Wednesday, November 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Disputed 123 acres returned to panchayat
Villagers fear violent backlash by ‘influential’ land grabbers
Tribune News Service

Bhupana (Ludhiana), November 26
The district administration restored the possession of the disputed 123 acres to the panchayat of this village in the Bet area along the Sutlej here today, but the villagers, now, fear a backlash by some influential persons who have the support of certain policemen. For the past many years, these influential persons have been thwarting all attempts of the villagers to regain the land.

To prevent any untoward incident, a strong police force arrived in the village early today and ordered the farmers sowing wheat to vacate the fields voluntarily or face arrest. A large number of men and women working the fields at that time left after raising slogans against the police and the district administration.

Led by the District Development and Panchayat Officer (DDPO), Mr M.S. Grewal, the team comprising the Superintendent of Police, Mr Gurdial Singh, the BDPO, Mr Ranjit Singh, the DSP, Mr P.S. Goraya, and others had come prepared with riot gear and a water cannon to face the mob if need be. The police party uprooted about 10 diesel engines (that are used to pump up water) and impounded a trolley full of wheat seed.

Sowing operations in 53 acres were underway when the police reached the spot. After the protesters had left, all fields, ploughed or unploughed, were ploughed with tractors brought from the village. The possession of the vacant land was given to the DDPO. The operations were continuing till late evening.

For a long time now, the police had been delaying the carrying out of orders of the Deputy Commissioner, who had suspended the services of a Sub Inspector for his alleged partisan ways in this case (villagers versus the influential men). The matter had also come to the notice of the Chief Minister, who had, reportedly, appreciated the stand taken by the DC.

Meanwhile, the villagers have demanded a permanent police post in the village to prevent anyone from reoccupying the land by force. “We are poor, with no means to defend ourselves. The land is the only way of earning a livelihood for more than 35 families of the village,” a village elder said.

The victory may mean nothing for these villagers, since they say that they are still at the mercy of the influential persons who had paid a huge sum to get the land transferred in the names of their men. In view of this situation, the celebrations in the village were low-key.

Elders of the village said: “Certain policemen, who have been forcing us to take the land on lease from their men and not from the Panchayat, were present here today to give back the possession of the land to the Panchayat. Many villagers were detained by the CIA staff in the past two-years-and-a-half and told not to stake claim to the land.”

The others, too, said, while the officials had been supervising the operations here today, many supporters of the “land grabbers” had been sitting inside the old police post. “These men are watching the villagers taking part in the restoring operation to target them later. We have been receiving threats of bloodbaths in the run-up to the operation,” the villagers said.

The villagers, however, said the DC, Mr Anurag Aggarwal had taken a bold step, since, in the past, no official had taken a stand against the “land mafia” in the district. “It is common knowledge that officials have grabbed hundreds of acres of panchayat land in this area in connivance with the Panchayat and the Revenue Department,” the villagers said.

The case is a tough test for the district administration and the police. Senior police officials had refused to transfer the area SHO after his role in the affair was found to be suspect by the DC. The DDPO, Mr M.S. Grewal, said the possession of the land had been retaken and a report in this regard would be sent to the DC. The fears of the villagers are genuine, in view of which, the DC may well order the setting up of a police post in the village.



Couple attacked in cop’s presence
PHRC directions flouted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Despite the orders of the Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC) to the Jagraon police to provide security to a Pakhowal village resident, Mr Sukhdev Singh, some unidentified persons attacked him and his wife, besides demolishing a wall of his house in the village.

In a written complaint to the Jagraon police, Mr Sukhdev Singh, has said that on November 22, Mohinder Singh, Darshan Singh, Labh Singh, all residents of Pakhowal, with whom he has a property dispute for the past many years and some more unidentified persons attacked him and his wife Tej Kaur and tore her clothes in the presence of a police official. The persons also abused his wife besides demolishing the wall of his house. The PHRC had directed the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, to hold an inquiry into the case after Mr Sukhdev Singh had complained to the commission. The DC had directed the SDM, Jagraon, to look into the case.

