Monday, September 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Two policemen suspended for misbehaving with businessman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
The district police has suspended two cops for allegedly misbehaving with a local businessman following an inquiry by senior police officials, which established that the two were at fault.

ASI Kuldip Singh and ASI Sarabjit Singh — both from the Haibowal police station — had reportedly abused and manhandled a businessman, Mr Jeewan Modi, on September 11 evening.

Mr Sandeep Goyal, DSP-III, said that following an inquiry marked by SSP Narindepal Singh into the matter, both cops were suspended.

He added that the report had found that the allegations of the Chauri Sarak Textile Traders Association in this regard were true.

According to Mr Jagdish Gupta, president of the association, Mr Modi was working in his shop at around 7.30 p.m. on September 11 when three persons donning police uniforms caught hold of him.

They refused to disclose their identity and used foul language. He added that the cops caught hold of his collar and manhandled him and spoiled goods at his shop also.

When the drama was going on, some neighbours intervened. The cops told them that Mr Modi was wanted in the Haibowal police station.

He also said that Mr Modi was dragged out of his shop and his employees, who tried to rescue him, were beaten up. They threw the businessman in their car. They were about to take him when neighbours and other area residents gathered on the spot and rescued him.

They did not allow the cops to take him along.

Mr Gupta said that the two cops threatened him also when he was trying to intervene in the matter.

He along with other traders went to the SSP and complained about the case. The SSP ordered an immediate inquiry into the case.

The association leader said that such a behaviour was meted out to the trader at the instance of another businessman, who was having some property dispute with Mr Modi.

“We are anguished the way the cops treated a prominent businessman although he had not committed any crime.

This is not the way to treat decent people,” said Mr Gupta. The association has urged the police chief to take strict action against the cops.



Sales tax evasion rampant in hosiery season
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
With the onset of the hosiery season in the city, the sales tax and octroi duty evasion amounting to lakhs of rupees is going on unabated in the outer area of the city’s railway station.

This despite the fact that the State Taxation Department, the octroi collection wing of the Municipal Corporation and the Railways officials have claimed carrying raids to check the menace besides imposing huge fines on the persons arrested in this connection. However, practice goes on uncontrolled, causing loss of possible revenue collection to the three departments concerned.

Even as the tax evasion has become very difficult after the setting up of a check-post outside the railway station, the evaders are continuing to evolve new ways and means to hoodwink tax officials.

The tax evaders are following various routes to give a slip to the officials concerned. These include — the VIP gates of the railway station, railway tracks near Lakkar Bridge and tracks near Vishwakarma Chowk.

Tax evaders smoothly smuggle out huge parcels by crossing the unmanned gates at various places. Interestingly, at places where the gates a totally closed and crossing is not possible at all, goods are handed over to a man posted outside the gate by another man who gets the delivery from the parcel office of the Railways.

The second best route is the railway track near Lakkar Bridge. Whenever a party reaches near the bridge with parcels, one of the persons is sent to watch out if there is any sale tax official present at the station. The goods are then taken to the parcel booking centre.

The third route is near the Ludhiana-Delhi rail tracks near the Vishvakarma Chowk. A visit to the place any time during the day, especially during early morning hours, can show the simple but dangerous modus operandi of the persons indulging in the practice.

Any train coming from the Ambala side invariably slows down or stops completely just on the outer area of the boundary of the city’s railway station. A number of persons either jump from the train with packets and boxes full of industrial and consumer goods or throw packets only.

Immediately, along with these persons some other persons also descend on the scene to lift the thrown packets and run away instantly for cover. The packets they pick up thus contain goods liable to be sold or used after paying taxes to the State Taxation Department, octroi to the Municipal Corporation and freight charges to the Railways Department. All this is conveniently avoided.

With the blatant violation of the norms, one cannot rule out the connivance of employees of the departments concerned in the matter. According to sources, the practice raises a few pertinent questions, including the slowing down of the trains at the outer area of the station, and even if the trains have some compulsion to do so, what are the sleuths of the State Taxation Department or the raiding staff of the Municipal Corporation or for that matter the officials of the Railways doing to curb the menace?



Woman murdered in Khanna
Our Correspondent

Khanna, September 14
A woman was murdered and five persons including two women, were injured in a clash among neighbours at the local Bazigar Basti this morning. Four injured have been admitted at the Civil Hospital here.

According to Des Raj, husband of the victim, employees of the Municipal Council, Khanna, were installing a hand pump in a street when Munna Devi started an altercation with him, asking why they were installing the hand pump.

In the meanwhile, the husband and two sons of Munna Devi reached the spot and hit Des Raj with a stick. Paramjit, wife of Des Raj, came out to rescue her husband but the accused attacked Paramjit with a sharp edged weapon. She died on the spot.

