Wednesday, October 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Ministry urged to issue orders to state govt
Repeated shifting of mandis
Tribune News Service

The association has asserted that due to the shifting of mandis to other state agencies and the procurement of unclean paddy, the FCI was facing great difficulty in managing and operating in the mandis.

In a memorandum submitted to the Union Ministry, Punjab Chief Minister, FCI Managing Director, the association president Brij Mohan said that the state government was blaming the FCI for not procuring its due share whereas it was procuring it to its full capacity.

Ludhiana, October 14
The FCI Quality Control Staff Welfare Association has urged the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution to issue instructions to the state government not to repeatedly shift mandis from one agency to another when the procurement process is on.

It also sought directions to be issued to the procurement agencies to stick to the laid-down specifications.

The association has asserted that due to the shifting of mandis to other state agencies and the procurement of unclean paddy, the FCI was facing great difficulty in managing and operating in the mandis.

In a memorandum submitted to the Union Ministry, Punjab Chief Minister, FCI Managing Director, the association president Brij Mohan said that the state government was blaming the FCI for not procuring its due share whereas it was procuring it to its full capacity.

Highlighting the reasons for disruption in the FCI procurement process, he alleged that the FCI procurement process was being disturbed by the Punjab Government by repeatedly shifting the already allotted mandis to other state agencies. Since the procurement process started from October 1, many mandis where the FCI was functioning smoothly had been snatched from the FCI and some of these are allotted after some days. The efficiency of the FCI is being affected due to the repeated shifting under political pressure, he added.

Stating another reason, Mr Mohan said, “The specifications for the procurement of paddy are the same for the FCI and the state agencies. The FCI staff tries to stick to specifications whereas mostly state agencies are producing paddy, ignoring all specifications in an aggressive way resulting in the procurement of unclean paddy with higher moisture content, as was noticed by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Mr Sanjay Kaul, during his visit to Khanna on October 7.

He said the farmers’ paddy must be purchased as they had produced it with great efforts, but it must be properly cleaned and dried well before the procurement. By purchasing sub-standard paddy, the state agencies were indirectly instigating the farmers to harvest unripe crop with high moisture content, and mandi labour was instigated not to clean the paddy properly and dry it if necessary before offering for bidding. “It is the duty of commission agents to get the paddy cleaned properly,” he said. For this, commissions agents were paid a handsome commission at the rate of 2.5 per cent i.e. Rs 14.50 per quintal.

If the commission agents were not performing their duties properly and indulging in malpractices by filling sub-standard paddy in bags, what was the use of giving them the commission? he asked.

Under such circumstances, farmers prefer to bring their produce to mandis with their unclean paddy with high moisture purchased at MSP. Mr Mohan said, “Under such circumstances, the FCI was facing great difficulty in managing and operating mandis.”

He requested to look into the matter and issue necessary instructions not to repeatedly shift mandis from one agency to another when the procurement process had started and also direct all procuring agencies concerned to stick to the laid-down specifications in order to provide healthy rice to millions of people, who are getting rice through the PDS and to keep the image of the country by competing in the world market with better quality of rice.



Paddy procurement higher this year, says Singla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
The procurement of paddy during this season was going on smooth and 76.97 lakh MT had been procured till October 13 as compared to 67.83 lakh MT during the corresponding period last year. This was stated by Mr Sant Ram Singla, Chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, while interacting with mediapersons after supervising the procurement operations in the grain market at Gill Road here today.

The Chairman expressed his satisfaction at the purchase of paddy and said the quality of paddy was excellent and private traders were showing interest in the purchase. He said the six government agencies had purchased 51.50 lakh MT of paddy, while the private traders had made 23.07 lakh MT of purchase. During the earlier seasons private traders had made negligible purchases.

He said he had visited more than 36 mandis in different parts of the state and farmers and traders were satisfied with the procurement process. It was for the first time in the history of the state that farmers were selling their produce on the same day and getting the payment within a period of 48 hours, he added.

Mr Singla said the state government had made arrangement of funds amounting to Rs 5,500 crore for making timely payments to the farmers. Expressing his concern at the less purchases made by the FCI, Mr Singla said both farmers and traders were unsatisfied with the behaviour of the FCI.

