Friday, July 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Undertrial’s death: case registered
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
The case in connection with the death of an undertrial, Surjit Singh, in Central Jail here, which was earlier being termed as death due to an illness, has now been registered as a case of murder, raising questions about the safety of undertrials in jail.

A murder case has been registered at division No.7 police station here today on the directions of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission(PSHRC). It had based its investigation, among other things, on the chemical examination report of the viscera of the deceased. The report stated that poison and not any illness was the cause of the death.

The registration of the case has definitely come as a shot in the arm for the family of the deceased, which had been fighting the case for more than two years. The family had contended that man was in good health and could not have died due to any illness.

Surjit Singh, a middle-aged man, had died on January 29, 2001. The police and the jail authorities had stated that he had died due to some illness. He belonged to Mangli Nichi village near here.

The family had approached the PSHRC, which directed the ADGP attached with the Commission to conduct an inquiry.

The FIR states that the inquiry report submitted to Mr B.C.Rajput, member, PSHRC, found that the man did not die due to illness. The inquiry report expressed surprise that even though the chemical examination report termed poison as the cause of the death, yet no changes were made in the police report.

Further investigation into the case will be conducted by DSP (Detective) Malkiat Singh.

Sources at the local Jail Department expressed surprise at the registration of the case. They maintain that the undertrial had died due to some illness although the jail authorities had taken him to the Civil Hospital.

As per norms, cases for death under mysterious circumstances are registered under Section 174, CrPC. However in this case, even though the chemical examination report stated that the cause of death was poison, no change in the initial line of the FIR investigation was made.



Double-murder case: 3 arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
The district police today solved the Shastri Nagar double-murder case by arresting three persons, one of whom is a migrant labourer of Mehraj district in Uttar Pradesh, while the other two are Sahnewal-based and trade in currencies. Poonam Malhotra, wife of Naresh Malhotra, who also traded in currencies, and their servant Chhottu were found murdered on May 22 in a house at Model Town.

The three suspects have been identified as Mohan Singh of Uttar Pradesh and Bhagat Ram and Sunil Kumar. The police has recovered $ 19,000 and Rs 33,500 from them. Mohan Singh has been charged with murder while the other two have been accused of buying the dollars from him.

Addressing a press conference SSP Gurpreet Singh, SP(Detective), said robbery was the motive behind the murders. He said Mohan Singh worked as a painter in the house, which was undergoing renovation. He said on that fateful day he found the servant and the woman alone at house and murdered the servant on the top floor of the house and the woman on the first floor.

Mohan Singh had disappeared after the crime and this made the police suspicious. He was arrested from the city when he had come to take the money which he had kept with one of the suspects.

Meanwhile, the family of Poonam in a rare gesture gave Rs 70,000 to the family of Chhotu. 



MC, Health Dept differ on water quality
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 10
In the wake of the outbreak of gastroenteritis, jaundice and typhoid in several city localities during the past few days, the quality of piped water being supplied in the city by the Municipal Corporation had come under a cloud, with conflicting claims being made by the civic body and Health Department officials here.

While the Health Department officials have said that water samples taken from some localities where water-borne diseases had spread were found to be contaminated, the MC officials maintain that the piped water is potable and regular tests are being conducted to check the chlorination, both at the source and at the user’s end.

The MC officials further said that most of the localities where the outbreak of diseases had been reported were undeclared colonies where water supply or other civic amenities were not being provided by the civic body. Most of the persons suffering from gastroenteritis and jaundice had been drawing water from hand pumps, which was unfit for human consumption.

Dr Ajit Chawla, District Epidemiologist, talking to Ludhiana Tribune, did not contest the claim of the MC about the level of chlorination but said nine of the 12 water samples had failed the microbiological test and the MC authorities had been informed in this regard.

He said after a joint meeting of civic officials and senior officers of the Health Department here on Tuesday, coordinated efforts were being made to monitor the quality of drinking water in the city in general and the affected areas in particular.

On the other hand, the MC Joint Commissioner, Mr Prem Chand, claimed that the water samples taken from more than 35 city localities yesterday were found to be safe for drinking. He said water samples would be taken on a daily basis from various localities for testing so that the quality of water could be maintained and remedial measures taken where water was found to be contaminated. “For the time being, we are only conducting the chlorination test, which is the standard indicator of safety and can be done readily. Necessary remedial steps are also being taken in the light of deficiencies found in the microbiological tests of the water samples,” he said.

Teams of O and M cell of the civic body, meanwhile, had taken water samples from Kila Mohalla, Gandhi Nagar, Fatehganj, Chhawni Mohalla, Salem Tabri, Field Ganj, Mochpura, Brown Road, Hargobind Nagar, Bhagat Singh Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Gurnam Nagar, Guru Har Rai Nagar, Partap Nagar, Ram Nagar, Simplapuri, SAS Nagar, Kot Mangal Singh, Janta Nagar, Lachman Nagar, Sewakpura, Nirankari Mohalla, Ram Bagh, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Guru Gobind Singh Nagar, Guru Arjun Dev Nagar, Mundian Kalan, Mohindra Street, Islam Ganj, Cheema Chowk and Kidwai Nagar. All these water samples were found safe for human consumption.

The water samples in some localities from where cases of water-borne diseases were reported had also been tested and found fit for drinking. The MC had made arrangements to provide potable water through water tankers in the areas where water drawn from hand pumps was suspected to be contaminated and had led to the outbreak of diseases.

To step up the campaign against the outbreak of diseases during the rainy season, the sanitation staff had been directed to curb the sale of unhygienic eatables and over-ripe fruits in the city.

Mr Prem Chand said the MC staff led by respective chief sanitary inspectors had destroyed over 650 kg of eatables and fruit in the city.



Promiscuity thrives in city 
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
Promiscuity and perversity are no longer limited to Hollywood or Bollywood movies. What is just a suggestion in movies like “Ajnabee” is happening right here in the city.
The high society in the city has evolved its own code of morality that remains shrouded in secrecy, while the guardians of law feel helpless in the absence of any law to safeguard morality.

“Morality is a very personal thing. The government or the administration has no business to interfere in the personal lives of residents”, says a woman member of one such club that encourages physical contact among its members of the opposite sex, many of whom are bound in holy matrimony.

A senior official, admitting that such practice was a routine affair among the affluent of the city, said: “We are quite helpless because such activities do not fall under the purview of the Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act as no monetary consideration is involved in the process of physical gratification. All such activity is confined to the walls of private properties, with mutual consent, taking it out of the purview of the common provisions in law".

The practice of seeking “an alliance” with members of the opposite sex has become so blatant that some people are openly advertising in newspapers assuring those interested in having an “intimate physical relationship with complete secrecy”.

In an attempt to capitalise on what some entrepreneurs term as “human weakness”, they invite people to come and have live chat with girls and make friends with them. Several local television channels, too, are advertising such services. While many phone numbers are from places like Delhi, there are some who are offering such facility on overseas numbers.

Recently, a prostitution racket was unearthed in Delhi where the middlemen were advertising their services as “complete body massage”. When mediapersons approached the middlemen on the cellphone, it turned out to be a call-girl racket.

“There are phone numbers that you can call to have live chat with girls, on the face of it, but then you know what it means,” says a local resident who is himself a frequent caller.

Such “adventures” are not limited to any particular section of society. Recently, a well-known Congress supporter was apprehended by a senior police official when the former was coming with a woman from a hotel. When questioned, he said he was the CM’s younger brother. But knowing who the man actually was, the police official was taken to a police station along with his friend and photographed for evidence. The matter has now been hushed up.

There is a club that promotes alliance among “like-minded” couples. An invitation to potential members reads, “We are a group of guys-n-gals based in Ludhiana, who want to have fun and enjoy life. At present, we have 19 female and 12 male members. Sex is not everything we do, we organise theme and dance parties. Last year, we went on a trip to Goa. We now want to increase the number of members, so as to celebrate our first anniversary party in September. Only females or couples are eligible for membership. Our priority is clean and safe sex and above all, secrecy. Your membership is subject to approval from all members...People from adjoining cities like Chandigarh, Jalandhar and Amritsar are also welcome. Single males please don’t reply.”

Legal experts say that the law to safeguard morality is virtually non-existent. Unless there is a specific complaint from the spouse or the affected party, there is hardly anything the law enforcement agencies can do on their own. With courts in many countries coming out openly in favour of individuals expressing sexual preferences in contrast to established norms of society, straight people should prepare themselves for many more shocking revelations.



2 Cong leaders pay for arrogance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
Two local Congress leaders, one belonging to the youth wing of the party and another a newly appointed director of a state-owned corporation had to pay for their arrogance when they reportedly tried to brow beat a senior police officer. The two were reportedly turned out of the office by the said officer as they tried to bully him.

It is learnt that the two Congress leaders went to meet the officer a few days ago. One of them, who enjoyed good influence during the previous police regime, reportedly told (read threatened) the officer that he should straightway get their job done or they would have to exert some “higher influence” from senior officers.

This obviously infuriated the officer who had no other option but to turn the two out of his office. The officer also reportedly made it clear to both of them that he was not used to working under any political pressure and would always do things according to their merit. 



Regularise religious structures: BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party led by its President, Mr Yashpal Mahajan, and a former local MP, Mr Satya Pal Jain, today demanded that all religious structures in the city be regularised. He said religious places — be they temple, gurdwara, churches or a mosques — should be regularised against payment and the criterion of illegal or legal should not apply.

Mr Jain, who was addressing a press conference, said in 1997 Mr Jagdish Sagar, the then Adviser to the UT Administrator, had called for a formal policy to allot land to religious places. In case a religious place was coming in the way of development of road or rail link, the management should be called in and told about the problems and land should be allotted a little away from the road or rail link. Otherwise, if a religious place had come up on encroached land then its management should be asked to pay up for regularisation.

Mr Jain demanded that a survey be carried out to prepare a list of people living in slums and who are eligible under the rehabilitation policy of the Chandigarh Administration. Actually such a survey should have been carried out in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony and the Palsora colony before demolitions. This could have avoided bitterness. Today the Administration is ready with a list of about 1,700 families which had been living in these colonies. This list could have been declared before the demolition. This formula was followed when the rehabilitation of the Sector 31 colony was carried out.

Mr Jain clarified that he was still in favour of getting government land freed and was not advocating for non-removal of jhuggis.

Mr Jain said slum-dwellers evicted from Chandigarh were facing the brunt of the Punjab police. He alleged Punjab police commandoes were getting houses taken on rent by slum-dwellers vacated forcibly in the villages of Kumbra, Sohana and other places falling in Punjab.

Mr Jain said the inquiry against Mayor Subhash Chawla should be speeded up. He said: ‘‘I fail to understand why the police did not register a case of gambling and also a drunken brawl.’’ He further alleged that the Punjab Congress was exerting pressure on police officers to scuttle the case.

The BJP also demanded that the date to get addresses changed in registration certificates of vehicles be extended by two months. The BJP also announced that Mr Kehar Singh Koundle will be the in charge of the media cell of the local unit.



A village of first-time panches
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Lalton (Ludhiana), July 10
Gurmeet Singh Basi and two of his classmates were elected as panches to the local panchayat on June 29. In fact, most of the panches have been elected for the first time and relatively younger as compared to previous terms. According to information, over 50 per cent panches and sarpanches elected this time are said to be below 40.

Gurmeet Singh and his two classmates, Parminder Singh and Maninder, all of them 29 years, had decided to contest the elections together. However, they campaigned on their own and did not associate themselves with any political party.

Besides taking care of the developmental projects in the village, the panchayat enjoys a social and moral authority. The decisions of the panchayat are binding on the village community. It also settles disputes within the village. Given this much of importance, it is an honour for anyone in the village to become a panch.

Gurmeet Singh, who polled maximum number of votes, said people gave him a lot of cooperation. “They encouraged us probably for being young and honest”, he said, while adding that the public had great expectations from them. A panch in a village is like a parliamentarian in the country because for villagers the panchayat is their parliament that takes care of their immediate issues, needs and also the disputes.

While most of the panches in the panchayat are new and young, there is senior panch Srawan Singh, who has been returned to panchayat for the fifth time. He has never been defeated so far. People in the village usually do not encourage those who resort to petty partisan politics for personal gains.

Lalton is one of the biggest villages in district with a population of over 10,000 votes. There is one coeducational senior secondary school, primary schools and also one English-medium public school. There is a government dispensary. The village boost of having 10 gurdwaras and three temples also.


Residents complain against tin unit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
Residents of Hira Nagar here are having sleepless nights for the past many years due to noise and air pollution caused by a tin recycling factory in the area. The factory produces constant hammering sound and emanates foul smell, thereby affecting the health of residents.

The ear-piercing noise and poisonous gases released by the chemicals have made the life of the residents a hell. The unit belongs to migrants from Uttar Pradesh, who started with a small-time factory.

Today a delegation of the residents met Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, and apprised him of the situation. Mr Verma asked officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to take action against the factory owners. The board referred the case to the Teh Bazaari Department of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for immediate action.

Officials of the corporation called residents to their office stating that they would visit the site with them and remove the encroachments. But later they told them that they could not accompany them because there was no police party to accompany them. Later, residents met Mr Verma and submitted another memorandum to him.

It seems to be an endless wait for the residents who are fighting the case for a couple of years.

Ludhiana Tribune had highlighted the problem. At that time the administration assured some action, but the case moved from one department to another and no action was taken.

A visit to the area today revealed that the complaint of the residents was genuine. The factory owners claimed that they were well connected. An official with the administration called up the Ludhiana Tribune office requesting not to carry the story.

Sources in the PPCB said the board had sent two notices to the unit. The unit also encroached upon the road in front of the factory.

The residents said they were living a miserable life. They were not able to rest even for a while. They added that their children could not study due to the sound.

Mr Ajit Singh, a resident, said his wife, who is a heart patient, could not relax due to the noise.

Similar problem was quoted by Mr Satnam Singh whose seven-year-old daughter contracted eye allergy due to the fumes.



Concentrate on development: SC panel chief 
Tribune News Service

Bhattian Bet, July 10
Expressing concern over the Jat-Dalit divide reflected through 18 cases reported in Punjab to the National Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission, Mr Vijay Sonkar Shastri, its Chairman, yesterday called upon the Jats, the Dalits and the government to concentrate on development instead of fighting over petty issues.

After taking a stock of the situation in this village, Mr Shastri directed the district administration to submit a detailed report about the incident to the commission. The Punjab SC/ST Commission had already given the administration a week’s time to submit the report.

He directed the administration to conduct awareness programmes in the village to inculcate feeling of co-operation and tolerance among the masses.

The commission chief was also upset with the government for not providing him security during his visit to Talhan village yesterday.

Earlier, the administration undertook demarcation of a disputed piece of land in the village.

Mr Shastri appreciated the administration for taking immediate measures for handling the situation. He warned the government that the commission would not tolerate any kind of harassment of the Dalits. He cited a case of Uttar Pradesh where the commission had taken action against two IAS officers for harassing Dalits.

A delegation of the Vishwa Guru Ravi Dass Mission of Ludhiana also met the Chairman and submitted a memorandum to him.



Development projects under scanner
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 10
The Vigilance Department of the Local Government has initiated an inquiry into allegations of discrimination on political or other grounds in carrying out development work in city localities. Various other irregularities like failure to remove encroachments, violation of building bylaws and financial mismanagement in the Municipal Corporation and the Ludhiana Improvement Trust were also under probe.

The Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the Local Self Government, Mr A.K. Kansal, who was here to personally inspect some of the sites and to examine relevant records, told Ludhiana Tribune that residents of a locality had lodged a complaint against the area councillor levelling charges of political bias in installation of streetlights. “If any substance is found in the complaint, the government might issue directions to the local bodies for judicious and need-based utilisation of funds and not to go according to the whims of elected representatives as far as execution of development projects is concerned,” he said.

The CVO was also looking into other complaints regarding quality of work carried out by contractors on behalf of the corporation, discrimination in allocation of funds to the councillors and violation of building bylaws in construction of commercial buildings in the city.

Mr Kansal said regular inquiries were being conducted by retired IAS officers into alleged violation of building bylaws in case of around 70 commercial buildings in cities like Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana and stern action would be taken against the officials found guilty of dereliction of duty. In cases where the allegations had been proved, departmental action had already been initiated against defaulting civic staff members.

The CVO also inspected the relevant files and recorded statements of Ludhiana Improvement Trust employees in cases involving tempering of records and encroachment on government land.

Inquiry was also being conducted into a complaint against employees of Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board here for making fraudulent claims of house rent allowance.



Act on baby food promotion welcomed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 10
Baby food manufacturers will no longer be permitted to promote their products and other packaged foods for consumption by kids below the age of two years, according to the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Amendment Act, 2003.

Dr Rajinder Gulati, district coordinator, Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said breastfeeding for the first six months and then continuing it for two years or beyond provides ideal nutrition for infants. Improper marketing practices of companies, especially through advertisements of infant milk substitute/ formula and cereal infant foods undermine breastfeeding and could lead to increased infant morbidity, mortality and malnutrition. Recognising this to be a major public health problem, the Government of India enacted the Act. The Act will regulate production, supply and distribution of infant milk substitutes, feeding bottles and infant foods, and makes it mandatory to provide information on infant feeding.

Dr Daljeet Singh, Head of the Pediatrics Department, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) said, “These advertisements are misleading in the sense that mothers avoid giving their infants home-made food which are full of vitamins and minerals.”



Workshop on food adulteration
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 10
A state-level workshop on ‘detection and prevention of adulteration in food stuffs’ was organised by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology in the Department of Food Science and Technology, Punjab Agricultural University, here today.

Nearly 25 school teachers from all over Punjab and few representatives from the NGOs participated in the workshop. The participants were educated on adulteration of various food items and ways to check them. Dr F.C. Shukla, Professor in the department, spoke on ‘problems of adulteration in dairy products’. He said mixing of water and starch in milk was common till a few years ago. But he said that some ‘‘smart’’ dairy owners had now started adulteration of pure milk with synthetic milk, which was hard to detect. He also demonstrated ways by which adulteration of milk with urea could be detected.

Dr S.S. Thind, Associate Professor, spoke on ‘Problems of adulteration in wheat and its products’. Dr Amarjit Kaur, also an Associate Professor, discussed ‘Problems of adulteration of grain foods and plantation products’. Dr Pushpinder S. Ranote from the same department, talked about ‘Adulteration in fruit and vegetable products’.

Dr K.S. Minhas and Dr Usha Bajwa, Both Associate Professors, gave a practical demonstration of various tests to check adulteration. After the demonstration, the participants themselves tried the tests.



Drug abuse: parents urged to keep eye on children
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 10
Drug addiction is a social evil. It not only wrecks the addict’s life but also affects his parents’ social life. These views were expressed by Mr Mahesh Arora, President, Ludhiana-Elite Jaycees, during a debate on “Children, drugs and parents” here last night.

Mr Arora said parents should keep a vigil on their children. He said they should pay attention if their child suddenly came in contact with new friends or started ignoring old ones. “If your child starts asking for money on one pretext or the other, don’t take it lightly. Lend him money only if you are convinced,” he said.

Mr Kuldeep Singh Bedi, an expert on psychology, said a drug addict never hesitated to borrow money from his friends, relatives and friends of his parents. When nobody is left from whom money can be borrowed, they start stealing money and small objects to fulfil their urge for drugs. If they are not stopped at this juncture, there are chances that they may turn out to be hardcore criminals, he said.

Mr Sameer Gandhi, a lecturer at Sacred Heart Convent School, said the mark sheet of a child not only depicted his involvement in studies but also gave a clear picture of the child’s behaviour. If there is a sudden change in the mark sheet, it should be taken seriously by parents as well as teachers, he said.

Mr Inderbir Singh Nanda said if a child was found to be hooked on drugs, parents should not hide this fact from others. They must immediately report the matter to the police so that the source supplying drugs could be brought to book. He said the help of an expert doctor could be very useful in this case.

Others who took part in the debate included Mr Gurdit Singh, Mr Varinder Dutta, Mr S.M. Bhatia and Mr Salil Arora.



Transporters threaten to gherao MC officials
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 10
The Ludhiana Goods Transport Association has criticised the civic administration for absence of rainwater drainage facility and poor sewerage in Transport Nagar here. They threatened to gherao civic officials if immediate measures were not taken.

A meeting of the association held here today under the presidentship of Mr Krishan Sood observed that in the absence of proper drainage system the accumulated water becomes the breeding ground of various diseases and also emits a foul smell, which might affect the health of transporters and their employees.

The badly damaged roads coupled with slush further add to the misery of the transporters.

The unchecked disposal of hazardous effluents from the adjoining industrial area was another problem being faced by them.

The transporters have called upon the civic body to take effective steps in this regard.



Computer reservation at Khanna
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 10
Online computer reservation service at Khanna railway station was inaugurated here today by Member Parliament Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo. Another MP Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra lodged his protest against the local railway authorities for not conveying any message about the function. He brought the matter in the notice of Divisional Railway Manager. Mr Libra said he would discuss the matter with the Railway Minister as to why the railway officers sidelining the ruling party member.

The Divisional Railway Manager, Mr Keshva Chander, while addressing the function said proposals were being considered for the stoppage of mail trains at this railway station. He said that the length of the platform was being increased for 24 coaches from 18 coaches. He said Khanna was the 22nd railway station which had been connected with online reservation in the Ambala division.

Mr Dullo said while delivering his inaugural speech that he will do his best efforts to provide facilities for the railway passengers of the city.

Later a deputation under the leadership of Mr Libra presented a charter of demands to Divisional Railway Manager.



Photo I-card schedule
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 10
To complete the process of preparation of voters’ photo identity cards in the Amloh constituency within the stipulated period, Mr Amarjit Singh Shahi, SDM, Amloh, has made elaborate arrangements.

To create awareness among the voters, public announcements from gurdwaras in villages, and announcements in towns of Amloh and Mandi Gobindgarh have been made.

As many as 10 teams have been constituted.

Each team equipped with a photographer will visit each village/town on the dates and places mentioned in the schedule.

The whole process will be completed between July 10 and July 24 in 146 villages, including the towns of Amloh and Mandi Gobindgarh, as stated in the press release by Mr Shahi here today.



2 booked for encashing stolen cheques
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
A resident of Kolkata has been duped of Rs 25,000 by two local residents, including a woman, working as an agent with the head post office. The two suspects allegedly opened a fake account in the post office and encashed stolen cheques from Kolkata belonging to the victim.

A city resident, Amit Lal Mukherji, and an agent with the head post office here, Amit Bhandari, have been booked by the police in this regard.

The case has surprised the postal department as the agent conveniently got the account opened in the name of a person who had no local surety as per the norms. The woman has denied her role in the crime.

According to the FIR, some cheques of Mr Gopal Nanda Mukherji of Kolkata had gone missing last year. But he was shocked when the bank from which the cheques were issued reported that they had been encashed in Ludhiana.

The man had lodged a complaint with the Kolkata police, which sought assistance from the Ludhiana police in this regard. Some officials of the Kolkata police also visited the city recently.

Further investigations found that the woman agent had signed as an introducer to the account holder, who was not a resident of the city or even the state. The woman had allegedly helped another city resident in opening an account at the post office. He has been identified as Amit Lal Mukherji. The police is suspecting his identity and was verifying his true name.

Ms Manisha Bansal, SSPO, head post office here, said the post office was taking necessary precautions in this regard. 



Autorickshaw driver booked
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 10
The Shimlapuri police yesterday booked an unknown driver and two of his accomplice on the charge of beating, looting and threatening a passerby.
Mr Sudershan Bansal, a resident of Neemwala Chowk falling under the division number 3 police station, had complained to the police that driver of a three-wheeler (PB-10BA 3725), accompanied by two of his accomplice stopped him on the road on Wednesday, beat him up and snatched Rs 6,800 from him. The miscreants also threatened him before fleecing, added the complaint. A case under sections 379, 427, 348, 506 and 34 has been registered.

Murder case registered: The 7 police yesterday registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC on the basis of a complaint filed by Mr B.C. Rajput, member, Human Rights Commission Punjab against an unknown person. The complainant had stated that after an inquiry conducted by him, he was satisfied that Surjit Singh, who was in judicial custody in connection with a case registered under sections 304-B, 148 and 149 by the Sahnewal police, died in Civil Hospital. The case has been handed over to DSP (D), Ludhiana, for further investigation.

Beaten up: On the statement of Ms Jagveer Kaur, wife of Mr Gurcharan Singh, a resident of Chhawni Mohalla, the police yesterday registered a case under sections 452, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC against Shiv Kumar, Jinder, Rindi, mother of Shiv Kumar and about 15 persons accompanying them. The woman had alleged that the accused forced their way into her house on Tuesday night and beat up her son Rajan. The accused also used threatening language before going away, she added. No arrest has been made.

The Sarabha Nagar police on Wednesday registered a case under sections 324 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Maninder Singh, a resident of Model Town, Ludhiana, against B.S. Bindra and his brother who owns Bindra Trading Company in Guru Amar Dass Nagar. The complainant had alleged that because of a business dispute, the accused beat him up on the evening of July 7.

Injured: The Jodhowal police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 338 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Sapna Verma, daughter of Mr Satpal Verma, a resident of New Madho Puri, against the driver of threewheeler (PB-10AM-2297). The complainant had stated that the accused had hit her and injured her. The driver ran away from the spot. No arrest has been made so far.

