Saturday, August 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Holy swindler’s dream run ends
75-yr-old duped countless persons in 25 yrs
Amarjit Thind and Mahesh Sharma

Malerkotla, August 23
A 75-year-old man called Dr Amar Singh Preet has been arrested from a local gurdwara on the charge of duping hundreds of youths over the past 25 years on the pretext of sending them abroad as preachers. His arrest exposes how the lure of settling abroad is gripping Punjabi youth, who are undeterred by countless tales of watery graves and subhuman treatment in foreign jails.

While most such dubious agents land behind bars soon after entering this shady business, Dr Preet had a 25-year-long dream run. In his own words: “This is one of the easiest ways to make a quick million.” He has told the police everything else but what he did with the ill-gotten money. According to the police, this man, who says that he is an Amritdhari, used his age and knowledge of holy scriptures to fool the youth into believing that he could get them jobs in gurdwaras abroad.

He used to charm his targets with his communication skills and simple lifestyle that he projected. He used to take Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000, depending on how much a person could pay, from his targets (mostly preachers living in small towns and villages of Punjab). The police is trying to find out if he was a lone ranger or part of a gang involved in an immigration racket.

Dr Preet — a bachelor who lived in Behrampur of Ropar district, claims to be a postgraduate and research scholar. He was arrested from Haa Da Narra gurdwara, where he had arrived from a place in the Malwa belt. He had been preaching there for the past few days. Gurdeep Singh, one of the men he had trapped, read about him in the ‘Punjabi Tribune’, which led to the arrest of Dr Preet. The report was about a Batala youth who had been swindled by an aged imposter. Gurdeep Singh is a ‘granthi’ in a Sanaur gurdwara.

Mr Rajbachan Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police at Malerkotla, said a case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC had been registered against Dr Preet. His interrogation has been mild, so far, considering his age.

Soon after coming into contact with Gurdeep, Dr Preet told him that he could send him abroad at Rs 30,000, if he introduced him to the ‘sangat’ at some of historical gurdwaras here. A note of receipt for this sum issued to Gurdeep was written on the letterhead of Mai Bhago Gurmat Missionary College of Manali. The letterhead carries addresses of the college’s branches abroad.

The old man collected money in the name of this organisation and claimed that all donations were tax--exempted. The letterhead was found to be fake. The man had covered almost all religious places of the Sikhs in India. He has lost count of how many persons he has duped, so far. The sums he took from them were never so big to arouse suspicion.

Sources said the accused had been saying that all his belongings and cash had been stolen from the ‘sangat’. He has not denied that small offerings of up to Rs 500 were usually used up in covering his travel expenses. However, the police finds it hard to believe that such a “learned” man, a bachelor till the age of 75, can dupe innocent persons.


White-skin bait that hooked hundreds
Fake marriage racket spread across Punjab
Our Correspondent


Shamsher Singh, a Canadian immigrant, who knew that rural Punjabis were desperate to go abroad — a mindset which he could exploit.


A Canadian woman named Amanda Fergusan. The NRI used her as a bait many times.


Landlords, who used to pay them huge sums in dowry or “bride-price” and even give them share in property if their wards succeeded in going abroad

Nurses; their guardians were made to believe that nurses had a bright future in Canada.

Ahmedgarh, August 23
An NRI, who has now been arrested, and a Canadian woman had joined hands with some local persons to dupe rich farmers by organising fake marriages of their wards to send them abroad. Landlords used to pay them huge sums in dowry or “bride-price” and even give them share in property if their wards succeeded in going abroad. Hundreds of rural folks had been helping these gangsters, without realising the seriousness of what they had been doing.

A case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered against the accused, Shamsher Singh. Whatever little he has told the police in his sustained interrogation shows that many lives would have been ruined had the police not acted quickly.

Shamsher had been in contact with a number of marriage-bureau owners, whose addresses he had taken from classified advertisements in major newspapers. Earlier, he used to arrange marriages from Canada through these bureaus. Being a Canadian immigrant, he knew that rural Punjabis were desperate to go abroad — a mindset which he could exploit.

Mr Rajbachan Singh Sandhu, Deputy Superintendent of Police at Malerkotla, said the gangsters had been quoting a price upto Rs 13 lakh for sending anyone to Canada this way. Shamsher had trapped a nurse of Jawar Singh Wala village on the pretext of sending her abroad through fake marriage and even struck a deal for Rs 13 lakh with her brother, Buta Singh. When the date of marriage was fixed, he made another deal with a woman called Sukhwinder Kaur of Dehlon, for the fake marriage of her sister who was also a nurse. In both cases, guardians of the target women were made to believe that nurses had a bright future in Canada.

