. According to information, the victim was sleeping in the courtyard of his house, along with his wife and daughter. At about 2 pm, two persons entered the house by jumping the boundary wall. Jarnail Singh woke up and challenged one of them. In the meantime, the other robber attacked him with an iron rod. Later, he was stabbed in the stomach. Meanwhile, his daughter came to save her father and shouted for help. On this, the robbers fled away. The victim was rushed to a nearby nursing home.

A neighbour informed the police and disclosed the identity of the robbers. Later two persons have been taken into custody. They have been identified as drivers of a local cement dealer. According to Jarnail Singh, he has identified both persons responsible for attack on him. No case was registered till the filing of this report.



One injured in sword attack
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 13
The Division No 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323,324 and 34 of the IPC against Davinder Singh, Tejinder Singh and Mohan Singh, all residents of Hargobind Nagar, on the complaint of Mr Avtar Singh, a resident of Ganesh Nagar. The complainant had alleged that the accused attacked him with a sword and injured him before running away. However, no arrest has been made so far.

Woman beaten up: A case of beating was registered at the Division No 6 police station under Sections 341, 323, 354, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Ms Pritam Kaur, a resident of Mehar Singh Nagar, against Jagjit Singh and Tejinder Singh. The woman had alleged that the accused had intercepted her near the Dholewal bridge on the GT Road and beaten her up. The accused, before running away, also threatened her of dire consequences, she added.

Man beaten up: The Division No 7 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 324, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Jagjit Singh, a resident of Khanpur village, against Makhan Singh and Gurdit Singh. According to the complainant, the accused had beaten and also threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

Fraud alleged: The Basti Jodhewal police registered a case under sections 406,420 and 506 of the IPC yesterday on the statement of Mr Jaswinder Singh, former president, Gurdwara Shri Guru Singh Sabha, Subhash Nagar, against Seetal Singh, a resident of New Bhagwan Nagar. The complainant had alleged that the accused had committed a fraud of Rs 1,15,000 by not transferring the land to gurdwara after taking the money for that. Nor did he return the money, he added. No arrest has been made so far.

Eve-teaser booked: The Salem Tabri police yesterday booked an eve-teaser under Sections 294 and 509 of the IPC on the complaint of the girl’s brother, Mr Rajinder Kumar, a resident of New Janak Puri. He complained to the police that Gulshan Kumar, a resident of Subhash Nagar in Basti Jodhewal, had teased his sister near Salem Tabri.

Fake CDs seized, 2 held: In a late night press release yesterday, the SSP, Mr H.S.Sidhu, said two persons, Manjit Singh alias Pappu, a resident of Rishi Nagar, and Sunil Kumar alias Ravinder Kumar, a resident of Chaura Bazar, had been arrested and booked under Sections 51,52-A, 63 and 68-A of the Copyright Act, 1957 and Section 420 of the IPC, for indulging in sales of fake and pirated CDs.

The arrests were effected following raids on the Bhadaur House market by a team of police officials from the Kotwali police station led by Mr Dharampal, SI, in which a total of 21,420 pirated audio and video CDs and 20,000 wrappers were seized from the raided premises.

Knife seized: During a special checking on Thursday, the Salem Tabri police arrested Baldev Masih of Sikandar Karyana Store, Bhora village, and seized a kamanidar knife from his possession. He has been booked under Sections 25,54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

Satta operators held: The Salem Tabri police arrested Ashwini Kumar, a resident of Reena Colony and Manjit Singh, a resident of Phillaur, on Thursday for running satta business at a public place and booked them under Sections 13-A,3 and 67 of the Gambling Act.

Liquor seized: The Sahnewal police on Thursday arrested Gurinder Singh, a resident of Ghawaddi village and seized eight bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. In another case, the Sahnewal police also arrested Varinder Singh, a resident of Katani Kalan village and seized 70 packets of illicit liquor from his possession. During a special checking, the Jodhewal police arrested Jagmohan Singh, a resident of Meharban village and seized 12 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. All accused have been booked under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Booked under the EC Act: The Division No 6 police yesterday booked Harbans Lal, a resident of White Quarters in Abdullapur Basti, under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act. According to the police, the accused was indulging in the sale of spurious kerosene in the black market.

