L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Pall of gloom descends on DMC
Death of student in Manali hotel
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
A pall of gloom descended on the local Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here today after the report of the death of a student was broken to students and faculty.

Kanwaljit Kaur Natt, a 27-year-old, first-year-MBBS student of DMCH, was found dead in a hotel in Manali under mysterious circumstances yesterday morning. The victim had reportedly married Ranjit Singh, a third-year student in her college, on December 13 in a gurdwara in Manali. Both the students were NRIs. Ranjit Singh is in the custody of the Manali police along with his friend, who had accompanied the couple to the hill station.

The cause of the death has not been ascertained as yet. A police party from Ludhiana left for Manali last evening to investigate the case. Mrs Jagjit S. Ghuman, local guardian of Kanwaljit who is based in SAS Nagar, told Ludhiana Tribune over the phone that the post-mortem had not been conducted as yet. She said it would only be conducted once her parents arrived at Manali from California. Mrs Ghuman said she did not know about Kanwaljit’s marriage plans.

Kanwaljit was found lying unconscious on her hotel bed by Ranjit Singh yesterday morning. She was taken to a Manali hospital, where she was declared brought dead. The Manali police has registered a case under Section 174 of the CrPC.

Meanwhile, the faculty and students of the DMCH were tight-lipped about the incident. Most students, including her classmates refused to speak to the media. Some of her seniors said she was a very beautiful girl and they had never imagined that she would die like this.

Sources in the college management said Kanwaljit had applied for two days’ leave on December 10 and was scheduled to reach on December 12. She had informed her hostel warden before leaving. However, when she did not report back, the matter was brought to the notice of her local guardians. A missing report was also registered with the Division No. 8 police station. The sources said she was not attending classes regularly and they had even written to her local guardians regarding this. However, it had failed to evoke any response from them, they added.

Ranjit Singh was absent from the college without any prior information. Dr Daljit Singh, Principal of college, said that the faculty and students were grief-stricken at her untimely death. He said a condolence meeting was organised at the college and the classes were also suspended to mourn her death. Most of the hostellers had left for their local guardians’ houses in the city and the hostel wore a deserted look. He said he had not received any report about the cause of her death as yet. 



Widow being harassed for husband’s ‘debt’
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
After her husband’s death 35-year-old Balwinder Kaur of Salem Tabri area here is allegedly being harassed by policemen and certain persons who claim that her husband had borrowed money from them.

Balwinder, mother of two daughters, had lost her husband due to a heart attack two years ago. She had been fighting for two years for her and her daughters’ right in her-in-laws’ house. She had a sigh of relief when her in-laws finally agreed to allow her to stay with them. But she knew little that she would have to face another problem soon.

She is being frequented by some persons who claim that her husband had borrowed money from them and now she should return it. “I do not know anything about my husband’s dealings. He never told me that he had borrowed money. I have no source of income and depend on my parents and in-laws for food and education of my daughters. What disturbs me more are the visits of policemen to my house without prior information and at odd times, "she said.

“My daughters are too scared of the policemen. They ask me whether I have committed any crime. Even the neighbours have started asking me about the purpose of these visits. I have also been summoned to the police station many a time,” she added.

Despite repeated attempts, the SHO of the Salem Tabri police station was not available for comments. His cellphone was also switched off.



Huge hosiery stocks piling up at rly station
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Huge hosiery stocks are piling up at Ludhiana railway station awaiting transportation to different destinations across the country. With the winter appearing to be relative cold this year, the hosiery manufacturers are expecting a good season.

According to the Knitwear Club president, Mr Vinod Thapar, with a good season in the offing and a substantially good demand from the buyers from across the country there is a great rush for the hosiery goods to be dispatched to various destinations.

Mr Thapar maintained that this year it was almost double than what had been supplied last year. “With the result there is a great pressure on the Railways also”, he said, while adding, that the delivery of goods was getting delayed. However, he maintained that the Railways should add more wagons to the trains so that the goods do not get stranded.

The manufacturers who are upbeat over the cold season are producing huge stocks. Since most of the hosiery goods are produced in the unorganised sector, they use the Railways as the mode of transportation. The leading hosiery manufacturers, including the top brands use their own transport or the courier services.

However, for most of the manufacturers it is the railway parcel only which they use as it is relatively cheap. Moreover small manufacturers have not huge stocks to be transported. Mr Sunil Datt, of the Sunil Fabrics said that most of the small and medium manufacturers preferred the railway service. But there were some difficulties from the railways also.

He said, although the Railways authorities book goods right at the moment these reach the railway station, but they are never sure as when these would be transported to their destinations. With the result sometimes the delivery gets delayed by days and in some cases by weeks also, which is a long time.

There is another problem also. The officials of the Excise and Taxation Department also concentrate themselves at the railway station. The manufacturers and the stocks are subjected to a thorough checking by these officials, which leads to some resentment. But there is a positive point also. Once the goods get loaded on the train, they straightway reach the destination as these have not to pass the roadside barriers.

A senior official of the Railways posted here said that the Railways was trying its best to clear and transport the stocks as early as possible. “We are not interested in holding back the goods”, the official said, while adding to ask, “why should we?”. He also disclosed that the volume of goods was quite large and it did take some time for the goods to get transported.

But the manufacturers have been maintaining that there are some agents also at the railway station who help in timely transportation of the goods. These agents are believed to be helpful in resolving the “sales tax related problems” also.



MC faces a challenging task on encroachments
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 15
In the face of directions by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to clear some 9000-odd encroachments on municipal and government land within the city limits in a period of two months, the Municipal Corporation is faced with a monumental task. If the action taken so far in this direction is any indication, the implementation of the High Court order within the stipulated period, seems to be very difficult indeed, if not impossible.

As desired by the High Court, the Municipal Corporation had submitted a list of 9154 identified encroachments on civic and government land within the municipal limits on December 6. A plea was made by the Municipal Corporation that in a large number of cases, involving encroachments, the civic courts had passed interim orders and in more than 200 cases, injunction orders were issued by the courts.

The double Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice M.M. Kumar observed that the process of courts was not meant to be abused and misused by those guilty of encroaching upon the municipal or government land. They directed the Municipal Corporation to file applications, if not already done so, in all pending cases for vacation of injunction orders within 10 days.

At the same time, the High Court also issued directions to the District and Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, to ensure that all applications filed on behalf of the Municipal Corporation for vacation of interim orders were heard and decided by the courts concerned within a period of six weeks from the date of filing without fail.

Although in compliance of the directions of the High Court, the Principal Secretary, Local Government, Punjab has already written to the Municipal Corporation administration here to evolve a time-bound action plan for the clearance of encroachments, no worthwhile steps have apparently been taken in this regard.

Inquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune also led to the revelation that the list of encroachments submitted by the Municipal Corporation was, by no means, comprehensive and many a big fish were either inadvertently or deliberately ignored. If this allegation was even partly true, whether or not the Municipal Corporation is able to complete the daunting work of clearing thousands of encroachments in the city in the next one and half month, would hardly make any difference on the quality of life or traffic congestion in the mega city.



MC disclaimer on open manhole
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
The Municipal Corporation authorities today claimed that the outcry of residents of Anand Nagar locality in ward No. 3 against the civic body after a child fell into an uncovered manhole of a sewerage line on Saturday was misplaced as it was a private sewerage line laid by area residents and the MC was not responsible for its maintenance.

On the contrary, the MC made it clear that it contemplated taking legal action against the residents responsible for laying the sewerage line without prior permission and further for their failure to properly maintain the same.

The Zonal Commissioner (zone D) Mr O.A.K. Sondhi told Ludhiana Tribune that the MC officials of the O and M wing, who had visited the spot after being intimated that a child had fallen into the manhole, had found that the sewer line had been laid in the locality by the residents.

Mr Sondhi maintained that the mandatory permission for digging up the street and laying a private sewer line had not been obtained by the residents. The officials of O and M wing had been directed to conduct a detailed inquiry to identify the people behind this unlawful act so that legal action could be taken against them.



