Monday, March 31, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Tape episode not to hit govt: Maya
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, March 30
While criticising the Samajwadi Party (SP) of using tampered video tapes to dislodge her government, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Ms Mayawati, today asserted that the BSP-BJP coalition government would complete its tenure despite stiff political resistance from the opposition parties.

Addressing a press conference here today, Ms Mayawati alleged that SP was fast losing popularity among masses at grassroot level and its attempt to tarnish her image by releasing select portion of the party meeting by allegedly tampering with the video tapes was nothing but a polite move to regain the faith of SP MLAs, who were in constant touch with her to join the BSP.

Launching a fresh salvo on the SP, she said the misdeeds of SP would be made public during “pardafash” rally to be held on April 14 in UP. “I am least concerned about the selective video footage released by the opposition parties,” she said, adding that the SP would not be allowed to succeed in its mission to dislodge her from power.

She further alleged that recent misunderstanding between the BJP and the BSP over some issues had already been sorted out and the attempt of the opposition parties to gain political mileage out of it had been foiled. Regarding the forthcoming general elections in the country, the national Vice-President of BSP said her party would contest elections in alliance with the BJP in UP while in the rest of country, it would contest poll on its own. Regarding the law and order situation in UP, the Chief Minister said she was not going to spare anyone who tried to disturb communal harmony and law and order in the state.

“We have set up four special economic zones at Noida, Kanpur, Varanasi and Muradabad to attract investment,” she added.

Ms Mayawati, who was in the city to preside over cadre training camp, said the BSP would take strict action against the rebel party leaders, who had caused immense political loss due to their anti-party activities. She announced the expulsion of former MP Harbhajan Singh Lakha and other senior party leaders, including Darshal Lal Singh, Major Pritpal Singh and Gurbachan Singh from the party for indiscipline.


Scribes can change society: Hari Jaisingh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Noted journalist and Editor of The Tribune, Hari Jaisingh has exhorted upon writers, poets and journalists to have the courage of conviction for bringing in transformation in society. He pointed out that it was essential to improve society for the welfare of the common man.

Addressing a function after being conferred with this year’s Adeeb International Award for his contribution to journalism, Mr Jaisingh pointed out that the intellectual class had a responsibility towards society which should be fulfilled at all costs.

The citation of Mr Hari Jaisingh read :"In recognition of his distinctively qualitative service and contribution to journalism and promotion of paternal bonds, social harmony and human dignity".

The award was presented to him at a ceremony organised to commemorate the eighty second birth anniversary of Sahir Ludhianvi. Others who were honoured on the occasion were Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal, vice president of the Nehru Sidhant Kendra, Ludhiana, Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, president of the Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam, and Satish Babbar, noted ghazal singer. A mushaira was also organised on the occasion.

Mr Jaisingh recalled Sahir’s poetry and said, he was moved by his poem jinhe naz hai Hind par woh kanha hain, for Guru Dutt’s classic Pyasa. He said his own personality had been influenced a great deal by Sahir.

Quoting Sahir extensively, the Editor pointed out that he had cherished and emphasised the same principles while serving The Tribune. He emphasised that The Tribune had always kept the interest of the people paramount. He added that The Tribune was the common man’s paper and people had also acknowledged it.

While regretting the plight of Urdu he appreciated the efforts of the organisers, particularly that of Dr Kewal Dheer, general secretary of Adeeb International in keeping alive the tradition of mushaira.

In his welcome address Dr Dheer recalled the bold and forthright stance adopted by The Tribune in moulding the public opinion. Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mr O.P. Munjal, Chairman Hero Cycles, Mr Prem Nath Gupta, president, Nehru Sidhant Kendra, and Mr Y.P.S. Bhalla, president, Adeeb International.


Two held, 2 kg RDX seized
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, March 30
Punjab militants based in Pakistan, have started luring youths from Rajasthan for realising their subversive plans.

An incident came to light when the police arrested two Rajasthan-based youths with 2 kg kilogram of RDX. The youths, have been identified as Pritpal Singh and Jhamak Lal, residents of Udaipur (city of lakes) of Rajasthan and were arrested yesterday.

The Punjab Police and the Rajasthan police have launched an operation to nab recruits of militant outfits trying to create trouble in the state. Raids are being made in Rajasthan and Punjab at the suspected hideouts of the militants.

