Friday, August 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Fraud in distribution of subsidised wheat
2 ration depot employees, ex-sarpanch held 
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
A fraud in the distribution of subsidised wheat to Yellow Card holders (people living below the poverty line) has come to light in Khanna town. Two employees of the Food and Supplies Department and a former woman sarpanch of Chakohi village have been arrested in connection with the alleged fraud.

It was a chance exposure of the fraud. Ms Manjit Kaur, a resident of Chakohi village, had not used her Yellow Card for the past two years. Last month when she went to a depot of the department and demanded wheat on the basis of her card, she came to know that some persons had been taking wheat on her card number for the past two years.

She lodged a complaint with the police. On investigation, it was found that two employees of the department were forging signatures of several Yellow Card holders to claim wheat on subsided rates and sell it to the needy persons on market price. Some of the beneficiaries were the original card holders only, who were told that there was not much stock for them in the depot. They had to buy wheat on higher rates.

According to an FIR lodged at Sadar police station here, the accused have been identified as a salesman of the depot, Kulwinder Singh, a Class IV employee, Gurmail Singh, and a former sarpanch of Chakohi village, Surjit Kaur. They have been booked under Sections 409, 420, 467, 471, 468 and 120-B of the IPC.

According to the police, about 12 quintals of wheat stored by the accused in the house of Surjit Kaur has been recovered. As per the documentary evidence gathered by the police so far, more than 20 quintals of wheat was siphoned off by the accused in the fraud.

Sources, however, said this was just the tip of the iceberg. Records of hundreds of Yellow Card holders in the area were being verified to detect the exact magnitude of the fraud. The police had also recommended to the department to check the records of all depots.

A police official concerned with the investigation said there was a strong possibility that some senior officials of the department were also involved in the fraud.

The modus operandi of the accused was simple. They used to forge signatures of yellow card holders and took wheat on subsidised rates from the depots. Later, the wheat was sold on market rates. The accused had identified those card holders who were not availing themselves of the facility regularly.

The accused used to sell the wheat, available on a price of about Rs 400 per quintal to the card holders, at a price of more than Rs 700 per quintal in the open market. They used to store wheat in the house of Surjit Kaur and sell it in small quantities.



Coke, Pepsi sales plummet 
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
Notwithstanding the claims made by officials of Coke and Pepsi, the sales of popular cold drinks have come down in drastic proportions in the city.
Ludhiana Tribune team talked to about 12 vendors, all of whom said there had been a massive fall in the sales during the past two days. “Virtually there has been no sale of soft drinks during the past two days,” said Suresh Kumar, a vendor who runs a stall outside the Ludhiana railway station.

This follows the findings of a survey conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) which stated that top soft drink brands, including Coke and Pepsi, contained pesticides and insecticides between 30 and 36 times higher than the permissible limits.

However, senior officials of Pepsi and Coke claimed the supplies to the retailers were normal. But they admitted that the orders were booked earlier and the survey findings might have an impact on further bookings. They refused to divulge further details as to whether the retailers were maintaining the same level of orders even now or had cut down on these.

Some retailers at the railway station, who keep huge stocks, said they were worried about the disposal of their stocks. “The survey findings have had a definite impact on the sales,” said Suresh Kumar. He, however, hoped that the impact would not last long. He said a similar situation had occurred after it had come to light that mineral water contained some harmful substances. He said the impact at that time had lasted for a couple of weeks and people would prefer to fill their water bottles from the railway station taps, instead of purchasing mineral water. “Same situation is emerging about Coke and Pepsi now,” he added.

Even some prominent clubs and leading hotels, where the consumption of these soft drinks is quite large, have registered a massive decline in sales. In fact, the issue dominated the discussions in the Satluj Club with most people talking about the presence of toxic substances in Coke and Pepsi.

Children, who are the biggest consumers of cold drinks, have been strictly forbidden by their parents from taking Coke or Pepsi. Stocks in school and college canteens are lying as it is.



Satta operator remanded in police custody
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
A district court today remanded Subash Katty, one of the protagonist of the VCD expose, in one-day police custody. He was arrested yesterday by the police under Section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which calls for registration of a case against person giving bribe.