Mr Sandhu said the NRI was already married to a rich woman in Canada, but had shown himself to be a divorcee. However, he could not produce any evidence of him being a divorce. Many of his victims have since contacted the police.

According to the police, the NRI had used a Canadian woman named Amanda Fergusan as a “bait” to trap a Patiala man named Ekam Singh. Ekam was shown this woman at a Malerkotla hotel where she had given her permanent address to be 7454, Durocher, Montreal, Canada. She, later, eloped after Ekam had already paid Rs 50,000 for the fake marriage to Hardip Singh, Beant Singh and Darshan, the other accused in the case.

Mr Rajbachan Singh Sandhu, DSP at Malerkotla, said marriage-bureau owners used to pick their targets through matrimonial advertisements in newspapers. They used to register aspirants at a fee that was Rs 700 to Rs 1,500 per case. The marriages used to be organised at a particular marriage palace and the function used to be filmed by a particular cameraman. Only a few invitation cards were printed, to be shown to the Embassy and the Marriage Registrar.

Guests, hired at Rs 300 to Rs 500 each, used to pose with the couple at fake ceremonies. Fake-marriage organisers used to make a good profit this way and shared these with marriage-bureau owners.

Mr Sandhu said fresh cases of similar victimisation had been reported and the police had been trying to find the whereabouts of Amanda Fergusan.Back



Million-dollar note costs less than $ 100
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribunne News Service


  • Bank note paper: The million-dollar Bill is printed on real currency-grade paper with a unique watermark. This particular paper is available only to the BA Banknote.
  • Intaglio printing: Just like real money, the front and back of the bill are printed from engraved steel plates. This expensive high-security process gives it the feel of real money.
  • Intricate design: The design of the bill is extremely fine and detailed, just like real money. The central vignette was engraved by a highly skilled designer who previously prepared real bank notes for the USA and other countries.
  • Micro-lettering: Just above United States of America’ on the face of the note, the denomination “One million /1,000,000” is repeated in extremely fine print which cannot be reproduced on a colour laser copier.
  • ‘Invisible’ Print: The back of the note is printed with a special high security ‘invisible’ ink. If you place the note under an ultra violet or black light lamp, the words ‘A symbol of the American Dream’ can be clearly seen repeated across the note.
  • Fluorescent seal: The free ‘seal’ on the front of the bill is printed in a special security ink which fluoresces under ultra violet light.
  • Unique serial number: Each note has its own unique serial number.

Ludhiana, August 23
Even as the district police today sought intervention of the Foreign Exchange Regulatory Authority, Jalandhar, and the Reserve Bank of India to verify the authenticity of the Million-Dollar Bill seized from some swindlers yesterday, Ludhiana Tribune investigations reveal that it could actually be a certificate, available for anything between 50 cents and 100 dollars, printed by the International Association of Millionaires (IAM) to use it as a promotional product.

According to information culled from the Internet, the bill, that was commissioned in 1988 as one- time issue by the IAM, is not US currency, but a finely detailed, limited edition of a certificate that is collectible. It looks like real money. Each bill comes in a plastic currency holder, with a ‘certificate of authenticity’ and a brochure that tells the story behind the bill.

The police said there was no truth in media reports that it was one of the several notes stolen in a bank robbery in the USA. The information collected by Ludhiana Tribune can actually help the police to solve the riddle of the million-dollar note seized from a swindler. 

The million-dollar note seized from the accused and the certificate of authenticty

Two persons accused of cheating people with an alleged fake dollar note. IV

The information that the accused had sold many such notes to various persons for Rs 20,000 can also be vindicated as an uncut sheet of 21 such notes is available in North America. 

It was printed as a showpiece suitable for framing.

It was custom engraved and printed by the BA Banknote, one of the world’s leading printers of genuine currency. 

As per information on the Internet, “The million-dollar bill is a corporate promotional product to show customer appreciation and project company’s financial standing. 

Saying ‘Thanks a million’ for the business and showing the clients that they are worth million dollars, was the idea behind printing of such bills.

There are only a handful of companies in North America with the required equipment and expertise to print currency, passports, bonds and other high-security documents. 

The note not only matches the real money in look, but it also has some additional security features, including high-security bank note features that the new federal reserve notes don’t have.

