Friday, March 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Tangri supplied arms to Gujarat rioters: ex-cohort 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
A former accomplice of former Shiv Sena leader Jagdish Tangri has given under oath some startling details of how the leader and his son allegedly supplied arms and ammunition to members of a particular community in Gujarat last year, which were allegedly used in the riots in the state.

Mr Sai Dass, formerly a close associate of Mr Tangri, has turned approver in the arms supply case that hit the headlines last year. The district police has received a shot in the arm with this.

Mr Sai Dass was one of the five persons booked by the district police last year for supplying arms to some persons in Gujarat. The case had been registered at the Division number 3 police station on the recommendation of the SP City-I of Amritsar. The police officer had quoted intelligence inputs received about the supply of arms.

Four persons, including Mr Jagdish Tangri, Mr Sunil Tangri and Mr Ravinder Pal Singh, had been booked under charges amounting to waging a war against the Government of India by collecting and supplying arms and rioting. Barring Mr Sunil Tangri, all had been arrested.

The approver’s statement has taken the lid off the arms supply case. Till now, a few details were available of what had happened. The police had no more details than the directions of the police officer at Amritsar.

Highly placed police sources disclosed to TNS that Sai Dass, lodged at Central Jail here, had written a letter to the District and Sessions Judge through the jail officials, requesting him that he be made an approver. His request was accepted and he gave a statement to Mr Balwinder Kumar, JMIC, under Section 164 of the CrPc yesterday.

In his statement, the approver stated that in March last year, he had witnessed the events during which Mr Jagdish Tangri and others had allegedly struck the deal. He said three persons from Gujarat had come specifically for the purpose. He said Mr Jagdish Tangri and others had allegedly loaded bags of swords, knives and other weapons in a Tata Sumo. Police sources claimed that the weapons had been used during the riots.

“I had put three sacks filled with these weapons in the vehicle,” stated Mr Sai Dass before the Judge, police sources said. He also stated that Mr Tangri used to run his own court of law in Gur Mandi, settled disputes on his own terms and used to charge money.

Mr Anil Joshi, SHO, Division number 3 police station, declined to comment, saying it was part of the police investigation. He said that police had made some success in the case.

Mr Jagdish Tangri, his son Sunil and others had been booked and arrested last year. The charges included rioting, supplying arms, attacking policemen, pirating audio and video cassettes and compact discs, running a sort of parallel administration in the Gur Mandi and harbouring anti-social elements.



Wakf Board claim on evacuee property rejected
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 6
The Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Ms Bhawna Garg, rejected the petition filed by the Wakf Board for the recovery of rent and eviction of a person and held that the disputed property in the Khasi Kalan village does not vest in the board. Apart from dismissing the petition, the SDM held that the property belonged to the Government of Punjab and directed the Tehsildar, Sales, Ludhiana, to initiate proceedings against the unauthorised occupants.

The Wakf Board had filed the petition against Gajjan Singh, on the plea that land measuring 58 kanals had been leased out to him in 1995-96 for a sum of Rs 6500 per annum and thereafter the person neither got the lease extended nor paid the rent. The revenue suit was decreed in favour of the Wakf Board by the then SDM in August, 2000.

Gajjan Singh filed an appeal before the Collector-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, who accepted the appeal and remanded it back to the SDM, with the direction to make the state government party and decide the case on merit.

The Tehsildar, Sales, represented the state and pleaded that they were the owners of the disputed property and not the Wakf Board. He submitted that after partition, the owners of the land had shifted to Pakistan and as such the property came in the ownership of “Arazi Matruka Government of Punjab”. He further submitted that the disputed land had not been recorded as any masjid or kabarstan as per the revenue record and produced the copies of the jamabandi since 1945-46 till date.

On the other hand the Wakf Board relied on the jamabandi of 1937-38, in which the disputed property was recorded as a “gair mumkin kabarstan” with the ownership column as “shamlat patti Gujjar Khan vagera majrooan and ahle islas” recorded in the cultivation column.

After hearing the contentions, the SDM held that the revenue record showed the ownership of Central Government Arazi Matruka, as the owners of the suit land had left for Pakistan and the land in question was declared evacuee property. It was also held that after partition, the land has ceased to be used as a graveyard and the character of the land has changed as it was brought under cultivation and as such it could not be declared to be a Wakf property.



More Youth Cong members quit
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 6
The spate of resignations from party posts in the district unit of the Youth Congress in protest against the party leadership’s decision to sack its president Parminder Mehta continued today, with 24 office-bearers, including two vice-presidents and three general secretaries, quitting their posts.

Party workers expressed their anger at the party high command’s decision at a meeting at the house of Mr Goldy Sabharwal, vice-president of the district unit. Defiant party workers maintained that they considered Mr Mehta as their president and refused to recognise Mr Komal Khanna as their leader.

The party functionaries observed that the district unit of the party had been revitalised and strengthened during last two years when Mr Mehta was at the helm of affairs. According to them, the district unit had worked as a cohesive outfit during the Assembly elections and the civic poll.

Among those who submitted their resignations to the party high command are Mr Goldy Sabharwal and Mr Ramesh Thakur, vice-presidents, Mr Amarjit Bhatti, Mr Charanjit Channi and Mr Anil Sachdeva, general secretaries, Mr Nirmal Virk, Mr Balraj Jagota, Mr Arvind Balu, Mr Sher Chand, Mr H.S. Thukral and Dr Pradeep Kumar, secretaries, Mr Tek Chand, Mr Shamsher Singh Shera, Mr Bhupinder Rana and Mr Anil Sharma, propaganda secretaries, Mr Sudarshan Sharma, Mr Harpreet Bunty, Mr Kamal Sidana, Mr Anil Bajaj, Mr Anil Kannaujia and Mr Mohinder Kumar, members of the executive committee.



Power bills can be paid at SBP
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
To facilitate the payment of bills, the PSEB has signed a memorandum with the State Bank of Patiala (SBP) where people can deposit bills with the branches of the bank in their respective localities.

Mr J N Sachdeva, Chief Engineer, Central Zone, said this had been done since people had been facing problems. The consumers will have to deposit bills in the branches in their area only. The areas (in parenthesis) and the branches are given below.

Sahnewal unit (Estate division) - Sahnewal, Millerganj unit (Estate division) - Millerganj, Unit I (City central division)- Daresi Road Branch, Unit I (West division) - Ghumar Mandi, Unit No I (CMC division) - Industrial area, Unit No 2 (City central division)- Saban Bazar, Unit No 2 (Janata Nagar) - Gill Road, Unit No 2 (Model Town)- Bharat Nagar chowk, Unit no. 3 (Model town division) - Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Unit No. 3 (City West division)- Salem Tabri, Unit No 1 (Sunder Nagar Mandal)- Sunder Nagar.

Similarly, consumers of City subdivision (Jagraon)-Jagraon, Raikot Subdivision- Raikot , City subdivision (Ahmedgarh)-Ahmedgarh, Gobindgarh subdivision - Mandi Gobindgarh, City subdivision No 1 and 2 (Khanna) - G T Road, Khanna, City subdivision (Doraha) - Doraha, Dhamot subdivision- Dhamout, Sub Urban subdivision (Adda Dakha) - Sawaddi, subdivision Sudhar - Sudhar, Narangwal subdivision - Narangwal, City subdivision (Sirhind) - Sirhind Mandi, City subdivision (Bassi Pathana) - Bassi Pathana, subdivision (Amloh) - Amloh, Subdivision (Bhadson)- Bhadson.



BIS downs Bisleri's credibility
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
The Bureau of International Standards (BIS) has cancelled the licences of some of the Bisleri mineral water's bottling plants after the reports of detection of hazardous chemicals in its mineral water.

City residents, who have been consuming Bisleri mineral water for the past many years are in a fix over whether to trust the quality of water or not. The startling disclosures by a scientific organisation recently that the mineral water had exceptionally high contents of certain chemicals have shaken the confidence of city residents.

In the backdrop of various water-borne diseases that have been hitting the city of and on, many residents depend on Bisleri as it is the only mineral water company to supply water in 20-litre jars that come handy for household purposes.

While the local officials of Bisleri admit that soon after the news they have witnessed comparatively low sales, they make sure to deny the charges and say that there may be some problems with some bottling plants, but the plant at Jandiali village near here, that caters to the city was doubly ensuring the purity of water.

The residents are in a catch-22 situation as they do not know what to do. Some residents have, as a temporary arrangement, started boiling drinking water and have said a no to mineral water. Some of them have installed water filters.

Mr Pritpal Singh, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, who depends on this mineral water as he is suffering from some kidney ailment, said he and his family was quite confused over whether to continue drinking this mineral water or not. Talking to the Tribune, he said he had switched over to this water as the doctors had told him to do so.

‘‘But instead of being our saviour it is turning out to be our killer. I am worried about my health. If we are really consuming poison in the form of water then what is the need for buying water. I can get it almost free from the MC taps? ’’ he said.

Another resident of Kitchlu Nagar, who is depending on Bisleri for drinking water for the past more than five years, said he was scared after reading the news that this water had a high concentration of some hazardous chemicals.

‘‘I and my wife are suffering from some serious diseases and doctors had advised us to avoid tap water. But see now. We don't know what to do. I have been ringing up the company manager everyday but he is also not able to satisfy me. I don't know what to do,’’ he said.

Mr Pawan Sharma, department in charge of Bisleri, said there were no such problems at the Jandiali plant as they had been conducting rigorous tests before supplying the water in the market. He said soon after the news items were published in various newspapers regarding the chemicals, he had experienced comparatively low sales. But it would pick up soon after the people forget about it.

He said the company was also inserting advertisements in various newspapers to inculcate trust among people and his unit would also start a campaign in this regard.



Abid Hussain: transparency best policy
Tribune Reporters

Mr Abid Hussain, Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal and Mr Balraj Kumar
Mr Abid Hussain (centre), Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal (left) and Mr Balraj Kumar after the sixth Sat Pal Mittal memorial annual oration organised at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana on Wednesday. IV

Ludhiana, March 6
Noted diplomat and former Indian Ambassador to the USA, Mr Abid Hussain today said that all ministers, legislators, bureaucrats and others running the government should not be administered the oath of secrecy, but the oath of transparency. He said, the rulers must be made accountable to the public for their omissions and commissions.

Delivering the sixth Sat Pal Mittal memorial oration on the topic ‘Fault lines in Indian democracy’, Mr Hussain observed, secrecy bred corruption. ‘‘The working of the government should be made transparent and those in power should be bound to explain, what they have done and why they have done...that is why I argue, instead of the oath of secrecy it should be the oath of transparency that the rulers like ministers and bureaucrats should be administered’’. The lecture was jointly organised by the Nehru Sidhant Kendra and the Dayanand Medical College.

Mr Hussain spoke extempore for about an hour keeping the audience hooked with his brilliant ideas put forth in an equally brilliant style. He was simple and convincing, making everyone nod in agreement and approval for the each concept he put forth. And it a was perfectly clinical evaluation of the Indian democracy. While he praised it for its numerous achievements, he also pointed out several shortcomings that concerned everyone.

The senior diplomat regretted the corruption prevailing in the system which was eating into the vitals of the society. He exhorted upon the people to chose good leaders who could really lead from the front. He pointed out, ‘‘Elevation of people like Laloo Prasad Yadav and Mayawati represent both aspects of the Indian democracy’’.

He suggested that the system needed to be objectively evaluated and there should be some provision that the people who get elected to the legislative bodies were really the representatives of the majority. He pointed out, even a person who did not get more than 15 per cent of the total votes in a constituency got elected. ‘‘It should not be simple majority’’, he suggested, but the representative majority of more than 50 per cent electorate voting for the winning candidate. ‘‘Even if it means holding several rounds of elections’’, he added.

He concluded his lecture with famous couplet of Faiz, ‘Tannah loh kalam chhin gayi to kya gum hai, Zuban par dhar rakh diya to kya, ki rakh di har ik halkai zanjeer par zuban hum ne’.

(What if I have been bereft of pen and paper, I have dipped my fingers in my blood to keep on writing and placed my tongue on each loop of the chains).

Later Mr Prem Nath Gupta, president Nehru Sidhant Kendra and Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal, the son of Sat Paul Mittal, presented a plaque and a cheque of Rs 50,000 to Mr Hussain. Those present on the occasion included the vice-president of the DMC Managing Committee, Mr Balraj Verma, and others representing different sections of the society.

Earlier delivering the Ms Sen Memorial lecture organised by the Old Students’ Association of the Government College for Women, Mr Hussain spoke on ‘Science and dynamics of peace’. He said, ‘‘We are living in very highly excitable time for science has made tremendous achievements, yet paradoxically we are living in most worrisome times. Present times can be termed best of times and worst of times’’.

Addressing the students he said, 'Spectacular development in science has provided mankind best of time yet when one pauses one shudders with horror-how murderous the past century has been! The same science that has given us super technology has been instrument of massive destruction also,’’ he pointed out.

Mrs Inderjit Gill Vashisht, Principal of the college, welcomed Mr Hussain. Ms Sarabjot Kaur, secretary, Old Students' Association, presented the vote of thanks, whereas Ms Rashmi Grover compered the proceedings.



Rotaract representative elected
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 6
Rotar Rajat Deep Kaur of Government College for Women was today elected district rotaract representative for 2003-04 at a Rotaract district conference of the Rotary International District 3070 at main auditorium of the GCW, Ludhiana.

The conference, “Raaz — secret of success”, was inaugurated by the District Governor, Mr Mohan Singh Sachdeva. The conference was attended by delegates from Punjab, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir. Mr G.S. Bawa, District Governor Elect., Dr Beena Misra, District Governor Nominee, were the guests of honour. Dr Inderjit Kaur Gill Vashisth, Principal GCW, was the key speaker.

Rotar Mandeep Pujara from Jandiala was also elected DRR nominee for 2004-05. The conference was hosted by the Rotaract Club Ludhiana Central under the leadership of Dr Dushyant Chaudhary and the president, Mr Sikander Kumar.

Ms Rajat Deep will head all clubs of district 3070 comprising states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. She is first rotaractor from the city to get this honour.

Cultural performances by Punjabi singer Pappi Gill and students of Big B Dance Academy were the key attraction. Shikha and Gundeepika won the first and second prize in extempore speech contest.



Our Correspondent

Khamano, March 6
Mr Balaur Singh, a candidate from Ward No. 3, has clarified that he is an Independent candidate and does not belong to the SAD, as mentioned in a news item published on March 5.



Need to strengthen co-op sector
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 6
Mr Raghubir Singh Sharanmajra, chairman, Milk Plant Ludhiana, in a statement here yesterday expressed the need for strengthening the cooperative sector. He stressed the participation of the people in the cooperative sector.

Mr Sharanmajra said the milk plant was the first plant in India to have got ISO-9002 (International Quality Certificate) and IS-15000 (HACCP). During the last year, the plant had got certificate from the Export Authority of India for exporting the milk products.

The milk union has a strong cooperative base at village level having 740 functional dairy cooperative societies with more than 70,000 milk producers as its members, who procure more than 3,50,000 litres of milk per day. Mr Sharan Majra said: “The milk union is paying Rs 160 per kg fat milk rate to its producers with effect from March 1, 2003, which is Rs 10 per kg fat more than last year. The union is also providing technical inputs to its milk producers for maintaining the animals in good health. Milk supply in the city has been increased by 20 per cent since last year.”

The plant had exported its products worth more than Rs 14 crores during the 2001-02. The profit for the year 2001-02 stood at Rs 331 lakh.



VAT: beopar mandal to meet PM
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 6
The Punjab Beopar Mandal will abide by the decisions of the All- India Mahabeopar Mandal with regard to the implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT).
Mr Tulsidas Jaitwani, president of the Punjab Beopar Mandal and vice-president, All-India Mahabeopar Mandal, said here today that the implementation of VAT was an issue of national importance and the All-India Mahabeopar Mandal had already held two meetings on the vital issue. At the first meeting VAT was out rightly rejected while at the second meeting it was decided that a deputation of the Beopar Mandal would meet the Prime Minister and convey its protest.



LMA seminar on Union Budget

Ludhiana, March 6
Flow of direct investment in India is not even one thirtieth of what goes in China. Mr.K. K. Kapila, Director General, Income Tax (Investigations), North-West, said this during a seminar organised by LMA on Union budget here yesterday. Mr. H.K Mittal Commissioner, Central excise, Ludhiana, lauded the Budget. Mr V.K Goyal, general secretary, LMA, introduced the subject. TNS


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