Sunday, April 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Vigilance Bureau books SHO for assaulting DSP
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Inspector Paramjit Singh seen at the house of Dr Amarjit Singh
Inspector Paramjit Singh (L) seen at the house of Dr Amarjit Singh, where a vigilance team conducted a raid late Friday night. — Photo Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, April 19
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau has booked Punjab Police Inspector Paramjit Singh, posted as Station House Officer (SHO) of Sadar police station here, on the charges of assaulting a DSP (Vigilance) on duty and interfering with his work while the vigilance officer was heading a raid in the house of a government doctor at Ghumar Mandi late last night.

The district police has also taken action against the ‘erring’ police official by transferring him to the police lines with immediate effect, pending inquiry. SP (city-II) Pritam Singh told TNS that the district police was yet to receive an official report from the Vigilance Department but had acted on the verbal communication between the senior officers on the issue.

Mr Pritam Singh said the accused official was, however, claiming that he was being falsely implicated in the case.

The Vigilance Bureau revealed that they had sent a detailed and strongly worded report to the local police official and the state government today afternoon regarding the behaviour and interference of the accused police official. The report has demanded immediate suspension of the police official. The report has demanded that the district police should arrest the accused police officer and hand him over to the vigilance. The report used words that the conduct of the police officer was absurd, unreasonable and irresponsible.

Inspector Paramjit Singh  allegedly tried to run away with a file containing some documents relating to his personal property and investments. The file was kept in the almirah in the house of Dr Amarjit Singh Grewal, who was caught red-handed by the vigilance while indulging in private practice.

The alleged action of the police official overshadowed the original vigilance raid against Dr Amarjit Singh, a medical officer posted at Mahsanpur village near Phillaur. He was running a private clinic from his house even though the state government was paying him non-practising allowance.

SSP (Vigilance ) Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu told TNS that investigation of the records of the doctor have found that he possessed movable and immovable property worth over Rs 1crore. His monthly salary was, however, about Rs 30,000, including all allowances.

Mr Sandhu said they have found several fixed deposit certificates, LIC policies, land property, credit cards and gold jewellery possessed by the doctor. The vigilance has also found details of a bank account in the name of his sister, who is an NRI but had given blank cheques to the doctor.

Mr Sandhu said a regular vigilance inquiry or registration of a case under Prevention of Corruption Act would be registered against the Punjab Police official if further evidence was found against him. So far the vigilance has found LIC and UTI shares worth over Rs 2 lakh from the file that the police official was trying to run away with.

The incident took place late last night at about 10.30 p.m. A regular vigilance raid turned into a high-pitch drama when SHO, Sadar, Inspector Paramjit Singh, a close friend and a neighbour of the doctor, came and obstructed the raid. According to Mr Sandhu, the police official was concerned about some files and documents, which he had kept with the doctor.

The police official could not find the documents in the almirah and then brought the wife of the doctor. The woman showed him the documents in an almirah. The police official tucked the documents under his shirt and tried to escape but was confronted by the vigilance team headed by DSP Darshan Singh.

Inspector Paramjit Singh was absconding today. He was neither available at his house nor in the police station. However, his gunmen and the official police gypsy was found in his residence.

Meanwhile, investigations have revealed details of the Inspector’s property to be worth Rs 50 lakh.

Mr Sandhu said this was just a tip of the iceberg as the details were found from one file only. They suspected that the cops had several such files and have urged the state government to institute a regular inquiry into his assets. He had sent the details to senior officers for necessary action.

Meanwhile, Dr Amarjit Singh has stated that he was unaware about the documents of Inspector Paramjit Singh in his house.



Harvesting of crop amidst threats
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Bhupana (Ludhiana), April 19
The panchayat of Bhupana village today succeeded in peaceful harvesting of wheat crop in a 60-acre piece of land amidst high tension in the area due to the threats of damage to the crop by alleged land-grabbers. The ownership of the land was mired in a controversy for the past over six months and a number of bloody clashes had taken place in the past.

A team of civil administration officials and a heavy posse of police force posted specially in the area for launching the harvest process ensured that the threats of dire consequences made by the alleged land-grabbers do not materialise.

A team of officials of the district administration reached the spot early in the morning accompanied by a strong posse of police and started the harvesting of the crop. Mr Surinder Kumar, Naib Tehsildar (Magistrate), Koom Kalan, supervised the entire operation by providing sufficient police force in the early morning today.

Talking to TNS at the spot, Mr Surinder Kumar said that the harvesting operation started in the early morning in the presence of the police force, villagers and members of the village panchayat.

Mr B.S. Dhillon, DSP, Sahnewal, and Mr Inderjit Singh, SHO, Koom Kalan, were present in the fields. According to the members of the panchayat, the villagers were being threatened by the land-grabbers that if they resorted to the harvesting of crop, the latter would set the crop ablaze.

They further said the influential land-grabbers had got the record manipulated in their favour allegedly in connivance with the officials of the Consolidation Department, but later through the court orders and perusal of the record by the SDM the ownership of the land measuring 154 acres had been restored to the village panchayat.

Mr Manjit Singh, a member of the panchayat, said at the time of cultivation the alleged land-grabbers had tried to recapture the possession of the land. The timely intervention by the administration had ensured that the cultivation of wheat was done by the panchayat with the help of police force. Till then the panchayat had been receiving threats from the other party and the members had complains to the Deputy Commissioner about the situation, who directed the SDM (East) to look into the matter and take necessary steps to save the crop. The SDM, Ms Bhawna Garg, had deputed a Naib Tehsildar for the job and directed to deposit the remuneration of the wheat of 60 acres in the account of the village panchayat.

Mr Bhinderpal Singh, Mr Rajinderpal Singh, Ms Parmjit Kaur, members of the panchayat and Mr Manjit Singh Mani, along with more than a dozen villagers, were witnessing the harvesting operation. The Naib Tehsildar said the whole operation would be completed by tomorrow and the wheat crop would be sold in the mandi and the returns be deposited in Panchayat’s account. 



Govt houses under unlawful occupation
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 19
A large number of government houses in CRPF Colony of Urban Estate, Phase I, have been occupied by unauthorised persons for more than five years now without attracting any attention of the administration. On the other hand, there is an exhaustive waiting list of applicants in different categories who are yet to be given government accommodation.

Sources told Ludhiana Tribune that there were quite a few police and Home Guard personnel among the unauthorised occupants. Since the persons had no official allotment of the houses in their names, they were not paying any rent to the government, while continuing to claim the house rent.

Moreover, being in unlawful occupation, they were not entitled to obtain water and power connections. Consequently they had opted for the easier alternative of going for “kundi” connections and illegal water connections with the result that other residents in the colony had to face problems like frequent tripping of power supply and low voltage due to unauthorised load on the transformer.

The Government Rented Colony Welfare Association has been repeatedly taking up the matter of proceeding against those indulging in power and water theft as well as providing three-phase power supply to the colony to counter the persistent problem of low voltage and tripping but to no avail. The residents have now lodged a complaint with the Vigilance Bureau of Punjab Police to book government employees allegedly causing loss to the state exchequer by evading payment of rent and committing theft of power and water.



Fleecing by schools to stop: Johar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 19
Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Higher Education Minister, Punjab has asserted that no private school will be allowed to fleece the parents by way of hefty donations for admissions and other annual funds. These schools will not be allowed to run as commercial establishments, he added.

Mr Johar was reacting to the complaints of a large number of speakers who spoke at a function organised last night at Model Town here to honour him on his induction in the Punjab Cabinet.

The minister said to streamline the entire higher education system concrete steps had been taken during the past two weeks and the government had decided to fully release the 95 per cent grant-in-aid to all paivate aided colleges in the state. He said the quality of education in colleges and schools would improve after the implementation of the new education policy of the state and the infrastructure in the field of education would also be strengthened.

Mr Johar also announced that Punjabi language would be used in the day-to-day working of the government offices and strict action would be taken against the erring officials.

He said the Language Bhavan which was constructed at Patiala during the previous Congress regime was found in a bad shape during checking by him a few days ago and he had ordered PWD official to repair the bhavan. The Deputy Commissioner, Patiala, had been asked to properly maintain the bhavan.

Mr Johar said the government was fully committed to further carrying out the anti-corruption drive launched in the state to wipe out the menace from all levels and warned corrupt officials to fall in line lest they be dealt with sternly. He said with the adoption of strict financial measures, the condition of the government had improved and the present year was being celebrated as a development year.

On this occasion, newly appointed president of the Block Congress Block No. 15 Pt Brij Mohan, was also installed. Among others who spoke were Mr Prem Mittal; Senior Deputy Mayor, Mrs Susheel Gupta, Deputy Mayor, Mr Bittu Bhullar, Mr Inderjit Tonny, Mr Amarjit Singh Matharoo, Mr Bharat Bhaushan Ashu, Mr Sat Pal Puri and Mr Balkar Singh and Mr Jagdish Marwaha.



Cong scooter rally against Centre tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 19
The District Congress Committee (Urban) will organise a scooter rally here on April 21 to lodge protest against such policies of the Union Government that were having an adverse impact on traders and industries, farmers and working classes. The party MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, will flag off the rally from the Congress office.

This was announced by the DCC President, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, while addressing a party workers meeting at Congress Bhavan here today. He said the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre had burdened all sections of the people with heavy taxes and the small-scale sector, already reeling under recessionary trends, was slapped with the Central excise which had created a chaotic situation in the industry here. The wrong and arbitrary policies of the government had pushed a large number of industrial units towards closure and the trade was also feeling the pinch with the result that there was widespread resentment among the people.

In a bid to focus on the problems of the farmers, trade and industry, the Congress activists would take out a scooter rally from Congress Bhavan to Mini Secretariat through Clock Tower, Domoria Bridge, Kailash Chowk, Old Courts Chowk, Ghumar Mandi, Aarti Chowk and Bhai Bala Chowk. The party would submit a memorandum to the President of India through the Deputy Commissioner for issuing directions to the government for a thorough review of the anti-people policies.

Mr Bawa expressed gratitude to the AICC President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, for holding a national convention of block presidents in Delhi on March 28 and 29 and providing guidelines to them for strengthening and consolidating the party at the grassroots.

Prominent among those present at the meeting were Mr Surjit Singh, Mr Kirpal Singh, Mr Chanchal Singh, Mr Param Vir, Mr Harchand Singh Dhir, Mr Harjasdip Singh, Mr Satwinder Singh Jawaddi, Mr Mohinder Pal Saini, Mr Gurmel Singh Mela, Mr Vidya Sagar Rampal, Mr Mulkh Raj, Mr Badal Singh Sidhu, Dr Parshotam Lal Verma, Mr Palwinder Singh Taggar, Dr Harbans Kaur, Mr Komal Khanna, Mr Mohammed Naseem Ansari, Mr Hem Raj Aggarwal, Mr Ashok Makkar, Lala Jiwan Kumar and Mr Subhash Kharbanda.



Cong MLAs, leaders seek DC’s transfer
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Congress leaders and workers are up in arms seeking the transfer of the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner. The campaign is reportedly spearheaded by two MLAs and other district office-bearers who have met the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, also on this issue. They are learnt to have cited various instances where they have not been given due respect by the district administration.

It is learnt that the Congress leaders have clarified to the Chief Minister that it would be difficult for them to seek public cooperation as long as the present set-up in the district administration continued. One of the MLAs, when contacted, said it was regretful that despite the Congress government being in power, the Congress workers were feeling alienated. He said the workers have started feeling that the officers during the previous Akali-Badal regime were more cooperative with them, than the existing lot.

A delegation of the Congress leaders reportedly also met the Chief Minister in Delhi reiterating their demand for the transfer of the DC. They reportedly brought to the notice of the Chief Minister the sense of alienation and resentment among the workers as they were feeling marginalised. The MLA observed that the working of the present set-up in the district administration had created wrong impression on the public. “When our own workers were feeling disillusioned, how could we expect others to be satisfied... it is creating a wrong public opinion in the district”, the MLApointed out.

In a related development, the senior vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, in a letter addressed to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has listed various problems being faced by the workers and leaders. In the letter, he alleged that even senior Congress leaders were being victimised on one pretext or the other. He alleged that there was a total lack of responsiveness in the administration and the workers and even senior party leaders were kept waiting outside the offices of various officers.

Seeking a total revamp of the district administration, Mr Tikka said the sooner it was done, the better it would be for the party. He suggested in his letter to the Chif Minister to ask the opinion of party workers and legislators and all of them would in one voice seek change in the administrative set-up. The letter contains a long list of allegations against the district administration. He has demanded an inquiry into all issues, to restore the confidence of people in the government. He pointed out that the good work being done by the Chief Minister was being negated in Ludhiana, thanks to an indifferent administration which did not seem to care much about people. 



Salespersons’ menace irks residents
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 19
City residents are a harassed lot because of the growing menace of door-to-door salespersons in the city. A number of housewives have objected such visits by the salesmen/women who prefer to sell their products during afternoons when male members of the family are away to work.

These salespersons sell products ranging from carpets, plastic items, soaps, detergents, foil papers, blankets, kitchen products.

Madhvi Garg, a resident of Dandi Swami, said she was going to be cheated by a person a few days ago. “It was afternoon and I was alone with my two-year-old daughter. A person, posing as a salesman, came and claimed that he had a polish which could bring back the lusture and shine of old gold ornaments. But I refused to give him my ornaments. The next day I came to know that the same person had cheated a neighbour by removing layers of gold from her ornaments.”

In another incident, a young woman complained that a salesman with some detergents and soaps came to her house when she was alone. “He came in the afternoon and I was sleeping that time. He started showing me the products. When I told him that I did not want to buy anything, he asked for a glass of water. I gave him water but he kept standing there and started staring at me. I had to call a neighbour as I was very scared. He stood there for five minutes and then went away.”

The residents say that these salespersons support their products by false claims and promising after-sales service. One can never contact these persons when the need arises.

One of the residents complained that such a practice could lead to serious crimes because criminals in the garb of salespersons could befool housewives who are alone at home in the afternoon.

Surprisingly, salespersons have also started approaching motorists at traffic lights for selling their products which can add to the already growing incidents of theft from vehicles and can also lead to accidents. The residents said companies should issue proper identification cards to these salespersons to avoid unpleasant incidents.



People continue to be superstitious 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 19
“I generally faint at the sight of blood, but can you imagine that I go and donate blood for the jail inmates as I am told by the worldly-wise and sagacious people that if one donates blood, then one will not be hospitalised. So I make it an annual feature,” says Mr Vishal Dhir. “So far I have not been hospitalised, touch wood”, he says. Meet the modern crop of generation. Vishal is an IT professional, but still he is steeped in superstitions. So what, if we have marched into the new millennium, one cannot kiss good-bye to the superstitions that are embedded deep into our psyche.

Many a person go to Central Jail to partake food with the jailmates so that they can ward off ever going to jail for some or other reason. It is not easy to gain entry into jail, so they somehow get to know relatives of jail inmates and gain entry into jail just to eat food with the prisoners.

It was a grisly sight to see men walk with big-nailed wooden shoes on the women lying in hundreds on their stomachs somewhere in Tamil Nadu. Superstition goes that if the barren women bear this torture, they will beget a child.

Superstitions persist and modern movie and serial-makers also use the subject of ‘supernatural’ in movies as people have fascination for the things that are inexplicable. Or else how can an average movie ‘Raaz’ be a box-office hit where other grander and lofty movies have failed.

People do not wash clothes on Thursdays and become vegetarians on Tuesdays and Fridays. Saturday is the day of Saturn and one can see a host of young boys at the roundabouts keeping the image of ‘shani’ steeped in oil. People will give anything to ward off ‘shani’.

The superstitions are prevalent the world over. Number 13 is considered unlucky in the West. No 13 and a Friday is a deadly combination as Christ was crucified on Friday and was dining with 12 other people and betrayed by Judas. So there is no 13th floor in the hotels. In the modern city of Chandigarh, there is no Sector 13.



Easter, celebration of new life
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 19
Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus for millions of Christians worldwide. The name Easter is derived from the Easter festival, named after the pagan goddess of spring. Accordingly it encompasses the celebration of rebirth and new life.

