Wednesday, April 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Farmers losing produce to ‘night raiders’
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur Dakha, April 29
This is one theft which the farmers are reluctant to talk about but is definitely hurting them the most. Farmers who nurture their crop with sweat and toil for six months and bring their produce to various mandis across the state are having a tough time in warding off an unlikely enemy — hordes of women who attack mounds of wheat in the wee hours and run away with a substantial produce.

This was one aspect that came to fore during a Tribune survey of the mandis in the district. The farmers, especially the elderly ones, were unanimous on the issue of countering the menace but were reluctant to air it openly and cited ridicule by fellow villagers about being “taken in by women” as the reason.

Octogenarian Nachhatar Singh of Boparai village said: “I have been left by my sons to guard our produce along with a servant before the stocks are auctioned. I have to camp in the open and brave the heat and by evening my energy is sapped. The servant too is tired and after midnight it is impossible to keep a vigil. It is when these women, accompanied by children, descend on the mandi and target the elderly farmers. Just a day ago several quintals of my produce were lifted by 15 to 20 women and children as I chased away a small group, which was a diversionary tactic.”

This is not an isolated case. Other farmers too have been victims of this band of women. This gang seemingly operates between 11 and 3 am when most of the farmers are asleep and there are no market committee employees around.

Another elderly farmer, Jagdish Singh of Pamal village, too echoed the same grievance. “I was caught napping the other day at 2 am when this horde attacked my mound. I managed to hobble after some of them but in the meantime another group, which had been waiting nearby, rushed in to fill gunny sacks before running away. By the time I reached back nearly half of the mound was gone, he lamented.

Coming down heavily on their own families, some of them said it was not the job of elderly men to do what should be done by younger men. “But we are told that instead of sitting idle at home we should do something fruitful. The morning tea and meals are brought to us but we are left to fend for ourselves. We do not report most of the thefts since these would not only invite the wrath of our families but also ridicule of villagers of being fooled by women. Such gossip is hard to counter in a village,” narrated a farmer, who requested anonymity.

Other farmers said they had brought the issue to the notice of the authorities but to no avail. A villager said although the market committee was charging Rs 40 as market fee, no security arrangements had been made.

“During night time, the mandi is wide open and anyone is free move. Most of the farmers are fast asleep and awake in the morning only to see a major part of the produce gone. Those fortunate are woken up by neighbours. Now some farmers have come together and take turns to guard their produce round the clock,” they pointed out.

Market committee officials were tight-lipped on the issue but said they were aware of some incidents and would look into the matter.



Farmers pin hopes on migrants’ taste buds
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

VC’s appeal to farmers

Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, has appealed to the farmers of state to avoid early sowing of paddy. He said sowing of paddy nursery should done by May 10 and its transplantation should be undertaken between June 10 and 20. It would ensure optimum yield, water conservation and the control of insect and pests, he added.

He warned that early cultivation of paddy would tax water resources. He said last year 75,000 centrifugal pumps had to be converted into submersible ones due to depletion of water table.

Dr J.S. Kolar, Director, Extension Education, PAU, suggested that only recommended varieties should be sown. These include PR-118, a new variety that takes 158 days to ripen, PR-116, PR-113, PR-114, PR-111, PR-108 and PR-106. PR-115 is recommended for those areas where more than one crop is grown because this crop gets ready between June 20 and 30.

Ludhiana, April 29
Pinning hopes on the local paddy market created by ever-increasing population of migrant labourers in the state, which depends on rice as staple diet, farmers in the state are resorting to harvesting two crops of paddy this season.

Putting strain on the depleting water table, farmers are sowing unrecommended varieties of paddy that suit the taste buds of migrant labourers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Instead of preparing to compete in the international market in view of the WTO regime and caring a little for the preservation of natural resources, the farmers are concentrating on fulfilling the demand of migrant labourers and are sowing crops to suit their needs. The huge and ever-increasing migrant population in Punjab has become a major local market for them.

With an eye on profit, but with scant care for problems of depleting water table, paddy glut and quality of the produce, farmers are resorting to take double produce and cultivating unrecommended varieties of paddy. They claim that the unrecommended rice varieties are liked more by migrant labourers instead of recommended varieties.

Though paddy had created a number of problems for Punjab farmer in the past as the produce was branded as of substandard quality by the FCI, the farmers are not only cultivating the crop this year, but have also decided to sow two short-duration varieties one after the other.

Most farmers have already prepared nurseries of PUSA or Satha varieties, which will be transplanted soon and mature in the month of August. “We know there will be no procurement agency in the market at that time, but we have consumers right at our doorstep. We will sell our produce to the migrant labourers,” said Mr Rajinder Pal Singh, a farmer of Mohi village.

“We have already struck a deal with our labourers that we will remunerate them in kind for working in our fields. So the first crop will go to our labourers. It will ensure free labour for us throughout the year. After taking the first crop, we will sow Govinda or Satha variety. This crop will be ready by mid-October and we will sell it in the market,” he said. He added that he would cultivate paddy on 25 acres of his land and had not thought about diversification as yet.

Govinda variety matures in 70 days and the Satha variety matures in 60 days. A farmer of Jagraon subdivision, Mr Maghar Singh, said he would transplant these varieties in 15 acres of his land. The harvesting would be complete by August. After that, he would sow another variety of the same crop, which would mature after 70 days, he added.

Despite the fact that the PAU scientists had advised farmers to utilise some area, presently under paddy cultivation, for sowing other crops, the farmers had not paid any heed to the suggestion. The PAU scientists had also recommended that the farmers should sow only late varieties of paddy in view of the depleting water table. According to them, such varieties required less water and were less susceptible to attack by certain pests and diseases.



PHRC inquiry against DC, ADC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
The Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC) has ordered an inquiry against the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Agarwal, and the Additional Deputy Commissioner (general), Mr Rahul Bhandhari, on the complaint of Ms Asha Bhateja, who had alleged that the two officers had been harassing her husband, Mr Pradeep Bhateja. The Divisional Commissioner, Patiala, has been asked to conduct an inquiry and file the report within six weeks.

In the complaint, Ms Bhateja had alleged that Mr Agarwal and Mr Bhandari in connivance with the police had been harassing her husband. She had stated that her husband had been running a business with Mr Sanjay Garg, who happened to be a close relative of Mr Agarwal. According to her, Mr Agarwal and Mr Bhandari were now trying to pressurise her husband to pay a sum of Rs 17 lakh to Mr Garg, despite the fact that the issue had been resolved amicable a few years ago and no dues were pending with him.

The commission observed: “It is a clear case of violation of human rights”. It further said: “The commission feels it appropriate that the Divisional Commissioner, Patiala, shall inquire into the matter and submit a report to the commission within six weeks from the receipt of this order.” A copy of the order has also been sent to the Chief Secretary Punjab. The case will come up for hearing on June 12.

Ms Bhateja had alleged that in October, 2002 her husband was “detained illegally and made to sign some blank papers, which the complainant apprehends may be used to implicate them in false criminal cases.”

Ms Bhateja had made representations to the President of India, the Deputy Prime Minister of India, the Chief Justice of India, the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Punjab Chief Minister and the Punjab State Human Rights Commission.

The complainant had alleged that her husband and Mr Garg had stayed together in the business till 1997. After that they had mutually parted ways and everything had been settled amicably. She claimed that at the behest of Mr Garg, the DC and the ADC were now allegedly putting pressure on her husband to pay the sum to Mr Garg, although her husband was not liable to pay “even a single penny” to him.

She had also accused the DC and the ADC of issuing directions to different departments, especially Sales Tax Department, Industrial Department and Punjab Financial Corporation, for making inquiries regarding sales tax, machinery and loan amount by taking advantage of their “dominating position” where as her husband had been running his business as per norms of the departments and bylaws.

Mr Agarwal and Mr Bhandari had earlier refuted the allegations and said the action and inquiries against Mr Bhateja were started on the basis of a complaint against him that he had furnished wrong details in regard to setting up of his factory for which he had taken a loan from the Punjab Financial Corporation.



