Wednesday, August 6, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bar chief beaten up, quits
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
The ongoing controversy in the District Bar Association (DBA) took a new turn today when association president Harish Rai Dhanda resigned in the general house after being roughed up by some members.

He told the general house that he would not take back his resignation until action was taken against members who had assaulted him. The meeting saw heated exchanges between members of the DBA over the issue of inadequate seating arrangement for lawyers. The rival faction was quick to use this opportunity to appoint new Bar president and chairman of the DBA. Members of the rival faction of Mr Dhanda raised slogans against him and accepted his proposal on resignation.

The name of Mr K.K.Jain was proposed for the post of president and Mrs Amrit Varsha Rampal for the post of chairman of the DBA respectively. The members present at the meeting gave their assent to the names of new office-bearers. Meanwhile, vice-president B.P. Singh Gill and secretary T.P.S. Dhaliwal left the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jain assured the bar members that he would try his best to fulfil their expectations. He claimed to sort out the issue regarding the provision of inadequate space for the lawyers in new complex.

Earlier, when some photojournalists tried to take a picture of the meeting, a Dhanda loyalist tried to stop them, which infuriated the rival faction. Mr Rana Harjasdeep Singh, the chairman of the Organisation of Young Lawyers and Mr Sandeep Kapoor, the joint-secretary of the DBA, opposed the move to stop the mediapersons. Then the lawyers exchanged heated arguments and the scene took an ugly turn. Supporters of both factions even came to blows, as a result of which several lawyers were injured. In the ensuing melee, Mr Dhanda was also roughed up.

Mr Hemant Kalia and Mr K.R.Sikri, a former president of the bar association, today resigned from the Chamber Committee, alleging that Mr Dhanda had not taken them in confidence while taking any decision. Meanwhile, Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, another member of the committee, also resigned.



Man confesses to revenge killing of 8-year-old girl
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Even as the accused behind the murder of eight-year-old Divya Dhamija claimed late last evening that he had killed her to take revenge on her father whom he suspected of having a relationship with his wife, the girl’s father today said his daughter was a victim of tantrik sacrifice.

The girl was murdered on December 15 last. She was missing as per police records.

Mr Dinesh Kumar, a spare parts trader, said he was convinced that the accused, his next-door neighbour Paramvir Malik, was lying he had had a relationship with his wife to save a relative, a well-known tantrik who had “sacrificed” his daughter.

Commenting on the new development, SP(D) Gurpreet Singh said the police would examine all angles and allegations. The accused had so far confessed that he alone had committed the crime.

In Lajpat Nagar here where the houses of the victim and the accused are situated, it was a picture in contrast. While the family of the girl was in shock over the brutal murder, the house of the accused was found locked. His wife has reportedly fled with her four children.

“It is unbelievable that someone can be so cruel,” said Dinesh Kumar. While his wife and relatives were too shocked to talk, he said he was hoping against hope the accused had sold off the girl and was lying about the murder.

The accused has been remanded into two days’ police custody by a district court.

At a press conference here late last evening, the SP (Detective), Mr Gurpreet Singh and Mr Nagendra Rana, in charge, CIA, said Paramvir Malik had murdered the girl and thrown the body into a canal near Ropar to “teach her father a lesson”.

The case of the missing girl, Divya, had hogged the limelight in December last year. The police had faced a lot of criticism for not tracing her. The accused was caught when he wrote a letter to the girl’s father in May this year, reminding him of “misusing” his daughter.

The family recognised the writing to be his and reported the matter to the police. Inspector Nagendra Rana began investigation and the police obtained a specimen of the handwriting of the accused.

Had he not written the letter, the case would have remained a mystery. Cooling his heels behind bars, the accused was remorseless. “The girl’s father gave me so much mental pain. I wrote the letter to open his wounds.



4 wagons of goods train derail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Exposing the sorry state of rail tracks, four wagons of a goods train derailed on the yard line at Ludhiana railway station here today. The train had reached here from Batala and was being routed to Bajbaj in Bihar through the yard line. Nobody was injured in the accident.

Around 11:20 am, four wagons (No.s 19, 20, 21 and 22) of the foodgrain special train derailed, one of which banged into the electric tower supplying power on the tracks. Due to the impact, the tower was twisted and the electric supply disrupted. An inquiry has been ordered into the matter.