Three other relatives of the deceased, Amarjit, Meva Ram and Guddo, were also injured in the incident.

On the other hand accused Munna Devi denied having killed Paramjit. Charna and Mita, both sons of Munna Devi, are absconding. SHO City, Mr Baldev Singh Brar, has recorded statements of Des Raj, husband of the deceased.

A case under Sections 302, 452, 323 and 34 IPC has been registered against the accused. The main accused Munna Devi who is in the hospital has been put under police security.

The body of the deceased has been sent to the Civil Hospital for a postmortem examination.



Onam celebrated with gaiety
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
Keralites of the city today celebrated the most awaited Onam festival at Veer Palace. The function was organised by Kerala Kalavedi. Thousands of Keralites turned up dressed in typical dresses of Kerala. Mr Sasi Kumar, president of Kalavedi, Jayakumar, general secretary, and V.A. Hari, chairman, organising committee, welcomed the chief guest, Mr Tej Prakash Singh, Minister for Transport, Punjab and guest of honour, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, Minister for Urban Development and Jail. He has promised to allot a piece of land to construct a school for the Keralites.

The people were served special dishes of Kerala on banana leaf. The traditional Kerala dance, Thiruvathira, was performed on the occasion. Professional dancers from Kerala performed Mohiniattam and other dances.

Mr Balwinder Singh, Managing Director, BTL Group of Industries, Mr Harbans Singh Veer, Mr Kuljeet Singh, Mr Parkash Singh Matharoo and Mr Kamardeep Singh Pappi, were among the guests who attended the function.



Federation to launch nationwide campaign
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
The Bharatiya Mahila Federation has decided to launch a nationwide campaign to sensitise various state governments for making available potable water and good healthcare services to the people.

This was stated by Ms Sahiba Farooqi, president of the federation, at a state-level meeting in the city here today. She said the federation had conducted surveys in 16 states on these to issues and found out that there was no access to clean drinking water for the poor and the condition of primary health centres was deplorable.

She said the federation had started a survey in Punjab also and some facts and figures had already been gathered by it. She said while the state government was claiming of providing these facilities to all and sundry, the reality was something else. Quoting an example of a primary health centre at Tanda in Ropar district, she said there was no infrastructure to cater to the healthcare needs of the people.

She said the federation would hold a rally in December to attract the attention of various state governments on these issues.



Chief Minister to throw open bridge today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
A new bridge over the Sutlej at Sidhwan Bet in the Jagraon area will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, tomorrow. People have been awaiting its inauguration for the past several months. It connects Jagraon areas with Jalandhar, thus reducing the distance between the two cities by about 70 km.

The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in 2001. It was completed in a record time. Traffic on the bridge had already started and it only awaited a formal inauguration.

Since the inauguration of the bridge is of much political significance, particularly when Parliamentary elections are less than a year away, various politicians of the area are trying to claim credit for the same.

Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had to lay two foundation stones to appease Akali leaders having constituencies on the two sides of the bridge. Mr Badal, after laying the foundation stone on the Sidhwan Bet side, flew in a helicopter over the river to the other side and laid another foundation stone there.

The foundation stone on Sidhwan Bet side reads that the foundation stone was laid by Mr Parkash Singh Badal in the presence of Mr Bhag Singh Mallah, MLA Jagraon, and the then Chairman of PUNSUP, while the other one on the Mehatpur side reads that the foundation stone was laid by Mr Badal in the presence of Mr Gurdeep Singh Bhullar, MLA, Noormehal.

While Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib represents the Ludhiana Parliamentary constituency, the other side falls in Phillaur, represented by Ms Santosh Chaudhary. Both of them belong to the Congress. However, there is a lot of enthusiasm among people about the formal inauguration of the bridge.



Decision on dharna at Wagah hailed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
The youth wing of the SAD (A) has hailed the decision of the party leadership to organise a state-level dharna at the Wagah check-post in support of the long-pending demands of people.

Senior leaders of the outfit — Mr Sarabjit Singh Baba, Mr Ranjit Singh Ubhi and Mr Jagbir Singh Sokhi — said party president and MP Simranjit Singh Mann had always fearlessly espoused the cause of the Sikhs, Punjab and Punjabiat. Unfortunately, whenever he raises such issues he is labelled anti-national and various parties raise the bogey of terrorism reviving in the state.

They said the protest was a step in this direction since Mr Mann had been pleading with the government to open the Wagah post in view of the greater prosperity of the border state. The opening of the border would not only create a new market but also ensure better remuneration of farm produce for Punjabi farmer since he was not getting a good deal from Delhi presently. At the same time Pakistan, too, would benefit by way of quality produce at competitive prices, they added.

