Thursday, May 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PSEB employees stage dharnas
Services hit on second day of strike
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, May 7
Power services in the district were affected for the second day of the strike by PSEB employees. The appeal by the board management in various newspapers to call off the strike and warnings of invoking ESMA did not deter the protesters who did not report for work for the second consecutive day today.

The employees are up in arms against the move to privatise the board by the state government and implementation of the recommendations of the Haldia Committee on power reforms. A majority of the technical cadre employees are supporting the strike while the clerical staff at various places chose to ignore the strike call. However, no major power failure was reported till the time of filing this report.

While the staff at the head office reported for duty as usual, services at the bill-collection centres, fault-repair centres, consumer complaint centres and other offices were affected and many consumers had to go back. Employees staged dharnas in front of their offices and raised anti -government slogans, demanding initiation of measures to bring the board out of the red.

The workers underlined the fact that the privatisation of electricity boards in other states had failed. The need of the hour was to pump in more resources to improve the functioning of the board, they asserted. Rallies were held at various places in the city and elsewhere in the district.

The workers also demanded an inquiry into all large-scale purchases made during the past decade so that the officers, who allegedly placed orders for equipment at exorbitant rates, could be punished.

The employees said the government had been blaming free power to the agriculture sector for the losses suffered by the board but this has been exposed by the over 95 per cent bill realisation from farmers by the board.

The protesters alleged that the wrong policies and purchases made by the top brass over the years were alone responsible for the mess the board was in.

KHANNA: Power services were affected on the second day of the two-day strike observed on a call given by the struggle committee of PSEB employees’ unions in Khanna circle on Wednesday. All complaint offices and bill-collection centers remained closed and no public dealing took place. A gate rally was organised in front of the SE office.

DORAHA: The PSEB employees’ strike entered the second day on Wednesday. Employees of five subdivisions, including Doraha, Payal, Ghudani, Rampur and Dhamot, were on strike to protest against the government’s move to privatise the board and implementation of the recommendations of the Haldia Committee. The junior engineers, along with other officers, were, however, on duty to ensure proper power supply.



Boy accused of killing stepmother caught
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 7
A teenager boy, who is alleged to have murdered his stepmother on Monday at Majari village, 2 km from Payal, was caught by the Payal police today.
Balraj Singh ‘Golu’, 18, is said to have admitted to killing Kuljit Kaur, wife of a former Sarpanch of Majari village. He will be taken to the court tomorrow.

Kuljit Kaur was sleeping in her house on Monday, when at about midnight, Balraj Singh, who stays at his aunt’s house, knocked at the door. When she opened the door, he attacked her with a knife. She tried her best to resist the attack and also yelled for help, but in vain. She tried to save her life by running into the neighbour’s house but till that time, she had lost a lot of blood. She later, succumbed to her injuries.

She had been stabbed all over the body. After the murder, the teenager is alleged to have cut the telephone connection of the house, rubbed clean the blood on the floor and made the house look as if it had been burgled. The police says that the teenager was having strained relations with his step-mother, as he believed her to be having illicit relations with some persons of the village. The husband of Kuljit Kaur is in jail for the past eight years on murder charge.

The police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 201 of the IPC against the teenager who remained at large for 24 hours.



Water, sewerage cess hike draws flak
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, May 7
The decision of the Local Bodies Department, Punjab, to give effect to a phased increase in water and sewerage charges, both for domestic and commercial connections, all over the state has evoked sharp criticism from all sections of society, who feel betrayed in the face of the electoral promise of the Congress to provide these services free of cost to the urban population.

The move has also embarrassed the general house of the municipal corporation and in particular the ruling Congress in the civic body, which had adopted resolutions, on two different occasions, for providing free water supply and sewerage facility to people. The state government had however, put its foot down and the decision, which was only recommendatory in nature, was scuttled.

The revised rates notified by the Local Bodies Department on the basis of a decision of the Empowered Cabinet Subcommittee on Fiscal Reforms would be Rs 50 per month each for water supply and sewerage for a five marla house, Rs 75 for houses up to 10 marla and Rs 100 for plot size up to one kanal. For houses built on plot size of more than one kanal only metered supply would be provided. A provision has been laid down for annual increase in a phased manner for a period of five years and for the year 2007-2008 the domestic consumers of the first three categories will have to pay Rs 100, Rs 105 and Rs 140 per month, respectively, for water and sewerage.

While the Congress councillors were reluctant to come out in the open against the government decision to hike user charges for water and sewerage across the board, that too every year by anything from 10 to 30 per cent depending on the size of the plot, they admitted that there was widespread resentment on the issue. Some of the ruling party councillors had also reportedly met the city Mayor protesting against the hefty increase, asking him to lead a delegation of party councillors to meet the Chief Minister and plead for a review of the decision.

Interestingly, the Punjab Minister for Higher Education, Mr Harnam Das Johar, himself had moved a resolution before his induction in the state Cabinet for free water supply and sewerage facility to the city population. Recalling his initiative, the local Youth Congress functionaries had given a written representation to the minister to use his good offices and prevail upon the government to accede to the unanimous recommendation of the general house of the MC.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune on the condition of annonimity, a ruling party councillors said the increase in user charges had come as a rude shock to the city residents, in particular to those who had voted for the Congress in the civic poll and were looking forward to free water supply and sewerage facility. All of us Congress councillors) were elected on the basis of the election promise. With the people made to pay more for the same facility, how could they face the electorate, the councillor wondered.

Summing up the general attitude of the masses to the promises made by political parties during elections, a businessman remarked: “Saarian partiyan iko jehian han. Taqat mil jaan te kaun vaadian di parvah karda hai.” (All political parties are alike. Once they come to power, who bothers for the election promises)

Meanwhile, several bodies of trade and industries, in a joint statement here today have condemned the government decision to hike water supply and sewerage charges by almost 100 per cent for the current year and subsequent increase of 10 to 30 per cent every year for the next five years. They observed that the hike would hit people belonging to low and middle income groups. “The trade and industry will also be unable to absorb such a disproportionate hike,” they said.

The signatories to the statement included Mr Joginder Kumar, president of the Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India, and office-bearers of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Focal Point Association, Ludhiana Focal Point Sheds Association (Phase IV-A), Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana Electroplaters Association and Cycle Trade Union.

The youth wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal has flayed the Congress regime for increasing the cess on water and sewerage in the state.

Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, state unit chief, said people were disillusioned with the dismal performance of the government within a year of its governance. New taxes had been levied, there was no development, the infrastructure had gone to seed and all concessions granted by the previous government had also been discontinued.

He said in case the charges were not rolled back, the unit would be forced to start an agitation. 



Fortnight gone, no roof on school
Hopes pinned on MP for grant
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, May 7
Though it has been more than a fortnight since the roof of Government High School at Chowni Mohalla collapsed, no help has reached the school from either the government or any social organisation. All that has been done is a few visits by the education department officials and a few meetings of teachers with the VIPs.

Under such circumstances, students and teachers have to sit out in the open verandahs to hold classes. Sitting on the worn-out-mats, students bear not only the scorching heat, but also the noise from passing vehicles.

Rest of the classes are conducted in two unsafe rooms, the ceilings of which are infested with termites. For entering one of these rooms, the students and teachers have to pass under the same roof, a party of which had fallen down. The four rooms on the first floor have been lying unused, as the way to these has been blocked since the collapse on April 21, minutes before the morning assembly.

The Parent Teachers’ Association held a meeting in the school today and resolved to seek grants for renovating the school building, so that, classes could be conducted properly. Mr Swaran Singh, president of the association, discussed, ways to raise funds and complete the renovation work within 45 days of the summer break beginning May 15.

Ms Harminder Kaur, school had said, earlier, she had decided that a few rooms nearby could be taken on rent to shift some classes there on temporary basis. However, the idea failed to click as the rooms were not available nearby.

Teachers said they would put up tents in the verandahs and try to pass another week in such an inconvenient situation. They said they were, now, looking forward to the grants from state government. They were also preparing cultural items to be presented at a function this weekend, where Lala Lajpat Rai, MP, is expected to offer the school some grant.

When contacted, Mr Bachitar Singh, District Education Officer, said that he had sent a proposal of Rs 2 lakh for the renovation to the state Education Department and it might be approved within a week. He said he had also suggested the school authorities to hold a function this weekend and invite Lala Lajpat Rai to seek grant for reconstruction from him. He said he hoped that the school would get at least Rs 1 lakh from the MP fund and be able to start renovation soon.



