L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Informer awaits reward money
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Even after three years of providing an important tipoff to the local Excise Department, an informer, who had helped the officials in detecting an evasion of excise duty to the tune of Rs 1 crore, is sore with the excise authorities as he has not been rewarded for providing the information.

The informer, who did not want to be identified, said he had risked his life by giving an information against an influential firm and the Excise Department had promised to pay Rs 25,000 as award. But even after three years of providing the information, he had been running from pillar to post to get the money.

The local Central Excise Commissionerate had taken action against the local company for evading excise duty by fraudulent means and had imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on the firm. The firm was given three months’ time to appeal against the decision.

According to the informer, the premises of the company were raided on July 11, 2000, after a secret information to the department which was recorded under a secret code. The firm was raided by a team of the department led by its Superintendent, Mr R.S. Multani, on directions of the Deputy Commissioner, Central Excise Division-I, Mr Jagir Singh.

The informer further said the officials had recently found that the company appeared to have contravened the provisions of Rules 9, 49, 52, 52A, 53, 173 F, 173G and 174 of the Central Excise Rules, 1944. The firm authorities had suppressed the facts of production of acrylic yarn, mohair yarn and acrylic waste falling under the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985, in its units and had fraudulently shown the same to have been manufactured by non-existent and fictitious units on job work basis and cleared the same without the payment of the excise duty.

The informer said the company was evading excise duty as it was used to obtaining duty-free import licences for the import of acrylic fibres from various countries, including Japan, Malaysia and other countries for the use of the fibre for processing in the spinning mills. These fibres were, then, used for hosiery goods. Interestingly, the firm was owned by the son of a retired higher official of the Excise Department.

“I know many persons who had provided information to the department and are still waiting for the award money. This is what the department does to the sources,” added the informer.

Mr H.K. Mittal, Commissioner, Excise, when contacted, said the informers were awarded only after the recovery of the evasion was made. He said in this case the orders of the recovery were done but as per the excise rules, the alleged evader was given a month’s time to go to the tribunal and appeal against the orders. “If the recovery will be ordered by the tribunal, we will definitely award the informer,” said Mr Mittal.



Monkey attacks residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
A simian has created panic in the Daulat Nagar area in Ward Number 60 of the city and has injured several persons. Residents have been sending SOS calls to the administration to catch the monkey but to no avail.

Women of the area had caught hold of the monkey yesterday and tied it with a tree. They called up the councillor concerned, the municipal corporation authorities and the police control room to take it away but nobody turned up.

The monkey freed itself and is still attacking people. Six persons have received grievous injuries. The women of the area said they were so scared of the monkey that they had stopped venturing out.

‘‘The monkey attacked a boy and bit him on the shoulder. He received 22 stitches and has been admitted to hospital,” said Mr Amar Bhakri, who has an office in Daulat Nagar.

“The women caught it and tied it with a rope. We called up the police control room and the attendant said they only caught criminals and not monkeys. Our children are scared and so are we,’’ said a woman.

Mr Kewal Krishan said he was bitten by the monkey on the hand. “The monkey attacked me and I tried to push it with my hand. It caught hold of my hand and bit me hard. I was bleeding profusely. Now I am getting treatment and taking anti-rabies injections,” he said.

Another migrant labourer was attacked on the abdomen and arm. ‘‘Without any provocation, the monkey jumps on people from behind and bites them. It does not let the children play outside. We are in trouble,” he added.



Students forced to skip classes, watch sports event
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 25
At least 5,000 students from government senior secondary schools of the city, who were busy with the revision of lessons for the December examination, were in for a shock this morning. They were told to leave classes and walk down to Guru Nanak Stadium.

This was being done under the orders of officers of the District Education Department, who wanted to fill the vacant stands of the stadium and save themselves from any embarrassment in front of the higher officials during the inauguration of the five-day 49th inter-district school athletics meet here today.

The day began as a normal working day in most government schools of the city as the students, teachers and principals were not aware of the plan. They were told today that Ms Tejinder Kaur, Principal Secretary, Education Department, would be chief guest and they wanted the students and staff to reach the venue of the state-level sports event.

Despite the fact that hundreds of students had been called from Government Multipurpose Senior Secondary School, Cinema Road, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Punjab Agricultural University, Government Senior Secondary Schools for Boys and Girls at Jawahar Nagar, and Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, the stadium, with a capacity of 20,000 seats, seemed partly filled.

The students coming out of the stadium after the event were much disappointed with the authorities. They said they were made to sit in the sun till 2:30 pm and that too without food. No refreshment was served to the students and most of them had not carried their tifins. As a result, they remained hungry the whole day.

Some senior students from Government Multipurpose School argued that they had no interest in sports. They said they were interested in cultural shows, science exhibitions and seminars, but they were never invited to the same. They said it was their privilege that some major cultural events and seminars were held at the state level in the district, but unfortunately, they were not permitted to view the same. They said that since the stadium did not look good with empty stands, they had been forced to join the gathering.

From Government Senior Secondary Schools for Girls at Jawahar Nagar, everybody barring a few students who were ill and three teachers had been called. The students said they were busy revising their science lessons when all of a sudden, their classmates and teachers were told to go to the stadium. The students said despite their ill health, they had come to the school for revision of their lessons, but it seemed that their efforts proved futile. They said that tomorrow, it was again a holiday on account of Id and on November 29, there would be no classes as their teachers would be called for the closing ceremony of the sports event.

The teachers said the department always kept their students busy with one activity or the other, leaving no time for them for studies. They said for the past 10 days, 22 girls of the school were being regularly called to rehearsals of the giddha that was to be presented today. Be it any official function, the girls had to waste time for practice and performances, they added.

At Government Senior Secondary School for Boys, Jawahar Nagar, Class XII science and commerce students were spared and others were called for the purpose. The teachers present on the school campus said they had told their principal that these students should be exempt from being taken to the stadium.



MC employees threaten stir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 25
The action committee of municipal employees has threatened to launch stir if the demands of the employees are not accepted immediately. A meeting of the joint action committee, held here today, noted with concern that the civic administration had not responded to the notice of demands and ultimatum served on it for the acceptance of the same within a fortnight.

Addressing the meeting, the speakers, including Mr Hans Raj Gagat, Mr Lovely Pal Disawar and Mr Khelar Chand Gupta, said the period of 15-day ultimatum would expire on November 27 and the action committee would meet again to take stock of the situation and finalise modalities of an agitation, if called for depending on the response of the authorities.

Among others, Mr Dina Nath Sidhu, Mr Balwant Rai Mattu, Lala Jiwan Kumar, Veer Neta Ji, Mr Surinder Bali, Mr Pritam Kumar, Mr Harwinder Singh Naamdhari, Mr Gian Chand Sharma, Mr Balbir Singh Threeke, Mr Chander Shekhar Sahota, Mr Mange Ram, Mr Sunder Lal Mehta, Mr Tarsem Moong, Mr Jaggu Ram, Mr Ghansham Sharma, Mr Baldev Raj Bhumbak, Mr Ajit Kalyan, Mr Vicky Sahota and Mr Har Lal Chhapar attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, the following were elected office-bearers of the Municipal Workers Union, affiliated to the Punjab Nagarpalika Karamchari Sangathan, Punjab, in a meeting Chairman — Mr Madan Lal Bagga; Vice-Chairman — Mr Gajraj Prajapati; president — Mr Har Lal Chhapar; senior vice-president — Mr Ghansham Sharma; vice-presidents — Mr Krishan Lal Gautam and Mr Ram Gopal; general secretary — Mr Ram Jatan Pal; joint secretaries — Mr Ram Sunder, Mr Rajinder Kumar, Mr Jwala Prasad and Mr Ram Narayan; cashier — Mr Bhagirath Paliwal; office-secretary — Mr Jia Lal Gautam; press secretary — Mr Chhedi Lal Gautam; organising secretaries — Mr Murari Lal and Mr Shiv Chand; and propaganda secretaries — Mr Ram Adhar and Mr Chandrika Prasad.



The manner in which local cinema halls are being used by ‘youngsters’ for purpose other than watching the movie is appalling. There have been reports of youngsters going to the theatres and then throwing all shame to the winds by indulging in activity that is not so desirable in a public place. It is even more shameful to know that the watchmen and ticket-checkers help these couples to move to obscure corners or even the box-rooms in the cinemas to facilitate their activity. While some say that it’s time someone checked these couples, the couples on the contrary say “if someone has a problem, they can shut their eyes. No one can deny us our freedom in a free society. Besides, no one objects to such behaviour in western countries”. Any comment?

Desperate plaintiffs

The other day a court issued summons to an organisation to present some record that was required in a particular case. A peon was deputed to carry the record to the court. Soon the lawyer of the plaintiff realised that the record sought was the different from the one the peon brought. Instead of seeking the correct record, the plaintiff who was so frustrated with the delay in the progress of his case insisted before his lawyers that the peon be bound down by the court to be present during the next hearing. It was only after the Judge’s interference and persecution by other lawyers that the peon who was acting on directions from his superiors was allowed to go. Perhaps the setting up of fast track courts would help ease the frustrations of the plaintiffs leading to such incidents that are becoming common place.

Unwanted gift

An NRI on a recent visit to the city was greeted at the Ludhiana railway station with a drop of paint that was being applied on the bridge. The paint spot got noticed only when the NRI arrived at the house of his relatives. It was not so much the cost of the designer suit, but the embarrassment to the hosts that made them try every possible method to get the mark off he coat. From imported stain removers to desi tricks like use of kerosene did not loosen the mark. The only way the NRI could save the situation was by telling the hosts that the paint will always remind him of his visit, while slowly murmuring, “that cost me my $ 500 suit”.

Foundation stone politics

Foundation stones often become a bone of contention among the politicians who often try to draw some political mileage by laying a stone. These are often a source of brawl when leaders of opposite parties fight over taking the credit that they were instrumental in getting the development done. But the politicians seldom understand that they can never use foundation stone politics for garnering votes as the stones often become a source of embarrassment. The promises are very rarely kept and most of the foundation stones standing at various points in the district are a testimony to this fact.

Sukhbir Badal

A press conference by Mr Sukhbir Badal on the day of filing the challans against Badals saw many interesting things. The mediapersons who had descended on the venue an hour before the press conference were taken for a surprise when they received a call on their cell phones that the junior Badal was arrested on the way to Ludhiana. When they were busy talking to their sources in the Police Department, they were surprised to see Mr Badal arriving on the scene. When they asked him that they had heard some news, Sukhbir said, ‘‘I came after announcing that I was passing through Ludhiana roads and a pilot vehicle was going ahead of me.’’


Cold weather has set in and woollens are out. But the college-going girls seem to be avoiding wearing the sweaters as most of them keep looking for a sunny place to sit. They keep shrinking in the cold but will try not to wear a sweater as long as it becomes unbearable. It has become a common sight in the local colleges where the girls in their small tops are seen sitting outside in the sun after bunking classes. (see pic)


A labourer, who deals in bitumen, runs an office on Dugri road. A board outside his office, which has his name scribbled in English reads, ‘‘Pardeep Kumar Luckwala’’. It becomes very difficult for an onlooker to understand how can a man sell luck. It’s only after inquiries that one gets to know that he sells bitumen and not luck.


The cancellation of Combined Admission Test (CAT) for Indian Institutes of Management due to leaking of papers came as a surprise for the students appearing for the test. After the news was broken to them on their examination venues, most of them were feeling sad but at the same time they were seen calling their friends over the mobile phones to know whether they had a copy of the leaked paper or not.

Traffic police’s pain is MC’s gain

Every other day Congress leaders and the local Municipal Corporation authorities harp on the huge savings done in the execution of the development work in the city whereas the general feeling among the public is that the MC work is visible in newspaper reports only. The recent claims of consolidation of financial position of the MC is also being pooh-poohed on the grounds that each penny will be saved if the MC does not spend anything in maintaining the city. The claims also fall flat on the ground as the MC has not replaced the broken traffic icons, which were essential in regulating traffic. The non-execution of this work for the last two years by the MC has forced the city traffic police to spend from its own pocket to install the icons at some places. If the MC continues in this way it will be the richest one indeed in the city as no work means no expenditure.

Cricket crazy

Cricket craze is visible in the city once again. Not a single inch of land is vacant on weekends and Sundays or even in the evenings daily where people, both youngsters and elders, are not seen indulging in the game. The best scenes are witnessed on Sundays at the large grounds in Industrial Area, Dugri and even at the Government College for Boys. More than five teams play on one ground only. The players make such a crowd that one wonders how do they remember the ball they have to run after. A single spot can be fine leg for one time but point for the other. The youngsters are, however, so expert that they seldom collide with each other. Their expertise can be compared to the bi-cycle and motor cycle riders in the narrow and crowded Chaura Bazaar.

One-man show

Some people develop much more enthusiasm after they retire. This they probably do as they do not want to turn lethargic and try to remain active at all times. One such retired employee of the Northern Railways is actively working for three associations that he has formed after his superannuation. The man is a member of the Retired Railways Officers’ Association and Government Pensioners’ Association. Owing to his concern for environmental issues, he has also formed an association for environmental welfare and is working as its president. Since he has news pertaining to one of the three associations now and then, he is a common visitor to all newspaper offices.


Written inside an ahata, “Politics discuss karan wale nu te ulti karan wale nu panjah rupye zurmana kita javega.”



Face-to-face with British Columbia’s MLA
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, November 25
“I really enjoy politics and it also gives me a chance to serve people of my constituency ,” said Ms Patti Sahota, an MLA for last two years of British Columbia. She was in the city to attend a function.

Talking exclusively to Ludhiana Tribune, she said that she had arrived in India some days ago with the Prime Minister of British Columbia, Mr Gorden Campbell. They had come to see if they could start some courses mutually beneficial to both the countries and also to improve business relations.

She said that out of 77 MLAs in British Columbia, 7 MLAs are from South Asia. She says,” some courses and degrees should be devised so that South Indian youth that immigrate to Canada do not have to study again and take Canadian degrees’. Ms Patti said that already a nursing course is being taught at Guru Nanak Mission College , Dahahan, Banga in affiliation with University of British Columbia. Nurses are in great shortage world over. The nurses trained in this college are straightway absorbed in Canadian hospitals.. Every one contesting the elections declares their assets and if found misleading the government, immediately the election is revoked.”

Ms Patti said that she was born in Jagpalpore, near Phagwara, and had her schooling from Ramgarhia School, Phagwara. They immigrated to Canada in 1979. After her graduation in politics, she realised that she had great love for politics. She says: “There is a lot of transparency in the elections of MLA.The candidate has to file papers in Conflict Commission, an independent body. For canvassing in the elections, $ 50,000 are allowed. The candidates can raise funds through charity dinners or donations but the receipts have to be there and everything is above board. She belongs to BC Liberal Party.

She said that MLAs have an important role to play. All the legislation goes through Government Caccus Committee of which MLAs are the members.

Patti also occupies Chair of Multi-Culture Committee. The committee discusses the adverse issues of diversity, and anti racialism. She says probably British Columbia is the only state till date that has a fixed date for elections. The next elections are fixed for May 17, 2005. “I will surely run for elections again. Mr Ujjwal Dosanj was the premier of British Columbia as the constitution is quite liberal and sky is the limit for me too”. “I have promises to keep. I have miles to go before I sleep”, she ended, quoting Robert Frost.



Massive fall in central excise duty collections
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
There has been a massive fall in the collection of central excise duty, primarily from the hosiery, knitwear and textile sector in Ludhiana. The Chief Commissioner, Central Excise and Customs, Mr S.S. Bedi, had to visit Ludhiana and deliberate with industrialists to find out the reasons.

During the past nine months, central excise duty collections amounted to a mere Rs 45 lakh while the credit claimed by the hosiery unit holders had been a substantial Rs 16 crore. Worried over such an imbalance, Central excise officials were exploring the ways and means to bridge the gap and ensure a reasonable collection of duty.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Bedi said, although he could not reveal the exact percentage of the fall in the excise duty, it was quite substantial to cause concern. After the imposition of central excise duty on hosiery products, the hosiery industry had shut down in protest for about a month and had demanded exemption. They could manage a relief by way of getting an exemption limit of Rs 35 lakh. Most of the hosiery manufacturers seemed to have found the easy way out through this ceiling.

Mr Bedi refused to specify any particular reasons for the massive shortfall in the duty collection. Most hosiery manufacturers had been filing undervalued statements. Even the number of hosiery units registered with the Central Excise Department was far too less than the actual number.

While there were an estimated 13,000 hosiery manufacturing units in Ludhiana, only 2,500 were registered with the department. The department, on its part, has been maintaining that it had started the process of registration. Mr Bedi agreed that this was the teething period for the department and it would take some time to get streamlined.

There was a massive credit claimed by the hosiery industry against their pending stocks to the tune of Rs 16.5 crore. At the time of registration with the Central Excise Department, hosiery manufacturers were provided with the option to declare the stocks they were in possession of, on which they could be provided deemed credit. The stock declarations were accepted without any verification at that time.

According to Mr Bedi, the department felt that there might be certain hosiery manufacturers who might have made exaggerated declarations about their stocks. He pointed out, “Our purpose was not to harass anyone, but we also expected fair declarations”. Mr Bedi did not rule out using other measures to ensure a fair deal. He said, after the meeting, he hoped a proper response from industrialists, which would generate good revenue.



SAD (A) threatens stir on foundation stone issue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
The controversy over the laying of the foundation stone, announcing the inauguration of the Rs 8.5 crore sewerage project in Lohara village, continued for the second day today leaders of with the SAD (Amritsar) claiming that a compromise has been reached for the shifting of the foundation stone with the local police. However, the Congress leaders claimed that it will remain at its present position.

The SAD (Amritsar), however, has not relented in its ire against the Shimla Puri police. It has threatened to launch a massive agitation if the police authorities did not take action against the Shimla Puri SHO, Lakhvir Singh, within three days for allegedly beating its activists, including women. The police has been denying the charge.

The police registered a second FIR regarding the incident last evening. In the complaint Municipal Councillor Sunita Rani, along with Satpal Singh, Jagdish Chander and Dr Jagjit Singh have been booked for interfering in police duty and tearing the uniform of some cops. The latter three were named in the first FIR also for damaging the foundation stone.

Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, Congress MLA , who laid the foundation stone, was also agitated. He said the SAD(Amritsar) activists had resorted to unprovoked violence and attacked the cops on duty. He warned the activists against any fresh move in this regard.

He said the foundation stone would remain where it was, and the compromise, claimed by the rivals with the police had no meaning for him. He defended the Shimla Puri SHO saying he did his duty remarkably and maintained law and order despite provocation by the SAD (Amritsar) activists.

Confusion, in fact, prevailed over the actual position of the dispute as the political parties and the police made divergent views about the situation.

The SAD (Amritsar) leaders Charan Singh Lohara and Simarjit Singh Bains claimed to Ludhiana Tribune that a compromise had been reached in a meeting with the police in which it had been decided that the controversial stone would be shifted to some other location within 20 days and the two FIRs registered against its activists would be cancelled.

However, the investigating officer, DSP R. K. Bakshi has in his report indicted the activists of SAD(Amritsar) holding them responsible for the incident. Highly-placed police sources said the police or the civil administration had not received any complaint by Mr Charanjit Singh that the foundation stone was being laid on his private property. He has stated that instead the SAD (Amritsar) activists took the law in its own hand.

He has also given clean chit to the Shimla Puri police. His findings state that the SAD (Amritsar) activists had attacked the police.

Police sources said even if the alleged victim Charanjit Singh made a complaint it was for the municipal corporation to decide whether the foundation stone was laid on private or government property.

Meanwhile the police remained deployed in the village to prevent any untoward incident.



‘Chakka jam’ dampens cultural festival
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 25
“Chakka jam” call did not evoke response from the general public and it was merely a show of SAD party workers, which is an interference in the judicial process. This was stated by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Deputy Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha, while talking to media-persons after the two-day North Zone cultural festival “Xclusiv expression-2003” concluded on Monday evening. The event was organised by the Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences, Mandi Gobindgarh, in association with the district cultural society, Fatehgarh Sahib.

He said earlier challans against many SAD leaders were presented in different courts but no such call was given to party workers to reach the judicial courts complex on the day of hearing. The call has been given for his personal gains which amounts to interference in the judicial process and Mr Badal is giving it a religious colour to disturb the peace of the state, he asserted.

Mr Sadhu Singh, Dharamsot, MLA, who chaired the function, said the people in the state had expressed their mandate in the favour of anti-corruption election manifesto of the Congress and the latter was acting upon its words.

Out of 23 colleges, only eight colleges from Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana participated in the festival on Sunday due to the jam, said Dr Zora Singh chairman of Desh Bhagat of Institutes, in his welcome address. Earlier, the chief guest Mr Bir Devinder Singh flayed the “Chakka Jam” agitation due to which most of the students had missed an opportunity of participation in these Inter-State competitions. He later distributed prizes to the winners. Ms Shalini Gupta director of the institute, also spoke. Among others Mr S.K. Ahalluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Sandeep Hans, SDM, Amloh, Mr D.S. Rana, DSP, Mr Parbodh Sood Tehsildar, Dr R.C. Jain and Dr J.S. Tripathi Principal and Vice-Principal respectively of the Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic Medical College were also present.

In the two-day competitions, DAV College Yamunanagar bagged the overall trophy. Debate — DAV College Yamuna-nagar came first while Government Degree College, Jammu, came second; in poem recitation, Government Barjindra College, Faridkot was first, DAV College Jammu second; group dance, DAV Yamunanagar first, Government College Jammu, second; in solo dance, DAV Yamunanagar centre first, Government College, Jammu, second, in solo song, DAV Yamunanagar first, while Government College Jammu, came second; creative writing was Government College Jammu first, DAV Yamunanagar came second; in painting, Government College Jammu came first, DAV Yamunanagar came second; on the spot painting, Government College Jammu came first, DAV Yamunanagar stood second; in choreography DAV Yamunanagar was first while Government College Jammu, stood second and in fancy dress competition, DAV Yamunanagar stood first while Maghi College Amloh stood second.



Youth Cong reminds Badal of promise on graft
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Senior vice-president of the pradesh youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan, today criticised the Shiromani Akali Dal and its leader, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for trying to give a communal colour to the corruption charges levelled against him. He observed that Mr Badal should have full faith in the judicial system and should present his case before the court and not hold the entire state to ransom.

In a statement issued here today, Mr Dewan reminded Mr Badal that when he had taken over as the Chief Minister in 1997 he had announced a cash reward of Rs 25,000 for anyone who could help nab a non-gazetted officer and Rs 50,000 for those who could help nab a gazetted officer. Mr Dewan said the Shiromani Akali Dal and Mr Badal should also help and cooperate in establishing the truth.

The Congress leader said if Mr Badal was confident about his innocence, he should then have no fears and worries and should straightway go to the court and not resort to extra judicial pressure as was being done by way of holding demonstrations and blocking the traffic.



Badal cautioned against threatening govt officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
The Indian Ex-Services League (Punjab and Chandigarh) president, Col Channan Singh Dhillon (retd), and Col Harbant Singh Kahlon (retd), chief coordinator, Atam Raksha Sangh Punjab, have in a joint statement issued here today asked former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to refrain from threatening government officers involved in investigations of cases of corruption against him. They asked Mr Badal to follow the example of Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal (also a former Chief Minister) against whom he had himself levelled corruption charges during his term as Chief Minister.

Commenting on the recent statements of Mr Badal, both the ex-Army officers observed that the statements were clearly depicting his mental frustration on being accused for rampant corruption during his tenure as the Chief Minister. They appreciated the concerted and sincere efforts of the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to book corrupt politicians and officers after making elaborate verifications. They said from the document evidences presented by the Vigilance Bureau in the charge sheet regarding large scale corruption against Mr Badal, it was a clear eye opener to the public about the serious dimensions of corruption in politics.

Refuting the success of the ‘chakka jam’ and criticising other pressure tactics like issuing threats to the officers concerned, they said the officers were just performing their official duty assigned to them by the government.



30 SAD men booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Close on the heels of the registration of cases against five Akali leaders by the Ludhiana police for disrupting traffic on Sunday’s “chakka jam’’ agitation of the SAD, the Jagraon police today booked 30 leaders and activists of the party, besides 100-150 unknown workers for blocking traffic near Chowki Mann on the Ludhiana-Jagraon road the same day.



Shiv Sainiks burn effigy of terrorism
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 25
Shiv Sena activists held a demonstration at Clock Tower Chowk here today against the ethnic violence in Assam and later burnt an effigy of terrorism. The demonstrators were led by Mr Om Parkash Saini, president, Kamgar Sena, and Mr Krishan Lal Sharma, vice-president of the party.

They said indiscriminate killing of Biharis in Assam by Ulfa radicals was aimed at creating divisions in the name of caste, creed, religion and region and disintegrating the country.

Similar attacks against migrants by Ulfa albeit at a smaller scale, had been taking place in the state at earlier occasions too and the “inaction” on the parts of the government, had emboldened anti-national forces to launch a massive offensive.

The Shiv Sena leaders urged the President of India to intervene and dismiss the Assam Government before handing over the state to the Army for the restoration of law and order.



Training dogs for obedience
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, November 25
Never did Shiv Kaushal imagine that his love for dogs will get him fame and his name would enter the Limca Book of Records for best dog trainer. His name was entered in the Limca Book in 2000, after being adjudged best dog trainer at six dog shows in a row within two years. Mr Kaushal was in the city with his well-trained dogs to participate in a dog show organised by North Star Kennel Club here yesterday.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune he said, “I love dogs passionately and took to their training in 1981. Initially, I trained my dog Fally under the tutelage of Mr Tara Singh Chauhan, in charge, dog squad, Ferozepore. My quest for more detailed ways of training took me to Delhi and thence to Australia. Now based in Chandigarh, I train dogs primarily for obedience.

He says, “Dogs are very affectionate and if trained with love, they give absolute obedience. I teach a dog for half an hour on alternate days for a period of six months for total obedience to their master. For advance courses like sniffing a contraband, explosives, of course training becomes intensive and stretches for a longer period.

The Great Dane is a tough specie to train, but once trained, they are simply matchless. These days dogs have become necessary for protection and hence a number of persons are getting their dogs trained to identify burglars and warn the family members.”

He said even dogs have to be treated psychologically. The underlying principal of teaching was ‘give and take back’. The more love you give, you get back with an added measure. We have to build the character of a dog through training. It is not easy but rewarding. In any training, ‘reward and punishment’ is the underlying ‘key’.”

He has participated in the International Obedience Competition, Chennai, Federation of Cynologique International (FCI), an international body, Asian Kennel Union and Kennel Club of India. His dogs have won prizes in all these shows for absolute obedience. He is confident that his dogs will win the Obedience Competition to be organised by Bharath Kennel Club on December 21 in Delhi.

Mr Kaushal said, “the need is to train dogs for industrial protection. Giving an example, he said suppose a factory or industry was located in 20 acres. The area would need at least 20 security guards for protection. But only four well-trained dogs with their handlers are enough to give foolproof protection.”



Animal hospital inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
The animal and bird hospital of the local chapter of the People for Animals (PFA) was inaugurated at Khwajeke village, near here. Local residents donated generously for the cause of animals. Ms Geeta, an animal lover, presented her gold ornament to the PFA on the inauguration of the hospital. Mr Ashok Sital, his son Ajay Sital and Mr Aridaman Jain dedicated two sheds for cows in the memory of their ancestors.

Ms Anupma Jain, vice-president of the PFA, dedicated a shed in memory of her parents-in-law. Many persons came forward to provide food and medicines.

Earlier Lala Lajpat Rai, MP inaugurated the emergency ward of the hospital. Mr Rai donated Rs 5 lakh from his funds. He assured all possible help to the hospital in future also.

Prof Rajinder Bhandari, Mr Girdhari Lal, sarpanch of Meharban village, Dr A.P.S. Gogia, Ajay Jain , Surinder Jain, M. R. Singal , Dr Rajiv Bhandari, Vibhuti Jain, Mr Radhey Sham Gupta, Ms Bachan Devi Jain, Harnek Singh Sarpanch, Mohinder Pal Jain were present on the occasion.



Illicit liquor seized, three arrested
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 25
The police on Sunday arrested Ramesh Kumar, a migrant from UP, and seized 8 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession He was booked under the Excise Act.

The police also arrested Kassi Ram, a resident of Mohalla Deep Nagar seized 10 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession and booked him under the Excise Act.

In another incident, the police arrested Maninder Singh, of New Janta Nagar, and seized 12 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession and registered a case against him.

Meanwhile, Lakhvir Singh, alias Lakha of Jodhan on the area of Sarabha was arrested for being in possession of 49 kg of poppy husk. A case has been registered.



Beopar mandal opposes move to impose VAT
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 25
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal has cautioned the members of trade and industry against attempts by the government to impose VAT. Mr Amrit Lal Jain and other functionaries of the mandal said in a joint statement here today that the trading community ought to rise against the government move unitedly and ensure that such anti-trade decisions were scrapped.

Flaying officials of the Excise and Taxation Department for their failure to provide exim forms for four days at a stretch in Jalandhar division, when a training camp on the proposed VAT system was being held, Mr Jain said during this period, trade and commerce had been disrupted and business worth crores had been affected. Apprehensions of the mandal that the department would not be able to maintain the supply of exim forms had come true and the false claims of the government had been exposed, he added.

The beopar mandal functionaries also contested the government claim of increase in revenue after introduction of exim form and asserted that the move was vindictive and discriminatory, aimed at causing harassment to traders and industrialists.

Mr Jain, while charging the government with betrayal, sounded a note of caution to the traders against preparation of the Excise and Taxation Department to impose VAT and create more problems for them. The studied silence maintained by the government in response to several memoranda submitted in this regard by the bodies of trade and industry was indicative of the government intention to go ahead with the decision, he added.

“The concept of VAT has been imported, but what the government intends to do is selective rather than give effect to the system in its entirety. The countries where VAT is effective have scrapped all other taxes like central sales tax, excise duty, octroi, purchase tax and additional sales tax, but the proposed VAT system of taxation in Punjab will be in addition to sales tax and other state and central taxes, with a total tax burden of almost 45 per cent. Such a heavy burden of taxes would prove to be ruinous for trade and industry and the entire exercise would turn out to be counter-productive”, he said.

Other signatories to the statements were Mr Piare Lal Seth, Mr Pratap Chand Bhutani, Mr Tarsem Jain, Mr Sunil Mehra, Mr Rajinder Singh Josh, Mr Santosh Gupta, Mr Dhani Ram Gupta, Mr Surinder Jain, Mr Ajit Singh, Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, Mr Kasturi Lal Mittal, Mr O.P. Gupta, Mr Nirmal Malhotra and Mr G.S. Bedi.



Industry apprehensive about import duty on steel
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
The small scale industry, which is mostly dependent on iron as its basic raw material, is apprehensive about the pressure tactics being used by big steel producers on the government to retain the 25 per cent import duty on steel. It has been learnt that the government has been thinking to bring down the duty to 10 per cent, which is being resented by the big domestic steel producers as this will effect their monopoly.

Mr P.D. Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in view of the massive hike in the prices of steel, the government had taken a decision to reduce the import duty on steel from 25 per cent to 10 per cent. He apprehended that the steel producers’ lobby had become active against the government proposal and was trying for a justification for not reducing the import duty on steel from various quarters like CRISIL and CIL.

Mr Sharma said the industry was fearing that the government might succumb to the pressure of the large producers and instead of cutting down the duty to 10 per cent, was likely to bring it down only to 20 per cent. “It will simply be an eyewash aimed at appeasing the big steel industrialists more than the small-scale industry”, he regretted.

The apex chamber president maintained that the Kelkar Committee had recommended the reduction in import duty to 20 per cent on all products in the value addition chain from sponge iron to finished steel by 2005-2006. The Kelkar Committee had further recommended that in sectors where domestic production was not enough to meet the consumption, the move towards 10 per cent import duty should be faster.

He regretted that the government was belying the expectations of the steel consuming industry, particularly the small-scale sector. He pointed out, that there was yet another anomaly and favour to steel producers that duty on cooking coal was very low — 5 per cent — to provide financial mileage to steel producers.

Mr Sharma pointed out that on the other hand, the steel-consuming industry had been crying hoarse for quite some time and urging the government in writing that it was pampering steel producers by giving them huge financial subsidy. A prominent case was the huge bailout package of Rs 7,000 crore to three private steel producers.



Reliance organises customer-service camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Reliance India Mobile, Ludhiana, organised a customer-service camp here today. Various problems of customers relating to billing, collection, handset and other customer service aspects were redressed.

A company official said separate counters were set up by various companies like LG, Samsung and Nokia to take care of the handset related problems. Twentyfive helpdesks were set up at the venue for online resolution of the customer problems.

Mr Kapil Taneja, head operations, Ludhiana region, said more than 5000 subscribers visited the camp. Lucky draws were also taken out.


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