A video camera used by Subash Katty in the case and some video-cassettes and CDs have been reportedly seized from his possession.

The VCD expose in which cops were shown taking bribe from two alleged satta operators in the city took another turn late last evening when the police booked both the operators for giving bribe to the cops, as shown in the CDs.

Bittu Chawla, another satta operator, was still absconding and raids were on to nab him.

Police officials in Ludhiana had accused the two operators of preparing CDs with the sole motive of blackmailing police officials so that they could continue their alleged illegal business without any problem. The accused have been denying this.

A police party led by DSP Snehdeep Sharma arrested Subash Katty from some place in the city. An FIR was lodged at the Division Number 6 police station.

The VCDs have been sent for examination and the cameras used for recording were being confiscated. The examination would establish if there was any foul play.

Relatives of the accused have reportedly sent telegrams to the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Punjab Human Rights Commission claiming that the two alleged operators had prepared the CDs as they wanted to expose corruption in the Police Department.

Mr Gurpreet Singh, SP(D), was investigating into the case. Mr Narinder Pal Singh, SSP, Ludhiana, had recently stated that the investigation of over two months had not established the involvement of any senior official in the case so far.



Token strike by PCMS doctors today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
As part of the ongoing agitation of the Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association for restoration of the non-practising allowance (NPA), all doctors of Ludhiana district will observe two-hour token strike tomorrow.

Doctors said they would attend only emergency services and hold ‘public awareness rallies’ at hospitals for highlighting the adverse effects of the government decision on health services.

They said no patient would be returned without any medical aid, though they would be on strike.

In a press note issued here, Dr Hardeep Singh, and Dr Balwinder Kumar and Dr Manjeet Singh, state president, general secretary and press secretary of the Ludhiana unit of the PCMS Association, respectively, said the aim of strike and public rallies was to protest against the government decision and make the people aware of its adverse effects on health services. On the basis of misleading ‘figures and facts’ about NPA and private practice, the Cabinet ministers had taken the decision to abolish the allowance, they said.

According to the PCMS service rules, the NPA was never related with private practice, they said.



Who is the Bar chief?
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, August 7
Claims and counter-claims continued for the second day today with Mr Piyush Kant Jain claiming to be the acting president of the District Bar Association (DBA) as he had been nominated by the general house, which he said was supreme.

Addressing a press conference here, he said over 400 members were present at the general house meeting and not a single member opposed his nomination. They expressed resentment against the policies of Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, and none of them spoke in favour of the outgoing president, he claimed.

He said yesterday a meeting of the executive had been called by the vice-president of association but he himself did not come. “We convened the meeting of the executive, in which the resignation of Mr Dhanda as well as his nomination was affirmed,” he said. As per the constitution of the Bar, a quorum of five members of the executive was needed to conduct the meeting. “At the meeting convened under my presidentship, six members of the executive were present,” he said.

The supporters of Mr Dhanda had declared Mr Ajay Chopra as president of the association. However, Mr B.P. Singh Gill, vice-president of the DBA, claimed that as per the constitution of the Bar, whenever the president resigned the vice-president automatically become the acting president and hence, he was the acting president.

The New Courts Bar Association, part of the DBA, has also passed a resolution in favour of Mr Dhanda with an appeal not to accept his resignation. “We still recognise him as president of the DBA. The violent act by certain members at the general house meeting is condemned in the strongest words,” the resolution said.

Mr Harish Rai Dhanda had resigned as DBA president yesterday. He had said that unless action was taken against those who had “assaulted” him, he would not withdraw his resignation.

Mr Dhanda sent his resignation in writing to the vice-president of the association, as per the constitution but he refused to accept the resignation.

Mr Gill termed the proceedings in which Mr Jain was elected as the acting president of the Bar to be “unconstitutional and illegal”. The chairperson could be appointed only after a meeting, he said.



Youth found murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
A youth of Prem Nagar in Field Gunj here was found murdered in mysterious circumstances near a sewage drain in Amarpura this morning.
Mohinder Kumar had left his house late at night to attend a jagrata but his badly cut body was found in the morning. He had multiple wounds and head injury. The police has registered a case of murder.

