Friday, October 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


‘Abducted’ girl recovered
Girl not willing to return to her parents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Mystery shrouds the case of a minor girl, a resident of Shimla, who was found residing with a local family in Dugri here today by a team of the Himachal Pradesh Police. The police has arrested a local woman and her daughter on the charges of kidnapping the girl and keeping her in illegal confinement for about three months.

While the Himachal Police has charged the local family, consisting of a woman, Veena, her daughter and a son, of kidnapping the minor girl from Chandigarh three months ago with the motive of selling her off to a Mumbai-based flesh-trade gang, local police sources revealed that the girl was in love with woman’s son.

Both had got married without the consent of the members of girl’s family, who got a case of kidnapping registered.

The girl belongs to Shimla. According to Mr Bhupinder Pal, a Sub-Inspector with the Shimla police, who headed the team, the girl had gone to Bahilana village, near Chandigarh, to attend a marriage and had come in contact with the accused boy, Raju, and his mother, Veena.

The family allegedly lured the girl and they all disappeared from the function.

The girl’s father Rakesh and mother, Pushpa, lodged an FIR with the police. The Himachal police had raided some places in Ludhiana to arrest the accused earlier also, but in vain. During one such raid, the girl broke her legs when she jumped from a roof to escape the police. Even the accused woman’s daughter fractured her legs in the same accident.

The Himachal Police has alleged that Veena and her family had struck a deal with a gang of flesh traders in Mumbai. The FIR alleges that the girl was to be sold at a price of Rs 2.5 lakh.

Today afternoon, the HP Police team succeeded in trapping the girl and the accused family. Veena and her daughter have been arrested and taken to Shimla. Raju, however, managed to escape.

Sources in the local police said the girl was not willing to return to her parents and was shouting that she was not kidnapped and was in love with the boy.


Nigerian minister visits PAU
Our Correspondent

Highlighting the role of farm machinery in Punjab, Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said with merely 1.5 per cent geographical area of the country, the state had 25 per cent of tractors of India. He welcomed the proposal of the minister regarding exchange of students and scientists.

Ludhiana, October 16
To understand the technical know-how about rice production and role of mechanisation in agricultural development, a seven-member delegation from the Republic of Nigeria visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today.

The delegation was led by Mr Mallam Adamu Bello, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Republic of Nigeria, who said currently the rice production in the country was too low as it was importing nearly 0.2 million tonnes of rice every year. He said he wanted his country to cut down the import of grains and gain self-sufficiency over a period of few years. He said this was possible only through mutual exchange of students, scientists and scientific know-how.

Highlighting the role of farm machinery in Punjab, Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said with merely 1.5 per cent geographical area of the country, the state had 25 per cent of tractors of India. He welcomed the proposal of the minister regarding exchange of students and scientists.

In the morning, the minister visited the Department of Farm Power and Machinery, College of Agricultural Engineering and took a round of the exhibition of rice transplanters, puddlers and other mechanical equipment. Later, he went to the Plant Breeding Museum in the College of Agriculture. There he learnt about the various rice, wheat, cotton, maize and lentil varieties developed by the university. He showed keen interest in Basmati production but was told not to opt for it due to climatic conditions there.

Mr Bello held talks with Dr G.S. Nanda, Director of Research, Dr H.S. Sekhon, Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering, Dr S.R. Verma, former Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and former farm machinery expert in Nigeria, Dr I.K. Garg, head of the Department of Farm, Power and Machinery, and a selected group of senior faculty members. Dr S.S. Gill, Additional Director, Extension Education, presented a set of PAU publications consisting of a copy of special paddy issue of monthly magazine ‘Progressive farming’ and books on ‘Package of recommendations for kharif and rabi crops’. He told the visitors that the farmers of Punjab purchased PAU farm literature worth Rs 50 lakh every year.

While Mr Bello was to visit the Departments of Soils and Agronomy, he could not make it because he was late as per schedule and wanted to cut short his visit. Yesterday, the minister had gone to the grain market of Khanna and was highly impressed by the paddy production in the state.


IT raids on export house continue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Income Tax raids on a local export-cum-roadline unit, that started yesterday evening, continued for the second day today. The officials of the department have carefully scrutinised records across various banks in the city, recovering incriminating documents that allegedly linked the unit with hawala trade.

Officials confirmed that the raids on the premises of some relatives of Mr Jagdish Tangri, running a money exchange business, were also related to the same case.

It is also learnt that the company that was involved in export business was receiving money from countries other than to which the goods were dispatched. This officials linked transactions with hawala operations in western countries.

