Wednesday, September 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Five arhtiyas rounded up for laundering 
Pherurai’s money
Jupinder Jit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana , September 17
Continuing the process of gathering evidence against Mr Gurcharan Singh Pherurai, a former SSP wanted in corruption cases, the Jagraon police has identified at least eight more arhtiyas of Raikot, including the President of the Municipal Council, Raikot, for laundering the accused cop’s allegedly “ill-gotten” money.

At least five such arhtiyas are learnt to have been rounded up for questioning and lakhs of rupees, allegedly belonging to the accused cop, are likely to be recovered from their possession. Police sources said they had enough evidence against Raikot MC chief Mohan Lal Goel and a case of abetting corruption by Mr Pherurai was all set to be registered against him.

Other persons rounded up include Parshottam Gupta, Surinder Garg and Krishan Nand. Police sources said questioning of the agents had provided clues about their role as money launderers of the accused cop. The police move has created a furore in the sleepy town of Raikot. Several commission agents have reportedly fled from the town, fearing a police crackdown.

‘‘ We are definitely close to achieving a significant success in the investigation of money launderers’’ said Jagraon SSP Mukhwinder Singh Cheena, confirming that some arhtiyas had been rounded up.

He, however, added that it was premature for him to give the exact level of allegations against each commission agent or how much money of the accused cop they had financed in the market. He said the police was in the process of registering a case against the commission agents found guilty of laundering money.

The development of rounding up the commission agents comes close on the heels of intensive questioning of another commission agent, Baldev Singh of Raikot, who was grilled for two days and later released.

The sources said they would give details to the media after threading together different leads and clues provided by the commission agents. The sources said several skeletons were likely to come out of the cupboard from further questioning of the accused.

The police sources revealed that the commission agents were too happy to launder the accused cop’s money as they used the fear of the policemen among farmers to ensure the recovery of loans.

The sources have invited more persons to come forward and disclose the alleged illegal activities of the absconding accused.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Pherurai was booked by the Raikot police for amassing wealth disproportionate to his know sources of income. His total wealth is estimated at Rs 15 crore. The state Police Department has set up a special task team, including the Jagraon SSP, two SPs and a DSP, to catch the accused cop, who is suspected to be hiding in a neighbouring state.



CDs seized, 10 held in raid on Bhadaur House
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
In a raid on the Bhadaur House market here today, a team of the Kotwali police seized pirated CDs and audio-video cassettes. It also rounded up at least 10 persons for questioning.

Sources in the police said the raid had been conducted after fresh complaints by music companies that the sale of pirated cassettes was still thriving here, in spite of the earlier crackdown on the Gur Mandi den of Jagdish Tangri. The police seized some documents, too, from some shopkeepers. These documents will be sent to various music companies for verification. Cases for the violation of the Copyright Act may be registered against the shopkeepers after the companies identify the pirated material.

The shopkeepers downed the shutters after the raid, alleging that the police was harassing them unduly. As soon as the police team descended on the market, the shopkeepers and their workers ran hither-thither and the police had to give a long chase to catch several of them.

The police put the rounded up shopkeepers in a mini bus and took them to the Kotwali police station.



Admn’s threat moves only 70
Teachers still against poll duty in J and K
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Notices to 230 employees for refusing to do poll duty in trouble-torn Jammu and Kashmir seem to have had a limited affect. Only 70 of these employees reported for duty in the Tehsildar’s office today, while the rest remained unmoved.

Sources in the office of the Tehsildar said only 70 employees had shown willingness to do election duty today, after 230 of them had been served a strongly-worded notice yesterday. Today was their deadline for reporting in the office.

Going by the notice, they who have not turned up, can even have cases registered against them. A copy of the notice said: “The employees were required to do election duty in Jammu and Kashmir under Article 324 (6) of the Constitution.

They were called for attending rehearsals in Guru Nanak Dev Bhavan on September 13, but did not turn up.

