Friday, September 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Eunuchs booked for castrating youth
Four other youths also ‘victimised’ by gang
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
The Phillaur police has finally come to the aid of a city youth who had alleged that he had been kidnapped by a gang of eunuchs, castrated and forced to live as a eunuch at a place near Phillaur for about seven months.

The allegations assumed serious proportions today when the boy revealed to the Ludhiana Tribune that at least four other ‘normal’ boys were forcibly operated upon and were living with eunuchs near Phillaur. Another such victim from Ludhiana had died last month at the eunuch camp. The youth has hazy memories of visiting a hospital or clinic on Dandi Swami road in the city for clearing some blockade in the urinary passage due to castration allegedly performed by eunuchs.

A resident of Haibowal, Sukhdev Singh, alias Sukha, alias Shelly, was allegedly kidnapped in February from Phillaur, where he had gone to pay obeisance at a religious place.

He, however, managed to flee from the clutches of the eunuchs late last month but his sufferings were far from over. Apart from facing social stigma and adjustment problems, the boy suffered humiliation at Haibowal and Vardhman police stations when the police refused to lodge his complaint.

Acting on the advice of a ‘friendly’ policeman, the youth sought the help of the DSP, Phillaur, Mr Kamaljeet Dhillon, as he had been kidnapped from Phillaur and a case could be registered there also. The Phillaur police acted swiftly and registered a case of kidnapping, illegal confinement, and voluntarily causing hurt against a eunuch identified as Kranti and several other unidentified ones.

According to the FIR, the youth loved music and was working with an orchestra where he came in contact of some eunuchs. They tried to persuade him to go with them but he refused. In February this year, he had gone to Phillaur to visit a religious place from where some eunuchs forcibly took him away in a van. He was drugged and remained unconscious for 10 days.

The youth got a shock of his life on gaining consciousness. He tried to escape but feared social stigma. After some weeks, he resigned to his fate and started living the life of a eunuch. He stated in the FIR, that all this time he always wanted to escape but was scared of social stigma and the gang members. He succeeded in mustering up the courage late last month and managed to escape.

Crying inconsolably, the youth said his parents were shattered to see him in this condition.

‘‘ In normal circumstances, the parents are delighted to be reunited with a lost child but this was not the case with us.’’ he said.

His mother suffered a stroke and had to be hospitalised. She is yet to recover completely.

His father and other relatives too were quite agitated. They complained at Vardhman police station, where the boy worked but the policemen refused to oblige.

The boy said he complained at Haibowal police but was humiliated in front of the alleged gang members who were following him and were allegedly close to some police personnel.

He said he then contacted Phillaur police which immediately registered a case. The boy said his only desire now was to see the accused behind bars. They have ruined the lives of several youths, he said.

He remembered that two youths named Vijay and Toti from Ambala, Chote Lal from Bihar, Jagtar from Basti Jodhewal Ludhiana had suffered similarly at the hands of the accused.

Another boy, whom he only knew as Neha, had died at the eunuchs’ camp last month. He only knows that Neha was once a boy and lived in Kailash Nagar.

The Phillaur police, meanwhile, has conducted several raids to nab the accused but to no avail.

DSP Kanwaljit Singh Dhillon said the accused were absconding. He said he had sent several messages through informers to the accused or other eunuchs to apprise him of their side of the story also.



New guest at Tiger Safari
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
A fawn recovered from some villagers by P.F.A., Jalandhar was released in friendly surroundings of Tiger Safari here today. The residents of Dhilwan village had rescued the fawn from a group of migrant labourers. The labourers had caught him from near the village and would have killed him in all probability. Tiger Safari was chosen as a safe place for the animal as he could not be released in the forests.

According to Mr Sandeep Jain, President of local chapter of People For Animals (P.F.A.), the fawn had strayed into Dhilwan village in Jalandhar district some days ago. There it was rescued by some villagers from a group of migrant labourers and they kept it like a pet. But when they came to know that keeping a wild animal as a pet was an offence under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, they informed the police.

The police brought it to Police helpline, operated jointly by P.F.A. Jalandhar, and Jalandhar police. The PFA then informed the wildlife department and they planned to send it to forest (Bir Takhani) near Hoshiarpur. It was, however, realised that the fawn had remained in contact with human beings and may not be safe to release him in open forest. Moreover, it would be difficult for him to locate herd of its own species.

Dr Jain then contacted Dr Vinod Sharma, Chief Warden, Zoos, who directed the incharge of Tiger Safari, Mr R.K. Joshi, to take possession of the young male spotted deer. Then it was transferred to the Tiger Safari here today.

The young deer was wearing a collar with brass bells like a dog. When released in the safari he was bewildered to see other deer. He is now released in the enclosure of barking deer as the safari does not have the deer of its own species. It would be shifted to the Chatt Bir Zoo shortly, Mr Jain said.



2 ex-chiefs of MC, tehsildars booked
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 26
Two former chiefs of the Municipal Council — Mr Tejwant Singh Advocate and Mr Baldev Sedha — and two former tehsildars — Mr Kuldeep Singh and Mr Satinder Kumar Khera — have been booked under Sections 419, 420, 465, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC for fraudulently obtaining a Backward Caste (BC) certificate, on the basis of which Mr Baldev Sedha managed to occupy the post of president of the council for a period of nearly two year. The findings are based on an inquiry into the matter conducted by the Social Welfare Department (reservation cell) Punjab.

According to the police report, Mr Baldev Singh Aulakh, president Municipal Council, had alleged in a complaint to the Financial Commissioner Revenue (FCR) that he had brought to the notice of Ms Raghbir Kaur Khera, SDM-cum-Returning Officer of the election to the president of the council held on June 17, 2000, that Mr Baldev Sedha belonged to “suniar” caste, which did not fall in the Backward Caste category, but she declared him the president on the basis of a fake certificate that showed him be a Soni Rajput, a Backward Caste. But she gave a note in proceeding that legal action would be taken if the certificate was found to be fake.

Mr Tejwant Singh Advocate, former president Municipal Council, and Mr Baldev Sedha were elected councillors in 1992. Mr Tejwant Singh, after a legal battle, worked as president from 1994 to 1999.

The seat of the president was reserved for BC candidates during the election to the council in May, 2000. Mr Aulakh challenged the BC certificate issued to Mr Baldev Sedha, which he allegedly obtained fraudulently from Kuldip Singh, Tehsildar Amloh, on November 11, 1997 on the identification by the former council chief, Mr Tejwant Singh Advocate. According to the inquiry report of the Social Welfare Department, the BC certificate was issued to Mr Baldev Sedha on November 20, 1997, whereas the report of “kanungo” and office dealing clerk was made on December 3, 1997.

On the writ petition of Mr Baldev Singh Aulakh, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued directions to the Tehsildar Amloh to look into the validity of the certificate. Mr Ramesh Kumar Garg, Tehsildar Amloh, who was to conduct the inquiry was transferred to Samana and Mr Satinder Kumar Khera, Tehsildar Khamano, was given the additional charge of Amloh, who conducted the inquiry.

The findings of the inquiry report of the FCR revealed that Mr Khera (inquiry officer) ignored the documentary evidence produced by the complainant, which included revenue record, death certificate of his father, school admission record, forms of his family members filled for membership of Punjab Agricultural Development Bank, The case was decided in favour of Mr Baldev Sedha on the basis of oral evidence/affidavits.

Mr Tejwant Singh Advocate deposed before the inquiry officer that Mr Sedha belonged to Soni Rajput caste, which was a Backward Caste.

However, official sources said, “Mr Baldev Sedha, Mr Tejwant Singh, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Tehsildar, were responsible for issuing a fake certificate, while Mr Satinder Kumar, Tehsildar, misused his powers with bad intention to save his colleague.”

The FCR sent the findings to the Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, on September 9, 2002 who further sent the case to the SSP. Sources pointed out that after obtaining the legal opinion, Mr B. Chandershekhar, SSP, on September 23, 2002, directed the police to register a case.

When contacted, Mr Tejwant Singh alleged that the certificate of Mr Baldev Sedha was nullified due to political pressure, which he said was otherwise valid. He said he had filed an application in the court of the District and Sessions Judge on September 6, 2002 under Section 438 of the CrPC and the police had to serve a 10-day notice before any arrest.

Mr Sedha said on the directions of the High Court, the Tehsildar Amloh was authorised to conduct the inquiry, which was decided in his favour. He said he would challenge the report in the High Court. Mr Kuldeep Singh and Mr Satinder Kumar Khera were not available for comments.

Mr Aulakh denied any political influence and said the inquiry was conducted by the Director Social Welfare Department, which was conducted by district welfare officer in Municipal Office Amloh. Mr Sedha had filed a petition in December, 2001 in the High Court against the orders of the local government department for his removal from the post of president, which was based on the inquiry of the welfare department. Regarding Soni Rajput caste, he alleged that Mr Sedha concealed the facts from the court. No arrest has been made so far. 



Poor response to bandh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Barring sporadic demonstrations by the ABVP and the Shiv Sena, there was poor response to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)-sponsored bandh in the city with all offices, shops, business establishments and educational institutions functioned normally. Traffic also plied on roads in the normal course. The ABVP and the Shiv Sena had also supported the bandh call.

The local administration had made adequate security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident. Additional police personnel were deployed in some sensitive areas, including outside the Jama Masjid in the Field Ganj area. While the day passed off peacefully, the security forces continued to maintain round-the-clock vigil.

Earlier in the morning, a number of Shiv Sainiks gathered at Clock Water and staged a demonstration. They were shouting slogans against the terrorism, terrorist outfits, Pakistan and the Pakistan President. The speakers exhorted upon the Government of India to take some decisive action against Pakistan, which they said was the fountainhead of terrorism in India. They also burnt an effigy of terrorists.

Activists of the ABVP staged a separate demonstration on the Arya College campus. Led by the city president, Mr Sandeep Kapoor, the students gathered in the college ground. Condemning the incident, the activists demanded action against terrorism and urged the Prime Minister to take steps so that such things do not happen in the future.

The students urged all political parties to rise above political and partisan considerations to fight the menace of terrorism. They suggested that all political parties should declare their unconditional support to the government while fighting against terrorism.

Sabha condemns carnage

The Sri Durga Mandir Sabha has condemned the terrorist attack on the Akshardham temple in Gujarat, which it termed as a calculated move to disturb communal amity in the country. A meeting of the sabha held on the temple premises in Industrial Colony here last evening urged the Union Government and the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to deal with terrorist outfits and anti-national elements with an iron hand.

Paying tributes to the victims, Mr Mohinder Pal Rawal, its president, and other speakers said repression and terrorism have had their presence now and then in all parts of the world but its end was also imminent. Now that the terrorism had crossed all its limits in some parts of the country, it was bound to be crushed and eliminated.

Prominent among others present at the meeting were Mr Balwant Rai Sharma, Mr Hari Pal Ahuja, Mr Prem Chand Duggal, Mr Sushil Sobti, Mr Prem Parkash Tangri and Mr Mool Chand Airi, all office-bearers of the sabha.

Meanwhile, The local unit of the ABVP today organised a pen down strike in various local colleges in protest against Akshardham killings. The protest rally which started from Arya College for Boys was led by the president of the college unit, Mr Rajat Sood, and district secretary, Mr Rohit Sharma. The students boycotted classes and participated in the march which passed through Dandi Swami Chowk, and reached Government College for Boys.

In government college also, the students boycotted their classes. The students gathered in the college ground and raised slogans “Mandir par hamla nahin sahenge, Pakistan murdabad, terrorism shame, shame”. Later, the district president of the perished, Mr Sandeep Kapoor, addressed the rally in the ground of Government College.



Heavy betting for India-SA ODI
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
The unpredictable results of the last two one-day international cricket matches played against England and South Africa by the Indians have left thousands of punters in the region shocked and aghast with most of them losing a lot of money. Although in both the matches India opened up as the favourites, however, during the course of the game, the odds went against them as England and SA performed better at one stage or the other.

While the exact figures are not available, according to rough estimates in Ludhiana alone bets were placed to the tune of crores of rupees. There are a number of bookies operating here who accept bets. Interestingly, different bookies offer different returns for the same matches. Ludhiana also happens to be one of the important centres for betting in the entire north with a number of people, including leading businessmen and industrialists, placing heavy bets amounting to lakhs of rupees on the matches.

During yesterday’s match it was India which started as favourites. The bets opened at 80/85 with India favourites. Given the past performance of the Indians in the ICC Champions Trophy, they remained favourites with the bookies also. The rates remained almost constant for the entire first session. Although 261 score was not considered to be safe, still India remained favourite when SA started to bat.

But as they batted confidently, the odds went in favour of the Africans. At one stage, with the score reading 190 for the loss of one wicket only and so many overs to go, the odds were heavily placed against India. As the Indian victory at this stage appeared to be highly improbable, almost impossible, the bookies started offering Rs 30 for each Re 1 for an Indian win.

As the second wicket fell and Hershel Gibbs was retired hurt, the game started slipping out of the Africans and the rates for their victory also went up slowly. As the wickets went on falling and the asking rate increasing consistently, the match once again became evenly placed. Till the last moment it was very difficult for anyone to predict the outcome, even making the bookies feel uncertain and insecure.

Since fortunes kept on swinging between India and SA, the punters kept on changing their choices, placing lakhs of rupees each time. In cricket betting, the earlier bets do no get cancelled with the new bets and the loss or gain is cumulative, starting right from the earliest bet placed till the last one.

However, the India-England match on Sunday did not show up any uncertainty. Although England score of 269 was in no way so small, the way Indians started raining runs with fours and sixes, the match took a “canter” turn, as bookies call it, meaning a straight win.

The continuous win by the Indians in the last three matches has already made India to be the favourite for the ICC final trophy. No matter which team wins in the match between Sri Lanka and Australia, it is India, which so far remains the favourite for winning the champions trophy, cricket uncertainties notwithstanding. 



MC financial health better: Commissioner
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 26
The Municipal Corporation contractors and other agencies who were virtually boycotting tender bids of the civic body in view of its precarious financial health and mounting outstanding bills for the execution of development works are now showing interest in the MC works.

The contractors had stayed away from MC works from October 2001 onwards. In the current financial year, the MC had invited offers for the execution of 117 different small and big development projects, entailing an approximate expenditure of Rs 8 crore but no interest was shown by the contractors and the tenders floated for this purpose evoked no response.

According to MC Commissioner S.K. Sharma, the civic body had not only discharged its old liabilities amounting to over Rs 17 crore but had around Rs 10 crore as cash reserve in its coffers and availability of funds for development works would no longer be a constraint. The Finance and Contracts Committee of the MC had recently sanctioned over Rs 5.50 crore for development projects in the city.

Mr Sharma hoped that the good response of the contractors to the MC tenders and a keen sense of competition would ensure marked improvement in quality of work besides financial saving. As another step towards encouraging healthy competition among contractors, the civic body had already given a call to unemployed educated youth to come forward and get themselves registered as contractors in the field of their choice. As such, from now onwards all development works of the MC shall be employment-oriented as well.

He said the MC had already approved an integrated development programme in order to ensure that one or the other development work remained in execution in all wards of the city.

In a word of advice to the contractors, Mr Sharma said since all their pending bills stood cleared, it was their duty to make sure that all development works, allotted to them, were completed on time and there was no compromise with quality and specifications.



BJP workers seek security
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Organisers of the BJP state workers orientation camp at Khanna have demanded adequate security in view of the agitation call given by various farmers’ outfits when some senior BJP leaders will arrive tomorrow to inaugurate the ‘Gaon chalo abhiyan’.

The party general secretary and former UP Chief Minister, Mr Rajnath Singh, will inaugurate the campaign and address activists in place of the party president, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, whose programme has been cancelled.

The organising general secretary, Mr Avinash Jaiswal, said the police had refused to provide security at the venue, which is needed in view of the call by the BKU and other outfits. The officers have expressed their reluctance in initiating any kind of measures.

He said they were apprehensive that the function would be used to browbeat the party and demoralise the workers and participants. The seriousness on the part of the cops can be gauged from the fact that only two police men have been stationed at the venue, which will be attended by a large number of workers.



Cong leaders flay Badal, Kanwaljit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, MP, Mr K.K. Bawa, president of the District Congress Committee (Urban), and Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, president of the District Congress Committee (Rural), strongly refuted the statement of Capt Kanwaljit Singh, former Finance Minister, that the Congress government in the state had not prepared a good case which had led to the delay in the announcement of MSP. In a joint statement issued here today, the leaders accused Capt Kanwaljit Singh and former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, of adopting double standards. 



Animal trade hit at Chhapar Mela
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, September 26
Even as Mandi Ahmedgarh, earlier known as Mandi Chhapar, was known all over the country for its cattle market and equestrian show, the state government has paid no attention to maintain its importance in the field of animal trade. While it has frustrated the cattle lovers, the government also loses substantial revenue which it could have earned as cess and fee on each sale.

Mr Baldev Singh Dhaliwal, who manages his own stable, told Ludhiana Tribune that the site which used to be left for stay, display and demonstration of horses, has since been occupied for other commercial purposes. The dealers and horse lovers now have been shifted to a remote area at the mela site. The new site is not accessible to general public visiting the mela. The department concerned has since long left to attend the exhibition-cum-mandi of horses and there is no arrangement of drinking water or fodder for the animals there. He said no attention is being paid by the Mandi Board which would have earned substantial revenue by way of fee and cess on transactions which now take place unauthorisedly.

Mr Ravinder Singh of Delhi asserted that about three decades earlier, traders from as far as UP, Haryana and Rajasthan used to visit this mela for purchasing horses and mules. This benefited the local traders because in cash transaction they used to earn a handsome profit. Even now a small horse farm can earn Rs 1 lakh per year. If a female mule or mare delivers a white offspring it can fetch up to Rs 5 lakh per animal . Otherwise 30,000-50,000 per animal is an average profit. Unfortunately for the lack of confidence and ‘unauthorised’ transactions the number of traders coming to mela has declined over the years.

Mr Bara Singh Sekhon of village Chhapar said around 200 animals, including 60-70 horses, 60 mares and 30-35 colts and fillies had arrived this year for sale. But only few transactions materialised and there was no record for those also.

Many horse lovers did not buy horses here despite liking some animals, because they were afraid that the animal may be a stolen one. Had some government agency managed to depute officials for written documents and mediating transactions, sales could have been much more in number. Moreover the department could have earned a substantial revenue by way of cess and fee on each transaction.

The animal lovers demanded that adequate arrangements should be made for the animals which are brought here for display and pay obeisance at Gugga Mari.



Officials “harassing” dhaba owners
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
The Punjab Dhaba Owners Association has alleged undue harassment by officials of the Sales Tax Department over charging of 8 per cent sales tax. The dhaba owners have been maintaining that the issue was yet to be settled and officials had been harassing them without any reason. A meeting of the association was held here today which was presided over by its chairman, Mr Sardari Lal. Briefing reporters, the spokesperson of the association, Mr Nittu of Lark Dhaba, said after the state government issued notification for levying 8 per cent sales tax from dhaba owners, they met the Excise and Taxation Minister, Mr Sardool Singh and the President of Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr H. S. Hanspal, who had assured them that the matter would be looked into and till then, they would not be charged anything. However, he said they were being asked by the sales tax officials to start paying the tax and get the sales tax registration number. Mr Nittu maintained that they were prepared to pay the tax but were only waiting response in view of the minister’s and PCC president’s assurance. 