Similarly, entrepreneurs across the state would stand to benefit from such a move. Industrialists from Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar. Phagwara and Batala could send their finished products since there is a ready market in Pakistan.

They said Pakistan had excess power generation capacity which could be used by us in meeting the increasing gap between demand and supply.

Ironically, whenever such issues are raised, some parties term such demands as anti-national and against the interests of the people. The reality is that a well-entrenched lobby of commission agents and businessmen do not want the overland route to open since it would mean the end of their business.

Citing an instance, they said that a commodity costing Rs 100 in Punjab lands at the Karachi port for Rs 1,000. Who pockets the profit of Rs 900? Certainly not the Punjabis, they pointed out.



Nothing supernatural about magic, says illusionist
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, September 14
Something that can’t be interpreted is often termed as magic. Hearing the magical word “Abracadabra” often fills our mind with surprise, astonishment and excitement. We find ourselves in a state of dilemma as to whether we should believe our eyes or not. Magic has been entertaining us for a long time now.

From the times of Ramayana and Mahabharata, people have been seeing saints and holy men perform magical tricks for saving mortals from the cruel hands of evil.

But have we ever thought what magic actually is. Is it some kind of supernatural power or is there some scientific logic behind the tricks? These question keep on haunting our minds whenever we see any magic show.

In today’s technical world, there are people who still believe that magicians are extraordinary souls, born with incredible supernatural powers. All these misconceptions and superstitions are put to rest once you come in contact with the world famous magician, Jadugar Samrat Shankar. According to him magic is an art that comes with practice and there is nothing supernatural about it.

But he emphases that magicians are no ordinary people. To be a magician requires a lot of hard work, concentration and dedication. The journey to become a magician is not an easy one, he says. It took him many years of struggle and hard work to be a ‘Samrat’ of magic.

In India, where a large number of people live below the poverty line, there are some who misuse this pure form of art to mint money. They misguide people by giving it the name of miracles and supernatural powers.

“These people are blots on our society. They fool the innocent in the name of supernatural charms. We must stop such practices and this can only be done by creating awareness about this art form,” he says.

Magic is a combination of yoga and hypnotism. Yoga helps to calm ones mind and this, in turn, helps in the process of concentration while performing magical tricks. To learn the art of magic requires a lot of patience and practice. “It took me a whole month to learn a simple trick of cards, but I never lost patience and kept on practising till I mastered the trick,” he says.

The aim of a magician should always be to entertain and not to harm his audience. Awareness must be created among people to free them from the shackles of blind faith and misconceptions.

India, once considered as the land of magicians, now has a handful of good magicians who achieved success both at home and abroad. Most of the youngsters consider this art as a quick means to achieve name and fame and, therefore, are not fully devoted to it. They try to merge the sacred field of magic with glamour.

“Learning magic has no shortcut and one needs to have a lot of dedication to be successful in this field,” he says.



Grandparents Day passes without much ballyhoo
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
Hardly anyone, either from higher echelons or from the poor strata of the society, is aware that September 14 is celebrated as Grandparents Day. What a contrast from February 14, which is celebrated as Valentine’s Day with great pomp and show. What is the underlying cause for such disparity? Do card companies or media play up an event only to do good business? The society is getting insensitive towards the elderly, which is apparent from the fact that there are so many abandoned elderly people.

Ludhiana Tribune spoke to a cross section of people on whether they were aware of Grandparents Day. Only a miniscule percentage of them actually knew about the day. At the same time this correspondent found out that the elderly men and women were equally oblivious of the fact that this “day” should mean something special to them.

Ms Gursharan, a 60-year-old woman, who had gone to collect her widow’s pension along with her friends said: “After my husband’s death, my sons turned me out of the house. I survive on rations given by a charitable institution. I yearn to hold my grandchildren, but am not allowed to enter my son’s house. “The other women had similar tales to tell. They said they were maltreated by their children with the result that their grandchildren stayed away from them and were deprived of their love and affection. Gone are the days when grandparents were associated with the banyan trees under whose shade the family prospered. Now they are supposed to have nuisance value.

Mr Pabby, a fond grandparent, said: “My grandson Abhishekh is the apple of my eyes. Maybe it is because I take care of him while his parents go out for work. He spends more time with me than his own parents. These days so long as you look after your grandchildren, while the parents are out working, you are respected. So I guess I am lucky that my grandchild gave me a card and plucked a flower for me.”

At times, grandparents turn callous towards their grandchildren too, especially when they lose their sons and consider their widows to be the ones who have brought bad luck to their families. Amit, a young computer engineer, says: “I have not seen my grandparents, as when my father died my mother was turned out of the house by them. I do not know where they are now. The saddest thing is that they even took my sister away. So I have affection only for my maternal grandparents.”