About four years ago, militants tried to revive terrorism by wooing the policemen for help in carrying out their designs. Nearly 18 kg of RDX and huge quantity of arms and ammunition were smuggled into Punjab by militants with the active help of a constable of the Punjab police. A few militants and the consignment of arms, ammunition and explosive was caught by the Ferozepore police.

Police sources said that the two youths, initiated into terrorism by a Dhaba owner of Udaipur for a consideration, had earlier brought 7 kg of RDX to Amritsar city four days ago. However, when they found that they had come under the police, surveillance they abandoned their car in which they had brought the RDX and fled the city.

The accused had been associated with the Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), Panjwar group and were being used by their “domestic and foreign based masters” to revive terrorism in Punjab.

One of their leaders, whose name was being kept secret by the police and who was a resident of Amritsar district, had been involved in bomb blasts in Punjab during peak of militancy.

The youths again brought another consignment of RDX from Rajasthan and were taking it to again Amritsar in a white Maruti car bearing registration number of the Rajasthan state. However, the accused were caught at a naka near Bura Gujjer village by SP (D) Amrik Singh and DSP Gurmeet Singh.

Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, said that when the accused were signalled to stop at the naka, they slipped away. However, they were chased and overpowered by the policemen. On personal search, two pistols and 10 live cartridges were found from their possession while two packets of RDX containing 950 gm each were recovered from the boot of car where the speakers were fixed.

The police got a tip off on the movement of the newly militants and it laid nakas to nab them.

The SSP said that a case in this connection had been registered by the Sadar police station and links of the accused with other militant outfits were being probed.


7 booked for raping minor
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, March 30
The police here has registered a case under Sections 366, 376, 342, 343, 404, 506, 120-B of the IPC for rape, kidnapping, wrongful confinement intimidation, mis-carriage without women’s consent and conspiracy against seven persons, including Gurdip Singh and two doctors Niranjan Kaur and Dr Babbu on the complaint of a minor girl Preet Nagar Mohalla. It was learnt today that victim was raped for 36 days by Gurdip Singh and she became pregnant. Gurdip Singh, the neighbour of the girl allegedly induced her into abduction on the promise of marrying her on November 20 last year. She was taken to Bhattan village in Hamirpur district of Himachal.

She was allegedly confined in a room and raped for 36 days. She was taken to Hoshiarpur on December 26 last year according to the police report lodged by her. From there, she was brought back to Phagwara where she narrated her tale of woe to Surinder Singh and Avtar Kaur, parents of Gurdip Singh. After that, she was kept at the residence of their friends Harbhajan Singh and Jasbir Kaur.

On January 21 this year, she was taken to village under the Jandiali under the Banga police station on the promise of marrying her with Gurdip. She reportedly under a conspiracy was given an injection and the Mehli-based doctors Niranjan Kaur and Dr Babbu conducted an abortion.

The police has booked all seven persons — Gurdip Singh, Surinder Singh, Ms Avtar Kaur — his parents, Harbhajan Singh, Mrs Jasbir Kaur — parents’ friends and Niranjan Kaur and Mr Babbu — the two doctors. In charge of the Satnampura Police post did not come on the telephone despite repeated attempts — through the telephone attendant on all three occassions had told that he was there. Even the local SP and city police officials could not be contacted as they were said to be in the “field”. Their cellphones also were not responding.


District admn ‘ignoring MP’
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, March 30
Member of Parliament from Ferozepore, Zora Singh Mann in a letter Union Home Minister, L.K. Advani has alleged that the central government-sponsored Border Area Development Fund meant for development works in the border area was being used according to whims of the Congress men and the Lok Sabha member was being ignored regarding its distribution by the district authorities.

Mr Mann said that the district authorities had already disbursed Rs 2.50 crore under the scheme and the Union Government had released another Rs 7.35 crore but he had not been consulted regarding its usage and the programme implementation of the various schemes.

Mr Mann further alleged that the villages, selected under BADF scheme, had already received immense grants and those villages, which in need of the funds and resources, were being ignored.


Sarna flays Bitta’s remarks

Amritsar, March 30
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (DSGPC) President Paramjit Singh Sarna today criticised All India Anti Terrorists Front Chairman M.S. Bitta for his reported statements asking him to appear before Akal Takht and said he had no right to say such things.

Mr “Bitta does not have any right to ask any baptised Sikh to appear before Akal Takht”, Mr Sarna told reporters reacting to Bitta’s statements where he asked the DSGPC President to seek forgiveness for allegedly accepting material support from the Congress leaders and MPs reportedly involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Mr Sarna alleged that Mr Bitta’s accusations were devoid of any substance and reality. “If at any stage, Mr Bitta proves that I have received or sought any financial help from any Congress leader involved in the anti-Sikh riots in 1984, I will renounce the active Sikh politics”, Mr Sarna added.

Favouring the cause of the baptised Sikh women to perform service inside the sanctum sanctorum of Golden Temple which is restricted to men folk only, Mr Sarna said: “There is no place of gender discrimination in the Sikh religion and the DSGPC never inhibited any Sikh woman from partaking in any religious service at any gurdwara in Delhi”. PTI


Bir Devinder ‘quite happy’ now
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
While asserting that “voice of dissent” was quite important in a democratic set up and it should not be gagged, the dissident Congress leader and the Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Bir Devinder Singh said today that he was “quite happy” with the responsibility he had been assigned.

Addressing a press conference he maintained that he was a loyal soldier of the party as he had served it for the past 25 years, including during the stormy days of terrorism in Punjab.

Expressing his unflinching faith in the leadership of Capt Amarinder Singh, the Deputy Speaker claimed that he awaited patiently for one year to be suitably rewarded for his “loyalty”.

He asserted that the post of the Deputy Speaker was in no way small. He observed, it was an important post with lot of responsibilities attached to it. “I will ensure that the decorum of the House is maintained at all costs and every member whether belonging to the ruling party or the opposition gets a fair deal”, he said.


Border villagers want anti-flood steps
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, March 30
Residents of border village Rossa and surrounding areas are a worried lot as the Punjab government has not undertaken anti-flood steps on Ravi river on a scale undertaken by the Pakistan government. BSF sources said Pakistan had constructed 5/6 km-long bandh opposite Rossa BSF observation post near Ravi. Sources added that in case of heavy rains in coming rainy season the course of the river is likely to change towards India and will hit life and property on the Indian side.

River Ravi’s bed near Rossa is reduced only to few metres. The Pakistan side is higher and in event of rains water will flow to Indian side. Dhussi bundh on Ravi on Indian side is very close to the river and many be breached in case of floods. Sources said that if Ravi breached life and property in the border belt, 30 km from Kalanaur in this district to Ramdas in Amritsar district will be endangered because the overflow of Ravi will join Kiran Nullah near Kalanaour which while in spate added causes immense damage.

Sources said that BSF border post is also likely to be hit causing a security risk. Earlier such a situation arose opposite Aadian village in this district where Dhussi bundh on the Indian side is close to Ravi which flows here close by. The Indian government wanted to strengthen the Dussi bundh here but the Pakistan government resorted to firing to prevent the strengthening of it. Finally the Indian government gave the control of the areas to the Army which despite odds strengthened the Dhussi Bundh at this point.

Official sources in the Drainage Department, Punjab said that no funds had been sanctioned in this district for anti-flood measures.

They added that the Punjab government had not been providing funds for flood protection measures on river Ravi for past several years. However funds were provided by the Central government after approval by the Central Water Commission at the instance of the BSF and flood protection measures were undertaken at the places recommended by the BSF with slight variations.

The residents of the area demanded prompt government action the matter to strengthen Dhussi Bundh and flood measures on river Ravi at the strategic points near Rossa BSF post.


Ropar to have equine farm
Our Correspondent & PTI

Jalandhar, March 30
In its bid to explore potential for export of horses in the international market and to conserve threatened breed of Sindhi horses for the benefit of state farmers, the Punjab Government has decided to set up an equine farm at Ropar, for which the Central Government has already agreed upon to release a grant of Rs 1 crore.

Addressing a press conference here today Punjab Animal Husbandry Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang said the proposed equine farm would be a 100 per cent Central Government-funded project for which the state government had identified suitable place in Ropar district.

“Infact, the proposed breeding farm will have 40 female and 4 stallions of the Sindhi breed for the benefit of farmers even as various national and international experts have extended them help in conservation of elegant, majestic and loyal Sindhi horse”, said Kang, adding that the construction work on the farm would start by next month.