Councillor withdraws complaint, denies encroachment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 7
The Congress councillor from Ward No. 41 in the city, Ms Amrit Varsha Rampal, today said no encroachment had been made on the park in front of her house in J Block of Sarbha Nagar Colony.

The debris and sand dumped at the site was not for construction work at her house, but meant to be spread over the park to raise its level to prevent accumulation of rainwater.

The councillor was involved in a row with some neighbours after she had objected to their boys playing volleyball in the park till late hours. Those asked to stop playing had charged the councillor with encroaching upon a portion of the park.

In a written statement, Ms Rampal said the dispute with the neighbours had been sorted out and the complaint had been withdrawn. The charges against her were motivated by some persons with vested interests, who had also provoked the children to act in a defiant manner and assault members of her family.

She also said the land said to be a park was, in fact, a disputed property. “Still, I have taken up the matter with the MC administration to develop it as a park for the benefit of everyone in the colony,” she said.



Disabled to get more facilities in 
government offices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 7
The administration will provide special ramps and toilets for the disabled in all government buildings soon. Directions have been given to the PWD to identify the government buildings, where ramps and special toilets for the disabled have not been provided so far. Funds to execute these facilities will be sanctioned under the Disability Act, 1995.

Mr Sumer Singh Gurjar, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), gave these directions at a meeting of the district level committee based on reports of officers concerned to monitor the progress under the Act.

He informed that the state government had decided to provide pensions to the handicapped with 50 per cent disability and asked the officers to create awareness among the people regarding this facility.

Apart from district headquarters, Subdivision level medical boards would issue the disability certificates to the handicapped at the civil hospitals at Khanna, Jagraon and Samrala. Those covered under the Act could avail the facilities every Thursday.

He said all schools would be asked to give admission to some handicapped children.

The ADC said to identify students with low vision, eyesight testing charts and other equipment would be given by the District Red Cross Society to all schools on rotational basis and teachers would identify cases to be referred to eye specialists.

The District Red Cross Society had already identified more than 4000 persons, who had be provided with artificial limbs, hearing aids and tricycles free of cost, he added.

The representatives of NGOs complained that some of the public schools were not admitting handicapped children in violation of the Disability Act. On this, the ADC asked them to bring a specific complaint, so that the school concerned could be asked to submit its explanation.

The NGOs also demanded to get a school nominated as national open school for handicapped persons, where the special syllabus for the mentally challenged persons could be implemented.

Dr S.N. Tiwari, local Civil Surgeon, has asked the ADC to get a shed constructed in his office for the handicapped persons visiting his office to get the disability certificates and assured that his office would provide water coolers and fans in the shed.

Mr Kuldip Singh Brar, District Social Security Officer, informed that 3 per cent reservation quota for handicapped persons in government jobs had already been completed in all government departments.

Mr Prem Chand, Joint Commissioner, local municipal corporation, also attended the meeting.



Minister clarifies on VCD issue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 7
Minister of State for Stationery and Printing, Rakesh Pandey yesterday claimed that his name was being dragged into a controversy in which he had no role. Referring to the photographs, in connection with the VCD issue, of some senior Congress leaders with Katty, released by the state BJP president, at a press conference here, Mr Pandey said the photographs had been taken at a social function which was attended not only by him but also several BJP leaders.

The Minister said he was in favour of a high-level probe into the issue. His pictographs as also those of other Congress leaders along with some alleged satta operators appeared in the Press yesterday. He said anybody could meet a politician, particularly during elections.

Mr Pandey also released similar pictures of the satta operators with several BJP leaders. He said, “We should not resort to mud-slinging as we know that nothing is intentional or deliberate”. Shaking hands with someone at a social or political function did not mean that one was party to everything the other person did, he added.



Canada increases immigrants’ quota
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 7
The Canadian government has increased the quota for prospective immigrants by 10,000 for the year 2003.
According to Mr Tej Parkash Singh, a representative of the Indo-Canadian Lawyers Association, the Canadian Minister for Citizenship and Immigration, Mr Denis Coderre, has stated that 2, 29,058 immigrants came to Canada in 2002 which is within the planned range of 2, 10,000 to 2, 35,000 immigrants, as announced in Parliament on February 8, 2001.

He said the Canadian government would manage the 2003 immigration and refugee plan within the projected range of 2, 20,000 to 2, 45,000 this year. Economic immigrants represented approximately 60 per cent of all new arrivals in Canada in 2002, while immigrants such as family members or refugees made up the remaining 40 per cent.

The lawyer said the total number of prospective immigrants seeking immigration in economic class might fall short as from April 2, 2003, all skilled worker applications will be assessed under the new selection criteria of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

As per the decision of the Federal Court of Canada in 102 cases — all filed before December 31, 2001 — the immigration authorities would decide the cases as per the old system.

The applicants who had filed their applications before that could also benefit from the ruling if they approach the Federal Court of Canada, he added.



Uncertainty over fate of DCC chiefs
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 7
The fate of the rural and urban unit district presidents of the Congress hangs in balance with the PPCC president, district Mr H.S. Hanspal, reportedly having recommended some names for the two posts. Both incumbent district presidents have been excluded from the lists.

Sources in the Congress said Mr Hanspal had submitted two lists of four candidates each for the rural and urban units of Ludhiana.

Mr K.K. Bawa, president of the DCC (urban), and Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, president of the DCC (Rural), do not find mention in the lists which have been submitted to the Congress general secretary and in charge Punjab, Ms Mohsina Kidwai.

While all names were not available, it is learnt that the name on the top of the list for the DCC (Urban) has caused much heartburn among Congress leaders. The person is believed to have no political background and is a leading businessman.

The list reportedly contains the names of some of those who are considered close to the Agriculture Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal. Those loyal to Capt Amarinder Singh have raised the issue with him.

He is reported to have pleaded the case of Mr Bawa, saying that he had stood by the party.

Mr Bawa, when contacted feigned ignorance, about the developments.

However, he said “I am prepared to accept any decision of the party and work as a loyal soldier of the party in whatever capacity I am asked to.”



PPCC cell units to be set up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 7
Mr Pritpal Singh Bishanpura, Chairman of the Panchayati Raj and rural development cell of the PPCC, has said a special campaign has been launched in the state to form district and block level units of the cell by May. This will help in mobilising party cadres for the coming panchayat elections in the state slated for June.

The process of forming the units would be started with the setting up of the first district unit at Mansa tomorrow and would be followed by Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur and other districts. After the formation of the block-level units, village-level units would be set up.

He appealed to the Punjab Government to hand over the administrative control of government schools, dispensaries, veterinary hospitals and other government institutions in the rural area to the panchayats concerned to improve the services.



Women need opportunities, not reservation’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 7
There is a sense of deja vu among the people of the city after Parliament didn’t pass the Women’s Reservation Bill yesterday.
Persons interviewed by ‘Ludhiana Tribune’ were of the opinion that it was unlikely that the Bill would be passed soon. They said the rejection was just another ploy by politicians to keep women out of power. They also wanted to know the number of women MPs who were opposing the Bill.

Precious time was wasted in the deliberations on the Bill, in which, the old-objections were raised, even though the government had claimed to have generated consensus on the issue before tabling the Bill.

Dr Sonia Dogra, a dentist, said: “I am incensed with the actions of Parliamentarians and their unruly behaviour. Why couldn’t they discuss the controversial points before introducing this Bill. They have introduced this Bill twice now, with the same disastrous results. They are, probably, scared of women. How well did Margret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi rule. Maybe, their ego is fragile and they can’t share power with women.”

Ms Zeena, a writer, says: “Women don’t need reservation, but equal opportunities. Through this Bill, all parties only want to gain political mileage. These parties should be asked how many women leaders have emerged from their ranks. Reservation is a concession and emancipated women of today do not need it. Men, in general, do not want women to be active in politics.”

Dr Joy Joshi, Principal of Christian Dental College, says: “We are having reservation for women in train compartments, buses, queues and even enjoy tax concessions, so, why shouldn’t they have reservation in Parliament. Women are becoming enterprising, but centuries of oppression has cowed them down, so, they need to be given a boost. All political parties should stop this ‘tamasha’ and start taking women seriously.”