Ludhiana factor in Capt-Bhattal row
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, December 15
Ludhiana district has never lagged behind be it Freedom Struggle or Green Revolution. Even in the latest political row between the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Agriculture Minister and former Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, the city is again in the front ranks. Seven out of its eight Congress legislators have come out openly against Capt Amarinder Singh and are extending support to Ms Bhattal. There is only one Congress legislator, Surinder Dawar, who is aligning himself with the Chief Minister.

The rebels are led by Mr Harnam Das Johar, Minister for Higher Education, and include Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, Minister of State for Urban Development, and Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister of State for Printing and Stationery. The other legislators are: Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon from Samrala and Ms Harbans Kaur, wife of Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo. Ms Dullo is stated to be sitting on the fence.

During the earlier Congress regime, Mr Johar was in the Cabinet of late Beant Singh and Ms Bhattal governments. He has stood by her in the latest struggle for political survival. Mr Johar was not inducted in the Amarinder Singh Cabinet the first time and he managed to come back with pressure from the Congress high command. Mr Johar has been sore ever since his induction in the Cabinet.

Mr Johar is unhappy as CM’s favourite officer, a Commissioner of MC, Ludhiana, has not been paying heed to his orders. Mr Johar has been openly criticising the officer in the presence of the CM over the much-publicised 100 per cent provision of potable water supply to Ludhiana town. Moreover, Mr Johar is also not happy with the Mayor of the MC, who is also a nominee of the CM.

Though Mr Rakesh Pandey has been elected to the Vidhan Sabha thrice, he has only managed to get a Minister of State portfolio and that too of “unimportant” Printing and Stationery. He holds grouse for not being inducted as a Cabinet Minister. His father, Joginder Paul Pandey, was assassinated during the time of militancy in Punjab. Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon of Samrala, who was elected to the Vidhan Sabha for the third time, has also not been given a Cabinet berth by the CM.

Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi has been inducted as a Minister of State following pressure from the party’s central leadership. But he is also unhappy because of the local politics and lack of good portfolio.

Mr Tej Parkash Singh has so far remained aloof from controversies. He is not aggressive like his late father and has been forced by circumstances to join the Bhattal camp. The possibility of his emerging as the “neutral” candidate for the chief ministership is not being ruled out. He is acceptable to all legislators.

Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, who won from Dakha segment, is also a Beant Singh follower. In fact, he was Beant Singh’s PA during his tenure as President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. He was inducted by Mr Harcharan Singh Brar in the Cabinet.

The Chief Minister can have some consolation in having Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, elected Lok Sabha member from Ludhiana Parliamentary seat, by his side. Mr Galib has been a supporter of the CM since his appointment as the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.

Similarly, Mr Surinder Dawar, brought to the Congress fold by late Beant Singh, has not changed his loyalty and is siding with the CM.

Besides Mr Galib and Mr Dawar, the CM has the support of Mr K.K. Bawa, former president of the DCC (Urban), Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, former president of the DCC (Rural), and Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor of MC, Ludhiana. Mr Jagmohan Sharma, president of the DCC (Urban), is the nominee of the Pradesh Congress President, Mr H.S. Hanspal, and is being opposed by the supporters of the CM.

Ludhiana district has four Akali legislators and all of them are with the former Chief Minister and President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.



MP dares Capt to seek trust vote
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
A senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Rajya Sabha member, Lala Lajpat Rai, today ridiculed the charge of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, that the Sangh Parivar was behind the rumblings in the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) as it wanted to destabilise the duly elected Congress government in the state.

In a statement issued here today, Mr Rai maintained that the Congress should set its own house in order and not level allegations against the BJP or the Sangh Parivar. He observed that the Chief Minister should go in for an introspection.

The senior BJP leader challenged the Chief Minister to convene a session of the House and seek a vote of confidence. “If he is not prepared to convene a session of the House and seek the confidence vote, let him convene a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party and seek its (CLP’s) confidence”, Mr Rai observed.