If they do not report on September 17, a police case can be registered against them.” Sources said strong action was likely against the employees.

Meanwhile, a delegation of teachers led by Mr Charan Singh Sarabha and Mr Bhajan Singh met the Election Tehsildar early today. The teachers said the official had told them that the required strength of election officials was, now, complete.

Teachers affiliated to various unions, including the Democratic Teachers Front, the Government Teachers Union, the Government School Teachers Union and the Adyapak Dal gathered outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner and observed a two-minute silence as tribute to two teachers who had died of heart attack after being assigned to join election duty in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Amar Singh Dhatt, union leader, said many teachers’ unions had joined hands in protest against election duty. These unions would stage a sit-in in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner on September 19 to protest against the duty.

Mr Piara Singh Dhillon, president of the Government Primary Teachers Association, said the teachers would file a petition in the High Court in this regard. He said the teachers were determined to boycott the September 19 rehearsals. “We will do as the court orders,” he said.

They were filing the petition on the plea that the Punjab Government had directed the DCs to ask for employees who could “volunteer” for the duty.



Life term for killing relative
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 17
An youth, who killed his 80-year-old relative merely to get a pair of gold rings, has been sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment by the Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, Mr V.B. Handa.

Accused Parminder Singh (25), a resident of Kaunke Kalan village, was accused of murdering Chand Kaur on May 3, 2001, by inflicting fatal injuries and removing a pair of gold rings. Initially, an FIR was registered against some unidentified persons at the Sadar police station, Jagraon, under Sections 302 and 459 of the IPC on the statement of Ravneet Pal Singh.

Complainant had stated before the police that his uncle, Pritpal Singh, and grandmother, Chand Kaur, used to live in their ancestral home at Kaunke Kalan. On May 2, 2001, he had come to meet them. Next day in the morning, after taking breakfast, he went to a nearby village. When he returned, he found Chand Kaur murdered. Her body was lying in a room where fodder was kept. It was drenched in blood and earrings were missing.

But the case took a new turn, when sarpanch of Kaunke Kalan, Mr Joginder Singh, produced the accused before the police and stated that he had confessed his guilt before him. Thereafter, the police seized a dagger, a blood-stained shirt of the accused and a pair of gold earrings.

According to a witness, Jagdev Singh, he had seen the accused coming out of the house of the deceased about the time of the incident. He had seen him holding a ‘kirch’ in his hand. There were blood stains on his shirt. But on his asking, the accused said that he had just dressed a chicken for meals.

Though there was no eyewitness in the case, the prosecution examined as many as 11 witnesses to establish circumstantial evidence. The accused pleaded not guilty, but did not examine even a single witness in his support.

Mr V.B. Handa, Sessions Judge, held, “ I have no doubt to conclude that the circumstances brought on record by the prosecution form a chain pointing towards the guilt of the accused and the same is so complete that there is no escape from the conclusion that within all human probabilities, the murder of Chand Kaur was committed by the accused and none else.”



Chhapar Mela likely to be low-key affair
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, September 17
The biggest rural fair of Punjab, Chhapar Mela, beginning near here on September 19, is likely to be a low-key affair this time because of two reasons.

The first reason that is likely to result in a low turnout of farmers at the three-day annual fair dedicated to Gugga Pir is the recent heavy rain which has flooded paddy fields at several places. The plans of a majority of farmers, who were praying for dry weather as their crop had almost ripened, have gone haywire with the unseasonal rain this year. Most of them are busy pumping water out of their paddy fields to ensure an early harvest.

The other reason is the PAU Kisan Mela which coincides with it. Thousands of farmers who visit the Kisan Mela to buy latest seed varieties and know the latest farming techniques will either miss the rural fair or just make a short visit to pay obeisance at the memorial of Gugga Pir. However, various political conferences organised by the ruling party and opposition parties are likely to enjoy good participation on September 20.

