Friday, April 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Vigilance unearths assets worth Rs 1 crore
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau has unearthed movable and immovable property worth over Rs 1 crore belonging to a head draftsman with the local Municipal Corporation who was arrested recently under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the charges of graft.

The MC employee, Avtar Singh Bhatia, a relative of a senior Akali leader, possesses as many as nine plots, including two shops and a kothi, either in his name or his relatives, and its value is estimated at almost Rs 1 crore. He is also charged with having fixed deposit accounts in his own, wife’s as well as children’s name.

Confirming the investigation, SSP Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu, Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau, said it was quite astonishing for a head draftsman to having amassed such a huge property. He said the figure of Rs 1 crore was likely to swell further, as the vigilance department was analyzing the exact market value of each property.

Sources in the department said the role played by an Akali leader, the relative of the accused, in his alleged corruption was being probed into. The new findings have been registered into a case by the Vigilance Department. Sources added that the role of some senior officials of the MC, who could have shielded the accused in the past, was also being looked into.

The department has also found lakhs of rupees in various bank accounts of the accused. Around 18 tolas of gold jewellery were found in one of his lockers. The locker was operated last time just one day after the registration of the case against the accused. He also possessed an Alto car, a motor cycle and a scooter.

According to vigilance sources, the monthly salary of the head draftsman was around Rs 15,000.

At the time of arrest, the assets of the accused were valued at Rs 25 lakh but the figure had now swollen to more than Rs 1 crore.

The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau had caught the head draftsman on March 21. He was arrested at his office in the local MC while accepting a bribe of Rs 12,000 for allegedly ending the harassment of a complainant. The complainant, Khushwinder Singh, had informed the vigilance that the official was demanding a bribe from him for saving a fine imposed by the MC.

The official had, interestingly, slammed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the complainant for not getting the architectural plan of his house cleared, even though the house was situated out of the MC limits.

Mr Sidhu said the official had taken some money as first installment and the complainant had gone to his office to pay the second installment, when the vigilance sleuths, led by DSP Darshan Singh, swooped on the official.


Students’ load lightens but tension remains
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 3
Teaching work in all schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is likely to be affected at least for a month as many books are either yet to be printed or have gone out of stock.

Majority of these books that are not available include those for the board classes. The list includes social studies, science, mathematics and Hindi for Class X, biology and mathematics for Class XII, mathematics for Class IX, science for Class VIII, Hindi and science for Class VII and mathematics for Class IV. Books of some recently introduced courses are also yet not available. These include books on bio-technology for Class XII, entrepreneurship for Class XI and XII and life skills for Class VI.

Under such circumstances, the teachers have been directed to start teaching from old books. Some of them have decided to take little help from private books and others have planned to distribute photostat copies of the self-prepared notes. While the teachers taking board classes have an idea of the changes made in the syllabi from the copies of revised syllabi available on the CBSE website, those taking non-board classes have been left in lurch.

Ms Paramjit Kaur, Principal, BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, said that unavailability of books was a big problem for the students as well as the teachers. She said, ‘‘Even though I have told all my teachers to follow the topics mentioned in the syllabi but still they do not know as to till what extent those topics have to be taught. They at least need to know the limit for each topic or else they may keep going on an on’’.

Pointing out possible reason for the delay, Mr R.S. Grewal, Principal, GGN Public School, said that the NCERT and CBSE authorities printed the books keeping in mind the schedule of Kendriya Vidyalayas. Since such schools opened in May, the books were printed in focus with their needs, he said. He, however, said that in the process the schedule of other CBSE schools got disrupted. The only way out was to continue with the last year books till new books were available in the market, he said.

Ms H. Mallaki, Principal, St Thomas Senior Secondary School, said that delay in printing of books was leading to wastage of time and efforts of students as well as the teachers. She said that it was only the beginning of the session that the students come refreshed and motivated to maintain their pace in studies. However, at this moment when the school were unable to provide them the right books at the right time, all their strength got shattered, she said.

Discussing ways to combat the problem, Mr R.S. Gill, Principal, Guru Nanak Public School, said that the teachers taking non-board classes could take help from various privately printed books available in the market. Besides, they could also distribute photostat copies of some chapters from these help books or CBSE books printed previous year.