Had media highlighted the event, more grandparents might have received hugs or even presents from their grandchildren. September 14 has passed without leaving a mark in grandparents’ lives.



Woman robbed of jewellery
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
The Division No. 6 police station on Saturday registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC on the complaint of Ms Lakshmi Devi against an unknown person who accosted her and promised to get an old-age pension arranged for her. The complainant stated that the thug took her to a school building and told her to put her earrings and two gold bangles in an envelope before appearing in front of the interviewer who would sanction the pension. When she entered the school premises, she found that nobody was there. When she came out of the building, she found the thug missing.

Cheat held: The Shimla Puri police on Saturday arrested Shiv Kumar and booked him under Section 420 of the IPC on the complaint of Ganesh, a resident of Basant Nagar, who stated that the accused cheated him.

Fake CDs seized: On a tip-off, the Civil Lines police arrested Vijay Kumar, a resident of Nirmal Nagar, Dugri, and seized 115 duplicate cassettes and CDs from his possession on Saturday. A case under Section 420 of the IPC and various sections of the Copyright Act was registered against him.

Man killed: On the statement of Mr Rajwant Singh, a resident of Baba Jeewan Singh Nagar, the police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337, 427 and 304-A of the IPC against the truck driver who hit his cycle as a result of which Satnam Singh, who was riding the cycle along with him, died on Saturday. No arrest has been made so far.

Poppy husk seized: The Civil Lines police on Saturday arrested Harjit Singh, a resident of Mamdot village in Ferozepore district, and recovered 25 kg of poppy husk from his possession. He was booked under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

Theft case: The police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Manisha Bala, a resident of Naughara Mohalla, against Sunil Kumar, Ramesh Kumar and Dharam Pal. The woman alleged that the accused had stolen goods worth Rs 10,000 from her factory on December 31, 2002. The police said on Sunday that the case had been registered after a probe. However, no arrest has been made so far.

Booked for brawl: The police has registered a case under Sections 353 and 186 of the IPC on the statement of the Superintendent of Jail, Ludhiana, against Bablu Chauhan, a prisoner lodged in the Central Jail. The complainant stated that the accused scuffled with the warden and tore his uniform on Saturday.

Assault cases: The police on Saturday registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 341, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Baghel Singh, a resident of Cheema Park in Model Gram, against Raghbir Singh Dhindsa, Ramandeep Singh Gill, Manpreet Singh, Partap Singh, Harpreet Singh and Manpreet Singh, all students of Guru Nanak Engineering College. The complainant alleged that the accused intercepted him on the road on Friday and assaulted him.

The Salem Tabri police registered a case on the statement of Ms Surinder Kaur, a resident of Mohali, against Sunil Kumar and his father, Sukhdev Raj. The woman alleged that the accused beat her up on Friday.

The Sahnewal police has registered a case on the statement of Mr Dharam Pal, a resident of Chhandran village, against Bhupinder Singh, Soni, Vicky and Sukhwinder Singh, all residents of the same village. The complainant alleged that the accused assaulted him on Saturday.

Case registered: The suspects who attacked a shopkeeper in Islam Ganj on Friday and stole cash have been identified and booked under Sections 452, 307, 323, 380, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Darshan Singh.

The suspects have been identified as Hunny, Bunty and Mangu, all residents of Nawan Bazar, Raman Virdi and Harpreet Singh, both residents of the Kalgidhar road area, and Jagdeep Singh.

According to the shopkeeper, the accused forcibly entered his shop, assaulted him and took away cash.



Four held, fake currency seized
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
Four members of a gang engaged in printing fake currency notes were arrested from Sarpanch Colony in Mundian Kalan village, near here, yesterday. Fake currency of Rs 6,400 was recovered after the raid. The arrested persons have been identified as Munish Kalyan, Sunil, Maheshwari and Rajinder.



Financial market on revival course
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
With sensex having crossed the 4,000-point barrier and stabilised for some time, the financial market appears to be on a revival course. The trend appears to have prompted several companies to float public issues.

Mr S.P. Oswal, chairman of the Vardhman Group of Companies, said the positive sentiment among the investors was driven by their confidence in the market. He was optimistic about the market and hoped the trend would continue. He attributed all this to the control being exercised by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

According to him, SEBI was closely monitoring the situation and each company coming out with a public offer had to furnish many details.

Vardhman Acrylics Limited, promoted by Mahavir Spinning Mills of the Vardhman Group, was also coming out with an initial public offer for sale of 2.7 crore equity shares tomorrow. The offer would close on September 19, he said.

It was just a coincidence that the issue was being brought out at a time when the market was reviving fast. In fact, it was planned four months in advance, he said.

The shares were proposed to be listed on the Ludhiana Stock exchange and the National Stock Exchange, he added.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |