Friday, July 18, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Marriot Hotel case takes a new turn
Complainants become accused
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The much-publicised Marriot Hotel case has taken an interesting turn with the complainants becoming the accused now. The district police has initiated proceedings against two local advocates on charges of making a false complaint against two other advocates, accusing them of encroaching upon prime land of the Improvement Trust, Ludhiana, on which Marriot Hotel was constructed.

After investigation, the report of which has been accepted by a city court, the police has cancelled FIR No. 6 of 2003, lodged under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468 and 467 of the IPC with the Model Town police station against Mr Vijay B. Verma, an advocate, and Mr Sachin Verma of Marriot Hotel, Dugri Road.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of Mr Dalip Garg, and Mr Ram Parkash Bansal, both advocates, Mr Harvinder Singh, a munshi of Mr Garg, and a munshi of Mr Bansal on the allegations that Mr Vijay B. Verma and Mr Sachin Verma had grabbed public property, belonging to the Improvement Trust.

Detailed investigation was conducted by a senior officer of the police and it was found that the matter had already been conclusively decided by the civil court, holding that the property never belonged to the Improvement Trust and was the private property of said persons and their institutions.

The findings of ownership were also affirmed after a litigation by the court of Additional District Judge, Ludhiana, in 1999 vide a judgement wherein the state of Punjab, the Improvement Trust, Ludhiana, the Collector, Ludhiana, the SDM, Ludhiana, and other public officers concerned were also parties as defendants. The matter was also investigated by the police in 1995 and after obtaining legal opinion, the complaint of then Chairman, Improvement Trust, was filed by the then SSP, Ludhiana.

Mr Vijay B. Verma said about two and half years back, he had accepted some civil and criminal cases against Mr Garg and started appearing as a counsel of Mr Mahesh Kumar and Mr Ramesh Chand, who had a land dispute with Mr Garg.

Aggrieved by this, Mr Garg started filing false complaints against him and other members of his family to pressurise and coerce him. Similarly, Mr Vijay B. Verma had been appearing as a counsel against Mr Bansal. Both these advocates nursed a grievance against him and got a false case registered, which, he said, had now been cancelled by the police.

He further added that the building was constructed after the plan was passed by the court of competent civil jurisdiction and there was no illegality whatsoever. He further stated that he was going to file legal proceedings for defamation, contempt of court and forgery against all guilty persons.

All complainants, including Mr Garg and Mr Bansal, were facing charges under Sections 181 and 182 of the IPC for filing false affidavits and lodging false report with the police.

The Model Town police had registered a case against the hotel owner for allegedly grabbing a piece of land, belonging to the Improvement Trust.

The case had been registered on the basis of an inquiry conducted by the then SP City-II, Mr Naunihal Singh. As per the news reports, while recommending registration of a case, the inquiry officer had come down heavily on some employees of the Improvement Trust and the municipal corporation.



Single men... watch out on highways
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Flirty young men... beware. Next time you offer a ride to a lady or a group of women in car, you could be in serious trouble. The Ludhiana police had busted a gang of young women, who used to seek lift from single men driving a four-wheeler, make seductive overtures and later drug and rob the victim.

Mainly belonging to middle and lower middle class homes, these women in the age group of 20-35 used to cleverly stand at spots such as bridges, traffic intersections, etc where traffic slowed down. They would look for single men travelling along and then signal them to stop. Once, in the vehicle, they got friendly with the unsuspecting driver.

SHO, Division No 7, Mr. Randhir Singh who was instrumental in cracking the case said: “Initially, the police found it very difficult to track the culprits, as no one was willing to come up with a complaint fearing social embarrassment. Once news to this effect was published in a local newspaper, the SSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, asked me to personally look into the matter and my team worked hard to locate these women”.

An FIR has been registered in the Vardhman police station. According to police sources, the gang operated in several towns and cities of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Their favourite destination was places like Morinda, Chandigarh, Ambala, Banga, Hoshiarpur, Rajpura, Neelon and Jalandhar.