Held for blocking traffic: The Kotwali police on Wednesday arrested Amar Singh and booked him under Section 283 of the IPC. The police said that the accused had parked a mini bus on the road near Clock Tower and jammed traffic on Wednesday evening.

Excise cases: The division No 6 police on Wednesday arrested Badri Pande, a Bihari migrant and Vidya Sagar, another migrant and seized six and 12 bottles of illicit liquor. Both have been booked under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

The Haibowal police on Wednesday arrested Bablu Ambari, a resident of Chander Nagar in Haibowal Kalan and recovered 20 bottles of illicit liquor.

The Model Town police has arrested a Bihari migrant, Sabar, living in the slum near Manohar Nagar, recovered 15 bottles of illicit liquor.



Robbery bid foiled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
Vigilant employees of Thapar Concast Mill at Sahnewal foiled an attempt of robbery by three miscreants this afternoon.
The three persons, armed with a pistol and iron rods, entered the factory premises and tried to decamp with some expensive machines. The watchmen of the factory, Sukhdeep Singh and Tara Chand, tried to stop them. They fired shots at the watchmen and fled from the spot.

The Sahnewal police has registered a case against the three.



Rising raw material costs worry industrialists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
Continuous rise in prices of raw material and electricity against stagnant prices of finished products has created panic among the industry which is already reeling under intense recession. There seems to be no respite for the industry as the prices of steel, rubber and electricity have been on increasing during the previous year.

Since steel and rubber form the basic raw material for most of the industry, the impact of the rise in the prices of these materials is felt everywhere. Cycle parts manufacturing industry is one of the worst hit. Ludhiana is one of the main, rather only centre for the cycle parts, with over 80 per cent of the exports and supplies to the domestic market coming from Ludhiana only.

According to Mr Inderjeet Singh Navyug, senior vice president of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, the steel prices alone have registered a hike of about Rs 6000 per meteric tonne during the past one year, while the prices of rubber have almost doubled during the same period. He disclosed that while the rubber was sold at Rs 24,500 per meteric tonne in the month of March 2002, its price was now Rs 45,000 per meteric tonne.

Substantiating his point, the vice president of the association Mr Sudarshan Gosain and general secretary Mr Vrinder Kapoor maintained that under these circumstances it was “very difficult, rather impossible” for the industry to keep on going. They pointed out, the industry was already faced with a severe slump with tough competition at the international level. “We cannot even produce for the domestic market as imports will be cheaper if we raise our prices”, they said.

The industrial representatives have been arguing that the Central Government should relax the duties on the import of steel. Since there is heavy anti-dumping duty on the import of steel, the local industry is not able to get the benefits of international market prices of steel, which are far low when compared to the steel prices in the domestic market, which was manipulated by a selected cartel.

Coupled with the prices of steel and rubber, it was the continuous hike in electricity tarriff which has increased by 12 to 15 per cent during the last one year. The industrial representatives maintained that they were feeling betrayed by both the central as well as the state governments. They pointed out, if the Central Government was reform-oriented it should not impose such a heavy anti-dumping duty on the import of steel. Or at least it could regulate steel prices within the country.

Similarly the Punjab Government, which claimed itself to be the industry friendly, had not taken a single step so far which could prove its claims. Instead, it had been increasing electricity tariff almost after every three months. The representatives warned that in case the situation continued like this, a number of industrial houses might have to be shutdown resulting in large-scale unemployment.



Post offices to sell AirTel prepaid cards
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
The Department of Posts will sell AirTel prepaid cards and recharge coupons through various post offices in the district. Ms Manisha Bansal, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Ludhiana City Division, said the department had signed an agreement with AirTel in this regard.

AirTel prepaid magic cards (new connection) would now be available in denominations of Rs 250, Rs 495 and Rs 999. Recharge coupons will be available in denominations of Rs 350, Rs 540 and Rs 1,080.

Ms Bansal said the agreement had been signed with the Sales Manager, Ludhiana Region, Mr Sonal Khurana, adding that the sale of these cards from post offices would start tomorrow.

She said the service would initially be made available at 14 post offices of the city but it would be soon be extended to all 49 post offices in the city, depending on public demand.

These post offices include Ludhiana Head Post Office, Millerganj Post Office, Ludhiana Central Post Office, Model Town Post Office, Punjab Agricultural University PO, Sidhpeeth Post Office, P&T Colony Post Office, Janta Nagar Post Office, CMC Post Office, Speed Post Centre, Sarabha Nagar, Rajguru Nagar, Satsang Road Post Office and GNE College Post Office.

She said BSNL’s ITC cards, Excel prepaid cellular cards, recharge coupons and sancharnet cards were being sold at Ludhiana Head Post Office since June 5. The sale of BSNL cards is also being extended to the above 14 post offices due to increasing public demand.

She said the post offices would soon emerge as complete service centres where all types of services and products would be available and the customer could pick and choose from the available variety of products.

Ms Bansal said negotiations were also under way with the Electricity Department so that customers could pay their electricity bills at post offices. She said soon a single visit to the post office would enable the customer to complete many tasks, like depositing phone bill, cellphone bill, electricity bill, purchase of prepaid cards, etc.



PNB branch gets Net connectivity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
Punjab National Bank is ahead of all other public sector banks in providing connectivity to its customers. This was stated by Mr G.S. Julka, General Manager, BSNL, while inaugurating this facility at the Model Town branch of Punjab National Bank here today. He said BSNL would extend support to PNB as far as connectivity of its branches was concerned.

On the occasion, Mr A.K. Loomba, Senior Regional Manager, PNB, said the customers of the Model Town branch could now operate their accounts at 170 connected branches of PNB all over India. Customers of this branch will be also able to avail inter-city/intra-city banking, instant transfer of funds, collections, cash deposit and withdrawal, account inquiry and statement from any of the connected branches.

The bank is also going to install an ATM at Goal Market, Model Town, very shortly for the benefits of customers of the area. Moreover, customers can also avail of the facility at 200 PNB ATMs all over India.

Mr Loomba said the customers of this branch would also be able to avail of Internet banking facility shortly as it was being introduced at all CBS branches all over country.

Mr K. Vijay Kumar, Chief Manager(IT), gave details about new schemes launched by the bank through Finacle, the system of CBS, like PNB Prudent Sweep and PNB Smart Roamer schemes. 



Network hunts for ‘next big toon’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 10
With the launch of its latest initiative, “Next Big Toon”, Cartoon Network has again involved children by giving them an opportunity to create their own cartoon character. The best entry will be converted into an animation film and shown on Cartoon Network in December, 2003. Entry forms of the contest are available at Hewlett Packard outlets across the country. Children can also download the forms from

Entries can either be sent by post or submitted at any Hewlett Packard (HP) outlet across the country or sent through e-mail to

According to a press note, the last date to submit entries is August 18. To ensure that their dream character gets animated and aired by Cartoon Network, children need to use their imagination to create an original character, complete with a name, personality, a family, enemies, if required, and superpowers, if needed.

The character could be human like Richie Rich, superhuman like Superman, an animal like Scooby-doo or even a robot like Robot Jones.

The grand prize-winner whose entry will get animated and four semi-finalists will win a HP Pavilion computer, a chance to appear on Cartoon Network, a special plaque recognising them as creative toon genius and exclusive Cartoon Network goodies. A total of 500 other children will receive acknowledgement certificates.

Joyco is the main sponsor of “Next Big Toon”, with Laughing Cow Cheese, Kellogg’s Chocos, Atlas Cycles and Hewlett Packard as associate sponsors.



LMA invites nominations for awards
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
Moving with a single-minded attention to develop entrepreneurship and to promote and develop scientific management education in the region by effective exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas on sound management principles and practices, the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) has invited nominations for its annual awards.

Disclosing this here today, Mr. V.K. Goyal, general secretary, LMA, said the association had a tradition since 1984 of honouring and recognizing the efforts of promising entrepreneurs and outstanding managers in their respective fields on annual basis as a part of its objectives to professionalise the management in the region.

“Three prestigious awards namely LMA-Vardhman award for Entrepreneur of the year, LMA-Dayanand Munjal Award for Manager of the year and LMA- Trident Award for Young innovative Entrepreneur/Manager of the year are bestowed upon the selected candidates”, Mr Goyal said.

Elaborating about the eligibility he said," for the Entrepreneur of the year award, the candidate should belong to Punjab while for manager award he or she should be working in Punjab. For the young Innovative the Entrepreneur/Manager of the Year Award the age limit is 40 years.”

These coveted awards are conferred at the annual day function of the association each year by the Governor of Punjab. This year the function will held in August or September.


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