Sunday, October 5, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Woman poisoned to death; in-laws booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
A woman was allegedly poisoned to death by her in-laws for not bearing a child after nearly eight years of marriage in Kalas Kalan village here last night.

Balwinder Kaur, around 32 years old, was given some eatable mixed with poison last evening, Koom Kalan police said here today afternoon. The police said though no witness to the alleged incident had been found so far, it had booked the husband of the deceased Mewa Singh, father-in-law Buta Singh and mother-in-law Bachan Kaur on the charge of murder.

Mr Jaimal Singh, a brother of the woman and a resident of Meharbaan village in this district, stated in the FIR that his sister was being regularly harassed over the issue. He claimed that the woman was also beaten up repeatedly and forced to bring more dowry.

He told Ludhiana Tribune at the Civil Hospital here that last night he got a call from his sister’s house that she was in serious condition.

He said after reaching there and seeing the condition of the body, he was sure that she was given some poison.

He took her to a local doctor, who said her condition was serious and should be shifted to a hospital in Ludhiana. The woman, however, died on way to the city.

Police sources said the relatives even consulted some village quacks.

Sub-Inspector Inderjit Singh, SHO, Koom Kalan, said a sister of the deceased also lived in the same village and was in fact the felicitator in her marriage. She has also given a statement to the police that the physical and mental torture of the woman for not bearing a child was an open secret in the village.

A post-mortem examination on the body conducted today late afternoon at the Civil Hospital here suspected poison as the possible cause of death.

The chemical examination of the body’s viscera would provide the final confirmation, doctors said. The report would be available in two months. Sources said the report was only going to corroborate the theory of poison, as suggested by the condition of the body.

The police said the accused have been booked for murder and not for dowry as the marriage took place around eight years ago.

A dowry case could be lodged within seven years of marriage, said Mr Inderjit Singh.

No arrest has been made so far. The accused have fled the house, which was found locked by raiding police parties, sources added.

Heartrending scenes were witnessed at the Civil Hospital here. Apart from the grief-stricken relatives of the deceased, a large number of residents of Kalas Kalan and Meharbaan, her native village, had gathered at the place.


Demand to rationalise tax structure
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
The Knitwear Club organised an interaction with Mr Sardul Singh, Punjab Excise and Taxation Minister. The interaction was aimed at a demand to rationalise the tax structure, with VAT implementation on the cards and the anomalies in the present tax structure.

The session was presided over by MLA Surinder Dawar. H K Mittal, Commissioner Central Excise, Ludhiana, D.P. Reddy Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, while Mayor Nahar Singh Gill was the guest of honour.

The members of the club said if exim form was to remain, then ICC did not make any sense. The exim form should be easily accessible and there should not be any limit on the issue of such forms.

These should be available as much as required by the manufacturers.

As a follow up exercise to the session and on the recommendation of Mr Sardul Singh and MLA Surinder Dawar, a delegation of the Knitwear Club met Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Parampal Singh, AETC, and AETC Mr Tara Singh.

The delegation included Vinod Thapar, Narinder K. Miglani, Rajinder Bhushan Maini, Jagmohan Singh and Jaswant Takkar.

The representatives of the club explained the proposals in detail assuring that the proposed modifications will lead to increase in revenue to the state exchequer to the tune of at least 25 per cent. These officials have forwarded the report to Mr Reddy.

The members said the officials after deliberating had agreed to the demands in principle. Reddy has assured that the notification on the same will follow shortly, said the delegation members.


Encroachments spring up again at mini secretariat
D. B. Chopra

Ludhiana, October 4
Once again the encroachment mafia of the city has scored an outright victory over the civic and the district administrations, which have been boasting of removing roadside encroachments.

When the Deputy Commissioner ordered the premises of the mini secretariat, where his office is located, to be cleared of all roadside encroachments “within 24 hours” about 10 days ago, it was felt that the district administration had decided to go tough on roadside squatters in the administrative complex in particular and other roadside encroachments in other parts of the city in general. Scores of roadside sellers of goggles, specs, purses, maps, fruit and so on, who moved to the new courts complex adjoining the mini secretariat with the shifting of the old courts to the new complex, were removed before the stipulated time. Some newspapers even highlighted the achievement. But the crowd was back within the next 24 hours, contrary to the expectations that it would take a few days before the encroachment mafia could settle things with the powers.

The fact that all wind was taken out of DC’s orders within a day’s time has further encouraged other roadside sellers to carry out business on the premises of the secretariat and judicial complex with impunity. Now, in addition to these roadside squatters who occupy most of the footpath in the complex handcarts have also started making an appearance in the complex on the busiest stretch that connects the mini secretariat with the new judicial complex.

A migrant, who was selling fruit on a bicycle, said he had not obtained any permission to do so in the complex. He was selling his goods because many others were doing so, he added. The victory of the encroachment mafia has also emboldened a couple of map sellers to move their “shops” from the gate of the mini secretariat to the vast open space outside the judicial complex. Apart from these roadside sellers, the complex has also been infested with hawkers of “chana-dal”, dry batteries etc.

The victory of the encroachment mafia in the mini secretariat has dashed all legitimate hopes of the city residents of getting encroachments removed in their respective areas.

The Municipal Corporation too is not far behind in kowtowing to the encroachment mafia. The civic body, which boasts of removing roadside encroachments, has not been able to remove roadside business-makers squatting in front of its headquarters at Mata Rani chowk.


CM urged to call traders’ meeting
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 4
Mr Tulsidas Jaitwani, President of the Punjab Beopar Mandal, today appealed to the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to convene a meeting of the traders and sort out their problems. In a statement here Mr Jaitwani said it was not the time to have confrontation with the traders because such an attitude would hamper the development.

Mr Jaitwani said he had spoken to the Financial Commissioner (Revenue) Mukul Joshi about the implementation of the exim forms and the benefit the state had received from the same.

Mr Joshi has promised to review the situation after October 20 when the quarterly report of the revenue earnings would be ready.

Mr Jaitwani said Mr Joshi told him that the state government was always ready to listen to the genuine difficulties of the traders and remove them.

Mr Jaitwani was of the view that now when the exim forms had been introduced from September 1, there was no point in having agitation and ‘we should wait for the outcome of the same and see if the state revenue had increased.


Battlelines drawn for cycle body poll
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 4
The biggest representative body of manufacturers and traders of bicycles and parts, the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA), is all set to elect its new office-bearers for the next term of one year on October 8, with the picking up of the election campaign of the two opponent groups.

The reigning president, Mr D.S. Chawla, having completed two terms, is seeking reelection with new promises, while his sole challenger is another former president of the body, Mr G.L. Pahwa. Both the contenders have fielded their own candidates for all other seven posts and the campaigning was also being done for the entire group of nominees. The candidates of Chawla and Pahwa group would have a direct contest for all the posts since only two candidates were in the fray for each post. The election assumes greater importance for the bicycle trade and industry in the wake of threat from China looming large, besides other challenges like technology upgrade, scarcity and rising prices of raw material and cumbersome excise and taxation laws.

Both the groups are leaving nothing to chance to ensure their victory. Meetings, group visits to member units, mobilising support through customers, friends and relatives of the members and seeking return of old favours — every trick of the trade was being employed in order to gain an upper hand. In a bid to broaden the base of support, the two main contenders have named a number of prominent persons in the bicycle industry as their election coordinators.

Mr Chawla, having been at the helm of affairs for almost three years now, takes credit for achieving a healthy 42 per cent increase in the membership (from 1,237 to 1,760), improving financial health of the UCPMA, leading a group of small-scale manufacturers to China, besides dealing with other burning issues like imposition of Central excise and steel price hike, during his tenure.

Talking about his future plans, if reelected, Mr Chawla said the projects to be taken up on top priority included construction of an administrative block in the UCPMA building, import of new technology for the small-scale manufacturers, launching of a computer education centre for the members and declaration of some of the clusters of small and tiny units in the city as industrial areas.

Mr Pahwa listed implementation of the UNIDO/UNDP project for bicycle industry in the city, power tariff and power-related problems, sales tax issues, including exim form, preparing the domestic industry to face challenges of the WTO and China, availability and prices of basic raw material among his priority areas.



Day care centre for senior citizens soon
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 4
A day care centre for senior citizens — Madhok Senior Citizen Day Care Centre — is going to start here on October 10. It has come up in Gurdev Nagar and those above 65 years can avail the facilities provided in the centre free of cost.

The facilities provided at the centre include library, newspapers, magazines besides audio-visual entertainment and even beds to take rest.

The centre has been started by Mr Gursevak Singh Madhok. He said that the facility of tea and lunch would also be provided to the senior citizens. Old age homes like Swami Vivekanand Vridh Ashram, Model Town Extension, Nishkam Vridh Ashram, Daad, Gita Vridh Ashram, Threke village, and Senior Citizen Home, Sarabha Nagar have inspired Mr Madhok to do something for senior citizens.

Mr Madhok said that seeing the plight of elderly in society, he was determined to make the days pleasant for senior citizens so that they could spend their twilight years in a comfortable manner. The registration of the centre started on October 1 free of cost.


Mann’s call to minorities
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 4
The SAD (A) president and Member of Parliament, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has said that Sikhs should have the courage to recognise Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale as a martyr and Panthic hero.

In an interview during a visit to this town, he blamed a certain section of Sikhs and Muslims of not owning their heroes due to pressure from the BJP and SAD (B).

He said, “After the 10 Sikh Gurus, Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale was the only Sikh who ignited the minds of the masses to prepare them for a fight for Sikh sovereignty. Unfortunately, none of the self-styled Panthic leaders cared to instal even a single pillar in his memory. Rather they have started instigating Sikhs to reject the grants meant for commemorating the martyrdom of the Bhindranwale.”

He reiterated his announcement made at a public function at Sant Attar Singh Khalsa College in Sandaur village, grants for the construction of a hall at the college campus would be released only if the management dedicates it to Sant Bhindrawale.

Stressing that his party was prepared to commit itself to the cause of minorities, he noted that Muslims and Sikhs had succumbed to the “oppressive machinations” of the Congress and the BJP- SAD alliance.

Commenting on the rejection of a grant by the management of an Islamia school at Malerkotla on the plea that the building could not be dedicated to Jinnah, he said. “Their hesitation to accept grant for opening Jinnah memorial library shows that even Muslims have bowed to anti-minority political parties.”

Meanwhile, the management of Sant Attar Singh Khalsa College at Sandaur is yet to take a final decision about accepting the conditional grant of Rs 3 lakh for construction of a hall. On the other hand, Mr Mann is determined on this issue and reiterated, “If they cannot accept our ideology and pay homage to Sikh martyrs, our party owes nothing to them.”


Shobha yatras

Ludhiana, October 4
The city would witness celebrations in connection with the birthday of Lord Valmiki that falls on October 10. A number of social and religious organisations are getting ready to take out shobha yatras through various parts of the city. The Bharatiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj (BVDS) has decided to take out a shobha yatra on October 9. A meeting of the same, which was chaired by Mr Vijay Danav, finalised the details of the shobha yatra. It was decided to urge the district administration to order the closure of all wine and meat shops on October 9 and 10. Meanwhile, a joint meeting of the Valmiki Sabha and the Bahujan Samaj Party was also held at Rajiv Gandhi Colony. The meeting, decided to take out a shobha yatra on October 8. OC


A ‘tall’ order for MC demolition squad

THE municipal authorities demolished illegal structures, including those under construction, in different parts of Ludhiana city on September 22. This act of the municipal authorities brought a relief to the law-abiding people. The timely action by the authorities concerned is really worth appreciating.

In contrast, no action has been taken in a case where the owner of 451-B, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana, has raised the rear boundary wall to a height of 26 feet. This illegal construction, which is well-reported, is of interest to the readers.

The encroacher was served with a notice for demolition in September, 2001. At this, the Local Bodies Minister had personally intervened and asked the Municipal Corporation (MC) official not to go ahead with any action (Ludhiana Tribune, August 3, 2002). No action was taken for a long time. The present MC Commissioner and his staff tried to shift the case to another urban body unnecessarily. This was again followed by inaction.

A timely action by the MC authorities could have eliminated political interference and manipulations by the offender. The said illegal construction cannot even be compounded on any grounds. Corporation officials at different levels have connived with the offender, thus encouraging the latter and other persons to violate building bylaws. It is advisable even at this stage, not to dilly dally on the issue and to demolish the illegal construction at the earliest.

Dr Gurkirpal Singh, Ludhiana

Remove kiosks

Congratulations for the bold write-up, “Encroachment, violations continue unabated”, published in the September 19 issue of Ludhiana Tribune. The observations made about payments and involvement of political functionaries and others are very apt.

Sarabha Nagar is a posh locality. However, two kiosks have been put up recently with the connivance of some persons for a consideration in the main market here.

If these kiosks are not removed immediately, many more such structures may come up in the area giving this posh colony a look of a slum.

It is hoped that officials concerned will look into the problem and remove the kiosks immediately.

Harbans Singh, Ludhiana

Role of media

I appreciate the noble suggestion put forward by Sentinel through Ludhiana Calling, regarding advice to the demonstrators, (Ludhiana Tribune, September 24). The advice ran in the following words: “The demonstrators very conveniently make an effigy to set it ablaze and after the demonstration is over, they leave it burning at the place. It might pose a threat to property. Besides, it pollutes the environment as smoke is generated due to the burning of the effigy. There should be environment-friendly ways of protest.”

Press reporters are really at their best when they pick up a noble cause. We have been very much fed up with so-called leaders, who run after their loaves and fishes. The only ray of hope is the Press, which is doing yeoman’s service to society. Poet Cowper aptly puts it

“Though God of our idolatry, the Press

By thee, religion, liberty and laws!

Exert their influence and advance their cause”

Vijay Sheel Jain, Ludhiana

Dearness relief

Half-yearly review of dearness relief is made by the Central Government, as a consequence of which orders are issued in March and November every year. The disbursing banks do not make payments as per reports published in the media. The authorities keep on waiting for orders from the Reserve Bank of India. This way, the payment of dearness relief gets delayed by two to three months, causing inconvenience to the pensioners.

The Reserve Bank of India has already issued instructions to the banks to access above orders from the government’s website and make payments to the pensioners immediately. Recently, orders were issued for increase of dearness relief by 4 per cent from November 1.

I, being general secretary of the Northern Railways Pensioners’ Association, urge the disbursing banks to make payments with the pension for the month of November in view of the coming festival season.

K.L. Chitkara, Ludhiana

Handling children

Though almost everyone takes enough care while handling fragile goods, a few people bother to care about the way children are handled. A lot of literature has already flown into the market about the methods to handle children, but it has not been enough to educate teachers and parents on this aspect.

A study exploring psychological niche of kids has revealed that abnormal behaviour of school-going children breeds from a number of factors, including social and peer group. A child delivers what he receives.

With inadequate grey matter to fix target, child feels burdened with imposed aspirations of parents and teachers. Who on this earth wishes that his or her ward should stand second to someone else? But do we indeed nurture psychological hanger of our kids, is a question to be answered by us only. In the case of writer herself, her goal was set by inspiration of her father and persistent nurturing by a couple of teachers enabled her achieve it, quit obvious that her own determination catalysed the process.

It is high time that we should understand that children are the most valued asset of a nation. A wise investment of extra labour on them will pay manifold. Positive motivation is the only solution for apparently tough looking cases. Otherwise, if we let them ignored, these assets will become a liability on the nation.

Ms Priyanka Sharma, Ahmedgarh


Minor raped by migrant labourer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
A five-year-old girl was abducted and raped by a 28-year-old migrant labourer in Hambran village last night.

A police party caught the man, Shiv Kumar, a resident of Sarsaram district in Bihar.

The girl is under treatment at the civil hospital here. Her medical examination has confirmed the rape charge. DSP (Dakha) Jatinder Khaira told Ludhiana Tribune that the accused was begging for mercy.

The girl’s father said he found the girl missing at about 1.30 a.m. when he woke up to answer nature’s call. The family then went to the police which launched the search. A little distance away from the village, they heard the cries of the girl and found her in a field of poplar trees.

The accused has been booked under Sections 363 and 376 IPC for kidnapping and raping the minor girl.


LPG vendor arrested
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 4
The Division No 2 police on Friday arrested Kansi Ram, a migrant from UP, working as a cooking gas vendor, on the charges of pilfering gas from filled cylinders and selling underweight cylinders. He has been booked under the Essential Commodities Act and the Regulation of Supply and Distribution Act. The case was registered on the statement of Mr Mohinder Singh Pahwa, Food and Supply Officer, Ludhiana.

One killed

The division No. 6 police on Friday registered a case under Sections 279, 337, 304-A and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Satinder Pal Singh, a resident of Jamalpur Awana , against an unidentified truck driver, whose vehicle hit a motorcyclist near Samrala Chowk on Friday. The driver fled from the spot after the incident. The injured was rushed to Oswal Hospital, where he breathed his last. No arrest has been made so far.

Fraud alleged

The Civil Lines police on Friday registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Guljinder Singh, a resident of Jartoli village, against Sunil Kumar and his wife Vickey, residents of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar. The complainant had alleged that he had paid Rs 7 lakh to the accused for obtaining a passage to Canada, but the accused neither sent him abroad nor returned his money. The accused had thus committed a fraud on him, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.


The Haibowal police registered a case under Sections 323, 341, 506, 509 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Balbir Singh, a resident of Kehar Singh Nagar in Haibowal Kalan, against Sawitteri Devi, a resident of the same locality, and Manjeet Kaur, a resident of Laxmi Nagar. The complainant had alleged that both women intercepted him on the way in Hargobind Nagar on October 2 and beat him up. The accused also threatened him, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.


Two cases of theft were registered at the Focal Point police station on Friday.

The first case was registered under Section 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Anand Mangal, owner of Singla Steel Industry, against unidentified person(s). The complainant had stated that the accused had been stealing spare parts of spray pumps from his factory for the past one month.

The other case was registered under Section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Rajinder Singh, owner of Laxo Industry in Phase -I of Focal Point, against Rashpal Singh and Sanju, both truck drivers.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had stolen two quintal of iron rods from the trucks parked on his factory premises on September 20 last. No arrest has been made so far.


Focal point cries for basic amenities
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 4
The Punjab State Industrial and Export Corporation (PSIEC) had established the industrial focal point at Mandi Gobindgarh around eight years ago on the Sirhind side of the GT Road. It is out of the municipal limits of Mandi Gobindgarh. During this span, the development of the focal point has been poor.

Mr Chanan Singh, President, and Mr Anil Suraj, General Secretary respectively of the Focal Point Industries Association, pointed out that according to the revenue records, the area falls out of the limits of the municipal council, which is in Sirhind. The benefit of octroi on power supply has not been provided to the industry and octroi is imposed on power bills, they said.

Despite this, the condition of streetlights is very poor and many thefts have been committed in industrial units. When the association contacted the Punjab State Electricity Board authorities, it was revealed that the board had no supply of bulbs . It was pointed out that the industrialists should provide bulbs, the cost of which was around Rs 2 lakh and the board would get these fitted in the streets through its staff.

The focal point has no police post in the industrial area and people have to go to the police station at Mandi Gobindgarh. The association contacted the authorities for the installation of a police post but the demand could not be not on the ground that the police station was understaffed. The demand for patrolling was also not met.

Generally after five years, a focal point is handed over to the municipal council as in the case of focal point at Khanna. However, this has not been done for Mandi Gobindgarh as this focal point does not fall in the municipal limits of Mandi Gobindgarh. The association has given various representation to the Principal Secretary Local Government, Punjab, who had written to the municipal council Mandi Gobindgarh. However, nothing happened on the front.

The postal services in the area are very poor. The area has been attached with Kumbh village and the postman of the branch post office seldom comes on his beat twice in a week. The industrialists had to manage their postal requirements at Mandi Gobindgarh, 5 km from the focal point. Even a letter box has not been installed in the area despite requests made to the senior superintendent post offices Patiala.

Many plots in the area have not yet developed due to stringent conditions imposed by the authorities on the entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur has to instal a factory within three years of the allotment of the plot. After the expiry of the period, penalties are imposed on the plot holders. The association has demanded that this condition should be waived off.

Commercial plots have not been auctioned. As such, the area lacks shops and the industrialists have to go to Mandi Gobindgarh for minor requirements. Residential plots have also not been allotted. Representatives of the association have conducted meetings with the district administration and with the departments concerned many times but nothing has happened The major demands included a 66-Kv grid station, ESI dispensary, post office, schools and parks.

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