Police rebuts Gosain’s claims
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
Despite the ongoing inquiries into the involvement of senior officers in the police pay-off scandal exposed through video tapes made by two alleged satta operators, the Ludhiana police today categorically denied the involvement of any senior officer in the alleged scandal.

Reacting strongly to the allegations levelled by former Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain yesterday in which he had demanded dismissal of senior police officers of the district, Mr Harpreet Singh Sidhu has, in a signed statement, refuted all allegations.

The SSP claimed that Mr Gosain had levelled allegations against him since the district police had refused to succumb to his pressure to get favourable decisions in certain criminal cases pending against him and his close supporters.

The statement also said there was no involvement, patronage or support of any senior police officer in the recent case involving satta operators. The police said it had registered several cases against the two alleged satta operators. The statement also listed three FIRs that were pending against Mr Gosain and his close supporters.

Mr Sidhu claimed that Mr Gosain had visited his office a few days ago to get the cases cancelled but he did not succumb to the pressure.

The police statement also highlighted the two cases registered earlier against Jagjit Singh Chawla alias Bittu Chawla and Subhash Chander Katty.

The statement asserted that during the past two years, three cases each had been registered against Bittu Chalwa and Subhash Katty. In all, 17 cases under various Sections had been registered against both of them.

“It is due to the action being taken against them that the accused resorted to protecting themselves by bribing junior officials to obtain their support,” said the statement.

It also rebutted the claims that a case registered against Subhash Katty was presented for cancellation in a lok adalat.

“Neither was any summon issued in any such case nor was this case taken up in the lok adalat. This is a false and baseless statement,” claimed the police.

Regarding the police officials involved in satta operation, Mr Sidhu stated that legal action has already been taken against them.



Hosiery manufacturers’ stir fizzling out
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
The month long strike by hosiery manufacturers against the imposition of central excise on knitted fabrics, garments and textile goods appears to be fizzling out as most of the units have started production albeit in a clandestine manner. At the same time, the manufacturers have pinned their hopes on the ongoing debate in Parliament on the issue which is like to conclude by tomorrow. Only then a clear picture will emerge.

The hosiery manufacturers are still not getting themselves registered with the Central Excise Department here. The department sources disclosed that less than 500 manufacturers had got themselves registered for the excise duty. The department, it is learnt, is also taking a lenient view for the time being since nothing is clear as yet. The department will like act after the situation gets clear in the Parliament in a couple of days.

The hosiery manufacturers are taking the plea that they would be forced out of business in case the government goes ahead with its decision of imposing duty on all manufacturers. They are demanding some exemption of at least up to Rs 1 crore. However, the experts maintain that most of the hosiery manufacturers will show their turnover at less than Rs 1 crore leaving sufficient scope for evasion.

Although the hosiery manufacturers have already met the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister, the textile Minister and other senior political leaders, in this connection they are still not certain whether the government will withdraw the duty or grant some exemption limit. It is learnt that some experts in the Union Finance Ministry is strongly opposed to any such exemption as this causes large scale evasion.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders including the Ludhiana MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, the DCC president, Mr K.K. Bawa, the Pradesh Congress Committee General Secretary Dr Harbans Kaur, MLAs Mr Milkiat Singh Dakha and Mr Surinder Dawer, the senior vice president of the Punjab Youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan and General Secretary of the PCC legal cell Rana Harjasdeep Singh today submitted a memorandum to the President seeking his intervention for the withdrawal of excise duty. 




The famous Fountain Chowk is one of the landmarks of the city, but the fountain seems to have run dry. The roundabout had got its name from the fountain that used to be on in the evenings and on many occasions the day too. But for those new to the city, the Fountain Chowk has a fountain in name only. Though, the pipes of the fountain still exist, but there is hardly an occasion when the fountain is on. Some readers have suggested that the administration may rename this chowk as “traffic chaos chowk”.

Innovative farmer

People in Punjab can really be innovative at times. A smart farmer on the outskirts of the city came up with a clever way to transport three different vehicles at one time, saving time and fuel in the process. He tied a ‘rehra’ (cart) to his tractor and put his scooter on top of the cart. The innovation provided enough space for the entire team of labourers to travel from the city to the farm. Who says sons of the soil can’t be smart.

Sweet invitations

Even as the number of health freaks in increasing day by day and people are choosing their food very carefully, Ludhianvis are yet to follow suit if the tradition of offering sweets with an invitation for a function is any indication. With a population of 25 lakh, every household receives more than five to 10 invitations in a week and hence the same number of boxes carrying sweets. Nobody would like to consume five to 10 kg of sweets or even more within a week. So the lion’s share of these sweets go to servants, who have also got tried of these. Does not it amount to wastage? It would be better if the hosts present a potted plant with the invitation and save the environment at the same time.

Amateurish note?

Ransom notes are always scary. But the district police recovered a very unique ransom note on Sunday. Instead of being threatening, the ransom note was quite humorous. The note was sent to the family of a former Senior Deputy Mayor of the local Municipal Corporation. The note received by the family said, ‘‘ Aap Ka Bacha, beta yan beti, theek hai or mere pass hai. Vapis chahiye to 10 lakh rupaye dene parenge. Itne na huye to kam bhi chalen ge. Agli jankari ke liye fountain chowk ke pass ek eent(brick) ke nitche slip parri milegi’’. The attempt to kidnap the child was foiled yesterday.

Out of syllabus

Out of syllabus question papers are give examination blues to every student. Just like every other year, this year, too, some questions were out of syllabus like the Punjabi General paper of BA Part I. As many as 60 per cent of questions were out of syllabus much to the horror of the students taking that exam. Ten days earlier a 10-mark question was out of syllabus in the Punjabi General-A paper. Students want some accountability from the university conducting examinations. ‘‘What is the idea of giving out of syllabus questions and then awarding grace marks when students raise hue and cry,' ask the irate students.

Proxy leaders

Barring a few exceptions, the 20 plus woman councillors in the city hardly interact with the people they represent and it is either their husbands or in some cases their sons who practically perform all jobs that they are supposed to carry out. The reason is not hard to find because a majority of these women have no political grooming or experience in public life and they happen to have been elected to the posts for the sole reason that one third of city wards are reserved for women. The Sentinel had one such experience when one of local women councillors was asked to comment on the political tussle in the locality, which had caused inordinate delay in repairs of a tubewell. She said ‘‘ Ghar dian naal gall kar lao (Talk to my husband)." The poor woman did not even know the mobile number of her husband and sheepishly told the reporter - "main guddi nu puch ke dasdi han (I shall ask my daughter and tell)."

Find Saddam?

A student of class IV came home and told his parents that one question in the general knowledge question paper was very tough and he was unnable to answer it. The curious parents were told that Saddam Hussain's six photographs were printed and the students were asked to identify the real Saddam. ‘‘When the mighty USA could not find who the real Saddam was then how can we students identify the real Saddam?’’, asked the upset student.

Cruel wastage

Weddings are getting more and more ostentatious in the city. With more and more people joining this race of upmanship, the solemn occasion of marriage of two persons has become an occasion for blatant show of wealth. Even the dishes served at the weddings are becoming more and more exotic and expensive. At certain weddings, a lot of seafood like oysters, shrimps are served. The ever adventurous Ludhianavis load their plates with seafood delicacies, but in most cases the Punjabi palate which favours ‘kukkad’ makes them leave the sea food. Thus the expensive delicacies end up in the dustbin. Such a wastage in the country of teeming millions hurts.

Cruelty on roads

Chickens trussed up in an inverted bed tied atop a cart being taken from one part of the city to another is a common sight on city roads .The hapless birds are packed like sardines in scorching heat. Hope some people from the PFA (People for Animal) notice this torture and start a drive to end the birds’ misery.

Tail piece

Seen written behind a truck, ‘Ram Rajye mein doodh mila, Krishan rajye me Ghee. Kalyug mein daru mili, soch samajh ke pee’.

— Sentinel



Urban estate residents for better amenities
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 29
Residents of Dugri Urban Estate have urged the government to create more infrastructure and provide better amenities to the residential colony, developed by the Punjab Urban Development and Planning Authority (PUDA) in the industrial hub of Punjab. Though the area stands transferred to the municipal corporation for maintenance but PUDA still retains administrative control as far as infrastructural development is concerned.

In a memorandum submitted to the Punjab Minister for Housing and Urban Development Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, on his visit to the urban estate to inaugurate the community centre and swimming pool, constructed at a cost of Rs 1.47 crore, the residents called for providing a second link connecting the colony with the southern bypass and construction of a new bridge over Sidhwan Canal, adjoining CRPF quarters.

Elaborating the problems of the residents, Mr B.R. Kaushal, President of the Urban Estate Residents Welfare Society said a single exit and entry point from Dugri village bridge over the canal caused a lot of traffic congestion and at times serious road accidents took place. The PUDA authorities had already prepared a plan for the second link which was targeted to be completed simultaneously with the development of Phase III of the colony. “Now that the Phase III has been laid out, the project for providing second link and another bridge over Sidhwan Canal should be taken up for execution.”

The residents impressed upon the minister the need for the better upkeep of cremation ground in Phase II and the Mini Rose Garden in the area. Similarly, the mini rose garden had become a picture of neglect after the park management committees, set up by the civic body had gone defunct.

The area residents also wanted the construction of a sports stadium with modern facilities. They said they should be given preference over others in the use of the community centre and the swimming pool in the colony. Having paid development charges at the time of allotment of plots, the residents had the first right to the use of available infrastructure, that too, on concessional rates.

Mr Kaushal also pleaded for the allotment of land in the colony for a police station and a post office at non-commercial and subsidised rates so that the residents could be provided these essential services. He also made out a case for allotment of a 500 square yards plot at nominal price for construction of a “yog shala” by the local unit of the Bhartiya Yoga Sansthan.

The functionaries of New Millennium Club, representing the MIG Colony in Urban Estate Phase II, at a meeting with the minister at this occasion, demanded that the amnesty scheme for the payment of defaulted amount should be restarted by PUDA. If a one time opportunity was given to the allottees for the payment of arrears without interest or penalty, PUDA could recover a substantial portion of arrears.


‘Parkash Utsav in Chicago’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
The 400th anniversary of the Parkash utsav of Guru Granth Sahib was celebrated from April 20 to April 27 at Gurdwara Gurjot Parkash Sahib, Chicago, USA.
According to a faxed statement from the management of the gurdwara, eminent Sikhs like Giani Tarlochan Singh, Jathedar, Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Head Granthi of Sis Gang Sahib, Bhajan Singh Walia, General Secretary, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Prabandak Committee, Mr Mohinder Singh Romana, President, Patna Sahib Management Committee, Gurnam Singh Puma from California and many other Sikh scholars participated in the religious function. The Jathedar of Takht Patna Sahib recited the hukamnama from Sri Guru Granth Sahib to mark the beginning of the function.

Thousands of devotees from all over the USA attended the function. The Akal Takht Jathedar said the function was organised due to the efforts of Sant Baba Daljit Singh Chicagowale.

The event which claimed to the biggest Sikh function in the USA was graced by the presence of three Jathedars from India. This has never been done before in a country other than India. As many as nine ragi jathas, five Sikh scholars, two chief patrons of international Sikh organisations (DSGPC, and the Patna Sahib Parbandhak Committee), besides thousands of Sikh sangat gathered in the function.

On the occasion the Governor of Illinois invited the Jathedars and said he would be visiting the Golden Temple in the near future, The Governor also assured that he would look into the problems being faced by the Sikhs.



Residents complain against cable operator
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 29
Members of the Tagore Nagar ‘A’ Welfare Society are sore over the callous attitude of the local cable operator in not providing efficient services despite charging exorbitant monthly subscription from society members.