A limited quantity of bills remain for sale and the plates used for printing have been destroyed to prevent further printing of such bills. 

The information says that the bill is only for business promotions and corporate advertising. Back


War widows welcome relief, decry war
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 23
“Monetary compensations are made, honours are extended to us, but our problems are unending. Our husbands lay down their lives fighting the enemy and we women are left alone to fight the battle of our lives. Some in-laws also try to dupe us of all the benefits given to us in form of money.”

These words of a war-widow aptly surmise the sob story of several other such women. Material compensations they do get, but the void left by their husbands or sons or brothers can never be filled. And when several such women come together at functions organised by the Army authorities to recognise their sacrifice, the occasion, advertently or inadvertently, becomes a votary for decrying war.

One such function was organised by the Sikh Light Infantry at the Army Headquarters here today to distribute cheques worth Rs 50,000 each to 112 war widows. Unfortunately only 8 widows turned up. The Army authorities said this may be due to the long distance or late delivery of the invitation letters by the postal department.

While wishing there was no war, the affected women pay all gratitude to the Amry authorities for remembering them and coming to their aid. They, however, lament the social and domestic problems they still face.

Ms Jarnail Kaur, who was widowed when her husband sepoy Bhag Singh had sacrificed his life in the Indo-China war, while talking to The Tribune recalled her tale of woes. Stating that their men fight the enemy and die but they are left alone to fend for themselves. This 70-year-old woman said that after her husband died she was so much harassed by her in-laws that she had to leave her house.

“They even tried to take all the money I was paid after my husband attained martyrdom. They resorted to all kinds of things but the Almighty favoured me. Then I went back to live with my parents who decided to remarry me. It was very difficult for me to leave that house where my husband had taken me after our marriage. All my memories of the days spent with him were in that house. But this cruel world forced me to leave it,” said Ms Jarnail Kaur, as the tears rolled down her cheeks.

Another widow, Ms Malkiat Kaur, who had come from Janer village near Khanna said that her husband became a martyr in 1971 Indo-Pak war. “I was treated badly by my in-laws. They kept telling me that it was out of my bad luck that they had lost their son. But I kept bearing with it. One day I decided to separate along with my son. He is married now. I have requested the state government to provide a job two either my son or my daughter-in-law but nobody cares.” She said.

Another tale of woes was narrated by Ms Gian kaur, who had come all the way from Ganganagar in Rajasthan to receive a cheque. She said that the state government had promised them a piece of land after her husband laid down his life fighting infiltrators in Pooch sector in J&K. But even after two years she has not been given anything. “The collector there is not giving me a certificate stating that I do not have any property although I have been running to him every now and then.” She also shared her problem with the army officials present on the occasion.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, the Regimental Centre Commandant, who had come from Fatehgarh in UP, Brigadier I.N. Rai, said that as many as 112 relatives of war widows were invited for receiving cheques but only eight war widows turned up.

He said that battalion had started a Sikh Alleys Boys Hostel in Fatehgarh in Uttar Pardesh where the sons of the martyrs were provided all the boarding and lodging facilities and they were sent to school also. He said that everything was provided free of cost to all these children and when they are ready to step outside the hostel, they are competent persons. He said that the battalion was taking the responsibility of providing free education to martyrs' sons. He invited the widows to send their sons to the hostel if they were studying in any standard between class 1 and class 10.

Talking to The Tribune Brigadier Rai said that the low turnout rate of the relatives could be due to the non-delivery of the invitation, distance or due to some domestic problems.

Ms Asha Mahajan, wife of Colonel V.K. Mahajan, Commanding Officer of 103 Infantry Battalion, presented cheques to eight relatives and widows of the martyrs, who had come from all parts of the state. She also listened to the problems of martyrs' relatives one by one on the spot.

Those who were given away the cheques were Ms Gian Kaur, widow of Subedar Partap Singh, Ms Gurnam Kaur, widow of Lance Naik Gurdeep SIngh, Ms Manjit Kaur, widow of sepoy Tara Singh, Ms Sikandar Kaur, widow of Naik Lal Singh, Ms Jarnail Kaur, widowof sepoy Bhag Singh, Ms Karamjit Kaur, widow of Naik Sarabjit Singh, Mr Gurnam Singh, father of sepoy Bhola Singh, and Ms Surinder Kaur, widow of Subedar Jasmer Singh, who was also given a sacrifice medal besides a cheque of Rs 50,000 each.