According to the investigation conducted by the police, unsuspecting persons were hooked and on the pretext of having a meal or soft drinks were drugged with a heavy dose of sedatives. Once the person fell unconscious he was robbed of his money and all valuables.

The police say that some members of this gang, three of whom are now arrested, have even admitted to indulge in prostitution. The Tribune has in the past reported such incidents, but in the absence of a formal complaint, the police could not act. According to the police, it is working out the list of victims of this gang, some of whom belong to well-to-do families.

Questioning of the arrested gang members is on to locate the other members of the gangs, some of whom are reported to be on a ‘mission’. Police said that the Ludhiana — Chandigarh highway and the Chandigarh — Shimla highways were the two areas that these women found most ‘rewarding’. Mostly these women avoided operating alone and would gather in a group of two or three to bait a potential victim. But at times when the ‘business’ was bad, they would even venture out alone, the police said.



Missing child traced to Ambala
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The about 2-year-old child, who had gone missing under mysterious circumstances from Salemtabri last Sunday morning has been recovered from a hospital in Ambala. He was admitted in the hospital by the watchman of a market in that city. The recovery is as mysterious as his disappearance was. He could not have possibly travelled more than 100 km on his own.

With the recovery of the child, the focus of investigation has shifted to how the child reached Ambala? Police sources told the Ludhiana Tribune that the needle of suspicion is on the family.

Madan Lal, an accountant with Nagesh Hosiery, his wife and their son were strolling outside their house on Sunday morning when a speedy car hit them from behind and fled. Madan Lal and his wife were thrown at a distance. The woman escaped with minor injuries. She called her relatives, who took the badly injured and unconscious man to CMC Hospital. However, despite a frantic search, they could not find the child.

Ramesh Kumar, a watchman in Ambala, had reportedly found the child the next morning in a market near railway station. He took the child to a local leader there and ultimately the child was admitted in a hospital. One of his arms was badly injured. The Market Association informed the police. Following a communication with the Ludhiana and Ambala police this morning, the mother of the child, other relatives and a local police party went to Ambala to bring the child.

The SHO, Salem Tabri police station, Mr Waryam Singh visited CMC Hospital in the evening to question the injured Madan Lal. However, he was not found fit enough to make a statement. Sources said he only responded by saying ‘‘I don’t know’’ to most of the questions the police officials asked.

Police sources revealed that the mystery over the child had in fact deepened with his recovery. The theory of kidnapping has been completely ruled out and the police was suspecting that there was some problem within the family or the relatives.



Noise pollution of factory recorded
Tribune News Service

Residents of Hira Nagar complain to officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board
Residents of Hira Nagar complain to officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board who visited the tin factory in Ludhiana on Thursday.

Ludhiana, July 17
A team of officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board visited a tin recycling factory in Hira Nagar on the Kakowal Road and recorded the noise created by the unit here today.

The unit, OK Tin Factory, has been causing problems for the residents of the area by creating noise and air pollution. The noise is produced by the hammering of the tins used to store ghee and oil and air pollution is caused by the strong chemicals used to wash these.

Officials of the PPCB could only record the noise created by the unit. They could not collect the samples of chemicals as the workers did not wash the tins in the presence of the officials. The officials said that they could not force them to clean the tins.

Seeing the team of officials, residents of the area gathered outside the unit and protested against it. They made the team aware of the pollution caused by the factory. Later, the residents met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, who directed the SDM (east), Mr Harjinder Singh, to look into the matter.

Mr Harvinder Singh, Sub-Divisional Officer, Pollution Control Board, who was present on the spot, while talking to the Tribune said they were recording the noise as a part of the requirement of the court as the owner of the factory had slammed a court notice on the board as well as the area residents for harassing him.

He added that the report would be submitted to the XEN tomorrow, who would send it to the court. He further said that the board could not do anything for the shifting of the unit as the matter was subjudice.

“We had issued a notice to the owner a few days ago after getting a complaint from the residents. After receiving a notice from us, he filed a case in the district courts, stating that the Pollution Control Board and the residents were harassing him for no of his fault. Now it is up to the court to decide. The report we submit will be sent to the court only,” said the SDO, adding that the factory owner had not even signed on the report prepared by them today.

The residents had been complaining of the pollution for the past many months but to no avail. When the Pollution Control Board came in motion and slammed a notice on the owner of the unit, he took the matter to the court and alleged that he was being harassed by the PCB at the instance of residents of the area.

The Tribune had also highlighted the plight of the residents a number of times. The residents had been falling sick with various diseases and skin allergies due to pollution. They alleged that they could not relax in their houses and their children could not study because they could not concentrate due to the noise created by the unit.



Courts shifted, PUDA yet to take possession 
of old complex
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Even as the district courts have been shifted from Old Courts Complex in local katcheri chowk for the last few days, the Punjab Urban and Development Authority (PUDA) is yet to get the possession of the place due to non-shifting of lawyers from the old complex due to non-availability of proper shelter in the new courts.

The lawyers claim that they have not been provided anything except a table and chair in the new courts complex and they cannot keep their documents on the table itself and feel unsafe. So they are continuing to sit in the old complex only and visit the new complex for the court work.

The clients of the lawyers are also visiting them in their old chambers only. “How can we move our important papers to the place which cannot be locked. We need a chamber for that. So unless we get a proper place we will not vacate the old chambers.” said a lawyer adding that the lawyers were the harassed lot, who were actually shuttling between new and old complex during the day.

The PUDA officials say that they cannot take the possession of the complex till the lawyers are there. The officials had a talk with the District Sessions Judge over the issue also. Ms Rakhi Gupta Bhandari, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, said until the lawyers vacated the place they could not claim their possession.

The old complex was transferred to PUDA under the Optimum Land Utilisation Policy of the state some years ago. It was to be exploited commercially as it was situated in the heart of the city. The location of courts was proving to be a problem for the traffic police of the city as there was no parking space near the complex and the vehicles were parked outside the courts creating a traffic bottle neck.

Ms Bhandari further said she had spoken to the DSJ today who said that modalities of shifting of lawyers would soon be worked out. She added that she was going to hold a meeting with him soon.

Talking about the plans about the land, Ms Bhandari said the land would be used for commercial purposes only and parking would be no problem in the area as the entire basement would be earmarked for parking.

She added that the chambers of the lawyers were 50 per cent complete and they were demanding more chambers. There were around 300 chambers in the new complex and the demand of the lawyers was of 500 chambers, she said adding the talks were going on to solve the issue amicably.

Ms Bhandari said the plan of the area was to be done at the highest level and it was at a premature stage that no details could be divulged about it at this time. 



Courts in new complex
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
The courts started functioning in the newly constructed Judicial Complex at the Mini Secretariat here yesterday. On this occasion, the path of Guru Granth Sahib was performed.

There was a great hustle and bustle on the new premises. A large number of litigants were seen inquiring about their lawyers. It was a field day for the local painters who remained busy paniting and writing on walls and boards.

The lawyers were busy adjusting at the new place. Mr Harish Rai Dhanda and Mr T.P.S. Dhaliwal, president and secretary, respectively, of the District Bar Association, Ludhiana, along with other office-bearers of the association paid the obesience at the path.



MC postpones tenders of development works
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
Under immense pressure from the contractors, enlisted with the municipal corporation over their pending payments, the MC has postponed tenders due for July 18 for different development works like surfacing of roads, electrical and civil works, estimated to cost around Rs 8 crore.

While the MC officials said the step had been taken due to administrative reasons, information gathered by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that after the contractors threatened boycott of the call for tenders, the civic administration had no other choice. The different tenders for these works would now be received on July 29 and August 6.

A number of MC contractors, requesting anonymity said payments of over Rs 5 crore for works already executed were pending towards the civic body and despite submission of final bills and completion of inspection, wherever desired, the bills were not being cleared. While it might be an exaggeration, some of the contractors openly expressed their inability to participate in the fresh tenders saying they did not have funds to deposit the earnest money.

Although the contractors were not prepared to go on record for obvious reasons, but it was reliably learnt that majority of the MC contractors had got together at a meeting last evening, where it was decided not to participate in the tender bids due for July 18. The contractors were of the unanimous view that their pending payments were being delayed for no reasons and their stand in refusing to participate in the fresh bids was justified.

The contractors, sources in the MC said, had also met the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, in this connection and had pleaded for early release of the payments of works for which final bills had been submitted. The Commissioner had reportedly assured the contractors that payments for all final bills would be released by coming Monday and further that a mechanism would be evolved to cut down delay in payments in future.



Khangura’s nomination to planning board hailed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Mrs Gurdial Kaur Khangura, a senior Congress leader, who contested the last Assembly elections from the Kila Raipur constituency, has been nominated as a member of the Punjab State Planning Board. A notification to this effect was issued at Chandigarh recently.

The decision to nominate Mrs Khangura to the board has been widely hailed in the local Congress circles. Senior Congress leader and local MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, District Congress Committee presidents (rural and urban), Mr Jagmohan Sharma and Mr Harmohinder Singh, and general secretary, Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Gurinder Singh Grewal, have hailed Mrs Khangura’s nomination and hoped that she would be an asset in the board.

Talking to TNS, Mrs Khangura expressed her gratitude to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for reposing faith and confidence in her. She said, she would try her best to come up to the expectations of the general public. She said she had gained a lot of experience in planning and development in England where she had actively participated in political, social and development activities.

Mrs Khangura returned to India a few years ago. Her family had migrated to England in the sixties. She was allotted the Congress ticket from Kila Raipur. Although she lost to Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha of the Shiromani Akali Dal, her performance was noteworthy in a predominantly rural Assembly segment considered to be an Akali stronghold.

Since then she has stayed put here and remains in constant touch with her constituency. Mrs Khangura promised that her contribution to the board would be significant. She said the appointment was a challenge for her.

Others nominated to the planning board include Mr Sant Singh Brar of Muktsar, Ms Surjit Kaur Kalkat, a former minister from Tanda in Hoshiarpur district, Mr Lakhmir Singh Randhawa, a former minister from Batala in Gurdaspur district, Mr Sukhdev Wadhera of Pathankot and Mr Shiv Chand, a former minister from Gidderbaha in Muktsar district.



Hospital bushes, a den for anti-social elements?
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, July 17
It seems that the authorities concerned, including the police, are waiting for a tragedy to happen before they decide to cut the bushes, which are an ideal shelter for criminals of all shades. The jungle-like place (which used to be an abandoned old jail at one time) at Civil Hospital, which was the talk of the town due to criminal activities a few years back, is still in a state of neglect, thus inviting anti-social elements to continue with their activities.

A member of para-medical staff told the Ludhiana Tribune that the huge bushes, heavy shrubs and stray animals dominated the lonely place. “Hardly anyone goes to this jungle-like place. The bushes and trees have grown thick due to the rainy season. The place near the newly constructed building of the hospital is in a bad state. Many unsavoury incidents had happened in the past at the same place. The place was actually the old jail and a part of it had come under the Civil Hospital, but the authorities are not paying any attention for its maintenance”.

Another member of the nursing staff said the place was ideal for anti-social elements to hide. In the absence of any control by the authorities, gamblers, criminals and drug addicts could easily indulge in anti-social activities here.

Two years back, six children, after being kidnapped and sodomized by the criminals, were thrown at this place in separate incidents. The incidents had invited a lot of criticism from all sections of society.

Mr Nishan Singh SHO, Division Number 2, said the place belonged to Civil Hospital authorities. “We have nothing to do with its maintenance. The police personnel make searching operations on a routine basis. There are a lot of thick bushes where criminals can easily hide. We have also written to the Municipal Corporation and Civil Hospital authorities for clearing the jungle”, said Mr Nishan Singh.

Dr Manjit Kaur, Senior Medical Officer (SMO), Civil Hospital, when contacted said the authorities were aware of the problem and would try to make the place clear. “We have already spent about Rs 9,600 to clear the bushes on one side of the hospital. In the absence of funds, it is not possible to spend more. But it is on our priority list. I am looking for some voluntary organisations that could help us in maintaining the place”, said Dr Manjit Kaur.



‘Sawan’ begins with Shiva puja
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
On the first day of “Sawan”, a month-long puja of Lord Shiva started at the ancient Sanglan Wala Shivala yesterday under the supervision of Mahant Narayan Dass Puri.

Devotees are thronging the historic Shivala in large numbers and offering ‘bel’ leaves and holy Ganga water. To accommodate the rush, the temple will remain open from 3 a.m. till 10 p.m.

Mahant Narayan Dass said special arrangements had been made to provide ‘bel’ leaves and Ganga water free of cost to the devotees. He said ‘Sawan’ was considered auspicious because the month, as per Hindu mythology, was the favourite of Lord Shiva and it was easy to appease him during this period by offering milk and other favourites such as ‘bel’ ‘dhatura’ and ‘bhang’ leaves.

During this month, a special langar of ‘kheer’ would be held on every Monday.

The Mahant said that during this month, ‘jagran’ would be held on the night of July 19 in the temple, which would be dedicated to Baba Balak Nath.

The batch of 35 ‘kanwads’, which left here on Tuesday for Gomukh, would be back on July 27 and would bring water from the Ganga in a shobha yatra on that day. Another batch of 25 ‘kanwads’ would start their journey on July 21.The month-long Shiva Puja would conclude on August 16, when the marriage of Lord Shiva would be solemnised. A ‘bhandara’ would be held the next day.

Meanwhile, the beginning at the auspicious month was also celebrated at several gurdwaras and temple of the town yesterday. Shiva puja was also held at several temples, including Gauri Shankar Mukteshwar Mahadev temple, Shri Durga Puja Mata Mandir, ancient Shiva Mandir at Gaughat, Narabdeshwar temple in Vasant Vihar on the Noor Wala road and Shiv Mandir at Dareshi Grounds.



Parking at owner’s risk
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
With jobs getting scarce in the city, hundreds of commuters go to neighbouring towns of Ludhiana daily. Since they commute by trains, they park their scooters and bicycles in a parking stand adjacent to the railway station. The condition of the stand is pathetic and vehicles are usually parked on the uneven brick floor.

At times the precariously parked vehicles are knocked down, resulting in damage to vehicles.

Gunveshwar and Vinay, who look after the parking stand, say the stand is leased by the Railways at a hefty price of Rs 30 lakh for a period of two years. They say that everyday around 500 to 600 people park their scooters at the stand and are Rs 4 charged for scooters without helmets and Rs 5 with helmets.

Around 200 to 300 bicycles are also parked here everyday and the people have to pay Rs 2 for these.

Even while walking, one has to be careful of the uneven floor as one it is easy to trip and have a nasty fall.

The attendants said since the parking stand belonged to the Railways, the contractors cannot get it repaired. During rainy season the conditions worsens.

The attendants said the contractor has to compensate for the damage to the vehicles.

Regular commuters say that they are fed up of parking their vehicles in such poor conditions. “The only redeeming feature is that our vehicles are safe. But the Railways can definitely repair the parking lot as its condition is worsening by the day,” says a commuter.



Khamano road in need of repair
Our Correspondent

Khamano, July 17
The condition of Mansoorpur Khamano road up to Shamashpur Singhan village that was named Shaheed Avtar Singh Road is so bad that it is very difficult to pass through it. About half a kilometre stretch of this road falling in Khamano town is often filled with muddy water of adjoining houses, blocking it as there is no drainage of this water.

Hundreds of residents of about 12 villages pass through this road daily on their way to Khamano and other cities such as Chandigarh and Ludhiana. There are three private schools on the outskirts of Khamano and the students of these schools have to pass through this muddy water. A Punjab State Electricity Board office is also situated on this road and customers and workers have to pass daily through this muddy water.

During the bhog ceremony of Shaheed Avtar Singh at Shamashpur Singhan village last year, politicians and officers of the district had assured that this road would be repaired immediately and plantation done around it. But its condition has worsened. 



Sarpanch elected by one vote
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 17
As per the orders of the State Election Commission, polling of which was held on June 29, counting of votes of the Ghulu Majra gram panchayat, was held in Block Development and Panchayat Officer’s office yesterday and Mr Parkash Singh, returning officer of cluster number 5, declared Mr Amarjit Singh as sarpanch with a margin of one vote. Out of 341 total votes polled, 20 votes were cancelled. Mr Amarjit Singh got 161 votes and his rival candidate Mr Jaswant Singh Ghulu Majra polled 160 votes.

Among the panchayat members, Mr Ujjagar Singh was the only candidate belonging to Backward Caste and was declared elected unopposed, while Mr Balwant Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh and Mr Ram Singh were declared elected as panches. 



Withdraw fee hike

OUR organisation has taken deep notice of the big hike in fees of government schools and colleges. It is an attack on the fundamental right of education to all citizens. A big hike in tuition fees will adversely hit poor people who are making arrangements of education for their wards, while remaining hand-to-mouth.

While the Constitution offering all good chances of education to, the Centre and state governments should take all educational institutions under their control and ensure that all necessary arrangement should be made to provide equal education to children at minimum rates.

At this stage, a big hike in tuition fees should be withdrawn at the earliest.

Karamjit Singh Kainth

Knowledgeable write-up

Apropos Mr Cheema’s write-up of ‘Mount Everest and its climbers’ published in Ludhiana Tribune dated June 29, 2003. He deserves three cheers from the readers.

To my mind, every person, educated or illiterate, urbanite or ruralite, holding high or low status, will, benefit from the write-up. It is great to know that there is a gentleman, Punjabi Sikh, nay, an Army officer, who had also once put his foot on Mt Everest on May 19 1965, at 9.30 am and planted the Tricolour.

He was the first ever Indian who had made this wonderful achievement. Before this write-up everyone related this virgin Mt Everest to Edmund Hillary.

And one feels double elevated when one comes to know that Mr Cheema was the product of Government College for Boys, Ludhiana, the College of Sahir Ludhianavi and Satish Dhawan.

This great and envious achievement deserves to be lauded in the form of photographs in the college halls so that it acts as a beacon for today’s youngsters.

P.S. Walia

Diagnostic labs fleece poor patients

A number of diagnostic laboratories have sprung up in Ludhiana in tune with the increasing numbers of doctors and ever increasing population. What to speak of not so popular labs, even some of the famous laboratories are systematically fleecing the patients in connivance with some greedy professionals.

The rates are not standardised. Two laboratories will have wide variations about the results of the same tests and one fails to understand where the fault lies?

Their computer generated reports give only statistical figures and these reports do not comment upon the implications in a lay man’s language so that the patient could understand the problem.

Unfortunately, the patient has no choice except to get fleeced. But then, who cares for the poor patients?


Roads virtual hell

Jagraon has become virtually hell due to poor condition of roads. Roads at some places like Subzi mandi and Lajpat Rai road are nothing but potholes. As such it is difficult for the people to commute.

The condition of Kacha Malak road that leads to GT road is even worse as it has been reduced to a dust track. The ditches on the road remain filled with water. These ditches are the cause of many accidents.

The president, Municipal Council, Davinder Kathooria, has admitted that he is well aware about the facts but is waiting for funds. Meanwhile, the common residents are feeling cheated and bearing the brunt.

Gurinderjit Jagraon



Two women arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The district police has caught two women on a charge of duping commuters on major roads by taking lift in their vehicles and then looting them of cash and valuables.

Sources reveal that the two identified as Paramjit Kaur and Ranjana of Ludhiana were also involved in such a crime at Chandigarh, Shimla, Jalandhar and Amritsar. They are said to be involved in 20 such cases.