“Before Easter celebrations, we hold prayers of ‘thanksgiving’ in the hall of Christian Dental College. The students of Christian Medical, Dental and Nursing colleges arrange this beautiful service called ‘Sunrise Service’. Of course, pastors conduct the service which is largely attended by students and doctors residing on the CMC campus.” said Dr Joy Joshi, Principal of Christian Dental College.

After this service a special Easter Service is held in all churches of the city around 10 am.” We greet each other, host lunches for our friends and exchange Easter eggs. On the whole a spirit of bonhomie prevails. Easter is a celebration of hope in the face of the human predicament. God raised Jesus on the third day of his death and rising from death is a remarkable thing and hence we celebrate,” says Dr Molly Joshi, chief dietician at the CMC.

“Easter is associated with hot cross buns, Easter bunnies, celebration cakes and all these are available in plenty in the bakeries near the CMC. We exchange greetings and share these alluring bakery products with our friends,” says John Baptist. Of all symbols associated with Easter, the egg, a symbol of fertility and new life, is most identifiable. The tradition of using eggs has been synonymous with Easter for centuries.

Two traditional favourite games played on Easter are called the Easter egg hunt and the Easter egg roll. On Easter morning, children join in a search to find eggs that the Easter Bunny has hidden while they were asleep. 



‘Stringent laws needed to check female foeticide'
Our Correspondent

Anand Murti Guru Preeti HariLudhiana, April 19
" Female foeticide is a blot on humanity. I have taken this social issue in my discourses. When there are laws for attempt to murder, then why are there no stringent laws against foeticide. The unborn girl should be given a chance to take birth for she might turn out to be another Kalpana Chawla or Kiran Bedi. The families that practise female foeticide have no right to worship Goddess Durga". These were the views expressed by Guru Preeti Hari, addressed reverentially as Holiness Anand Murti Guru Maa by her followers. She was talking to mediapersons at a press meeting held today.

Guru Preeti Hari will be giving spiritual discourses from April 20 to 24 at Puda Grounds here.

She further said the desire for a male child was common among all sections of the society for people thought that a boy would take care of them in old age, besides economic reasons.

Besides carrying the progeny, a son was also desired for religious reasons for the son would light their pyre after their death. She emphasised that gender bias had to go as girls were proving their mettle in various fields.

She said, "I want the common man to develop spiritualism and use sadhna as stressbusters. Those who practise sadhna and yoga are better equipped to handle everyday stress."



Tapping talents of ex-servicemen
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
To encourage interaction between industrialists and defence personnel, the Director, Resettlement Zone (West), under the aegis of Headquarters Western Command, Chandimandir is organising an interactive session between defence personnel and industrialists at Punjab Agricultural University here tomorrow.

Industrialists and ex-servicemen from all parts of the state will attend the session. According to the Director, Resettlement Zone, thousands of highly trained, disciplined and dedicated defence personnel take retirement from the forces every year. But this highly productive work force, which can be an asset for the nation, remains highly underutilised and even neglected. The reason lies in the inability of the job markets to tap this talent largely due to ignorance about the abilities and the talents of the ex-servicemen.

To encourage interaction among the ex-servicemen and the industrialists, who provide employment to hundreds of workers, the interactive session is being organised. ‘‘The most prominent image of an ex-serviceman is that of a security guard standing outside the business establishments and shop fronts, whereas the same man could be capable of managing stores, handling the production front and even coming up with an efficient management system for handling the operations of an establishment. Tapping the right talent among the ex-servicemen could also benefit the employers immensely, particularly those who want to run their establishments with a professional approach and increase their productivity. ’’ the Director said. 



Bank employees’ strike on May 21
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 19
The local unit of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation (PBEF) organised a rally at Bharat Nagar Chowk branch of the State Bank of Patiala to observe 58th Foundation Day of the All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) today. The meeting was addressed among others by Mr Naresh Gaur, secretary, Mr Ashok Awasthy, president, and Mr V.K. Sood, senior vice-president of the local unit.

The leaders said members of the AIBEA would observe a nationwide strike on May 21 against government policies of disinvestment, privatisation, joblessness, concession to the private capital, domestic environment and attacks on workers and trade unions.

