Wednesday, December 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Insolvent financier absconds after FIR registered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
The financier, who recently declared himself insolvent, has reportedly absconded after the registration of an FIR against him and his other family members by the local police on the complaint of a local trader and financier. The financier who had got an anticipatory bail from a local court was learnt to have fled the city along with his family members.

The insolvent financier had also taken away with him all documents related to his financial transactions which could hold the key to investigations into this massive scam involving over Rs 20 crore. This further seemed to have shattered the hopes of those duped persons who were expecting their money back.

The first FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint from among one of his creditors to whom he reportedly owed over Rs 7 crore.

Interestingly some senior Congress leaders from Delhi were reported to be taking a keen interest and closely monitoring this case. They had reportedly asked the district administration to favour the person who had lost the most money. The Congress leaders had come out with their support apprehending that they may also loose their money. The person with whom they had invested the money was learnt to have expressed his inability to pay back the money he had put in his finance business. The city police was also reportedly registering cases indiscriminately against some other people also, who it thought, may help in arresting the main culprits.

Several leading politicians, bureaucrats and senior police officers were said to have invested their money with one particular creditor who was himself a financier also. These people included a senior official of the Income Tax department also. The said creditor was reported to have expressed his helplessness to these people and told them that he could only be able to pay them back if he himself got his money back from the insolvent financier.

Sources said, these bureaucrats and politicians were trying to exert pressure on the local administration and the police to nail the defaulting financier. However, their pressure was of little help since the financier claimed that he was left with no moveable or immovable assets with which he could make some payments. These politicians hoped that the financier may still be left with some money which could be extracted from him by using pressure tactics and registering cases indiscriminately. But so far the financier was reportedly evading the arrest. 



Central Govt training programme on 
better farming methods
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 10
The Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, in association with NABARD, has launched a programme to teach better methods of farming to farmers in the country. The programme aims to tap the expertise available for agricultural graduates to set up their own agri-clinics and agri-business centres and offer professional extension services to farmers.

The government is now providing training to graduates in agriculture and allied subjects, including horticulture, sericulture, agricultural engineering, veterinary sciences, forestry, dairy, poultry and fisheries. The Punjab Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute (PAMETI) is imparting the training in the state.

The first such training programme was organised from October 8 to December 9. It prepared participants to start their own agri-clinics and agri-businesses to offer professional extension services and disseminating latest agricultural technology as well as encouraging diversification in agriculture to the faming community of the state.

Ten candidates completed the course and were extensively exposed to various aspects of human resource development (HRD), project management, marketing, export, contract farming and entrepreneurship development.

They were given information on various agro-service centers, soil-water quality and input testing, fertilizer and seed testing, maintenance, repair and custom hiring of farm implements, nursery raising, tissue culture, mushroom production, food processing, fruit preservation, fish and prawn culture and Information Technology in agri-business. Visits to departmental laboratories were also organised to give practical orientation to the participants about different aspects of agri-business.

The participants also interacted with experts from NABARD, the NHB, the PAGEXCO, the KVIC, KRIBHCO,AGMARK, rural insurance agencies and commercial banks. They were also given an opportunity to pay field visits to farmers, specialising in enterprises like piggery, bee keeping, vegetable growing, nursery raising and horticulture.

They also visited cooperative societies doing custom hiring of agricultural implements and purchasing agricultural produce in mandis.

The participants interacted with private agricultural extension service providers, already experimenting paid extension service to farmers through tissue culture, soil testing and insect-pest control.

They also had a informal discussion with farmers, exporting vegetables by growing through contract farming, individually.

Towards the end of the training course, the participants formulated the project they intended to take up after the training. They selected nursery raising of fruit and flower plants, spices and pulses processing and packaging, soil and water testing laboratories, fish and prawn culture, flavoured milk and lassi preparation, vermicomposting and agricultural consultancy as their future agri-business.

After preparation of their projects, the participants interacted with experts on projects formulation to prepare final drafts of their respective projects.

These projects were also evaluated by an expert from a nationalised bank from the financing point of view.

Dr V K Sharma, Registrar, PAU, while presiding over the concluding function here yesterday, congratulated the trainees on successful completion of the training programme. He narrated how agri-extension was changing from promotional mode to paying mode and effective linkages needed to be established between traditional agri-service providers. He exhorted the trainees to remain in constant touch with PAMETI and various departments of the university for their technical, managerial and other problems.