Industrialists booked for abetting suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 23
The district police has booked three top industrialists of the city on the charge of abetting suicide by a migrant labourer, Jagdev Prasad.

The labourer was accused of stealing Rs 7000 from the premises of Maha Laxmi Cycle Udyog some days ago by them.

The victim, employed as a watchman at factory, was allegedly beaten up by the accused for three days. Unable to tolerate the physical pain and humiliation, he allegedly committed suicide by stabbing himself.

His body was found lying in a pool of blood at Dhandari Kalan, last night.

The accused have been identified as Narinder Kumar Honda, owner of Maha Laxmi Cycle Udyog, Jatinder Kumar, owner of J. K. Wood Well Industry and Harjit Singh, owner of Surinder Cycles.

The police said that Rs 7000 was allegedly stolen from a safe in Maha Laxmi Cycle Udyog on the night intervening August 19 and August 20. There were indications that someone from the factory had committed the theft and made up the evidence to show it as a robbery. Investigations by the police revealed that the victim had committed the theft.

It was, in fact, a heart rending letter sent to him by his family from a drought-hit village in Uttar Pradesh that had forced him to commit the crime. His family had pleaded with him to send money to save his children and parents from starvation.

As per a statement by the victim, in presence of some other labourers and the three accused which was later related to the police, he confessed to his crime saying that he had wanted to send the money home . However, later when he went to his room to get the money, he allegedly stabbed himself and ended his life.

The police said the victim was unable to tolerate the humiliation and had ended his life.

The Industrialists are absconding. Their offices and residences have been raided and a case under Sections 306 and 34 and IPC registered.

The post-mortem examination report had confirmed physical abuse and death due to stabbing.


State award for blood donor
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 23
Mr Gursharanjit Singh, Chairman of the Blood Bank Society, Payal, and general secretary of the Punjab State Apex Body of NGOs, was awarded state award by the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, at a function organised on the occasion of Independence Day at Patiala.

Mr Gursharanjit Singh (47) has donated blood 56 times and has been instrumental in organising 178 blood donation camps. About 16,892 units of blood were collected at these camps. He had also played a significant role in the collection of 5,202 units of blood in a single day in 1999. The day is now regarded as ‘Great Donors Day’. He was also appointed the general secretary of the Punjab Blood Donors Association and the Punjab AIDS Control Trust.

He is a philanthropist whose life is a rare example of dedication and humility. Born in Doraha village, his urge for social service was visible from the very childhood. He has been awarded nine times by different governors. He has also got the Star Donor Award. Last year, he was also awarded the International Lion Award by Mr James Irwin, president, International Association of Lions Club.

He is a member of various state-level committees like the Family Welfare Committee, the Woman and Child Welfare Committee and the Social Security Committee. He has already opened 11 women healthcare centres. With the support of Dr Pooran Singh, a former director of the Health Department, and Mr Ajaib Singh, he started an NGO network that initiated a pulse polio drive in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh. He was awarded the National Vaccination Mission Award for having ensured 100 per cent vaccination in the area.

In 1995, he was sent on a study tour to Kerala by the Punjab Government. It was on the basis of the information gathered by him that the then Governor of Punjab established the Punjab State Apex Body of Non-Government Organisations.

It was due to his efforts that a first-aid post was established at Doraha which later became a model for others to follow. At present, there are 34 first-aid posts all over Punjab. Nearly 2,000 persons have been saved at the Doraha first-aid post ever since its establishment three years ago.

He has also initiated a migrant labourers’ health project in collaboration with the Helpage India and the BSB Welfare Society. He has adopted 50 needy old persons though the Helpage India and 19 orphans through the BSB Welfare Society. He has also started a stitching school for needy women. It was because of his efforts that a portion of Doraha, named Satnam Nagar, was adopted by the Human Rights Commission.

Commenting on his work and achievements, he says, “I feel good to have got the state award, but in order to rise to the level of selfless service, a man should renounce such awards so that humanity is served to the truest spirits. My sincere wish is to make Punjab another Kerala where voluntary organisations are enjoying full support of the government, the WHO and UNICEF, to fulfill their dreams.”Back


State-level function on Beant Singh’s death anniversary
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 23
Close on the heels of the state-level function on the death anniversary of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, which kicked a controversy of sorts within the Congress, the state government has decided to hold another such function, this time to observe the martyrdom day of former Chief Minister Beant Singh, Finance Minister Lal Singh, at a press conference here today, said a rally would be held at Payal, the native place of Beant Singh, to pay homage to the departed leader who had laid down his life in a battle against terrorism and anti-national forces. A prayer meeting would also be held at the Beant Singh Memorial in Sector 42, Chandigarh.

According to the minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, members of the Cabinet, senior party leaders from the Centre, MPs, MLAs, councillors, party activists and members of public would attend the function.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Mr Harnam Das Johar, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, both legislators, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa and Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, presidents of the District Congress Committees, urban and rural, respectively, were also present on the occasion.

Mr Lal Singh claimed the government was following the policy of remembering all those who had sacrificed their lives for the sake of peace and communal harmony in the state, irrespective of their political affiliations. “This is why the death anniversary of Sant Longowal was observed at the state- level for the first time,” he said.

The minister said it was the determination and steadfastness of the slain leader that had turned the tables on the militant outfits.


Rakesh Tangri surrenders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 23
Rakesh Tangri, the only remaining accused in the Gur Mandi police crackdown case, surrendered at Division No. 3 police station this evening.

He has been accused of involvement in all the illegal activities of Jagdish Tangri and his son, Sunil. He has also been charged with possessing obscene material and foreign liquor in his shop.


Crucial MC House meeting postponed
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 23
The much-awaited meeting of the General House of the Municipal Corporation, scheduled to be held here tomorrow, has been postponed. An official intimation said that the date and time for the meeting would be announced later.

The House, which was to meet for the first time after the metings held for the oath administration of the newly elected councillors, election of the Mayor and members of the Finance and Contract Committee and the House Tax Committee, did not have much business to transact if the brief and nondescriptive agenda is any indication to go by.

Rather than discussing policy matters, projects related to infrastructure development and other crucial issues like pollution, encroachments, traffic problems and state of civic amenities in the city, the agenda included deliberations on individual cases for remission of house tax on compassionate ground, approval of public auction of plots out of municipal land and refund of earnest money deposit for a plot sold in an auction about two decades back.

While a few Congress councillor preferred to be noncommittal on the agenda of the now postponed meeting, SAD and BJP councillor were upset and agitated over the failure of the ruling party to bring important civic matters before the House.

A SAD councillor said, “The earlier meetings of the House were convened to fulfill statutory obligations. But it is painful to see this kind of an agenda for what practically was the first business meeting.”


SP awarded President’s Police Medal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 23
SP City-I Harish Kumar has brought laurels to the city at being awarded the President’s Police Medal-2002 for his outstanding service. He had done commendable work against terrorism during the trouble -torn times. While serving with the Vigilance Department, Jalandhar, he nabbed 40 gazetted and over 20 non-gazetted officers on corruption charges. He has recently joined as SP City-I Ludhiana. The award was presented to him on the Independence Day.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune here today, Mr Harish Kumar said he was very happy at getting the award. He said such recognitions encourage the officers to try harder for maintaining law and order in the region.


Niharika celebrates Janmashtami
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 23
Janmashtami, Lord Krishna's birthday, was celebrated by members of the Niharika Ladies Club, here today.

Ms Dolly Chabra, president of the club, welcomed the members.

Ms Shaheen, secretary of the club, described the ‘bal leela’ while Ms Neeta Bajaj talked about the life of Shri Krishna explained the relevance of such celebrations in the present-day scenario.

Devotional bhajan were presented by Ms Shaheen, Ms Usha Sharma and Ms Sachdev.

‘Raas Leela’, a ballet depicting the life of lord Krishna, was presented by tiny tots from Lovely Lotus School. Ms Harpreet Gill, Principal of the school, explained the relevance of the festival.

Tambola was organised and gifts presented to the members.Back


A correction

The name of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, has been inadvertantly mentioned as Guru Nanak Dev Polytechnic Engineering College in the news published under heading "College students attacked" on August 17. The error is regretted.


Medicine purchase scandal: accused still at large
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, August 23
The case involving drug purchase and supply scam of over Rs 2.5 crore in the office of the Civil Surgeon here during the period from 1995-1999 still remains unsolved. Though enquiries have indicated many irregularities in financial matters and that official machinery was misused, the accused remain at large and continue to be in service despite long absence.

The medicine scam was unearthed in October, 1997, with the help of the Punjab Health Department Subordinate Offices Clerical Association (PHDSOCA), which also alleged that the police was trying to make efforts to hush up the scam due to the involvement of some high-ups.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh, president of the Punjab Health Department Subordinate Offices Clerical Association, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said that it was unfortunate that after so many years, the authorities concerned could still not solve the case. “Though, the Crime Branch, Chandigarh, had directed the DIG, Ludhiana Range, to look into the case, neither any money nor the medicines have been recovered by the police till date”, said Mr Sukhwinder Singh.