This time, while the Congress will try to portray Capt Amarinder Singh as the man who will end corruption in the state, opposition parties are gearing up to refute Congress claims.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, is reportedly preparing a list of “excesses” committed by the Congress regime.

The predominantly rural audience at these conferences will be eagerly looking forward to any possibility of unity between Mr Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra. 




The British-bequeathed bureaucracy may be one of the efficient tools of administration in the post-independent India, claiming rightly or wrongly enormous credit not duly proportionate to its performance. Yet it remains to be an awed, respected, feared and a hated lot among the common people. For the bureaucrats seem to have created an aura, again inherited from their British forefathers, of unbridled power, that usually borders on vanity and haughtiness. And they do not mind to betray this haughtiness, rather vanity, in public. For years the members in the elite Satluj Club have a long pending grievance that while they have to pay hefty registration fee, it is the bureaucrats who rule the roost. Not just that, whenever any of the bureaucrats steps into the club premises he expects to be treated like a prince or a princess. One of the most hated act is the parking of their cars, right at the entrance of the club. And the car remains parked there till the stay of the bureaucrat in the club premises, much to the chagrin of the members.

Mouth-watering golgappas

Every region has its own regional, lingual, cultural and more so local peculiarities. And these are reflected in the day-to-day life. Some of these remain to be subtle, while the others are more prominent and pronounced. And food habits certainly fall in the later category. And when it comes to Punjab, food assumes foremost priority. Samosas, the gulab jamun, jalebi, amarti, gole gappas, tikki chat and so many other mouth watering delicacies come to the mind with a mouthful of water. Man may have made many strides into modernity but some habits, particularly related to food, remain unchanged. And some delicacies definitely remain to be irresistible and golegappa is one of them. Nobody would mind stopping the vehicle to stand by the golegappa rehri, as mostly these are sold on rerhis only, to gulp at least half a dozen of them (that is the minimum from Punjabi standards) along with a mouthful of spicy water. So no wonder, the golegappa rerhis can be seen frequenting after every couple of kilometers along most of the roads and lanes with herds of people around them taking their turn to gulp the golegappa.

Too many cooks...

Too many cooks spoil the broth. This was proved practically right by a bunch of policemen at the Bhaiwala Chowk crossing here recently. As it was raining the lights had turned out. And these had turned out at the traffic crossings as well. One traffic cop had dutifully assumed the responsibility of monitoring and guiding the traffic. Everything seemed to move on smoothly till his colleagues, about four or five, ran under his shelter to shield themselves from the rains. They did not remain content with the shelter, but decided to help their colleague in monitoring the traffic. And what happened was quite expected. Each one of them (mis)guided the traffic in his own way till there was total chaos and anarchy at the crossing. And ultimately it was the single traffic cop himself who had to bring in a semblance of order on the road of his own.

Unity in diversity

Ludhianvis are having a good time as the National Food, handicraft and Cultural mela is on in the city, courtesy North Zone Cultural Centre. Delicacies of other states like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Sikkim and South India are tickling the pallets of food and fun-loving Ludhianvis. While the residents stay elusive during the day time, quite a crowd is pulled by the mela in the evenings. The mela might not be good for the stall owners who are complaining of the bad response but the Manchester city of India is really having a taste of unity in diversity.

No accommodation

The artistes that have come from all over the country to present in National Food, handicraft and Cultural mela are staying in a religious place in Baddowal. Although they are feeling quite comfortable there as they say, but the city of industries where most of the industrialists are involved in some organisation or the other, have not come up to provide a better stay for these artists. They are putting up in dormitories together and are surviving on the food offered by the gurdwara. While it is a good effort by the NZCC to bring alive the tradition of folk dances and arts, it would have been better if the affluents of the city had made arrangements for these artists — for them to remember the hospitality of the city for life.

Mass marriages

Mass marriages of 25 or 30 girls are not something unheard of but Bhai Ghanayia Charitable Trust near Ludhiana is organising mass marriages for 550 girls during the end of this month. They would be given domestic items worth Rs 25,000 each on the marriage. The trust is busy in raising the funds for the function where the brides and bridegrooms would be tying their nupital knots. Quite a noble gesture!