In his complaint the complainant alleged that he was in possession of two biswas of land in plot no. 1016 for the past 23 years. Mohinder Singh ,in connivance with some officials of the Department of Land and Revenue, had got some fake documents prepared regarding the possession of the land.

The complainant had further alleged that the plot belonged to his father-in-law, late Gurnam Singh and Mohinder Singh was only the owner of 1 biswa in plot no. 1016. The complainant further alleged that Mohinder Singh, in connivance with the police, was threatening the complainant and his family members so that they vacated plot in question.

The PHRC had ordered the registration of a case of human rights violations and had directed the DC to conduct an inquiry. The PHRC had also directed the SSP, Jagraon, to personally ensure the life, liberty and safety of the complainant and his family members.



Akalis’ jail bharo giving headache to govt, cops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
With only a few hours left for the Akalis to start with their jail-bharo andolan, shortage of space in jails is proving to be a big problem for the government to handle. The police has launched a massive search to find alternate places for keeping Akalis.

The police is looking for stores, godowns, schools, abandoned factories or other such places to prepare make-shift jails for the Akalis. Even accommodations with numerous small rooms constructed for labourers in some places are being selected as jails by the authorities.

Since the Akalis are starting their jail bharo stir from tomorrow onwards the arrangements for accommodating them are really giving the police officials sleepless nights. They are leaving no stone unturned to make available every inch of space for the protesting Akalis.

The officials are preparing a list of all available accommodations with vacant number of rooms to house the Akalis. The otherwise deserted jails too are being visited by a number of police officials everyday who want to make it sure that at least they are ready with the arrangements in their area.

The memories of last jail bharo andolan are also giving the officials sleepless nights when there had been news reports that the Akalis were not even provided with food as there was a shortage of flour to make chapatis. Not willing to take any chances the police officials are making sure that there is availability of all food items besides the space.

Many police officials said that the changing weather conditions were also giving them jitters as they had earmarked certain open spaces also for accommodating the Akalis. But with the mercury dipping especially during nights they would have to provide a comfortable shelter for the Akalis.

The Deputy Commissioner also called a meeting of the officials concerned regarding the arrangements for the Akalis. Sources said that the DC wanted to take a stock of the situation whether the jails would be able to bear the pressure in the coming days or not.

As per the rough estimates at least 10,000 workers would be courting arrest in Ludhiana only and its Central Jail, having capacity of 2,500 only at present, would not be able to bear the pressure.

While the sources in the administration told TNS that there was definitely a shortage of space in jails, some jail superintendents claimed that there was no problem of space but refused to come on record. Sources, however, said that the jail officials were hoping that the state government would somehow find a solution.

They cited an example of jail bharo andolan launched by the CPM activists in the state this week but the government released the detainees after half an hour only. Sources said if similar action was taken against the Akalis then no problem would arise.

Sources said that in other jails of the state some inmates and undertrials were being shifted from one jail to another in order to make rooms for the Akalis in the bigger jails. For this purpose, inmates in Central Jail here would also be shifted to Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur jails besides the local Borstal jail.

Sources said financial conditions of the jails were no better. Apart from the problem of accommodation, the issue of providing food and water to the inmates and to the Akalis were also threatening the arrangements.



Jaundice grips Doraha
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, November 26
Panic has spread among residents with the township under the grip of jaundice and affected patients reporting daily to doctors for treatment.

Although jaundice cases are being reported in Khanna, Samrala and surrounding villages like Araichan and Kaddon, yet Doraha is worst hit by the disease. The situation has become particularly grim for the past one month with fresh cases being reported in various hospitals everyday.

According to Dr Soni, in charge, Civil Dispensary, “We have surveyed 1950 houses in Doraha and detected 197 cases of jaundice. Of these, 88 patients are in the recovery phase. No deaths have occurred due to the disease.”

Talking about precautionary measures, Dr Soni said 10 chlorine tablets were given to each household every week. Each tablet had to be dissolved in 15 to 20 litres of drinking water. Apart from this, the health authorities were also trying to educate the people about proper sanitation and benefits of using boiled water. The municipal committee had also been asked to maintain cleanliness and timely disposal of sewerage,” she added.

When asked about the reasons behind the spread of the disease, she said, “post-monsoon season could be one of the reasons. Another could be improper water supply. It is difficult to ascertain the cause. Samples of water were taken by a team from the Civil Surgeon’s office in Ludhiana and the report is awaited.”

Various private hospitals of the town were also contacted to know facts and figures. According to Dr Rajwant Singh Pandher, Rajwant Hospital, Doraha , “For the past one-and-a-half month, 80-90 patients of jaundice have reported. The disease is spread due to two reasons, contaminated water or adulterated food. As it has spread all over the town, adulterated food can be ruled out.”

Dashmesh Charitable Hospital had reportedly admitted 50 patients from the surrounding villages and 210 from the township.

When contacted, Dr Gursaran Kaur of Sidhu Hospital, Doraha, said, “The disease has spread like an epidemic with fresh cases being reported everyday. Some people, instead of visiting doctors, are depending upon household remedies. The treatment requires a proper liver test. Most likely, jaundice has been spread by hepatitis-E virus. We are not admitting patients and are prescribing domiciliary treatment. As no vaccination is available, it will take time for the virus to subside.”

The President of the Rotary Club, Doraha, Dr Gursaran Sidhu, said it was the duty of the administration to get a viral serology test done on blood samples of the patients to determine the nature the virus.

Meanwhile, Mr Ranjit Singh Grewal, Executive Officer, Municipal Council, said, “We have collected water samples from various places and got these tested from the Bacteriology Department, Chandigarh, and found the reports correct. But at the same time, we are also spreading awareness, through loudspeakers and newspapers, urging the residents to take precautionary measures. The areas where the Municipal Council does not supply water are the worst affected. Areas like Doraha village and Satnam Nagar, where the MC does not supply water, are affected by jaundice.

Meanwhile, a jaundice phobia has gripped the entire township with the people using water purifiers, boiled water and chlorine tablets.



Student’s death: leaders seek probe
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, November 26
The authorities of Government College, Malerkotla, have agreed to hold a sarv dharam prayer to pay homage to Sumeer Sood who lost his life during a wall collapse on the college premises. A new wing of the college will also be dedicated to the memory of the deceased student. Leaders of Panjab Students Union had given a call to boycott the classes till the authorities accepted their demands. Students will be attending the classes from tomorrow.

They were protesting against the indifferent attitude of college authorities towards the maintenance of college campus, which had led to the collapse of a wall, causing serious injuries to a student Sumeer Sood who had later scummed to his injuries at Dayanand Medical Hospital in Ludhiana.

The strike had started since November 21, when the college authorities did not heed to the students’ demand of a probe into the wall collapse and naming a hall in memory of the deceased. Students had held a rally and took out a protest march through main bazaars of town and blocked the traffic.

Meanwhile, Kuldip Singh Gosal, a student leader told Ludhiana Tribune that the authorities had agreed to hold sarv dharam prayer to pay homage to Sumeer. A new wing would be named in his memory. Also house exams now would be held after his bhog ceremony.

He said that more than 2,000 students had gathered in front of the college today to hold a protest march in the town. The authorities then invited the representatives of the students for talks. After an hour-long discussion, a compromise was reached and situation was defused. 



Seed theft: suspension for PAU scientist
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
The services of Dr Tejinder Singh Bharaj, senior rice breeder in the Regional Research Station of Kapurthala, have been suspended by the Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University on the charge of misappropriating basmati-rice seeds. The office of Dr Bharaj has been shifted to Ludhiana and a charge sheet against him is being prepared.

Dr K.S. Aulakh, VC of the PAU, said here today that Dr G.S. Mangat, a rice breeder in the Kapurthala Regional Research Station, had reported that Dr Bharaj had removed the seeds for six advance lines of basmati rice. The weight of the seeds was reported to be 24 kg.

The VC sent a team of three officials to Kapurthala, who sealed the seed store. A four- member team, comprising Director Research, Additional Director Research (agriculture), Head of the Department of Plant Breeding and Director Seeds was set up to conduct an inquiry in this regard. The team found the seeds missing from the store. Intensive research in rice cultivation is done at the station.

The university authorities fear that the seeds were stolen to be multiplied and sold in black market. Seeds of mexican wheat had also been stolen in the early 1970s from the PAU campus, when the mexican wheat had been introduced in Punjab to usher in the Green Revolution. 




Can you consider yourself lucky if you are suffering from some disease? Now imagine a patient crying with acute abdominal pain visiting a local hospital. The doctor attending to him comes with a parcel and asks him to pick one chit instead of paying him immediate attention. Weird it sounds but is true for a local hospital which has started a draw of lots scheme for the patients who visit the hospital. In an advertisement which the hospital is repeating on a local channel a number of times in a day, the hospital had claimed that it would treat those patients free of cost who would be choosen by the lucky draw. Are these medicare services or a business outlet, dear doctor?

Elusive DC?

The huge number of pressmen in Ludhiana is definitely taking a toll of the private lives of the officials of various departments. The problem has been there since many years as many newspapers have numerous reporters covering various beats for the papers. The fact that a number of calls starting from sunrise till midnight are really affecting their official work and personal lives. The word came from none other than the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, when in a press conference held recently said that the calls of mediapersons were really disturbing him, so he had decided not to receive too many calls. He, however, said that he would fix an hour in a day when he would be available to answer the queries of mediapersons.

Sleepless nights

The bitter taste of the fizzled out Congress rally in the city on November 18 where the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr H.S. Hanspal, was to be accorded a grand reception, will continue to haunt the local party leaders for a long time to come. As if the dressing down, given by the party chief to the local functionaries, including some of the MLAs was not enough, the news that reconstitution of the PPCC, including new district presidents, had been cleared by the party high command, had come as a bolt from the blue, in particular for the presidents of the urban and rural district units. While all important partymen were waiting with their fingers crossed, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa and Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, who had to face a lot of criticism for the humiliation that the party was made to suffer, must be having sleepless nights!

Hum nahin sudherenge

A play, Bajat Anahad Naad, was staged on November18 in DAV Public School. The play was based on Osho Vision. Vinod Khanna (Swami Vinod Bharati) was the chief guest on the occasion. When the play ended, Mr Khanna stood up to give standing ovation. Mr Khanna was called on the stage. The people standing never sat down. Most of the audience could not see the cast, director music directors and choregraphers as people kept standing. At once a person remarked ‘Hum nahin sudherenge’.

Delayed winters

It is past the middle of November and real winter chill has yet to set in. The day temperatures are still high and due to congestion of traffic, one has to switch on air conditioners. The winters have been squeezed by the over expanding summers. Even insects are seemingly not ready to go in for hibernation. As somebody rightly said: “Even ants are not seen in a hurry to hoard their food and go in hiding.”

Ek din ka badshah

The sajans of Niharika Ladies were on the top of the world (for a day at least) when their better-halves pampered them in the programme ‘Ek Surili Sham Mere Sajan Ke Naam’ during club’s annual ‘Couple Night’, which was celebrated here recently. The event was full of fun, games, music and masti. “They (the wives) pamper us, no matter even if for one day only. This is our real outing”, said one of the husbands in a lighter manner. One of the club members said: “The celebration is like a festival for us. We want our husbands to look the best of all”. The husbands along with their wives walked on the ramp very confidently to grab the titles ‘Mr and Ms 2002’ and ‘Best Well Dressed Couple’. A lot of one minute games were organised. A city based ghazal singer was specially called to entertain the sajans.

Cricket for inmates

For the inmates of Borstal jail it was a fun time when they had ‘on the top of the world feeling.’ A cricket match which was organised for them proved to be a refreshing change for them. Many of them were seen dancing on the tunes of latest numbers that were brought to them by a local DJ. The happiness on their faces was beyond description. They were presented with a cricket kit also which would help in practising the game as the fever would catch on with the world cup.

Busy week

The last one week has been quite hectic for the reporters covering the administration beat. Earlier, it was the administration’s drive to clear the enchroachments that kept the mediapersons on their toes and later there were alleged land-grabbing incidents in Bhupana and Garcha villages. Both the villages were tense as there were reports of firing also. The mediapersons had to travel many kilometres to reach the villages everyday to keep a stock of the situation.

Celebration time

It was a pyrrhic victory for the villagers of Bhupana who were handed over the possession of more than 100 acres of land but will not be able to till the land because of the court cases and the interference of several influential persons and cops. As the fields were being ploughed a villager remarked, “It is ironic that the same officers have been deputed to overlook the operations who have detained us for leasing the land from the panchayat and not ploughing it with their permission.” Nevertheless, it was celebration time for the long harassed villagers who distributed sweets to all present, especially mediapersons.

A step ahead

After the clampdown on beggars by the police, they have become wiser to the tactics of those in uniform and many can be seen carrying worn out bags carrying shoe polish and a brush. In case a person gives alms they are readily accepted, but if someone rebukes and threatens to tell the cops, they point downwards and claim that they were just enquiring for a shoeshine.




Fund distribution biased: BJP
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
Resentment prevails among councillors belonging to the BJP, the SAD and other Opposition parties besides some Independents against what they describe as gross discrimination on political lines in terms of development works.

While the SAD councillors, who also claimed support of a few Independents, have already formed a coordination committee to take up the matter with the civic administration and the Congress ruled Municipal Corporation here, the BJP councillors also followed suit by threatening to disrupt the proceedings of the next General House meeting of the MC on the issue.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, the group leader of the BJP councillors, Mr Parveen Bansal, said development works amounting to Rs 60 lakh related to Ward No 18, which was represented by the city Mayor Mr Nahar Singh Gill, had been granted. In addition, a large amount of MC funds was spent in the Mayor’s ward last month to spruce up the area for the Chief Minister’s visit on November 1.

Charging the civic administration with bias against the councillors belonging to the Opposition parties, Mr Bansal said there was no clear cut policy for development works to be executed out of the general quota funds. While many councillors were asked to make available funds out of their own quota funds from the general quota were being granted for development works at the behest of the Congress councillors.

The BJP councillor further called for a ward-wise list of development works, both ongoing and planned, to be laid before the General House. He said that the ruling party was hesitant to convene the general house meeting despite resentment among the Opposition councillors. Indicating that the BJP along with its allies, was evolving a strategy to mount pressure for an early meeting of the General House, Mr Bansal made it explicitly clear that the ruling party would not be allowed to run the MC in a whimsical and partisan manner.



Deal firmly with militants: Muslim body
Our Correspondent

Activists of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front burn an effigy of the Pakistan President
Activists of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front burn an effigy of the Pakistan President in Ludhiana on Tuesday. — IV

Ludhiana, November 26
The Muslim Aman Society, Punjab while condemning the terrorist attack on the Raghu Nath Temple in Jammu, has asked the government in strongest terms to deal with the anti-national forces with an iron hand to restore peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in the country.

In a statement here today, Mr Naseem Ansari, president of the society, wondered as to when the government would be able to effectively curb the militant activities and till when the gun-totting terrorists would rule the roost. Lashing on certain misguided Muslim youths, acting at the behest of Pakistan to create disturbances and communal tension in the country, he questioned the claim of militants of pursuing a jehad (holy war). “The senseless killing of innocent persons and attacks on places of worship is not jehad but cowardice and an act of ‘impotence’.”

Mr Ansari further observed that due to criminal and inhuman acts of a few self-styled jehadis the entire muslim community in India had to face the wrath of public outburst and was feeling a guilty complex. All that the community had done for the country and all sacrifices made to attain and safeguard freedom had been negated due to ‘black deeds’ of the militants. He said rather than carrying out jehad, these elements had taken upon themselves to destroy the Muslim community in India and their activities needed to be checked with a strong will and determination.

