Thursday, December 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Forgery in SDM’s office; 15 clerks to face action
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
At least 15 employees of the offices of the SDM (East) and the Registrar, Births and Deaths, Municipal Corporation, are likely to be booked in a criminal case for allegedly forging the signature of the SDM for issuing birth and death certificates.

The employees allegedly forged the signatures of SDM (East) Bhawna Garg and issued the certificates. They not only duped the government but also the public.

Mr Anurag Agarwal, Deputy Commissioner, informed the Press that Ms Garg had herself unearthed the scan.

Mr Agarwal said he had recommended the registration of a case against the guilty persons. He said the recommendation had been made as per a report submitted by Ms Garg.

The report gives instances of false reports prepared by forging her signatures by some staff members of her office in connivance with officials of the office of the Registrar, Births and Deaths.

The administration, however, did not give more details of the case. Administration sources said the names had been sent to the police and would be made public only after the registration of the case. The sources said the administration did not want to give names now in order to avoid any lobbying by the accused.

The sources disclosed to Ludhiana Tribune the modus operandi of the accused. The SDM’s office deals with late applications of death and birth certificates.

The applications are processed and approved by the SDM in a week or 10 days. The approved cases are then sent to the Registrar, Births and Deaths, which issued the certificates. However, certain employees, with the help of touts, forged her signatures and sent the approved applications directly to their accomplices in the Registrar’s office. The forged signatures were quite different from the SDM’s original signature. The numbers given on the applications and the certificates were also fake.

A woman employee of the SDM’s office is also said to be involved in the case. She reportedly denied her involvement but the authorities were convinced that she was guilty. Several touts are also likely to be booked.

The development is likely to directly affect scores of people who got the certificates issued recently.

The Deputy Commissioner has asked the SSP, Ludhiana, to lodge an FIR against the suspected persons and investigate the matter. 



Post designed for design engineer
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
A tale of how rules and norms were allegedly flouted by the Akali government to arbitrarily create the post of Design Engineer for the four Municipal Corporations of Punjab has come to light.

Tapping his powerful connections, an engineer of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation managed his appointment as DE (DE). To bypass rules, a separate cadre was created for him although he did not have the requisite qualifications and experience required for the specialised job.

He reportedly did not execute any structural design work during the over four-and-a-half years he occupied the seat.

The issue was highlighted as 14 affected engineers protested against the appointment of Mr Davinder Pal Singh Wadhwa. But owing to political pressure, nothing happened during the tenure of the previous regime. The matter was pursued by them and following a departmental inquiry by the Chief Vigilance Officer, Local Bodies Department, the matter was put up before the Secretary of the department, who not only ordered the abolition of the post, but reverted the incumbent, who is now posted at Patiala.

Sources said the state government vide orders (No. 1/7/96-1LG-1/134), dated February 5, 1998, created the post of DE at the Municipal Corporation, Jalandhar. Against the newly created post, Mr Wadhawa was appointed in the pay scale of Rs 3,000-4,500. Owing to the protests, that followed, the matter was kept abeyance. Some time later, a committee comprising the Director, Local Government, Chief Engineer Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, and Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, was constituted by the Punjab Government to reconsider the matter and to fill the post of Design Engineer.

Accordingly, applications were invited from officers working in various wings of the Department of Local government. The qualifications for this post were M.E./M.Tech (Structural Engineering). Mr Wadhwa, who was already working as DE, Mr P.K. Garg and Mr Paramjit Singh Jaggi, Assistant Engineers, applied for the post.

Their claim was considered by the committee and Mr Wadhwa selected for the post in the pay scale of Corporation engineer w.e.f. the date of his joining as Design Engineers — February 6, 1998 — thus, regularising his appointment as such vide government orders no 1/7/96 1LG-1/1878-79, dated February 10, 1999.

In his report Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Secretary of the department, observed: “Whereas a representation dated 26.4.2002 was received from six corporation engineers against the appointment of Mr Wadhwa as DE, following the complaint, the matter has been considered by the government in detail and it has been found that the post was created and Mr Wadhwa was appointed in an arbitrary pick and choose process for giving illegitimate benefit to him. “Neither prescribed procedure was followed, nor qualification was prescribed for filling this post.