The speakers criticised the attempts to allow foreign stake in banks. “Everything is being sold out. The country is being mortgaged to foreign capital. The very sovereignty of the country is at stake.”

Activists of the PBEF further remarked that the fanatics and fundamentalists were diverting people’s attention from alarming economic issues.



Ahmedgarh without basic necessities

Ahmedgarh, the town named after the Nawab of Malerkotla state, Sir Ahmed ali Khan, is situated at the distance of 28 KM from the industrial city of Ludhiana. The city is well known due to the famous Gandhi Chowk, which has eight roads leading to different destinations. There are thousands of people who daily commute from here to Ludhiana on account of business or otherwise. Daily commuters have to face many hardships during the journey. The buses, instead of entering the city bus-stand, go directly through Pohir village, which is 3 km away from the city. The commuters, thus, have no alternative but to either go to Pohir, or wait for another bus for their destination, causing undue delays. Similarly, the trains are also very late at the railway station and the passengers have to wait for hours on end.

Further, Ahmedgarh is devoid of basic necessities like gardens, children parks etc. where the parents can take their wards during leisure time. There is no proper maintenance of the municipal children’s park and the swings installed in the park are in broken condition. There is no school that provides quality of education to the children. There is no proper sewerage or drainage system. Sometimes sullage overflows, spreading stench around.

Councillors fail to regulate the water supply in the city. In some localities, water flows like a fountain and in others, running water is a luxury. The people, thus, have to either install water lifting pumps or depend on neighbours to meet their requirement. The condition of city roads too is deplorable.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ahmedgarh

Release DA instalment

Release of one more DA installment at the rate of 3 per cent, effective from January, 2003, by the Central Government is welcome. It will raise the quantum of DA/DR from 52 to 55 per cent of the basic pay/pension.

More than 7 lakh Punjab government employees, including those working in various boards and corporations have urged the Punjab Finance Minister to release the instalment at the earliest in the wake of substantial improvement in the financial health of the state, which is evident from the substantial increase in the salaries and various allowances of Punjab Ministers and MLAs.

Meanwhile, the Union Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, has been requested to merge the 50 per cent DA/DR in the basic pay/pension for all purposes, including retirement benefits in accordance with the recommendations of the 5th Central Pay Commission.

Yash Paul Ghai, Ludhiana

In defence of Sacred Heart

Apropos to some newspaper reports, wherein certain allegations have been levelled against Sacred Heart Convent School, Ludhiana, I being an ex-student of this esteemed institution, would like to offer my comments as under.

“Presently, the number of schools offering quality education are very few and Sacred Heart Convent School is one of the schools that has been rendering services to society since a long time. The school believes in educational relations that make the strongest tie and due to this educational bond, I have been provoked emotionally to stand by my alma mater in these adverse moments.

It has been 10 years since I passed out and I have seen the school grow and develop day by day by its own means and on its merits. The sisters are like a family to me. They serve the school selflessly. These pious and humble ladies strive to serve the mankind giving up all the worldly desires and lead a saintly life.

Children from all aspects of society come and study together under one roof like a family. Such is the magic of this school that people, parents and students have always come forward by themselves and offered services to the school. The allegations fake and bogus and there must be some misconception somewhere, but we all know that school and the teachers have been a pillar of strength for everyone. Selfless service and quality education is what the school aims at.”

Rajni Sethi, Ludhiana

USA is the ‘terrorist’

Seeing the present attack of the USA on Iraq, it looks as if world has become impotent to stand united in the face of this hegemony. The leaders of the world, including India, have failed in condemning the attack. The plea of the USA for the invasion is akin to a wolf attacking a lamb giving untenable reasons.

So far the question of having chemical and deadly weapons with Iraq are concerned, I think, the USA is having the largest stock of most lethal and destructive weapons. If it requires US certification for Iraq to stock such arms, then who has authorised America to compile such a big stock of N-weapons? Why is the whole world silent on this issue ?

No doubt N weapons are dangerous for the destruction of human race but why did USA keep quiet when Pakistan threatened India with the use of N-Weapons recently ? Whatever happened in the past, be it the attack on Indian parliament and many other terrorist activities in India, it has been confirmed that these are being executed by Pakistan.

