Thursday, May 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Wedding turns into mourning
Woman electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
A wedding turned into mourning for a Prem Nagar family when their 26-year-old married daughter Manju was electrocuted this evening.
The incident occurred when the deceased was trying to put clothes for drying on the roof of her uncle’s house and the wet clothes touched live wires passing by the roof.

Manju had come here from Meerut to attend the wedding of her brother, Mr Yogesh Kapoor. After attending the wedding and subsequent reception, she went to her maternal uncle’s house to wash some clothes.

They said Manju’s daughter, Vibha (4), was with the mother when she got electrocuted. “On seeing the mother fall, the little girl ran and yelled for Kanchan, Manju’s aunt. She was immediately rushed to Civil Hospital, where she was declared brought dead”.

Manju leaves behind a four-year-old daughter Vibha and a one-year-old son Sanchit. Her husband, Mr Naresh Kumar, who lives in the Lisadi gate area in Parladh Nagar, Meerut, was at his in-laws house when the accident happened.

According to residents of the area, electric wires that pass over several houses in the area sag during summers due to their expansion with heat, turning them into death traps. A resident of the area said the loosely hung electric wires posed a constant threat to the residents of the area and they had lodged a complaint with the Electricity Department, but no action has been taken. The police has registered a case.



SAD-BJP men stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 21
The BJP-SAD combine today staged a dharna at the Municipal Corporation headquarters in a bid to intensify the mass agitation against the government’s decision to increase water and sewerage charges and tuition fee for higher education in the state.
The dharna will continue daily till Friday.

The district presidents of the two parties Mr Harbans Lal Sethi (BJP) and Mr Avtar Singh Makkar (SAD), led the protest while four councillors each from the coalition — Mr Parveen Bansal, Ms Sunita Sharma, Mr Surinder Sharma and Mr Harjinder Singh Gogi (from BJP), Mr Swarn Singh Maholi, Mr Balbir Singh Mankoo, Ms Pushwant Kaur Gohalwadia and Mr Bhairaj Singh (SAD) sat on the dharna during the day.

The speakers including the group leaders of the SAD and the BJP, Mr Harbhajan Singh Dang and Mr Parveen Bansal, castigated the Congress government in the state for its arbitrary decision to increase water and sewerage cess and add to the misery of the people by giving effect to manifold hike in the fee structure for higher education. The BJP and SAD leaders termed the drastic increase in civic charges as a shameful act on the part of the ruling party, which had come to power on the basis of its poll promise to provide free water supply and sewerage to the people and to ensure affordable education for all. They further ridiculed the Congress Government for a phased annual increase in the water and sewerage charges till the year 2008 even beyond its term which was only till 2007.

Functionaries of the two parties pointed out that steep hike in the fee structure for undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate courses and a similar increase in other charges in the colleges would make education out of reach of the students belonging to the lower and middle income groups. The decision was not only unjust but a violation of the constitutional right of the children to education. Demanding immediate review of the increase in the water, sewerage cess and the fee structure for college education, the BJP and the SAD cautioned the government against going ahead with the move or be prepared to face the consequences.



Summer without water, power
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
It is 44°C outside and the city is without water and power. That is how a number of Ludhianvis have started to learn to live. As the mercury starts soaring, the supply of water and electricity to various areas of the city seems to decline.

Frequent power cuts without any advance notice seem to have become a routine. Another problem is the erratic water supply. At several places, though the supply of water is regular, the water pressure remains low.

Citizens have been frequently calling ‘The Tribune’ from almost all areas with to complain of electricity and water shortage. A common grievance is that they usually do not get any positive response from the officials concerned and, ultimately, have to seek the support of the media to highlight their problems. Even also helps little and the problems persists.

Although the maintenance by the PSEB is supposed to be alright, in several cases, it takes days to repair a fault. Mr Prakash Singh of Pakhowal Road said, only a few days ago, the local electricity transformer had developed a snag and it had taken several hours for the officials to reach there for repairs.