2,200 more trees to face the axe
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
Close on the heels of felling about 1000 trees for four-laning parts of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana highway, as many as 2,200 more trees now face the axe for a similar project on the Khanna-Machiwara road.

The State Advisory Group(SAG), formed under the Forest Conservation Act held a meeting at Khanna yesterday and approved the widening of the road and the felling of trees. The meeting has recommended to the Union Ministry of Environment (MoE) to give a nod to the cutting down of the trees. The MoE has rarely rejected any recommendation of the SAG.

The SAG consists of a representative of the MoE itself, the State Forest Department, the Finance Department, the PWD and Civil Administration officers. The road is being widened from Khanna to Machiwara where a bridge over the Sutlej river is under construction.

Informed sources said the meeting deliberated on the damage to environment likely to be caused by the felling of such a large number of trees. It, however, concluded that this was unavoidable. The State Forest Department would be given double the area of land acquired for the purpose. The Forest Department would also be given funds for plantation of double the number of tress cut down because of the project.

Forest Department sources said though the road stretch was about 35 km only, the number of trees likely to be cut was quite high. The number was twice more the trees axed on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana highway.

The DFO, Mr Jarnail Singh, said the Forest Department had not objected to the mass felling of the trees as the project was necessary.

The reasons for this was that the Chandigarh road was already wide at several places and the plantation of trees was not as dense as on the Khanna road. Also, the forest cover near Machiwara was the most dense. Third, the area to be acquired for widening was much more than the area of the Chandigarh road. The Khanna road was two-laned and would be four-laned for the purpose at several places.

The majority of trees standing along the roadside are eucalyptus, kikkar, sukh chain and talhi. The trees were so high that some of the branches intervened branches of trees on the other side, creating a canopy. A cave-like structure was formed at several places.

Already, 1000 trees have been axed at the altar of development on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana highway. 



4 held for ‘supari’ killing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
The Jagraon police has claimed to have solved the murder case of one Pal Singh of Sherpur Khurd village with the arrest of four persons. The man was found dead in the village three months ago.

According to police, a woman of Sherpur Khurd village in Jagraon connived with her paramour and hired two contract killers to murder her husband, who had come in the way of their relationship.

Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chhina, SSP, Jagraon, said the police had arrested the woman Paramjit Kaur, alias Bhago (wife of the deceased Pal Singh), her nephew Harchand Singh, alias Thana, two contract killers, Joginder Singh and Balwinder Singh, for allegedly conspiring and murdering Pal Singh.

According to the police, Pal Singh’s nephew, Harchand Singh, used to live with him since his childhood. He allegedly developed illicit relations with his aunt, Paramjit. When Pal Singh came to know of their relationship, he tried to stop them but in vain.

Harchand and Paramjit decided to eliminate Pal Singh, who they considered as a major barrier in their relationship. Paramjit reportedly borrowed Rs 2 lakh from a commission agent and gave the money to Harchand, who allegedly hired Joginder Singh, alias Ginda, and Balwinder Singh, alias Binda, of Patti Multani village for “supari” killing of Pal Singh.

The four persons hatched a conspiracy. They asked Pal Singh to allow them to keep sacks of poppy husk in his fields and struk a rapport with him. The deal was struck between the three and Pal Singh also agreed.

The two killers started coming to his house and asking for him. Listening to their voice Pal Singh would go to them every time. Realising that Pal Singh had started coming to them, they went to his house on September 21 and called him. When Pal Singh went outside his house they took him to a far away place and killed him with sharp-edged weapons. 



Two Sena Medals for Sarabha Col
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
Col Mandeep Grewal of Sarabha village has brought laurels to the region, displaying exemplary courage and presence of mind in fighting terrorists in Assam for which he has been awarded two Sena Medals by Southern Army Commander G.S. Sahota.

He belongs to an illustrious family of defence personnel whose fifth generation is serving the nation’s defence forces. Gunning down terrorists belonging to the notorious ULFA and NDBF terrorist organisations, he overpowered one of them in a hand to hand combat: Col Grewal has added a jewel in the crown of the Sarabha village. The village is famous for its freedom fighter Kartar Singh Sarabha. Talking to TNS here today, Col Grewal said he had specially come to his native village to show his father, Major (retd.) Kuldip Singh, the medals he had won.