In another incident, 12-year-old Ghanayia was drowned in Sidhwan Canal this morning. He lived near Division No. 2 police station. He had gone to the canal to swim alongwith his friends.



Sons of former MLA arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
The Jagraon police has booked two sons and a nephew of former Congress MLA Darshan Singh Brar on charges of attempting to murder a Jagraon-based journalist late last night.

Mr Jatinder Malhotra, who runs a local newspaper in Jagraon, was seriously injured when attacked with swords by the accused persons outside his house last night. He was admitted in Satluj Hospital here with multiple stab and fracture injuries.

The journalist had published a number of news reports against the politician recently. The accused have been identified as sons of Mr Darshan Singh Brar - Kamaljit Singh Brar and Gurjant Singh- his nephew Bittu and supporter Navtej Singh.



DCC distributes anti-Badal pamphlets
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
Pamphlets, posing certain questions to Mr Parkash Singh Badal were distributed among passersby on the Jagraon bridge by activists of the District Youth Congress (Urban), Ludhiana, here today. Among the questions highlighted were about the patch-up between Mr Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra. The Congress leaders asked Mr Badal if Mr Tohra was an agent of the Congress, as alleged by him on a number of occasions, why had he joined hands with him.

The pamphlet also asked Mr Tohra as to why he had accompanied Mr Badal to Delhi to get the blessings of Mr L.K. Advani, who according to Mr G.S. Tohra was enemy member one of the Sikh community.

Later, in a press note, Youth Congress leaders, including Mr Sarabjit Singh Bunty, Mr Jaswinder Jassi, Mr Raj Kumar Kashyap, Mr Gurpreet Singh Arora, Mr Inderjeet Makkar, Mr Ashok Arora, Mr Narinder Shukla and Mr Ashok Jolly said they wanted to know whether or not differences existed between Mr Badal and Mr Tohra over a sum of Rs 300 crore earmarked for the tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib. The Congress men warned the public not to be misled by the two Akali leaders. 



Local Cong leaders rap Bir Devinder
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
Expressing support for the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, the local Congress leadership led by the District Congress Committee (DCC) president, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, today criticised the Deputy Speaker, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, for his outbursts against the Chief Minister and the government.

In a joint statement, Mr Sharma, Mr Bhupinder Singh Seehra, Mr Kiran Deep Singh Kairon, organising secretaries, Punjab Congress Committee, Mr Bhushan Abhi former general secretary, DCC, Ludhiana and Mr KK Garg, cashier, DCC, Ludhiana, said he should be taken to task for speaking against the Chief Minister, the government and the party.

They observed Mr Bir Devinder’s behaviour “totally unbecoming”. He was a senior party leader occupying an important post and should behave accordingly.

The leaders appealed to the party high command to take serious note of the situation. They pointed out in case Mr Bir Devinder Singh was not “disciplined”, it would lead to widespread indiscipline in the party.



MC road tenders come under cloud
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 7
The tenders for development works worth a whopping Rs 4.4 crore, scheduled to be opened yesterday and later postponed for a day by the municipal corporation due to administrative reasons, have come under a cloud with many contractors enlisted with the MC alleging that the move was aimed at benefiting certain contractors with political links while the civic administration denies it.

It was learnt that none of the contractors, having a hot mix plant — one of the conditions — had obtained the tender form on Tuesday, the last day for this purpose, and consequently no bids were offered for these works until yesterday afternoon. Sensing that a group of contractors had deliberately stayed away from the process, MC officials shifted the last date by a day and the forms were reportedly issued to a dozen-odd other contractors and the bids were received this afternoon.

Some contractors, however, have questioned the way the MC had gone ahead with extending the scheduled date and hastily issuing tender forms to even those firms and contractors who did not fulfil the conditions laid down in the notice inviting tenders (NIT). Moreover, the contractors maintained that the scheduled date for the receipt and opening of tenders could not be extended in this manner and a proper notice in the media, giving enough time to all contractors, should have been issued.

The contractors alleged that while issuing the tender forms for the resurfacing of roads, the administration had not taken into consideration one of the conditions in the NIT that the prospective bidders should have completed a single work of Rs 1 crore. “Whether or not the said condition has been waived should have been made clear through a proper corrigendum in the newspapers to enable other contractors to join the tendering process.”

On the other hand, senior officials of the MC charged a powerful group of contractors with dictating terms and indulging in pressure tactics. A senior officer of the B and R branch of the MC asserted that the civic body would not be guided by the contractors and would not allow any one to disrupt the process of tendering.

The officers said the tender forms were issued strictly in accordance with the conditions laid down in the NIT and on the production of stipulated earnest money for the works. No motives could be attributed to merely issuing tender forms and receipt of tenders since the tenders so received were evaluated by the Finance and Contracts Committee of the MC in the light of the NIT before final acceptance.

Inquiries revealed that while most of the contractors were in favour of joining the tendering process, a few others were resorting to pressure tactics to make the MC administration release their pending payments, withheld on various grounds like poor quality of work, inflated measurements or delay in execution.



NoC for new units in 48 hrs: Rana
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 7
A drive against pollution and corruption does not mean a blow to the industry. But at the same time the government is well aware of its responsibility to maintaining a pollution-free environment said Rana K.P. Singh, MLA and Chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB).

He was addressing a seminar organised by Mr Amarjeet Singh Shahi, SDM Amloh in the municipal complex here today. It was attended by traders, industrialist, councillors and other officials.

He made a mention of a survey conducted by a team of experts from the PGI, Chandigarh, which showed people of Mandi Gobindgarh suffering from respiratory diseases four times more than the people of Morinda.

Mr Rana pointed out various steps taken by the board to check the menace which included simplification of the procedure to accord NoC within a month to entrepreneurs and an NoC within 48 hours on the basis of an affidavit to industrialists who wanted to install their industry in the approved area.

The Chairman announced a committee to check norms for emission of smoke from re-rolling mills of Mandi Gobindgarh. Permission would be granted to use coal as fuel.

Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, stressed the need to provide relief to the industry of Mandi Gobindgarh.

Mr Sadhu Singh, Dharamsot, MLA, Amloh, assured the industrialists he would take up their cause with the Chief Minister.

It was pointed out by industrialists that the sources of raw material were situated at far off places and were imported into Punjab at a very high freight changes.



Make this Rakhi more meaningful
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 7
Rakhi never falls on the same day as it is linked to the full moon day as per the lunar calendar. However sisters’ love for their brothers remains constant. Every year, they send rakhis with loving messages but how about sending meaningful messages that might make the brothers take notice of some of their bad habits that might cause cancer or other diseases.

If the rakhis carried the plea that the brothers should give up drugs, smoking and drinking as a rakhi gift, the situation might improve. Sadly, such messages are not being sent. Instead the market is flooded with hundreds of new designs of rakhis.

Wholesale shops at Gur Mandi have a large variety of rakhis on display starting from Rs 2 to Rs 20. Rakhis from China in the form of bracelets are competing with the Indian rakhis. Rakhis with crystal stones, and images of Lord Ganesh are in demand. Musical rakhis with the tune “bhaiya mere rakhi ke bandhan ko nibhana” are also available.

Harbans Singh , a wholesale trader in rakhis, says, “We get rakhis from Kolkata, Alwar and Delhi a month in advance. For us the season is always good and retailers buy them from us.

Among children, rakhis with popular cartoons or small gifts like sharpeners, sweets and toys packed together are popular. Rakhis made out of gold and silver are also available at jewellery store.

As per a Marwari custom, the sisters send a bracelet made of thread with a dangler to it, called “loopie” for their sisters- in-law. “Loopies” in many attractive designs are also attached on display. These have become a fashion statement because of their novelty.



Food on streets popular with Ludhianvis
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 7
Although the city is in the grip of gastroenteritis and cholera, there are many takers of different kinds of food served by innumerable vendors on streets of the city in every locality. Be it cut fruit or other savoury stuff like golgappas, tikkis, chaat papri, fruit juices, milk shakes and the like, they satiate the appetite of thousands of people. This despite the fact that the Administration has banned the sale of many of these items.