He restored power to Golden Temple
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 26
He is a man who lighted up the Golden Temple Complex in Amritsar when it got damaged in the Operation Bluestar and its electric supply got disrupted. He was the one who was given the job of rewiring the temple complex.

Mr Chand Kumar, 72, worked through day and night and restored the supply of electricity, to the complex. Reminiscing the trouble-torn days Mr Chand Kumar says: “After Operation Bluestar was over, the whole of Golden Temple was plunged into darkness. All underground and the other wires were destroyed. I was picked up to do the difficult job of restoring electricity in the whole precinct.

It was an extremely difficult job to locate underground points and to restore electricity. It took us 40 days of non-stop work to have proper connections.”

“After that I was asked to rectify, augument and beautify Durgiana Temple as I was on its trust for 13 years.” Mr Chand Ram became known as Temple Electricity Engineer. Management of the Ram Tirath Temple, where as per the legends Sita ji’s sons Luv and Kush were born, also called him to light up the ‘parkarma of the temple.

He also did a fine job of lighting up the surroundings.

Recalling old days he says, "I was born in Kotwali in 1930 which was adjacent to historic Sheesh Ganj Gurdwara, Delhi.

There was curfew as Gandhiji had started a national movement. My father who was in charge of Kotwali those days used to say that even the policemen wore khadi then. I even went alone after the Partion to Lahore to appear for my matriculation examination.

I have seen massacre but I think I am a destiny’s man as I always get involved with jobs connected with great historical events,” says Mr Chand Kumar, who retired as Assistant Executive Engineer from the electricity department in Municipal Corporation, Amritsar.



Arya Samaj annual festival begins
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 26
The 81st annual utsav of Arya Samaj, which gets underway here tomorrow at Arya Samaj mandir in Dal Bazar, according to Mr Dev Pal Arya, general secretary of the samaj.

In a press note issued here today, he said, during the three-day utsav “Ved-Katha” would be held everyday from 7 am to 9 am and from 8 pm to 10 pm.

A painting competition would also organised at Baba Isher Singh Public School tomorrow at 10 am in which the students would be asked to paint pictures of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati.

On September 28, a Vedic lecture contest would be held at 10 am at R.S. Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, and a mahila sammelan would be held later from 3.30 pm to 5.40 pm which would be addressed among others by Principal Inderjit Kaur, Ms Shushila Gupta, Deputy Mayor and Ms Amarjit Kaur.

The concluding function on September 29 which would start at 9 am would be attended among others by Swami Shobhanandji, Dr Vikram Viveki from Panjab University, Chandigarh, Pandit Satyapal Pathik from Amritsar, Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation and Mr Sat Pal Gosain.



Brawl at recruitment rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
At least three persons, including two young candidates and a soldier, suffered minor injuries in a brawl between
Army personnel and a group of youths, who had come to attend a recruitment rally of the Army at Dholewal Chowk here today.

The brawl allegedly started when some recruits refused to follow discipline in the rally.

A soldier allegedly slapped a misbehaving youth, who in turn attacked him and was joined by some other recruits. More soldiers came to protect their colleague and gave a thrashing to the youths.



PSEB employee threatened, beaten up
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, September 26
A PSEB employee was allegedly threatened and attacked by a man of Jandiali village near here, last evening.

The SDO of the PSEB, Kohara, has complained to the Sahnewal police that Bhag Singh, a Junior Engineer of his staff, was working on electric lines at Jandiali village when Malkit Singh of the same village opened fire on him with his rifle, beat him and threatened him.

A case has been registered under Sections 336, 323, 186, 353 and 34 of the IPC at the Sahnewal police station.

Tractor driver booked: The police has booked Jarnail Singh of Barwala village for allegedly creating nuisance and blocking traffic by placing his tractor-trolley in a wrong manner on road.

A case under Section 283 of IPC was registered on Thursday.

One injured:  A pillion rider was injured in an accident which took place between a cycle and a car at Chak Sarwan Nath on Wednesday.