He hoped that 127 lakh MT of paddy was expected in the mandis during the season in spite of the shifting of 80,000 hectares of land from paddy cultivation to other crops under the diversification programme. He said the mandi board had made elaborate arrangements of drinking water, cleanliness, lights and sheds for the smooth procurement in the 1,459 purchase centers in the state.

Mr Singla criticised the Union Government for not extending its cooperation and said during the SAD-BJP tenure in the state, the farmers had to face a lot of harassment in the mandi and they had to pay bribes to sell their produce.

He claimed that the process of lifting of paddy was efficient and the lifting was being done on a daily basis.

He added that a maximum price of Rs 624 per quintal of paddy had been reported, while Rs 562 per quintal was the minimum price at which the paddy had been purchased. With a substantial increase in the milling capacity of shellers in the state, the private millers were taking more interest in the purchase this year.

The Chairman accused the Centre of adopting “anti-farmer” policy and criticised it for not enhancing the MSP for paddy.

He was accompanied by Mr Tejinder Pal Singh Kaurian, Director, Mandi Board; Mr Vipin Kapoor, District Mandi Officer; Ms Simarjot Kaur, DFSC; and Mr Dilbag Singh, DFSO.



NAAC team visits GCW
Only 8 colleges apply for accreditation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 14
While the deadline for sending applications for accreditation falls on October 31, just eight city colleges out of more than 30 have applied for it with the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). Of these, only the Malwa College of Education has been accredited so far.

This was stated by Dr K.L. Johar, a member of NAAC and former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Jambeshwar University, Hisar, at a press conference at the Government College for Women here today. He said while it was decided earlier that the council would accredit all colleges of India by December, 2003, but could not be made possible as the colleges had been too slow in sending their requests and self-study reports.

Dr Johar said since the process was being carried out on voluntary basis, the team was visiting only those colleges that were sending their requests. He said all those colleges who do not send their requests would have to later repent as the students would prefer taking admission to only those colleges that have been accreditated. They would finally be pressurised by the public itself to plunge for sending their requests, improving upon their existing facilities and getting a good grading for themselves, he said.

Dr Johar said the states like Haryana were far more advanced in the process as its 90 colleges had sent their requests. On the other hand, just 30 requests had come from the colleges in Punjab, he added. He, however, said the process was now getting accelerated as the DPI and university authorities have been holding workshops for educating the colleges on methodology for sending the requests and improving upon their infrastructure so as to get a good grading.

Dr Johar said the process would help the students judge the right college for themselves. He said the process would also help the foreign students look for the best college and could also help prevent brain drain as many colleges were already in the process of improving their infrastructure and appointing the best faculty to get a good grading during accreditation. He said that with improved facilities, the students would prefer to stay back in India instead of moving abroad for higher education.

As a chairman of the visiting team of the NAAC, Dr Johar said he along with his team- mates, Dr N.S. Jose, Dr S.K. Dhawan, and Dr Lata Pillay, were verifying all those points that had been mentioned by the college in its reports that had been sent by it to the NAAC headquarters at Bangalore three months ago. He said the team found that the college had a good infrastructure and well-qualified faculty but it lacked behind in imparting good computer education and building a fresh stock of books and other grading material in its library.

He said the team would also visit SCD Government College and GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sadhar, today and hold its inspection. Three colleges would get a grading in next three months when the council would hold its next quarterly meeting, he added.



Man gets life term for murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 14
The Sessions Judge, Mr Justice Baldev Singh, has sentenced Shanker of Mohalla Nanakpuri to rigorous life imprisonment on the charge of killing a 13-yr-old girl, Bimla Devi, in January, 2000 by stabbing her in the abdomen. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 upon the accused.

Delivering the judgement, the judge held that the prosecution had successfully proved the guilt of accused beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt. He turned down the plea of leniency raised by the accused with the observation that the accused had murdered an innocent girl on whom he had cast an evil eye and deserved no leniency.

The accused was booked under Section 302 of the IPC at Division No. 2 police station on January 16, 2000 following the statement of Bhagwan Singh, the father of the deceased. He was arrested on the very next day of the murder.

The father of the deceased had stated to the police that he was a “gol-gappa” vendor and residing with his family at a rented accommodation in Mohalla Nanakpuri. The accused lived in the adjoining room. He had hired the accommodation in the house about three months prior to the incident.

“My daughter had told me several times that the accused used to cast an evil eye on her. Thereafter, I advised the accused not to harass my daughter. But he did not do so and even proposed to marry her. However, I refused to marry my daughter with him,” added the complainant.

The complainant further alleged that on the fateful day his daughter was preparing “gol-gappas” in a room. The accused entered the room and threatened to kill her if she was not married to him. He then took out a knife and stabbed her in the abdomen. He immediately fled the spot. The girl was taken to the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital but she was declared brought dead, added the father of deceased.

However, the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed false implication. Convinced of the arguments advanced by the District Attorney, Mr A.A.Pathak, and the evidence adduced by the prosecution after examining 10 witnesses, the judge found the accused guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

The court also took note of the contradictory stand taken by the defence. During cross-examination of two witnesses, the defence tried to make out the case that the father of the girl had himself killed her, as he was not in favour of the marriage of accused with his daughter. However, the judge termed the story led by the defence unbelievable.



Commuters hold up train
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
The Daily Rail Commuters Association, comprising daily travellers between Ferozepore and Ludhiana via Moga, held up local passenger train 2LF at the Baddowal railway station in protest against the late running of trains on this section, here today.

The passengers sat on the railway line. They lifted the dharna after being assured by the railway authorities that train would run on time in future. Other trains that run late on this section include 7 LF and 9 LF.

“We are a harassed lot owing to unnecessary delay in the running of trains between the two stations,” association representatives said. They said the association had made several complaints to the Divisional Railway Manager, Ferozepore, but in vain.

In a signed statement, the association has alleged that the railway authorities are being bribed by certain private transporters to ensure that commuters travel by buses rather than trains running between these stations.




Ludhianvis have launched an informal campaign for celebrating a silent Divali this time. More and more people are spreading the word that they should boycott crackers to reduce noise and sound pollution. The cracker-related fires in the past too have made the administration to shift all cracker shops to Dana Mandi, making it tough for the people to go and purchase crackers. No wonder then, with the festival of lights barely a week away, Ludhiana is as quite as many people would prefer it to be and hope that the message spreads for a bright Divali without the noise and pollution of crackers.

Karva Chauth

Karva Chauth, which ended today, had gripped the city for the past few days. Apart from designer mehndi and clothes to suit the occasion, various women’s clubs had celebrated the occasion with much fanfare. Even students of the Government College for Women celebrated the occasion in their college.

Infuriated cop

The other day, a traffic cop on duty at the Domoria Bridge had an interesting side of his personality to show to passers-by. Disturbed on seeing most people ignoring his signals, the cop got so infuriated that he grabbed a scooterist by the collar and dragged him off the vehicle hurling abuses for failing to abide to his directions. The scooterist too took on the cop. The chaos that followed resulted in half an hour traffic jam. It was only resolved after some commuters intervened to regulate the traffic.

Adulterated desi ghee

There are reports that a large number of sweetshops are using adulterated desi ghee. Some sweetshop owners admit that they are aware of what they are doing, but express their helplessness. People have become so health conscious that they hardly eat sweets, except on festivals.

VIPs’ sons vs cops

The unruly episode involving sons of two VIPs and cops which led to the suspension of the Sarabha Nagar SHO has come at a time when the police is riddled with the tough task of maintaining law and order in view of the approaching festival season. Though an inquiry into the whole affair has been ordered by the Deputy Commissioner on the request of the SSP amid conflicting versions of both the parties involved, it has not made much progress as minister’s son is yet to get his statement recorded. It would be indeed hard for the inquiry officer to arrive at the truth on the basis of conflicting statements. Sources said a preliminary inquiry, which was conducted in a jiffy by a senior police officer, had already pronounced the SHO guilty, which had paved the way for his suspension. And the inquiry by the office of the Deputy Commissioner is also likely to give the same verdict in the days to come.

Anyway, irrespective of what the inquiry would come up with, sons of VIPs must be made to learn to respect the law and behave as responsible citizens and the cops must learn to respect the dignity of a citizen.

Traffic blues

The traffic police seems to be at its wits’ end as far as regulation of traffic on the Domoria Bridge is concerned. Despite deployment of cops on the stretch from Nigam Market and the Deepak Cinema chowk, the chaos continues to prevail on this road, particularly during morning and evening. The road is a vital link between old city and Civil Lines with a heavy volume of traffic, but thanks to the (mis)management of the policemen, the traffic remains disrupted for extended spells many times in the day. The fact is that the civic body or the cops have not really tried to apply themselves to bring so order to the chaotic traffic movement on this section. Though the volume of traffic might be greater than the stretch of road can take, taking steps like blocking the traffic coming from the Chhawni Mohalla side and taking a U-turn right at the end of the bridge in addition to declaring the roads leading to Old Sabzi mandi and Deepak Cinema as ‘one way’, initially on experimental basis, might do wonders.

Parking chaos

Parent-teacher meetings held at Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, prove to be a nightmare for residents. It so happens that hundreds of parents turn up for the meeting and park their cars haphazardly in two and three rows, at times making it very difficult for commuters to pass through the road. Parents and children park their cars just opposite school gates causing even more congestion. The school authorities ought to do something to regulate the traffic on meeting days or hold the meetings of two or three classes on a day so that less number of parents come.

‘Feather into turban’

A few days the Sentinel received a very interesting press note from Guru Nanak Engineering College. The college authorities had mentioned about approval given to it by the All-India Council of Technical Education for filling more M Tech seats. The note began with: “The GNE College has added another feather into its turban.” Since the college is being run by the SGPC, the authorities probably could not even write about wearing a cap, so they manipulated the adage so as to suit the Sikh tenets.

‘Husband’s Day’

While “Husband’s Day” fell on Tuesday, but the previous night seemed miserable for many husbands. Since almost all women had got mehndi applied on their hands, so the men had to themselves arrange for the dinner. This proved to be a boon for many eating joints offering home delivery services. Since the women could not even eat by their own, so the husbands even had to feed their wives. It was a real nightmare for many husbands who even had to take care of their small kids since their wives could not touch them till the henna dried.

Beggar’s choice

The other day a colleague was taken aback when a woman beggar, who was accompanied by an infant, not only refused to take the packet of milk bought for the child but also tongue lashed the benefactor saying that the money would have been spent for buying some thing worthwhile. Who says beggar’s can’t be choosers ! Sentinel



Khalsa Panchayat flays organisations opposing 
Sikh convention
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
The Khalsa Panchayat has condemned the organisations which are opposing the hosting of the World Sikh Convention on October 26 and have claimed that they are doing so to mislead and drive a wedge among the Sikhs at the behest of the RSS, Akalis and the BJP.

Mr Charanjit Singh Khalsa, convenor of the panchayat, said it was erroneous on the part of such outfits to label the organisers of the convention as those trying to protect and justify the research of controversial writer Gurbax Singh Kala Afghana.

This is no true as the aim of the convention is to expose the ‘sarkari jathedars’ who are least concerned about the main issues of the Sikhs and issue edicts to suit their political masters, he alleged.

He said Akal Takht was the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs and no one has any right to treat it with disrespect.

The happenings in the past have sent a message among a large section of the community that the affairs of the Sikhs were not been dealt with properly by such jathedars.

The main aim of the convention was to restore the glory of Akal Takht and think a way so that only the deserving get appointed as the Takht jathedars.

“It is unfortunate that leaders of some self-styled Sikh organisations do not follow the Sikh code of conduct and were running out of Golden Temple with raised hands during Operation Bluestar. Now they claim to be defenders of the Panth when in reality they were apostates, he pointed out.

Mr Khalsa said the exposure of their black deeds was the reason why these outfits were now trying to sabotage the convention as they fear that they would be hounded out of the state by the masses.

It is ironical that these outfits have not raised their voice even once against the mushrooming of deras and the growing apostasy among the Sikhs today, he added.

He also appealed to the people to participate in the proceedings and warned such organisations to desist from creating any unsavoury situation that day.



Faulty voters’ cards a bane
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, October 14
The voters’ cards prepared by the district administration can turn out to be a nightmare for many, as names of many have either been misspelled or changed all together. Apart from facing embarrassment of having their genders changed, once a photo ID card has a wrong fact mentioned on the document, it loses its very purpose.

There are numerous cases where glaring mistakes have been made while preparing the ID cards, especially in cases where a man has been called “Kaur” or “Kumari” and a women’s name has been post-fixed with a “Singh”.

The latest to get a shock of his life is Mr Judhjit Singh, son of Mr Surjinder Singh, who received a photo ID card (GKC1167279) which mentions his name as Bhupinder Singh and father’s name as Surinder Singh.

Earlier this month, a Maharaj Nagar resident, Mr Harwant Singh Uppal, had received a card in which his wife’s name had been changed from Sukhwinder Kaur to Sukhwinder Singh. In his own card too, the surname had been misspelled as “Uttam”. Even worse, his daughter’s photo ID card, apart from her surname being wrongly spelt, had her gender changed. Moreover, instead of mentioning Manbir Uppal as Mr Harwant Singh’s daughter, it mentioned her as his wife.

It may be recalled that the administration had announced that it was giving an opportunity to all those people who did not have a photo ID card for voting purpose to get one made. A resident felt that the administration needed to adopt the Chandigarh pattern where the photo was linked to the data on the computer in front of the voter and the voter was asked to check the spellings, name, etc. on the data sheet before the same was printed.



LJP activists burn effigy of corruption
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 14
As part of the district-level mass mobilisation campaign, activists of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), led by district president of the party, Mr Jagdish Anand, took out a procession from Bhadaur House to Clock Tower Chowk, where effigy of corruption, unemployment and terrorism was burnt as a symbolic protest against the government to address these problems.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were Mr Amar Singh Mehmi, state chief, Mr Ramanjit Lalli, national president of the youth wing, Mr Kartar Singh Patna, secretary general, Mr Manjot Singh Grewal, state president of the youth wing, Mr Popinder Singh Saluja, chairman of the beopar cell, Mr Paramjit Singh Atwal, vice-president of the state unit and Mr Virendra Singh Sant, general secretary, respectively, of the party.

Addressing party workers, Mr Mehmi observed that all sections of people, including farmers, traders, women and Dalits, were feeling frustrated in the wake of rising prices, lack of employment opportunities, cumbersome taxation laws, increasing corruption at all levels and deteriorating law and order situation. Mr Ramanjit Lalli pleaded for creating more avenues of employment for educated youth and making provision for unemployment allowance.

Mr Patna said that communalism and casteism were promoting terrorism in society and these tendencies needed to be curbed with iron hand. "The governments, both in the state and Centre, should rise above political considerations to tackle the menace of communalism and terrorism."

Calling for the simplification of taxation laws, Mr Anand demanded that the exim form should be immediately withdrawn and the anti-corruption drive launched by the Congress government should also cover the bureaucrats. He said the government should take steps to check the highhandedness of police officials at all levels and corruption in the police-set up. Not only common people but even elected representatives of people were also feeling the heat of police excesses.

Mr Mehmi disclosed that based on these demands, the party would soon submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.



Spurt in crime worries residents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 14
Upset over the recent spurt in thefts and robberies in the city, particularly in the Urban Estate locality, the residents have called upon the district police administration to take necessary steps to ensure safety of life and property of the people.

A delegation of the Urban Estate Residents’ Welfare Society, headed by its president Mr B.R. Kaushal, at a meeting with the Ludhiana SSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, expressed concern over the deteriorating law and order situation with increase in thefts and broad daylight robberies in the colony, which had created a sense of insecurity among the residents. The SSP was told that the police had failed to make any headway in the theft incident that had taken place in the MIG Colony in Phase II of the Urban Estate.

The delegation comprised Mr H.L. Bhambh, vice-president, Mr K.N. Singh, general secretary and Mr Kuldip Singh Kreer.

Mr Kaushal made a fervent plea for intensifying the police patrolling, especially during night hours, all suspicious persons and bad characters be hauled up, known hide-outs of the criminals be raided and police check posts be set up in the colony and its approaches.

He said there was need to dispel the apprehensions of the residents and inculcate a sense of safety and security, particularly due to forthcoming festival season.

The SSP assured the delegation that the police was doing their best to maintain law and order and to keep the activists of criminal activities under check. “While the police will do everything possible to tighten the security, the residents can also take certain steps at their own level to keep the anti-social elements at bay.” He suggested that the residents should collectively appoint watchmen, restrict and regulate the movement of street vendors and get their respective domestic servants registered with the police.

The police chief responded positively to the suggestion that police-public meetings be convened in the affected areas to bridge the communication gap and infuse confidence among the residents.



Villagers asked to remain vigilant
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
Mr Rahul Bhandari, Additional Deputy Commissioner, has asked panchayats of the villages surrounding the Baddowal Ammunition Depot to remain vigilant and not to allow any new construction within the 1000 metres from the outer periphery of the depot, as the supreme Court has granted a status quo and told the owners of properties falling in this area to strictly abide by the orders of the court.

Presided over a meeting of Panchayats of the villages concerned including Ayali, Bains, Threekay , Baddowal , Baba Nand Singh Nagar and Jhandey at Ayali village he directed them to ensure that nobody violated the orders.

He said already 43 new constructions which came up violating the orders had been demolished and in future nobody would be allowed to violate the directions. He appealed to the panchayats to keep a strict vigil in their villages. If any owner disobeyed their orders then they should immediately inform the concerned Tehsildar or the SDM so that strict action could be taken.

He also asked the villagers not to burn the paddy straw in this area, because it caused a major fire tragedy in this area as a big dump of ammunition was lying in the depot.

Among others who were present on this occasion included Col JS Gill , Mr Manjit Singh DSP, Mr Ajay Sood, Tehsildar , Mr Paramjit Singh and Mukesh Kumar (both Naib Tehsildars)and Dr. Balraj Singh of Ayali village. 



Jaycees to hold seminar on corruption
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 14
“Ludhiana Midtown Jaycees is all set to launch a drive against corruption, which is the root cause of many social evils”, said Mr Ajay Neb, president of the organisation, while addressing a meeting here last night.

He said in order to mobilise the youth in the fight against corruption, the chapter of the Jaycees would organise a seminar on ‘corruption - its impact on democratic institutions’ at the Guru Nanak Bhavan here on October 17 which would be presided over by Mr A.P. Pandey, Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab. The seminar would, in a way, mark the beginning of the crusade against corruption and efforts to uproot the same from all levels. Students of various schools, colleges and other technical and professional institutions were being invited to participate in the seminar.

Dr Jasbir Bindra, general secretary of the LMJ, said Dr K.S. Aulkah, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Prof N.S. Tasneem, a prominent writer, and Dr O.P. Arora, a neurologist, would be among those to be presented with ‘award of honour’ at the occasion for their outstanding contribution in their respective fields.

Mr Siddharth Chattopadhyay, DIG, Ludhiana Range, and Mr Rahul Bhandari, Additional Deputy Commissioner, would be the guests of the honour at the function.



Streetlights project inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 14
All colonies of ward No. 51 in the city would have streetlights by the end of March 2004 as the proposed project of the Municipal Corporation to provide streetlights to cent per cent population in the approved areas would be executed by that time. This was stated by area councillor Sanjeev Talwar while inaugurating sodium vapour street lights in Ahata Mohammed Tahir here today.

He said that with the total streetlight coverage of the ward, a major problem of the residents would be solved. According to Mr Talwar, work had already been taken in hand to provide new streetlights in Issa Nagri, Brown Road, Sadhu Sunder Singh Colony, Kucha Inayat and Kot Alamgir, which was expected to be completed before Divali. He assured the residents that efforts would be made to provide better civic amenities to them and to bring about improvement in the delivery of civic services.

Among those present on the occasion were Mr Rakesh Parashar, councillor, Mr Ashok Bagga, Mr Inderjit Singh Manga, Mr Jatinder Singh Gogi, Mr Inderjit Sweety, Mr Gurcharan Singh Pappu, Mr Kanwaljit Singh, Mr Tarlochan Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh, Mr Ajay Talwar, Mr Parminder Singh Kittu, Mr Paramjit Singh Pamma, Mr Rajan Tandon and Mr Pradeep Aggarwal.



Dalits, farmers stand up against state govt
Our Correspondent

Amloh, October 14
Dalits, farmers, employees, industrialists and students have stood up against the policies of the Punjab Government which would have an adverse effect on the Congress and thus the Shiromani Akali-Dal will capture all 13 seats of Parliament in the elections, said Mr. Dalip Singh Pandhi, to the mediapersons here today.

He called the drive of Capt Amarinder Singh against corruption as a mere propaganda to defame the SAD leadership whereas it was the Congress Party which had indulged in corruption. Allegations of corruption with proofs were leveled against the former Prime Minister Narsimha Rao and the present ministers in the state but the Congress government was silent about them.



Social security for elderly stressed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 14
The visiting Mayor of the London Borough of Ealing, UK, Mr Gurcharan Singh, emphasised the need for providing a comprehensive social security package to all senior citizens in India so that they could lead a comfortable life.

Interacting with the pensioners of the state and the Central Government at the Pensioners’ Bhavan in the mini secretariat here on Sunday, he said the quality of life for destitute senior citizens in the UK and those in India was in stark contrast. “Not only the pensioners and the senior citizens, but every citizen of the UK enjoyed complete social security right from the cradle to grave.

No one will be found in a state of unemployment or without a roof on one’s head. The elderly, in particular, enjoy a life of comfort with all necessities being made available to the them in old age homes,” he said.

Mr B.R. Kaushal, chairman of the Pensioners’ Information Centre (PIC) Management Committee, explained the plight of government pensioners and persistent denial of their dues by successive governments in the state and at the Centre.

Col H.S. Kahlon, vice-chairman of the PIC, extended a warm welcome to the visiting dignitary on behalf of the pensioners.



Death anniversary of Khalsa on October 19
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 14
The seventh death anniversary of the Akali leader Basant Singh Khalsa will be observed on October 19 at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Model Town Extension, from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, a son and former MLA, Dakha, informed that senior Akali leaders including Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, and leaders of other political parties will attend the shardhanjali samagam. 



In-laws booked for man’s suicide
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 14
On a statement of Mr Balwinder Kumar, a resident of Zira, the Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 306, 148 and 149 of the IPC against Ritu Bala, her mother Prem Kumari, her brother Naveen and others. The complainant stated that his brother Surinder Kumar, who was married to Ritu Bala, committed suicide due to family tension on Sunday.

Liquor seized: The Division No. 8 police has arrested Chander Pal and seized seven bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. The Model town police has arrested Kashmir Singh and seized nine bottle of country-made liquor from his possession.

Fraud case: The Focal Point police yesterday registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC and various provisions of the Copyright Act on a statement of Mr Tarsem Lal, a resident of Jalandhar, against Syam Sunder, Ajay Kumar and Sarwan Kumar. The police said the accused were arrested and duplicate CDs were seized from their possession.

Car taken away: The Model Town police has registered a case on a statement of Mr Barinder Singh, a resident of Jawaddi Kalan village, against two persons who took away his car from the village at gunpoint after shooting at his mother Harwinder Kaur and injuring her on Monday.

Assaulted: The Haibowal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 356 and 34 of the IPC on a statement of Mr Gajjan Sharma, a resident of Rishi Nagar, against Sonu and three others. The complainant alleged that the accused assaulted him on Monday. The accused also snatched Rs 3,500, a chain and a mobile phone from him.

Gambling cases: The Division No. 6 police yesterday arrested Deepak Kumar and Avtar Singh while they were gambling and seized Rs 425 along with a deck of playing cards from their possession.

Another similar case was registered at the same police station against Sarwanjit Singh and Harpreet Singh. They were arrested while gambling.

The Salem Tabri police arrested Bikram Rai, Bobby, Ranjit Singh, all residents of Partap Nagar, and Ashok Kumar, a resident of New Azad Nagar, and booked them under the Gambling Act yesterday.



Industry laments hike in nickel prices
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 14
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) has expressed its concern at the steep hike in prices of nickel, the basic raw material for electroplating units, which had created a crisis-like situation for the entire engineering industry, including the bicycle and parts manufacturers.

The CICU president, Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, and general secretary, Mr Avtar Singh, said in a statement that the prices had gone up by more than Rs 150 per kg during the past few days, thereby making a big dent in the competitiveness of finished goods in the foreign market. They called upon the Union Ministers of Finance and Commerce to initiate preemptive measures without any further delay in order to save the small and medium scale industrial units from the adverse impact of hike in the prices of raw material.

Mr Pardhan pointed out that the import of nickel from the LME was rather prohibitive because the prices were abnormally high as compared to prices in the global market. The government ought to allow duty-free import of nickel or the import duty should be minimal so that the engineering industry could remain competitive and exist in the international market.


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