Docs caught disclosing sex of foetus
Naveen S. Garewal

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
The district administration has come down heavily on doctors performing sex determination tests. With a view to showing its seriousness, the administration today caught red-handed two city-based doctors while conducting sex determination tests and disclosing the sex of the foetus. Machines of the doctors have been sealed, their records seized and licences cancelled.

Giving details of the incident, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, said an ultrasonologist, Dr A.S. Chhabra, of Guru Ram Dass Diagnostic clinic on Jail Road and Dr Anil Munjal, who runs an X-ray and ultrasound clinic near Civil Hospital, were caught red-handed performing the sex determination tests by a team of the administration. He said an operation had been planned and coordinated under supervision of the Civil Surgeon, Dr S.N. Tiwari.

The administration sent a decoy patient to these doctors, while the SDM, Ludhiana (East), Ms Bhawna Garg, deputed her office clerk and Mr Navdeep Sidhu, Naib Tehsildar-cum-Executive Magistrate on duty, who surreptitiously raided the two ultra sound centres.

Mr Agarwal said on April 2, a decoy patient with a second trimester pregnancy along with the attendant was sent to Dr Chhabra's clinic. The doctor told the patient in a very clandestine manner that he would charge Rs 2,000 for conducting the test and disclosing the sex of the foetus, but would not be able to give anything in writing. They informed the Executive Magistrate present outside the examination room about this and then they all quietly went out. Subsequently, they visited the clinic of Dr Munjal who, when secretly asked about the sex determination test, demanded Rs 5,000 for conducting the same.

Giving further details, Mr Aggarwal said today the Naib Tehsildar took the decoy patient and another woman as attendant to both clinics. Firstly, they went to the clinic of Dr Munjal. The laboratory attendant took them to the doctor who first took the money in cash and then performed the ultrasound test and disclosed the sex of the foetus, that was reported to be male. They then went to the clinic of Dr Chhabra, who also took the money, performed the ultrasound test and told them that the foetus was male.

The Naib Tehsildar then informed the SDM and the District Magistrate, who immediately called the Civil Surgeon and directed him to proceed under the PNDT Act. The Civil surgeon then authorised Dr Kuldeep Kaur, District Immunisation Officer, and Dr Neelam Chand Bassi, Family Welfare Officer, to seal the machines and seize the records of Munjal X-ray and Ultrasound Clinic and Guru Ram Dass Diagnostic Centre, respectively.

The sex determination is a contravention under the PNDT Act and is punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years and upto Rs 50,000 as fine and lead to the cancellation of the license of the ultrasonogist.


Volunteers join hands to preserve Sukhdev memorial
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
After the district administration failed to preserve the ancestral house of the great martyr, Sukhdev, at Chaura Bazar, some local residents have joined hands and formed a voluntary organisation to preserve the house of the martyr.

While several proposals had been mooted for the conservation of the memorial where the martyr was born and brought up, the project could not see the light of the day due to bureaucratic wranglings, certain disputes and a few other problems.

The biggest problem in the way of preserving the house, which is in a dilapidated condition in the Nau Ghara area, was the rehabilitation of tenants who had been staying in the house for several years. Although the Sukhdev Memorial Trust, set up in the city by some of his relatives, had tried its level best to rehabilitate them, certain hiccups prevented them for doing so. The place was visited by some filmstars, including Raj Babbar, who had promised some monetary help at that time, but it is yet to arrive. The district administration had, in June last year, roped in some industrialists to rehabilitate the tenants and preserve the memorial, but nothing came out of it.

Frustrated over the slack attitude of the administration and continuous neglect of the memorial, some like-minded individuals have formed an organisation to pool in funds and do something about the memorial, which they think should be preserved as a tribute to the sacrifice of the great martyr.

Led by Dr Hardip Singh, president of the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association, the volunteers have roped in persons from all over the world and formed the Shaheed Sukhdev Yaadgaar Committee. It has enlisted the support of the Desh Bhagat Yaadgaar Committee, based at Jalandhar, the Indian Workers Association, London, and some patriots who have vowed to preserve the house of the martyr.

Dr Hardip Singh, while talking to TNS here today, said the idea to preserve the house struck them after they saw its condition on the martyr’s birthday that was celebrated by the Inqalabi Sabha. They all decided to work together for the preservation of the house.

“We are yet to work out the modalities. The volunteers have agreed to pool in money from various sources. First of all, we will solve the problem of the tenants. We will try to rehabilitate them after urging upon them to shift from the house. I am sure they will understand the importance of the place and make our work easier.” said Dr Hardip Singh.

He added that the organisation would speak to the government also and adopt all possible means to preserve the house. He said they were determined to see the project through. He said they were seeking the permission of the publisher of book “Aise the mere bhai-Sukhdev Thapar” written by Mathura Das Thapar, Sukhdev’s brother, to get the book translated in Punjabi.

Sukhdev, who was executed along with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru, was born in the Chaura Bazar area called Nau Ghara (Nine Houses) in the city. While the house remained unknown until three years ago, the Thapars of the city set up a trust named Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust (SSTMT) to look after the historic place and to create awareness among people about the great martyr. The Thapars and the district administration had, then, decided to set up a memorial.


Count your cash before leaving counter
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
Count your cash before leaving a bank's cash counter, lest you end up a loser. And do not trust the wad of notes with bank slips stapled as these may not necessarily carry 100 notes. As the bank does not take any responsibility in case the cash is less or some notes are missing.

Mr Parveen Jain of the Oster Auto Industries learnt it the hard way. He took a wad of Rs 100 notes from a client. It was duly stapled with a slip of the Punjab and Sind Bank, Master Tara Singh College branch. This assured him that the wad must be having 100 notes. He passed it on to someone else only to learn later that it was short of nine notes, making him lose Rs 900.

When he approached officials of the bank, they agreed that the slip was theirs. The slip also carried the stamp of the business institution which had stapled it. Mr Jain said he pleaded with the bank staff to disclose the institution's identity so that he could talk to them directly, but the bank officials refused to do so.

The incident has once again raised the issue of flouting the Reserve Bank of India guidelines which prohibits the stapling of currency notes by any other institution, bank or business organisation. In utter violation of these rules, the banks have been issuing note slips to private organisations for getting the notes stapled. The banks also continue to staple the notes.


Johar takes bureaucrats to task
Our Correspondent

During a discussion on the alleged delay by the PWD in execution of the project for proposed motorable railway overbridge in place of Lakkar Pul, the MC Commissioner, Mr Sharma and Mr Gurnam Singh Azad, an executive engineer of PWD, exchanged hot words. The PWD official attributed the delay to non-release of funds by the MC while the Commissioner maintained that the department had failed to provide utilisation certificate of Rs 1.05 crore paid to it for the work. Mr Sharma took exception to the assertion by the PWD official that the department was competent to complete the project on schedule if adequate funds were provided by the MC and further informed the minister that process had been initiated to withdraw the work from the PWD and entrust the same to some other agency. Mr Johar asked the officials to sort out the matter in next couple of days so that the work could be resumed without further delay.

Ludhiana, April 3
The Minister for Higher Education Mr Harnam Das Johar, a recent entrant to the Cabinet, yesterday held extended interaction with senior officials of almost all departments in the presence of members of the public, representatives of trade and industry, party office-bearers and councillors.

The interaction, which commenced last afternoon, continued till noon today and was attended, among others by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, the SSP, Mr Harpreet Singh Sidhu, the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma and senior officials of the Excise and Taxation, Public Works Department (PWD), State Pollution Control Board and Punjab State Electricity Board.

During a series of meetings, Mr Johar repeatedly conveyed the message to the officers that they had to change their style of working to ‘adapt’ to the change in political system. ‘‘The official machinery has to become more accessible, responsive, responsible, accountable and transparent. A mechanism has to be evolved for the redressal of public grievances and complaints in a time-bound manner and a system should be in place to monitor the pace of development,’’ he added.

The minister advised the members of trade and industry to pay taxes honestly and expose the black sheep among them. He, however, issued a veiled threat to the officials as well to desist from harassing tax payers and adopting corrupt practices. ‘‘Those (officers) overstepping their authority and transgressing their legal brief to make personal fortune are not needed here,’’ he said.

He said the trading community should work in tandem with the Excise and Taxation Department and rather than adopting a confrontational attitude, the two should supplement each other’s effort in generating resources to keep the wheel of development moving. The government was aware of genuine problems of the trade and industry and bottlenecks in the taxation structure and steps were being taken to rectify the situation.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune after the conclusion of the meetings, Mr Johar said the purpose of this exercise was to convey the message to the officers to accord due respect to people, whom they were supposed to serve and at the same time perform their duty with diligence and honesty. He said the government was committed to provide a clean and efficient administration and being a member of the Cabinet, he was trying do his bit to achieve this objective. He claimed that the government had granted several concessions to the traders in the state Budget for the next year and efforts were being made to simplify procedural wrangles.

Problems of varied nature like harassment by sales tax officials, check barriers, police excesses, encroachments, civic amenities like water supply, sewerage and sanitation, maintenance of roads and parks were raised by the participants and the minister issued instructions to the officials concerned for immediate redressal.



Martial law in Punjab: Sukhbir
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, April 3
“Capt Amarinder Singh, in his efforts to please Sonia Gandhi, has crushed the democratic set up of the state. The government that once was for the people, of the people and by the people, has been transformed into a dictatorial regime where martial law flourishes and the people cry for justice and peace,” alleges Sukhbir Singh Badal, general secretary, SAD and MP. He was addressing mediapersons at the residence of Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, a SAD leader and his brother, Mr Rajbir Singh Roobal, a candidate from ward no. 5, today.

The past year has been the darkest wherein all development schemes and plans came to a halt. The dharnas, rallies and daily protests by the people have been rendered useless as the pleas of the people have fallen on deaf ears. In an attempt to please the high command, the CM has failed to safeguard the genuine interests of the people, he alleged.

Pointing towards the alleged threats being received the party candidates from the Opposition during the run-up to the MC poll of Doraha to be held on April 5, Mr Badal said, “As the CM has failed to win the favour of the high command, he is now trying to win political favour by cornering the Municipal Council and Zila Parishad elections by hook or by crook. He and his candidates and workers are indulging in such petty means to win the election.”

Asserting his viewpoint, he said, “The days of the government are numbered. During the forthcoming parliamentary elections, all 13 seats shall be won by the SAD-BJP alliance. He appealed to the media to be extra-vigilant so that the suppressive and oppressive acts of the government are exposed and brought in front of the public”.

Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, president, Youth Akali Dal, Mr Harnek Singh, block samiti member, Jathedar Gurmail Singh Sanghowal, member SGPC, Mr Jora Singh Luhara, senior Akali leader, Mr Jagdev Singh, president Youth Wing (Payal Circle), Mr Jarnail Singh, Mr Pritam Singh Jaggi and Mr Inderjit Singh Kala were present along with all contestants of SAD (B) of the MC poll.


Sukhbir for CBI probe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
SAD General Secretary and MP Sukhbir Singh Badal has demanded a CBI inquiry into the auction of liquor vends in the state claiming that certain “favourites have been allotted the vends by the Congress regime.”

Mr Badal was on a social visit to the city and interacted with select partymen at the residence of a friend here this evening. Present on the occasion were MLA Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, SAD youth chief Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and Mr Bikramjit Singh.

Talking to TNS, he said major irregularities had taken place during the auctions which would cause a loss of crores to the state exchequer.


Messenger of peace returns home
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
After successfully completing her peace expedition on a bicycle, Supam Sandhu, a local girl, who had left for the Wagah border on March 29, returned home today to a warm welcome.

She was received at the Sutlej bridge, near Laddowal, by members of the Ludhiana Food and supply Employees Association and the Lions Club (Decent)

She submitted a memorandum to BSF Commandant D.K. Sharma, advocating peace across the Indo-Pak border, at the Wagah border. She had also written to US President George W. Bush, appealing to him to stop the war against Iraq.

Fourteen-year-old Supam, a student of KVM school, said she was feeling elated for having conveyed her message to a number of people on the way. She said she stayed with her friends and relatives during the journey.

After pedaling for so many kilometers, Supam said that she was not tired. ‘‘I am very happy that I could complete my journey successfully. The people are struggling to survive in Iraq. What is their fault? It is a political fight, but thousands of innocent lives are being sacrificed,’’ said Supam.

‘‘Whosoever I met on the way was sympathetic towards my feelings. Some restaurants even refused to charge me for food. It was their way to show solidarity towards those suffering in Iraq,’’ she added.

Narrating her experiences, she said that the chain of her bicycle had broken near Ludhiana and she was scared as she was travelling alone. However, a truck drive helped her and rectified the problem with the bicycle.

Her father Sukhjit Singh Sandhu and mother Paramjit Kaur Sandhu said they were proud of their daughter. ‘‘If children like her have such sensitivities, we are sure the world is heading towards a peaceful era.’’ they said.


Residents seek better amenities, funds for development
Our correspondent

Ludhiana, April 3
Residents of Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road have urged the Municipal Corporation authorities to redress the basic problems of the locality and allocate adequate funds for several infrastructural development projects hanging fire for quite some time.

In the monthly meeting of the welfare society of the area, its president, Major Sher Singh Aulakh, emphasised the need of resurfacing several roads and streets, providing streetlights and augmenting water supply. He also pointed out that the promised grant for the community centre project, which was already under way, had not yet materialised.

Focusing on the immediate need for anti-malaria spray and fogging, Major Aulakh said rainwater, accumulated in potholes and depressions on the roads and streets, had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, exposing the residents to serious health hazards. He requested that the pace of the ongoing sewerage work should be stepped up so that the problem of water drainage could be solved permanently.

At the same time, he made an appeal to the area residents to lend a helping hand in the qualitative improvement in the basic amenities, sanitation and environment. “The residents should avoid throwing garbage and keep their surroundings clean. The encroachments on roads and streets should be cleared voluntarily to avoid penal action by the MC,” he added.

The area councillor, Mr Satwinder Singh Jawaddi, who presided over the meeting, said work on the relaying of roads and streets would be taken up soon and the promised funds for the community centre would also be made available soon. He further announced that work on the proposed stadium was to commence shortly and on completion, the facility would prove to be a boon for the sports lovers.

Meanwhile, the Environment and Welfare Association of New Janta Nagar on the Gill Road area has lodged a protest with the MC administration over the abnormally high level of street Nos 5, 6 and 7 where surfacing work was in progress at present. In written complaints to the MC Commissioner and the area Zonal Commissioner, Mr Sher Singh, president of the association, said the level of streets was kept quite high in comparison to the level of the houses and the residents feared that during the rainy season or after an overflow from the sewer lines, the water would enter their houses. He further rued that the engineering staff of C Zone of the MC, despite being persistently asked for necessary remedial steps, had failed to respond.

According to Mr Sher Singh, the level of street No. 5 should not be more than 6 inches higher at the beginning from the main Gill Road and 10 inches at the tail end of the closed street with a total length of 550 feet. He also urged the civic officials to maintain a strict check on the quality of work for resurfacing of the streets.



8 poor girls married off
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, April 3
The Sahnewal Area Welfare Society organised the marriage of eight poor girls at Sodhi Sahib Gurdwara, here under the supervision of Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu and Jathedar Pal Singh, president and vice-president of the society, respectively, yesterday. Many items of daily use were also provided to the girls by the society.

Among those who blessed the newly wedded couples were Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu, Jathedar Pal Singh, vice-president (SHSAD), Harpreet Singh Harry, Chairman, Sports Club, Sahnewal, Mr Gurmit Singh Sandhu Canada, Mr Charan Singh Italy, Mr Shamsher Singh Kaile, President, Nagar Council, Sahnewal, Baba Jagroop Singh, Circle President, SAD, Jathedar Santa Singh Umaidpuri, former Chairman, Market Committee, Sahnewal, Mr Kuldip Singh, councillor, and Mohinder Singh, Granthi, Sodhi Sahib Gurdwara.

Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu, said “We have formed the society to help the poor and the needy and solemnising marriages of poor girls will be our main aim. Our endeavour will be to provided adequate daily use items to them. We have also planned to organise various welfare camps in which the illiterates and the downtrodden will be educated about cleanliness, health awareness, social and moral responsibilities towards family and other welfare schemes.” 


Dhan Pothohar conference on April 20
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
An all-India cultural conference of the Dhan Pothohar Brotherhood would be held on April 20 in the auditorium of the Government College for Women. This was decided at the executive meeting of the brotherhood held here today under the chairmanship of its president, Mr N. S. Nanda.

Mr Nanda said the function would be dedicated to the memory of Kalpana Chawla.

Mr I. K Gujral, a former Prime Minister of India, will be the chief guest, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Cabinet Minister for Higher Education, will be the guest of honour and Mr Kartar Singh Duggal, MP, will preside over the function.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman, National Commission of Minorities, Justice Kuldip Singh (retd) , Dr J. S. Gujral, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University, Sunita Rani and Harbhajan Mann will be honoured on the day. The membership directory, Dhan-Pothohar Kosh, will also be released on the day.

The House congratulated Mr Tarlochan Singh on his nomination as the Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, and also thanked him for taking an initiative to install the statues of Baba Kharak Singh and Master Tara Singh in the Central Hall of Parliament. His gesture of taking up the matter with the Union Government for the maintenance of Sikh gurdwaras in Pakistan was also appreciated.

The House also appreciated the work of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle for its extensive survey to create awareness in youths against drug abuse and other social evils. The brotherhood also thanked the state and the Union Government for listing the Golden Temple as a world heritage.

The member requested the state government to take care of the contribution of Balwant Gargi, Amrita Pritam in art and literature and preserve the collection of Devinder Satyarthi, who had died a few days back.

Those who were present in the meeting included Mr G.S. Bindra from Jalandhar, Mr T. S. Chandok from Patiala, Mr S. S. Lamba from SAS. Nagar, Mr N. S. Kohli, Mr H. S. Jaggi, Mr T. S. Bindra , Mr Sohan Singh Nanda and Mr Ravinderpal Singh Khalsa. 


Chetna rally reaches Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
A rousing reception was accorded to the chetna rally, organised by the Arya Samaj against drug addiction and other social evils afflicting the youth.

The rally was flagged of from Amritsar on April 1. Several young volunteers are also participating in the rally. In Ludhiana, the rally was received at the Mata Rani chowk by hundreds of people. The rally will conclude at Rohtak on April 5 and will pass through various cities of the region. It has already covered Amritsar, Jalandhar, Phagwara and Ludhiana. On the way to Rohtak, it will go through Khanna, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal and Panipat.

Meanwhile, the annual week-long programme of Arya Samaj Model Town will start from April 7 and will conclude on April 13. A shobha yatra would be organised on April 5. Eminent speakers from across the country will deliver religious discourses during the celebrations.

According to Mr Satyanand Munjal, president, Arya Samaj Model Town, the discourses will be held at Arya Samaj Model Town and the concluding function will be organised at BCM School, Model Town.



Teacher killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
Gloom engulfed the Arya College for Boys today morning when a teacher died and two other teachers of the college were injured in a road accident near Moga when their car collided head-on with a jeep. The teachers were on their way to Moga to attend a conference.

Senior English teacher J.K. Bhandari died on the spot. S.M. Sharma, a senior teacher in the Economics Department, and S. K. Sayal, secretary of the college management, suffered serious injuries. They were under treatment at Arora Hospital here.

Doctors attending on them said their condition was improving.


Industry to oppose VAT
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
About two dozen senior industrialists of the city have unanimously resolved to oppose the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) in the state. Dubbing it unfit for implementation in the country, these industrialists refuted the government claims, saying that VAT would be good for all.

The industrialists felt that VAT would bring corruption instead of transparency. The meeting decided to congratulate traders and industrialists for a successful two-day countrywide bandh and hoped that government will not compel the traders and industrialists to sit on dharna before the Parliament on April 8, 2003.

The industrialist also congratulated Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh for postponing the implementation of VAT from April 1 in the state. In a resolution, they further urged the Punjab government to reject VAT in totality.

Among those who participated in the meeting were Mr SPS Chaddha (Satinder Infotech), Mr Inderpal Singh Sehgal (Poonam Dying & Finishing Industries), Mr Jatinder Pal Singh (new Punjab Skin and Leather Industries), Mr Surinder Singh Sahani (Singh Coal Trader), Mr Khewan Loomba (Bharat Jyothi Mechanical), Mr Chitwan Loomba (Vishtar Industries (Exim Corporate), Mr Inderpal Singh (Sewak Forging Pvt. Ltd) Mr Harman Singh Chawla (Chawla Forging), Mr Vipin Gaba (Gaba Building Materials), Mr Mehar Singh Bunti (Confectionaries), Mr Nizamuddin Ansari and Inam Ali from (Madina Bakers (Goraya).


Day 4: hosiery markets remain closed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
Most of the hosiery markets in the city remained closed for the fourth day today against the government’s decision to impose the central excise on them. The markets are scheduled to remain closed till April 6 in response to a call given by the Federation of Knitwear, Textile and Allied Industries Associations (FEKTAA).

The markets, including Betganj, Gandhi Nagar, Sunder Nagar, Hazuri Road, Dal Bazar, etc. wore a deserted look. Hosiery manufacturing units also remained closed. The bandh began on March 31 against the imposition of VAT and the central excise on traders.

Although the government has deferred its decision on VAT, it has not reconsidered the issue of the central excise. There has also been some controversy as some traders and manufacturers were reluctant to observe bandh and were forced to down the shutters of their shops.

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