Fourteen banks were checked today for benami foreign transitions. The raiding parties have come to Ludhiana from Chandigarh and Jalandhar. These officials are learnt to have recovered Rs 50 lakh from a car on Friday, from near Bharat Nagar Chowk. The car (PB 10 AN 0499) is said to be belonged to the owners of this export house and roadliner.


Badal disrupting VB inquiry, says Goyal
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 16
The Congress government had promised to the electorate in its manifesto to provide the people a clean and corruption-free government in the state. Now when the SAD chief and his associates have been caught by the Vigilance Bureau for allegedly amassing wealth, disproportionate to their known sources of income, they have the government of political vendetta, said Mr Brij Lal Goyal, vice-president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, to the mediapersons after a meeting of the party workers here today.

The vigilance sleuths have accorded due respect to former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and did not call him at the police station but the officers went to his residence to seek information about the assets of the family. Instead of providing cooperation to the inquiry officers, he called the party workers across the state at his residence to build pressure against the inquiry officers and thus created hurdles for the smooth conduct of inquiry.

Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, MLA, Mr Joginder Singh Maini general secretary, PPCC, district Congress chief Vaid Hari Krishan and Mr Jagmeet Singh Bawa, vice-president, Municipal Council Mandi Gobindgarh, were also present. Mr Goyal handed over appointment letters to Mr Manoj Garg and Mr Narinder Singh Sekhon as presidents of urban and rural units of the Block Congress Committee respectively.


Badal, Tohra befooling masses: Joshi
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
“Unity forged between Akali Dal factions led by former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra is not Panthic unity but it is based on opportunism and selfish motives of the two leaders.” These observations were made by Mr Ramesh Joshi, secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) while addressing a meeting of party workers here last evening.

Mocking SGPC president Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra for kneeling down before Mr Badal for his political survival, Mr Joshi remarked that ever since the two Akali leaders parted ways, the former had been insisting on reinstatement of Bhai Ranjit Singh as head priest of Akal Takht and Mr Badal appearing before Akal Takht to seek forgiveness for his flouting the authority of the highest seat of the Sikhs as pre-conditions for ‘Panthic unity’. None of these conditions were accepted but the two leaders had once again joined hands to befool the masses.

He said the people in Punjab had rejected all Akali factions for their communal and parochial approach. “After licking dust in Assembly elections in the state, Badal group had to face a humiliating defeat in the Delhi Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee polls. He claimed that the Congress was all set to give the Akalis a run for their money in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Maintaining that the anti-corruption drive launched by the Congress government was aimed at cleansing the system, the PPCC secretary remarked that the hue and cry being raised by erstwhile SAD ministers and Mr Badal was out of frustration and the fear of being exposed.

Meanwhile, Youth Congress activists have decided to plant 20,000 saplings in different city localities to perpetuate the memory of slain chief minister Beant Singh. The drive would be launched on October 19 with plantation in Chhawni Mohalla here.

A former vice-president of district Youth Congress, Mr Sarbjit Singh Bunty, while addressing party workers here asked the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, to name the elevated road, under construction in the city from Jagraon Bridge to Chand Cinema, after the name of Beant Singh.


Brothers get life term for murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr S.M.S. Mahal, has sentenced Chander Bhan and Suraj Bhan, both hailing from Uttar Pradesh, to rigorous life imprisonment in a murder case. They were facing the charge of murdering Amar Dev at Jagraon in June, 2000. A fine of Rs 2000 each was also imposed on them.

“A valuable life had been lost at the hands of the convicts and that too only for the sake of money. They had not even spared the witnesses, who were also injured’’, remarked the judge while declining the plea of leniency raised by the accused. Third brother of the accused, Mir Chand of Gorakhpur, U.P., brother of the accused, had already been declared proclaimed offender by the court.

The accused were booked under Sections 302, 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Timal Parshad, at the Jagraon police station on June 6, 2000. The complainant had stated that he was working as a contractor for chips grinding. He was residing in a rented room in Sherpur Road area along with his brother-in-law, Amardev, and three other persons.

According to the prosecution, the complainant owed Rs 5,000 to Mir Chand, who had promised to pay the amount on June 5, 2000. However, he could not repay the amount. It infuriated Mir Chand. He, along with his brothers, Suraj Bhan and Chander Bhan, reached at the quarter of the complainant and demanded his money. When the complainant expressed his inability to repay the amount, Mir Chand started abusing him.

Meanwhile, Amar Dev reached the spot and asked the accused not to abuse the complainant. Angry accused took out a knife and stabbed Amardev in the chest. He fell down. The accused also injured some other persons and fled away from the spot.

The complainant, with the help of other persons, took Amardev to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon, where he was declared dead.

During the trial, the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed false implication.


Student leader attacked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Elections to students’ body turned violent when a student leader of Gujranwala Guru Nanak College here was allegedly be-aten up by his political rivals outside the college here today.

Twenty-year-old Navdeep, a student of Class XII, suffered multiple injuries and fractures when he was attacked by a group of about six persons with swords and rods.

When some supporters of the injured boy came to his aid, the attackers fled. They, however, left behind some of the weapons and three mobile phones. These were taken into possession by the police. The injured boy has been admitted to a city hospital. A case has been registered.


31 more dengue patients at DMCH
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
Thirty one fresh cases of dengue have been reported at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in the past 24 hours.

According to sources, the hospital authorities had to face problems while accommodating so many patients.

They had to prepare another emergency ward to look after these patients.

The doctors said the condition of these patients was stable.

With the new arrivals, total number of patients suffering from dengue has increased to 329. of which 185 have been discharged and 142 are still admitted in the hospital.

A number of patients were reported from Batala, Gurdaspur but the number of patients from Ludhiana has increased to 182. Dengue has claimed two lives so far.


Residents rue voter card bloomers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
Glaring mistakes in the voter identity cards continue to irk city residents with more and more people complaining that the cards prepared by the district administration on behalf of the Election Commission of India were erratic.

Many recipients of the voter cards had either their own name or that of the father spelled wrong, in some cases the address or the age of the holder was incorrect while some others changed the sex of the card holder from male to female and vice versa. The more unluckier ones had somebody else’s photograph on their card if all other details were correct.

For Mr Darshan Lal, a resident of Kitchlu Nagar locality, and his sons Sandesh Kumar (25) and Salesh Kumar (23), the voter cards literally proved to be a volume of mistakes and the recipients being clueless as to whom to turn towards to get the cards corrected.

Three voter cards, bearing numbers GKC1110576, GKC111164, GKC1110790, show all names of the holders wrong. While Mr Darshan Lal’s name has been spelled as Daeshan Lal the names of both his sons have been incorrectly printed as Sudesh Kumar and Salem Kumar. Further, in the card of Mr Darshan Lal, his father’s name is incomplete (Ram in place of Ram Chand) whereas in Punjabi language it is printed correctly. There is a discrepancy in the actual age of Sandesh Kumar and that shown on the card and alignment of photographs on all the three cards is incorrect.

Mr Darshan Lal was at a loss to make out as to what purpose these incorrect cards would serve as far as proving one’s identity was concerned. “The voter cards, issued by the Election Commission of India, are considered to be a valid proof of identity, at par with the ration card, driving licence and passport, for various purposes but what would be the fate of my family members and thousands like us in the city if we ever need to produce the cards for identification purposes,” he asked.

Several others, who were meted out a similar treatment by the authorities had a harrowing experience when it came to get their incorrect cards amended. Formal application submitted to the concerned authorities, followed by repeated reminders, had failed to move the authorities for issuing fresh cards with correct particulars of the holders, remarked another victim of the official apathy and indifference.


Tough visa norms for new applicants
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
The Canadian Immigration Department has relaxed point system for skilled category applicants. However, it will be tough for new applicants to qualify for immigration despite the relaxation.

This was stated by Indo-Canadian Lawyer’s Associations representative, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, who recently returned from Canada after interacting with his counterparts there on the new system.

He said under the previous Immigration Act, the visa officer was duty-bound to assess the applicant’s education and job experience and determine the category of the applicant. But according to the new Immigration and Refugee Protection (IRPA) Act, it is the duty of the applicant to clearly state the category he wants to get his application processed.

In addition to this, according to old Immigration Act, the visa officer was empowered to give marks to the applicant in English and French, but according to the IRPA, the applicant has to pass IELTS test for English language and TEF test for French to get the marks in the language ability.

While the applications of educated persons like teachers, doctors, engineers, nurses, etc will be processed faster, it will be difficult for the applicants of other categories to qualify without hiring the services of immigration lawyers, he pointed out.


Police destroys narcotics
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, October 16
Implementing an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the police has launched a special drive to clean its ‘malkhanas’ of narcotics that were piling up there. The ‘malkhanas’ are filled to the brim as the huge stock of drugs, including poppy husk and opium, have not been disposed of since the early 90s.

The police has also come forward with a special proposal for the social rehabilitation of the members of Rai Sikh community living along the Sutlej. This community is allegedly responsible for the narcotics trade in the Jagraon region.

The Jagraon police has become the first in the district to take initiative in the matter. About 110 quintal of poppy husk and 22 kg of opium was destroyed at the banks of Sutlej near Sidhwan Bet here today. The stock that had been lying in the police ‘malkhanas’ since 1985 was burnt by the police.

Addressing a press conference after destroying the stock, the DIG, Ludhiana range, Mr S.K. Chatopadhaya, and the Jagraon SSP, Mr Mukhwinder Singh, said managing the ‘malkhanas’ in the state had become a problem.

He said the police was forced to keep the stock as the cases took a long time for disposal in the courts. He said now the Punjab and Haryana High Court had given directions to the state police to destroy the stock relating to the cases that had been decided and no appeal was pending against the orders.

The state police had formed the Narcotics Disposal Committees at all police ranges. These were headed by the respective DIGs. These committees finalised the stocks to be destroyed.


Think before igniting crackers

Prevention and remedies

  • Use cold water to cool the burns. Body fluids are lost after serious burns, which often results in electrolyte imbalances. Take more mineral water, lime water and fresh fruit juice.
  • Keep all inflammable substances out of the reach of children.
  • Install smoke detector on each storey of your home.
  • The vapours or fumes of chemicals can also burn or irritate the eyes. Immediately flush the eyes with water. After flushing, cover the eyes with a clean cloth or bandage.
  • To avoid eye and stomach infection, wash your hands with soap before taking food.
  • To avoid crackers smoke, people should covered their mouth with cloth or wear mask.
  • Skin disease patients should message daily with mustard oil during Divali days.

Before celebrating Divali it is important to understand the impact of air and noise pollution on humans.

Laboratory reports reveal presence of highly toxic heavy metals like cadmium and lead in crackers. Copper found in crackers is poisonous to humans by ingestion. Inhalation of copper dust and fumes causes irritation in the respiratory tract. Absorption of excess copper results in ‘Wilson disease’, in which excess copper gets deposited in the brain, skin, liver and pancreas. Cadmium can be poisonous to human by inhalation, ingestion, interaperitonial, subcutaneous, intramuscular and intravenous routes. Its absorption can damage kidneys and case anemia. It increase blood pressure.

Sulphur dioxide in readily soluble and dissolves in the large airways of the respiratory system. At high levels of concentration, severe contraction restricts the breathing process. Nitrogen dioxide is less soluble and so it penetrates into airways.

Carbon dioxide is readily soluble and dissolves in the larger airways of the respiratory system. At high levels of concentration, severe contraction restricts the breathing process. Nitrogen dioxide is less soluble and so penetrates into airways. It destroys linings of the respiratory surface, thereby reducing the intake of oxygen.

A large number of burn cases are reported during these days. A burn can cause scarring, which may limit functioning of the burned area. Burns on the face, palms or on a joint can have serious implications. Dr Anil Dheer


Readers write
No regularisation of non-compoundable violations

The one-time settlement scheme of the government for condoning building bylaws violations giving benefits to the offenders to garner votes is highly disgusting. The root cause of this malady is the connivance between Municipal Corporation officials and the violators, who are influential persons. The real sufferers are the common man.

Simply penalising the violators, erring civic officers and others abetting the non-compoundable obstructive constructions is certainly not going to correct the architecture of the well-planned colonies. The scheme is discriminatory against the real sufferers of nearby houses, who are affected by violations.

The violations committed by the offenders and the blind eye turned by the civic body are passed on to the law-abiding residents of adjoining houses in terms of living in unhealthy and unwholesome environment.

Moreover, as per the bylaws, the authorities cannot regularise such violations. Thus, such constructions have to be demolished in order to keep up the sanctity of the building bylaws.

Dr Gurkirpal Singh

‘Photo of the year’

The photo of a ‘kundi’ connection at the Mayor’s function deserves a lot of appreciation. Kudos to the photographer for bringing this issue before the public. Personally, I consider it as the photo of the year.

Kuldip Thapar

Punish violators

The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has remained a silent spectator since all violations are done with the connivance of civic staff and action is taken only in those cases where the palms of babus are not greased.

Lately, commercial and factory structures are coming up in residential areas of New Janata Nagar and Shimla Puri. Though residents of the area have obtained a stay from the Punjab and Haryana High Court against any new commercial or industrial units coming up, the authorities seem to have turned a blind eye to these violations.

The recent order of the state government to regularise the construction without approved plan/ map by taking the compound fees is an indirect way of encouraging the violators.

Sher Singh

Unwarranted punishment

The suspension of two students of DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, by the Principal for speaking Hindi and the repressive measures that have followed has sent shock waves among the student community, their parents and people of Ludhiana.

Such an unprecedented punishment poses a number of questions in the minds of all. Under which penal code or provisions of educational calendar has the punishment been meted out? Is the punishment morally justified? Is it not a humiliating insult to our national language?

K.B.S. Sodhi

Misleading Sensex

In the wake of current Bull run in the Sensex and the exuberance shown by the Finance Minister, it is to be understood that Sensex statistics are not the sole index of a strong economy.

For the common man, growth means increased employment avenues and stability in the prices of basic necessities. Unless the middle class does not acquire increased purchasing power, the growth cannot be construed to take the economy to higher levels.

Can the spurt in Sensex check migration of labourers from villages to cities or from one poor state to other state? Hence, statistics are both misleading and mischievous.

B.B. Goyal


Surcharge waived on exempted units
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
The Excise and Taxation Department, Punjab, has waived the surcharge imposed on units enjoying exemption from sales tax. The relief has been provided with retrospective effect from December 7, 2002, through Punjab General Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Ordinance notified on August 27, 2003.

The vice-president of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Mr Ashok Juneja, said a number of writ petition were also filed in the apex court, maintaining that the levy of surcharge on exemption units was unlawful.

He further pointed out that almost without exception, all notifications issued by the department came to public notice after long delays. Even in the case of the notification on waiving surcharge on the exempted units, though signed by the Governor on August 26, had been received in the sales tax office here after one and a half months.

Mr Juneja asked the government to ensure that all notifications, concerning taxes, levies and reliefs, should be published in leading newspapers immediately after being issued so that the public might act accordingly.


Animal Rights Day observed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
The local chapter of the People for Animals (PFA) celebrated World Animal Rights Day by organising an animal welfare camp at Vishwakarma Chowk here. The camp was inaugurated by Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana.

A team of veterinary doctors, led by Dr Rajiv Bhandari, treated horses, mules and dogs at the camp. Anti-tetanus vaccines were administered to animals. Dr Sandeep Kumar Jain, president, PFA, told the gathering about animal rights and prevention of cruelty to animals.

The Mayor assured maximum help to the PFA. Mr Ashok Makkar, president, Lok Kalyan Samiti, was the guest of honour.

Members of the Synergy Club, veterinarians of the Animal Husbandry Department and members of the Karuna Club from the USPC Jain Senior Secondary School also participated in the camp.


Sarabha Ladies Club celebrates Divali
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
The Sarabha Ladies Club celebrated Divali at Friends Regency here today. The members, participants and guests were specially dressed for the occasion.

A cultural programme was presented by the club members on the occasion. They sang various hit Hindi and Punjabi numbers like Reshmi salwar kurta jali da, ‘Inhi logon ne’, ‘Choti si umar mein’ etc. The members also sasheyed down the ramp.

Dr Rajinder Kaur, a former Civil Surgeon, was the chief guest on the occasion. Divali gifts were presented to all members by the club.


Members of the Sarabha Ladies Club light lamps at a function organised as part of Divali celebrations in Ludhiana on Thursday. — Photo I.V.

Members of the Sarabha Ladies Club light lamps at a function organised as part of Divali celebrations in Ludhiana



One booked on theft charge
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
The Focal Point police yesterday registered a case under Section 380 of the IPC on a statement of Mr Manjeet Singh, a resident of Jamalpur, against Gurwinder Singh, a resident of Ahluwalia Colony. The complainant alleged that the accused had stolen his gold bracelet.

Fraud: The Shimla Puri police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 429 of the IPC on a statement of Mr Darshan Singh against Punam Devi, her husband Ram Bachan and Dinesh Kumar, all residents of Guru Nanak Nagar. The complainant stated that a cheque for Rs 75,000, which the accused had given to him in lieu of a plot, was not honoured by the bank concerned.

Liquor seized: The Sadar police has arrested Ranjit Singh, a resident of Islam Ganj, and seized nine bottles of liquor from his possession. He was booked under the Excise Act.


Hike in nickel prices flayed

Ludhiana, October 16
Mr Joginder Kumar and Mr Manmohan Singh Ubhi, both office-bearers of the Ludhiana Electroplating Association, have flayed the abnormal hike in nickel prices at London Metal Exchange from $ 8,800 to $ 11,300 per tonne, which has crippled the metal finishing industry. They pointed out that nickel was a 100 per cent imported raw material which was being used by the light-engineering industry.

The president of the association urged the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of representatives of SSI Sector (User Industry) to take stock of the situation.

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