The great thing about street food is that it is a great leveller as taste buds brings everyone — both masses and classes — flocking to eat delectable food that has become famous by word of mouth.

It does not matter if the people have to queue up for a long time to eat the famous, soft, ‘dahi bhallas ‘ sold at Dholewala chowk or wait for mouth-watering chaat at Hoshiarpurias on College Road.

The chaat is so popular that the people in big limousines will also come to eat the ‘chaat’, standing on the roads jostling with other people.

Inspite of the fact that street food collects a lot of dust, and smoke being let out by innumerable vehicles, the people cannot resist the rice and ‘chole’ being sold from a ‘rehri’ on Deepak Cinema road.

The city roads are dotted with vendors selling ‘chola kulchas’ outside schools, offices or outside markets. The students in the recess and after school rush out to eat what ‘chola kulchas’ which can be termed as equivalent of ‘hot dogs’.

The vendors have already sliced ‘kulchas’ and stuffed ‘channas’ and garnished with tomatoes and coriander leaves to make it look attractive. Office-goers and others who have not brought lunch, love eating them as it is quite filling and quite reasonably priced too. But the famous ones are sold outside the Old courts and near State Bank of India, near Fountain Chowk.

The person who sells fish tikka and fish curry sitting on the road side near Domoria Bridge for years has a growing number of customers notwithstanding the bleak surroundings of the shop.

Many a rehri selling tandoori chicken, stuffed naans and kulchas can be found outside Raikhy and Naulakha Cinema halls. During the intervals , they draw quite a crowd.

Outside Ludhiana railway station, on the pavements are several persons selling rice, fish curry, daal and chappatis to poor travellers who alight from the trains.

People find noodles, chowmein, seekh kabab, paav bhaji, momoos , idlis, dosas, omelettes, and even pizzas sold by the cart-sellers affordable and a good change from the routine.

That the food on the pavements is not hygienic at all is not a deterrent either to the public or to the Health Department it seems. 



Nayar recalls trip to Pak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
Senior journalist Kuldeep Nayar believes that the winds of change are bellowing in Pakistan and people over there, particularly the younger generation, are not hostile towards India. He says even the military regime is fast realising that it cannot continue with a confrontationist attitude towards India. The statements of Maulan Fazl-u-Rehman, leader of the Jamati Islami and a hardliner, are significant, he said.

Narrating his experiences in Pakistan, he said there was growing disillusionment in Pakistani society. It had seen military rule for over four decades and not experienced democracy, he said.

He said the relationship between the two countries needed to be redefined as we had to co-exist. He suggested that there should be greater people-to-people interaction. “We have a shared past and shared history. There is so much in common,” he said.

He said the response generated in India towards the treatment of Noor Fatima, a Pakistani child, indicated that people of both countries respected each other. “There is always a humane undercurrent everywhere... like it is here in India, it also exists in Pakistan,” he said, adding that it should be strengthened.

He said 15 parliamentarians, along with their families, from Pakistan would visit India on August 14. They would be greeted with candles and taken to the Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh. He said the people-to-people contact could not be restricted to a select few.

He said visa restrictions in both countries were discouraging progress. He said even noted ghazal singer Ghulam Ali was not granted visa by the Indian High Commission for performing in India. “Such things only create bitterness,” he pointed out.

Mr Nayar, who has been visiting Kashmir, observed that the situation was improving there. He said Yasin Malik, one of the founders of the militant movement in Kashmir, had taken to non-violence and become a Gandhian.



Dalits abroad worried for brethren
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
To check atrocities on Dalits in India, especially Punjab, Dalits abroad have come together under the banner of Vishwa Guru Ravidass Mission and have decided to take up the matter at the international level.

This was announced here today by Mr Paramjit Singh Rattu, president, Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha, UK. He was addressing a function organised by the Vishwa Guru Ravidass Mission. A seven-member team from Canada led by Mr Sital Dass Klair was present on the occasion.

Mr Rattu stated that Dalits staying abroad were pained at the recent incidents of social boycott at Talhan. The Dalits stood united and they would not take anything lying down.

