Thursday, June 12, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Caste politics causes tension in village
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Aligarh (Jagraon), June 11
With panchayat elections in mind, vote-cum-caste politics has caused tension in this village situated on the Ludhiana-Jagraon road for the last two days. A bloody clash between Jats and Dalits already left 10 persons injured and 10 others booked for rioting and violence late last evening.

The immediate cause is the dispute between Congress and Akali-BSP supporters over the laying of a stone commemorating the names of some donors, who had given money for the filling of a large village pond. It has taken the shape of a Dalit-Jat divide leading to the violent clash between the two parties and a constant tension in this village about 35 km from Ludhiana.

Ten persons were injured in a clash between the Akali-BSP and Congress workers over the issue last evening. Four of those have been hospitalised. The clash took place when the Akali-BSP activists installed the controversial stone much to the anguish of Congress party workers, who allegedly resorted to violence.

The opposite groups, which are fighting over the issue for the last two weeks, exchanged abuses and pelted stones at each other resulted in injuries to ten persons. The police has booked 10 persons, all belonging to the Congress for causing violence.

The Akali-BSP workers are having the backing of the village panchayat, which is headed by a Dalit Sarpanch. The congress workers are predominantly supported by Jats. Both warring groups have the active sheltering of Akali-BSP and Congress leaders.

Though at the face of it, people talk about the issue of the laying of stone, the bullying of Dalits by the Jats and vice-versa and the naming of a park in the village, the real issue is the Panchayat elections. With an eye on strengthening the vote bank, vested interest are flaring up communal tension in the village.

The civil and police administration has succeeded in striking a compromise between the two parties over the stone issue. But as the tension continues, heavy police force has been deployed in the village to avoid any untoward incident. According to the agreement, two stones would be laid at the earlier pond site. One of the Akali-Dalit group and the other of the Congress-Jat villagers.

Mr Gurmeet Singh, SDM, Jagraon and Mr Jarnail Singh Dhaliwal, SP (H), Jagraon, spent over two hours in the village this morning to defuse the tension. The officials talked to the representatives of both the parties and warned that strict action would be taken against those persons trying to disturb law and order in the region over the issue.

A Tribune team visited the village today and found that the divide among the villagers on caste and vote lines was widening. Though the present tension can be traced to mid -May when the Dalits planned to lay the stone, the background dates to the month of May last year.

There was a large village pond situated almost in the centre of the village. The Panchayat headed by a Dalit woman, Ms Harwinder Kaur, and supported by Akali leaders unanimously resolved to fill the pond. The reason was that the pond had become a source of spreading diseases. Besides some, cattle had drowned in it recently. The pond was filled by all the villagers, including Jats, who pooled money. Some NRIs also donated money.

It was peaceful till mid-May this year. The Dalits decided to lay a stone there on which the names of those donors who had donated more than Rs 1000 would be inscribed. The Congress workers supported by Jats opposed it, saying this was done to attract votes, and names of all donors including the Jats should be included.

It was earlier decided that the filled-up pond space would be developed as a park. Both parties started quarrelling over naming the park after someone. While the Akalis and the Dalits wanted to name it after Shaheed Rachpal Singh, war martyr the Congressmen and the Jats wanted it to name after late Santokh Singh, a former congress leader and Sarpanch of the village. His son Jagtar Singh is heading the Jat group.

The matter was brought to the notice of the SDM Gurmeet Singh. He told The Tribune today that initially he refused to give permission to the village panchayat but then relented when they promised that only the names of the donors would be inscribed on the stone

However, the Akali-Dalit workers installed a huge stone in which the names of leaders like Bhag Singh Mallah and Darshan Singh Shivalik were inscribed in bold letters. This angered the Congress-Jat group, which allegedly resorted to violence.