Seen written on the rear of a truck ‘‘Man is an actor, God is a director and the earth is a stage.’’




BKU threatens stir to safeguard river waters
Our Correspondent

Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal addresses a ‘kisan panchayat’
Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal addresses a ‘kisan panchayat’ in Ludhiana on Tuesday. — IV

Ludhiana, September 17
The BKU today reiterated its commitment to foil the “nefarious attempts” to deprive the state and its farmers from river waters and threatened to launch an agitation to “safeguard” the interests of Punjab.

Addressing a ‘kisan panchayat’ outside Mini Secretariat, here , the BKU chief, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, alleged that the government at the Centre and the state were hatching a conspiracy to rob river waters from Punjab under the garb of the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal.

The move, if allowed to take its course, would make the fertile land of the state barren and life of Punjabi farmers miserable, he said.

“The BKU will not let the farming community in the state be discriminated against and in no case the SYL Canal will be allowed to take shape,” said Mr Lakhowal.

He urged the state government to adopt a resolution in the Assembly against digging the proposed SYL Canal and asked all Opposition parties to extend their cooperation to the government in interests of the economy of Punjab.

He said the BKU was in touch with other political parties and farmers' bodies to launch a fight against the bid to divest the state of its river waters.

He said the BKU and the entire farming community had nothing against the people of Haryana. “However, the state of Haryana has no legal or moral right to river waters of Punjab and what is not theirs, cannot be given to them.”

Mr Lakhowal suggested to the Union Government to explore the possibility of a Ganga-Yamuna link canal, which would cost considerably less and could meet the demand of water for farmers in Haryana.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, secretary-general of the BKU, lambasted the Union Government for a delay in the announcement of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops.

He said the farmers would accept nothing less than prices linked to wholesale price index of 1966-67, according to which the MSP for paddy worked out to Rs 689 per quintal, superfine paddy to Rs 759 per quintal, cotton to Rs 3250 per quintal, oil seeds to Rs 2860 per quintal and sugarcane to Rs 143 per quintal.

“The government has not so far announced the MSP of paddy while the crop has already started arriving in the ‘mandies’. As a result, traders can exploit the farmers and purchase the produce on their own terms,” said Mr Kadian.

He urged the government to start procurement by September 20 and relax the permissible moisture content from 18 per cent to 20 per cent. Focussing on the severe drought prevailing in the state, he demanded a compensation of Rs 12,000 per acre for total crop damage and bonus to those who had nursed their crop in extremely difficult conditions.

Other speakers, including Mr Surjit Singh Mehlon and Mr Bhupinder Singh Mahesari, pressed for immediate withdrawal of sales tax on farm inputs like fertilisers, pesticides, weedicides and diesel and for evolving a consistent price policy for diesel and petrol.

The proposal to withdraw free power-supply from the farming sector evoked sharp criticism from speakers, who impressed upon the state government not to give effect to the proposal of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Authority.

Mr Sukhminder Singh Kadian and Mr Avtar Singh Mehlon also addressed the gathering.

Later, the functionaries of the BKU presented a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, listing the demands of the farming community.



ESIC team to visit Punjab, Chandigarh and HP
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 17
The general purposes subcommittee (GPSC) of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) will start its tour from September 20, 2002 to Punjab, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh and will have direct interaction with insured persons, trade unions, and employees’ associations.

Mr Malesham, Chairman GPSC, ESIC, said that the GPSC had been visiting different states to collect first-hand information on the functioning of the ESI Hospitals, ESI dispensaries and ESI local officers. It provided a platform for direct interaction with the beneficiaries and functionaries. Besides examining the facilities provided under medical care.

The GPSC was a recommendatory body and its suggestions were placed before the Regional Board Standing Committee/ESI Corporation to be adopted for improving the functioning of the ESI schemes.