He had come here from Mumbai and would now go to Nagaland to join duty. His father is a decorated soldier himself. Col Grewal is an alumnus of R S Model School, Shastri Nagar. He graduated from Arya College and joined Officers Training Academy (OTA).



‘It’s viewers who call the shots’
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, December 18
“Today’s audience is very smart. You cannot fool it by showing anything on television. Keeping in view the audience’s reaction, the directors, too keep on changing the scripts”. These views were expressed by Deepshikha, recently crowned Mrs India, and Achint Kaur, a leading model and TV artiste, who were in the city today to promote the television serial “Kitty Party”, which is being telecast on Zee TV.

When asked why the organisers chose Ludhiana for promoting the serial, Achint said, “I think Ludhiana women are very fond of kitties. We got an opportunity to interact with the city women at Lakshmi Ladies Club here today. I have come to know that the serial is very popular among the residents. We have also visited cities like Kanpur, Varanasi and Lucknow for promoting the serial”.

The reigning Mrs India, Deepshikha, said now that she had won the title, she had become very choosy about her roles. Married for the past five years, Deepshikha has a little daughter. She said,”I think twice before doing any role now. After January, I will start preparing myself for the Mrs World contest. Though I am a Punjabi, I was born and brought up at Mumbai. This is my first visit to the city. I like Punjabi people, their culture and food. I have done films like ‘Koyla’ and ‘Badshah’. Shah Rukh Khan and Anil Kapoor are my favourite stars”.

Achint Kaur said this was her second visit to the city. “I was three years old when I first came to the city. My mother is from Ludhiana. I was born and brought up at Meerut”, said Achint, mother of a ten-year-old son. She feels that the audience had benefited because of tough competition between the channels.

“The audience have become very demanding. They want daily soap operas. They can not wait for a week for a particular serial and the channel has to make money. In ‘Kitty Party’, we are trying to show reality to the people”, she said.

Achint is a great fan of film star Kajol. “She is so good and talented that you feel jealous. I keep getting offers from Bollywood, but I focus on small roles because of my tight schedule”, she said.



Gujarat win ‘unfortunate’
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 18
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) headed by former Union Minister Mr Ram Bilas Paswan has tamed the victory of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) in Gujarat as most unfortunate for the country.

“The BJP and its front organisations like the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and the Shiv Sena fanned the communal riots and communal feelings to win the election. The ‘Hindutva’ card so blatantly played by the ruling party in Gujarat will turn out to be a big threat to the unity and integrity of the nation,” said Mr Pradeep Srivastav, national Secretary of the party, at a press conference here today. He maintained that India being a secular country, the BJP had done great disservice by exploiting the ‘Hindutva’ issue. Raising of such issues during elections would further strengthen communal and separatist forces, which could pose a serious threat to the secular fibre in due course.

The state President of the LJP, Mr Amar Singh Mehmi, and other senior party leaders, including Mr Kartar Singh Patna, Mr Jagdish Anand, Mr Manjot Singh Grewal, Mr Kali Kant Jha, Mr Baldev Singh Sakheda, Ms Pinki Mann and Mr Raj Kumar were present at the occasion.

Opposing the disinvestment policy of the government, Mr Srivastav alleged that in the name of disinvestment, the government was handing over public sector units, boards and corporation to the private sector at throwaway prices.

“Undue haste is being shown to declare sick units running into losses prior to their closure and the government is leaving no stone unturned to facilitate the entry of multi-national corporations (MNCs) and the WTO.”

He said the domestic sector was ill-equipped to compete with global companies and the imminent closure of a large number of industrial units in different sectors would spell doom for the Indian economy with unemployment assuming alarming proportions.

The LJP functionary further called for strict regulation of the liquor trade, complete ban on lotteries, grant of all constitutional rights like issuing ration cards and voting rights for almost 25 lakh migrant workers, residing in Punjab.

According to Mr Srivastav, the party would launch a mass agitation to focus on these demands during the month of February. A meeting of the state executive and office-bearers would be convened on December 22 at Jalandhar to discuss organisational matters, civic elections and the proposed agitation.



Curbs to hit Improvement Trusts’ working
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 18
Several restrictions, imposed recently by the state government, coupled with cuts on expenditure, would adversely affect the routine working of Improvement Trusts in Punjab.

The new Congress Government, immediately after taking over, had dissolved some 22 Improvement Trusts all over the state and bureaucrats, some of them with additional charges, were appointed as administrators to replace the chairmen, who were political appointees.

A letter, issued by the Department of Local Government on December 4, 2002 to all administrators and executive officers of the trust says that since the trusts stood dissolved, the government had a responsibility for keeping a strict check on their expenditure. It said the discretion with the trusts to waive 50 per cent of the non-construction fee would cease to operate with immediate effect and all such cases would, henceforth, be sent to government for a decision on merit.

“In future, all advertisements to be released by the trusts must have prior approval of the government at the level of the Secretary to the Government of Punjab, Department of Local Government.” The government directions further said no vehicle belonging to the trusts, be taken out of the territorial jurisdiction for any official purpose without obtaining prior permission from the government. “Any tour undertaken by the administrators of the trusts outside their jurisdiction (only in case of officers holding additional charge) should be got approved from the government, failing which these would be treated as an irregular expenditure.”

While the senior officials of the Improvement Trust were tight-lipped about these directions, sources in the Ludhiana Improvement Trust pointed out that these restrictions were bound to affect the day-to-day working of the trust and would lead to unnecessary delay in many aspects to the extent that the trust might have to incur financial losses. Whereas the government was well within its right to withdraw the discretionary power of waiving non-construction fine, the directions on use of vehicles and advertisement were practically impossible to carry out.

“Quite often the officials of the trust are summoned for meetings with senior officials at Chandigarh on a very short notice or at times they have to appear in court cases. But with the ban on the movement of vehicles outside the territorial jurisdiction, things will become difficult.”

Similarly, the requirement of getting all advertisements, to be released by the trusts, approved from the government would create all sorts of problems and might even prove to be an expensive preposition. Almost without exception, the ads pertained to tender notices or for auction of trust properties.

The time taken for getting prior approval for all advertisements would lead to delay in the commencement of works, delayed supplies and delays in holding auctions with the added risk of escalation in costs.



Lukewarm response to BCI strike call
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 18
The nationwide strike call given by the Bar Council of India got a lukewarm response in Ludhiana today. The courts functioned normally and routine hustle-bustle was witnessed.

The Bar Council of India had given a call for strike to show their resentment against the Legal Services Authorities (Amendment) Act, 2002. As per the amendment Act, Lok Adalats will be established in every public utility services department of the government, the decision of which would be final and binding upon both the parties. Lawyers will not be allowed to appear in such Lok-Adalats, on behalf of litigants.

Though, officially the District Bar Association joined the strike and a notice too put up on the notice board, mentioning that the executive body of DBA had decided to observe strike in view of the call given by the Bar Council of India.

Meanwhile, there was resentment against the amended Act in lawyers at large.

Jagraon: Members of the Bar observed a strike today in response to a call given by the Bar Council of India despite a ban on strike by the Supreme Court.

Samrala: Most of the members of the local Bar stayed away from courts on Wednesday. Earlier, a meeting of the Bar Association, Samrala, held here yesterday under the presidentship of Mr K.S. Dhaliwal had discussed the call given by the Bar Council of India.



Need to streamline traffic

I agree with Major S.S. Khosla on chaotic traffic conditions in Ludhiana, published under the heading, Traffic Blues, in these columns of Ludhiana Tribune on December 5. The traffic scenario described on the busy roads in the presence of cops is awful. A determined action on part of senior traffic police officials, as suggested, is indeed needed to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

It has been noticed that people, in general, have a poor sense of driving, which results in the traffic snarls. Therefore, the traffic police is required to hold regular awareness programmes/campaigns on traffic sense at various levels to educate them. Driving, coaching centres/schools in the city need to impart short-term courses on the traffic regulation to the trainees/participants with the help of the traffic police.

Haphazard parking by some people at unmanned parking places on main roads has assumed alarming proportions. There is a lack of sense of parking, which causes a lot of harassment to the law-abiding citizens and often interferes with the smooth flow of traffic. The traffic police needs to act, rather take a stern action, in controlling indiscriminate parking.

I cite an incident, which happened with me on November 11 at a parking place (on main road) on Kesar Complex, Gurdev Nagar, where I parked my car. When I came back after an hour, I found that a Sumo was parked right at the back of my car, while another car was parked on the left side and on the right side, some persons had parked their motor cycles and scooters. Unable to move my car, I pressed the horn of my car repeatedly for some time.

As a result, a youth came over to a car on left side and drove away. A little later, two youths came over, who had parked their vehicle right at the back of my car. They were reluctant to remove their vehicle. However, they did so but partially. When I tried to back out, the bumper guards of the Sumo hit my car, damaging the right side of my car. The repair of my car cost me more than Rs 2, 500.

In addition, the traffic lights near the Circuit House Crossing have been out of order for weeks together. Measures should be taken to correct these. I also spotted varying signs of speed limit on the Ferozepore road. On one side i.e. towards Sidhwan Canal it reads 40 km, while on the opposite side the speed limit is 50 km.

Senoir police officials are required to take determined and sustained action, besides corrective measures against not only the traffic violators but also the police personnel on duty.

Dr Gurkirpal Singh

Pollution threat

Ludhiana, the industrial capital of Punjab, is evolving at such a speed that it is difficult to imagine the city in the next few years. Evolution and pollution are natural cousins but the largest threat looming for Ludhianvis is that the city is getting polluted and unhygienic with each passing minute.

It is duty of the residents is to save the city from pollution hazards and make it cleaner and greener. Efforts are being made in this direction by the Municipal Corporation, the Pollution Control Board, various social organisations, and individual social activists. However, the situation can only be improved with the active involvement of all segments of society.

Here are some suggestions for making Ludhiana a truly liveable city.

a. The administration should involve educational institutions, banks, insurance companies, industrial houses, colonisers, clubs etc for sapling plantation and cleanliness drives. The Forest Department should come forward with a master plan for social forestry.

b. The administration, with the involvement and co-operation of different bodies mentioned above, should ensure that the saplings are planted and then nursed and maintained till their full growth. Particular areas should be earmarked to the different bodies for the job assigned.

c. The Mayor and the Deputy Commissioner should work in unison to win the cooperation of the people for making Ludhiana more orderly, cleaner, greener, less congested, and to a great extent — smoke-free and not prone to water diseases.

Mrs Deepali Bansal & Sahil Ghai

Fountain Chowk

Fountain Chowk is the pride of Ludhiana, wherein city traffic converges from eight different directions. This may be compared to the petals of a lotus. Surprisingly, the administration is unable to spare some water for the fountain which, when works, significantly enhances the beauty of the entire chowk to the delight of the people and commuters.

Further, the way leading to each lane may bear couplets and thoughts from Sahir Ludhianvi towards Sahir Marg, from Lord Mahavir towards Atam Marg and from Gurbani towards Khalsa College Road, about sports philosophy towards the Gymkhana road and so on.

Industrial houses may fund the water charges for the fountain and maintain this common heritage of the city.

B.B. Goyal

Improve bus stand

It has been painful to notice that the city’s general bus stand begs for necessary repairs of its approach roads. Appeals to repair the bus stand have fallen on deaf ears.

Neither the local administration, nor the transport department (or Punjab Roadways) have taken care of their responsibilities to the public. The entrance roads are badly pot-holed have large craters at places. As a result, the rickshaw-pullers and auto-rickshawalas drop you far from the building.

Ironically, if you suffer a slipped disc or other cervical problem on the approach road while riding on scooter or sitting in the local bus, you should not blame anyone except yourself since you chose to come here to board a bus.

Further, the entrance always stinks due to open urinals where people can be seen urinating round the clock. In addition, although buses now ply quite late into the night and again start quite early in the morning — at 4 am — the scooter-stand contractor opens the stand after 5 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m., much to the inconvenience of the general public.

But who cares for the common man? And why should they since the administrators and other senior officials have never boarded a bus to experience the inconvenience. The stand is a mute testimonial about the indifference of the authorities and that of the city’s affluent society towards the basic amenities of the common man.