Inquiries reveal that the leaders were under pressure from the voters to inscribe their name of they wanted to win the panchayat elections. SDM Gurmeet Singh said as the model code of conduct for the panchayat elections was implemented in the state, the name of any politician cannot be inscribed. He said a meeting of the political leaders, including Mr Bhag Singh Mallah, Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik, Mr Karam Soni Galib (son of congress MP G S Galib), had decided that both the groups could lay stone of donors excluding the political leaders.

Mr Om Parkash. a Dalit leader, talking to The Tribune alleged that the police had not arrested any of the accused persons who had injured the Dalits. Mr Jarnail Singh Dhaliwal said the police will not spare any body and was concentrating first on maintaining peace and harmony in the village.

Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chhina, SSP, Jagraon, said the situation was under control and no one, irrespective of the party or caste he belonged to, would be allowed to disturb law and order in the village.



DC told to inquire into INA veteran’s pension case
Tribune News Service

Bhaini Aroran (Ludhiana), June 11
Almost six decades after she and her husband fought for country’s freedom, Ms Sarjit Kaur, an INA veteran of Bhaini Aroran village has got a ray of hope for getting pension as the Punjab Woman Commission (PWC) has directed the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, to evaluate her case and find out why she was not given any pension all these years.

The commission has directed the DC, Mr Anurag Verma, to submit an inquiry report within 20 days of receiving the letter. Ms Sarjit Kaur’s plight was highlighted by the Tribune in its columns and the PWC had taken up her case recently.

The commission said it was surprised to know that people who contributed in the freedom movement were not even acknowledged for their work even 56 years after the country’s achieving Independence.

Ms Sarjit Kaur has been fighting for the recognition of her husband’s contribution to the country’s Independence. Hazoora Singh Chahal, her husband, had died long ago, unsung and unrecognised. Not only the nation, but also majority of residents of this sleepy hamlet are unaware of the INA veteran who was living, unnoticed and unsung, amidst them, since Independence.

Hazoora Singh Chahal, who was with Netaji Subhas Chander Bose at Singapore from 1944 to 1945, and his wife, Ms Sarjit Kaur had not only sacrificed their youth, but also a member of their family for the country’s freedom. The latter claims that she had to abandon her newborn baby at Singapore as she could not bear the condition of the starving infant. Substantiating her claims, she shows the picture of her baby bearing stamp of a studio in Singapore.

Though bitter at the treatment given to them as they had not been able to get pension or recognition even after 56 years of Independence, Ms Sarjit Kaur is once again hopeful that the Deputy Commissioner would submit the inquiry report soon and she would start getting pension.

According to the documents produced by her, Hazoora Singh had joined the Indian National Army on February 23, 1944. He worked as a Havildar with 1/8 Guerilla, First Battalion, A.Coy no. 34451. His area of operation was Ipoh Perak, Malaya Captain Bhaskar C. Com of Maharashtra was his Commander. The documents show that he was imprisoned for seven months at various jails at Ipoh and Bidda Union Government continued for more than 40 years but even then he did not get any pension or economic relief as was provided to other members of the INA. In a letter, dated January 30, 1958, written to the Secretary to the Government of Punjab, Hazoora Singh had given the details of his stay with the INA at Singapore and had asked for economic relief. But the poor man could not get any positive response.

He did not get a pension even after another INA veteran, Lieut-Kirpal Singh, INA, 2/8, Guerilla Regiment, had declared under oath that Hazoora Singh remained imprisoned in Ipoh with him for several months. But this declaration also did not bring him anything.

The fight to get pension ended after he died, but soon his wife started the correspondence. She is still waiting for the day when her husband’s struggle for the country’s freedom would be recognised and she would be given the pension which is going to be the only means of her livelihood. Her son, Mr Jarnail Singh, is also running from pillar to post in this connection, but to no avail.



Quacks make merry at patients’ cost
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
Known as the centre for medical treatment, Ludhiana offers treatment at a large number of superspeciality centres here. While, these medical centres have flourished, the city has also attracted the largest number of quacks. Unsuspecting patients are being offered treatment for almost all ailments, including AIDS. Not only are the patients being diagnosed incorrectly, but their cases are complicated with steroids and other harmful substances.