The members of GPSC include Mr A.Krishna Swami, Mr Sharad S. Patil, Dr Prem Aggarwal, Mr Devinder Triguna, Mr Ram Kishore Tripathi, Mr Suresh K. Babu and Mr S. Mallesham. Mrs Suman Swaroop, Director General of ESIC, along with Mr S. Chandershekra, Insurance Commissioner and Dr (Mrs) S. Singh, Medical Commissioner will also accompany the team.

These committee members, along with other senior officers from medical division, ESIC headquarters, will also accompany and assist the GPSC.

Members of the GPSC will start their interaction with employees’ and employers associations and functionaries in ESIs dispensaries, hospitals and local officers at Amritsar, Chhehreta, Jalandhar, Phagwara, Ludhiana, SAS Nagar, Rajpura, Chandigarh, Barotiwala and Parwanoo and the tour will be concluded on September 20 after having discussions with the Minister of Industries (HP) at Shimla and Minister of Health, Punjab and also the UT Administration at Chandigarh.



Discover India support yatra 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 17
The ‘Knowledge Conference for Growing Partners’ by IT Nation Business Review, as part of the Discover India Support Yatra 2002, was organised here today.

Having identified India’s B and C class cities as the emerging IT markets, the Discover India Support Yatra aimed at providing a platform for bringing together vendor and its small city channel partner.

The yatra an offshoot of the Discover India project, under which IT Nation Business Review carried out a survey of more than 100 cities received excellent feedback from residents of various cities. The yatra, commenced from Kohlapur on August 21. It passed through Aurangabad, Amravati, Nasik, Surat, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, and Jodhpur before arriving here.

“Our correspondents went across various growing cities where they interacted with IT channel. This led to identification of growth potential in business terms,” said Pavan Sood, publisher and managing director, IT Nation India Private Limited at the commencement of the yatra.

“The survey also helped us identify channel partners’ inherent strength and skills at supporting the end users of IT products, as well in understanding the issues that hamper business growth,” maintained Rizwan Thakur, joint managing director of the company.

Participating in the yatra are Seagate, Neoteric Informatique, Red Hat, Ingram Micro, APC, Kodak, Umax and Lomega.



Gaon chalo programme
Our Correspondent

Khanna, September 17
Mr Venkaiah Naidu, national president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, will formally inaugurate the Gaon Challo Programme at Khanna on September 25, said Prof Brij Lal Rinwa, president, BJP state unit, Punjab, while addressing a meeting of party workers held at the Lalheri road here today. Lashing out at the state Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, he charged him for not fulfilling any promise our of 18 promises made in the election manifesto.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Rinwa said the Gaon Challo Programme was being organised in connection with the birthday celebration of Din Dyal Upadhaya. He said the workers of the party would go to the every village of the state under this programme. More than 12,000 villages would be covered and local units would be constituted in those villages. 



Cable operators booked
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, September 17
In a major breakthrough, the Machhiwara police booked local cable operators for showing an obscene movie on the cable network. On a complaint, the police raided the cable network centre and arrested an operator.

The police has registered a case under sections 292, 293 of the IPC and took in possession a VCR, a colour TV set and cassettes.

Had the police not reacted in time, the violent mob could have damaged the cable network office. Representatives of the various NGO organisations have condemned the operators and demanded stern action against the erring cable operators.



LSE prepares to elect directors

The Ludhiana Stock Exchange is in the grip of annual election fever. The directors of the exchange and the LSE Securities Ltd will be elected at the annual general-body meeting of the LSE on September 28.

Eight nominations have been received for two posts of the LSE Director and there are 12 candidates for five posts of the Director of the LSE Securities Ltd. September 13 was the last date for filing nominations. The deadline for withdrawal is September 20, according to Mr Harjit Singh Sidhu, General Manager of the LSE. The directors would elect the chairmen of the two bodies. The AGM would adopt annual accounts and appoint auditors for the exchange. Campaigning has begun.

The Board of Directors of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange Associates (LSEA) has approved the accounts for the year ending March 31. The LSEA operations stopped in January, following the ban on ‘badla’ and the introduction of daily rolling settlement. All stock exchanges in India, now, have uniform settlement periods.

The LSEA is the first stock-trading body in the country to float subsidiaries like the LSE Securities Ltd and get affiliation to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange. Accordingly, the focus of trading shifted from the LSE to the NSE and, gradually, the volume of trading on the LSE declined, while it increased on the LSE Securities Ltd, which resulted in the closure of trading on the LSE in January.

These developments brought a fall in the combined turnover of the LSE and the LSE Securities Ltd in the year ending March 31. The turnover was Rs 7,734.5 crore, compared to Rs 10,991 crore previous year (a 23 per cent fall). The LSE Securities Ltd became the first subsidiary of any regional stock exchange to begin trading in futures and options (F and O segment) on the NSE.

With the decline in the turnover, the net deficit of the LSEA has increased from Rs 48.53 lakh in the year 2000-2001 to Rs 55.78 lakh this year, even though the LSEA has earned a hefty Rs 43.56 lakh from the building rents.

Collection from the annual listing fee has declined from Rs 123.79 lakh to Rs 73.8 lakh. Members find it useless to keep paying the fee even after the LSEA has closed trading. Mr Harjit Singh Sidhu said the daily turnover of the LSE Securities Ltd was between Rs 50 crore and Rs 60 crore. However, the NSE Nifty remains down at around 990, even though experts expect it to rise in the festival season.

K.S. Chawla




New Qualis model: Toyota Kirloskar Motor Limited (TKML) has launched its new model of Qualis in the city. The launch ceremony was held at Radiant Toyota showroom here. Mr Ranninder Singh son of Capt Amarinder Singh, was the chief guest on the occasion. While launching the model, TKML manager Mohit Loomba said, “Feedback from our customer and dealers, in the past two years, has helped us to design the new model. We are confident that the new model will be accepted enthusiastically.” He said the new model comes with seven, eight or 10 seat arrangements. “It has elaborate safety features, including impact absorbing crumple zones and a high integrity cabin. It also incorporate side-impact beams in doors for crash protection and child-proof locks on the rear doors. It has very low emission parameters as per Bharat Stage II norms. TNS

Printer range: Wipro e-Peripherals Limited (Wep) launched a new range of laser printers in the city during its Channel Partners’ meet here. On display were the entry level Laser 1440, 1540 and 1740 which are 12 x 14 ppm lasers. It also showcased its colour laser series and Wep UPS range of 500 VA and 525 VA. Mr Ranbir Singh, zonal manager (North), spoke on the occasion. The company reaffirmed its commitment to IT Channel in Punjab and also expressed gratitude to its channel partners in the city for making them the leading player in the region. He talked about its innovative reseller schemes. Datacom product range was also introduced at the occasion which consisted of NICs, print servers, switches and routers which would be about 25 to 30 per cent cheaper than products of other players in the market. The range would be formally launched early next month. During the meet, top 10 re-sellers of Wep products were felicitated by Mr Ranbir Singh, Mr Ramdin, product manager, (Bangalore), and Mr Manoj Dhawan, director, Infotech Data Management Limited. OC

Retail outlet: Zodiac opened a new retail outlet at The Mall. The outlet was inaugurated by Mr Om Parkash Munjal of Hero Cycles. According to a spokesperson of the company, complete range of Zodiac accessories, and the largest range of classic and semi-formal shirts would be showcased at the outlet. The contemporary collections namely, the Mediterranean collection, semi-formal and formal trousers and new ties collection, would also be on display at the outlet. OC

Scholarships: The Vivek Cooperative Thrift and Credit Society has announced scholarships for the students of Classes 9 to 12 with assistance from the Government of India. Each scholarship will be of Rs 1,200 per month for four years. OC


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |