Sunday, August 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Former DSP gets life term for killing gunman
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 16
A fast track court has sentenced a former DSP of Punjab Police to rigorous life imprisonment on the charge of killing his gunman. As per the prosecution, the accused shot the gunman after he came to know of the latter’s alleged illicit relations with his wife. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5, 000 on the accused.

The convict, Sher Singh of Guru Ram Dass Nagar, Khanna, had murdered Kuldip Singh on August 16, 1999, who was deployed for his security by firing a shot with an AK-47 on the head.

Delivering the verdict, Mr A.S.Kathuria, the judge of fast track, held that the prosecution had successfully proved the guilt of the accused beyond any reasonable doubt. Praying for leniency, the convict submitted that he was innocent and had not committed any offence.

‘The charge levelled against the accused was duly proved by the prosecution, which shows that he has no regard for human life. He killed a young man, who was posted with him for his security and protection of his life,’’ remarked, the Judge, while declining the plea of leniency raised by the convict.

The former DSP was booked under Sections 302/307 of IPC read with section 25 and 27 of the Arms Act on August 16, 1999, at Sadar Police Station, on the statement of Dharam Singh, a maternal uncle of the deceased. After arresting the accused, the police had also recovered the AK-47 used in the commission of the offence from the house of the DSP, along with 10 live cartridges.

The complainant had stated to the police that on the fateful day, he had gone to Lasara village to meet his sister. Kuldip Singh also reached there in the car of accused. Kuldip told him he had dropped Sher Singh in an adjoining village alongwith his family and was to collect them on his way back.

The complainant further submitted that he too wanted to go in the same direction and took a lift from his nephew. Thereafter, they reached Nizampur village where the accused was taking liquor with some of his relatives. After sometime, all of them started for home and Kuldip Singh handed over his AK-47 to Sher Singh, since he was driving the car.

The complainant had alleged that when they reached a little ahead from Rasulra village, the accused started abusing Kuldip, with the allegation that his conduct and character was not good towards his family. Upon this, Kuldip also replied in anger, stopped the car and got down.

Meanwhile, the former DSP also came out of the car and started threatening that he would not spare the deceased and his maternal uncle. He fired from the weapon and a bullet passed through the head of the deceased, killing him on the spot. The accused then fired at the complainant but he escaped under cover of darkness and informed the police, according to the prosecution.

The prosecution examined as many as 12 witnesses to prove the guilt of the accused. However, during trial the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed false implication and examined three witnesses in his favour.

The defence counsel assailed the prosecution story on many points and contended that the investigation of the prosecution was tainted. So, the benefit of the same should be given to the accused. He particularly pointed out that the Investigation Officer had recorded the statement of a cop thrice to cover up the delay in sending the special report to the magistrate.

However, the judge held that probably the Investigation Officer — Arvind Puri, Sub-Inspector — had a sympathetic attitude towards the accused and left some holes during investigation, as both had worked together at Ludhiana.

The court also declined the contentions of defence counsel that the death of gunman may had occurred accidentally with his own rifle, while referring to an answer given by the doctor during cross examination that the possibility of accidental injury could not be ruled out. The Judge remarked that if the gunman had died accidentally with his rifle as suggested, the DSP should have immediately reported the matter to the police and deposited the AK-47 with the authorities concerned. But in this case, he did not do so. He rather went to sleep at his home and the weapon was recovered from his house during investigation.



Man dumps wife for not getting cash from in-laws
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
The greed for dowry made a woman lose her unborn child and the widowed mother. Now she is alone in this world to battle for her rights and look after her teenaged brother.

Manpreet Kaur (23) of Mandi Ahmedgarh refused to give in to the demands of her husband to bring in money from her mother for buying him an Icon car.

The demand could have been met by selling a piece of agricultural land, the only means of bread and butter for her widowed mother and a plus two student brother. Manpreet’s refusal made her husband to get her foetus aborted and force her out of the home. The news shocked her mother she died a fortnight ago. Her husband, who was arrested for demanding dowry has been bailed out.

She met Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, president, Lok Bhalai Party, at Issru yesterday and requested him to take up her case. She has also sent SOS calls to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Chief Minister, besides the DGP to help her as she claimed that the police was trying to implicate some of her relatives at the behest of her husband and in-laws.

Manpreet said that she was married to Gurvinder Singh, son of Surmukh Singh of Railon village on February 6 this year. She said that her mother had spent more than Rs 5 lakh on her marriage because the groom was an established entrepreneur as claimed by his parents.

“My mother had opted for a lavish affair, thinking I would be very happy in the future. She had to dispose of a major portion of property. Besides she had to pay a heavy interest on the money borrowed from money lenders. We had kept a small piece of land in reserve for the future of my only brother. When my husband got to know about the land he started expressing his desire to buy Icon car. A sum of Rs 2.5 lakh was given to him for car at the time of marriage which had been used up in his father’s business. We expressed our inability to give him such a huge amount and this irritated his family,” she said.

Irritated by the refusal the in-laws started harassing Manpreet. Meanwhile she conceived and her in-laws got the sex of the child determined. On finding that it was a girl, they forced her to terminate the pregnancy by a private practitioner at Ropar, she added.

She was thrown out of her in-laws house on April 25 after which the matter was reported to the local police. “Despite our best efforts the police did not register a case against the accused, who allegedly had already ‘managed’ the things in the department. It took more than a month to get a case registered against them,” she added.



Fearing cops, dera inmates, man goes into hiding
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Even as the nation was celebrating its 57th Independence Day yesterday, a resident of Jhande village in the Sadar police area was forced to spend the entire day and night in hiding in fear of the police and some supporters of a dera chief near the village.

The fault of the victim, Jatinder Singh, was only that that he had taken up the cudgels against the dera inmates and some cops, against whom he had complained to senior police officers.

The cops were not taking any action on his complaint but were instead threatening him to reach a compromise with the accused persons or face consequences.

Jatinder Singh had complained to the Sadar police that some inmates of a religious dera near his village had encroached upon his land to construct a path to the dera from the main road.

However, no action was taken on his complaint. Instead, some inmates of the dera tried to kidnap him near Baddowal on July 27. He was saved by some passersby. He complained to the police but to no avail.

The villager then started receiving threats from the police asking him to arrive at a compromise with the dera chief.

He tried to meet senior police officers but they sent him back to the same police officers against whom he had lodged the complaint.

While SP(City-II) Pritam Singh was not available for comments, a police officer of the Sadar police said the man was a habitual complainant and was on good terms with very few people in the village. He said even the village panchayat was upset with him.

However, Jatinder Singh maintains that he was the real victim.



PHRC directions on slaughter in open
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Unhappy with the inaction of the local Municipal Corporation regarding its earlier orders on the slaughter of animals and birds in the open, thereby hurting the feelings of certain people, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PHRC) has now directed the Health Officer and Commissioner, MC, to submit the report by September 3 or appear before the commission personally on September 19.

The commission had asked the Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, and the Health Officer, Dr G.S. Grewal, in June this year and asked them to raid slaughter houses functioning in the open and submit a status report with the commission by mid-August.

The Commission maintained that as per the complainant, People for Animals, no serious efforts had been made by the Commissioner and the Medical Officer to carry out the direction of the commission. The slaughter of animals and birds at unauthorised public places was being carried out. For the first time, the complainant received a message on July 30 regarding a raid which was partially successful.

The status report was presented before the PHRC by Mr J.N. Sachdeva, Chief Sanitary Inspector. The Commission found that the Chief Sanitary Inspector was not the proper official to carry out the direction of the commission. It was the duty of Dr Grewal and Mr Sharma to take personal interest in carrying out the directions of the commission. He further stated that the SSP, Ludhiana, has already given direction to all SHOs to render assistance to the Municipal Corporation authorities and the People for Animals, Ludhiana.

Taking cognizance of the submission by the PFA, the PHRC directed the Commissioner and Medical Officer to submit the status report, after carrying out the directions of the commission, within two weeks. If such a report was not received on or before September 3, a notice under Section 16 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, will be issued to Mr Sharma and Dr Grewal to appear in person before the Commission on September 19. The PHRC asked the Chief Sanitary Inspector, to convey the orders to the officials concerned.

The CSO was also asked to supply the list of 162 persons, who have been challaned for violating the human rights to the commission as well as to the complainant NGO within seven days.

The Commission also maintained that the problem can be well tackled if the representatives of the complainant-NGO, Commissioner, MC and the Medical Officer and other offices concerned get together on the issue.



Steel price hike: Apex chamber blames SAIL 
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, August 16
New facts about the abnormal rise in steel prices have come in the open. Market observers feel the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has played into the hands of private steel producers.

SAIL sold billets and slabs at the rate of Rs 12,200 per tonne till July 31, 2003. It raised the rates on August 1to Rs 13,200 per tonne and then again on August to Rs 13,500 per tonne. The price was further increased to Rs 14,000 per tonne on August 7. Earlier SAIL was selling these products at the rate of Rs 11,600 per tonne in March 2003 and at a rate of Rs 11,800 per tonne in June 2003. Now, SAIL has almost raised the rates of basic billets and slabs by Rs 3000 per tonne within three months. The rates of steel in the country are dependent on prices of Hot Rolled Coils. The price of HR Coil was further related to international prices. The consumption of HR Coil is less than 20 per cent in the country. The remaining 80 per cent is of rounds and wire rods.

Mr P.D. Sharma, president Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab in a press statement today said that it was learnt that producers of HR coils pressed SAIL to raise the prices of slabs and billets in such a manner as to leave a rolling margin of Rs 3000 per tonne. This was done to justify the unjustified rise in prices of HR coils.

Mr Sharma said as a prelude to disinvestment from SAIL, the government wanted to boost the prices of its shares.

“It is unfortunate that Minister of Steel, Mr B.K. Tripathi is still insisting to increase the export of steel from 4 million tonne to 5 million tonnes this year. The Minister looks to be unconcerned about the domestic industry”, alleged Mr Sharma.

The steel companies are fleecing the steel consumers to the extent that the trading of shares of 10 steel companies on BSE and NSE surged from Rs 133.6 million to Rs 1080 million in August. These shares account for 20 per cent of the total trade volume on BSE and NSE from a mere 3 per cent in April 2003. The secretary steel had a meeting with the representatives of steel plants on August 14 and over 25 point, raised by Apex Chamber were discussed.

“Apart from the sharp rise in steel prices, the violent fluctuations in prices on daily basis will take a heavy toll of steel consuming industry”, said Mr P.D. Sharma.



Shopkeepers fume over fellow’s unlawful detention
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Resentment prevails among shopkeepers and dealers at Rarewala Market, near Bus Stand, following the detention of a spare part dealer, Surinder Singh, by three personnel of Division No. 5 police station, led by ASI Darshan Singh.

Darshan Singh has, however, said that he Surinder Singh has already been release. But shopkeeper’s wife Harbhajan Kaur and fellow shopkeepers have refuted the ASI’s claims.

The shopkeepers alleged that his only fault was that he happened to be the brother-in-law of Harvinder Singh Makkar against whom an FIR had been registered at the police station.

Makkar was granted bail by a local court only yesterday. Since the police could not arrest him, it apparently decided to detain his brother-in-law to force them to reach a compromise with the other party.

Makkar has been alleging that the police had registered a false case against him allegedly at the behest of his opponents. He had already been granted an interim bail by Mr S.M. Mahal, In charge Sessions Judge, Ludhiana.

Harbhajan Kaur alleged that the police was siding the complainants. She alleged that the complainants had been intimidating them repeatedly. Even when Makkar was granted bail yesterday, they warned them of involving them in some other case. Harbhajan Kaur said she would try to seek justice from the higher authorities and may even approach the Punjab State Human Rights Commission.

Today, when Surinder Singh was working at his spare parts shop, ASI Darshan Singh walked in and started making inquiries about Makkar. When Surinder Singh expressed his inability to give relevant information, they took him along saying that he would not be released till Makkar appeared at the police station.

Harbhajan Kaur said she tried to plead with the SHO and other officers but no officer came forward to meet her. She was told that they were away on duty in connection with the arrangements for Independence Day celebrations.

ASI Darshan Singh admitted of detaining Surinder Singh but he added that Surinder Singh was immediately released. But his wife refused to buy the police argument. She said the police was lying as it was trying to pressurise them to force a compromise with the other party.

She pointed out that her brother had already been granted bail by the court. “Why should the police harass and torture us?” she asked while pleading for help.

A delegation of the Rarewala Market Association also went to the Division No. 5 to seek the release of Surinder Singh. However, the police officials refused to meet them. The association has lodged a protest with the authorities alleging that the police was resorting to unlawful methods to force a compromise.



Probe starts into murder case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
A team of the Jagraon police has exhumed the body of the woman who was allegedly murdered in Jagraon in late July and quietly buried in Uttar Pradesh by her husband.

The post-mortem examination conducted yesterday at Jagraon, however, was not able to ascertain the cause of death. The viscera of the deceased, Fatima, has been sent for chemical examination to the State Chemical Examiner’s laboratory in Patiala.

The police has, however, arrested Kaseem, the husband of the deceased.

Blinded by the love of a Jagraon resident, Kaseem allegedly killed his wife in Jagraon and buried her body at Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh.

The murder allegedly took place in early July. The incident came to light almost two weeks later when Allah Dia, father of Fatima, lodged a complaint with the police.

According to the FIR, Fatima was married to Kaseem and lived in Jagraon. They had two sons aged three and eight months, respectively. Kaseem did embroidery work for a living. He allegedly developed a relationship with his cousin.

Allah Dia alleged in the FIR that when his daughter objected to the relationship she was beaten up by Kaseem and died under mysterious circumstances three weeks later.

Fatima’s body was taken to their native village in Muzaffarnagar district. He learnt that women who gave bath to the body had found blue marks on her neck.



Mayor plants saplings in two colonies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 16
Under an ambitious tree plantation drive launched by the Municipal Corporation in the mega city, the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, presided over functions at Sunet village and Barewal Colony and planted saplings today.

Addressing the gathering after planting saplings in Sunet village at Ward No 43, Mr Gill said more than 60,000 saplings would be planted in the city colonies during the season and a comprehensive scheme had been formulated for the maintenance of plants and providing tree guards. He sought the cooperation of the people in planting more and more plants to increase the green cover in the industrial capital of Punjab so that the menace of increasing environmental pollution could be curbed.

The area Councillor, Mr K.L. Chhabra, said that the civic body had sanctioned a sum of Rs 75 lakh for beautification and landscaping of the parks and work was on for making pavement of streets at an estimated cost of Rs 15 lakh. He said during the ongoing plantation drive, around 10,000 saplings would be planted in different colonies in the ward.

Later, the Mayor planted a sapling to mark the vanamahotsava at Barewal Colony in Ward No 44. Mr Gill, addressing the function, which was attended by residents of several surrounding colonies, assured that matter would be soon taken up appropriately for providing sewerage facility to the residents. He also announced a grant of Rs 50 lakh for the community centre.

Ms Rajinder Kaur Grewal, Councillor of the area, focussed on the demands of the area residents pertaining to civic amenities. Among others, Mr Gobind Singh Grewal, Mr Charanjit Singh Grewal, Mr Paramjit Singh Gill, Mr Devinder Singh Gill, Mr Harbhajan Singh, Mr Jaswant Singh, Mr Manjinder Singh, Mr Malkiat Singh, Mr Gurdev Singh, Mr Jaswant Singh, Mr Mohinder Singh, Dr Sohan Singh and Mr Iqbal Singh attended the function.



NCP vows struggle for relief to traders
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 16
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has vowed to continue its struggle for providing relief to traders and industrialists in the state and to prevail upon the government to cut down procedural wrangles and harassment by its officials.

Addressing the Independence Day function organised by the party at the Janta Nagar Chowk on the Gill Road, the president of the national unit of the beopar cell, Mr R.K. Gupta ,focussed on the anti-trade and anti-industry policies of the government which had led to the stagnation of the state’s economy. "More than 50 per cent of the small and medium industrial units have either closed down or were on the verge of closure," he added.

Mr Swarn Singh, state president of the party, Dr Balwant Singh, convener, Kisan Cell, Mr Avinash verma, state chief of the beopar cell, Ms Sukhwinder Kaur Grewal, vice -president, women wing, Ms Darshan Kaur, district president of women wing, Mr Rajesh Mishra and Mr Anil Sood were among those present at the function.

Paying tributes to the martyrs and other freedom fighters, the NCP activists flayed the Congress for its failure to alleviate the poverty and effectively tackle problems like illiteracy and unemployment during five decades of its rule in the Centre and most of the states. Dr Balwant Singh, convener of the Kisan cell of the party, said the farmers were not getting remunerative prices of their produce and the government had failed to motivate them to opt for the diversification of the crops. As a result the burden of debt was mounting and the farming had been rendered economically unviable.

The Republican Party of India (RPI) President , Mr Ratti Ram, while presiding over the Independence Day function charged the Congress government, headed by Capt Amarinder Singh with resorting to political vendetta against functionaries of the erstwhile SAD-BJP government. Children of Innocent Heart Playway School organised a fancy dress competition to mark the Independence Day. Sweets and biscuits were distributed among children by the management of the school.Children of the Child Development Centre ,Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, also celebrated the Independence Day.



Jail minister gives grant to civic body
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
The Minister for Jails, Housing and Urban Development, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the Municipal Committee, Raikot.
Expressing his concern over the deteriorating condition of different services of the government departments in the rural areas, Mr Birmi said that functioning of Primary Education, Health and Veterinary services had almost come to a standstill in the villages and most of the population was being deprived of these services.

Mr Birmi was addressing a gathering at panches and sarpanches of the Raikot constituency here today.

Mr Harminder Singh Pardhan, president, DCC, rural, said the state government would release sufficient funds to the panchayats.

Among others who addressed the function included Mr Paramjit Singh Ranu, president, Sikh Sedhari Federation, Mr Nachhatar Singh Bhani Dareran, Mr Shamsher Singh Dangia, Chairman, Block Samiti, Jagraon, Mr Surdarsan Joshi, president, MC, and Inderjit singh Dhaliwal, chairman, Block Samiti.



Bitter pill for scribes 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
The people-friendly behaviour of the Punjab Police as stressed by the new DGP, Punjab, Mr A.A. Siddiqui, was thrown out of window at an Independence Day celebration in Government College for Boys here yesterday.

Lower rank policemen not only misbehaved and abused teachers and mediapersons but also violated the police uniform rules. Most of them were not wearing the mandatory ID badges on their shirts.

A group of teachers of the government college were at the receiving end. They were not allowed to enter the college through the gate near cycle stand. The police personnel refused them entry for security reasons.

When the teachers disclosed their identity and showed identity cards, they were abused and shoved aside. The teachers raised slogans against the policemen to draw the attention of a senior officer who intervened and prevented the scene from taking an ugly turn.

A team of mediapersons, including those from Ludhiana Tribune, also had a bitter experience at the hands of a woman and male constable. They were denied entry even as a staff member of the District Public Relations Officer (DPRO) requested the constables to allow them in. The request fell on deaf ears, as the woman constable started abusing the mediapersons.

When one of the mediapersons asked the woman constable about her identity, she retorted: “Tun kar le jo karna hai. Main kise ton nahi dardi (Do whatever you can. I don’t fear anybody)”, she said identifying herself as Amarjit Kaur posted at Police Lines.

Another constable Meet Ram, deployed at the VIP gate, intervened and started intimidating the mediapersons. He warned them to leave the place else he would have to use his baton. “Tusi hun dande khaonge (You will get a beating)”, he said.

“I will give you a sound thrashing if you do not leave the place at once. It’s our will to wear the badge on our uniform. And you have no authority to ask us about our name. You are not an SSP,” said Meet Ram.

It was only after the intervention of an ASI, Baldev Singh, posted at the gate that the mediapersons were let in.



Idols being readied for Janamashtami
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 16
Several idols of Lord Krishna and other important characters in his life are being prepared here by two artisans — Dharampal and Ram. They arrived here from Faridkot on August 4. They have crafted several figures using bamboo and coloured papers and highlighted their features with paints. Wigs and shiny satiny clothes make the godly images look very appealing.

The most spectacular figure is that of 12 foot Putna. The figures of Vasudev carrying little Krishna, Sudama, Meera Bai, Krishna stealing butter, several shesh naags, are ready to be taken out in a procession on August 18 from the Sita Mata Mandir, Daresi. 

Mr Madan Lal Chopra, president Sanatan Dharam Mahotsav Committee, said the procession of tableux would pass through Chaura Bazar, Division No. 3 and conclude at the Haridev Temple.

Baby Krishna is being crafted in fibre glass by Nirmal Kumar from Orissa. The idols would be placed on a decorated ‘jhoola’ on Janamashtami day.

The idols would be immersed in the Satluj after Janamashtami.

At a meeting of the executive committee of the Shri Durga Mandir, Urban Estate, Dugri, it was decided that Janamashtmi function’ would be celebrated on August 20. The general secretary, Mr Sushil Behal told Ludhiana Tribune that Mr O.P. Munjal, Co-Chairman and Managing Director, Hero Cycle Ltd, would inaugurate the function at 8.30 p.m. 



66-year-old plans walk to educate students
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 16
A 66-year-old man, Mr Manjit Rai Bhardwaj, proposes to undertake a march from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The reason for his walk is to talk to students of schools and colleges and urge them to concentrate on their studies and not to be misled by politicians.

He wants to tell them that the soldiers of the country posted at the Saichen Glacier and other difficult terrains do their duties valiantly to safegaurd the solidarity and sovereignty of India. Similarly, the youngsters should be motivated to do their duties.

He will like to tell students not to indulge in any sort of anti-social activities. A message of universal brotherhood will be given and the students will be told that duties are more important than rights.

Mr Manjit said the idea to undertake the journey came to his mind when a few days ago he saw a procession of students marching with some political people. He saw that the police lathicharged the crowd and pushed the girls too in police vans. He then decided that he should do something to educate the students.

Mr Manjit had retired as Head Clerk from Diesel Shed ,Northern Railway, in 1995. He is also an ex-serviceman.

He proposes to start his journey in November from Srinagar.Mr Bhardwaj thinks that his journey will take almost three years to complete.



Traffic helpline becomes functional
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
As an Independence Day gift to the residents of the city, the local police has announced the setting up of a special traffic helpline, ambulance service and first aid centres at key points on the highways.

Mr Gurdial Singh, SP (Traffic), told Ludhiana Tribune that as per community service plans announced by the SSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, the traffic police had launched the services.

For any traffic related problem, accidents, road blockades and traffic jams, the residents will have to just dial 100 or 103 and cops will reach the place to sort out the problem. The numbers are toll free. In case the residents need a recovery van they will have to dial 2442417.

Giving more details, Mr Angrej Singh, in charge, traffic police station, said earlier the residents used to dial 100 only. The operators would then inform the traffic police. Some time this led to delay. Now the number 103 has exclusively been kept for traffic problems.

The traffic police has also set up four accident-helpline or first aid centres on the National Highway No. 1 , Malerkotla road and the Chandigarh road.

One such helpline (telephone No.5085922) has been set up near the Sherpur Chowk on the National Highway No. 1 , two on the Malerkotla road near Shimla Puri (telephone No. 2494752 and 2547409) and another near Vardhman police station on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road (telephone No. 2651100).

The telephone 100 and 103 can be connected through BSNL network.

Meanwhile, the district unit of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) celebrated the Independence Day in Urban Estate under the presidentship of Mr Sunder Lal Mehta. Mr Mohinder Singh Kalyan, former MP, hoisted the flag.

Dr Shiv Gupta, INTUC General Secretary, and Mr Sunder Lal, president of the district unit of INTUC, urged the Punjab Government to strictly implement the labour laws in the private sector.

JAGRAON: Thousands of people gathered on the campus of Government Senior Secondary School, Jagraon, to take participate in the Independence Day celebrations where Mr Rakesh Pandey, State Minister for Printing and Stationery, hoisted the flag and took the salute from the contingents of Punjab Police, Home Guards, scouts and girl guides. Students from different schools of the city presented a colorful PT show.

Mr Gurmit Singh, SDM, Mr Darshan Singh Brar, former Minister, Mr Gurdeep Singh Bhaini former MLA, Mr Devinder Kathuria, president Municipal Council, Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chheena, SSP were present on the . Spring Dew School bagged the first prize, GHG Acadamy second, while Shivam, a student of Class-I of Shivalik Public School, bagged the prize of Best Actor.



City roads cry for repair

Ludhiana, August 16
Although national and state highways in the city and internal roads in a few colonies are in a reasonably good condition , with periodic repair and maintenance work carried out by the civic body, yet roads in some other localities continue to be in the state of neglect and disrepair, causing nightmares to the commuters and, at times, leading to road accidents.

A large number of residents are made to undergo the torture of traversing bumpy roads, with big pot holes, depressions and unmarked speed breakers which makes the drivers jittery besides damaging the vehicles. Manholes on the city roads are left uncovered after cleaning which sometimes lead to fatal accidents even on the roads, which otherwise are in good condition.

Roads which are dug by different agencies for works like laying of sewer pipes, water supply lines or telephone cables are left unrepaired for a long time, much to the inconvenience and annoyance of the residents.

A number of accidents have taken place during the past couple of days, on the main road passing through Vikas Nagar colony on the Pakhowal road, due to the poor maintenance. A portion of the road was dug up for laying sewer and was repaired by just filling up the ditches with loose sand which got compressed during the rains. OC



Samiti’s decision on fee ‘breach of contract’
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 16
The Jawahar Navodya Vidyalya Samiti’s decision to charge heavy fee from male students from general category has been flayed by their parents and office-bearers of various organisations. Blaming the samiti for breach of contract, they have apprehended that some financially weak parents might withdraw their wards from schools. Referring to information received from some parents, Mr Dharam Paul Sharma, a retired teacher said: “General category students from ninth standard onwards have been asked to pay Rs 200 as monthly fee, whereas Principals of respective schools had signed a contract on behalf of the samiti with the guardians of students at the time of admission. According to this contract, once selected, education had to be provided free of cost to students belonging to all categories.”

Mr Sharma further mentioned that parents had been spending enough on fares and other expenses to keep their wards in such schools which are situated at remote places.” They can manage to send them to good public schools with the money they will have to pay now,” he added.

Mr Sikander Singh Jartoli, general secretary, GTU, termed the decision to be arbitrary and violative of terms and conditions mentioned in contract made between guardians of selected students on the one hand and samiti on the other hand.

Mr Baldev Singh Latala, former block president, GTU, and a kisan union leader alleged that samiti at the instance of Union Government had tried to deprive the general category students of their right to pursue studies. He said the affected students, whose number in each class would not be more than a few hundred in the state had got the admissions after qualifying on pre-admission test.



Two-day  seminar on contemporary literary scene
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 16
There is a move to modernise Punjabi literature , said Dr Satinder Noor at the inaugural session of a two-day seminar on the contemporary literary scene being held at Punjabi Bhavan by Punjabi Sahitya Akademy.

The speakers generally agreed that taking up of modern issues of society was a good sign of creativity and proved that Punjabi writers were sensitive and vigilant to the new issues confronting Punjab and the whole world.

In his keynote address, Dr Tejwant Singh Gill said the literary courses run by universities ignored the contemporary literature due to which readers and teachers remained ignorant of modern issues.

Dr Jaswinder Singh of Punjabi University, Patiala, in his paper on the contemporary Punjabi poetry scenario said the contemporary poetry was taking up issues of various challenges and possibilities confronting the Punjabi society.

Dr Harvinder Pandhal said the present Punjabi poetry was taking up developmental issues and challenges and at the same time concentrating on individual problems, consumerism and need to preserve rich heritage of our country.

Inaugurating the seminar ,Dr Surjit Patar, president, Punjabi Sahitya Akademy, welcomed the guests and briefed them about the topics that would be coming up for discussion during the seminar.



Man booked for abducting minor girl
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 16
The Division No. 2 police has registered a case of alleged abduction against Shankar, a resident of Habib Ganj, under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kishan Chand, a resident of same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused had abducted his 15-year-old daughter, Lado, on August 3 and taken her to an undisclosed place.

Assaulted: The Kotwali police has registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 294, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Vinod Kumar who lives near Clock Tower against Monu and Raju. The complainant had alleged that the accused had abused, beaten up and intimidated him near the Congress Bhavan on the GT Road on the night of May 14.

ASI beaten up: The Division No. 2 police has registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC against Ajit Singh, Kattu and Upkar Singh, all residents of Bathinda, for beating up an ASI, Mr Girdhari Lal. The accused, who came to the city in a car (UP-16-A-1748), beat the ASI up on Friday night and intimidated him.

The Haibowal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323, 341, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Robert, alias Sonu, a resident of Lakshmi Nagar, Haibowal Kalan, against Jasbir Singh and Inderjit Kaur, both residents of the same locality, and an unknown person accompanying them. The accused had allegedly intercepted him on the road on the morning of August 14, beaten him up and intimidated him.

Hitchhiker duped: On the statement of Mr Tarun Kumar, a resident of Sector 19, Panchkula, the Sahnewal police yesterday registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC against the unknown driver of a white Maruti car. The complainant had taken a hitch in the car on the night of August 14. When the car reached Mangli village on Chandigarh Road, the driver stopped the car to relieve himself. The complainant also got down of the car. But the driver sped away taking his bag lying in the car. The bag contained one mobile phone, a gold chain and Rs 700.

Purse nicked: The Division No. 2 police yesterday registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Amrit Kumar who lives near the Dholewal bridge against Karan Singh, a resident of Pachhmi Nagar, Allahabad, UP. The complainant had stated that the accused had nicked his purse containing Rs 210 from the bus station on Friday morning. The accused has been arrested.

Cannabis seized: The Jodhewal police yesterday arrested Dev Chand, a migrant from Bihar living in Sekhewal village, and seized 2 kg of cannabis from his possession. The accused, who was arrested from near the Shiv Puri chowk on Friday night, has been booked under Sections 20, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

In-laws booked: On the statement of Ms Balwinder Kaur, daughter of Mr Puran Singh of Model Colony, the Jodhewal police on Thursday registered a case under Sections 406, 498-A and 323 of the IPC against her husband, Kamaljit Singh, father-in-law, Hajura Singh, mother-in-law, Amrik Kaur, and Sahib Singh of Dhanaurh village falling under the Machiwara police station and Binder Kaur, wife of Paramjit Singh and Satnam Kaur of Dheri village.

Ms Balwinder Kaur had alleged that the accused, used to torture and beat her for bringing insufficient dowry. In a bid to force her to bring more dowry, the accused had turned her out of the house on May 18. No arrest has been made so far.

Murder bid: The Model Town police has registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC against a youth identified as Salim on the statement of Mr Kamal Kant, a resident of Shastri Nagar. The complainant had alleged that the accused, a helper, attacked his wife, Ms Vanita Gupta, with a knife on Thursday and injured her. When he rushed to rescue her, the assailant fled away. The accused was later nabbed from the Montgomery chowk.

Assault cases: The Division Number 2 police on Thursday registered a case under Sections 324, 506 and 34 of the IPC against Surinder Kumar, Sanjay Gupta and Amit Gupta of Kitchlu Nagar on the statement of Sampen Kumar, a resident of Karim Pura Bazar. The complainant had alleged that the accused came to his house, beat him up and also threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

In another incident the Civil Line police on Thursday registered a case under Sections 342, 323, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC against Amandeep Singh of Manjit Nagar and 10 others accompanying him on the statement of Mr Ashok Sharma of Alamgir Nagar, Ludhiana. The complainant had alleged that the accused beat him up outside his house on Thursday and also threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

The Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 341, 506 and 34 of the IPC against Narinder Singh, Bunty and Bippy , all residents of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on the Dhandra Road on the statement of Mr Ravinder Singh of the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him on the road, beat him up and also threatened him on Thursday. No arrest has been made so far.

The Koom Kalan police, on the statement of Mr Suraj, a resident of Mattewara village, registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 427, 294, 148 and 149 of the IPC against Dani, a resident of Meowal village. The complainant had alleged that the accused stopped him on the road and beat him up. Later, the accused came to his shop at Meowal village on Thursday and damaged his TV set . No arrest has been made so far.

Three booked: Three residents of the city have been booked by the local police for allegedly cheating a resident of Kapurthala of several lakhs of rupees by promising a seat in a MBBS college in Gujarat. According to an FIR lodged in Division No 5 police station, Dr Harbhajan Singh of Kapurthala has complained that Archana Chopra, Rahul Yusuf and Agosh, all resident of Civil Lines, had taken Rs 3 lakh from him to get his son admitted to a college in Gujarat. However, when his son was denied admission, he inquired from the college and found that he had been duped. No arrest has been made so far.

Accident: The Division No. 6 police on Thursday registered a case under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Vanit Sarin, a resident of Sehgal Flats in Labour Colony, against a car driver ( PB-05-5777). The complainant had alleged that the accused hit his car against his scooter at the Samrala Chowk on August 10 and fled away. He was injured and his scooter damaged in the mishap, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Forcible possession: On the statement of Mr Vikas Sharma, a resident of Gurdev Nagar, on the Pakhowal Road, the Sadar police on Thursday registered a case under Sections 447, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC against Narinder Singh, Chand Singh, Lachhman Singh, Darshan Singh, Jasdeep Singh and Gajjan Singh, all residents of Ayali Kalan village. The complainant had alleged that the accused had taken illegally occupied plot in Ayali Kalan village. When he asked for an explanation, the accused threatened him, he added. No arrest has been made so far.

Eve-teaser booked: The division No. 4 police on Thursday registered a case under Sections 294 and 509 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Ram Piari, wife of Mr Ram Pal, a resident of Laddowal village, against Shinda, a resident of Station Wali Gali, Laddowal. The woman had alleged that the accused teased and used foul language against her on Thursday. No arrest has been made so far.

Liquor seized: The Division No. 2 police arrested Gurbax Singh, a resident of Prem Nagar in Islam Ganj and booked him under the Excise Act. The police said on Friday that the accused was nabbed on the Tibba Road while he was carrying 10 bottles of illicit liquor on Thursday night.



Rice millers at sea over gunny bag issue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Punjab rice millers are up in arms over the inaction of the government in not reviewing the charges on surplus gunny bags and vast differences in buyback price of jute bags that have used once by various procurement agencies. The Punjab Rice Millers Association has decided to hold a protest rally in Chandigarh after August 31 and court arrest in case their demands are not met. The members have also decried the levy of sales tax on paddy and products like rice bran and husk.

Talking to the TNS here today, Mr Tarsem Saini, Mr Harish Devgan and Mr Harjit Singh, president, patron and chairman of the association, respectively, said in case the government did not shed its indifferent attitude, milling operations in the state would be hampered. We have been waiting for a word from the government for the past nine months but to no avail.

Mr Saini said the Chief Minister, while flagging off trucks of rice as drought relief to Rajasthan on November 6, had announced that the cost of surplus gunny bags left with the millers after custom milling of paddy during 2001-2002 would be charged at 60 per cent of the levy rate of the bags, as was being done in previous years.

He said nine months on and they were yet to receive formal orders in this regard. In the absence of any directive, the procuring agencies were arbitrarily charging Rs 16-17 per gunny bag from the millers for every 75 kg bag.

Further, during the kharif season 2002-2003, the agencies charged Rs 12.03 per gunny bag of 50 kg for gunny bags used once and retained by the millers, whereas the state procurement agencies like Markfed and the Warehousing Corporation had purchased such gunny bags at the rate of Rs 5.34 per bag.

In view of the vast difference in the prices of the bags, the association had been pressing the government to charge the rate of gunny bags used once on a par with the aforesaid rate at which such bags were purchased by the state procuring agencies. But no decision had so far been taken by the government on this account despite repeated representations and meetings with senior officers of the Food and Supplies Department.

Mr Saini said the milling rate of par-boiled rice had been arbitrarily reduced from Rs 23.87 per quintal to Rs 13.20 per quintal during the kharif season 2002-2003, whereas the BICP in its report submitted to the Centre proposed for a substantial hike in milling rate of par-boiled and raw rice. We had asked the government to restore the old milling rate of par-boiled rice till the implementation of recommendations of the BICP, but the issue had remained unsolved.

He said the seriousness of the government towards their demands could be gauged from the fact that slow progress had been made on a policy being framed by the government to declare 771 rice millers in the state as defaulters. For the settlement of arbitration cases of the paddy crop 1994-95, the state government had already taken a policy decision to decide such cases about two and a half years ago and issued guidelines in this regard. However, the progress of decisions was very slow due to which these cases were lingering. The association had demanded that only such rice millers who had embezzled the paddy/rice stocks and were facing civil/criminal proceedings should be treated as defaulters.

He informed that the association had held meetings with the Director/Principal Secretary/Minister, Food and Supplies, and submitted various representations for amending the custom milling policy. Since the procurement season was to commence shortly, urgent action was required to be taken at the government level.

The association demanded that instructions be issued for the acceptance of levy rice right from the beginning of kharif 2003-04 marketing season so that millers were able to deliver their rice and clear the dues with farmers/arhtias.


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