Dr S P S Brar, Director, PAMETI, and Nodal Officer, agri-clinic, welcomed the chief guest and explained about the scheme and the role of the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), the Small Farmer Agri-business consortium (SFAC) and NABARAD in the new venture.

Dr H S Bajwa, chief coordinator of the course, gave details of the field visit undertaken by the trainees to enterprising farmers; small-scale manufacturers, industrialists, exporters and expert interactions with the National Horticultural Board, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and PAGREXC.

Mr Amandeep Sekhon, coordinator of the course, proposed the vote of thanks.



PNB serves notices on 119 defaulters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
Punjab National Bank has issued notice to 119 defaulters, who owe Rs 862.25 lakh to its branches in Punjab, under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Bill passed by Parliament. This was stated by Mr U.S. Bhargava, General Manager, Punjab National Bank, (Punjab zone) here today. He further said the bank was shortly going to issue 27 more notices under the Act. The bank had appointed a Delhi-based consultant who would guide and assist the bank officials in connection with the taking over of the assets of the defaulters.

With the issuing of notices, many defaulters were coming forward to settle their accounts. So far 22 defaulters who owe Rs 91.73 lakh had turned up for paying their dues. The bank had been able to recover Rs 31.74 lakh from 26 account holders so far where notices were issued to the defaulters.

The bank would reduce its NPAs significantly as it would put pressure on willful defaulters to recovers the dues. It has been further stated in the press note that bank is taking steps to acquire the assets of the defaulters after the expiry of the notice.

Meanwhile, the bank organised a seminar on ‘Team building’ at its local training centre today. It was presided over by Mr Bhargava. Gautamji, a disciple of Swami Parthasarathy, Dr T.Y. Sharma, a retired professor and the Dean of Punjabi University, Patiala, Mr Chand Singh, Deputy Zonal Manager, Chief Managers from all over Punjab and other incumbents incharge of various offices in Punjab.

Gautamji, spoke on team building in the light of Vedantic philosophy. He said as per Vedantic principle concentration consistency and cooperative endeavour were essential for becoming a successful manager. He further said by controlling worries and anxities, one could work properly and succeed in life.

Dr T.R. Sharma, Dean, Punjabi University, said planning was very essential for every individual to perform his day-today work. One should be optimistic and have full faith in the God. One should not tell a lie or take a decision under anybody’s pressure. One should avoid negative thinking.

Mr Bhargava said PNB (Punjab zone) would start Centralise Banking Solution in its 28 branches (seven in Amritsar, seven in Jalandhar, 10 in Ludhiana, 1 in Phagwara and three in Chandigarh/Mohali) by the end of the current financial year.

This move would facilitate the customers to operate their accounts in any of these branches. Central Banking Solution would provide the bank with a platform to offer integrated world-class financial products and services.

As part of CBS, the bank would extend the facility of Internet banking to the select customers of identified branches.

Mr Bhargava said PNB had already installed 12 ATMs at different locations in Punjab and intends to increase the same to 36 by March, 2003. Bank was providing tele-banking services at 17 branches and the same was going to be increased to 24 by March 2003.

Remote Access Facility was being provided in six branches and Swift facility in eight branches of Punjab zone.



One dies in police custody
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
Mystery shrouds the death of a migrant, who allegedly died in police custody, here last night.

According to sources, Ramesh Chand, a migrant from Gonda, Utter Pradesh, was handed over to Dhandhari police by an industrialist, after he was nabbed by workers of his factory.

Ramesh Chand was allegedly trying to enter Nanda Forgings, a factory owned by the industrialist in Dhandhari Kalan, along with some accomplices, with an intention to commit robbery around 4 am, yesterday.

The workers of the factory stopped five of them, but the other three managed to get inside.

The workers gave them a thrashing and two of them managed to escape. But Ramesh fell on the floor and in the process sustained an injury on his head.

He was then handed over to the police. But before the police could register a case against him, he died in custody. Police officials alleged the migrant had died as he was beaten up badly by the workers of the factory.

However, sources in the factory said Ramesh received an injury after falling on the floor, as his foot had got entangled with something lying on the floor, while trying to escape from the factory.