Brij Bhushan

Encroachment woes

The views expressed by Major S.S. Khosla in Ludhiana Tribune under the title “Cheated villagers” on encroachment in New Puneet Nagar and on illegal construction raised by owner of 451-B, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana, are worth appreciating. Shockingly, influential persons’ properties in New Preet Nagar were spared action in the demolition drive by the district authorities. And the Municipal Corporation has created a wrong precedent by not stopping the illegal construction of the said owner in BRS Nagar, Ludhiana (Ludhiana Tribune, dated December 12).

The selective demolitions or inaction by the district authorities/Municipal Corporation against serious violations will encourage other well-connected persons to violate building bylaws and destroy the basic structure of a well-planned colony like BRS Nagar. It is a matter of grave concern that the district authorities have not taken a bold stand against the violators by ruthlessly demolishing the illegal structures.

Dr M.L. Chadha

Sambhar’s death

Apropos news report in Ludhiana Tribune dated 14.12.2002 with the heading “PFA blamed for sambhar’s death”, I have to state that the death was very painful and was a result of over-enthusiasm and haste shown by the public present there.

On receiving information, I rang up the Divisional Forest Officer to send his officials to capture the animal and also asked our vet. at Haibowal to send the animal ambulance to the site to help forest officials for the transportation and rehabilitation of the captured sambhar. As Chander Nagar is close to our hospital, the ambulance reached there soon.

Meanwhile, onlookers, due to over-anxiousness, started their own efforts to capture the animal in the absence of wildlife officials, who are competent to do the job. Though they were totally unaware of the outcome of this, they tried their bid, which resulted in this loss. Blaming us for this is totally wrong.

As an NGO, we have been trying our best to safeguard the interests of animals and have been successful upto some extent and people expect much more from us than what we have. We have to work only to provide assistance to society/administration. Similarly, our powers and resources are very limited.

It is time to set up a team (equipped with all gadgets) to tackle these incidents of infiltration by animals from wildlife, especially monkeys (which are very frequent ) or such incidents. Only a few days ago, we were informed about a sambhar at Libra village, near Khanna.

Dr Sandeep K. Jain



Three hurt in roof collapse
Tribune News Service

Cops talk to one of the labourers injured in a roof collapseLudhiana, December 18
At least three labourers were injured in Sahnewal, near here, today when the roof of a school which was under construction collapsed. The labourers identified as Ganesh Ram, Param Lal and Arjun Sada were injured when the newly constructed roof they were working on collapsed at around 9:30 a.m. They were rushed to Giran Hospital in Sahnewal. They were stated to be out of danger.
Cops talk to one of the labourers injured in a roof collapse in Sahnewal on Wednesday.



Held with 1480 gm opium
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 18
The police yesterday nabbed an alleged opium smuggler during a naka and seized 1480 gm of the contraband from his possession. The accused, Kimti Lal, a resident of Hargobind Nagar, was arrested and booked under Sections 18,61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

Fraud case: The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case of fraud under Sections 406, 420, 380, 452, 506 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Sanjiv Kumar, a resident of Tagore Nagar, against three women — Neeraj Dhir, wife of Sandip, Veena, wife of Ram Rachhpal, and Rachna, wife of Vineet Kumar, all residents of Randhir Singh Nagar. The complainant had alleged that he had bought a house from the accused and made the payment in full but the accused had not given him possession of the house. To top it all, the accused had forcibly took away his household belongings. The accused refused to execute the sales deed in spite of several reminders.

Murder bid: The division number seven police has registered a case under Sections 307, 326, 406, 498-A, 341, 324, 323, 506 and 120-B of the IPC on the complaint of Ms Anju Bala, a resident of Una in Himachal Pradesh, against her husband Yog Raj, Dharam Pal, Rano Devi, Ram Pal and Ashok Kumar. The complainant had alleged that the accused beat her up on Monday in connection with dowry demands which she could not fulfil. The accused tried to murder her, she alleged.

The division number five police also registered a case under Sections 406, 498-A, 506 and 323 of the IPC on a complaint by Ms Harpreet Kaur, a resident of Industrial Area-A, against Surinder Singh, Kartar Singh, Daljit Kaur, Ranjit Singh and Gurvinder Singh. The woman had alleged that the accused, who were her in-laws, subjected her to mental and physical torture.

Woman sustains burns: A 70-year-old housewife in Ganesh Nagar, identified as Baby, was admitted to the civil hospital on Tuesday with burn injuries after she accidentally fell on a stove while she was cooking. According to information, the women fell on the stove as a result of giddiness.

Motor cycle thief held: Mr Devinder Kumar, SHO, division number eight, on Tuesday nabbed a motorcycle thief during a naka and booked him under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

The arrested boy, identified as Ram Lal (20), reportedly confessed during preliminary interrogation that he had stolen the Kinetic Honda he was riding only a day before from Gole Market in Model Town. According to the police, the accused made an attempt to escape but he was overpowered after a chase.

Beaten: The Basti Jodhewal police has registered a case under Sections 323, 342 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Malkiat Kaur, a resident of Phagwara, against Tara Singh and two others. The woman had alleged that the accused, due to an old enmity, came to her house and beat her up.



1 killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
One person was killed and eight were injured, three of them seriously, when a tanker carrying milk collided head-on with a private bus near Badhel village, 2 km from Sudhar on the Raikot-Ludhiana road, this morning.

The driver of the tanker, Amrik Singh, died on the spot while eight passengers of Libra Transport were injured. Harminder Singh, driver of the bus, suffered multiple fractures in the accident.

The three seriously injured persons were admitted to DMC Hospital here in the evening after their condition deteriorated at a local hospital in Sudhar. They are Daljit Kaur and her daughter Devinder Kaur of Nawanshahr and Puran Singh of Sudhar.



Small-scale industry hails credit modifications
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
Various associations representing the small-scale industries’ sector have appreciated the decision taken by the Planning Commission to modify the policy relating to the availability of credit to tiny and small-scale sector from banks and other financial institutions. The federation observed that the decision would go a long way in helping sector to come out of recession.

The representatives of the Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India, Federation of Dyeing Association and Cycle Trade Association said this was a step in the right direction and was desperately awaited by the industry. In its last meeting, the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Mr K.C. Pant, had suggested several policy modifications for lending credit to the small and tiny sector. Under these modifications the Reserve Bank of India has been asked to look into the issues of reduction of net bank credit to the SSI sector increasing the cost of credit and requirement of collateral security and come up with concrete suggestions by January 2003.

The representatives regretted that while the big industries and corporates get credit at PLR of sub PLR or even at a lower rate of 6 per cent, the small-scale sector was being discriminated against and it was very difficult for them to survive under these circumstances. They said the small scale industries which formed the backbone of the economy needed the credit at cheaper rates.

They pointed out that for the small scale sector the source of finance was banks or financial institutions only while for the corporate sector there were so many avenues for mobilising the finances. Mr Joginder Kumar, Mr O.P. Jindal, Mr Vinod Dhall, Mr T.R. Mishra, Mr Rajan Gupta, Mr Ahok Kumar Gupta, Mr Man Mohan Singh Ubhi and Mr Jaswant Singh Birdi urged the RBI to take note of the Planning Commission recommendations so that the small scale sector got some relief. 



Fairy tale house
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 18
A house straight out of Hans Anderson fairy tales made out of bread bricks with sugar icing dominates the lobby of Majestic Park Plaza. The roof of the hut is also made of bread bricks. The feathery cotton stuck on the rooftop, streamers and other Christmas decorations on the hut makes it a perfect picture for Christmas.

Outside the hut colourful pots of foliage complete the picture of a fairy tale house. Tucked inside are yule logs, mince pies, chocolate and cookies.

The plaza has arranged for carol singing for children from December 21 to 24. They can also meet Santa, sit in his lap, dance around and get presents from him too.



Connect has new numbers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 18
Connect numbers for Jalandhar, Ropar, Sirhind and Hoshiarpur have been changed with immediate effect.
The Connect subscribers in Jalandhar for fixed line phones and fixed wireline terminals (FTWs) shall have to replace the first digit by 50. For example, the old number 881234 will now be 5081234.

For Connect mobile phones in Jalandhar, the first digit shall have to be replaced by 51 (if old number is 898055, it will now be 5198055).

For Ropar and Sirhind, the first digits of the old number shall have to be replaced by 50.

In Hoshiarpur for the Connect numbers starting with 31 and 39, the first two digits have been replaced by 50 and for the numbers starting with 32, only the first digit has been replaced by 5.


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