Time and again, the issue of curbing the practice of quacks is raised at some forum or the other, but nothing substantial has ever come out in the form of checking the quacks from playing with the health of the patients. A Punjab and Haryana High Court directive about two years ago to the Ludhiana Civil Surgeon to conduct periodic raids and get a survey conducted on unqualified medical practitioners has achieved precious little in this regard.

Mr Justice R.L. Anand who had issued an order to the state government to check the growing menace of quackery within a reasonable period of time, has since retired. Neither the high court, nor the Indian Medical Council, on whose behalf the petition was filed, have been able to rid the city of quacks. The Judge, in his order, had observed, “We hope and expect that no unqualified quack is allowed practise in the region and to create any hazard to the precious lives of human beings.”

Concentrated in areas around the bus stand, these “medical practitioners” openly advertise in the electronic and print media. Childless couples, men suffering from general debility, women wanting breast enlargement, youngsters desirous of increasing their height or middle-aged persons keen to control hair loss fall under the category of the most sought-after clients.

“These quacks look for the illiterate segments of society, whom they can easily mislead and fleece”, says a city physician, Dr Pushpinder Singh. Promises like “return of vigour in seven days”, appear very attractive to unsuspecting clients, who are put on steroids and hormones, he says.

The other areas in which there is a large concentration of such “medical practitioners” are Sherpur, Janakpuri, Basti Jodhewal, Shivpuri, Shimlapuri, Barewal Road, Tajpur Road and Kundanpuri.

While one such doctor claims to treat his patients with German and US medicines, many quacks claim that they make their own medicines, based on well-kept and guarded secrets for generations. There are others who use utensils like spoons and bowls to “suck out the ailment” from the bodies of the patients. A quack, commonly known as Rajasthani doctor, uses what he calls animal and plant extracts for ailments such as skin allergies.

The staff at the Civil Surgeon’s office at Ludhiana conduct periodic raids and seal shops and equipment of the quacks. But within a matter of days, these people are back with a different name and a new name for the clinic. The district authorities have evolved strategies to check the menace. But now, they have started expressing helplessness, with officials saying, “whenever we conduct a raid, the unregistered medical practitioners shut shops, only to resurface at the same spot later or to relocate at another place in the city”.

The staff concentrating on clinics violating the PNDT Act and conducting sex determination tests say they can catch a quack indulging in malpractice, but cannot prevent the quacks from issuing advertisements and luring people.



Two get life term for murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 11
A city court has sentenced Harjinder Singh, alias Shunty, a resident of New Hargobind Nagar, and his companion Harminder Pal Singh, alias Pappu, of Kamran Road, Ludhiana, to undergo rigorous life imprisonment in a murder case. The two were facing charges of murdering Mohinder Pal Singh, alias Bhanu, in the New Sabzi Mandi area on February 5, 2000.

Delivering the verdict, Mr A.S. Kathuria, the judge of Fast-track Court, held that it had been proved beyond reasonable doubt that both the accused, in furtherance of their common intention, committed the murder intentionally. The court declined the plea of leniency raised by the accused, keeping in view the gravity of the offence.

They were booked by the Sadar Police Station under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC on February 5, 2000 on the statement of Jaswinder Pal Singh, brother of the deceased.

But the police did not challan Harminder Pal Singh and placed him under Column No. 2, declaring him innocent. Aggrieved by this, the family of the deceased filed a separate criminal complaint against both the accused in the court of the then Ilaqa Magistrate, Mr K.K. Kareer. It was alleged that the police had not investigated the case properly and exonerated the accused without any reason.

The evidence was recorded and the court came to the conclusion that there was sufficient prima facie evidence against both the accused. Thereafter, the complaint case was committed to the Sessions Court. Mr S.S.Arora, the then Sessions Judge, passed orders for clubbing the case registered by the police and the complaint case. The accused, Harminder Pal Singh, was summoned by the court to face trial.

Jaswinder Pal Singh deposed in the witness box that on the day of the crime, he along with his friend Navtej Singh were sitting at the house of Bhanu. Ravinder Singh came there and told them that both the accused had removed his turban from his head and insulted him. He requested them to accompany him to meet the accused for a patch-up.

They then reached the new sabzi mandi area where the accused were present outside shop No: 35. Tempers flared and Shunty pulled out a revolver and fired shots at Bhanu, which resulted in his death. The accused then fled the scene, added the complainant.

However, during the trial the accused pleaded innocence. The defence pleaded that the murder was, in fact, committed by some unidentified persons around 6 pm and the complainant was not present on the spot.


IHRO team to  visit Talhan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) expressed its concern today over the recent violence at Talhan village, near Jalandhar. The NGO criticised the state government and the district administration for their handling of the situation.

The IHRO constituted a five- member committee of human rights and political activists. It comprises Mr D.S. Gill, Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal, Mr Jaspal Singh Dhillon, Mr Gurdip Singh and Mr Gian Chand, according to a press note.

The IHRO called upon the people of Punjab to help restore communal harmony in the state. It expressed its dismay over the silence of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission.

Hailing the settlement reached at between Jats and Dalits of Hassanpur village, near Dhuri in Sangrur district, the IHRO condemned the preventive arrest of Bhai Mohkam Singh, spokesman of the Damdami Taksal. The IHRO panel would visit Talhan village on June 13 and submit its report this week, it added.



6 cops, 2 undertrials hurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
Ten persons, including six policemen and two undertrials, were injured when a police van overturned on an over-bridge near Hardy’s World on Ludhiana-Jalandhar stretch of National Highway No. 1 here today. Two persons travelling on a rickshaw were also injured.

According to sources the accident took place when a private bus owned by Deol Transport Company rammed into the police van. The van turned upside down.

The sources said the police van (PB-11-R-7954) was carrying seven policemen and two undertrials from Patiala jail to Amritsar. The undertrial had to appear in a court at Amritsar for the hearing of a case against them. The van driver, Mr Tara Singh, had to suddenly change the lane to avoid a rickshaw. A bus following the van collided with it. No bus passenger was injured.

A case has been registered against the driver of the bus, who has absconded another bus was arranged for passengers for onward journey.

Six of the injured persons have been identified as ASI Sukhjinder Singh, HCs Raj Kumar and Parveen Kumar, constables Jai Ram, Gurnam Singh and Amrik Singh. The undertrials injured in the accident are Manjit Singh and Gurdev Singh. The two persons travelling in the rickshaw are yet to be identified. The condition of the injured is said to be stable.



Dharna ends, MC worker cremated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 11
An employee of the local municipal corporation, Ashok Kumar, who had died yesterday due to an electric shock, was cremated here today after the Sangharsh Samiti of Nagar Nigam called off the dharna. An assurance was given by the MC top brass that an eligible member of the family of the deceased would be recruited on compassionate grounds.

The city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, and MC Commissioner S.K. Sharma, besides other senior officials and a large number of civic employees were present at the cremation. Earlier, MC officials and the police persuaded the union leaders to permit the body to be taken for a post-mortem examination at the Civil Hospital. A case has also been registered under Section 304-A,IPC, in this connection.

MC workers had been holding a dharna at the MC headquarters since yesterday demanding an appointment letter for a member of the family of Ashok Kumar.

Activists of the samiti on being told by the senior MC officials that appointment letter on compassionate grounds could not be issued in this manner and certain documents had to be produced in this regard, insisted that other pending cases of this nature should be immediately cleared.

The MC Joint Commissioner, Mr Prem Chand, who was holding discussion with the Samiti, categorically told them that the delay in the processing of pending cases was due to an ambiguity in the government instructions and a clarification had been sought from the Directorate of Local Government, Punjab, in this regard.



Nagar Panchayat chief quits

Sahnewal, June 11
The resignation of Dr Shamsher Singh Kaile from the post of President, Nagar Panchayat, Sahnewal, was accepted at a meeting held at the Nagar Council office yesterday.

The local MLA, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, along with the 11 councillors present at the occasion accepted the resignation.

Dr Shamsher Singh Kaile had submitted his resignation some days ago to the Chief Minister who, inturn, directed the Deputy Director, Local Bodies, to intervene in the matter. The resignation was then forwarded to the office of the Nagar Panchayat, Sahnewal, where it was finally accepted. No new president has been appointed so far.

When asked Dr Kaile said he was quitting the office as he was under tremendous political pressure which was telling upon his mental health and affecting his personal relations. He also alleged that several Congress councillors had got false cases registered against him and were threatening him on one pretext or the other. Mr Birmi, however, said the charges were not baseless and some of the allegations had already been proved.



5-day Cong training camp opens
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 11
“The Congress Seva Dal is a group comprising disciplined party workers, who could consolidate the party base by training cadres at training camps.” This was stated by Mr Jagmohan Sharma, president, District Congress Committee (Urban), while inaugurating a five-day training camp being organised by the district unit(rural) of the Congress Seva Dal here today.

The training camp commenced with the uniformed workers of the seva dal saluting the National Flag. Presiding over the function, Mr Sushil Parashar, coordinator of the Seva Dal and member, AICC, said being held all over the country the camps would aim at disseminating the programmes and policies to the grassroots level. Special training would be imparted to the workers for election campaigns, he added.

The district (Rural) president of the Congress Seva Dal, Mr Gurnam Singh Kler, and District Youth Congress president Komal Khanna also addressed the party workers.



Cong workers’ conference

Doraha, June 11
The Congress organised a block-level conference at the Sangam Palace, Payal, on Wednesday, with a view to mobilising its workers for the panchayat elections scheduled to be held on June 29.

Many Congress leaders and workers including Mr Avtar Singh, senior vice-president, Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, Member of Parliament, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister, Punjab, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, Mr Najar Singh Lapran, Block President, Mr Gurmit Singh Kotli, Congress leader, Mr Gurmit Singh Bhari, former political secretary, Mr Pritpal Singh Bishanpura, Mr Harminder Singh Raikot, Mr Jasminder Singh Jarkhar, Mr Bant Singh Daburjee and Mr Sudarshan Kumar Sharma, spoke on the occasion. He made a significant mention regarding the release of grants for development.

The Congress leaders criticised the decision of Akal Takht to declare Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale a martyr. OC



Calligraphy, tie and dye fascinate many
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, June 11
Calligraphy, the art of beautiful writing, has been around for as long as writing began. Thanks to persons like Anis Siddiqui the art has gained a lot of popularity.
Anubhav, Ishita, Surbhi, Arnav, Abhishek are all thrilled as they now have an improved handwriting. They were often scolded in class for bad handwriting. They said: “Today is the 10th day of the workshop and we have learnt to write in a much better way. We are sure when we go back to school after vacations, our teachers would be happy.”

Ishita is learning calligraphy as it is part of an entrance test for admission to an Arts College in Chandigarh.

She says: “Mr Anis has gone about teaching in a systematic manner. First we were taught different types of strokes. The second step was to draw straight lines, then we moved on to writing from left to right using a slant, and further moved on to writing in reverse order. Drawing of circles followed next and this led us to writing simple and later stylish calligraphy. We never thought it could be so much fun.”

Anis is not surprised at the tremendous response it has evoked. He said: “I had to get special reed pens from Delhi. As the pens are not available here, students write with different ink pens having calligraphic nib. With young people getting interested in different form of arts, more awareness and appreciation has been generated in the society. Parents will have to support their children, which will boost art institutes in the city.”

Anis says: “Calligraphy is a dialogue with paper, ink and tool. Calligraphy is not a rehearsed but spontaneous art, which is subject to change by impulse, desire or whim.”

Anis has been teaching the art since 1984. He received the first national award in calligraphy from the President of India in 1984. He has been successful in popularising this art at 70 different places i.e. 240 days and a total 300 exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops, among students and teachers of Urdu, Hindi, Japanese, Persian, Pushtu and English.

Housewives have taken to learning tie and dye at a workshop being conducted by Bashir Ahmed from Jaisalmer. Bashir Ahmed says: “I always was amidst vibrant colours — different hues of reds, maroons, green and blues. My family has been into the tie and dye art for generations. As we grew up, we keep creating more intricate and contemporary designs.”

Ms Shashi Budhiraja, Ms Kitty Bhambi, Ms Savita and Ms Shalini, all housewives, say they have become so absorbed in learning the exciting procedure of tie and dye that they come back in the evening to complete the garments left incomplete in the morning. They just go home to finish the household chores, but their minds are constantly thinking of new designs.

Ms Kitty says: “We thought it was complicated. But it is not so. We have to be patient as we have to keep tying the cloth and then dye it. We use chemical and vat colours. We dissolve the colour and put the cloth to dye in a utensil placed over fire. After some time, we dry it, tie some knots again and dye again. After the design is complete, we put the material in water in which colour fixer is added so that the colours remain fast. We learn new designs everyday.”

The students started with “bandhini” and have moved on to “lehriana”. They have learnt to put designs on T-shirts, dupattas, kurtas, etc.

Bashir says back home, womenfolk generally do tying after the men have done the preliminary work of marking the design. Menfolk do the dyeing job. He says the government has made cards for them and given them appreciation letters but has not helped them in marketing. Big buyers buy from them and sell their products at huge margins.

The workshops are organised with the help of the Kala Sewa Society.



Gurpurb schedule
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 11
Mr Sarwan Singh, president, Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Old Sabzi Mandi, said today that the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev would be observed on June 14, 15 and 16 in accordance with the Nanakshahi calendar.

Religious divans and kirtan darbars would be organised in which jathas of Bhai Jaswant Singh, Bhai Baksheesh Singh (both of Darbar Sahib, Amritsar), Bhai Karamjit Singh (Shimla), Bhai Bhupinder Singh (Pathankot), Bhai Ajmer Singh, Bhai Seetal Singh, Bhai Paramjit Singh Khalsa, Giani Amrik Singh and Giani Narain Singh Chandan would participate. A nagar kirtan would be taken out in the city on June 14 in this connection. Mr Gurcharan Singh, president, Gurdwara Sri Guru Kalgidhar Singh Sabha and Mr Avtar Singh Kamboj, secretary, Shaheedi Dal, said the nagar kirtan would commence from Gurdwara Kalgidhar at 4 p.m. and conclude there only. 



Follow Haryana pattern on reimbursement

The recent decision of the Haryana Government, allowing government employees, pensioners and family pensioners complete reimbursement of expenditure incurred by them on indoor as well as outdoor treatment on complicated chronic diseases on the notified list is appreciable. The Government of Haryana has also done well to do away with the upper limit of Rs 6000, fixed earlier for the employees, pensioners and family pensioners to spend from their own pockets. The Punjab Government, being in a better financial position, should follow suit and implement the Haryana pattern for the welfare of its own in-service employees, pensioners and family pensioners.

The Departments of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, vide its notification dated September 1, 2000, laid down that no reimbursement would be allowed if the expenditure on the treatment of any listed complicated chronic disease was below Rs 6000. The medical expenses over the prescribed limit of Rs 6000 will be cent per cent reimbursed. This rider, under the fresh instructions, should be immediately removed as had been done by the government of Haryana.

B.R. Kaushal

Withdraw power hike

The recent hike in power tariff for domestic consumers has broken the back of the common man. For the first time domestic consumers are the worst affected as compared to other industrial and commercial categories. It is surprising to note that houses that use the 100 to 300 units have been kept at par with medium and large scale industrial units. This is totally unjustified. This will severely hit the economy middle and low income group which are already struggling for existence.

Prior to the power hike, telephone water and sewerage charges have already been raised shattering the budget of most homes. The state government must keep in mind the plight of the common man and withdraw the power hike.