The police has also registered a case against the factory owner under Section 304A of the IPC for causing death due to an accident.

Meanwhile, the district administration assigned an SDM to conduct an inquiry into the case.

Interestingly the police was keeping the incident a closely guarded secret and no police official was willing to divulge any details.

The body had not been sent for a post-mortem examination till the filing of the report.

Meanwhile, security at the Dhandhari police picket was beefed up to keep a check on any untoward incident. 



Undertrial consumes poison
Tribune News Service

Sarabjit Singh, an undertrial prisoner, who allegedly consumed poison in the Central Jail, under treatment in the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana
Sarabjit Singh, an undertrial prisoner, who allegedly consumed poison in the Central Jail, under treatment in the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, December 10
An undertrial lodged in Central Jail allegedly tried to kill himself by consuming some toxic substance today.

The undertrial, Sarabjit Singh of Bittu taxi stand was rushed to the local Civil Hospital.

His condition is stated to be stable but he had not regained consciousness till the filing of this report.

The police said it would conduct an inquiry after he regains consciousness.

Police sources said Sarabjit, a resident of the local Chowni Mohalla, was arrested after his wife got an attempt to murder case registered against him 15 days ago.

According to the police, his wife suspected that Sarabjit was living with another woman in the Salim Tabri area.

He had either consumed poison or an overdose of some sedatives. The doctors had washed his stomach.

The jail authorities refused to comment on the matter.



2 lakh stolen from scooter in broad daylight 
Tribune News Service

Mr Subhash Bansal shows the glove compartment of his scooter, which was broken and Rs 2 lakh stolen
Mr Subhash Bansal shows the glove compartment of his scooter, which was broken and Rs 2 lakh stolen from it, in Ludhiana on Tuesday. — Photo Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, December 10
Rs 2 lakh was stolen from the glove compartment of a scooter parked outside the Bank of Punjab building on Gill Road, here today.

Mr Subhash Bansal, an iron and steel dealer, had withdrawn the money from HDFC Bank in Feroze Gandhi market and kept the money in the glove compartment of his scooter. Later, he went to the Bank of Punjab to encash a cheque. While he was inside the bank, the compartment was broken and the cash stolen.

According to Mr Bansal, he had parked his scooter outside the bank for a few minutes only. “I knew the money was in the glove compartment and did not want to take any chances. So I went inside the bank and brought the form outside. I filled it, sitting on the rear seat of the scooter. It took me a few minutes to drop the cheque in the box. But when I came back, I was shocked to see the glove compartment broken and the cash missing,” he said.

The police has registered a case of theft against unidentified person(s) and investigations are on. The police has also inquired from some persons, present on the spot. 



Jail authorities booked for wall collapse
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
The local police has booked the local jail authorities for the death of a young boy who died when a 100-foot wide and 16-foot high outer wall of the local Central Jail collapsed here yesterday.

The incident took place when the boy, Rahul, along with some other boys, was answering the nature’s call near the wall, when it suddenly caved in. Rahul could not save himself and was buried under the debris.

A case under Section 304-A, IPC, has been registered against the authorities. The aggrieved family members, friends and relatives led by some local Akali leaders had staged a protest dharna at the site yesterday. They demanded compensation for the family and registration of a case of negligence against persons or officials.

It is worth mentioning here that the wall had not been repaired for the past 25 years. The jail officials claimed that they had written to the government and the PWD several times for repairing the wall, but nothing was done. The jail authorities were, however, accusing the residents of the area for digging the earth around the wall, and weakening its foundation.




THERE appears to be “much ado about nothing” when it comes to the issue of wearing of helmets by women while riding or driving a two-wheeler. With the High Court coming out clearly on the issue which makes it mandatory for women to wear helmets, some people have been arguing against the order on the religious pretext. But there are hundreds of people, mostly women belonging to different communities, who have come up in strong defence of the High Court order. These women have been questioning the arguments that the issue should be discussed in religious terms. They have been maintaining that it concerns the safety of the heads of the women. If men are necessarily asked to wear helmets, why not women, and there is a general feeling that women should wear helmets. And one helmet can always save one life, at least at a time. So there is a need to take the issue keeping in view the safety considerations of women. Their heads are too precious to be risked away without helmets.

Twice bitten, always shy

Recently the city was rocked by one of the biggest financial scandals involving crores of rupees of many investors. One of the operators of the illegal and unauthorised financial market declared himself insolvent leaving his creditors aghast. These creditors, who include some big financiers as well as those who have collected money with small savings are finding themselves in a fix as they are not in a position to complain. Because most of this money is unaccounted. Now if they complain that their money has been embezzled, they would be questioned by the income tax people. Even if they manage to settle it with the IT people by making the due tax, they will have to explain the source of income. Most people have preferred to remain quiet for the time being, lest they add to their own troubles. This has shaken the faith of investors of the city in private financiers. Most investors must be having a second thought over investing with such financiers who operate only by way of manipulations and without any credibility. The investors have learnt it the hard way.

No fear, no rules

Although the traffic police in the city appears to be too alert to allow any violators, at least in catching them driving without a helmet, sometimes some ‘over-smart’ people and mostly the youngsters manage to conveniently give them the slip. And probably some youngsters proclaim it too loud. While girls and women continue to ride two-wheelers without wearing helmets, some men are also trying to make themselves immune to any apprehension of being caught. Recently a youth passed two policemen without wearing a helmet. Much to the chagrin of the policemen he was wearing a jacket, proclaiming, “no fear no rules”. The policemen could not get hold of him as he drove away too fast. But not so fast to escape from the prying eye of The Tribune cameraman, who caught him in his camera. 

Icecream pakoras

Ever heard of ice-cream pakoras? Sounds an outlandish idea but a visit to Sarabha Nagar market on a Sunday is enough to make one believe that ice-cream too can be fried to make pakoras. Call it the Ludhianvis spirit to experiment weird things or an attempt of an overzealous businessman who can find a solution for the low sales of ice-creams in chilly winters, these ice-cream pakoras are sold like hot-cakes in the market. And those who can’t dare to experiment them are fascinated by the banner which advertises these pakoras outside a shop. Shell out Rs 20 for each pakora and enjoy this hot n’ cold delicacy.


Even as we have been talking about women empowerment for the last many years, but when a woman raises a voice against the treatment meted out to her, we still call her troublesome and even refuse to help her. A typical example of this hypocrisy was witnessed in Government College recently when a lady teacher preferred to put in her papers after she complained against her students who had drawn obscene caricatures on the blackboard of her classroom. Besides facing embarrassment as allegations and counter-allegations flowed openly in the city, the teacher was branded as “problematic” by her own students. Surprisingly, a male teacher of the same college was heard talking to a media person to tilt the news in favour of the college authorities as he accused the media to be helping the lady lecturer. Height of male chauvinism.

Rude language

The other day a young girl had parked the car on National Highway for a short period. When she went to take out the car from the parking lot, about eight people came and surrounded her and used very rough language. One elderly man even went to extent of saying’ Tu kaya samajhati hai tere baap ki sadak hai’? It was not the language one would expect from an elderly man for a girl his grand-daughter’s age. Had he been polite , which he should have been, the girl would not have been reduced to tears. Society that fails to respect women cannot progress much.

Too inhuman

A social worker stopped her car near an accident victim who was lying injured on a busy road in the city one cold night. She immediately took him to a hospital when he was bleeding profusely. The man had around 20 visiting cards in his wallet which raised the hope for the social worker to contact some of his friends. But she was in for a shock of her life. All the 20 people this social worker contacted had one answer that they were very busy and could not come for help. Flabbergasted, this woman could only wonder whether humanity is dead on this planet.

Tail piece

Two boards on the PAU campus are put up together. One of them reads, “Girls hostel”, and the other reads “Ajaib ghar.”




Cattle nuisance in city
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, December 10
The volume of traffic has increased mani-folds in Ludhiana over the last decade. Due to lack of planning to ensure a smooth flow of traffic, total chaos prevails on the streets of the city. The numbers of four-wheelers has increased rapidly.

Along with four-wheelers, the traffic is considerably slowed down due to thousands of three-wheelers and two-wheelers that compete unevenly with the most modern cars. Obviously the unruly traffic leads to many major and minor accidents.

Moreover, the road rage is on the rise and young hot blooded people easily pick up fights when fenders of their cars or their gleaming motorbikes get damaged. The language heard on the road during traffic jams can turn one’s ears red.