It was shameful that in the land of Sikh gurus, who taught universal brotherhood, such incidents had taken place. He cited improper enforcement of laws guarding the interests of Dalits as the reason behind such incidents.

Mr Sital Klair, president of South Asian Human Rights Group and Vishwa Guru Ravidass Mission, Canada, speaking on the occasion, said the Dalits settled in foreign lands were worried at the incidents of violence against their brethren back home. He called upon the Dalits to unite and fight “every force aimed at making them look down upon by others on the basis of caste.”

Other prominent speakers were Mr Harinder Singh Khalsa, former member of the National Commission for SCs and STs and Mr Nirmal Sondhi. The delegation from Canada announced a sum of Rs 1 lakh for the Vishwa Guru Ravidass Mission based in Ludhiana.



Colonies flooded with sewage, residents fear epidemic
Kanchan Vasdev

Tribune News Service

Doraha, August 7
In the absence of an outlet for sewage, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Araichan Colony and Malhipur village here are inundated with sewage. Local residents fear that an epidemic could break out in their areas.

While many residents have already fallen prey to water-borne diseases, the rest are apprehending an outbreak as their requests to the council have failed to evoke action.

The residents alleged that the tubewell supplying potable water was also surrounded by sewage. They claimed that the contaminated water was getting mixed with the drinking water, as a result of which diseases like gastroenteritis, jaundice and cholera had gripped many residents.

Tired of sending applications to the council authorities, the residents have written to the Chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, asking him to intervene into the matter.

The residents said the council authorities had refused to act on the complaints, stating that no outlet was possible due to shortage of funds.

Mr Paramjit Verma, the president of the Residents Welfare Committee, said many residents had already contracted diseases like gastroenteritis. He added that not only the potable water supplied by the committee was contaminated, but the handpumps and tubewells installed in the area were also giving dirty water.

The water tank and tubewell supplying drinking water to these colonies are surrounded by sewage. Some residents drawing water from the handpumps complained that they were getting yellow-coloured water, which they could not drink without boiling.

Mr Manjit Singh, the Sarpanch of Malhipur village, said around two months ago, the residents had staged a dharna against the improper drainage system, but to no avail.



Living in squalor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
Shopkeepers and residents of Lakkar Bazar and surrounding localities have to live amid filth, bad roads and poor sewerage.
There is heavy traffic on the Lakshmi Cinema road since it provides access to CMC Hospital, CMC Dental College, Civil Hospital and several schools.

According to functionaries of the Lakkar Bazar Gawala Mohalla Sudhar Committee, the road is in a pathetic condition with potholes. Choked sewers and overflowing sullage are a source of inconvenience. The condition gets worsened during the rains.

Residents are sore at the indifferent attitude of the administration towards encroachments. The district authorities had initiated some steps to remove the encroachments, after the Khud Mohalla fire but the situation is back to square one.

“After seeking information from the municipal corporation on the status of temporary and permanent encroachments, the district administration has not undertaken action so far,” a resident complained.

Councillor Rakesh Parashar said tenders had already been approved for the widening and resurfacing of the road from Lakshmi Cinema to CMC Chowk at a cost of about Rs 40 lakh. The work would commence after the rains.



Employees to launch stir

Ludhiana, August 7
The Punjab State Ministerial Staff Union will launch a stir in protest against the alleged anti-employee policies of the government. Government employees in the district will hold a protest rally at the mini-secretariat here tomorrow. This decision was taken at a meeting of the district unit of the union held here today.

Mr Manjit Singh Sandhu, the president of the Food and Supplies Ministerial Staff Union, lambasted the government for the denial of pension benefits, curtailing leave encashment and scrapping the policy of recruitment on compassionate grounds. OC



Ex-servicemen relieved at govt clarification
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
The Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab and Chandigarh, has welcomed the clarification of the Punjab Government on the imposition of tax on CSD stores.

Stating this here today, Lieut Col, Chanan Singh Dhillon, president of the league, said the government should keep JCOs outside the ambit of three per cent tax. The league, through its state executive, assured the rank and file that it would continue to espouse their cause so that their political and social problems were minimised.