Darshan Singh of Chak Sarwan Nath village has complained that he was going along with his uncle, Sucha Singh, of Harion village on his cycle at Chak Sarwan Nath when a car CH-03-7082 hit them and dragged his uncle for some distance. He was taken to Christian Medical College and Hospital at Ludhiana. His leg broke in the accident. The car driver absconded from the site of the mishap. A case has been registered against him under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 42 of the IPC at the Sahnewal police station.

Cyclist killed: A cyclist was killed in an accident with a cargo tempo at village Chandaran village on Wednesday evening.

The deceased has been identified as Jagtar Singh of Chandaran village. A cargo tempo PB-08-T-5262 hit them from the rear side and Avtar Singh was killed on the spot. The tempo driver absconded, leaving the tempo behind. A case has been registered against him under Sections 279, 337, 338, 427 and 304-A of the IPC at the Sahnewal police station. However, no arrests have been made so far.

Driver, conductor beaten up: The driver and conductor of a private bus were beaten up by three youths riding a motor cycle at Sahnewal Chowk, today.

According to the police sources, Harjinder Singh, driver, and Manpreet Singh, conductor, of a Patiala Syndicate bus (PB11-T-6125) were beaten up by Sukhwinder Singh of Maksoodra village, Gurpreet Singh of Ghudani Kalan and Davinder Singh of Maksoodra village who were on a motor cycle (PB13 G-2268). The three youths allegedly stopped the bus at Sahnewal Chowk and started beating up the driver and conductor of the bus for not letting them overtake the bus. Consequently, the traffic on the national highway was blocked for some time.

A case has been registered under Section 160 of the IPC.

One booked The driver of a Tata Sumo, Jaspal Singh of Kasabad, has been booked under Section 283 of the IPC for reckless driving and blocking traffic.

Chain snatching:
Two unidentified youths snatched a gold chain from a lady on Wednesday night on the Peerkhana road. According to information, Ms Kuljeet Kaur, wife of Karmjit Singh and resident of Bank Colony, was walking down the road when two scooter-borne clean-shaven youths snatched the chain and fled. A case has been registered.

11-yr-old boy missing: A student of Radha Vatika Senior Secondary School here has gone missing. According to information, 11-year-old boy Kiran Jandu, a resident of the local Samrala Road, left the house on Wednesday at around 4 p.m. but never returned. The police has registered a case. 



Steel industrialists shifting base to Orissa 
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, September 26
As many as six steel industrialists of Ludhiana and Chandigarh are setting up steel plants in Orissa, thanks to the availability of cheap raw material and power supply.

According to information, one large-scale unit of Ludhiana has already purchased a piece of land and started the construction work on the project which will cost about Rs 200 crore. The daily capacity of the plant will be 400 metric tonne of sponge iron. Similarly, a unit of Chandigarh has started construction work. The unit is also of the same capacity.

These plants will prepare iron as the raw material is easily available there. While making sponge iron, these units will be able to generate power, explained a local industrialist. Moreover, the power supply is available at the rate of Rs 1.85 per unit against Rs 3.75 per unit in Punjab. Sponge iron is used in further making steel ingot, which is used in steel rerolling mills and induction steel furnaces.

A few local manufacturers are in the process of buying land in Orissa. According to sources in the trade, land is available at Rs 2 lakh per acre near raw material sites.

Meanwhile, steel prices have crashed in Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh during the past few days. There is a fall of Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,800 per tonne in the price of ingot, which was available today at Rs 12,600 per metric tonne. The levy of sales tax at first stage on certain items has also adversely affected the trade.

The price of steel had shot up during the past few months, particularly in July and August, following failure of monsoons which caused power shortage. The plants were subjected to massive power cuts resulting in the fall in the steel production which raised the prices in local markets. The price of finished steel items had crossed Rs 16,000 per metric tonne which has now come down to Rs 14,500 per metric tonne.

Meanwhile, the price of iron scrap has risen from Rs 8,800 to Rs 9,200 per metric tonne. Even the price of imported iron scrap has also witnessed an increase from $ 100 per tonne to $ 110 to $ 115 per tonne.


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