Beaten up: The Shimla Puri police yesterday registered a case under Sections 452,448,323,506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Jagjit Singh, a resident of New Janta Nagar, against Rimpy and Babla, who live in the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused forced their way into his house and attacked him as a result of which he sustained injuries. The accused also threatened him of dire consequences before running away, he added. No arrest has been made so far.

Scooterist dies in mishap:
In a head-on collision between a truck (HP 24-3511) and a scooter (PB-43 1675) at Machhiwara-Kohara road near Gurugarh village, a scooterist Jatinder Yadav died on the spot whereas pillion rider Mahesh Kumar sustained serious injuries. They were referred to a Ludhiana hospital. Both are the employees with the S.T. Cottex Iraq. They were on the way to their office at 11 a.m when the mishap happened. The driver of the truck fled from the spot.

Lost child untraced: The local police could not locate Lakhvir Singh (12) who went missing on Thursday from nearby Powat village. According to his father Surjit Singh, the child did not come back after his school closed, situated in the same village. Though SHO Machhiwara Dilbagh Singh raided many places but with no success. Surjit Singh feared it to be an abduction.

One electrocuted: A tipper cleaner Kesar Singh (22) died on the spot on Thursday when the tipper came in contact with an electric wire during unloading. The deceased belonged to Ratti village in Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh.



More raids on dealers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
The crackdown on selling pirated audio and video CDs that was launched in the Gur Mandi area a week ago has been extended to other parts of the city. The police late evening raided a number of shops in Bhadaur House market and seized a large number of pirated CDs. The shopkeepers today kept their shutters down in protest against the police action. They said they were not doing anything illegal.

During the raid atleast two shops were sealed and their owners rounded up. The police claimed that it had seized a huge cache.



CICU seeks FM’s intervention to control 
steep price hike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, (CICU), Ludhiana, has sought the intervention of the Union Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, for checking the “sudden spurt” in the prices of steel, including HR coils and CT strips. The CICU has been maintaining that the steep hike will spell a doom for the cycle, auto parts and general engineering industry.

Addressing a press conference here today, the CICU president, Mr Inderjeet Singh Pradhan, and general secretary, Mr Avtar Singh, and a leading industrialist, Mr M.S. Bhogal, said that the prices of HR coils had risen from Rs 13,000 per metric tonne to Rs 20,000 per metric tonne, while the price of CR strips had increased to Rs 26,500 per metric tonne from Rs 20,000 per metric tonne. They apprehended that the prices would be further enhanced by Rs 2,000 per metric tonne.

They said that the monopolist attitude and the arbitrary hike introduced by the manufacturers of steel like Essar Steel, Steel Authority of India, TATA Iron and Steel Co, Tata Ispat Industry of India, Jindal Group and Nippon Group had created a lot of problems for the cycle and auto part industry.

They alleged that these manufacturers had created artificial shortage to earn the maximum profits and they were also making supplies of HR coils to the foreign buyers.

Making out a strong case for checking the prices of steel, they pointed out, if it was not done, it would lead to a chain of events that would have far-reaching repercussions. They feared that the increase in the steel prices would lead to a minimum of Rs 200 increase in the bicycle prices. If the prices were not checked, it would lead to the closure of the small-scale manufacturing units and cost thousands of workers their jobs. About three lakh workers are involved in the manufacture of about 50,000 bicycles daily in Ludhiana.

The CICU suggested that the import of HR coils should be allowed for the users and the custom duty be reduced from 25 to 10 per cent and enable the users to freely import the HR coils and other raw material. It pointed out in a number of countries outside India, the prices of HR coils per metric tonne was between $ 320 and $ 330. With a custom duty of 25 per cent and the fare from the origin to destination the cost comes to about Rs 20800 per metric tonne and interestingly these firms have also maintained their prices at the same level.

The CICU said the whole engineering and related industry would collapse in case the prices were not checked. It urged the FM to ask the Steel Ministry to take protective measures by controlling the prices.


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