Tuesday, September 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Dacoits loot 15 labour families
Seven-year-old girl shot at
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
A suspected “kale-kachewala” gang robbed around 15 families of labourers and injured four persons, including a seven-year-old girl, in Salempuri village, near Hambran, around midnight.

The girl, Madhu, was shot at by one of the dacoits after her father declined to hand over the cash and jewellery. She sustained injuries on the leg and is undergoing treatment at the DMC Hospital here.

The dacoits, around 10 to 12 in number with muffled faces and armed with guns, sharp-edged weapons and iron rods, robbed one house after another and mercilessly beat up those who resisted. The girl’s father, Virender Shah, suffered fractures on his arms and legs and is also undergoing treatment. Two other injured persons were discharged in the afternoon.

The labourers who work in a factory in Hambran had drawn their wages just a few days ago and claimed that they suffered a loss of Rs 80,000, which included cash and jewellery.

They said the dacoits had specific information about their receiving wages after 25th of each month.

The Hambran police has registered a case of dacoity, attempt to murder, causing grievous injuries wilfully, intimidation and house trespass. The police said as per the claims of the victims, the accused were wearing just undergarments and spoke in Punjabi.

Arvinder Kumar, one of the victims, told Ludhiana Tribune that the dacoits first struck at his house. “I was sleeping with my wife and kids when someone banged the doors. Before we could understand what had happened, two persons armed with guns forced their way into the room through a window. I tried to put up a resistance but they overpowered me,” he said, claiming that the dacoits had decamped with Rs 13,000 in cash and jewellery worth Rs 17,000.

They then locked them in a room and forced into the house of another labourer, Bengali. He was robbed of Rs 6,500 in cash and gold jewellery worth Rs 2,000. The family of Uday Kumar lost Rs 3,000 in cash and gold jewellery worth Rs 5,000, while that of Kesar lost Rs 5,000 in cash. Another victim, Alam, lost Rs 6,000.

The other families were also robbed of cash and jewellery. A pall of gloom descended on the colony as the labourers claimed they had lost their savings of the entire year. The police has so far found no clue to the dacoits.

Some used cartridges of .315 bore gun were found from the crime scene. This is the second major dacoity near Hambran. In a similar incident two days ago, dacoits had killed a man, injured four others and robbed thousands of rupees besides jewellery from the house of Tarlochan Singh in Rajjowal village.



Robbers kill PSEB employee, loot Rs 5.5 lakh

Sahnewal, September 29
An employee of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), Payal division, was shot dead and two others were injured when four armed robbers looted over Rs 5.50 lakh from them near Kotli village today afternoon.

The PSEB employees had withdrawn the money from a bank in Sahnewal and were on way back to their office in Payal. The money was meant to be disbursed as monthly salary. The employees were travelling in a van while the robbers came in a Maruti car.

The deceased person was driver Hari Chand and the injured were Sunil Purohit and Nanku. They had withdrawn Rs 5,50,708 from the State Bank of Patiala in the afternoon. The employees were shot at when the driver tried to run away. OC



Hailstorm damages paddy crop
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Issewal (Ludhiana), September 29
Strong winds accompanied by hailstorm last night damaged standing paddy crop in some villages of the district, causing a loss of yield to the farmers. Harvesting had to be postponed due to accumulation of water in the fields.

A quick survey of villages revealed that the farmers of Issewal, Birmi and Bhattian were the most hit due to the hailstorm. Issewal suffered maximum damage as paddy was cultivated in about 1,000 acres. While the hailstorm affected mainly three villages, strong winds were experienced in almost all villages of the district.

In Issewal village alone, 50-70 per cent of the crop had been damaged. It was to be harvested within a day or two.

The farmers said their worst fears had come true as for the past many days the areas had been witnessing cloudy evenings. Finally, the weather played truant and their crop was damaged. Echoing the worries of the farmers, Mr Gurdial Singh, a farmer and former sarpanch of Issewal village, said while a substantial portion of his crop had been completely damaged, he was more worried about the condition of the remaining crop. “While around 70 per cent grains have fallen off, the quality of the rest will be affected seriously as the moisture content in the grains will increase. Moreover, the chances of discolouration of the grains meant problems in selling off the produce,” he added.

He said they were expecting a yield of 30 to 32 quintal per acre, but now the maximum yield would not be more than 10 to 12 quintal.

In other villages also, strong winds resulted in lodging (flattening) of the crop. Those farmers who had irrigated the crop during the past two or three days have suffered more losses. In the watered fields, the winds and hailstorms had resulted in lodging.

Panic prevailed among the farmers of these villages. They said they would be ruined if the weather gods did not have mercy on them. “We had a sleepless night yesterday. We were all praying for the safety of our crops,” rued Mr Jaswant Singh, another farmer.



Encroachments cause traffic chaos
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 29
Poor management and half-hearted measures to regulate the traffic movement in various areas of the city, particularly on the Old GT road (NH-1) from the Jagraon bridge to the Jalandhar bypass, have led to a situation which is chaotic, to say the least.

With the construction work on the elevated road from the Jagraon bridge to Chand Cinema in full swing, the stretch of road has become a nightmare for vehicular traffic and other road users. Poor maintenance on part of the civic authorities and proliferating encroachments, both permanent and temporary, by shopkeepers, rehri and phariwalahs, coupled with indiscriminate parking of three-wheelers and mini-buses on both sides of the road, have further added to the misery of people.

The highway is not only a transit route for the Delhi and Jalandhar-bound vehicles from the city but also connects the entire old city localities with new colonies, lying west of the Ludhiana-Delhi railway line through the Jagraon bridge and the Domoria bridge. Both routes have, of late, become major bottlenecks for traffic, albeit for different reasons.

The traffic on the Domoria bridge road remains disrupted for a couple of hours every day for the reason that the incoming traffic from the Chawni Mohalla side cuts across the flow of bumper-to-bumper traffic right at the mouth of the bridge to take a U-turn towards Civil Lines, and once again the vehicular traffic, coming from opposite sides, cuts across each other at the intersection of the Deepak Cinema road. Repeated demand by city residents to declare the roads leading to Old Sabzi Mandi and Deepak Cinema as one-way roads have so far failed to evoke any response from the authorities.

The situation is worse on the Old GT road at all major intersections — on Mata Rani Chowk, Clock Tower and Lakshmi Cinema Chowk. This section of road provides access to more than 12 major commercial centres and wholesale markets, with a heavy volume of slow-moving traffic and light-transport vehicles. Three-wheelers and mini-buses are parked with impunity right in the middle of the road at Clock Tower Chowk and Lakshmi Cinema Chowk to take or disembark passengers, totally oblivious of the inconvenience that they cause to other motorists and road users.

The parking of three-wheelers and mini-buses at the turning of Lakshmi Cinema Chowk towards the Jagraon bridge is a big impediment for traffic movement and the problem is further compounded by incoming and outgoing vehicles at a petrol pump at this point all day round to the extent that at times, access to the Jagraon bridge is blocked for extended periods.

The pathetic condition of the road, particularly from Mata Rani Chowk to Jagraon Bridge, has to be seen to be believed. With no periodic maintenance and repairs worth the name, the top surface of the road has virtually disappeared and most of the NH-1 on this section is just a dusty strip, full of potholes, depressions, loose stones and sand.

With a sizeable portion of the road in the middle having been cordoned off by a construction company, it is an experience in itself to drive through the stretch of the road or even walk on foot. The encroachments on both sides of the road, especially from Clock Tower Chowk to Lakshmi Cinema, further make the movement on the road difficult, if not impossible.



6 get life term for murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 29
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr S.M.S. Mahal, has sentenced six persons to life imprisonment including wife, son, daughter-in-law of the deceased and three other persons on the charge of committing murder of Buta Singh, a resident of Bhamian Kalan village, in August, 2001. Fine of Rs 5,000 each was also imposed upon the accused.

The convicts, Mohinder Kaur, wife, Khushwinder Singh, son, Gurvinder Kaur, daughter-in-law, of the deceased and Randhir Singh of Tajpur village and Babla of Jaimalwala village have been sentenced under Section 120-B of the IPC and Jagdev Singh of Saidan Mohalla under Section 302 of the IPC.

“A valuable life of head of the family has been lost in this case and that also on account of the treacherous act of Mohinder Kaur, who is none else but the wife of the deceased and another wheel of the family cart. If every housewife starts taking minor irritants in the family at the hands of the husband seriously or even if the husband acts in an immoral way, the entire fabric of the family life will be shattered. The ‘creator’ then will have to rethink about his ‘creation’ on the earth,” remarked the judge while pronouncing the verdict.

Initially, an FIR was registered against the unknown persons on the statement of Mohinder Kaur. But during investigation it was found that the statement given by the complainant was false and that Buta Singh was got murdered by family members in themselves in a conspiracy and by hiring killers. Thereafter, the accused were booked under Sections 302/120-B/148/ 149 and 25 of the Arms Act at Basti Jodhewal police station.



Asia Cup win kicks off festivities
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
Hockey may soon become more popular than it appears to be right now. Thanks to its revival and a brilliant performance by the national team in the recent past, particularly yesterday, more and more people are becoming involved with the game. And when everybody is getting so keenly inclined towards the game, how can bookies and punters remain far behind. For them, it is not just entertainment, it means business as well.

The final between India and Pakistan at Kaula Lampur attracted the attention of bookies and punters. Against too much interest that had been generated in the country and the expectations of an Indian win, the bookies were reportedly showing Pakistanis as the favourites. While a win by Pakistan would earn a punter 50 per cent more than what he would invest, a win by India would earn 200 per cent. Usually, punters place bets on the favourite team.

The same thing happened yesterday also and most of the punters, notwithstanding their emotional inclinations, placed bets on Pakistan, as it had beaten India only a few days earlier and also in the Champions Trophy final. Till half time, the game looked evenly balanced as both the teams had scored two goals each.

In the second half, as India scored the third goal and the game appeared to be inclining towards India, some punters started switching over the bets on India. And those who had already placed bets on India were beaming with confidence as they expected to make good money. At the end of the day they appeared to be the gainers in a double way. Those who lost felt compensated as India had beaten the arch rivals by 4-2 to lift the Asia Cup and qualified for the next World Cup.

It was after a long time that hockey had attracted so much interest in the region. Particularly in Ludhiana, which has produced so many players of international repute, the interest was unprecedented. Besides the care and attention given to the injured hockey star, Jugraj, had also created extra interest in the game. While youngsters did watch the game, it was the elders who felt too much pleased with the outcome.

It was probably for the first time that the interest in hockey was as great as that in cricket. As the victory was victory over Pakistan, it added to the colour of the celebrations and someone remarked appropriately, “It was Dasehra in advance”.



Hockey victory applauded
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 29
Mr Satwinder Singh, councillor (Ward No, 42), who specially joined a meeting of the Welfare Society, Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar, Phase-II, expressed happiness on the glorious victory of the Indian hockey team in the Asia Cup.

Major Sher Singh Aulakh and B.S. Gill, president and general secretary of the welfare society, along with Mr Satwinder Singh and Mr M.S. Brar, passed a resolution to convey their heartiest congratulations to the victorious hockey team and hoped they would repeat the same performance in 2006 World Cup.

Major Aulakh said the Indian team had brought great honour to the country and should work hard to win the World Cup. Mr Joginder Singh, Mr Karnail Singh, Prof Charanjit Kaur and Ms Inderjit Kaur applauded the victory of the team.



SAD (A) hails Sarna faction win
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
The Akali Dal (A) has welcomed the victory of the P.S. Sarna faction in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee poll besides lauding the strong line adopted by the faction towards the efforts made by former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra in bringing about a truce between the Akalis.

Senior party leaders Charan Singh Lohara, Anup Singh and Jaswant Singh Cheema said the victory was commendable since Mr Sarna, the outgoing chief, had stuck to his stand of conducting the elections in a free and impartial manner. He had rejected all efforts by the Badal group to bring about a rapprochement and had shown that the democratically elected members had voted as per their conscience and had rejected the politics played by the Badal group.

With this, the Delhi committee members had also rejected the Badal-Tohra unity and had exerted their rights as duly elected members who did not have to be held in captivity for casting their vote for a particular group, they added.

Mr Lohara said the efforts of the Centre to forge unity between Badal and Tohra was to wrest the control of Delhi politics, which had been defeated now. All plans to use the community vote bank to tilt the scales in key constituencies in the forthcoming poll too had come a cropper.

He also questioned the allegations levelled by senior leaders of the Badal faction. He questioned Tohra’s stand on the issue of installing Bhai Ranjit Singh as the Jathedar of Akal Takht. “He, before the unity materialised, had professed that Bhai Ranjit Singh would be installed no matter what but now he is calling the latter and Mr Sarna as Congress agents,” he pointed out.

Mr Lohara said in view of conflicting stand on various issues, it would be hard for Mr Tohra to justify his continuation as the SGPC chief in the run-up to the SGPC poll in November. The only way out for him was to press the BJP allies to postpone the poll till next year.

He also appealed the workers to attend the September 29 rally at Wagah to protest against the anti-people policies of the government. 



BJP leader accuses police of maligning him
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 29
A former state president of the Bharatiya Yuva Morcha, Mr Ashootosh Vinayak, has accused the district police of trying to implicate him in a case of demanding ransom, allegedly to malign him. The police, on the other hand, denied the charge and maintained that it was investigating the case without prejudice only to bring the hoaxer into light who had demanded ransom from local traders in the name of a self-styled state chief of a militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba.

He alleged that the police procured a copy of his standard handwriting from the records of MGMN Senior Secondary School, where he is a secretary at present. He apprehended that the police would try to prove the resemblance of handwriting on flimsy grounds whereas handwriting and fingerprint experts gave their opinion contrary to the police claims. He urged the authorities to transfer the case to the investigating agency.

Mr Rachhpal Singh, DSP, Malerkotla, said the police took a serious view of the letters purportedly written by the state chief of Lashkar-e-Toiba demanding ransom from local traders. We have procured same samples of handwritings on the basis of preliminary investigations and Mr Vinayak had been called to furnish some information regarding a PCO owned by one of his close relatives. Phone number of the said PCO appeared on the envelope containing warning letter and he had himself asked the police earlier to call him in connection with the inquiry, if needed.” Mr Rachhpal Singh declined to comment further on the fate of the case as it would hinder the progress of investigations.

Investigations revealed that two traders of the local Gandhi Chowk area had received warning letters demanding huge ransom. Victims were asked to place the money in the gate and window of MGMN Senior Secondary School and the police was kept busy by hoaxer for two days. The state police chief had directed the SSP, Sangrur, to investigate the case.



Govt flayed for not keeping poll promises
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 29
Pensioners flayed the Punjab Government at a meeting held here yesterday for not keeping premises made in the poll manifesto of the Punjab Assembly elections. They said after completing more than a year in the office and having presented two Budgets, not even a single promise has been fulfilled. Manifesto promised a hike in medical allowance, grant of house rent allowance and implementation of pending recommendations of the 4th Punjab Pay Commission.

They said more than five years have elapsed since the report containing 10 recommendations concerning pensioners was submitted to the state government. The then Akali government implemented only two recommendations and the rest are still pending. Pensioners regretted that there was no point in setting up a pay commission if its recommendations were not to be implemented.

They pointed out that former MLAs drawing pension in Punjab have been allowed old age allowance at the rate of 5 per cent, 10 per cent and 15 per cent of their basic pension on attaining the age of 65, 75 and 80, respectively. However, the Punjab government pensioners are given this benefit only at two stages at the age of 65 and then at 75. Even the Third Pay Commission had recommended a third stage for them.

Pensioners said though the 4th Punjab Pay Commission had recommended tax-free pensions for them, yet, the government has not implemented this recommendation, but the Punjab Ministers have been allowed income-tax free salaries.



Crime on the rise in Ludhiana district
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, September 29
Deteriorating law and order situation in Ludhiana district is causing concern among residents in general and the business community in particular. The rise in the number of robberies and murders during the past two weeks has caused panic.

Robberies have taken place in rural areas too. At Rajjewal Maur village, robbers not only took away cash and jewellery but also killed one person and injured at least six members of a family. In another incident, a woman was killed and household items were looted from a house in the city. Similarly, a number of robberies have been reported in the Raikot area.

During militancy three police districts were created in this district. These are Ludhiana, Jagraon and Khanna.

Each district is headed by an officer of the rank of SSP, who is assisted by at least four SP-rank officers namely the SP (Detective), the SP (Headquarters), the SP (City) and the SP (Operations).

At one time the government thought of winding up the police districts as it felt that the militancy was over and there was no need for such a heavy police set up. But the decision was kept in abeyance in view of the demographic changes in the state.

Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, MLA, Samrala, says: “As robberies are taking place in Samrala subdivision frequently so the police should intensify patrolling.”

Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, MP, feels: “Registration and verification of migrant labourers should be mandatory to check the crime.”

Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan and Mr Avtar Singh, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana, have urged the government to ensure safety of the businessmen and restore their confidence in the police administration.

Mr S. Chaotupadhya, DIG, Ludhiana Range, says: “The patrolling in the city is being strengthened. We are launching cycle patrolling in the congested areas,” he added.



Auction of octroi post postponed
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, September 29
The yearly auction of the octroi post at Sahnewal had to be postponed today due to the reported pooling of all six bidding parties assembled at the office of the Deputy Director, Local Bodies, at Ludhiana.

The bidding parties had reportedly done pooling among themselves, as a result of which the bid could not exceed a total of Rs 48,000.

Mr S.R. Kaler, Deputy Director, Local Government, Ludhiana, who presided over the auction bid said, “The total price was Rs 1,46,42000 and the reserve price fixed for the same was not less than 25 per cent. As it was very difficult to arrive at a conclusion with so low a bid price, the auction was postponed. The fresh auction shall now be held after advertisement through the DPRO and the date fixed for the same is October 8.”

Mr Khair further added that the collection of octroi for which the bid was to be held was from October 15, 2003, to October 14, 2004, for one year.” A total of eight octroi posts have been privatised, leaving aside Sahnewal and Raikot.

Mr Ramesh Kumar Pappu, president, Nagar Council, Sahnewal, when contacted, said,’ “Due to the pooling of the bidding parties, the yearly octroi contract could not be ascertained”.

As October 8 had been fixed for the next bid, we shall try our best that apart from these contractors, new ones are added who would not indulge in any sort of pooling and give their own individual bids, which are in the interest of the municipal council.

Asked whether the bidding parties were upset over the move, Mr Kaler said,” We have received no complaints in this regard as it was an open auction and nothing had been concealed theirin. Moreover, the entire activity had been videographed and there was no reason of any conflict to arise out of such a transparent issue.” 



Aged disillusioned with kin
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, September 29
Ms Kaushalya (88), an inmate of Vridh Ashram run by the Nishkam Sewa Trust, died yesterday. Mr Sarwan Kumar Sharma, Chairman of the Trust, said they cremated the woman as she had left instructions with the trust that no member of her family should even touch her body. Similarly, many other inmates of the ashram had also instructed the ashram authorities not to let their sons touch their bodies. Another inmate wanted her daughter to see her body but not her sons. So in the present scenario, elderly people are increasingly being turned out by their children.

As Senior Citizens Day falls on October 1, we have to think seriously about the problems of the elderly people. The elderly are becoming the biggest casualty of social and cultural changes that have changed our value system. No longer the elders are a venerated lot but considered as liabilities to such an extent that they are being shunted out and at times at melas like Kumbh they are just left behind by their offsprings.

Due to increase in life expectancy, the percentage of elderly people has increased. Statistics say that one out of every 10 persons is above 60 and numbers are fast increasing. In 2001 there were 77 million old people in India and by the year 2011, the figure will reach 100 million. Only 10 per cent of the elderly population get pension, rest need financial assistance to make both ends meet.

In Ludhiana there are only three homes for senior citizens which care for not more than 200 persons. Two homes, Nishkam Vridh Ashram and Swami Vivekanand Ashram, take care of senior citizens without charging any money for their keep while the third home is run by the Red Cross Society and is located in Sarabha Nagar. Here the inmates pay Rs 1,300 as room charges and Red Cross meets other expenses.

But such homes do not solve the problems of old people. With the disintegration of joint family system, the problems for elderly have become acute. Without love and support of their families, the old people become less productive and wither away.

On the Senior citizen Day, the society has to live up to its responsibilities of looking after its parents and elderly well instead of doing lip service as is the norm.



Party facilitates youth’s release from foreign jail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
Persistent efforts by the Lok Bhalai Party have resulted in the release of a youth from a prison in Ukraine.
According to a spokesperson for the party, Nirmal Singh of Sirsa had landed in a Ukrainian prison after being caught by the authorities while crossing the country illegally a year ago. He has been released and repatriated to India.

Mr B.S. Ramoowalia, a former Union Minister and president of the party, said he had taken up the case with the Indian High Commission in Ukraine on August 25, 2003 and in his reply on September 1, the Indian Ambassador in Kiev, Mr S. Klogen, informed him that Nirmal Singh was found detained in Hemon, 580 km from Kiev, and that the Ukraine Government had agreed for his release.

He has taken up the cases of 17 more Punjabi illegal entrants, reportedly detained in Ukrainian jails, and is hopeful of an early release.

It may be recalled that the incidents of Punjabi youths going abroad legally or illegally through the medium of fraudulent travel agents for better jobs opportunities abroad, after paying them hefty cash sums ranging from Rs 4 to Rs 6 lakh, is on the increase.

Often most of the youths end up in jail.

The party’s head office has been flooded with representations from affected families for the release of their jailed wards in countries like Ukraine, Greece, Beirut, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Pakistan, etc.



Rapid Prototyping Centre inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
A Rapid Prototyping Centre was inaugurated at the Central Tool Room (CTR) here today by the chairman of the CTR, Mr Suresh Chandra. The centre has been set up under the joint collaboration of the Government of India and the Government of Germany under the Indo-German Tool Room Programme.

Mr Chandra said the centre would provide state-of-art facilities in prototyping technology at Ludhiana. The equipment is of the Vanguard HS brand and has been manufactured by three dimensional system in the US. He said it works on SLS technology and has been installed at a cost Rs 2 crore.

The facilities at the centre are useful for product design and development, prototyping, function and fitment, reverse engineering and short run production. It can help in production of prototypes, patterns for sand and investment casting and short run of the plastic parts with accuracy and capable on extreme testing up to 150°C.



Typists demand space at new courts complex
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
About 100 typists, petition and deed writers and stamp vendors, who were operating from the old courts complex, have been rendered jobless as they have not been provided any place in the new courts’ complex in the Mini-Secretariat. A delegation of these typists said they had been making repeated representations to the authorities, but in vain.

Mr Jeevan Singh Sangowal, president of the Approved Typists Association, said they were being made to “starve” as they had not been allotted any place of work. They maintained that even the public was facing problems, since there was a shortage of typists.

“We have no source of income,” said, Mr Rachpal Singh Madan, another typist. He said they were being told that they would be allotted space “very soon”, but when it would materialise, they did not know.

The typists have appealed to the authorities to allot them space in the new courts complex at the earliest.



Reservation sought on economic basis
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 29
A meeting of the Brahmin Sabha was held here today. Dr Raghbir Shukla, president of the sabha, said after the meeting that the provision of reservation on caste basis was not in the interest of the country and if not checked timely, it would cause irreparable damage to the country. It would divide the country on caste basis. The reservation should be on economic basis and cover poor people, irrespective of their caste, he said.

“The benefit of caste-based reservations in educational and professional institutions, service and promotions mostly goes to the families of persons in power. There is a provision to reserve seats in Parliaments for persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes, whereas poor people, workers, farmers and shopkeepers from general category, although living below the poverty line, have no such privilege. According to a survey, out of 395 suicides due to hunger, 348 were found to be from the general category,” he said. He urged the government to consider the matter a fresh before it was too late.



2 held with 19.5 kg poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 29
The Sadar Police yesterday intercepted a migrant from Bihar near Guru Nanak Engineering College on the Gill Road and recovered 10.5 kg of poppy husk from him. Cops from the same police station also intercepted Sunder Lal, a migrant from Madhya Pradesh near the Laddowal Chowk, and seized 9 kg of contraband from his possession. Both accused were booked separately under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

5 arrested: The division number 6 police on Sunday arrested Ajay Kumar and Bablu residents of Amritsar, Jakar Alam, a migrant from Bihar, Sonu, another resident of Amritsar, Jedi, a migrant from West Bengal, and Mohammad, a resident of Bihar, and booked them under Sections 299 and 402 of the IPC and sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

The police said today that a .12 bore pistol along with live cartridges were recovered from Ajay Kumar and Jakar Alam. Two kamanidar knives and two iron rods were also recovered from the other accused, who were allegedly planning to commit a robbery while sitting in Transport Nagar.

Shopkeeper attacked: On the statement of Mr Beant Singh, a shopkeeper resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, the Sarabha Nagar police on Sunday registered a case under Sections 452, 324, 323, 379, 148 and 149 of the IPC against Sarabjit Singh, his son, Laddy, Sukha, Raju and Dimple, residents of the same locality, and two other unknown persons accompanying them. The complainant had alleged that the accused forcibly entered his shop in the locality on the night of September 26 and beat him up. The accused also stole some goods from the shop before going away, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Assault cases: The division number 7 police registered a case on Sunday under Sections 341, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Sooch Pal, a resident of Jamalpur, against Jarnail Singh, Satnam Singh, Gurnam Singh, Kuldeep Singh, Dilbagh Singh, alias Bagha, and Jarnail Singh. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him near a marriage palace at Samrala Chowk on Sunday, beat him up and also threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

The Jodhewal police registered a case under Sections 452, 323 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Mohalla Atal Nagar in Basti Jodhewal, against Harbhajan Singh, Kashmir Singh and some of their accomplices living in the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused had forced their way into his house on Sunday evening and beaten him. No arrest has been made so far.

Held for gambling: The Focal Point police on Sunday arrested Pappu Kumar, a migrant of Patna, and Bishen Singh, a migrant from Almora district in Uttaranchal, and booked them under the Gambling Act. The police said that a sum of Rs 200 and a deck of playing cards were recovered from their possession.

Car damaged: The Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Adarsh Pal Singh, a resident of Model Town, against the driver of a bus, who hit his car near the Amaltas hotel on the Jalandhar road on Sunday evening and damaged it. The accused ran away from the spot, added the complainant.



Bank branch opened
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 29
Catholic Syrian Bank Limited today opened its first branch in Ludhiana. It was inaugurated by the Co-Chairman and the Managing Director of Hero Cycles Limited, O.P. Munjal. The Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr N.R. Achan, presided over the function.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Munjal pointed out, that Ludhiana offered a lot of potential, as it was the industrial and financial capital of the state. Wishing the bank a great success, he hoped that it would live up to its standards and expectations of the people here.

Mr Achan said that the bank had a modest beginning in 1920 with an authorised capital of Rs 5 lakh only. “During the past 82 years, the bank had grown from strength to strength, he added.

The bank has 287 branches, 42 extension counters, with a decentralised administrative set-up with eight zones, covering all important metros and southern states. The total business of the bank on March 31, 2003, was Rs 4,977 crore and had a recorded a profit of Rs 45.16 crore.

The Ludhiana branch will be one of the most modernised branches in the country with ATM.


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