Wednesday, April 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Police tells hotel owners to check crime
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Alarmed at the growing incidence of people filing fake addresses in city hotels and the theft of vehicles outside the marriage palaces, Division No. 5 police station officials have served notices on the owners of hotels and marriage palaces in its area to immediately take remedial measures and act as responsible citizens of the city.

This police station has taken a lead over the other police stations in the district by introducing the first-ever exercise of its kind for surveillance of persons staying in the hotels.

Though the police is supposed to keep an eye on the visitors to the hotels, it is for the first time that they are trying to involve hotel owners. The police had introduced a tenant verification drive in the city to stem the crime rate, The surveillance call to the visitors in the hotels is on the same lines.

The need for the move was felt now especially because of a recent case in which a murder suspect had lived overnight in a city hotel. The police could not reach him as his address and phone number were found to be fake.

Then the arrest of some terrorists and arms smugglers recently from Sahnewal had exposed how these anti-social elements were living without getting noticed as a tenant in the city. Sources said the police had got information that some such anti-social elements could have stayed or were staying in some hotels unnoticed.

Most of the prominent hotels in the city fall in the area of Division No. 5 police station. But still there are several others, albeit small ones, that exist in other parts of the city. Sources said the drive could be extended in other parts if it was successful here.

According to the notices, the hotel owners have been told to try and verify on their own the addresses of the visitors and take help of the police if they suspect someone. A highly placed police official said the tone of the notice was of a suggestive nature. The hotel owners have been requested to sort out the problems they come across in implementing the orders with the police officials.

‘‘We are not forcing the hotel owners to comply with these orders. We are just telling them to help the police as responsible citizens”. said the official. He said the police had not decided so far of what action would be taken against the erring hotel owners. ‘‘ We do not want to punish anyone but if there was some glaring mistake then action as per the law of the land could be taken ’’ said the official.

The police has got encouraging feedback from two hotel owners in the area regarding the drive. The hotel owners have requested the police to call a meeting on the issue also to clarify some points. Police sources said the timing of the meeting would be decided shortly. Sources said some hotel owners have aired their fears of losing business by keeping an eye on the visitors. Some hotel owners have informed the police that they were already cautious regarding the people staying in their hotels.

The second part of the drive was regarding the marriage palace owners. The notices issued to them have suggested that they should help the police in reducing the incidence of vehicle thefts from the area. Most of the theft cases were reported from outside the marriage palaces.

Due to inadequate parking area, the persons attending a marriage ceremony have to park the cars in the open or on the roads. Apart from causing traffic problems, the cars are open invitation to thieves as no security guard is posted there.

The police has told the marriage palace owners to post two security persons in the parking area and start issuing tokens to the persons parking the cars. This would help the police in checking the theft rate and also help the owners in avoiding negative publicity. The police feels that posting the guards would instill a sense of security among the persons taking the marriage palace on rent.



Refurbished, smuggled cell phones sold openly
Need to abolish tax on handsets
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The growing grey market in the sale of handsets in addition to the imposition of sales tax and octroi in some states are the major issues facing the cellular companies which are concerned that something has to be done to check the menace as over 70 per cent of the handsets in the country are either smuggled or refurbished, says Mr Pankaj Mohindroo, president of the Indian Cellular Association (ICA).

In an exclusive interview with The Tribune here today, he said the magnitude of the problem can be gauged from the fact that based on the number of subscribers added in this financial year, the total market is valued at Rs 1,980 crore, whereas the share of the legal market was only Rs 495 crore (at an average value of Rs 4,500 per handset).

Commenting on the cellular growth in Punjab, he said it had the highest level of penetration but its potential was untapped. As many as 60,000 to 70,000 handsets are sold in the state every month and more than 90 per cent are procured from the grey market. This means that the states loses Rs 1 crore in terms of revenue every month and the flip side is that the people end up owning second-hand or refurbished sets, most of which have no genuine papers, chargers and batteries. The accessories are also fake, he pointed out.

Mr Mohindroo said he would meet the Punjab Chief Minister in the next 10 days on this issue and urge him to scrap octroi and other taxes on handsets.

Not only Punjab, states like Tamil Nadu levy a 20 per cent surcharge while it is 12 per cent in Kerala, Bihar and Assam. Gujarat, Punjab and Maharashtra, too, charge additional octroi which together go in making handsets from the grey market an attractive proposition to the consumers.