Meanwhile, the local unit of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front organised a protest march to condemn the terrorist attack in Jammu. Led by its general secretary, Mr Anil Sharma, activists of the front also burnt an effigy of Pakistan President Gen Parvez Musharraf. The protesters marched through various localities in Basti Jodhewal and New Madhopuri while raising slogans against terrorism and Pakistan rulers. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sharma threatened the Pakistan Government with serious consequences if it continued its overt and covert support to the cross-border terrorism. “Our enemy is out to disturb communal fibre through attacks on places of worship but the people will not fall in the trap and will foil the evil designs of Pakistan rulers.”



Jor Mela concludes
Our Correspondent

Khamano, November 26
The three-day annual Jor Mela was celebrated in Ghungrali Sikhan village in memory of Guru Gobind Singh in Attari Sahib gurdwara. Renowned singer, ‘Dhadis’ and ‘Kavishars’ presented their art and told the history of the 10th Guru.

On the second day, a nagar kirtan was organised. Passing through eight nearby villages, it was led by the ‘Panj Pyaras’.

In the procession schoolchildren, a band and ‘gatka’ players entertained villagers. Devotees paid respects to Guru Granth Sahib and took prasad.

On the last day, bhog of Guru Granth Sahib was performed followed by the promise to meet next year.

It may be mentioned that two Muslim devotees, Nabi and Gani Khan, had reached here with Guru Gobind Singh and rested at Attari. A local villager, Nathu, presented Guru Gobind Singh with two swords, 22 arrows, a pistol and two small swords.

Mr Surmukh Singh, Capt Sucha Singh (retd), Mr Jasbir Singh, Mr Gurpal Singh and other members welcomed all devotees.



Campaign against illegal occupants
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 26
The Forest Department has started its campaign to remove illegal occupants and take possession of about 500 acres of land falling on the bank of Sutlej for afforestation.

The land was being cultivated by poor farmers of the area, including those from Kot Umra, Gorsian Khan Mohd, Aliwal and Khurshaidpura.

The police force, along with employees of the Forest Department, were deployed for the purpose. The affected farmers alleged that employees of the department used to take money from them for letting them cultivate the land. According to information, some relatives of Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, a former Agriculture Minister, were also in illegal possession of the land.



Harassment charge against union leaders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
Ms Veena Rani, a Class IV Railways employee, has accused two leaders of the Northern Railway Men’s Union of subjecting her to sexual harassment. She says that they told her that she would face dire consequences if she did not resign to their desires.

Ms Veena, who works in the Carriage Department of the Railways, in a written complaint to various officials and the General Railway Police, has accused the NRMU leaders of addressing her in a vulgar language and making advances towards her. She said they had been doing it for the past two years.

She said they were trying to take advantage of her being a widow, who had got the job on compassionate grounds. The union leaders used to subject her to sexual harassment “at night duties”. When she protested, she was transferred and given harder duties.

On facing constant harassment, she had requested a transfer several times, from several departments. In spite of the transfers, the leaders continued to follow and harass her. She said the other employees were scared of the leaders, so, no one was ready to side with her openly.

In spite of the complaints, no action is being taken against the accused. Ms Veena said she had lodged a complaint even with the Senior Superintendent of Police at Ludhiana three months ago, but, still, there had been no action.

An inquiry in this regard had been marked to the GRP at Ludhiana. While the Ludhiana SHO of the GRP was not available in the office, an official there said the inquiry report was being sent to the SSP. Meanwhile, Veena said the union leaders were forcing her to withdraw her complaint. She said she feared for her life, as the union leaders could harm her physically.



Cyber cafe raided, owner booked
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
Acting on a tip-off, the Sarabha Nagar police yesterday raided a cyber cafe in Block C of the locality and seized pornographic CDs, a computer and other paraphernalia. Sandeep Sharma, owner of the cafe, was booked under Section 67 of the Cinematography Act and Section 294 of the IPC. According to SP Harish Kumar, (City 1), the police had been constantly receiving complaints against the cyber cafe where porno movies were being screened in separate cabins in the name of net-surfing. A number of couples, who were nabbed in objectionable condition at the time of the raid, were, however, let off with a warning.

Girl stabbed: Meenu (20), mother of a month-old girl, sustained injuries in the neck and hands after she was stabbed by an angry cousin in her house in Jain Colony, Shiv Puri, last evening. She has been admitted to the DMC Hospital. Pamma, the cousin of the victim, had tried to persuade his aunt earlier in the day to lend him some money. The woman did not oblige. Pamma decided to make another attempt in the evening when only Meenu and her daughter were at home. When Meenu also refused to lend him the money, the man attacked her with a knife. The police has registered a case.

Spurious drugs: The CIA staff yesterday arrested two members of a gang which dealt in spurious medicines and intoxicants smuggled from Uttar Pradesh. The arrests were made at the general bus stand. The arrested persons have been identified as Raj Kumar from Cheeka village of Kaithal district in Haryana and Harpal Singh, who lives near Sheranwala Gate in Patiala.

According to the police, a large quantity of spurious medicines and drug injections were seized from the accused which they would have sold in Pindi Street. Patiala was the other favourite market for the accused, who, during preliminary investigations, have told the police that they were earning three times of the invested money and used to buy most of their stocks from Mintu in Saharanpur. The accused also reportedly confessed that they had been running the lucrative business for the past six months.

Booked for assault:
The Sudhar police on the complaint of Jagdev Singh of Jassowal has registered a case under Sections 324, 323, 506 and 34, IPC, against Baljinder Singh and his father Pritam Singh of the same village as they both assaulted the complainant and his elder brother Manjit Singh as the injured had raised objections on their firing of rockets on the day of celebration of Gurpurb and the rocket had caused fire to the paddy straw.

Woman commits suicide: Kuldip Kaur (50), wife of Charanjit Singh of Cheema village, who was mentally deranged, jumped from the roof of her house and sustained injuries. She was brought to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries after five days. Earlier also she had tried to end life by setting her clothes on fire, but was saved by the family members. The deceased has two married sons.

Car thief booked: The Division No-3 police has booked a car thief who had stolen a car from Delhi a few days ago. According to police sources Jahid Hussain, a resident of Nizammudin, Delhi was arrested when he was driving the car through the city roads. The sources said that he had stolen Maruti car (DL-3CF-6234) from outside the Hanuman Temple in Connaught Place, New Delhi. A case regarding the theft has already been registered against him in Delhi.



2 hurt in brawl

LUDHIANA: Two persons were injured at the local railway station on Tuesday when some employees of the Railways had a brawl over a minor issue. The police has arrested one person. Some employees of the pantry car of Amritsar de luxe train picked up a fight with employees of the store section. Two persons sustained minor injuries. Many other employees joined in the fight. The employees of the store section alleged that some employees of the pantry car had stolen some pipes used for cleaning the trains and a duel took the shape of a fight. The passengers on the platform had a difficult time. Officials of the GRP reached the spot and controlled the situation. The police arrested Mohammed Tamanna and registered a case. TNS



New E-class Mercedez Benz launched
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
The Mercedes-Benz new E-class car was launched at a glittering function here on Monday evening. Mr Ajay Chautala, MP, presided over the function and handed over the car keys to the first buyer. The function was attended by prominent members of industry and other eminent citizens, drawn from all walks of life.

Earlier, addressing a news conference, Mr Hans Michael Huber, Managing Director and CEO of Diamler Chrysler India Private Limited, focussed on the salient features of the new model of E-class saloon. He said the improved version of the E-class car had additional safety features with better brake control and was designed to provide more driving comfort with new front and rear suspension.

Replying to questions, he said though the company had no competition in terms of the volumes of sale, since it catered to a specific premium segment, yet the world renowned car company, with manufacturing facilities at Pune was always striving to build brand loyalty and lasting relationship with its dealer network all over the country. “While we shall continue to improve upon the present models of S-class, C-class and E-class cars, there are no plans, for the time being that is, to go for medium and small car segments.”

