Tuesday, July 16, 2002,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Police brutality lands pregnant nurse in hospital
Jupinderjit Singh and Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, July 15
Contrary to the police claims, evidence of police brutality and beating in the Saturday's clash between the police and the DMC Employees’ Union is mounting with each passing day.

In one of the most startling allegations supported by evidence pointing towards police excesses on that fateful day, a number of medico-legal reports of several arrested DMC workers show injuries sustained due to use of sharp-edged objects where as they could only suffer blunt injuries in a lathi charge. A six-month pregnant nurse of DMC and a victim of police beating was admitted to Civil Hospital today after she complained of severe abdominal pain due to injuries she suffered in yesterday's police beating.

These new cases question the claim of the police that it had not over-reacted in the incident and had only acted in self-defence. These cases come close on the heels of allegations levelled by a doctor and a journalist, who had alleged similar police beating.

The pregnant woman employee of DMC, who was allegedly beaten up by the police during the clash and was sent to judicial custody in woman jail here yesterday, was admitted to the Civil Hospital today morning.

She had complained of severe abdominal pain in the morning and the jail staff immediately rushed her to the Civil Hospital. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune from the gynae ward in the civil hospital, the woman said she was suffering more from mental agony than physical pain.

Showing the blunt injuries she sustained on her arms, she said she was working as a nurse with the DMC and had gone for routine check up to the hospital on that fateful day.

“The situation was tense and I decided to return. However, as the front door was locked and heavy police force was posted there I tried to sneak out through the back door. But soon the clash broke out and I had hardly reached the back gate when a number of policemen and women pounced on me saying I was the one who had thrown stones on them.”

She said she pleaded innocence but her cries fell on deaf ears. “I also cried that I was pregnant but they continued beating me with sticks and hurled blows at me. They even dragged me by my hair and took me away in a bus. I was ill-treated in police custody also.”

Women jail sources said the woman was feeling pain ever since she was brought here last late evening. “As her condition worsened today morning, we decided to shift her to the civil hospital as no gynae facilities were available here,” a jail official said.

The woman said she does not know the names of the policemen and women who had beaten her up. She said one strong-built constable was particularly cruel as he repeatedly hit her with rifle buts. She said she pleaded to woman cops to save her and her child but they disbelieved her.

Mr Naunihal Singh, SP (city-II), said he knew nothing about the case as no one had complained to him. He said the police was open to any complaint and would take strong action as per the law when the victim woman lodges a complaint with the police. He maintained that the police had committed no excesses in the clash and the ensuing lathi-charge. He said no one was talking about the policemen who had been hurt in the clash.

However, copies of medico-legal report in the possession of Ludhiana Tribune strongly question the police claim. The reports of Rajinder Singh and Manga Ram , both DMC employees currently in judicial custody, who were allegedly beaten up by the police during the clash and in the police custody claim that incision wounds were found on arms and some other parts of the body.

Alleging police torture a spokesperson of the newly formed Joint Action Committee of DMC faculty members Dr Harpal Singh, a faculty member of the DMC, told Ludhiana Tribune that if the police had only used sticks in the clash or afterwards to control the mob, how come there were incision injuries suffered by the two unionists.



DC sides with police
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Aggarwal today turned down a demand of several employees organisations seeking a high-level probe by an independent authority into Saturday’s clash between the DMC unionists and the local police.

The DC also did not agree to the assertion of the organisations that only the police was responsible for the clash and the ensuing lathi charge. The DC made this reaction to a delegation of leaders of several non-DMC organisations that had organised a rally at Punjabi Bhavan today to express solidarity with the DMC Union.

It was a tension-filled day in and around Mini Secretariat today as hundreds of activists of the organisations organised the rally in defiance of the heavy police bandobast to prevent the rally as it was in violation of Section-144 promulgated by the District Magistrate in the city.

The rally, however, passed off peacefully even as there were several moments when the tension reached a flash point. Mounted police force supported by an anti-riot force remained deployed at Mini Secretariat to prevent the rally from taking an ugly turn. The police did not take any action at Punjabi Bhavan as under the law Section-144 prevailed at public places.

The delegation leaders, including Mr Tarsem Jodhan, former MLA, Mr Harish Dhanda, President, District Bar Association, Mr Kanwaljit Khanna, Gen Secretary, Inqalabi Kendra, Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, President, MCPI, addressed the rally.

After meeting the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jodhan said the DC had not accepted their demands and now they would discuss their future plan of action in a meeting called later in the evening.

The delegation had submitted a memorandum to the DC. It had demanded immediate transfer of SSP H.S. Sidhu, withdrawal of cases against the unionists, registration of a case against the police for beating innocent people and initiating a high-level probe by an independent authority.

The DC turned down the proposals saying the civil and police administration was handling the case as per law and no injustice would be done. He said the police action was not unprovoked and, in fact, the unionists had attacked first.



Docs, teachers, students form panel
Shivani Bhakoo


  • All faculty up in the arms against the management.
  • Dr S.C.Ahuja, Dr Sandeep Puri, Dr Rajoo Chinna and Dr Daljit Singh resign from their respective posts.
  • Faculty decides not to let the institution run by “a single man”.
  • Supporting unions to stage dharna on July 18 at Mini Secretariat.

Ludhiana, July 15
The management of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital received a major setback today when the faculty members decided not to let the institution be run by “a single man”. The doctors demanded an end to this one-manship in order to restore proper functioning of the hospital in the larger interest of society.

Resentment prevailed among the faculty members over the alleged misbehaviour of the police with Dr S.C. Ahuja, Principal, Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent, Dr Rajoo Singh Chinna, MS (P) and Dr Daljit Singh. As a result, all these office-bearers of the management had resigned from their posts and extended all their cooperation to the faculty and employees’ union.

Teachers, faculty, junior doctors and students have formed a Joint Action Committee to deal with the situation arising out of the unfortunate incidents that took place in DMCH on July 13, 2002. The action committee condemned the merciless beating of the employees and their unlawful lock-up as well as arrest under falsely registered cases. It demanded an immediate and unconditional release of all the employees and withdrawal of cases against senior faculty members, administrative staff and employees.

Some senior doctors said DMCH Managing Society had been running the hospital and medical college without any system and upon individual whims and fancies. The doctors also demanded a judicial probe into the whole affair and punishment of the guilty.

The members unanimously decided that no member of the faculty would accept any administrative post till the time hospital started functioning smoothly according to a democratic set-up and system that included total transparency in the financial matters, appointments and promotions etc.

The doctors supported all genuine demands of the employees and reiterated that all issued be settled at the earliest through negotiation. The action committee said that all the faculty members were very keen to start hospital functioning at the earliest but this was possible only if all the demands were amicably met.

The doctors said that today even the Hero Heart Institute was vacated by the authorities. “Everything can be sorted out with dialogue. When we are ready to work and serve for the institution, why have the authorities sealed the hospital premises? Where should we go?”, asked the doctor.

Some doctors alleged that the police tried to harass them today when they were attending a meeting at the Old DMCH. “They tried to tow our vehicles from outside the meeting venue and unnecessarily harassed us”, said one of the doctors.

The faculty said that the release of employees and their welfare was the foremost agenda and a prerequisite for restoration of the hospital services.

Meanwhile, the striking employees of the DMCH today received an unexpected support when several other trade unions, organisations and Ludhiana Bar Association led by its president Harish Dhanda joined them at Punjabi Bhawan.

All the supporting unions have decided to stage a dharna and hold a protest rally on July 18 at Mini Secretariat to express solidarity with the struggling DMCH employees.

The Joint Council of Trade Unions condemned the brutal repression unleashed on the DMCH employees by the Punjab Police. Mr D.P. Maur, general secretary of the council, said that the management always maintained a callous attitude towards the demands of the peaceful employees. "Such an act was all pre-planned by both district administration and hospital management as one senior official of administration had hinted during various meetings with the union leaders that if they did not agree with the administration, force will be used against them”, said Mr Maur.