The two accused who wear swanky clothes, operated by taking a lift in a car or other vehicle by posing as women in distress. They used some drug-laced eatables or even used some weapons to waylay the victims. Police sources said a team of Division No. 7 trapped them at arrested them at a checkpoint on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh highway.



Girl kidnapped from Surjit Nagar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
The Focal Point police yesterday registered a case of kidnapping under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Subhash Prashar, a resident of Surjit Nagar , Gias Pura, against Anil Kumar, a resident of Sarpanch Colony. The complainant had alleged that the accused had kidnapped her daughter, Pathal Prashar, on Wednesday and taken her to an undisclosed place. No arrest has been made so far.

Beaten up: The Division No 3 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323, 506, 341 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Rajinder Pal Singh, a resident of Mohan Singh Nagar, against Monu, Sonu and Chotu, residents of Khud Mohalla. The complainant had alleged that the accused had intercepted him on the road on Wednesday, beat him up and also threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

The Civil Lines police registered a case under Sections 383, 323, 186 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kulwant Singh, a resident of Sarabha Nagar, against Raj Mehra, a resident of Kochhar Market and an employee of the nagar nigam. The complainant had alleged that he was supervising road construction work between Kochhar market and Middha chowk on Wednesday when the accused arrived on the scene and scuffled with him. The accused thus interfered in the discharge of his government duty. No arrest has been made so far.

The Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 325, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Jagjit Singh, a resident of Dad village, against Gurnam Singh , Ranjit Singh and Gopi, residents of the same village. The complainant had alleged that the accused stopped him on the road on Wednesday, beat him up and also threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

Frauds alleged: The Sadar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 406, 420 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Harjinder Pal Singh, a resident of Ladowal village who runs a seed farm , against Davinder Singh and his brother Kala, residents of Rajpura, near Patiala. The complainant had alleged that the accused had purchased agricultural seeds worth Rs, 1,99,880 from his farm but did not pay the money. When he asked them for an early payment, they threatened him with dire consequences, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Another case of alleged fraud under Sections 406, 420 and 34 of the IPC was registered at the same police station on the statement of Ms Jaswant Kaur, a residents of Jassar village in Ludhiana district, against Sukhdev Singh and Jora Singh, residents of Paddi village. The woman had alleged that the accused had prepared forged papers of her land and sold the same to another buyer. No arrest has been made so far.

The Jodhewal police has registered a case under Section 406 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Upkar Singh, a resident of Sant Isher Singh Nagar, Pakhowal, against Arun Kumar and Harvinder Singh. The complainant had alleged that the accused were employees in his finance company at Haibowal. They collected installments from the public but did not deposit the same with the company. No arrest has been made so far.

The Jodhewal police registered another case of fraud under Sections 420 and 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Sukhwant Singh, a resident of Baldev Nagar on the Rahon road, against two unknown girls, aged about 15 years. The complainant had alleged that he had gone to Gurdwara Nanaksar Sahib at Jodhewal chowk on Wednesday to pay his obeisance there. These unknown girls stole Rs 71,000 from the dickey of his scooter and vanished. No arrest has been made so far.

In-laws booked: A case under Sections 406 and 498-A was registered at the Jodhewal police station on the statement of Ms Sarabjit Kaur, a resident of New Shakti Nagar, against her husband Anup Singh, mother-in-law Joginder Kaur and Daljeet Kaur. The woman had alleged that her husband and other members of his family subjected her to physical and mental torture and demanded more dowry. No arrest has been made so far.



Industry shifting out of Punjab
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Peeved at the unfriendly atmosphere prevailing in the state, a number of industrial units here have reportedly either shifted out or are planning to shift. It is learnt that Himachal Pradesh and Orissa are prime attractions for investment for local industrialists. While HP offers a number of incentives, Orissa offers cheap raw material, labour and power.