In a special word of praise for the infrastructure facilities in the region, including the inter-state highways, Mr Huber, who had drove down by road from Delhi, said the excellent condition of National Highway between Delhi-Ludhiana was a pleasant surprise for him. “With more and more such roads being constructed and properly maintained, the car manufacturers will be the happiest lot.” He described the industrial capital of Punjab as a ‘Mecca’ for premium cars market and further disclosed that of the Northern region accounted for almost 40 per cent of the total sales of the company.

Mr Manjit Singh Bala, Managing Director of Tai-Pan Traders, Chandigarh-based dealership of the company, who was also present at the occasion informed that the company was already providing after sales service to the Mercedes-Benz customers in the city and a sales outlook would also be opened here by the end of December. The dealership, catering to the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir for the last five years had an impressive customer base. The annual turnover, which stood at Rs 2.40 crore in the year 2001-2002, was expected to be double in the current financial year.



Quality systems discussed in LMA workshop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
“The quality management system (QMS) under ISO 9001 is a continual ‘process’ rather than a series of 20 elements, beginning with a management’s responsibility to provide direction and recourses, moving on to planning and controlling in processes that deliver products and services and concluding with measurement and monitoring with a goal of improvement. Of particular significance is that inputs to the process are customer requirements and output customer satisfaction.” This was stated by Mr A.K.M. Sharma, Additional General Manager, RITES, while addressing delegates in a one-day management development programme, organised by the Ludhiana Management Association.

Elaborating the concept of Six Sigma, Mr Rakesh Chopra, Additional General Manager, RITES, said continuous improvement in quality for increased customer satisfaction was the fundamental objective of Six Sigma. “The sigma value estimates how often variations, or anything that dissatisfies customers are likely to occur. The higher the value of sigma, less likely the variation is expected to occur,” he said.

“Six Sigma is a statistical measurement, allowing you to measure the quality of your products and services. A level of Six Sigma represents the apex of quality, the virtual elimination of defects from every product and process in a company. It is estimated that companies operating at three to four Sigma, lose 10-15 per cent of their total revenue due to defects,” Mr Chopra added.

Consultants said RITES had made its presence felt in more than 70 countries over the past 26 years and influenced many facts of urban and industrial development. At present, RITES had about 26 ongoing projects in more than 15 countries.

Mr Mahesh Munjal, vice-president, LMA, said management was no longer required to review the quality system merely to ensure continuing suitability and effectiveness during management review. It now must also, evaluate the need for a change in the system. “The scope of what used to be inspection and testing has been dramatically expanded to include analysis of data. Instead of checking a product, or a service, at various stages simply to verify that the specified requirements for the product are met, an organisation now must analyse the data resulting from measurements. As a results, there was a significant emphasis on being proactive and preventive, the beginning of continual improvement, Mr Munjal added.

Earlier inaugurating the workshop, Mr V.K. Goyal, general-secretary, LMA said prior to globalisation and liberalisation, Indian organisations used to produce goods or offer service as per their own perception and standards but now organisations were understanding that with markets becoming more and more customers-driven, Customers and not the manufacturers had the final say on quality.

Quality begins and ends with the customers. Keeping this fact in mind stringent quality assurance and control measures have been instituted. But then, quality cannot be controlled by checks and inspection, no matter how stringent. It had to be built right from the start, Mr Goyal added.

It many be mentioned here that RITES was set up as a consultancy arm of the Indian Railways in 1974 to establish good engineering practices and standards.

RITES Ltd was incorporated in India as public limited company under the Companies Act, 1956 and is governed by a board of directors including speculists from various sectors of infrastructure and management.

The work portfolio includes bridge technology, internodal transport, geotechnology, container traffic, telecommunications involving cross-current of technology at national and internal levels. Over 70 senior industrialists, entrepreneurs, management professionals, and academicians of the association attended the workshop.


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