The Brown Memorial Hospital Employees Union also supported the DMCH union. They said that it was a matter of shame on the part of hospital management who failed to settle the issues being raised by the union for more than a month. The situation could be brought under control if appropriate remedial measures were taken in time.



Decline and fall of DMCH
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
It is a strange paradox. The people who are managing the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) are themselves leading industrialists and businessmen running their own business running into hundreds of crores of rupees.

The decline and fall of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) is a strange paradox. The DMC is run and managed by the same bunch of people who are themselves leading industrialists and businessmen whose business empire runs into hundreds of crores of rupees. And everybody’s business empire runs successfully. Nobody has ever heard of any strike anywhere in their business organisations with manpower many times more than that in the DMC.

Right from Mr Brij Mohan Munjal, the president of the DMC Managing Committee, up to other members, all of them are well to do business men. Mr Munjal is the Chairman and Managing Director of the Hero Honda Motors Ltd, the manufacturers of largest number of motor cycles in the country. There are others like Mr Balraj Kumar of the York Hosiery, Mr Amrit Nagpal of the Haveli Ram and Sons, Mr Rakesh Mittal Bharti of the Bharti Telecom and so many others.

While most of the members are trying to lay the entire blame on the district administration which acted added in ‘most dictatorial and barbaric manner by thrashing everyone who came their way’, some people have been attributing it to the failure of the management to handle what was simply a labour problem which was made out to be a law and order problem. Well known industrialist and the Chairman of the Vardhaman Group of Industries, Mr S.P. Oswal, was quoted in a Hindi daily today describing the DMC fiasco as the failure on part of the managing committee to handle the issue of human resource management. This remark from a person of Mr Oswal’s standing and eminence about the managing committee members has come as a rude shock to them, particularly when it hits hard the same people who are themselves well established in business and are counted among the few leading names in the Indian industry.

While a number of managing committee members refused to be drawn into the debate over Mr Oswal’s remarks, they, however, maintained that the problem was complicated by the inept handling of the situation by the district administration. A member of the committee revealed that they never asked for such a huge police contingent, while pointing out it was not a law and order problem but simply a labour problem. “But unfortunately the inept handling of the situation by the district administration turned it into a law and order problem”, he regretted.

The member went on further alleging that the district administration had let loose a reign of terror in the city by booking the doctors, the employees and even the managing committee members. “It is the police raj in the city with about 100 employees having been booked under section 307 and most of them being thrown behind the bars”, he pointed out, while adding, “while over a 100 employees have been booked for attempt to murder simply for the reason that a DSP got injured, but who should be held responsible for the merciless and barbaric beating and the humiliation to the employees and doctors?” The police has still not given up the daily raids to nab the employees as if they are criminals.



Harrowing time for parents, wards
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
Hundreds of students who had come to the district head office of the Punjab School Education Board today to submit their supplementary examination forms had a harrowing time waiting for their turn in the scorching heat in the absence of any shelter on the office premises.

The office was the venue for submitting examination forms for the supplementary matric examination, which will be held in September. Long queues of students and their parents were seen in the open. There were no special arrangements by the authorities for them.

Around 1,500 parents and their wards could be seen in dark corners or sitting under the shade of a few trees to beat the oppressive heat. Inquiries revealed that today was the penultimate day of submitting the forms — the last date is July 16 — but only six counters had been set up to deal with the estimated rush of 1,000 students, who had come to submit the forms.

A girl student even suffered a mild sun-stroke on the office premises after continuously standing for five hours awaiting her turn. She was offered a soft drink and later rushed to her house by her friends.

Mamta, one of her friends, said “There were no arrangements for drinking water and the taps installed on the premises yielded hot water. They should have anticipated that so many students would turn up in the office and should have made proper arrangements. At least they could have erected tents outside the office. They did not realise that it’s impossible to stand in this heat”.

Another student, Paramjit Singh, who had come from Doraha, said he was waiting his turn since 8 a.m. “They stop accepting forms themselves when there is a power cut. If they cannot receive forms during a power cut, how can they expect us to stand in the sun for hours on end?”

Mr Manmeet Bhattal, District Head of the Punjab School Education Board, was not available in his office for comments.

An employee in the office said they could not do anything as people had the habit of submitting forms on the last dates only. “This leads to rush. How can we make arrangements for so many people at one time. The situation has worsened due to the dharna of various employee unions in Punjabi Bhavan today,” he said.



HUDCO approves housing scheme for poor
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 15
In a significant development, the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) has agreed in principle to delink the portion related to this city under the Valmiki Ambedkar Malin Basti Awaas Yojna (VAMBAY) and hand over the project to the Municipal Corporation.

Under the Government of India-sponsored housing scheme for the economically weaker sections, a Rs 50-crore project had been approved for construction of 10,000 one-room tenements at different locations in the state. Out of the total project, Rs 20 crore were to be provided as loan, an equal amount as subsidy by the Union Government and Rs 10 crore were to be raised by the beneficiaries.

In a communication to the MC from Chandigarh-based regional chief of HUDCO, it has been intimated that the State Urban Development Authority had not been able so far to complete the legal formalities and HUDCO had no hesitation to delink the Ludhiana portion of the project and entrust the same to the MC for execution if fresh documentation charges were submitted by the civic body.

Giving details, the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, told Ludhiana Tribune that the project envisaged construction of 4050 dwelling units for economically weaker sections (EWS) and below poverty line (BPL) families at an estimated cost of Rs 25.21 crore. The scheme was first mentioned in the MC general house meeting here on November 22 and subsequently approved by the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC). Once completed the scheme would go a long way towards easing the acute housing problem in the mega city for weaker sections.

“Sponsored by the Union Government, VAMBY is aimed at providing houses to homeless EWS and BPL families, living in urban slums. Under the scheme, each dwelling unit would be built in an area of 15 square metre at a cost ranging between Rs 40,000 and Rs 45,000. Out of total cost of project for construction of houses, 10 percent will be ear marked for upgradation of existing houses of eligible families.”

Mr Sharma said the houses, proposed to be constructed under the scheme, would be allotted either in the name of a female member of the family or jointly in the name of the couple. Further, 50 per cent of these houses would be reserved for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes, followed by 30 per cent for backward classes, 15 per cent for EWS families, 3 per cent for physically and mentally handicapped persons and 2 per cent for old pensioners.

The MC has identified a 15-acre piece of land out of 105 acres MC land at Jamalpur, for the housing project and it was proposed to construct shops and booths in an area of one acre land in this area. The cost of land at the rate of Rs 25 lakh per acre, in addition to the expenditure incurred on construction of roads, parks, plantation and low cost sanitation, which amounted to Rs 16,000 per unit, would be borne by the beneficiaries.



Residents sick of polluting unit
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service


  • Residents sick of the foul smell emanating from the unit,
  • Have contracted many diseases.
  • Written to various departments, but to no avail
  • Plan a major agitation to wake up the authorities from their slumber.

Ludhiana, July 15
Thousands of residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and adjoining colonies are up in arms against a glue-manufacturing unit, which is allegedly spreading air and water pollution in the area. The district administration and the Pollution Control Board are yet to come to the aid of the residents even though the latter have been agitating against the factory for the past about 10 years.

A visit to Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and adjoining areas revealed that not only was it difficult to breathe at the affected places but even the waste water thrown out of the factory had caused skin problems among several residents, who accidentally stepped onto the factory waste. The purity of the ground water had also been reportedly affected as the discharge was seeping into the earth.

Residents said the industry manufactured a glue on the premises with the help of hides and bones of cattle, spreading a nauseating smell in the entire colony and other areas, including Manakwal village, Gill village, Baba Deep Singh Nagar, Madhopura and Dhandra. They said they had seen truck-loads of animal materials passing through their streets and downloading the material in the industry.

The residents said that they were suffering from many diseases including skin, bronchial, nasal, intestinal and throat infections as it was constantly emanating foul smell. They alleged that the discharge of the unit was making its way into the open plots in the vicinity.

The sarpanch of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Ms Amarjit Kaur, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said that they had given many representations to successive Deputy Commissioners and officials in the Punjab Pollution Control Board but nothing had happened till date. She said they had written a letter to the Chief Minister and Health Minister also but nobody paid any heed to their representations.

She further said that the residents had even staged dharnas from time to time to attract the attention of the authorities concerned but nothing had changed. The polluting unit continues to emanate foul smell and numerous diseases to the residents living in vicinity.

Mr Narinder Parwana, a representative of the Welfare and Struggle Committee, said that there were many schools in the vicinity of the factory and the students were inconvenienced. “We cannot venture out of our houses without covering our nose. It has made our life a hell. We have nothing against the owner but we want him to manufacture anything else that does not cause pollution,” he said.

Mr Jagtar Singh, an old man who had stepped into the discharge of the factory, said that he had burnt skin on his legs and feet. “The disease doesn’t get cured. I have consulted many doctors and used many medicines but to no avail.”

Mr Manish Kapoor, one of the owners of the factory said that he had made all arrangements to combat pollution in the unit. He said he had been running this factory for the past 21 years when there was no habitation in the area. “Now people have made their entry into this area also that was otherwise far from the city. This is not my fault. I have all NOCs from the authorities concerned and I am a licence-owner also,” he said.



Protest against anti-encroachment drive
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 15
On a call given by the action committee, the town witnessed a complete bandh on Monday. A protest march was also taken out from Grain Market through main bazar and protesters later staged a dharna in front of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s office at Amloh. According to Mr Nirbhai Singh, chairman of the action committee, the bandh had been observed to protest against the incident of July 12, in which under the directions of government, the PWD and Municipal Council damaged kiosks along with the goods lying inside in a joint campaign against encroachments. This caused loss to the poor people on Nabha road near Grain Market.

Mr Hari Chand Mittal, president, Arhtiyas Association, while addressing the people ridiculed the statement of some ministers in the papers to plant more and more trees in the state whereas it had failed to maintain the existing forest cover and cited the instance of “Amloh Bir” where canal water allocated for irrigation purposes was never utilised and the existing tubewell in the forest too was never utilised, as a result of which most of the trees had dried up.

Dr Raghbir Shukla, a social worker, compared the action with state terrorism which was let loose on the poor shopkeepers through baildars of PWD and Class IV employees of the Municipal Council were asked to remove the encroachments whereas proper and legal steps should have been taken to deal with this problem. Kiosks holders had got electric connections for power supply and had been paying rent for the space to the municipal council for the past several years, so legal action should have been taken against them instead of the employees taking the law into their hands.

Mr Gurdial Singh Ghulumajra, senior vice-president, Akali Dal (A), Mr Ravinder Singh Khalsa, general secretary, district Youth Akali Dal, Mr Mangat Arora, Mr Vinay Puri, Dr Ram Sarup, Mr Parminder Singh, Mr Siri Ram Dangg and Mr Bhavishan Kumar, Ex-Municipal Councillor too addressed the dharna. A memorandum was presented to the SDM in which it was urged to withdraw the cases registered against 17 shopkeepers of the city.

A deputation consisting of Mr Baldev Singh Aulakh, chief of the council; Mr Ramesh Gupta, deputy chief, Mr Nirbhai Singh, chairman, Action Committee; Mr Jiwan Puri, Councillor, discussed the matter with the SDM in his office and after that the SDM assured the agitators that no person would be arrested in false cases for damaging the government property and some suitable way would be evolved to remove encroachments and there would be no discrimination in the drive against encroachments. Meanwhile, a meeting of the action committee was called to discuss the matter on Tuesday by other SDM.

The action committee had asserted that the stir will be intensified in case justice is not done with the people.

On the other hand, class IV union has taken a serious view of the matter, as Mr Hari Chand, district president, Class IV Employees Union and district convener of the Joint Action Committee of Employees in a press note released here today threatened to launch a stir in case action was not taken against the persons who had thrashed and beaten Class IV employees of PWD and Municipal Council while they were performing their duty entrusted by the SDM to remove the encroachments at Amloh.

Mr Hari Chand further added that to express resentment against the administration for taking no action regarding the Amloh incident, the employees had refused to participate in the campaign to remove encroachments at Sirhind in Fatehgarh Sahib district.



A summer residents would like to forget
D.B. Chopra

Ahmedgarh, July 15
This summer has been made memorable for the residents of this town because of two major casualties. Water and electricity. Both are in short supply, far less than what the residents actually require.

The flow of water from the taps at any given time of the day is just a trickle. Following the publication of a report in Ludhiana Tribune on the rampant and illegal use of Tullu pumps by influential people of the town resulting in denial of water to other residents, Mr S.P.Sharma, who had just taken over as the Executive Officer of the local Municipal Council, had warned the residents through an announcement made all over the town on a PA system that anybody found operating a Tullu pump would be strictly dealt with according to the law.

As a result the water supply in the town improved for about a week after which it again became a trickle. The trouble was that the announcement was not followed up with on-the-spot inspections and some pumps seized which could have really acted as a deterrent.

On the other hand, people in general accuse the various municipal councillors of having created the problem in the very first place. Any resident who complains about the lack of water is advised to install a Tullu pump of his own by the councillors to solve the problem. It is obvious that the councillors do not want to spoil their prospects at the next hustings by persuading influential people of remove their Tullu pumps in the larger public interest.

Unannounced and frequent power cuts are agitating the people for the cuts come at very odd hours, at dinner time , in the middle of a sultry night and so on. While most of the time the cuts are long, sometimes there are 10-minute cuts for as many times during the night and one wonders if the electricity men have gone bananas.

Not only the cuts, poor maintenance of various transformers in the town are also a source of worry as also the old wires which hang loosely in a unsafe manner all over the town.

A PSEB official confided that the load on the three feeders catering to the town and surrounding areas was unevenly distributed as a result of which people getting power from the feeder with the maximum load were facing problems of power failure more than the others.

Another factor adding to the power woes of the residents is the kundi connection put by the influential to run their air-conditioners in collusion with the electricity men.



‘Pragya divas’ celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 15
The Jain Shwetambar Terapanthi Sabha held a function at the Baba Gajja Jain Community Centre in Sunder Nagar, here yesterday, to celebrate the 83rd birthday celebrations of Jain Acharya Mahapragya Maharaj as “Pragya divas”. The function was presided over by Mr Kashmiri Lal Jain, a social worker and the president of the Baba Shri Gajja Jain Sabha.

Paying tributes to Acharya Mahapragya, Muni Shri Vinay Kumar Alok said dedication, patience and attachment with philosophy were the three principles followed by saints while serving humanity. He said without dedication it was not possible to reach the top in any sphere of life. He lamented that with the advent of modern education and rise of materialistic pursuits, there had been a gradual decline in moral values. The Muni said pragya helped one arouse one’s inner consciousness.

Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, who was the chief guest, in his address, assured the gathering that sale of meat in the open would not take place in the city and declared that the municipal corporation would soon name a road or a square in the city after Acharya Mahapragya.

Earlier, the function went under way with Muni Vinay Kumar reciting the “mahamantra”. Mr Moti Lal and members of the Mahila Mandal chanted hymns. Among others who spoke on the occasion included Mr Kashmiri Lal Jain, Mr Shyam Sunder Malhotra, Mr Darshan Lal, chairman, Manav Kalyan Trust, Mr Bansi Lal, president, Jain Shwetambar Terapanthi Sabha and Mr Hemant Parikh.



2 held for attacking policemen
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 15
The Raikot police has arrested Chamkaur Singh and Gurmail Kaur for attack and injuring ASI Labh Singh and constable Gurdial Singh.

The policemen were attacked by Chamkaur Singh and Sukhwinder Singh during a raid on the house of Darshan Singh, a declared proclaimed offender in an opium case. Red chilly powder was thrown in the eyes of the ASI and constable to free Darshan Singh from their custody. A case under Sections 307, 323, 325, 332, 353, 186, 225, 224, 148 and 149 of the IPC had been registered against the attackers.

Chamkaur Singh and Gurmail Kaur were produced before Mr Tejwinder Singh, SDJM, who remanded them in police custody till July 16.

Poppy husk seized: The Jagraon police has arrested Balbir Singh alias Beera of Kokri Kalan and seized 26.5 kg of poppy husk from his possession. In another case, the Dakha police arrested Ramesh Nath of Salem Tabri, Ludhiana, from Khanwarwal village and seized 30 kg of poppy husk. The Dakha police also arrested Bittu of Sherpur Road and seized 26 kg of poppy husk from him.

The three have been booked separately under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. 



Bank to give 60 pc dividend to shareholders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
Karnataka Bank will give 60 per cent dividend to all its shareholders and has sought permission from the Reserve Bank of India in this connection. This was disclosed by the Chairman of the bank, Mr S. Ananthkrishna, at a press conference here today.

Mr Ananthkrishna said the bank had applied for the permission to the RBI as the RBI had set a limit for offering dividend to shareholders. Once dividend to be offered was more than the prescribed limit, the RBI’s approval was mandatory.

The Chairman claimed that the bank had recorded phenomenal growth during the past few years. He informed that the total business of the bank, including the deposits and advances, had crossed Rs 10,000 crore in the year 2001-02. The bank had around 4,000 employees, over 50,000 shareholders and nearly 25 lakh customers.

Mr Ananthakrishna said the bank had targeted an aggregate business level of Rs 12,750 crore for the current year with net profits of Rs 100 crore and the owned funds at Rs 525 crore. He said the bank had done phenomenally well in Punjab and the state was on top priority in its expansion programme.



Bank to launch credit card scheme
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 15
To implement the development schemes of the Central Government, the Bank of Rajasthan Ltd will launch a credit card scheme in the field of small-scale industry, before the month of September this year and provide loans to entrepreneurs up to Rs 2 lakh on each terms and conditions. This was stated by Dr K.M. Bhattacharya, Managing Director and Chief Executive Director of the bank, while addressing a customer meeting at the Gymkhana Club here.

Mr Bhattacharya also disclosed some other schemes, including the Kisan State Bank Credit Card scheme, under which the farmer can get loan up to Rs 2 lakh for construction work and for buying a car. Interest rate for such loans had been fixed from 14 per cent to 13.5 per cent. To provide more facility to local traders the town was being brought under the N-line scheme by which the branch would be linked with the Narayana branch, Delhi, within three months and with Bhavnagar (Gujarat) after six months. The customers here would be able to withdraw payments within 2 minutes from any branch of the bank.

He further added that 50 branches in 32 towns had already been brought under the scheme, while 100 branches would be covered by next March.



Connect launches scheme
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 15
In a bid to provide better facilities to its subscribers, Connect telecom has launched a new scheme, Mere Apnay in Punjab and Chandigarh.

According to a press note issued here today, under the scheme, a subscriber can choose any two Connect local numbers and one number with 95-dialing facility. Moreover, the subscriber can make unlimited number of calls to these numbers without being charged for the calls.

For availing themselves this offer, the subscribers will be charged a monthly subscription fee of Rs 75. This scheme will be available to new Connect Wireline subscribers only.

“The scheme has been designed keeping in mind those people who want to be constantly in touch with their near and dear ones and talk for hours without having to bother about their telephone bills”, said a company spokesperson. This scheme is open to all new Connect subscribers. 


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