Kuldip Singh Kreer

A breach of contact

It is a matter of concern that hundreds of allottees of the Improvement Trust and the Punjab Urban Development Authority, Ludhiana, have been on tenterhooks for months together as the registration of the title deeds are pending due to the arbitrary decision of the government to pay the stamp duty as per the current market rates of the land instead of the rates on which the agreements were signed with the allottees.

About 1200 to 1500 cases of registration of title deeds are lying pending, because either the allottees do not want to pay the stamp duty as per the current market rates of the land, treating it as a breach of contract by the government with them, or they are not even in a position to pay the increased amount.

The decision taken by the government was illogical and unprecedent as the rates of the land had been revised earlier, too, but the original allottees were never affected. In my view allottees were being made to suffer on two accounts. Due to the indecision of the government the mutation cannot be done until the title deeds are registered, and without mutation the allottees cannot avail the bank finance facility. On the other hand they have to suffer due to imposition of non construction fine on them for the reasons beyond their control.

The step of the government was totally unjust and unjustifiable in case of the original allottees, who have over a period made the payments in installments as mutually agreed upon by both the parties i.e. the Trust/PUDA and the allottees. It is unfair on the part of the government to charge the revised rates as it is tantamount to breach of contracts.

Pawan Aggarwal

Low water pressure

The residents of Urban Estate of Dugri especially MIG colony, Phase-II, are facing the problem of acute shortage of supply of water. For the last many days the inhabitants of MIG colony, first floor, are not getting the required supply of water and as the summer season is reaching at its peak, the problem is becoming more serious. The residents living on the ground floor are also facing hardships due to the low pressure.

On the one hand the government has steeply hiked water and sewerage charges by about 50 per cent, on the other hand no water is available. It is requested that the Municipal Corporation be made to look into the matter seriously and ensure regular supply of water.

Kuldip Singh

Delay in receipt

This is to bring to your notice that I have received a letter through speed post after six days of it having here mailed locally. The letter EE78970258 received on June 6, 2003, was posted from PAU post office, Ludhiana (141004), on May 30, 2003 at 14.56.01. The distance the letter covered in six days is less than one kilometer from my residence.

I am pained to see such maladministration in the postal services and request you to highlight such lapses. It would be highly appreciated if the reasons for this inordinate delay in the delivery of the above said speed post letter are investigated by the department and made public.

Kamal Mohan Chopra



150 LPG cylinders confiscated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
As part of a special campaign to check the commercial sale and use of LPG and the places, where LPG can cause fire, a special drive was carried out in the city by six teams of official of the Food and Supply Department today.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, said that under the supervision of DFSC, Ms Simarjot Kaur, the teams conducted raids in different parts of the city, which were still continuing. During the raids 150 cylinders for unauthorised commercial and illegal use were confiscated. 



Mehta’s nomination welcomed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 11
The nomination of Mr Parminder Mehta, former district president of the Youth Congress, as the secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has been welcomed by functionaries of the Congress and its youth brigade.



JE held on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
The local Vigilance Bureau today arrested a Junior Engineer (JE) of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) for accepting a bribe of Rs 3,000 from a person in lieu of allowing him to run a tubewell on “kundi” connection.

Mr Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu, SSP (Vigilance), in a press note said JE Baljit Singh was caught red-handed while he was accepting the bribe at the residence of a farmer, Avraj Singh, at Rashin village, near Dehlon. The DSP (Vigilance), Mr Sarwan Ram, and Inspector Mohinder Singh led the raiding team.

Mr Sandhu said the farmer had applied to the PSEB for increasing the power load but the JE offered to provide him an illegal “kundi” connection in lieu of a sum of Rs 3,000. The villager subsequently informed the Vigilance Bureau.

A team of officials caught the JE red-handed at the residence of the complainant. He has been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.



Couple booked for PFC loan default
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 11
The Shimlapuri police has registered a case under Section 406 of the IPC on the basis of an application from the Punjab Finance Corporation against Parminder Singh and his wife Ajit Kaur of Sherpur Road. The corporation had alleged that the accused had taken a loan for Rs 21,99,000 from it for the construction of a factory on October 17, 1996, but did not return the money.

The Shimlapuri police has registered a case under Sections 323, 341, 506, 379 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ranjit Singh of Satguru Nagar, against Gurcharan Singh, Swaran Singh and Kuldeep Singh, of Daba Road and an unknown person. The complainant had alleged that the accused stopped him on the road near Gill Chowk on Monday night, beat him up and threatened him. The accused also took away a bag from him which contained Rs 300 and one HMT watch, added the complainant.

The Civil Lines police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Sharanjit Singh Chawla of Jawahar Nagar Camp. He reported that Rs 5,500, important documents and a Tullu pump were stolen from his flour mill on Monday night.

The Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 323, 380 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Chinty Devi of Preetam Nagar, against Mangat Ram and his wife, living in the same locality. The woman had alleged that the accused beat her up and stole Rs 5,000 on Tuesday evening.

The Haibowal police has registered a case under sections 232, 341, 506 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Rajan, of Durga Puri in Haibowal Kalan, against Lucky, Vicky and seven or eight boys. The complainant had alleged that the accused stopped him on the way on Monday night, beat him up and threatened him.

The Jodhewal police has registered a case under sections 323, 452, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ajaib Singh of Kuldeep Nagar against Happy of Basti Manni Singh, along with 18 or 20 boys. The complainant had alleged that the accused entered his office on Tuesday, beat him up and threatened him. 



SBI takes lead in banning stapled notes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
Following the directions of the Reserve Bank of India in favour of using paper bands instead of stapling wads of currency notes, the State Bank of India has become the first bank to accept and issue unstapled notes only.

The head office of the SBI has written to all its branches throughout the country to follow the RBI directions in letter and spirit. Following the directions, the branches of the SBI have started issuing unstapled notes and educating their customers. The officials of the bank have started appealing to the public to comply with the directions to increase the life of currency notes, which are damaged due to the prevalent practice of stapling.

The move by the bank has put to rest the controversy that had erupted after the directives were issued by the RBI, which were being opposed by bank employee unions on the plea that the employees could not handle so many unstapled notes at the same time, as they dealt with lakhs of currency notes everyday.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) had even written to the RBI Governor and chairpersons of all banks saying that unless certain steps, including safeguarding employees against loss of currency notes and improving infrastructure for paper band notes, were introduced the RBI instructions could not be complied with.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune today, Mr Pala Ram, Manager of the SBI, Fountain Chowk, said they had started issuing unstapled notes and educating the masses to bring only unstapled notes to them. He said they were not following the procedure of binding the notes together with a paper as yet and were only dealing with unstapled currency notes.

The RBI had issued directives under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 against stapling of currency note wads in all newspapers and TV channels. It had also issued circular to the banks to discontinue with the practice, as it was damaging the currency notes. The RBI had also appealed to the public to accept unstapled notes only.

The RBI had even asked the branches to discontinue with the old practice of stapling currency note packets and to instead paper band them in reissuable and non-issuable packets, separately. The currency chests were instructed to ensure that there were no stapled note packets in their possession.

Besides restrictions on stapling of currency notes, the RBI had also banned any kind of writing on the currency notes or wads saying that it amounted to damaging these.



Industrialists meet CBDT chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11
The Federation of Tiny and Small Industries has resented the raising of eligibility limit for Small Scale Industry (SSI) from Rs 3 crore to 5 crore. A deputation of the federation has presented a memorandum in his regard to Mr A.K. Singh, Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

Mr Joginder Kumar president of the federation apprised Mr A.K. Singh, of the problems being faced by the industry. Later, the delegation called upon Mr P.L. Singh, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Government of India and appraised him about the problems relating to levy of tax on scrap, which has caused resentment among members of the trade and industry in the state. 


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