A PSEB official said on the condition of anonymity that there were indeed some maintenance problems. With the rise in temperature, the load had increased instantly, as people had switched on air-conditioners. The extra load leads to frequent power failures, which require some time to be repaired. Otherwise, he said, the electricity supply to the city was adequate.

The water situation in the city also remains precarious due to the excess use of water. Officials have been saying that the water supply continues to remain regular, but the excess use of it may be causing some problems.

Meanwhile, people have started taking out umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun. The continuous rise in the temperature has also forced people to stay indoors during day. 



Charging fee without taking responsibility
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Think before you park your vehicle at a parking lot in the city. When you pocket a receipt issued by the parking lot owner, don’t think that your vehicle is safe.
Sounds strange but it is true. The parking lot owners only charge parking fee and have no responsibility of the vehicle. And in case of theft of the vehicle he will compensate you for only half or even one-fourth price of the vehicle.

Most of the city residents park their vehicles at some parking lot at least once in a day. But rarely does one gives a close look at the receipt of the parked vehicle. The contractors do not give the receipt forever as they take it back just after you pick your vehicle.

The catch is that all of the contractors clearly and boldly announce through the printed receipts that they are not responsible for the lost parts of the vehicle and if the vehicle is stolen, they will not give full price to the owner.

The compensation would also be given after a month or two. The third condition is more shocking. While the contractor apparently don’t care for the value of the parked vehicles, he is concerned about his receipt. The receipts mention that if it is lost the person concerned has to deposit a fine of Rs 10 or even more.

After receiving several complaints from city residents about this questionable practice, by a Ludhiana Tribune team conducted a survey after parking their vehicles at several parking lots and collected a number of receipts. All the contractors washed their hands off the responsibility, claiming that they will not give the full compensation for the stolen vehicle.

“If nobody takes the responsibility of a parked vehicle why should we park at the authorised stands?” asks Dr Ravinder Singh, a city resident. He had parked his vehicle at the parking lot of the Christian Medical College and Hospital in the city and was shocked to learn that his vehicle was not safe inside. However, the parking lot owner did not allow him to park the vehicle outside arguing that no one will be responsible for the safety of his vehicle outside the parking stand.

“When I asked him about the safety of my vehicle he replied in negative stating that all the conditions and terms were printed on the receipt. But he took no time in adding that you can at least hope so but we will give compensation according to the receipt declaration”, Dr Ravinder Singh added.

In fact, same was the answer of several parking lot owners in the city. Ludhiana Tribune after collecting receipts from parking lot owners in Mini Secretariat, District Courts, DMC Hospital, Municipal Corporation, Improvement Trust office and certain markets enquired from the owners. They said they have been given contracts and could not be held responsible for theft of the vehicle from their lots. One of the owner said the condition was made as after the theft of the vehicle, who would made the assessment of its value. If the vehicle is old then why should the contractor pay the full price.



Govt employees observe strike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 21
In response to a call given by the left parties, employees in the banking, telecommunication and insurance sectors and various government departments, boards and corporations observed a complete strike here today to register their protest against privatisation, liberalisation and other such measures. The agitating employees also held rallies, demonstrations and protest marches at several places in the city. Due to the strike, normal working in almost all public-sector and private-sector banks was disrupted and the bankers clearing house was suspended, resulting in accumulation of cheques, drafts and other instruments worth several crore rupees in the city.

Under the aegis of local units of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation (PBEF) and All-India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA), the striking bank employees organised a rally in front of the Bharat Nagar Chowk branch of Canara Bank. Speakers like Mr Sudesh Kumar (chairman), Mr H.S. Grewal (patron), Mr Naresh Gaur (secretary) and Mr Ashok Awasthy (president) of the PBEF, Mr P.R. Mehta, general secretary of the, All-India PNB Employees Federation, and Mr S.K. Garg, district secretary of the, AIBOA, focused on the economic and disinvestment policies of the government, which they alleged, had given rise to unemployment, attack on trade-union rights, pro-employer changes in labour laws and reduction in bank interest rates.

Routine working in all the branches of the general insurance companies and the Life Insurance Corporation of India grounded to a halt, as the employees struck work. Besides, criticising the government policies as being loaded against employees, the insurance-sector employees charged private-sector companies with indulging in malpractices and exploitation of the public. Mr Som Nath Devat, zonal joint secretary of the General Insurance Employees Association, urged the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) and the General Insurance Public Services Association (GIPSA) to check unhealthy competition for procurement of business, underhand rebate and offer of incentives to business houses.

The district secretary of the BSNL Employees Union, Mr Balwinder Singh, said the strike in the Ludhiana SSA was complete. The agitating employees held a rally in front of the office of the General Manager Telecom and demanded withdrawal of policies of disinvestment and privatisation, particularly in case of potentially viable and profit-making public-sector undertakings (PSUs), scrapping policies that aggravated joblessness, widening of social security schemes, restoration of 12 per cent interest on the PF deposits and amendment in the Payment of Bonus Act by removing all ceilings.

Activists of the Punjab Subordinate Services Federations (PSSF) held a demonstration at Mini Secretariat here as a part of a nationwide stir by the All-India Trade Unions. Besides lambasting the Union Government for its economic policies of liberalisation and privatisation, the speakers condemned the Punjab Government for pushing privatisation of health services, education, transport, the Punjab State Electricity Board and several other boards and corporations. The federation demanded recruitment for teachers and other employees, grant of bonus and time-scale promotions and regularisation of the services of ad hoc employees.



Gold bricks: Customs take over case
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, May 21
The row caused by the discovery of some gold bricks from near the rail tracks close to Gurdwara Dukhniwaran about two weeks ago is refusing to die down. The Customs men have, now stepped in to take over the case, as the gold bricks had ostensibly been smuggled into the country.

The case has already been transferred from the police station of Division Number 2 to the CIA, where, until a couple of days ago, 17 persons had been facing interrogation, though it could not be officially confirmed. Such is the veil of secrecy around the case that it is hard to extract any information from the police. An officer in the CIA staff, when asked about the case about a week ago, feigned ignorance about the case and said he had only read about it in some newspapers.

When Mr Balbir Chand Tiwari, SHO of the Division Number 2 police station, was contacted a couple of days ago, he also expressed ignorance about any gold bricks in the beginning, saying that some press men had fabricated the story. He said he did not contradict the story as he did not want to spoil his relations with the Press, but admitted that the case had been passed on to the CIA.

According to the story that has come out in bits and pieces, so far, some gold smuggler (s), probably bringing the consignment to the city from either Delhi or Bombay, was alerted on his mobile phone that the CIA staff was checking the luggage of suspicious passengers at the Ludhiana railway station. After the phone call, the smuggler(s) threw the bag out of the moving train near Gurdwara Dukhniwaran with the obvious intention of picking it up later, say within 10 minutes at the most. As luck would have it, the bag was noticed by a woman living in the jhuggis along the track as soon as it was thrownout. She sent her rag-picker son, Taklu, to pick up the bag.

According to the story that has been doing rounds of several newspaper offices in the city for the past two weeks, there were three gold bricks, of 1 kg each in the bag. Some of the gold was bought by a junkdealer as brass for Rs 45 a kg. One brick was, reportedly, cut into three pieces and sold to as many buyers.

As the police got wind of the gold, in stepped Mr Tiwari from the police station of Division Number 2, as the area fell in his jurisdiction, but he did not disclose anything to any reporter about the seizures and arrests made by him. Mr Tiwari passed on the case to the CIA the next day and it was, perhaps, more than glad to have it.

Soon more persons were rounded up by the CIA and their number rose to 17. The family of the junkdealer, who is also in custody, are tight-lipped on the issue. No amount of assurance would do to make them talk. While some of the jhuggi-dwellers have been taken into custody for interrogation by the CIA staff, others have locked up their shanties and gone away to avoid possible harassment.

Investigation by this reporter showed that there had been seven gold bricks, instead of three. Sources in the GRP, another agency probing the case, said the seven gold bricks about the size of bricks used in old buildings carried Swiss markings and had been wrapped in an old and somewhat tattered shoulder bag. However, nobody knows for sure where the remaining four bricks have gone. All they have are conjectures and conjectures. Maybe the truth about the missing gold bricks would never come out, said the sources.



Tributes paid to Rajiv Gandhi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Tributes were paid to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 12th death anniversary here today. The day was observed as Anti-terrorism and Martyrdom Day. Separate functions were organised by various Congress-affiliated organisations and some blood donation camps were also organised.

The main function was organised at the local party office. It was presided over by the District Congress Committee (DCC) president, Mr K.K. Bawa. Prominent among those present on the occasion included the city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, legislators Mr Surinder Dawer, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, the DCC (rural) president, Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, the youth Congress leader, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, and several others.

The speakers recalled the outstanding contribution of the late Prime Minister towards modernising various fields of development. They said he sacrificed himself for the unity and integrity of the country. They exhorted the youth to ensure that the sacrifices laid down by the great leaders do not go waste.

Another function was organised by the urban development wing of the AICC, which was presided over by senior vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan. Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mr Akshay Bhanot, Mr Jarnail Singh Grewal and Rajkumar Sahota.

Another function was organised by the District Youth Congress (U) at Congress Bhavan. A blood donation camp was also organised on the occasion in which more than 50 youth Congress workers donated the blood. Mr Joginder Singh Mann, Minister for Welfare of SCs/BCs, Social Security and Development of Women and Children, Punjab, presided over the function and inaugurated the blood donation camp.

Paying tributes to Rajiv Gandhi, Mr Mann said he was a farsighted leader and architect of modern India, who inducted modern technology on a large scale in all fields in India to make the country competitive at the international level.

Mr Mann also remembered the other senior Congress leaders who laid down their lives while fighting against terrorism including late Mr Beant Singh, a former Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Joginder Pal Panday and others and brought peace in the state.

Amongst others who paid tributes included Mr Jagmohan Sharma, president, Punjab Beopar Mandal, Mr Prem Mittal, senior deputy mayor, Ludhiana, and Mr Komal Khanna, president, District Youth Congress.

FATEHGARH SAHIB: The Anti-Terrorism Day was observed at the district administrative complex here today. All the employees led by Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, took a pledge to abide by the traditions of non-violence and tolerance adopted by our country and to oppose terrorism and violence in all forms firmly. The Deputy Commissioner also administered oath to uphold and promote peace, social harmony and understanding among all fellow human beings and to fight the forces of disruption threatening human lives and values.



Field Gunj — city’s fire prone synthetic centre
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
A number of wholesale outlets of synthetic goods have come up in the Field Gunj area over the past few years. These synthetic goods are not just combustible but highly inflammable as well. One section of the Field Gunj market seems to have emerged as the synthetic centre of Ludhiana with all types of disposable goods being supplied from here to different places.

Be it the polythene bags, the disposable glasses, trays, plates or anything else, it is all available in this market. Huge quantities of stocks are kept there. In fact people have started using the residential premises as godowns. Since the demand is too great, they always prefer to keep huge stocks readily available.

Only a couple of years ago there was a minor fire in the area but it was controlled in time. Otherwise it would have wreaked havoc in the area. Since it is full of synthetic goods, even a spark can lead to a catastrophe. Luckily, at that time no one was sitting inside the house.

Since there is no provision for seeking permission for stocking such goods in the shops, the shopkeepers also do not bother to take fire-safety measures. In fact until and unless there is a law to prevent such mishaps, people would not take steps to ensure safety. It is not just the markets, but even the residential areas which are used to store stocks which always run the risk of a fire.

Field Gunj is one of the most congested areas in the city. There is a considerable population of migrant labourers living in the same area. The business activity is always at its peak in this area as most people prefer to drive in here for the reason that the roads in this area are relatively wider. Moreover, a large number of retail vegetable and fruit outlets attract many people during the evening hours to this place. Even the houses are located in close clusters.

The only consoling factor in this area is that it is relatively open. Even the movement of traffic in this area is in no way smooth. But compared to other places like the adjacent Mochpura Bazar, the Gur Mandi or Pindi Street, the roads are wide. But the risk of fire is equally imminent.

Some residents disclosed that they had objected several times to the setting up of wholesale outlets of synthetic goods in their locality. But in absence of any specific law in this regard nobody was able to help them. Mr Kartar Singh, who has been living in the area since 1947, when they migrated from Pakistan, said they remain in perpetual fear because of the threat of fire as “anything can happen anytime”.

He pointed out, “God forbid if any untoward incident occurs it would be the worst as the synthetic things, particularly plastic and nylon, catch fire easily...and also it is very difficult to extinguish such a fire”.

He said the administration could at least ensure that the traders do not pile up huge stocks in their houses. Moreover, he suggested, that such shops should not be allowed to function from a single place. “It is better to spread them to different places rather than allowing them to concentrate at a single place”, he observed.

The traders, when contacted, refused to comment and said they had nothing to say on the issue. “Assi kedi aafeem bejde haan” (We are not doing anything illegal, so why do we need to explain ourselves), remarked a trader of disposable trays. He said, such shops were located in each and every corner of the city. “When they do not pose any danger there, why should you single us out?”, he asked.



People exhorted to pay taxes honestly
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 21
“If income tax returns are honestly filed by the public and due tax paid, there will be no need of surveys, searches and seizures by the Income Tax Department,” said Mr Sudhakar Verma, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, while addressing members of the Regional Direct Tax Advisory Committee (RDTAC) at Aaykar Bhavan here on Tuesday.

He further said in the current progressive regime of economy, more and more persons must file their income tax returns, considering it as the need of the prevailing economic scenario and to make the nation strong.

Besides the Chief Commissioner, several other officials of the Income Tax Department including Mr B.S. Sandhu, Commissioner, Mr Ravi Aggarwal, Additional Commissioner, Mr V.K. Puri, senior private secretary to the Chief Commissioner and Mr K. S. Deep, Inspector, considered suggestions given by the members and assured positive improvements in the working system of the department so that the department could win the trust of the tax payers.

Mr Verma desired that the assessees and others willing to obtain PAN numbers must quote their complete address, range and other particulars correctly since more than 30,000 PAN numbers had been returned undelivered due to wrong addresses.

Mr Ashok Juneja , member of the committee, submitted a memorandum of suggestions, pleading among other things, the slashing of income tax rates in the country, which were on the higher side as compared with other progressive countries of the world. He further called for an ‘Amnesty Scheme’ under which provisions be made for a lump sum tax payment without attracting harsh provisions of penalty and interest. Mr Juneja wanted that no question regarding source of income should be asked by the department from those assessee who voluntarily disclosed additional income in their account books or returns.

Mr L.C. Gupta, a CA and another member of the committee suggested for bringing in positive improvement and other measures to cut down delay in issuing PAN and TAN numbers. Other members of the RDTAC, Dr Naresh Bassi, Mr Baldeep Singh Sandhu, Adviser, Income Tax -cum - Special Secretary (Finance), Government of Punjab, Dr Jagmohan Singh, an economist, Mr Sudhir Ahuja, Assistant General Manager, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, also made various suggested pleadings for reformatory measures relating to income tax.

The Chief Commissioner and other officials assured that suggestions of all members would be considered for providing tax payers a friendly environment and every effort would be made to bring complete transparency in the Income Tax Department. The officials further said that PAN and TAN numbers as well as refunds would be issued more speedily. It was also made clear that the banks should not refuse acceptance of tax payment challans even if the depositor did not reside in the area where the concerned bank was located. The banks had been further directed not to refuse challans even if PAN and TAN applications proof was not available with the depositors. In this regard, only a statement of assessee that he had applied for PAN / TAN was sufficient to accept the challan.



Garg Taxation Bar president
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 21
In a keenly contested election for the post of President of the District Taxation Bar Association (Sales Tax), Mr P.C. Garg has been elected for the year 2003-2004. He defeated his nearest rival with a margin of 90 votes. Mr Garg secured 162 votes, while Mr Mohinder Grover got 72 votes.

Mr Arun Kanwal, advocate has been unanimously elected secretary of the bar association. For the post of vice-president, Mr Mohan Lal Maini and joint secretary, Mr Deepak Kapoor, were elected. The elections were held under the supervision of Mr K.D. Bhardwaj, sitting president and Returning Officer.

Out of a total of 247 voters, 237 cast votes. Three votes were cancelled by the Returning Officer as being invalid. As per the Constitution of the association, five executive members would be nominated by the President after assuming the charge for the smooth functioning of the body.



DSGMC holds samagam
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
To bring the apostate back into the Sikh fold and counter the rampant drug abuse among the youth, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) held a gurmat samagam at Dholanwal village today. This was the first of the series of samagams to be held by the committee in the district where the gurmat literature was eagerly sought after by the gathering.

Although Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SHSAD chief, was scheduled to attend the meeting, he could not make it due to some preoccupations but the mood at the impressive gathering was that of having more such functions in the state so that the present generation could be told about the message of the Gurus and the rich and glorious past of the Panth.

Prominent among those who attended included DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna, former minister Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, former MLAs Hira Singh Gabria and Bikramjit Singh, SGPC members Surjan Singh Thekedar, Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, Bibi Kuldeep Kaur, Bibi Amritpal Kaur.

Those attending the samagam were unanimous that the committee had done a great service to the panth by organising such events. They would go a long way in bring the apostate back into the fold. In the absence of any awareness or dharam prachar drives in the past 30 years, the youth had turned their back and were seeking an easy way out of life’s challanges by using drugs and liquor. There was no concerted drive to offer any spiritual solace to such youngsters in the past, they opined.

A section of the gathering felt that only those candidates should be allowed to contest the SGPC elections who were religiously inclined and hailed from baptised families. The same should hold true for their families since the ordinary man looked up to them as a role model. “Nowadays, we see members themselves flouting all rehats and codes and their children are apostate. In such a scenario, it was naive to expect the masses to follow the dharam”, they pointed out.

Dhadhi jathas dwelt on the sacrifices made by the martyrs for the sake of the qaum. The kirtan darbar was also largely attended by the rural folk.



Bonding with binding

More of print-work is done at Jalandhar than anywhere else in our region. Many publishers and printers are well-known. Mostly, familiar to the student community. But do we, know the same of the book-binders? Their sweat is essence of pure labour. Ludhiana stands first as consumer of the printed works, due to the presence of a number of educational institutions and students. Amritsar, Patiala, Chandigarh, besides Ambala, Karnal and Kurukshetra, derive more light from books than by other means. Few value the role of book-binders.

Despite decline in reading habit books survive. Television and computers are giving tough competition to books. But these cannot replace books. Books are the product of human intelligence and imagination. Book is vital part of the destiny of man. Book sinks in the psyche of an individual, read bibliophile. All cities have scholars and teachers, litterateurs and authors, doctors and engineers, specialists and professionals in all fields.

We need books for awareness and enlightenment, knowledge and progress for intellectual advancement and mental expansion. Also, for aesthetic pleasure and, for escaping reality at times. We seldom see the work of the invisible hands. It is the story of human consciousness coupled with the expertise of the binder.

Words of wisdom of the seers and the sages were heard and remembered by the wise disciples. An oral tradition was born which continued. Then at the theatre of language, appeared the written word. Writing material followed leading to “Bhoja patra granths”. Pulp was beaten into paper. A deft, precise and careful workmanship was prelude to the art of making a book. Rolling up and knotting, stitching and protecting, were the element of art of binding. Judaic tradition carries along a rare piece of advice: “Save the Book and the Book will save you.” Synagogues display this message, even fill this day.

Arabs valued calligraphy and rewarded ornate patterns. Paid well for book-binding. Book opens gates to the world of academics and aesthetics. Binding is the threshold to this world. The city has a large number of printing presses, sale outlets, in addition to newspaper offices. Every other day, a new book is released at one forum or the other. Much praise is showered on the author. Face to face meetings with authors are arranged.

The title-design, jacket or dust cover is some what appreciated. The publisher is mentioned for commercial reason. What is beautician to the bride, a book binder to the book; and more. Once the city had excellent calligraphists (Khush Navis besides book-binder (Jild Saaz) Daar Binding Shop, M.A. Binders, Manzoor Mohd and Sons, Ghulam Mohammed Ahmed Hussain, Rafiq Mohd, Charaghdin and some more. Since partition, the oldest duo is Shree Mukand Lal and Mohinder Partap. Thousands of theses and books they have bound. The brothers love this work and they carry on. They are the genuine book-lovers. As the two work, one recalls the wise words of Carlyle, “Blessed is he who has found his work, let him ask no other.” They do not care for recognition. Mukand Lal and Mohinder Partap love binding. Perhaps, they intuitively imbibed what Voltaire said, “Work keeps us free form three evils — boredom, vice and need. They need bread without butter. M.S. Cheema



Mosquito menace in village
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, May 21
Mosquito menace has added to the woes of the villagers of Jugiana, who have no alternative, but to bear the wrath of the neglect that the Municipal authorities are showering on them.

The village pond and the drains are filled to the brim, with stagnating water becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. As no sweeper of the Municipal Corporation has bothered to clean up the village, the water has stagnated and increased the mosquito menace.

To make matters worse, fogging machines and the anti-malaria spray pumps have not entered the village even once this summer. The risk of the outbreak of diseases like malaria and dengue is not far. As no preventive measures are available with the rural folk and migrant labourers, the mosquito population may rise manifold.

Some of the villagers use mosquito coils and mats, but most of them cannot afford even such temporary measures. They do not even have fans to wart off mosquitoes. 



Lok Bhalai Party to contest panchayat poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, president of the Lok Bhalai Party and former Union minister, yesterday said that his party would fight the coming panchayat elections in Punjab.

He has asked his party office-bearers and workers to send in nominations of prospective candidates to party headquarters at 5 FF, Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana, by June 10, 2003. He has also appealed to the Independent candidates desirous of contesting panchayat elections on the Lok Bhalai Party ticket to contact him. 



5 booked on dowry charge
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 21
The Khanna police has booked five persons, including two women, on the charge of keeping a woman in illegal confinement and demanding dowry from her.
Parmjit Kaur of Guru Teg Bahadar Nagar at Khanna had lodged an FIR against her father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and husband, in which, she had said that she had married Manmohan Singh in 1997 at Khanna. After two-three months of it her in-laws started beating her up to seek Rs 5 lakh from her parents. She alleged that, on Sunday, she had been locked up inside a room. Her in-laws called two trucks and put all her belongings in these. One of her neighbours called up her parents at Chandigarh about the matter. Her parents, later, got her free. Parmjit Kaur, mother of two, was admitted to Civil Hospital at Khanna. On her complaint, the police has registered a case under Sections 498-A, 323, 380, 406, 506 and 120-B of the IPC.


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