Ms Harmit Kaur, Principal of Ramgarhia Girls College, said: “I feel so bad that political parties have not been able to give 33 per cent quota to women. Yesterday at least, they should have agreed in principle. Later, they could have sorted out the details. I want women to become so strong enough to get elected on merit, without any favour from men.”

Ms Anu, a housewife, says: “We should not vote for leaders, who are against women entering Parliament. The way all parties conducted themselves yesterday was disgusting.”

Ms Sangeeta, a teacher, said: “Politicians are, forever, squabbling and their selfish interests prevented them from letting the bill go through. What is the point of offering reservation to women who do not know anything about governance or laws of the country.”



Ramoowalia’s plea on travel agents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 7
The Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) chief and a former union minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia has urged the Punjab Chief Minister to meet the families of those duped by travel agents and fraudulent grooms in the state so that he could do the needful for their kith and kin.

According to Mr Sarabdeep Singh, a spokesperson, said it was ironical that no other party was willing to raise these issues which were assuming alarming proportions in the state. Many families were handicapped on how to skirt administrative bottlenecks in pursuing their cases.

He said according to a rough estimate, more than 50, 000 families were affected by these travel agents who took the money and did not send their wards abroad or left them to fend for themselves in alien lands. Similarly, there were tales of how young girls were harassed by their in laws abroad, he added.

The party also flayed the move of the Congress to open casinos in the sate and said that such a move would encourage youngsters to gamble. 



Unjust tax on telephones

Telephone subscribers are deeply sore with the Punjab Government for imposing 12.5 percent surcharge on telephone rentals being charged by BSNL. It is an unjust move which has put an additional burden of nearly Rs 100 crore on the subscribers in the state. No other state government in the country has levied such an anti-people tax.

I wish to point out that the subscribers are already paying 5 per cent service tax (now hiked to 8 per cent) on telephones to the Central Exchequer. The Union Government imposed a 5 per cent service tax in 1995 and after a period of more than 7 years, it has hiked it now to by only 3 per cent, a nominal raise.

Contrarily, the insensitive Punjab Government has levied the tax at the rate of 12.5 per cent in the first instance. It has angered more than 30 lakh telephone subscribers in the state. The subscribers demand a rollback and urge the Union Government to put its foot down on collection of this unwarranted tax.

Telephone subscribers are angry with the Telephone Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) also for raising telephone rentals, cutting free calls 150 to 60 (bi-monthly)and increasing local rates apart from reducing call duration from 3 to 2 minutes w.e.f. May 1, this year.

If all the decisions are implemented, subscribers in Punjab will have to shell out an additional sum of Rs 300 to Rs 600 against bi-monthly bills. The telephone subscribers belonging to the middle class are at the receiving end and, therefore, urge the respective authorities not to implement the decisions.

Yash Paul Ghai

A miraculous feat

It is a miraculous feat on part of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who has expanded his cabinet, wherein, the salary of ministers and MLAs has been increased manifold out of the empty coffers of the state.

It is pertinent to add that the fat salary and hefty perks granted to them are tax free. I, however, filed one very sublime omission on his part, that no provision has been made to meet the expenses on their last rituals when they leave the mortal world.

Strangely, the CM is again in a mood to expand his ministry. This unnecessary burden on the state exchequer seems to be no burden, while there are no funds to repair the roads in the country-side. All the roads are potholed and broken. A majority of the developmental works have been suspended for want of funds. I would suggest that all the roads, including the road leading to the cremation grounds, should b repair without delay.

All the same, I would like to congratulate all the Punjab Ministers and MLA’s on their ‘achievements’.

Gurdit Singh Kang

First charges, then praises

During the Akali-BJP Government, Mr Sat Pal Gosain, who was not given a Cabinet berth, started a tirade against Mr Balramji Das Tandon, the then local bodies minister. The former filed dozens of complaints supported with sworn affidavits regarding the integrity and honesty of Mr Tandon. He even engaged a counsel at Chandigarh to file a writ in the High Court to demand a CBI enquiry to arrive at the truth. But the moment he was appointed as Deputy Speaker, he withdrew all his complaints and started showering praises on the latter.

Now, the question is whether his tirade against Mr Tandon was based on facts or it was simply resorting to blackmail to secure a berth in the ministry.

If the complaints were genuine and based on facts, then, as a responsible leader, he should not have withdrawn them and if these complaints were filed only to pressurise the leadership for getting berth in the ministry, then the version of the SSP, Ludhiana, has to be believed that Mr Gosain has started the campaign only to get the FIRs registered against him withdrawn.

L.D. Gupta

Plight of senior citizens

I want to bring to the notice of all concerned about the plight of the senior citizens. There are thousands of people who are living on the pension provided by the government. The pension is too meagre to sustain them. The pension has not been hiked much over the years. Even the occasional rise is very marginal, too small to let them any sustenance. For example, the prices of medicines have increased manifold during the past few years, while there has not been proportionate increase in the pension.

The government needs to take note of their plight as most of the elderly people are dependent on others. They should at least be in a position to manage their modest living, more so the medicines and drugs which are very essential for their survival.

D.V. Saharan

Cricket in MC park

With reference to a letter dated April 24 by Mr M.L. Chhabra, I have to state that the MC Park opposite Bharat Petrol Pump, Urban Estate, Phase-I, Dugri Road, is not meant for the cricketers alone but for the general public also so that they too can have a stroll and relax.

Now a batch of boys, who visit this Park daily, are vigorously pursuing their activities. I understand that a few senior citizens of the area had addressed a complaint and posted the same to the Zonal Commissioner, Zone-D, of the MC. But who cares for the senior citizens since the letter seems to have been relegated to the dustbin?

On April 28 at about 6 pm an infant in the lap of his mother riding on the pillion of a scooter was hit by a cricket ball on the main road running parallel to the length of the park.

Sometimes the cricketers climb the roofs of the residential houses unnoticed from the back of the boundary wall to pick up the ball and there have been instances where some articles have also been stolen from the roof tops.

The residents of the areas feel that nothing would be done by the authorities despite so much hooliganism and rule of the jungle will prevail unless somebody comes to their rescue and makes the park cricket free.

Sukhwinder Singh

Our hearts refuse to accept this...

In past few days we have seen that many schools have come under the scanner on account of the donation scandal. And without analysing facts for themselves, the people are believing what they hear from others.

But this state of affairs can be understood especially after the unearthing of the PPSC and other scams. The whole environment is getting polluted with all sorts of dishonesty, corruption and it is easy to point fingers.

Nevertheless, I would like to say one thing that the schools, which commenced with a missionary zeal, with the spirit of devotion and dedication, should not be targeted by irresponsible gossip. Our hearts refuse to accept what is being said about our school. A student of Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar



Three hurt in road accidents
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 7
Two persons were injured in a road accident in front of Sadar police station today.
According to information, Ram Tirath, a resident of Bulepur village, was coming on his bicycle to the city and Mool Chand, a resident of Nai Abadi, was turning on his scooter at the Sadar police station chowk on the GT Road when they collided and received injuries . Mool Chand became unconscious and admitted to Civil Hospital while Ram Tirath was discharged after first aid.

In another incident, a 13-year-old boy, Harjit Singh, of Salaudi village, was seriously injured when he accidently started a tractor. He has been admitted to Civil Hospital, Khanna.



Three injured in clash

Khanna, May 7
Three persons including a woman were injured in a clash at Mohalla Khatikan on Tuesday night.

According to information, the clash took place among two families related to one another. Old enmity was the cause of the dispute. Vijay Kumar who was injured said he was hit with a bat by his nephew. He received head injuries. His wife also received injuries when she tried to save him, he alleged.

On the other hand, Vikas, nephew of Vijay said when he was putting water in a cooler he was attacked by his uncle. He also received injuries. All injured were admitted to the local Civil Hospital. OC



Taxation lawyers hold seminar
Tribune News Service

Mr Anup Kumar Jain, president of the District Taxation Bar Association
Mr Anup Kumar Jain, president of the District Taxation Bar Association, addresses a seminar in Ludhiana on Wednesday. — Photo Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, May 7
The District Taxation Bar Association has sought the simplification of taxation procedures.
Addressing a seminar here today, the president of the District Taxation Bar Association, Mr Anup Kumar Jain said taxes were the major source of revenue for the government and only the government was competent to formulate laws on taxes.

Mr Jain said the laws should be simple so that the tax payees were not harassed. Senior officers from the Central Excise Department, including Joint Commissioners, attended the seminar and clarified different queries of the lawyers.



Car thefts on the rise
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 7
Car thieves in the city are having a gala time with little attention being paid by the police to prevent the theft of cars. The hot favourite among the thieves are new mid-segment cars. Earlier, the care thieves confined themselves to the posh areas, but police inaction has encouraged them and now they do not consider any area out of bounds.

In a recent case, a new Maruti Zen (PB 10 AJ-3739) was stolen from outside the house of the Deputy Commissioner on Sunday night. The car belonged to Mr Aman Sidhu, a gas agency owner who had parked it in front of the Satluj Club adjoining the DC’s residence. “I had parked the car at 9.40 p.m. but when I came out at 11 p.m. the car was gone”. Mr Sidhu told Ludhiana Tribune. Along with the car, he also lost Rs 98,000 kept in it. The Division No. 5 police has registered a case under Section 371 of the IPC.

Another case of car theft reported from the area was regarding the theft of a Maruti car of an HDFC bank Manager who had parked his car outside the residence of Mr J.S. Chauhan, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Several car thefts have also been reported from Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar and adjoining areas. A school teacher, Ms Satwinder Kaur, had last week lost her Santro car (PB 10AZ-209).

Mr Sidhu has written to the general secretary of the Satluj Club, saying that the theft took place even while six security personnel were deployed there. He has asked the club to ensure proper security of the vehicles of members.

Meanwhile, similar cases have also been reported from other parts of the city. Though the police claims that crime in the city has gone down after the deployment of PCR motor cycles, there has been little success in recovery of stolen vehicles.



Cash, jewellery looted from house
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 7
In a case of daylight robbery yesterday, the robbers broke open a house and decamped with cash and jewellery.
The theft took place at the house of Mr Subhash Chander of the Satnam Nagar area in Doraha when no one was present at the house.

Karan Sharma, son of Mr Chander, reached the house after school, he noticed that the lock was intact but the television has been switched on at full volume.

He contacted his mother who on entering the house found that the locks had been broken and cash and jewellery were missing. They have informed the police. No arrests have been made so far.

According to the owner of the house, the robbers decamped with Rs 42,000 and jewellery worth Rs 1.1 lakh. A case has been registered.



160 proclaimed offenders held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 7
The district police yesterday claimed to have caught as many as 160 proclaimed offenders in the first four months of this year.
A police release said a special proclaimed offender staff constituted last year by the district police was paying rich dividends. The staff had caught 1041 POs last year.

The release said the staff faced a formidable task as the list of the POs was quite long. Several of them belonged to other states and were declared proclaimed offenders more than a decade ago.



Five arrested for planning dacoity

Ludhiana, May 7
The police has arrested five persons who were planning to commit a dacoity and recovered a pistol and two knives. During preliminary investigations, they were identified as Gopal Singh, Rajan, Sayed Ali, Harbilas and Nasir Ali and admitted that they had been committing robberies. TNS



Mobile telephone users feel the pinch 
of BSNL decision
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 7
Thanks to the exorbitant tariff imposed by the BSNL on its landline subscribers making calls on the cellular network, people have started shifting back to the landlines connection. A random survey among various cell phone users revealed that most of the landline users preferred to call on the landline network only.

Amandeep Singh, a business executive, said since May 1, he had not received very less number of calls on his cell phone. A three-minute call from a BSNL landline to a cell phone network costs Rs 7.20 now, against Rs 1.20 earlier.

Arvind Kumar, another business executive, pointed out, “When the incoming calls on cell phones from the landline were charged, the cell users would rush through the talk while the caller would talk in a relaxed manner.

But now it is the calling party which rushes through and tries to finish the talk as early as possible for obvious reasons”.

Various offices and business houses have issued written instructions specifying that no calls should be made on the cell phones from the landline numbers.

Most of the customers suggested that the BSNL should also introduce some locking or security measures to ensure that calls from the local telephone are regulated and the unnecessary calls are ruled out.


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