The train comprised 40 wagons, each carrying 80 tonnes of grain. The station authorities said the derailment probably happened due to the expansion of the tracks due to rains. They claimed that no traffic was disrupted as the track was repaired immediately. The workers indulged in the repair work, however, said the work would be completed by 9 pm.

Mr Ashok Kumar, Station Superintendent, said it was too early to say anything regarding the matter and only senior authorities would answer the queries of the Press. He said a tubular pole was being installed temporarily in place of the electric tower.

The Railways authorities, however, termed the accident as a normal thing due to the expansion of the track and said it was meant for goods trains only.

The right side of the wagons sunk into the earth. Some machines were deployed to pull out the wagons. Two derailed wagons were being examined for the causes. 



Cable operators may be penalised
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
The Municipal Corporation is contemplating to take action against cable operators who are using streetlight poles for cable networking without taking any permission or making any payment for the usage.

This was indicated by the City Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, after some of his party councillors brought the matter to his notice here today.

Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha, Mr Kuldip Janda, Mr Palwinder Singh Taggar, Mr Sushil Raju Thapar, Ms Malkiat Kaur, Mr Satwinder Singh Jawaddi, Ms Ravinder Kaur and Mr Amarjit Singh Matharoo, councillors, in a meeting held with the Mayor, maintained that the cable operators were cheating the civic body.

The councillors pointed out that the cable operators made an annual payment of Rs 375 for the use of electric poles for their cable lines, but in the case of use of streetlight poles for the same purpose, they did not seek any permission or pay money. As a result, the civic body was losing a sizeable amount which could accrue to it and could be used for various development projects in the city.

The Congress councillors further said the cable network companies and the cable operators were holding the city population to ransom through repeated hike in the monthly subscription, which at present, was perhaps the highest in the entire region. However, they (the cable operators) were reluctant to pay for commercial use of the infrastructure created by the MC. They impressed upon the Mayor and the civic administration to recover the arrears of due annual charges from the cable operators and take strict action against the defaulters.



I owe success to kids, says ‘Prerna’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
Shweta Tiwari, popularly known as Prerna of ‘Kasauti Zindagi ki’ believes in herself. She feels that one should keep trying in life and success is sure to come.
“Nothing is impossible in life, what matters is the time. One should not lose patience”, said 23-year-old Shweta. She was in the city today as one of the judges for a painting contest ‘Surf-colour your future’, at BCM Arya Higher Secondary School.

In an interview with Ludhiana Tribune at Park Plaza, Shweta said she owed her success to small children and warm-hearted audience. “Being a mother, I can well understand the feelings of children. The kids in the city are not only loving and affectionate but excited and enthusiastic, too”.

A good blend of beauty and brains, Shweta was born and brought up in Mumbai. Her family, basically belongs to Allahabad. Married to a Mumbai-based ramp model, Raja Choudhry, Shweta is a proud mother of two-years-old daughter.

“Her name is Palak. But because of my tight shooting schedules, I have left her to my in-laws in Meerut who are very supportive and caring. I miss her a lot but due to professional obligations, I happen to meet her only after every two months”, she said.

Shweta started her career in acting with the serial ‘Aanewala Pal’ aired in DD1 in 2001. Some of her other serials include “Karam, Kaleisan”, but her present role as Prerna in one of today’s top TV soap’s “Kasauti Zindagi ki” has won her fame and popularity nationwide.

On asking whether she was as powerful as her character in the serial, she said: “I am entirely opposite in real life. Very sensitive and I start crying immediately”.

Shweta said she enjoyed doing every minute of acting. “I love my profession. We shoot for over 16 hours daily. We enjoy working together. The only thing I miss is my sleep. I can not get proper sleep due to my overbusy schedule”, said Prerna.

When asked whether she would like to join the Bollywood industry, Shweta said if given good roles and opportunity, she would definitely join Hindi movies.

Anil Kapoor and Aamir Khan are her favourite actors. Her hobbies include dancing, music and playing with children.

“But whenever I get upset, I go for shopping”, she said in a giggling voice.




TIMES are fast changing progressively. Yesterday’s luxuries are counted as necessities today. Recently the local unit of the Congress hosted a state-level convention on the empowerment of panchayats. The convention was organised inside a modern airconditioned hall to provide a comfortable environment to the elected grassroot level representatives. The PCC president, Mr HS Hanspal, made it a point during his lecture saying, he could have organised it in the open but he wanted the representatives to be comfortable in this sultry humid heat. Despite “the airconditioned climate”, most of the “elected representatives” preferred to stay outside the hall and Mr Hanspal had to repeatedly call them inside. Some of the sarpanches said it hardly mattered whether they were made to sit in the open or the airconditioned halls. Ultimately their panchayats have to perform in the open. It would reminding of the old days when panchayats would be organised under the shade of a tree. A great transition, indeed.

Telephone durbar

BSNL had organised a telephone darbar the other day and inserted a notice to this effect in the newspapers. The purpose was to listen to the grievances of users of BSNL. Many persons turned up from far and were happy at the thought that their grievances would be removed. Instead, they were in for a shock as when they reached the venue, the tents were there, the hoardings were there. But no officer of BSNL was present. The aggrieved people felt that as the durbar was from 10 am up to 5 pm, there should have been some one present in the afternoon.

Astrologers and soothsayers

Astrologers and soothsayers have also been a big hit with gullible Indians. But recent days have seen a shift in astrological trends with predictions not remaining confined to personal predictions. Newshounds too have started basing their writings on what the astrologers say. During the past few days there have been many stories based purely on what the astrologers say. The predictions range from forecasts about the splitting of Pakistan to the rise and fall in trade. Which way are we headed in the 21st century?

Vaastu all the way

Beware, if your colleague or subordinate asks for your photograph. With Vaastu becoming popular, more and more Vastu practitioners are advocating that the pictures of people who interact with you regularly be placed in a particular place in the house for turning a foe into a friend. So, next time when someone asks you for your picture, imagine, it could be for some remote corner of the recipient’s house.

False claims

The Ludhiana administration has been making tall claims about its state of preparedness this monsoon season. But every time it rains, overflowing drains, choked sewers and roads turning into rivulets shatter these claims. Residents feel that if the civic authorities cannot do much to improve the plight of the city residents, they must at least stop making false claims. Is anyone in the administration listening?


A migrant labourer’s dog in Kochhar Market area of the city is proving to be the migrants’ best friend. Wherever they go, he follows them. Even though dogs are known to shy away from water baths, he even joins them during the bathing time. As they use a hose to sprinkle water on themselves, the dog joins them within no time. His everyday business has become a centre of attraction for the kids living nearby.


Even as various animal friendly organisations in Ludhiana are doing their bit to save some animals and raising a voice against the animal products, the sellers of peacock feathers are having a field day in the city. Little anyone realises that these feathers in plenty are obviously coming to market after killing the peacocks. Otherwise how many feathers does a peacock shed during its lifetime? The enforcement authorities need to question these sellers who will definitely spill the beans.

Cops without helmet

While the local police boasts about its drive against the helmet-less drivers, the cops themselves drive a scooter without donning a helmet on the city roads. Its a very common sight to see the cops in uniform driving or riding pillion without a helmet. Usually the cops are without the helmets wearing their uniform caps. Will they ever understand it sends a wrong message that the law enforcers are actually the law breakers?

Station superintendent

British Raj was over years ago but its hangover continues in some officials of the government. It seemed so during a railway accident in Ludhiana recently in which two coaches of the train had derailed on the outer railway station. When a scribe asked the station superintendent about his name, he said: ‘‘If you want to know my name walk down to my office and read it from the name plate fixed outside my office.’’

Pig menace

Sarabha Nagar residents are sick of pigs who are left on the roads by their owners. During the hot weather these pigs enter the green belts developed by the residents outside their houses and start digging into the earth. The lush green lawns are spoiled by the pigs as they do not leave the grass as well as plants. The residents claim that they cannot put iron gates on the green belts as this would amount to encroachment and the pigs break in the hedge very easily. Moreover, they cannot sit outside their houses to shoo away the pigs.

A grand opening — Ludhiana Style?

One of the prestigious ladies’ club of the city recently opened after about two months’ summer vacations. As Saawan is going on, the members celebrated the festival of Teej. Teej, supposed to be a festival of married ladies, was celebrated in a different style by inviting various artists from Delhi to present kathak dance items. It seemed as if some wedding had taken place in the marriage palace with hundreds of cars parked outside the venue. A variety of eatables were there for the members. One of the members, after eating a number of delicacies, was heard saying,”Is this a club function? They have spent lakhs of rupees on this without any purpose. It would have been better if the money was spent on some social cause or for the needy”.

Gearing up for rakhi

The city is gearing up for a Raksha Bandhan on August 12. The city markets are getting decked up to meet the rush of buyers. Old stocks are being put on clearance sales and new arrivals are being showcased and advertised profusely to attract business. The police too is going to have a tough time controlling and apprehending petty criminals such as pickpockets who thrive in the bustling bazaars of the city.




Mayor vows to clear encroachments
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
Cutting across party lines, city councillors called for improvement in the delivery of civic services, effective measures against temporary and permanent encroachments and cutting down the response time to complaints regarding water supply and sewerage at a separate review meetings of Zone C and D held here yesterday. The Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, presided over the meetings which were attended by Mr Ashok Kumar and Mr O.A.K. Sondhi, Zonal Commissioners, and other officials of the Municipal Corporation.

It was evident that he has mended fences with councillors belonging to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The councillors of the two parties had created a ruckus at the House meeting convened last week, which had to be adjourned amid uproar. The opposition parties, while charging the Mayor with taking sides on the issue, demanded a detailed discussion in the House before conducting any other business.

In contrast to what had happened at the House meeting, the zonal-level review meetings turned out to be a smooth affair and attending councillors of the SAD and BJP took part in the deliberations with a positive attitude. Responding to the points raised by the councillors, Mr Gill gave his nod to the purchase of five more pumps for draining out accumulated rainwater in low-lying localities in Zone C. On encroachments along the Sidhwan Canal on the Gill Road, he said the matter would be sorted out with the help of the Irrigation Department.

At the review meeting of Zone D, many councillors focussed on rampant encroachments under the recently constructed Dhuri line railway overbridge. After consulting the officials, the Mayor issued instructions that except for lanes under the flyover, which were needed to provide access to the adjoining localities, others should be barricaded to check unauthorised occupation.

Proliferation of jhuggis in various colonies like Model Town Extension and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road, which were causing inconvenience to residents, also came under discussion.

Mr Gill said the corporation was committed for the development of the city and there was no bias in allocation of funds.



NHRC team questions cops, wildlife staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
A two-member team of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), New Delhi, descended on the city today to inquire into a seven-month-old case of inhuman treatment meted out to four persons for allegedly killing a large number of peacocks.

The accused persons, all belonging to Alwar district in Rajasthan, were allegedly taken to the district courts from Malaud, a town near Ahmedgarh here, in a “cage” usually used for animals.

On the basis of a public interest litigation (PIL) by a Delhi resident, M.P. Sobhan, Supreme Court had issued notices to the Punjab Police and the NHRC in the case.

The NHRC members, Mr J.K. Arora, and Mr P.S. Rao, investigating the case refused to divulge. Punjab Police and the divisional wildlife department personnel were charged with inhuman treatment of the accused.

Sources said the officials were confused at the inquiry. On the one hand they were given appreciation letters by Ms Maneka Gandhi and the other facing serious charges.

The NHRC team questioned Payal police officials and wildlife officials regarding the incident.

They went to the forest near Malaud from where the accused were arrested. The team is to approach experts in Punjab Agricultural University here who had conducted the post-mortem examination of the peacocks.

Mr Narinderpal Singh, SSP said he had deputed a DSP-rank official with the team members.

The incident took place on December 26 in a forest adjoining Uchi Daud village near Malaud. The accused persons, identified as Raju, Amardass, Satnam and Hansraj, were residents of Alwar in Rajasthan. They were arrested by a joint party of the Punjab Police and the Wildlife Department.



Join ranks, Libra tells workers
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 5
“The bureaucracy should desist from adopting unfair means to harass Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) activists”, Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, Member, Rajya Sabha said this here on Sunday.

He was addressing a meeting of Akali workers and newly elected panches and sarpanches organised in Guptsar Gurdwara Jassran here. It was chaired by Mr Sukhwinder Singh Bhambri, former chief of the local council.

The Akali Dal had always fought against corruption but the “methods” adopted by Capt Amarinder Singh’s government to “insult” the former Chief Minister and former minister through those police officials who earlier saluted them was against the democratic values, Mr Libra asserted.

He appealed to the followers of both factions of the Akali dals to forget the past differences and to work for the unity forged between SAD Chief Parkash Singh Badal and Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SGPC chief, at the grassroots level. Personal differences should not be allowed to come in the way of unity for the long term interest of the Panth. The same time, Mr Libra to appealed the media not to exaggerate the minor differences of opinion.