Mr Pawan Sood, general secretary of the society, said in a press statement today that the society was registered with the Registrar of Firms and Societies and had more than 175 members. He said the cable TV services in the area were being provided by an operator from Deep Nagar. The operator was not providing efficient services and his behaviour was rude, he added. “He has suddenly increased the subscription fee from Rs 150 to Rs 350 per month per connection. He does not even allow any other cable operator to operate in the area,” said Mr Sood.

The society has urged the administration to allow it to operate its own cable network. It has also demanded that steps should be taken to ensure that cable operators do not adopt a monopolistic attitude.



Cattle purchasers evade fee
Our Correspondent

Samrala, April 29
A 4 per cent fee is to be paid for every animal sold in cattle fairs held all over Punjab. It is alleged that a gang of animal purchasers operating in the region has not been paying this fee. They used to purchase animals from mandis without getting it recorded in the official books maintained by the mela officer and his staff.

This was detected by the local SDM, Mr J.S. Jassi, yesterday evening.

Mr Jassi, while talking to mediapersons in the local civil rest house, said today that he along with Tehsildar Ram Singh, Naib Tehsildar Sadhu Singh, ASI Kuljinder Singh and staff of the local market committee, visited the monthly cattle fair held at Neelon, 9 km from here, and laid a blockade on all link roads connecting the mandi. In the evening the officials caught some persons who were taking animals worth Rs 4 lakh without paying the 4 per cent fee. The officials recovered the fee along with Rs 62,000/- from them.

One of the animal purchasers said the practice had been in vogue since long as the officials used to charge half the fee only without giving any receipt. 



End arms race in S.E. Asia: physicians
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 29
The South Asian Regional Conference organised jointly by the International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and the Physicians for Responsibility Nepal (PSRN) at Kathmandu on April 26 has called for a complete elimination of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, to end military build up in South Asia, stoppage of arms race and to end conflicts between the countries of the region through mutual dialogue and provision of healthcare in the spirit of Alma-Ata declaration.

Doctors and medical students from India, Nepal and Bangladesh attended this conference held on the theme ‘People’s Initiative for Peace, Development and Health in South Asia’. The Indian delegation, under the banner of the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), led by Dr L.S. Chawla, president and Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary, consisted of 53 participants, including 29 doctors and 24 medical students, from different states and colleges.

Dr Mathura Prasad Kulshreshtha, Chairman, PSRN, presented the theme paper while Dr L.S.Chawla presented the paper on ‘Nuclear Confrontation in South Asia’. The conference discussed several issues like needs of the people and wasteful expenditure being incurred on the arms race in the region. The doctors demanded that the Constitution of WHO which states that ‘the employment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief and economic or social condition’ must be strictly enforced. 



LBP to contest all seats
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
The Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) will contest all the seats in the panchayat elections in Punjab.
According to a statement issued by Mr Sarabdeep Singh, media in charge of the party, the decision has been taken by party chief and former union minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia during a meeting of office-bearers. He said if the people want to get rid of the corrupt Congress and the Akalis, the LBP was their third alternative. Today, the leaders were not looking after the interests of the people but were busy lining their own pockets.

He said their party was committed to being about changes in the political, social and economical sphere in the state and would usher in an era of prosperity in the state, if elected to power.



Low wheat arrival at Khanna mandi
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 29
The arrival of wheat at the Asia’s biggest market, Khanna, has been reduced by 2 lakh quintals as compared to 10,90,600 quintals till April 28, last year. Only 8,91,470 quintals of wheat has arrived till this date.

Last year the yield per acre was near about 22 to 24 quintals while this year it is only 18 quintals per acre.

The procurement of wheat started two weeks ago with the help of six procurement agencies and private traders. The Food Corporation of India (FCI) had procured 1,20,300 quintals of wheat, Punjab Agro 87,260 quintals, Markfed 1,74,050, Punsup 2,43,050, Punjab State Warehouse 79,650 and Punjab State Civil Supply Corporation 92,270 quintals. Besides these agencies, private traders had procured 94,890 quintals of wheat till yesterday.



Two booked for cheating relative
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 29
The police has booked a man and his daughter-in-law on the charge of cheating his another daughter-in-law. A case has been registered under Sections 420 and 468 of the IPC.

According to the FIR, Kishor Singh, a resident of New Model Town, Amloh Road, Khanna, sold his land measuring four marlas to his daughter-in-law, Savita Rani, on November 11,1993, for Rs 40,000 through an agreement.

He again sold this land to her other daughter-in-law, Sita Rani, on August 30, 2000. When Savita Rani came to know about it, she lodged a complaint with the police.

One declared PO: The Senior Sub Judge, Khanna, Mr Munish Arora, on Tuesday, declared a travel agent, Parm Jit Singh, a proclaimed offender. Parm Jit Singh, a resident of Narotam Nagar, Khanna, had allegedly got Rs 8.9 lakh from Amandeep Singh, a resident of Booth Garh village, on the pretext of sending him to America, but he did not fulfil his promise.

A case was registered against the travel agent, but he had been absconding since then.

Travel agent booked: The Payal police has booked a travel agent for defrauding three youths. The travel agent, Arun Kumar Fool, a resident of Mani Majra, Panchkula, had got Rs 3.27 lakh from Gulzar Singh and two others for sending them abroad, but he did not fulfil his promise. The police has registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC.

Satta operator held: The police has arrested a satta operator, Daljit Singh, and seized some satta slips from his possession, along with an amount of Rs 210. The accused was arrested from near Ikolaha village. A case under has been registered under Sections 13-A and 3/67 of the Gambling Act.



Educate taxpayers on VAT: CICU
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 29
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) has hailed the decision of the Union Government to defer the implementation of value added tax (VAT) beyond June 1, 2003.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, President and Mr Avtar Singh, General Secretary of the chamber said the Union Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, had taken a constructive step and had preserved the fundamentals of VAT by not going ahead to implement it in a piecemeal fashion. CICU functionaries impressed upon the government that a consensus on this crucial issue was essential and it should be implemented simultaneously in all states country to achieve the desired results. The government would do well to educate the taxpayers about VAT before giving effect to the new tax regime, they added.

Meanwhile, the Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association at a meeting held here, while welcoming the deferment of VAT, has sought to allay the apprehensions of members of trade and industry on VAT. Addressing a meeting of body, its Finance Secretary, Mr Jagtar Singh Bhambra, said the tax payers should not feel unduly concerned about complications of VAT system, which was quite simple in comparison to general sales tax. ‘The system may have some initial problems which can be sorted out with mutual understanding between the tax collectors and tax payers. Mr Jagat Singh presided over the meeting.

Mr Bhambra observed that while every citizen must contribute for the development of the country and taxes should be paid honestly and promptly, the government should also, at the same time, simplify the cumbersome procedures and make things easier for the trade and industry. “The members of trade and industry do want to pay taxes but they also expect from the government to put an end to inspector raj, tedious procedures and unnecessary paper work.”

Meanwhile, a delegation of traders led by functionaries of the Bharatiya Janata Party Kisan Morcha met the national unit president of the BJP, Mr Venkiah Naidu, in New Delhi to impress upon him to take up the matter of VAT regime with the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. On the directions of the Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, state unit president of the BJP, Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, General Secretary of the BJP and Mr Jaswant Singh Chhapa, convener, BJP Kisan Morcha accompanied the delegation.

The delegation apprised Mr Naidu of the severe recessionary trends prevailing in the market which could assume alarming proportions if the VAT regime came into effect. In particular, the imposition of VAT would have adverse effect on hosiery, Kisan Morcha activists maintained.



Shanghai cycle show postponed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 29
The spread of SARS in China has affected the holding of special cycle show in Shanghai. The show that was to be held from May 2 to 5, had to be postponed as most of the participants were reluctant to take part in the show.

The show is an annual feature in which many bicycle and cycle part manufacturers from different parts of the world display their products. According to Mr Onkar Singh, Director, Exports, Avon Bicycle, the Chinese authorities were not willing to postpone the show but the participants from various parts of the world pressed for the postponement of the same.

He said more than 24 bicycle and cycle parts manufacturers from India were to participate in the show. According to Mr Onkar Singh no new dates have been conveyed by the organisers so far.


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