To make matters worse, stray roaming cattle, oblivious of the speeding cars and slow-paced rickshaws, compounds the traffic problems. The stray cattle can be seen either moving leisurely on the main busy highways or sitting and chewing at the intersection of the roundabout of the Clock Tower.

Needless to say, the commuters do not welcome such bovine visitors as no one knows which way will take their fancy. Many a time the unsuspecting drivers are helpless and can’t break in time when the cattle looms large before the windscreen resulting in accidents and loss of life and extreme damage to their vehicles.

Now the million dollar question is what is the administration doing about removing the bovine menace from the roads. Whether it is a posh colony like Sarabha Nagar or BRS Nagar or a not-so-posh colony, cattle, pigs and dogs roam around on the streets causing a lot of harassment to the residents. Neither the Municipal Corporation nor the administration seems concerned to free the residents of the animal kingdom on the streets. A lot of mishaps have occurred on their account. Are they waiting for a bigger calamity to happen before they take action?



Electric crematoria for city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
Electric crematoria would soon be set up at Model Town, Civil Lines and bus stand. This was disclosed by senior Congress leader and MLA, Ludhiana West, Mr Harnam Dass Johar. He said assurances to this effect were given to him by the city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, and the Municipal Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, at a meeting.

Mr Johar said a proposal for setting up a new crematorium at Haibowal Khurd had also been drawn up. He said roads near the Durga mandir would be widened and Dugri Road would be made double lane. He said, the Mayor and the Commissioner assured him that the roads on both sides of Budha Nullah would be constructed immediately.



Seminar on girl child held
Our Correspondent

Amloh, December 10
It is the need of the hour to control the population of the country and forego differences between a male and a female child, said Mr B.S. Sidhu, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), while addressing a seminar on the Kanya Jagriti Jyoti Scheme organised by Mr Satish Kumar, Child Development and Project Officer (CDPO), here yesterday. He said a female child, in spite of discrimination meted out to her, was a well-wisher of her parents.

Explaining the project introduced in 1996, Mr Sidhu said under this scheme Rs 5000 were deposited in the name of the female child which earned Rs 100 per month as interest up to the age of 12, and thereafter 200 per month for education up to Class X. The scheme was valid up to two children. Mr Sidhu urged the audience to make complete use of various development schemes available and said that each member of a family should get involved in a project by taking loans from banks.

Mr Baldev Singh Aulakh, council chief, acquainted the chief guest about the problem of disposal of sullage of the town. He appreciated the efforts of the organisers of the seminar, attended by panches and sarpanches besides women of the township.

The CDPO talked about the formation of self-help groups of women in villages by taking loans at a low rate of interest, they could invest it and earn supplementary income for the family.

During the question hour, the CDPO invited questions pertaining to the scheme. Capt J.S. Bajwa retd said such seminars should be followed by implementation of decisions taken. Mr Parmjeet Singh Janjua, Sarpanch, Khanian, Mr Mangat Ram Arora of the Karyana Merchants Association and Mr Rajesh Khokhar also spoke at the occasion. Schoolchildren from Government Senior Secondary School, Naraingarh, and Elementary School, Nurpura, presented a cultural programme. The chief guest gave away prizes to the children.



Patient ‘vanishes’ from hospital
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
In a curious case, a patient has vanished from a nursing home in local Kochar market under mysterious circumstances.

According to police sources, the authorities of the nursing home complained to the Division Number 5 police station that Mandeep Singh, a 23-year-old patient, was undergoing treatment of some nervous disorder at this hospital since last week but suddenly vanished from nursing home last night.

The hospital authorities had changed his attendant yesterday and the youth was missing since last night.

The attendant was also missing along with two other employees.

Police sources said that the youth had lost his father and had inherited a lot of property.

His relatives wanted to grab it. His sister and brother-in-law had got him admitted to the nursing home. The police is investigating the matter. 



11 booked for power theft
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 10
The Haibowal police yesterday registered separate cases under Section 379, IPC, against 11 persons who were caught stealing power with the help of kundi connections in pre-dawn raids conducted under the supervision of Mr Kulwant Singh, SDO, Haibowal.

The accused, against whom theft proceedings have been started, are Bhura and Sat Pal, both residents of Mahavir Colony, Bagga, Sukhdev and Pritam Singh, residents of Chuharpur Road, Ram Singh and Kharaiti Lal, residents of Bihari Colony, Jagdish Kumar, a resident of Joshi Nagar, Darshan Singh (depotwala), Amarjit Singh, a resident of Ranjodh Park, and Kartar Singh, a resident of Vijay Nagar.

Tension: Bharat Nagar continues to be tense after a bullet was shot at a furniture shop from a white Maruti car last evening the source of which has not been ascertained so far.

According to information, in a street opposite the ESI Hospital, are located a PCO and a furniture shop opposite each other. Mr Dharam Pal Verma, owner of the PCO, and Mr Goldy, owner of the furniture house, have been getting threatening phone calls for the past couple of days.

The police, which reached the spot soon after the incident was reported to it, has recovered an empty cartridge from the spot. While Mr Goldy maintains that the bullet was meant for him, Mr Verma, who is president of the Depot Holders Association, says that he has no enemies. Further investigations are on.

Criminal nabbed: The police has finally nabbed Balraj Gupta, a notorious criminal, who had been eluding arrest after jumping bail in a car theft case. he was wanted in connection with several cases of car lifting and forgery. A CIA police party headed by Mr Mukhwinder Singh and Mr Gurpreet Singh raided a hideout in the city and arrested Balraj Gupta, who lives in Ashok Nagar.

He was among the members of the inter-state gang of criminals who specialised in selling fake stamp papers at throwaway prices which was busted a few days ago with the arrest of Pritpal Singh from whom fake stamp papers worth Rs 30,000 were seized. Fake stamp papers worth Rs 70,000 and a Tata Sumo were recovered from the possession of Balraj Gupta, according to the police. He was involved in the sale of stolen cars with the help of forged registration papers in Solan. According to the police, Balraj Gupta was a hardened criminal who at one time ran a brick-kiln and later took to crime.

Booked: The Shimla Puri police has registered a case of beating against seven persons on the statement of Mr Kewal Singh, a gunman in the security of the SDM (East), who alleged in his complaint that the accused intercepted him on the way and beat him up. The accused also allegedly threatened to kill him, he added.

The accused have been identified as Baldev Singh, Charanjit Singh, Gurdip Singh, Parminder Singh, Kewal Singh, Jasbir Singh and Mandip Singh.

Theft: A theft of cash and ornaments from a house in Hira Nagar on the Kakowal road was discovered yesterday when the house owners returned from a trip to the Vaishno Devi shrine. It is being presumed that the thieves broke into the house on Saturday night and ransacked it. Locks on almirahs were broken and the valuables stolen.

According to Mr Nanak Chand, house owner, the thieves took away Rs 36,000, gold tops, five gold rings and other ornaments. A case has been registered at Basti Jodhewal police station.

Fraud: The Division No 3 police has registered a case of alleged fraud on the statement of Mr Raj Kumar Khanna, owner of a factory on the Gaushala road, against B.K.Garg, a resident of Ghaziabad.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had bought goods worth Rs 12.72 lakh from his factory but the cheque given by him in lieu of the payment was not honoured by the bank concerned, he added.

Eve-teasers booked: The Division No 4 police has registered a case of intimidation and eve-teasing against some youths on the complaint of Monica, a resident of Qilla Mohalla.

The complainant had alleged that the accused teased her and also tore up her clothes. The accused also beat her up and threatened her, she added. The accused are Vicky, Bira, Pappu and Shankar, who live in the same locality.

Woman beaten: On the complaint of Ms Kanta, a resident of Basant Nagar, the Division No 4 police has registered a case against Rinku and Sanjay, who live in the same locality. The woman had alleged that the accused beat her up and also threatened her.



PF employee held on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
The local Vigilance Bureau today caught red-handed an employee of the local Central Provident Fund Department when he was accepting a bribe for making a signature on the files of a company.

According to Mr Daljinder Singh Dhillon, DSP, Vigilance, Sohan Singh, a clerk of the PF office, had allegedly demanded Rs 600 from Mr Jasbir Singh, an employee of Mohan Bottling, a local company.

Mr Jasbir Singh complained to the Vigilance Bureau about it. The police then nabbed him red-handed when he was accepting the bribe.

A case under Sections 88 and 32 of the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against him.



Man killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
An unidentified migrant was crushed under a vehicle near Sher Pur police picket early this morning.

According to police sources, the driver fled from the spot due to foggy morning.

The victim’s body, covered with blood, was found near the Hyundai showroom at around 9 a.m. It was sent for a post-mortem in the Civil Hospital.

A case has been registered.



Case of rash driving registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
The police here yesterday finally registered a case of rash driving and causing hurt by an act endangering life in the incident wherein two Punjab Engineering College girls — Shivani and Preeti — were injured by a car being driven by a daughter of a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The case has been registered on the statement of Preeti. However, Section 338 of the IPC has not been added as the police claimed that the other seriously injured girl, Shivani, was not fit to give statement. Both girls are still in the PGI. 



Jagraon mills start sugarcane crushing
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
Jagraon Cooperative Sugar Mills Ltd started sugarcane crushing operation from today. The crushing started after the bhog of Sri Akhand Path and chanting of sabad from Sri Guru Granth Sahib followed by kirtan. Sant Baba Lakha Singh Ji Nanaksar (Kaleran) performed the ardas for successful crushing.

Inaugurating the operations, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, MP, urged the farmers to focus on quality in light of the WTO regime and plan their farming strategy and crop rotation accordingly. He also emphasised the need for maintaining the fertility of the soil by adopting green manuring, vermiculture and also to conserve soil moisture.

He urged for coordination with national and state level research organisations/universities to meet the challenge for developing early maturing varieties and increasing sugarcane productivity by adopting improved methods of sugarcane cultivation and increasing sugar productivity by adopting molecular biology and genetic engineering techniques. He said the mill would enter into the production of value added products like refining of sugar, fortified sugar and syrup clarification system for production of export quality sugar.

During the current season the mill is expected to crush around 23,00,000 quintals of sugarcane and produce 2,00,000 bags of sugar.

The mill management has approached the Sugarfed and the Government of Punjab for one time settlement of its outstanding dues. The Punjab Government has decided to waive off the interest of RDF loan and agreed to convert principle amount in grant-in-aid. In addition, the government has paid six installments under one time settlement with financial institutions and only two installments are remaining which are due on December 31and March 31.



LIC threatens defaulters with defamation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India is learnt to have started novel ways of effecting recovery of housing and other loans from the defaulting customers. Recently the LIC released on advertisement in various newspapers about a defaulter. The advertisement gave the name, photograph and other details of the defaulters.

As a follow up the LIC circulated the published details among other defaulters apparently with the intention of pressurising them into repaying their instalments. The notices were accompanied by the advertisement trying to clarify to the defaulters that their names would be published in the newspapers in a similar manner in case they defaulted in paying the instalments. The LIC also quoted a Madras High Court judgment upholding to publish the name and photograph of the defaulters in newspapers.

One of the notices read, “We are sorry to point out that in spite of our repeated letters, telephonic talks and personal visits, you have continually been defaulting in repayment of equated monthly instalments (EMIs) and have not bothered to regularise the account...We hereby give you notice to clear all outstanding dues within 15 days, failing which we shall be constrained to publish enclosed notice in newspapers”. The notice contained a clipping of the advertisement about a defaulter which was published in various newspapers recently.

The notice concluded, “we are sure that you will contact us immediately to clear all outstanding dues, thus not forcing us to take unpleasant decision of publishing your names and photographs as defaulter in the newspapers”.

This notice has not been liked by the customers, saying it was in “bad taste”. Some of them told Ludhiana Tribune that the LIC’s approach appeared to be “too unprofessional”. One of the recipients pointed out, “the LIC sanctions loans only against the deposits or assets so there was no need to threaten the customers with defamation”. He asked, “Is it proper on the part of the LIC to send such notices to customers at a time when other private companies are providing far better services”.

On the other hand, a senior LIC official maintained that such notices were sent as a routine to the defaulters. He, however, feigned ignorance about the published advertisement accompanying these notices. But he added, The LIC is within its rights to publish the names of defaulters in the newspapers as has been ruled by the Madras High Court way back in 1999. He said these notices should be treated as advance intimation about the future course of action in case the customer does not repay the loans in time.


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