A grant of Rs 50,000 each was announced to gram panchayats of Majri Misri, Jallowal and Badgujran villages for development works. These three panchayats of the area were elected unopposed.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh Bhambri thanked residents of Mandi Gobindgarh who elected six councillors supported by the Akali dal. Mr Jassa Singh Ahluwalia member SGPC, Mr Randhir Singh Bhambri, Mr Surmukh Singh Sarpanch, Jathedar Hardial Singh Naraingarh, Jathedar Kahla Singh Baini, Mr Chanda Singh fomer President of the Municipal Council, Mandi Gobindgarh, Mr Hari Chand Mittal also addressed the meeting.



Dharna by ex-servicemen over
ST hike on CSD items
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Members of the Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab and Chandigarh, staged a dharna outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner here today to protest against the imposition of sales tax on the CSD items.

Addressing the ex-servicemen gathered on the spot, Lieut-Col Bhag Singh, president of the league, termed the decision as the most unfortunate one and said the defence services were already losing their glamour and doing so would affect the entry into these all the more.

He said the job conditions of the armed forces personnel were quite different from all other government employees and the jawans were getting meagre pension as compared to other pensioners.

He further said instead of making the defence forces more attractive, the entrants were being demoralised by imposing sale tax on the CSD items. Thus a very little incentive provided to the ex-servicemen should not be taxed.

The members of the IESL were supported by the Punjab Pensioners, Railway Employees Union and the Lok Bhalai Party.



Residents seek award for Khud Mohalla hero
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
The residents of Khud Mohalla, where a devastating fire had killed around 20 people, have demanded that the hero of the fire tragedy, Kartar Singh, should be given a national award for bravery posthumously.

Stating that Kartar Singh had rescued many persons trapped in the fire caring little about his life, the residents claimed that he was the real hero who deserved to the awarded.

Recalling the fire incident, they said Kartar had suffered severe burn injuries while trying to rescue persons trapped in the fire. He reached a hospital riding pillion on a scooter. There he died as infection had spread all over his body. He is survived by his wife and two minor children.

Kartar Singh, lived in a house opposite the hosiery factory that caught fire. When he heard the cries of those trapped in the building, he reached there, put a blanket on himself and started rescuing workers. After about 30 minutes, he was seen going to the hospital on a scooter. But he never returned.

His wife said she was forwarding an application seeking an award for her husband to the Deputy Commissioner, who had invited applications from persons who had shown exemplary bravery at the time of the incident.

In a communique issued here today, Mr Vicky Kalra, chairman of the Indian Youth Council, Mr Manjit Singh Bindra of Punjab Lok Manch and Mr Sunil Gandhi of the Samaj Sudhar Committee and many others have demanded that Kartar Singh should be awarded posthumously.



Tadpoles in drinking water?
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
'Keep your eyes wide open while drinking tap water as it might contain live tadpoles besides other organisms and impurities.' This advice to the city residents comes from Dr (Gp Capt) Hem Raj Garg, a resident of Punjab Mata Nagar, on the Pakhowal road here.

Dr Garg, a retired officer from the Indian Air Force, was in for a shock of his life when he saw scores of live tadpoles in the water drawn directly from the municipal water supply. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said the water from taps was used in his household only for washing and bathing purposes and he had a submersible pump installed which provided safe water for drinking. "Personally, I am not affected by the supply of contaminated water from the MC network but my concern is for other fellow residents who solely depend on the civic body for the supply of potable water."

Besides taking up the matter with the MC officials of the area, Dr Garg had also taken the water sample to the water testing laboratory in the Microbiology Department of the Punjab Agricultural University here for analysis and the report of the same would be available only after 48 hours.

However, the Superintending Engineer of the O and M wing of the MC, Mr Subhash Dua, who heads the water supply and sewerage department vehemently denied the allegation saying there was no overhead reservoir in that particular locality and it was simply impossible that tadpoles could survive in the water drawn through tubewells from more than 400 feet below the ground.

The only plausible explanation for the presence of tadpoles in the tap water, he said, could be that either the water was drawn from the overhead storage tank by the resident or there could be some kind of leakage in the distribution lines at the consumers' end.



Spice network failure irks subscribers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Spice Telecom subscribers in Ludhiana are anguished over network failure for the past two days. While outgoing calls from Spice connections were being made, subscribers were facing problems with incoming calls.

A number of local mediapersons subscribing to Spice could not receive calls because of the system failure.



69 kg poppy husk seized, two arrested
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
Two car-borne persons were arrested by the Koom Kalan police near the Bazigar Colony in Kadiana Kalan village yesterday and booked under the NDPS Act. They were carrying poppy husk in the vehicle.

Those arrested were identified as Nishan Singh, a resident of Sekhewal, and Balwant Singh, a resident of Haider Nagar. The accused were carrying about 69.5 kg of poppy husk in two bags.

Murder bid alleged: The Shimla Puri police has registered a case of attempt to murder under Sections 307 and 34 of the IPC against Radha and Leela, residents of street number 1 of Mohalla Dashmesh Nagar. The case was registered on the statement of Ms Baljinder Kaur, wife of Mr Gurdeep Singh, a resident of the same locality.

According to the complainant, the accused had tried to kill her by dousing her with kerosene and setting her afire on Monday. She had to be admitted to the Civil Hospital with burn injuries. No arrest has been made so far.

Assault case: The Jodhewal police has registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Bajrang Dass, a resident of Hare Krishan Vihar Colony, near Meharban village, against Sanjiv Kumar and his wife, Balwinder Kaur, residents of the same locality.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had intercepted him on the road on Monday morning, beaten him up and threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

Injured: The Sadar police on Monday registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 338 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Paramdip Singh, a resident of Raj Guru Nagar, against an unidentified person riding a scooter (PB-25A-9647).

The complainant had stated that while he and his father, Mr Major Singh, were on their way from Mullanpur to Baddowal on a motor cycle, the accused hit his scooter into their vehicle near Baddowal. As a result of the impact, his father sustained injuries and had to be admitted to a hospital. No arrest has been made so far.

Held on gambling charge: The Shimla Puri police on Monday arrested Amrik Singh, a resident of Partap Nagar, Raj Kumar, Gurpreet Singh and Chaman Lal, residents of Labour Colony, and booked them under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act.

The police said the accused were arrested while gambling in Labour Colony. A sum of Rs 325 and a set of playing cards were seized from their possession.

Minor raped:
A 15-year-old girl of Malak village was allegedly raped by Balbir Singh of Cheemna in whose field she was working as a labourer. The police has registered a case under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC against the accused.

The girl was reportedly working in the fields of the accused on July 10, when one Amarjit Kaur asked her to bring a basket from a nearby room. As she entered the room, Balbir Singh, who was already present there, bolted the door, overpowered her and committed rape. The girl, whose mother had already died, told about it to her father, Major Singh, who contacted the village sarpanch and a complaint was lodged with the police.



Woman kills husband
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Domestic discord allegedly led a woman to kill her husband in Sherpur here this evening.
Sarbjit Singh (38) was allegedly killed when his wife banged his head against a wall. The police has arrested the accused woman, Paramjit Kaur.

The couple had four children, including three boys and a girl. A case has been registered against the woman on the statement of the man’s parents. They alleged that the woman had illicit relationship and used to remain out of the house for several days. She had returned today after three days. A bitter quarrel ensued between the couple, which allegedly led to the murder.



Worker thwarts robbery bid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
An employee with a garments manufacturing factory owned by the President of the Pradesh Beopar Mandal in New Subash Nagar here suffered injuries while fighting three robbers who had barged into the factory to loot here today.

Showing bravery and alacrity, the employee, Pradeep Kumar, grabbed one of the robbers who was in an inebriated condition. The three had entered the factory while two others were waiting outside. They had come on twowheelers.

Mr Kasturi Lal Mittal, President, Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, said the robbers demanded money and tried to attack Pradeep Kumar.



Cong leader attacked

Ludhiana, August 5
Usha Malhotra, a woman Congress leader and a resident of Jamalpur here, was allegedly attacked by political rivals of her party late last night. Her house and car were damaged in the attack. She escaped with minor injuries.

A complaint was lodged with the Focal Point police station. She has accused a woman leader of the Congress of perpetrating the crime. Ugly scenes were witnessed at the District Congress Committee (DCC) office here this afternoon over the issue. TNS



Student leader, brother injured in attack
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
A student leader of Arya College here and his brother were injured in an attack by a group of nearly 20 persons near Hambran village this morning. Rivalry between students over the issue of a student union at the local Industrial Training Institute (ITI) is said to be the reason behind the attack.

The brothers, Ravinderpal Singh and Sukhwinder Singh, were admitted to the DMC Hospital.



Traders submit memo against exim forms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal today submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, seeking withdrawal of the government decision to introduce exim form in the state. The memorandum was handed over to the local official of the Excise and Taxation Department.

The memorandum claimed that the Chief Minister had been misled by the bureaucrats that introduction of the exim form would get an additional revenue of Rs 100 crore to the state. It observed that the introduction of the form would only add to the problems of the traders and hamper the industrial growth in the state.

The memorandum was submitted as per the decision of the steering committee of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal held on July 27. The committee had decided to organise statewide protest against the exim form and also submit memorandum to the Chief Minister at each district headquarter through the local officials.

Pointing out that the introduction of exim form will lead to a number of problems, the memorandum said, “no goods can enter the state unless form No ST-XXIV-A, which needs mention of many details, is not accompanied”. An importer will need to mention the RC number, name and complete address of the consignor and the consignee, description of goods, name and address of the transport company, name and address of the owner or the person in charge of the goods, bill/delivery note number, date and value of goods and the destination of goods.

It observed, “it is crystal clear that without the connivance of the Sales Tax Department, even a bird cannot enter the state if they so desire”. Pointing out that it will lead additional expenditure it said, all information collection centres are going to be interconnected with the latest computerised system at a cost of Rs 45 crore. Besides that, it apprehended, goods can be checked anywhere at any time during the movement under Section 14(B) and 13(3).

The memorandum concluded that there was “no logic” in introducing the exim form as it will further escalate corruption and harassment to the traders. It said the department has already a number of powers vested in it to check the goods. It pleaded with the Chief Minister to ensure that this form is not introduced in the state.

Earlier, the traders staged a dharna against the introduction of exim form. Those who participated in the dharna included district unit chairman of the mandal, Baba Ajit Singh, president Kasturi Lal Mittal, general secretary Mohinder Aggarwal and others. 



Industry takes up steel prices issue with Centre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Left with no other option in view of the continuous rise in steel prices, the local industry has taken up the issue with the Union Government. A delegation of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations led by its President, Mr V.P. Chopra, met the Union Secretary Small, Rural and Agro Industries, Mr S.K. Tuteja and brought to his notice the problems being faced by the industry.

Mr Chopra said the delegation brought to the notice of the Secretary that some big steel producers in the country had formed a cartel and were manipulating the steel prices. Mr Chopra pointed out that there was a consistent increase in the prices of steel every month. He observed that the Central Government was probably not aware about the negative impact it was having on the industry in the country, particularly on the small scale sector.

The delegation made it clear that the rising prices of steel could ultimately lead to closure of a number of small scale units, while others were on the verge of closure. He said the rise in steel prices was also adversely effecting the export of the engineering items consuming steel. This has placed these industries in unfair competition in the international market.

Mr Chopra said the delegation made a strong case of monitoring steel prices in the country. He suggested that the government should at least relax the restrictions on the import of steel as it would provide a breather to the industry.

The federation also apprised Mr Tuteja about the “unfavourable clauses in the small enterprises (employment relations) Bill, 2003. It said if this Bill was passed, it would jeopardise the growth of small units in the country. Mr Chopra said, certain changes were required to be adopted in the revised draft small enterprises development bill, 2003 to make it more acceptable to be implemented.



Rally to inculcate good driving habits
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
In an effort to get closer to the customer and to inculcate good driving habits, Maruti Udyog Limited organised a fun-filled “Maruti Suzuki wheels of fortune” rally for Maruti owners here on Sunday.

The event was flagged-off from Hotel Park Plaza by Mr Narinder Pal Singh, SSP, Ludhiana. The rally was all about deciphering encrypted clues of eight prominent places in the city — Sarabha Nagar Market, Stan autos-Channel 2, Guru Nanak Engineering College, Gulzar Motors, Zimidara Dhaba, Mohini Resorts — Urban Estate, Ludhiana Zoo, Guru Nanak Stadium, and covering them in the shortest possible distance.

More than 250 participants took part in the event covering about 65 km enroute. Each participant took about two hours to cover the route. Each participant received a gift hamper and a free car wash coupon. The participants with least penalty points on the basis of distance covered to reach all checkpoints and average speed were adjudged winners. Proper combination of time, speed and distance held the key to success in this event.

Winners included Ms Gurpreet Singh in women’s category in car security system and Mr B.S. Randhawa in senior citizen’s category. Among the general category, the winners included Mr Balram Kalra, Mr Bhupinder Singh and Mr Vishal Anand. Consolation prizes were also given to several participants.


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