At the national level, the government will lose Rs 5,389 crore by 2006 in terms of revenue if appropriate steps are not taken to rationalise duty structures applicable on mobile handsets, thereby, negating the hold of the grey market, he added.

He said they have also suggested to the Union Finance Ministry to recommend complete removal of all duties and levies on mobile handsets since this will ensure dismantling of the grey market and bring down the prices of the handsets. Similarly, the revenue sharing clause should also be done away with since this will ensure higher take up of subscribers and allow telecom operators to buy handsets and subsidise their sales.

Other recommendations of the ICA are reducing the basic custom duty from 10 per cent to 5 per cent, abolition of special additional duty of 4 per cent, removal of mobile handsets from the 1-6 eligibility criteria of the IT Department and concerted efforts to check the grey market.



Badal for free education to Dalits
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 15
Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal stressed the need for free and compulsory education to Dalit children so that they could face the challenges of the world. Addressing the concluding function of the two-day national-level delegate session of Bharatiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj (BVDS) at Valmiki Bhavan here, he said even after 55 years of independence, the weaker sections and in particular the Dalit community had not been given a just and equal status in society and a lot more was needed to be done towards their emancipation.

He claimed that the previous SAD-BJP government in Punjab as well as the BJP-led NDA government in the Centre had launched various welfare schemes for the depressed classes while the Congress, during its successive tenures in states and the Centre, had only paid lip service to the Dalit community and considered it nothing more than a vote bank. To drive home the point, he alleged that the Congress government in Punjab had scrapped many of the schemes initiated by the previous government for providing financial assistance to the Dalits.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Vijay Sonkar Shastri, Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Classes and Scheduled Tribes, focussed on various steps being taken by the commission to safeguard the rights and interests of the people belonging to the SCs and STs. Emphasising the need for providing equal opportunities to economically and socially backward classes, he said the mammoth Dalit population of around 35 crore in India ought to be taken along in the mainstream of development.

In a resolution adopted at the delegate session, the BVDS spelled out its strategy for expansion all over the country. The main focus of the future agenda would be on strengthening the organisation and setting up units at district, town and block levels in urban and rural areas. The body would also launch a new religion called "Adwaitvad" for the Dalit community.

Among others Mr Inder Ikbal Singh Atwal, MLA, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, president, District Bar Association, and Choudhry Yash Pal also addressed the function.



Growing vegetables on Sutlej riverbed
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Kallu and his family come here every year from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh to grow vegetables on the Sutlej riverbed. They hire about 55 acres of land along the Sutlej at the rate of Rs 5,000 per acre for one season. They grow vegetables there which are supplied to various markets in Punjab and Chandigarh.

Kallu, who is in his early 40s, does not remember since when he started coming here. He has inherited this avocation from his ancestors. “I cannot tell you when we started, but I am told that my grandfather used to come here during the British time,” he said.

It is not an easy task. “It involves a lot of labour and hard work. Even the land is not easily available,” says Kallu. The land is spread over a few villages and is in control of the panchayats of these villages. They have to hire it from these panchayats at the rate of Rs 5,000 per acre per season. There is always a continuous threat of floods that keeps on looming large threatening the entire vegetable crop.

Then there are other input costs like labour, seeds, fertilisers and most important of all, preparing the riverbed for sowing seeds. The farmers here grow pumpkins, bitter gourds, brinjals, cucumbers, tomatoes, lady fingers, water melons, musk melon and other vegetables also.

The choice of seeds, according to Kallu, is very important. He says that some seeds like that of melon even cost Rs 5,000 per kg.

In fact, Kallu and his family do not need to work much on marketing their vegetables. Since they have been doing it for ages, the vegetables are quite popular among the customers. The melon is supposed to be very juicy and sweet as it is produced using least chemical fertilisers.

Kallu brings all his labourers from Shahjahanpur only. There are about 200 people who come here every year and set up temporary settlements. They come at the beginning of the season and return home in winters.




SENTINEL witnessed an interesting sight the other day. A college student riding pillion on a scooter was deeply involved in studying her course book, oblivious of the heavy traffic around her. So absorbed was she that she did not know whether anyone was trying to photograph her. The students leave studies till the last minute and then do not want to lose a minute even if it means putting their life in peril.

Male bastion crumbles

Another male bastion has come crumbling down. A team of policemen was continuously winning many a heart in the daredevil motor cycle show organised at an important event by the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur. However, on the passing out parade last week, it was the turn of four daring women to turn the tables. For the first time women rode Bullet motor cycle and performed all the feats shown by males. It was a Red-Letter day for the female power. The show deservingly won the maximum applause.

Good policing

A city journalist had a first-hand experience of the effective policing system in the city, especially in checking noise pollution of late night parties. A late night party in Sarabha Nagar was harassing the journalist’s family. The journo rang up the police control room and lodged a complaint without disclosing his identity. The noisy party was stopped within 10 minutes. Next morning, a woman constable called up the Journo asking the feed back on the complaint and whether the police action was effective or not. One only prays that such impressive performance remains constant.

Stench at Leisure Valley

Leisure Valley project of the local Municipal Corporation has come of age. Lush green lawns, ornamental trees, flowers and the beautiful landscaping illuminated by colourful lights have made it as a popular picnic spot. The pleasure of morning and evening walks amidst the lush greenery is, however, dampened by a pungent stench emanating from garbage thrown along the canal side and railway line side of the canal. Apart from the garbage, the place is used to answer nature’s call by labourers. When ever south-west winds blow, it becomes impossible for anyone to sit in the valley.

Mob mentality

It was very disheartening to hear ignorant people criticising the Indian Air Force for the crash of a MiG-23 fighter aircraft at a residential colony in Mullanpur Dakha. Misinformation was being spread by these people. Several persons, some of them illiterate and some quite educated ones, were heard criticising the design and make-up of the aircraft. They were openly saying that the parts of the aircraft were of inferior quality and it was bound to crash. Some said the parts of the aircraft were sewn together with threads. Others identified a part as the radiator of the aircraft and were heard saying; “See how small these parts were”. Wing Commander D. Punni, Halwara Air Force station, could not help commenting; “An aircraft does not have machines similar to what we see in two or four-wheelers. Yet, the people were identifying it and criticising the quality. I just hoped that someone would not say this was the stepney of the aircraft”. He said such talk was dangerous as it could result in a mob attack.

Drama at funeral

While it was heartening to see commoners helping the crash victims at MiG-23 crash site, one was disgusted to see that some relatives of the victims were looking for material objects after their bodies were charred to death. A very close relative of a woman who died of burn injuries was seen removing her gold bangles and earnings and donning these herself. When the devastation and death had moved even those unrelated to the victims, the behaviour of their relatives was something that can never be explained. Some of the relatives were even seen fighting over the cheques issued by the local administration for the funeral of the victims.

Wake up Good Samaritans

Are there no Good Samaritans in the city any more? The answer seems to be in the affirmative if the case of a youth, belonging of Mullanpur Dakha, is to be believed. Ravi Kumar had attempted suicide after India had lost the final match of World Cup to Australia. Failing to digest the defeat the youth had consumed a bottle of a pesticide. The family had rushed him to hospital. He is recuperating and requires more medical care. But his parents have no money now. Doctors attending to him say that he can be saved if kept in the hospital for some more days. The poor financial condition of his parents won’t allow this. He had appealed to Good Samaritans to help him. But to no avail. Not even a single person or NGO has agreed to help him till date. Wake up Good Samaritans!

VIPs break rules

The traffic light was red while it was green on side of Bhai Wala Chowk. As the drivers began to cross the road, two VIP cars screaming came from the other side violating the traffic signals. The drivers with great alacrity applied breaks and avoided accident with the speeding VIP cars. One does not understand their urgency and their total disregard for the common’s man life. In no other country, VIPs behave in such an insensitive way.

Yogic kriyas

Bharatiya Yog Sansthan celebrated its 37th Founders Day on April 13 by arranging a camp for all its members of different centres of the city.The sansthan in 37 years has brought many of the residents into its fold. In almost every locality the sansthan has yoga classes running. After teaching yogic kriyas, the trainee-teachers make the groups independent and they start functioning on their own. Thousands of branches are running yoga classes free of cost with the primary aim of teaching ‘yogic kriyas’ to improvemental and physical health of the city people. Once a month, they hold joint classes of all the centres. Some yoga specialists come and teach special yogic kriyas to give relief from chronic diseases like back ache etc.




Councillor charged with discrimination 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 15
The Welfare Society of Model Town Extension, Block D has charged the area councillor with discrimination in planning and executing development works in general and development of parks in particular. However, the councillor of ward No. 34, Mr Harbhajan Singh Dang, who is also the leader of Shiromani Akali Dal councillors, has denied the allegation, saying it was motivated and baseless.