Financial Commissioner (Animal Husbandry) D S Jaspal said during a recent survey conducted by the department, it was found that there was a major demand for Sindhi horses which were known as most loyal and companion breed in the international markets like the USA, Canada and the European Union.

Meanwhile the Punjab’s first equine show was concluded at the Darshan Singh Kaypee stadium near here today. Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang distributed prizes among participants. As many as 175 horses of different breeds participated in the show.

Results: Stallian Marwari: first — Gurmail Singh; second — Lakhvir Singh, Stallion Kathiawari: first — Balraj Singh; second — Jawant Singh, Stallion Sindhi first — Balkaran Singh; second — Gurmeet Singh, Brood Mayor Marwari: first — Harkaran Singh; second: Satpal Singh Brood Mayor Kathiawari: first Avtar Singh; second — Karnail Singh Mayor Sindhi: first — Rajinder Singh; second — Gurdial Singh Cold Marwari (1-2 years) first — Lakhvir Singh; second — Jagtar Singh Cold Kathiawari (1-2 years) first — Balwinder Singh, second — Kewal Singh

Mules: first — Sawinder Singh; second — Ajit Singh

Rehra: first — Boota Singh.


Set up ‘special economic zone’
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 30
The industrial development in south Punjab has not caught up with other parts of the state due to neglect of governments and even the much-hyped industrial growth centre project initiated by the SAD-BJP government has failed to deliver the goods,” said Dr Prem Kumar President Bathinda Management Association (BMA).

Dr Kumar addressing conference here yesterday, said the stand-alone industries were losing competence and the areas where the industrial clusters had grown policies by government emerged the winners. The sports industries in Jalandhar, the hosiery and mechanical tools industries in Ludhiana and the scientific instrument industry had grown in Ambala and as these were offering variety, quality and competitiveness to the prospective buyers, they had started overlooking other cities and areas where these industries might have developed as stand-alone units.

He said once this belt known as the cotton of India but due to adverse weather and successive crop failures the industry had been literally wiped out from the region. Stressing that the improvement in the economic status of south Punjabis would not be possible without setting up of industries and special zone, offered entrepreneurs developed infrastructure, trained manpower, raw material, Dr Kumar said agro-based industries had a big potential in the region.

Dr Kumar said over the past few years this belt had seen setting up of units manufacturing geysers, washing machines, electrical power generators, desert coolers and some other electrical appliances and industries of the same nature should be promoted by the government to increase the competitiveness of these industries.

Mr B.K. Garg, a local industrialist, said the offices set up by the government for helping them were useless.

He said the BMA was organising lectures and seminars by various experts for the benefit of the local entrepreneurs and the next seminar on services sectors would be held next month. Eminent experts from Polaris Software, Chairman, Oberoi group, Director— Thapar Institute, Patiala and MD—Adobe Industries and many other management consultants would share their views on the opportunities and challenges in the services sector during the annual convention of the North India Association to be held in the city on April 26.


Vedanti justifies removal of jathedars
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 30
Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti Jathedar, Akal Takht justified the removal of jathedars by the Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and added that conditions had been created leading to the removal of the Jathedars.

Jathedar Vedanti was referring to the removal of Bhai Ranjit Singh and Giani Puran Singh, both former jathedars of Akal Takht, and Prof Manjit Singh, jathedar of Takht Keshgarh Sahib. He added that shortly a system would be in place to avoid controversies that had arisen relating to the removal of the jathedars.

Jathedar Vedanti was addressing reporters at Dukhniwaran Gurdwara here today. He added that mushrooming of gurdwaras in villages would be stopped and now onwards it would be mandatory on the part of those constructing gurdwaras in villages to take permission of Akal Takht.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Badungar , President of the SGPC, said that social evils like female foeticide, dowry and the use of drugs had become rampant in society and there was an urgent need to curb these evils. He added that these social evils were destroying Sikh culture and added that there was need to educate the youth on bad effects of drugs.

Prof Badungar informed that in an effort to bring awareness and educate people, the SGPC, this year, had allocated 50 per cent more funds compared to last years. More than 1000 Sikh youth were also baptised on the occasion.


Holding of dual charges resented
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, March 30
The working in some of the wings of the Punjab Irrigation Department has been adversely hit due to irregular appointments of chief engineers. According to official sources, chief engineers of some of the wings of the department are holding charges of one or more than one post of their counterparts in addition to their assignments. This has caused frustration and disappointment among those senior technocrats in the department whose promotions are due.

A spokesman for senior officers of the Irrigation Department said here today that in addition to his duty, the Chief Engineer of the Vigilance was holding charges of his counterparts of Drainage, Kandi Area Development, (KAD) and Water Resources wings. He said according to norms, the Chief Engineer of Vigilance could not hold charge of any of the other wing in addition to his present duty.`

The spokesman said the Chief Engineer of Canals was also holding the dual charge of Punjab State Tubewell Corporation. Similarly the Chief Engineer of Thein Dam Design was holding the charge of lining and planning wings. The post of the Sutlej Yamuna link canal was also lying vacant. Sources said the Punjab Government had sanctioned the post of chief engineers for 14 wings of the department but it was maintaining 10 only. There are only four regular chief engineers who are holding the charge of six of their counterparts.


Simplify procedure in accident cases
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 30
Expressing concern over the alleged harassment of the persons who help in taking road mishaps victims to hospital, Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, former BJP MLA, alleged that this attitude was keeping common public away from accident victims.

In a press statement here today Ms Chawla mentioned a case of an accident that took place on March 23 at about 4 p.m., a labour woman Dalbir Kaur was hit by a speeding car. She was in miserable condition but no one even made an effort to take her to a hospital. She said in many such cases of accident victims were left without help from people.

She urged the government to simplify procedures both by the police and by legal institutes, so that people would willingly come forward to help others in times of need.


Viscera sent to Patiala
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Garibdass, March 30
The Ropar police has sent the viscera of Hari Singh, who died on Thursday allegedly after being beaten up by his neighbours in Mullanpur-Garibdass village, to Patiala for further examination as the post-mortem of the victim did not reveal any fatal injuries.

According to police sources, there were injury marks on the body of the deceased, but not fatal. The lung and heart were sent to Patiala to know the cause of the death.

Two of the four accused named in the FIR, Sucha Singh and Surinder Singh have been arrested. Swaroop Singh and Tejinder Singh are still at large.

Hari Singh (60) had given a statement to the police before dying that he was beaten up by Swaroop Singh, his two sons Surinder Singh and Sucha Singh and grandson Tejinder Singh.

There were reports of enmity between the two families due to a legal battle over a piece of land.


Provide more staff, says FCI staff body
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 30
Mr Brij Mohan Sharma, president, FCI Quality Control Staff Welfare Association while addressing the delegates at a meeting held here today said proper procedures must be adopted for the disposal of complaints received regarding the despatch of foodgrains by the FCI.

Mr Sharma said it had been brought to the notice of the association that many a times false and baseless complaints had been filed against a section of FCI officials for procuring and despatching sub-standard food- grains. He urged the authorities concerned to initiate the process to liquidate stocks from open storage plinths. He demanded that sufficient staff should be provided to ease the workload of the staff.

Others who addressed the delegates included Mr Megh Raj, Adviser, Mr Resham Singh, district unit secretary and Mr V.K. Arora.


Mela in memory of freedom fighters
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 30
Hundreds of people today participated in the fourth cultural mela organised in the memory of the freedom fighters at Kathunangal near here by ‘Swatantarta Sainani Comrade Hari Singh Baaghi Yaadgari Manch’.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Raghbir Singh, organising secretary of the manch, welcomed the freedom fighters and their successors and called upon them to fight social evils and for falling moral values in the society.

The ‘swatantarta sainani comrade Hari Singh yaadgari award’ for 2002-2003 was presented to Mr Megh Raj Ralla for his services to awaken the society.


6 hurt in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 30
Six persons, including one girl, were injured in four separate accidents, which took place in the past 24 hours in the city.

Ram Singh, (50) who was on his way to home near the old Thara Road was injured when he was hit by iron rods being unloaded from a truck.

Chhinda Singh a resident of Nai Basti area of the city was run over by a truck and his legs were crushed.

Bhura Singh, a rickshaw puller, was injured when a truck hit him on the power house road of the city.

Similarly a truck on the Bathinda-Goniana road hit Harbans Lal, his son Naresh Kumar daughter Shelly. They are the resident of GNDTP colony.

All injured were admitted in the local civil hospital by volunteers of Sahara Jan Sewa who also arranged medicines and blood for the injured.


EO, ex-councillor of MC arrested
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, March 30
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has arrested Executive Officer (EO) of the Municipal Council Jagtar Singh and former Municipal Councillor Girdhari Lal, and booked three others including a former MC chief for allegedly committing irregularities and embezzlements, and misuse of their position.

According to a Vigilance Bureau spokesman, a case has been registered under Section 409, 120B of the IPC and Sections 13 (1) (D), 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, against them at Amritsar.

The spokesman said Vinay Mahajan, former President of Sujanpur Municipal Council recruited nine clerks during his tenure who were not eligible. By flouting all norms the appointments were made regular.

The police said Vinay Mahajan, Surinder Kumar, former councillor and Vinay Kumar, Junior Engineer, were absconding.

The arrested Executive Officer and former councillor were produced before the area magistrate, who remanded the EO in the police custody till April 31 and the councillor was sent to judicial lock up. They have applied for anticipatory bails before Mr K.K. Garg, Additional Sessions Judge cum Special Judge, Gurdaspur, pleading that they have been falsely implicated at the behest of a Congress leader.


Four held for cheating
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 30
Mr Paramjit Singh of Naruana village in his complaint to the police said that his loan of Rs 1.20 lakh raised from a commission agent swindled by his neighbour, Manga Singh son of Bachhiter Singh, who lured him into doubling the amount. He said that he had contributed Rs 15,000 and he was planning to buy a tractor.

He alleged that the accused took his money and put it into an earthen pot and covered its mouth with a cloth. He said that after some time he told him that he was taking the money and would come back after the money was doubled. He said that the ‘culprits’ came back after some time and had a packet wrapped in a red cloth, which they put in the earthen pot.

He said that the ‘culprits’ left his house after closing the mouth of the pot with a cloth and asked him to open it after one week and the money would be doubled. He said on opening the pot. He found packets of blank paper.

Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, said today that four of the culprits had been arrested in the case registered under Section 420 of the IPC and identified them as Ravinder Singh son of Gurjant Singh, Gulab Singh son of Motha Singh, Balkar Singh son of Lakha Singh and Sewak Singh son of Inder Singh, of Fatuhi Khera village in Muktsar district. He said that the arrested had admitted that they had been cheating people on the pretext of doubling money.

The SSP said that the culprits had a gang in the village under the guidance of Kala Singh. The accused have also confessed that they had been cheating relatives using these tactics cheatings and had cheated many people in the state. The accused have also confessed of cheating Mr Chhinda Singh of Bhai Rupa (Rs 60,000) and cheating Rs 15,000 from a resident Bhangradi village.

The SSP said that some of accused wanted in the case would be arrested soon.


Four held for immoral trafficking

Jalandhar, March 30
The police busted a call girl racket in near-by Baring village under the Sadar police station last night.

A police release here today said four persons, including a woman and two young girls were arrested. They were identified as Anu, who promoted the flesh racket, her brother Vicky who arranged for customers and two girls identified as Pooja of Adampur and Aaanchal a resident of Maqsudan. A case under Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act was registered.

Meanwhile the police claimed to have arrested two drug peddlers and recovered 100 gm of smack and 15 kg of poppy husk from their possession. They were identified as Ranjit Singh and Bhan Singh. UNI


Car taken away at gunpoint

Amritsar, March 30
Two unidentified clean-shaven persons took away a white Maruti Zen (PB-02AD-0549) on Friday at gunpoint from a driver of Vinod Grover when the driver was cleaning the vehicle.

An FIR was lodged at the Civil Lines police station. Mr Narinderpal Singh, SSP, said the police was working on the clues and it seemed the handiwork of a local gang of vehicle thieves. OC


Beopar mandal calls for bandh
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 30
Trade and industrial units will observe a two-day bandh from March 31 to protest against the imposition of value-added tax (VAT).

Mr Amrit Lal Jain, President of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, in a press statement issued here yesterday said the imposition of VAT would not be accepted in the country. He alleged that the Central Government had been imposing VAT under the pressure from the WTO.

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