Monday, January 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Claimant in Jaspal Bangar case caught at airport
Charged with duping NRI, illegally leasing out land
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
One of the claimants in the Jaspal Bangar land-grab case was arrested by the Indira Gandhi International Airport authorities today, and handed over to the Jagraon police. He was trying to flee the country.

Dilbagh Rai, charged under Section 420 of the IPC for failing to honour a land deed even after accepting Rs 20 lakh as advance payment, was trying to catch a flight to Canada when caught.

The case against him was registered on December 10 on the complaint of a man called Najar Singh of Rania village. Dilbagh had allegedly accepted the advance from him, but sold the land to somebody else. Najar had, then, lodged a complaint with the Dakha police in this regard.

The police had alerted the airport authorities, fearing that, being an NRI, Dilbagh might try to flee the country after pocketing the money. He was produced in the court of a Duty Magistrate here today after his arrest from Delhi and sent to the police custody.

Dilbagh Rai has been fighting a legal battle with his distant cousin, Sher Jang Singh of Jaspal Bangar, with both men claiming that the land was given to their ancestors, by the ninth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Teg Bahadur. Sher Jang Singh had been claiming that his ancestors had been cultivating the land for the past many decades.

The villagers say that the land has been in the possession of Jung’s family for the past hundreds of years and it was given on lease by Dilbagh Rai to an NRI, Ms Baldev Kaur. The villagers said this land was part of 2,000 bighas given by the Sikh gurus in 27 villages.

Allegedly, Dilbagh Rai had executed the lease deed in May 2002. The villagers said it was illegal as he was not authorised to give the land on lease to anybody; besides, land given to religious institutions could not be disposed of by the mahants of these institutions, as it violated the Shahi Farman. Baldev Kaur had lodged an FIR at the Simla Puri police station against Jang’s brothers, but the police, later, dropped the charges.

The SSP of Ludhiana, on January 16, had himself initiated an inquiry into the case. 



Robbers loot Rs 1.25 lakh, jewellery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
Two armed robbers with covered faces looted Rs 1.25 lakh and some jewellery from a house in Mehmoodpura Colony after tying and gagging a woman member of the family late last evening. She was the only person present in the house.

The robbers were armed with sharp-edged weapons. It seemed that the robbers knew the family well. They also knew the timings when there were few members in the house. They sneaked in the house just after the house owner, Manoj Chowdhry, had left for some work.

His wife, Nisha Chowdhry was alone in the house. Robbers tied her with a rope and gagged her. The robbers also disconnected the phone by cutting the wires. They ransacked the house at will for an hour and then left.

The woman, somehow, managed to get herself free and raised an alarm. A crowd gathered, but no one had seen the robbers.

Police sources said it they had got relevant clues about the two accused. Sources said woman was confident that she could recognise them. Police sources said they had got prepared sketches of the accused.



Principals object to ADC’s letter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
In yet another controversy, involving the district administration, the principals of six colleges have objected to the language used in a letter asking them to appear personally before the ADC and explain as why action should not be taken against them for not attending a meeting convened on January 14 in connection with their participation in the Republic Day celebrations.

The issue concerns the organising of the Republic Day celebrations function. The administration had reportedly convened a meeting of the educational institutions for their participation in the Republic Day celebrations on January 14. However, six colleges could not be represented apparently for the reason that they did not get the intimation in time.

The administration then issued a letter to these six principals asking them to appear personally before the ADC and explain as why action should not be taken against them for insubordination. The letter, according to the principals, also questioned their commitment towards celebrating the Republic Day. They were asked to appear before the ADC by January 17.

Taking strong objection to the wording used by the administration and summoning them to the ADC’s office, the College Principals Association has made a strong representation to the Deputy Commissioner. The association is likely to submit another representation to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, soon.

The representation while objecting to the language said, it was highly unfortunate that the patriotism of these principals was being questioned. It said, the letter had hurt their sentiments. It said, there was nothing deliberate or intentional in not attending the meeting. It added that the administration should have sent the intimation on time.

Some of the principals, who were served with the letter, when contacted, said, instead of summoning them to the ADC’s office, the administration should have first verified the reasons as why their institutions were not represented. It should find out as why the intimation was not conveyed on time and not jump to the conclusions and start summoning the principals. “The letter is absolutely in bad taste and has hurt our sentiments”, one of the principals said.

They pointed out, that the students of their institutions have been participating in the Republic Day celebrations in maximum number. “Why should we abstain from such a meeting?”, they asked, regretting that they were unnecessarily being dragged into an unsavoury controversy without knowing anything about it.



Connect’s new plan for subscribers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
Connect has introduced Talk 599 plan for its mobile users wherein with an initial security deposit of Rs 1,000 only and a monthly rental of Rs 599, one shall get up to 1200 minutes of free calls (400 call units) for local and intra-Punjab calling.

According to Mr Jayant Kaswani, General Manger (Marketing) and PR, Connect has also introduced two value-added services — night speak and Sunday speak. Under the night speak scheme, the Connect mobile users can now make unlimited local and intra-Punjab calls from 10 pm to 8 am by paying a nominal monthly membership fee of Rs 125. By paying another Rs 75, the Connect subscribers can use the Sunday speak service for unlimited local and intra-Punjab calls from 00.00 hours to 24.00 hours on Sundays. The free calls also include calls to any other telecom networks, he clarified.

Connect has also reduced the security deposit for its various tariff plans for Connect mobile users by Rs 1,000. Under the Freedom 200 (STP) and Freedom 275 plans, the security deposit has been reduced to Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000, respectively.

Connect wireline telephone subscribers can get connected to internet free of cost by entering the user name as ‘net ready’, password as ‘net ready’, and get the access number 1525 on the dialer window of their computer.

There is no need to buy an internet pack, informed Mr Keswani. He said all Connect wireline connections are net ready. “The net ready feature has been made specially available to Connect wireline subscribers to offer them faster connectivity and the most economical and convenient means to access Internet,” he added.



Retirements that will pinch Punjab
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, January 19
More than 10 senior IAS officers serving Punjab will retire in 2003. After the officers, who are known to be upright and experienced, retire, Punjab will have a difficult task of finding suitable substitutes.

The first to retire will be Mr Y. S. Ratra, Chief Secretary, who has been given an extension of three months by the Centre on the recommendation of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. Mr Ratra was to retire by the end of this month; and, now, he will retire in April-end.

Mr Ratra belongs to the 1966 batch of the IAS. Mr Rajan Kashyap, Financial Commissioner, who belongs to the 1965 batch, will retire in July, three months after the superannuation of Mr Ratra.

Four more 1966-batch IAS officers will retire this year. They are Dr A.K. Kundra, who retires in September; Ms Ravneet Kaur, who retires in August; Ms Jyotsna Khanna, who retires in September, and Mr S.K. Naik, who retires in July. Mr J.N.L. Srivastva, another officer of the 1966 batch has already retired in September as Secretary Agriculture of the Union Government.

Seven officers of the 1967 batch will retire in 2003. They are Mr S.S. Dawra, Director Enforcement (Centre), who retires in October; Mr N.S. Rattan, Principal Secretary Higher Education of Punjab, who retires in September; Dr Bhagat Singh, Financial Commissioner (Revenue), who retires in June; Mr K. Rajendra Nair, who retires in February; Mr Karl Reddy, (Financial Commissioner Appeals), who retires in March; Ms Daljeet Jaijee, Principal Secretary Administration of Punjab, who retires in June; and Dr Barjinder Singh, Principal Secretary Labour and Employment of Punjab, who retires in December.

The retirement of such a large number of senior officers will cause a major reshuffle in the state administration this year.

The immediate task before the Chief Minister is to pick a new Chief Secretary, as Mr Ratra will lay down his office in April.

Mr Rajan Kashyap and Mr Jai Singh Gill, now Secretary with the Union Government, are tipped to succeed Mr Ratra, but, since, Mr Kashyap will retire in July, three months after Mr Ratra, his chances will depend on the Chief Minister.

Though the candidature of Mr Gill finds favour with the state leadership, Ms Rupen Deol Bajaj, Mr Rajesh Chhabra and Ms Gurbinder Kaur Chahal, who belong to the 1967 batch, are senior to Mr Gill. Mr S.K. Tuteja, Secretary Small Industries (Centre), is also said to be an aspirants for the job of the Chief Secretary.

Four senior IAS officers of the Punjab cadre have already been sent on deputation to the Centre after the installation of the Congress government in Punjab. They include Mr Ramesh Inder Singh, former Principal Secretary to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Mr S.S. Brar, former Managing Director of the PSIDC, and Secretary Cooperation, Mr C. Roul, and Ms Satwant Reddy.

Besides the post of the Chief Secretary, there are vacancies also in some autonomous boards and commissions. The Punjab State Human Rights Commission has no regular chairman and two members are also to be put on the commission. Mr N.K. Arora, a former Chief Secretary, being the senior-most member of the commission, is officiating as its chairman.



Tributes paid to Joginder Pal Panday
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
Rich tributes were paid to late Joginder Pal Panday, a former minister of Punjab, who was gunned down by militants in 1987 on this day, at shardhanjali samaroh organised at the Nehru Sindhant Kendra here today. Senior leaders of different political parties and representatives of various social and educational organisations were present at the function.