The general secretary of the society, Mr G.S. Midha, in a written complaint to the city Mayor and the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, said ‘’Waheguru Park’, located in Block D, had reportedly been taken out of the list of parks where work for renovation and landscaping was to be undertaken soon by the MC at the instance of the councillor.

By his act of sending a copy of the complaint to SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar, Mr Midha has made his intention clear to exploit the religious sentiments. However, the idea seemed to be totally misplaced in view of the fact that the councillor happened to be a baptised Sikh and a prominent Akali Dal leader, who could not be charged with religious bias.

Denying the allegation, Mr Dang termed it as a ‘bundle of lies’. He said it was absolutely wrong to say that the Waheguru Park had been ignored for the proposed development works. The MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, had formally launched the commencement of development works in 14 parks in the area at an estimated cost of Rs 12 lakh on this Monday in the presence of area residents, he said.

Claiming that his ward had witnessed unprecedented development during his short tenure of less than a year and against his annual allocation of just Rs 15 lakh, development projects worth a staggering Rs 1.5 crore were either already being executed or were in the pipeline. He also questioned the bonafides of the complainant and suspected that he was a self-appointed office-bearer of the welfare society.



Farmers resent non-payment of dues
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, April 15
Farmers are a harassed lot as various procurement agencies have failed to pay their dues for wheat bought from them. A hue and cry is being raised by farmer unions in this context wherein it has been alleged that the farmers have not been paid for wheat procured more than a week ago.

It may be recalled that farmers had started bringing their produce early this month. The procurement agencies had made arrangements to buy the produce, but no payments were made to the farmers for wheat procured in the initial days.

Meanwhile, the local Food and Civil Supplies Department claimed that the delay was not due to their fault but on account of extended bank holidays. As soon as the banks start functioning after the long holiday break, the dues will be cleared, it said.

An official of the department said the Food and Civil Supplies Minister had directed that all dues be paid regularly. He informed that so far 27, 556 lakh tonnes of what had been procured in the district by the agencies and traders.

While 25, 626 tonnes had been bought by the agencies, 1930 tonnes had been bought by the traders.

The break up is — Pungrain (3,567 tonnes), Markfed (4,172), Punsup (7,652), Warehousing (3,664), Punjab Agro (3,970) and FCI (2, 601).

Khanna: Farmers of the area are worried as the yield of wheat has come down as compared to the previous years.

Many farmers of the area,who had come to Khanna Mandi to sell their produce, said the yield of wheat this year was 4 to 7 quintals less than the average.

It was a major set-back to the already debt-ridden farmers. Bad weather conditions were the reason behind the lower yield, they said.

A farmer of ChakMafi village said the yield at his fields had come down by around 5 quintals per acre than the last year. He said the total loss was around 110 quintals. He said the input cost had risen due to rise in the prices of diesel and fertilizers. Another farmer of Kanpura village said the main reason behind the lower yield was untimely rains in December and cold weather conditions of January.

Meanwhile, the farmers alleged that the procurement agencies were not making payments against the procured wheat even after a week while as per government guidelines the payment of the procured wheat should be made within 48 hours.

President of the local Arhtiya Association Harbans Singh Rosha said the arrival of the wheat was slow this season because the use of combines had been banned during night hours.

The farmers are also preferring to reap the wheat manually so as to get ‘toori’.

Mr Ranbir Sood, press secretary of the Sate Arhtiya Association said the wheat being brought to the mandi was having more moisture contents. He demanded that payments for the procured wheat should be made immediately.



MLA meets arhtiyas on lifting of wheat
Our Correspondent

Amloh, April 15
The MLA, Amloh, Mr Sadhu Singh Dharmsot, visited the grain market here yesterday to solve the problem of lifting.
He met Mr Shingara Singh, president of the truck union, representatives of the arhtiya association, besides officials of the market committee and procurement agencies. The lifting began immediately after the talks.

The arrival of wheat in the grain market was likely to touch new heights this weekend, said Mr Darshan Gopal Sharma, secretary, market committee, Amloh.

However, the arrival of wheat had been low as compared to last year. On April 13, the arrival was 65,068 quintals while it was 86,512 quintals last year.

Councillor Jiwan Kumar Puri, state member of the arhtiya association, and Mr Hari Chand Mittal, president of the local unit, urged the government to declare bonus to the farmers who had undergone loss due to natural calamities. 



Pensioners sore over non-release of DA
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 15
The Government Pensioners’ Association is agitated over the non-release of 3 per cent DA/DR by the Punjab Government, which otherwise had become payable to them with effect from January 2003.

Mr Yash Paul Ghai, Additional General Secretary, Punjab Government Pensioners’ Association, in a press statement today said more than 7 lakh employees were sore over the non-release of DA.

Mr Ghai said the Union Government and several other state governments had already released the DA/DR instalment for its employees and pensioners. However, the Punjab Government was dilly-dallying in releasing the enhanced DA/DR on the pretext of financial crunch whereas it had recently allowed a manifold increase in salaries and various allowances of Punjab ministers, MLAs and MLA-pensioners.

The pensioners said the state government should realise that the enhancement in DA was not a charity but a measure to compensate the employees for the price-rise according to a set formula. The pensioners urged Mr Lal Singh, Punjab Finance Minister, to release the instalment at the earliest.

Meanwhile, representatives of different pensioner associations and activists held a meeting at the Government College for Boys to sort out modalities for the maintenance/supervision and management of the newly constructed Pensioner Information Centre in Mini Secretariat here yesterday.

The meeting resolved to constitute a nine-member Ad hoc Committee with Mr Jarnail Singh Dhillon as convener secretary which will meet from time to time to decide questions relating to the up-keep of the bhavan.

Mr Ishar Singh Sandhu, Assistant Manager, SADP, (retired) a Canada-based NRI, promised financial aid as much as possible. It was further decided that the committee would be notified to the Deputy Commissioner for liaison for the management of the pensioners’ bhavan and also to coordinate the arrangement for its inauguration.



Lack of safety kits for safai workers 
irks commission
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, Government of India, has expressed displeasure over risk to the life of safai karamcharis here owing to the non-availability of safety kits.

This was stated here today by Mr Ganga Ram Teja, member, National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, who was here to review the progress of the schemes launched by the Union and the state government for the welfare of the scavengers and safai karamcharis.

At a meeting held at the Circuit House here, Mr Teja expressed concern over the non-availability of the required safety kits for the workers cleaning sewers in Ludhiana and Khanna.

He urged the authorities to make available the sufficient number of security kits so that no life was lost while cleaning due to the production of poisonous gases in the sewers.

The demand for safety kits had been hanging fire since long despite the fact that more than 25 safai workers had been killed after inhaling the poisonous gases. This year, four workers were killed in the Focal Point area while cleaning a manhole.

The matter was taken up by the media at that time also and it was demanded that safai karamcharis be given safety kits that included oxygen gas mask, a cylinder and a pair of gloves. But the demands have not been met so far.

According to Mr Vijay Danav, a local Akali leader, who had been taking up the cause of safai karamcharis, said according to rules, the safai karamcharis were required to be trained by an official of the level of Junior Engineer, an SDO and an Executive Engineer but these instructions were not being followed. He said the workers were made to enter the manhole without prior training.

Mr Danav said the procedure followed by safai karamcharis while cleaning a manhole was even more shocking. He said while one worker entered the manhole carrying a rope, another waited for him outside. The man inside the manhole was told to keep the rope twitching which gave an indication that he was alive. Once he stopped doing this, he was pulled out by the other man. "He can die in the process. This is a violation of the human rights", said Mr Danav.

Mr S.K.Sharma, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr Rahul Bhandhari, ADC(G), Mr S.R.Kaler, Deputy Director, Local Bodies, Mr Arun Pal Singh, SP (Headquarters), Mr Prem Chand, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Commissioner, Mr Jarnail Singh, Divisional Forest Officer, Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal, DDPO, ASMs of all subdivisions and district heads of the departments concerned attended the meeting.

Reviewing progress on the scheme for compulsory medical check-up of safai karamcharis positively within three months, Mr Teja asked the Commissioner, MC, to complete the medical check-up of all safai karamcharis by May end.

Mr Teja informed that the Union Government was making efforts to divert the children of the families engaged in the scavenging to the other safer professions and giving sufficient stipend and financial help to such students in schools.

He asked the District Education Officers to ensure the identification of all such students and provide financial help to each student and also warned that in case of any lapse in identification, the in charge teacher and Head of the school would be held responsible and strict action initiated against him. 



Litterateur Bedi cremated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The mortal remains of litterateur Harjit Singh Bedi, Chairman, Sobha Singh Memorial Foundation, were consigned to flames at Model Town cremation ground today. He passed away yesterday following a cardiac arrest here.

Mr Bedi is survived by his mother, wife Inderjit Kaur Bedi, Principal, Khalsa Senior Secondary School, a son and a daughter.

Among those who attended his cremation were Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, a former minister, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, Mr Gurbhajan Singh Gill, Senior Vice-President, Punjab Sahit Akademi, Dr Sukhwant Kaur Mann, Dean, College of Home Science, PAU. Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Higher Education Minister, expressed condolences on the demise of Harjit Singh Bedi. He said he was a multi-faceted personality and popular for his social and cultural activities. He said with his death Punjab had suffered a big loss.

Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister, in his condolence message said the death of Harjit Singh Bedi had caused a vacuum in cultural and academic circles.

Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, State Minister for Jails, Housing and Urban Development, Mr Rakesh Panday, Printing and Stationery Minister, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, Mr Surinder Dawar, MLA, also expressed their condolences.

In telephonic messages, Mr G.S.Tohra, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, MP, Mr Bhupinder Singh Mann, BKU, and former ministers Mr Rattan Singh Ajnala and Mr Jasbir Singh Sangrur expressed condolences.

Harjit Singh Bedi had been vice-chairman of the Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation and a life member of the Punjab Sahit Akademi. He had performed bhangra 16 times in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. He served in the Central Excise and Customs Department and had recently retired as Assistant Commissioner Excise and Customs, Amritsar. He was the author of two books "Aandran Di Dor" and "Adhuri Guftagoo". 



Langars, prayers mark Mahavir Jayanti
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, April 15
Mahavir Jayanti was celebrated at all Jain temples with fervour here today. Prayers were held in the morning, followed by langars. The Sharman Jain Yuvak Mandal, Sunder Nagar, organised a langar in the colony. Mr Arun Jain, President of the mandal, and Mr Anil Jain, member, said that the langar was served from the morning till evening.

Members of the People for Animals celebrated Mahavir Jayanti by distributing sweets to workers and labourers at PFA Hospital, Jeev Kalyan Kendra and Bhagwan Mahavir Abhayshala. Prayers were offered for the speedy recovery of animals. This was stated by Mr Ajay Jain, general secretary of the local chapter of the PFA here.

Meanwhile, in a press note, he stated the PFA’s hospital and animal shelter at Mandeep Nagar had been shifted to Mangat Road, Khwaje Ke. 



Miraculous escape for bus passengers
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 15
Thirtyfive passengers had a miraculous escape when a Punjab Roadways bus, by which they were travelling, overturned while trying to avoid a cow on the G.T. Road near Libra village, 4 km from here, today.

According to information, when the bus, coming from Amritsar to Delhi, reached near the village, a cow came in front of it. The driver in trying to avoid it lost control over the bus. The bus overturned, but all passengers in it had a miraculous escape. Only the driver, Nasib Singh, received minor injuries.

The conductor of the bus, Jagir Singh, said nobody from the patrolling party on the national highway reached on the spot. They were forced to hire a private crane to lift the bus, he said.

The in charge of the national highway toll point could not be contacted for comments.



MCPI slams govt on fee hike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 15
The Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) has condemned the steep hike in the fees of educational institutions, including colleges and universities, along with a manifold hike in hostel expenses.

The secretary, state committee of the MCPI, Mr Kuldip Singh, said in a statement here today that the Punjab Government had imposed heavy taxes, in the name of user charges, upon the poor and middle class people which would push health and other services out of reach of the common people. “By levying these taxes, the government has exposed its anti-people face,” he added.

The party urged upon the Congress government in Punjab to immediately withdraw these taxes and other anti-people measures.



Four arrested for piracy
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, April 15
Four local traders have been arrested and cases under the Copyright Act registered for being in possession of pirated CDs which were seized from their shops. Most of the pirated CDs were of T-Series company and its associate companies. The seized CDs also included some pornographic movies.

According to Mr A.S.Rai, SSP, Sangrur, a police team raided various shops. The team seized pirated CDs from the shops of Surinder Kumar, alias Bhola, Rajesh Kumar, Anurag Sharma and Balbir Verma. The CDs were examined by the representatives of T-Series Company who found these to be pirated. Some porno CDs were seized from the shop of Balbir Verma. Cases under Sections 51and 52A of the Copyright Act and 420, 292 and 293 of the IPC have been registered.


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