The president alleged that neither the police nor the department officials were willing to solve the case. The department did not even bother to call for an explanation from of any of the accused. Five accused — Budh Singh, Gora Lal, Ajit Singh, Avtar Singh and Saudagar Singh — were suspended in 1999 but were later reinstated.

It is pertinent to mention here that this Rs 2.5 crore medicine scam took place in the Health Department here during the years 1995-1999 when Dr G.P. Chandar was the Civil Surgeon. Several officials had purchased the medicines and other items at rates 100 per cent to 200 per cent more than the ones prevailing in the market for three consecutive years. The letters regarding this were sent to the then Chief Minister, Punjab, Health Minister and Chief Secretary saying that “political pressure” from different quarters was hampering the enquiry, but nothing came out of it, said Mr Sukhwinder Singh.

The PHDSOCA president said that a deputation of the association had met Mr R.C.Dogra, Health Minister, recently.” But he simply said that he cannot do anything in this case”, added Mr Sukhwinder Singh.

The case is also pending with the Human Rights Commission and Mr S.K.Verma (ADGP) is doing the enquiry. When contacted Mr Verma at Chandigarh said that the enquiry was still going on and it will be completed in a month’s time. The Director, Health Services, Dr D.P.S.Sandhu, at Chandigarh who said: “We do not have to do anything about it.” Mr G.S. Sandhu, SP, Vigilance, said that the department had nothing to do with the case.



Man injured in attack
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 23
Sukhdev Singh, son of Mr Punna Singh of Daulatpur village, was attacked and injured allegedly by four persons, including two women, of the same village last evening.

Sukhdev Singh, in a complaint to the Payal police, has alleged that Satwinder Singh, Dharminder Singh, Jasvir Kaur and Surjit Kaur came to his house, locked the room from inside and beat him up. They also threatened him and used abusive language. Sukhdev Singh had to be hospitalised at Civil Hospital at Maloud. Some family dispute is said to be the cause of the attack.

The Payal police has registered a case under Sections 342, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC late last night.


‘Tap export opportunities in Latin America’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 23
Mr R. Vishwanathan, Indian Ambassador to Venezuela, has exhorted the manufacturers of chemical, pharmaceutical, textile and engineering products in India, particularly in this part of the country, to tap export opportunities in Venezuela and other Latin American markets.

He was speaking at a felicitation function organised by the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) at the Sutlej Club here last evening.

He said at present the Indian exports to Venezuela stood at a modest 52 million dollars, out of which 25 per cent was that of engineering products. “In particular, engineering products like hand tools, cycle and auto parts, machinery and equipment have a great scope in Latin America and with proper promotion and right marketing, the exports can rise manifolds.”

He said the Indian embassy in Venezuela had set up a business centre and a marketing office to provide a forum to the Indian manufacturers for interaction with the Latin American buyers. A forthcoming event, Festival of India, to be organised from October 24 to November 3, would also provide a good opportunity to the Indian manufacturers to showcase their products.

According to Mr Vishwanathan, till 1995, Indian products worth around $ 4 billion were being exported to Latin American countries, while the current exports hovered at $ 1.2 billion.

The target was to jack up the exports from India to Venezuela and other Latin American countries by at least threefold, he added.


Cricket meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 23
Fine allround display by Ashish ( 23 runs and 3 wickets for 8 runs) helped SAN Jain Senior Secondary School to register an easy 101-run victory over S A N Jain Model School in the Ist Surinder Saini Memorial Cricket Tournament being organised by the Sunflower Professionals Cricket Academy at the Ballonkey Road ground , Haibowal Kalan here today.

Batting first, SAN Jain Senior Secondary School made 136 for the loss of nine wickets in the stipulated 20 overs. They, then restricted SAN Jain Model School to a paltry total of 35 runs.. Brief scores: SAN Jain Senior Secondary School 136 for 9 ( Jeevan 45, Deepak 23, Ashish 23, Sachin 6, Anil 0, Varun 2 for 16, Vishal 3 for 20 and Vinit 1 for 14); SAN Jain Model School 35 all out (Chinton 6, Sahil 10, Gaurav 2 Tarun 2, Sachin 1 for 2, Anil 4 for 8, Ashish 3 for 8 and Karan 2 for 2).

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