Two panches held under NDPS Act
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
The Jagraon police has booked two newly elected panchayat members and a woman under the NDPS Act. Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chhena, SSP, Jagraon said in a press note here today, that Harinder Kumar, alias Happy, a resident of Bassian village, had been selling opium for a long time. In a raid conducted by a police party headed by Mr Harjit Singh Brar, DSP, Raikot, 2750 gm of opium was seized from the possession of Surinderpal Kaur, accomplice of Harinder Kumar, who escaped. The raid was carried out on a tip off.

Jagtar Singh, another newly elected panchayat member, a resident of Umarpura village, was intercepted by a naka party headed by Mr Mohinder Kumar Ghai, SHO, Raikot, and 100 gm of opium recovered form his scooter (PB-56A-1058).



Over 30 charged with theft, illegal possession
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
The Jodhewal police has registered a case of theft and forcible possession against more than 30 persons after an incident in Basant Vihar on Wednesday.
Ms Jaswant Kaur of the locality had complained that Sohan Singh, Jasvir Kaur, Rachhpal Singh, Ashok Kumar, Jhangi, Balkar Singh, Charanjit Singh, Jatly and 25 others had barged into her house, assaulted her and her child and carried away household goods. They had then taken forcible and illegal possession of the house. So far, no arrest has been made.

Power theft: The Division Number 7 police has charged two persons with power theft under Section 379 of the IPC. The first case was registered against Nirmal Kaur of Paramjit Nagar in Mundian Khurd and the second against Gurbhajanjit Singh of Tibba Colony, Mundian Khurd.

The cases were registered on the statement of the Junior Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Focal Point.

Frauds alleged: The Civil Lines police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 468 and 471 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kulbhushan Kohli, Area manager, LIC Finance, Feroze Gandhi Market, against Satish Kumar and his wife Manju Bala of Lajpat Nagar.

The couple was charged with forging land deeds for securing a loan from the LIC. So far, no arrest has been made.

Two more cases of fraud were registered at the Salem Tabri police station. The first under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC was registered on the statement of Mr Tejinder Singh Grewal of Basant Vihar Colony, Noor Wala Road, against Kamla Rani of Baba Sain Bhagat Nagar.

The complainant had charged the woman with forging documents of his plot to transfer the property in her name. She had allegedly further sold the plot. No arrest has been made, so far.

The other case was registered under Sections 20, 467 and 469 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Charan Singh of Shiv Puri against Gurnam Singh of Bahadur Ke village. The complainant had alleged that the accused had transferred his plot in his name by preparing forged documents.

Harassed for dowry: On the statement of Ms Rashmi of Jain Colony, the Focal Point police had on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 406, 498-A, 323 and 34 of the IPC against her husband Amrit Rai and in-laws Ravi Ram, Urmila Rani and Sushma Rani of Joshi Nagar, Haibowal.

The woman had alleged that the accused had assaulted her as they wanted her to bring more dowry. No arrest has been made, so far.

The Division Number 7 police had registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC on the statement of Ms Parminder Kaur of Mundian Khurd village against her husband, Jagdev Singh, and Pritam Kaur.

The woman alleges mental and physical torture by her in-laws for having brought more dowry. No arrest has been made so far.

Liquor haul: The Division Number 3 police seized 418 bottles of liquor from Sharanreet Singh of Dhokan Mohalla, who was arrested on Wednesday. His three-wheeler loaded with the stuff was impounded.

The accused was charged under Sections 61 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Assaulted: The Haibowal police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 148 and 19 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Mukesh Puni of Kutbewal, Salem Tabri, against Pappu, Seema, Balkara, Kulwant, Dhanna, Jangira and Beera of Talwandi village.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had attacked him near Laddian Kalan village on August 4 and left him injured. No arrest has been made, so far.

The Sadar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323, 324 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Jai Shankar, a migrant from Bihar who is now living in Harnam Singh Nagar, Threeke Road, against a person who had assaulted him.

Injured: The Civil lines police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Anju Sharma of Naveen Nagar, Jassian Road, against Gurdeep Singh of Bhuttan Khera village under the Tohana police station in Haryana.

The charge is that the accused, had rammed his Tata Qualis vehicle (PB-10-AS-0787) into her Maruti car (PB-10-AS-7826) in front of Durga Mata Mandir on Wednesday.

As a result of the hit, she was injured and her car was damaged. No arrest has been made, so far.



Liquor smuggler nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
The local Excise Department nabbed a notorious liquor smuggler and recovered 28 cases of country liquor, three cases of Piper whiskey, two cases of Director Special, 22 bottles of Royal Stag and DSP Whiskey from him here late last night.

Sarbprit Singh, alias Limca, was carrying the liquor in an autorickshaw near Baba Thar Singh Chowk here. Mr T.L. Jindal, ETO, said a party was in search of him for the past three months. Each time he managed to give the slip to the department. He was already facing cases in courts.

According to Mr G.S. Bahia, ETO, the accused was arrested by Mr Inderjit Singh, Excise Inspector, and ASI Dalbir Singh. A case under the Excise Act had been registered against the accused.



BSNL users find hard to reach Spice
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
Most of the time you dial a Spice number, it will not get connected. Not at least from a Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) telephone. While the problem was there earlier also, now it seems to have become too prominent. A number of people called up Ludhiana Tribune office here yesterday, saying they had problems in reaching Spice numbers from their BSNL phones. But there was no such problem in case the number was dialled from a mobile phone.

Some officials in the Spice office maintained it might be due to temporary congestion in the lines. On the other hand, Mr Ashok Kumar Goyal, executive director, Spice Telecom, said there was no problem at their end. He said there might be some problem at the BSNL end. When it was pointed out to him that there was no such problem in reaching the numbers of other telecom services, he said, had there been any problem in dialling BSNL numbers from the Spice network, then the fault could be attributed to them, but there was no such problem.

A Spice spokesman said technical upgrading was on which might be leading to some difficulties in connectivity. He added that after all incoming calls were made free, there had been congestion on telephone routes.

However, senior BSNL officials refused to share the blame for the problem. They said had it been the case, there would have been problems with other services also. A senior official said there was no problem in reaching out to the mobile or WLL numbers of other services. The inter-connectivity service of the BSNL was “probably the best”in the country, he said.



Steel prices hit engineering industry
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
A steep hike in the prices of iron and steel has thrown the light engineering industry, particularly small and tiny units, out of gear. The unprecedented rise in prices of basic raw material over the past one year has not only rendered finished goods uncompetitive in the domestic market but also hit exports.

A meeting of the Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India was convened here today by its president, Mr Joginder Kumar. He said the Union Government had been ignoring the plight of engineering industry, while major producers of iron and steel held the industry to ransom. Steel producers like Rashtriya Ispat Nigam were exporting a major chunk of their products at much cheaper rates than the price paid by the domestic industry. The domestic industry was being made to purchase the leftover material at exorbitant prices, he alleged.

Members of the industry discussed the adverse impact of the jacked up prices of essential raw material on export of engineering goods and deplored the failure of the government to check exploitation of small industrialists by steel producers. “China, a major competitor, offers steel material like the HR coils for Rs 14,000 per metric ton, while the domestic industry paid nearly Rs 25,000 per metric ton for the same material,” Mr Joginder Kumar alleged.



30 pc default in car loan repayments
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
Car finance may have become simple with various banks ever-willing to offer the finances for new and old cars. But when it comes to repaying the monthly instalments, 30 per cent people default, as a result the banks have to resort to various methods for making recoveries.

According to a survey conducted by various car dealers in Ludhiana, 76 per cent cars are financed and only 24 per cent cars purchased on down payment. Of the 76 per cent buyers, on an average 30 per cent turn to be defaulters.

It is learnt the ICICI Bank, which revolutionised car finance, happens to be the main loser with maximum defaulters.

There are some customers who tend to misuse their influence. Recently, a leading financial company got a Mercedes Benz financed.

The customer refused the pay the instalments. Left with no option, the financers got the vehicle “picked up”.

The customer reported the matter to the police claiming his car had been stolen. The police not only “misbehaved” with finance officials company, but also detained some of them.


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