Paying his tributes to the late leader, Mr Rakesh Panday, Printing and Stationery Minister Punjab said during the days of terrorism Joginder Pal and other leaders sacrificed their lives for the unity and integrity of the country. He said it was only in Punjab where the terrorism had been completely wiped out with the cooperation of people belonging to all sections of society.

Referring to the contribution of Punjab people in the Independence struggle and later in safeguarding the unity and integrity of the country, he said martyrs were the honour of any society and the nations which remember and accord due respect to them and their families make fast progress.

The minister said the state government had decided to set up memorials to all martyrs of the state. He said real tributes to the martyrs would be to further strengthen the unity and mutual brotherhood among people.

Mr Surinder Dawar MLA, while paying tributes said Joginder Pal had farsight and was a brave person, who sacrificed his life fighting for the unity of the country. He said the great leader had played a very important role in the development of the city.

Among others who paid their tributes at the samaroh included Sat Pal Gosain, a former Speaker, Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, former minister Mr Prem Mittal, Senior Deputy Mayor, OP Mehta, a leader CPM, Parminder Mehta President of the District Youth Congress (U), Asha Kalay member PPCC, Usha Malhotra President District Mahila Congress, Surjit Singh Ahluwalia and several municipal councilors.



3 poor girls married
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 19
The Maa Bhagwati Club, Dandi Swami Chowk, organised the marriages of three poor girls at Gurdwara Guru Singh Sabha, Deep Nagar this morning. The ceremony was attended by club members and relatives of brides and their grooms.

The marriages were solemnised by head priest Harmeet Singh, head granthi and ragi Baljit Singh. Mr Avinash Sikka, president of the club, said all expenses of the marriages were met out of the funds collected from people.

The club members gifted household goods to the couples.



A clarification

MR S.C. Ahuja, Principal, DMCH has clarified that members of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed by the Punjab Government to investigate the kidney racket, had only collected the documents relating to 492 kidney transplantation cases conducted at the hospital. He said it was wrong to say that the police raided the hospital as the hospital authorities were given an advance notice about the preparation of the documents.



Two cops booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
An under-suspension constable of the CIA Wing-I of the district police, along with another constable, have been booked for allegedly snatching Rs 10,000 from a woman in New Mohalla, near Subhani building on January 16.

The case was registered today on the recommendation of Inspector Mukhwinder Singh, in-charge, CIA. He made this recommendation after conducting an inquiry for three days. The two cops have been arrested.

According to the FIR, the two constables were Ranjit Singh and Gurmukh Singh. They were posted with the CIA.



Garment Technology Expo-2003
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
Business enquiries over Rs 600 crore were generated during Garmentech International Expo-2003 which is an indication of the changing national scenario in view of the imminent dismantling of the quota regime by the year 2004. The exporters and garment manufacturers have realised that the only route for survival in the open market is technology upgradation or infusion of the latest machinery. Ludhiana was the focus town.

To face the international threat, the domestic garment industry should show a united face and use this transition period for upgradation, automation and quality improvement. The expo was inaugurated on Friday at the NSIC Centre, Okhla Industrial Estate, New Delhi, by Mr H. Tajima, President, Tajima- Japan, Mr Ishizaka, President, Juki-Singapore, Mr James Arthurs, President, Gerber Technology-USA and Mr Daisuke Shibata, Chairman, Barudan- Japan.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Inderjit Singh Sahni and Mr Ricky Sahni, the organisers of the show, said this was for the first time that so many CEOs of the world's biggest and most renowned garment machinery companies came together at a single platform. Their presence here indicates the vast potential that the Indian garment industry offered to these multinationals and the latters eagerness to harness the same.

This is the biggest exposition in the history of the Indian garment machinery industry as more than 600 companies from over 20 countries like Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, the UK, Canada, the USA, Korea and China are showcasing their state-of-the-art technology which can change the face of the Indian garment industry in the times to come, they revealed.

Commenting on the show, the CEOs said, "The expo is an ideal platform to showcase the latest machines to the market, which is receptive to new technologies and to an industry which is modernising to face the challenges posted by the post-liberalisation era. A show of this magnitude will provide an opportunity to the Indian garment industry to come to terms with the latest trends in vogue internationally. It is also a platform for intensified business cooperation between the host and participating countries."

According to Mr P.K. Khanna, President, Apparel Machinery Association of India and Chairman of IIGM, "Once the quota regime is over, the Indian garment exporters will face a tough challenge in the international market and price and quality will play a decisive role. To improve on both these fronts, technology upgradation will play a vital role. If Indian exporters want to be competitive in the international market, they have to upgrade their manufacturing process and further improve upon quality.

Another industry stalwart stressed upon the need to further rationalise the existing duty structure and called upon the government to simplify the procedures and regulations for the Indian garment technology industry.

The products on display in the fair would include cutting and sewing machines, steam finishing, fusing, laundry, embroidery, CAD/CAM systems.


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