According to Mr Sandeep Jain, general secretary of the Steel Manufacturers Association Mandi Gobindgarh, at least 15 industrial units in Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh, also known as the steel township of Punjab, have already shifted to Orissa and Himachal Pradesh.

Not only the steel units, but even hosiery and yarn units have started shifting out of Punjab. Industrialists here maintain that Orissa offers better promises. Power and raw material in Orissa are said to be cheaper as compared to Punjab.

The main challenge to the state comes from Himachal Pradesh with several industrial houses having shifted to Baddi, either partially or fully.

The Himachal Government is learnt to be offering massive incentives to the industry there in terms of tax holiday, availability of loans on easy installments, exemption from central excise and income tax and other facilities.

Mr Jain pointed out that the power tariff in Himachal Pradesh was Rs 2.20 per unit only, which is Rs 1.70 per unit less as compared to Punjab. He asserted that since power was an important input, it was essential that it was supplied adequately and at a reasonable price. Besides being more expensive in Punjab it was not adequately available here, Mr Jain said.

He disclosed that 15 units from Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh had already purchased land in Baddi, HP, while two major steel houses of Ludhiana had almost finalised the deal for purchase of land there. He observed that the state government needed to take serious note of the situation to ensure that there is not total exodus of the industry from the state.

Hosiery units have also started shifting to Baddi. If they have not shifted fully, a number of the units have set up parallel units at Baddi. The Vardhaman group of industry was one of the pioneers in setting up a unit in Baddi, while others followed suit.



Scrap importers in a fix
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The scrap importers in Ludhiana are faced with a piquant situation after the Customs Department disallowed the landing and storage of scrap at Punjab Ware Housing Corporation (PWHC) at the dry port here. So far the importers had the choice to land their imports at PWHC, Inland Container Depot (ICD), Depot of Concord and Overseas Ware House Limited (OWL).

For past some time the Custom Department has not been allowing import of scrap at the PWHC placing the importers of steel scrap in a piquant situation. Although the matter has been brought to the notice of the Commissioner Customs at Amritsar, the issue still remains unresolved. The local officials, according to the importers, have not been giving any satisfactory reason.

Mr P.D. Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the PWHC has a spacious provision for accommodating steel scrap where as the other depots remain congested. As a result the clearing of scrap takes much longer time. Importers have to bear the financial burden of ground rent. Even after clearance of goods at other depots the trucks take longer time for an exit due to lack of space.

Mr Sharma disclosed that the ICD was levying extra charges for mis-declaration of weight as when goods are weighed at two weighing bridges, minor difference in weight is bound to occur. Even then ICD is levying these charges. He observed that the entire import which comes in the train enters ICD and from there the respective imports go to the different depots.

The unofficial ban on imports at PWHC have led to lot of hardships to the exporters as the exports get delayed and have to bear extra charges for containers. The importers have another problem from the Punjab National Bank which is authorised to collect the duty.

Moreover, there is also shortage of clearing agents as currently there are only 25 of them, of whom only 7 or 8 happen to be locals while others are from other parts of the country. The customs department has not been calling applications of appointing clearing agents so that local competent people could be employed for the job.



Hike in steel prices hits exports
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The Engineering Exporters Association has expressed concern over the plight of bicycle and other engineering industries which have allegedly been hit hard by a steep increase in the steel prices and falling prices of dollar against the Indian rupee.

According to Mr Rajinder Jindal, president of the association, the exporters of bicycle parts and the bicycles were facing a serious crisis due to a steep increase in the prices of raw material and downward fluctuation of exchange rate of US dollar during the past few months.

Mr Jindal maintained the government had failed to monitor and regulate the prices of steel which were being manipulated by five top steel manufacturers of the country. He said the fall in the price of dollar had also hit the exporters hard.

Presenting a dismal picture of exports, he said if the situation continued like this, the export-oriented industry was likely to suffer the worst — particularly at a time when it was faced with a tough competition from China. He appealed to the Government of India to ensure that the prices of steel were properly regulated or at least the imports, which were cheaper, were allowed into India.


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