Is it justifiable for the USA to initiate unilateral action against Saddam Hussein, who is the constitutionally elected President of his country ? It is surprising to see a head of a state asking another head to either to leave his country or be ready to face an attack.

To curb terrorism and to destroy chemical weapons in Iraq is only an excuse while the real motive behind this attack is their economic interests, primarily to consolidate its hold over.

As for the question of who is the terrorist, I think, and all would agree that the most powerful terrorist today is the USA. Except Saddam Hussein no world leader has dared and challenged USA. If Bush and Blair - who have not bothered about the world opinion and consent of UN- how can one expect that they will spare those who raise their voice against inhuman activities and hegemony.

Kuldeep Singh Kreer, Ludhiana



Strike-hit labourer attempts suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
The over three weeks’ long and ongoing strike by hosiery manufacturers in the city against imposition of new taxes claimed its first victim yesterday when a poverty-stricken labourer set himself ablaze on the premises of a hosiery unit in Shiv Puri here last evening. He also caused injuries to the hosiery owner when he embraced him after setting himself on fire.

The labourer, Jai Ram, has been admitted to the CMC Hospital in a serious condition. Doctors said he sustained over 90 per cent burns.

The hosiery owner Rajinder Kumar also suffered injuries on his arms. Sources said Jai Ram was short of money because of the strike as he was out of work. The hosiery manufacturer was bearing the costs of the labourer’s treatment on humanitarian grounds.



Altercation disrupts traffic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
A minor accident between an Army truck and a Maruti car led to a traffic jam on Jagraon overbridge, near Division No. 5 police station, today. Thought no one was hurt in the accident, an altercation broke out between the driver of the Army truck and the woman who was driving the car.

This is second such incident in just three days. A similar incident took place outside Mini Secretariat two days ago.

According to the police sources, both the drivers were adamant on getting a case registered against the other driver.



MC meeting tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 19
First meeting of the newly elected Municipal councillors to elect the president and vice-president will be held at Municipal Office on April 21.

The SDM, Mr Jaspal Mittal, said it was mandatory to hold a meeting of new councillors within the fortnight of the election.



Councillor booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
A municipal councillor of Kot Mangal Singh, who was earlier involved in a controversy with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) over the issue of power theft, has once again been booked by the city police on charges of threatening a senior executive engineer of the PSEB and interfering with his duty.

The councillor has been booked under Sections 353, 186, 506 and 341 of the IPC.

Milk contractor held: The Jagraon police has booked a milk contractor of Verka Milk Plant on charges of selling off milk worth Rs 50,000. The contractor, Jagmohan Singh, used to supply milk to several villages. However, few days ago he sold more than 900 litres of milk to some private parties without supplying it to the regular customers. The police has arrested the contractor.

Rs 1.5 lakh stolen:
A sum of Rs 1.5 lakh was stolen when four cattle traders were drugged by a man on the Samrala road on Thursday night. Talking to mediapersons, the traders said Kalu from Chandasi village, near Moradabad, had come to them at the cow shed they were staying in at 9 am. Around 11 pm, the man served them with milk containing some intoxicant. The four fell unconscious and were taken to the local Civil Hospital. A case has been registered.



Handle truckers’ stir tactfully: chamber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the government and other semi-government departments to take a soft view of the situation and norms as long as the truckers’ strike continued. The chamber observed that the strike had brought the economy to a screeching halt and it was difficult to stick to the norms and deadlines.

In a statement the president of the chamber, Mr PD Sharma said the truckers’ strike had hit the industry hard. He pointed out that the finished goods were piling up in many industries. Productions were hampered due to non-availability of inputs in others. The cash flow of the industry is badly affected due to this situation. He demanded that the government and semi-government departments and banks should take note of the situation and relax their norms for a while as all the norms could not be met under these circumstances.

Similarly, Mr Sharma said the PSEB was flouting its own norms by issuing bills even before the normal due dates in some cases. He said the sales manual of the PSEB clearly stated that billing programmed for the consumers cannot be changed. This means date of bill cannot be changed. In the current situation the PSEB should rather provide for grace period for the payment of monthly energy bills.


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