Mr Rai claimed that the BJP was committed to democratic ways of functioning and it had never encouraged dissention in any political party and nor had it destabilised any government across the country. He said, “The Congress is meeting its own nemesis and Congressmen are feeling restless all over the country”.



Panchayats get Rs 9 lakh for development works
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 15
Mr Jagpaul Singh Khangura, a Congress leader and Mr Sony Ghalib, Youth Congress leader presented cheques worth Rs 9 lakh to various village panchayats of the Kila Raipur constituency segment.

Addressing a gathering at a public function at Maherna Kalan village. Mr Khangura said the government was committed to the development of rural areas. He alleged that the previous government had betrayed the people of Punjab by misappropriating funds meant for development. Mr Sony Ghalib, who represented his father Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP, called upon the rural youth to shun addiction and join hands to strengthen the state. Leaders presented a cheque worth Rs 1 lakh to Mr Gurmit Singh, sarpanch of the village for development.

Earlier, the leaders visited other villages of the constituency and presented Rs 3 lakh to Avtar Singh, sarpanch Barundi, Rs 2 lakh to Raj Singh Congress leader of Jand village, Rs 1 lakh each to Ranjit Singh, sarpanch Brahampur, Ms Jagdish Kaur, sarpanch Rangowal, and Boota Singh, sarpanch Akalgarh.



Fashion market for the poor
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, December 15
The bridegroom was nattily dressed in an imported suit. Nothing surprising, but this bridegroom stays in one-room accommodation. He has bought the nicely tailored suit from a flea market on the Shapur road. These flea markets are proving to be the lifeline for the economically weaker as far as clothes are concerned.

During winters the flea market along the Jagraon bridge is frequented by migrant workers and economically weaker. There are more than 100 makeshift shops selling used clothes in reasonably good condition and at amazingly cheap rates.

When asked about their source, most of them said they go on “pheris” carrying steel utensils and exchange these for clothes. They make sure that they pick up the clothes that were in good condition. After collecting these they wash, mend, iron and make them ready for sale.

Some of them buy from the whole-sale markets selling used imported clothes or export rejected on Sundays. The more enterprising go to Delhi.

Mukund, name changed, says they buy clothes by weight. It is a gamble, he adds. Some of these are in a pathetic condition and have to be discarded.

The price of a trouser starts from as low as Rs 20 and goes up to Rs 100. A fur-lined coat can be bought for Rs 150 only. Shirts are being sold in the price range of Rs 20 to Rs 60. The real good ones can be bought for Rs 80. Attractive denim shirts with fancy pockets go for Rs 90 only. The denim jeans go dirt cheap, their prices varying from Rs 30 toRs 100.

But some of them complained that they don’t seem to exist for the Municipal Corporation, which has not provided any facilities. Their children have neither access to education nor medical facilities. Moreover, those selling near the Jagraon bridge are better off than those on the opposite side of the road who have to face the vagaries of weather.



Remembering Kalpana — the legacy of Chawlas

Kalpana Chawla would be remembered as one of the seven astronauts who met with a tragic end on February 1, 2003, shortly before space shuttle Columbia’s scheduled touchdown in the USA. But very few people know that the brilliant flight engineer from Karnal did not call her father, Mr Banarsi Lal Chawla, “daddy” or “papa” but “bhaa jee”, a Punjabi word meaning brother, and how she stuck to her decision of becoming an aeronautical engineer in spite of stiff opposition from her father who wanted her to look after his tyre business.

These and many other hitherto unknown facts of Kalpana Chawla’s life have been brought out in a 64-page book in English compiled and edited by Mr Harvinder Singh Chahal, president, Chahal Welfare and Sports Club of Uchi Daud village in Ludhiana district. The book was released by Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister, recently at a function held in the village.

The book comprises five chapters, four of which explain the family history of the enterprising Chawlas, while the last one is exclusively devoted to the activities of the club since its inception in August, 2001.

From the first chapter, which has been penned by Mr Gurdeep Pandher after a lengthy interview with Mr Chawla, one learns about the Chawlas’ deep devotion to Sant Nikka Singh, who lived a life of a mendicant in a small hut near the sand dunes outside Uchi Daud village. The author writes that when the mendicant reached the Khel Gaon residence of Mr Chawla in South Delhi, the latter was reading verses from “Japuji Sahib”, which forms an important part of Gurbani. Mr Chawla tells the author that his daughter would always call him “bhaa ji”, imitating his younger brothers who called him so. Never did she call him “papa” or “dad”, tells Mr Chawla.

Tracing the family history, the author goes back to 1909 when Mr Labha Mall Chawla, the grandfather of Kalpana, was born in Keelley village of Sheikhupura district of undivided Punjab. He was named so because he was born to his parents after prayers extending over years. He was married to Kartar Kaur in 1931. Two years later, Mr Banarsi Lal Chawla was born. Mr Labha Mall was then blessed with two more sons — Amrik and Darshan — and a daughter, Sujata. Mr Labha Mall and his wife were regular visitors to gurdwara Sacha Sauda, which is associated with Guru Nanak Dev, 8 km from Keelley village. Mr Labha Mall would ask his eldest son to recite Gurbani, which he has been doing to this day.

A little before partition, the Chawlas moved to Choorkana Mandi, also in Sheikhupura district, for some time. And from Choorkana Mandi, the Chawlas, after surviving a number of attempts on their lives on the way, finally moved to Karnal where a deserted mosque became their first shelter in free India. For a living, Mr Banarsi Lal, who was hardly 15 at that time, took up a number of menial jobs, while his father teamed up with a relative to set up a small shop. It was at Karnal that Mr Labha Mall’s fourth son Satish was born.

Since hordes of refugees, who were pouring in every day from Pakistan, did not have canisters to store the ration being given to them in refugee camps by the government, Mr Labha Mall started making tin boxes with lids.

Mr Labha Mall fell ill in 1953 and there was little hope of his survival. But his wife was hopeful. When she heard that a saintly mendicant had arrived in Karnal from a distant place, she took her husband to him. The mendicant, Sant Nikka Singh, told Mr Labha Mall to bring “lassi” for him every day. That proved to be a turning point in Chawlas’ lives as not only did Mr Labha Mall’s health improved but it was also the beginning of a family tradition, according to which one of the family members has to live a life of a mendicant in spite of the vast riches the family enjoys at present.

The chapter goes on to describe how after many trials and tribulations, Mr Chawla finally bought a second-hand scooter. One fine day, the tyre of the old scooter burst and Mr Chawla began scouting the markets of Punjab and Delhi for a new tyre. He had to deposit the money in advance and wait for some time before he could procure a new tyre. Mr Chawla then decided to set up a tyre manufacturing unit in Karnal. His idea was scoffed at by many who told him that it was not possible to manufacture tyres with indigenously developed machinery. But he made up his mind to go ahead in spite of all odds (no bank would sanction him a loan) with the result that Super Tyres Private Limited was born in 1969 on the Delhi Road near Karnal.

Soon, the Chawlas, who were leading a life of poverty, started rolling in money. In the meantime, Mr Labha Mall Chawla started devoting most of his time to mendicant’s service. He frequently visited him in Uchi Daud village. Soon it became a pilgrimage for the family.

The author goes on to describe the relationship between the Chawlas and Pahwa family of Ludhiana as their stories of struggle and poverty ran side by side. The Pahwas had also migrated from Gujjranwala in Pakistan. Both Mr Labha Mall Chawla and Mr Ram Lubhaya Pahwa belonged to inter-related families of the yore.

Sudershana Pahwa, daughter of Mr Pahwa, wedded Mr Darshan Lal Chawla, younger brother of Mr Banarsi Lal Chawla. This relationship brought Ludhiana and Karnal closer to each other industrially also. Both Kalpana and Neeraj Pahwa were born in 1961. Both the girls grew together as classmates with common academic interests.

(To be continued)



Human Rights Day celebrated
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 15
Human Rights Day was celebrated at Malwa College, Bondli-Samrala. The main speaker at the function were Prof Jagmohan Singh, general secretary, association for Democratic Rights Punjab.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Jagmohan Singh stated that the concept human rights was not a western concept as was commonly believed. It was very much engraved in our own culture. He emphasised that to live a dignified life, the right to work and to form associations was the basic need. Prof Baldeep Singh, Dean, Students Welfare, Prof A.K. Maleri of Ludhiana and Prof Jagmohan Singh of Physics Department also spoke on the occasion.

Offg Principal Dr Parminder Singh thanked the chief guest, the drama club and the NSS unit of the college for the success of the function.



Jaycees team installed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
It has been observed that nowadays parents do not give much attention towards the moral development of their children. This is the main cause of deterioration of moral values in the society. This was stated by the president of the Ludhiana Central Jaycees at their installation ceremony held last night. Zonal president of the Indian Jaycees, Dr Vivek Mahajan, was the chief guest at the installation ceremony.

“The Jaycerrette wing of the chapter has decided to distribute shawls and sewing machines among the poor. Next year many programmes for schoolchildren will be organised to bring awareness among them. Dance, painting and declamation contests will also be held during the year in different schools,” the president, Mr Mittal said.

Outgoing president Rajeev Choudhary thanked the members of the chapter for the cooperation extended to him in his tenure. On the occasion a ghazal nite was also organised.

Those present at the installation ceremony were Rajiv Lochan Mahajan, Bal Mahajan, K.C. Choudhary, Krishan K. Mittal, Raman Nayyar, Upinder Bir Singh, Dinesh Kapila, Rajesh Mehra, Mahesh Arora, Dheeraj Chatley, Vanit Aggarwal, Dhiraj Ghai and many others.



Pensioners’ day tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Amloh, December 15
Pensioners and senior citizens of Fatehgarh Sahib district will celebrate pensioners’ day on December 17 at 10 a.m. at Bachat Bhavan, Fatehgarh Sahib, as stated by Mr Hakim Rai president Amloh sub-division, in a press note here today.

Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, will preside over the function. Mr Balwant Singh Sodhi and Mr Dharam Chand Verma will present a memorandum regarding the demands of pensioners.

Mr Rajinder Singh chief adviser and Mr Mohinder Singh vice-president, will speak on the day-to-day problems of the seniors. 



Capt Thind’s anniversary
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
The second death anniversary of Capt Bhag Singh Thind which falls on December 18, 2003 will be observed in Dashmesh Nagar, GT Road Jagraon.

In a press note issued jointly by Mr Tejinder Sinh Thind president, Freedom Fighters Successor Association, Punjab and Mr Parshotam Lal Khalifa president of the Capt Bhag Singh Thind Memorial Committee, informed that path of Shri Granth Sahib would be held.



Union backs farmers’ struggle

Ludhiana, December 15
Mr Hardev Singh Sandhu, state president, Kirti Kisan Union, in a press note, while supporting the struggle of farmers of Tarn Taran, demanded state government to the fulfil their demands and warned that if the demands were not met by December 17, 2003, their organisation would organise a rally at Amritsar.

The leader reminded the government of commitment during elections but blamed it for withdrawing the subsidy on power and water resulting in an increase in the cost of the production. — OC



Body found buried
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
The Sahnewal police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 201 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Swaran Singh, a resident of Paharowal village, against an unknown killer who murdered an unidentified man and buried the body in his fields. The police said today it was clueless about the crime.

Cases of fraud: The division No. 3 police yesterday registered a case under section 420 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Duni Chand Singla, a shopkeeper doing business in Karta Ram Street, against Punit Kumar Kohli, a shopkeeper of the same area. The complainant had alleged that the accused had purchased yarn worth Rs 14,37,555 from him in 1999-2000 and had given cheques. But the cheques were not honoured by the bank concerned, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

The Civil Lines police has registered a case under Sections 406, 420 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Ms Inderjit Kaur, wife of Dr Anup Singh Gill, against S.K.Sharma, Sanjay Sharma and Lakshmi Dewana, residents of Feroze Gandhi market. The complainant had alleged that she had paid Rs 22 lakh to the accused for ensuring admission of her son in MBBS course. But the accused failed to secure the promised admission and did not return the money to her. No arrest has been made.

The Haibowal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 406, 420 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr. Ashwani Gupta, against Gurdeep Singh, Anup Singh, Kishan Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Maluk Singh, all residents of Durga Puri in Haibowal. The complainant had alleged that the accused committed a fraud on him by selling a plot along with a public way to him for Rs 10 lakhs.

Rape alleged: The Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Rajinder Kaur, a resident of Aman Nagar, against Ravi Kumar, a resident of Bhaura village. The woman had alleged that the accused had raped her 16-year-old daughter in Aman nagar.

Case of arson: The police yesterday registered a case under Section 435 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Mandeep singh, a resident of Khud Mohalla, against an unknown person who set fire to his Santro car in Amar Pura mohalla on Sunday and fled away.

Liquor seized: The police arrested Mohammad Suleman, a migrant from Bihar living in Jawahar Nagar Camp, and recovered 12 bottles of country liquor from his possession and booked him under the Excise Act.

The Sarabha Nagar police has arrested Ram Singh, a resident of Passi Nagar in Phulanwal village, and recovered 10 bottles of country liquor from his possession. He has been booked under the Excise Act.



Minor sodomised, two booked
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
A minor, who lives at Sidhwanbet and works with his maternal uncle at Bhaini Aaraian, and left the house in the evening to get his hair dressed was sodomised. Two persons have been booked under Section 377/34 of IPC at PS Sidhwanbet in this connection.

According to Charan Singh, father of the victim, said Banta and one Reena son of Nadda were present at the barber's shop. They took his son to a lonely place from where Banta left but Reena committed the offence.

The Sidhwanbet police has arrested the two accused, who were today, remanded the judicial custody by the court of Mr H.S. Grewal, Judicial Magistrate, Ist Class, Jagraon.



Cop found dead

Amloh, December 15
Head Constable Tehal Singh, (39), posted at Police Line, Fatehgarh Sahib and a resident of Ramgarh village, 4 km from here, reportedly died of fits today.

On the statement of his wife Inderjit Kaur, the Amloh police has registered a case and handed over the body to his family after postmortem examination. — OC



Irate manufacturers mull settling in HP
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Piqued at the indifference of the Punjab Government, which has led to massive losses, fastener manufacturers have decided to move out to Himachal Pradesh, where the industry is getting benefits in terms of subsidy and tax relief. Fastener industry forms an important part of the economy here employing thousands of people.

According to Mr Mohinder Pal Jain, chairman of an association of fasteners, this was because of the continued apathy of the government towards the problems of the industry. He said the situation was getting from bad to worse and there seemed to be no reprieve.

He said: “Due to the anti-industry policies of the government, the small-scale industry in Punjab has suffered a great setback and the government seems to be bent upon destroying the industry in the state”. He pointed out that a number of industrial units had already shifted out to Himachal Pradesh and they were getting good results there.

Substantiating his argument, the president of the association, Mr Narinder Bhamra, said instead of providing relief to the industry, the government only started tightening its noose by imposing new taxes and introducing rules, which were deterrent to industrial growth in the state. He observed: “The dictatorial attitude of the government, which is not prepared to listen to us, has compelled entrepreneurs to set up their units in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.”

There are at least 300 members in the association, besides over 600 affiliated members. The association leaders apprehended that in case the government continued with its “hostile and apathetic” attitude towards the industry, a day will come when the entire industry will decide to move out to Himachal Pradesh.

They said a delegation of the association had visited some industrial towns of Himachal Pradesh like Baddi and surveyed the areas there. They said the members had found the situation quite conducive to the industry and the officials there had been quite cooperative and encouraging. The delegation held meetings with officials about setting up a cluster of fastener industry in the state.



Reliance subscribers face billing nightmare
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
A large number of Reliance Telecom subscribers are at their wits’ end over delayed bills and repeated reminders for payment of pending bills for their mobile phones.
Subscribers who had been using telephone services of the company for the past six to eight months said no bills had been sent to them till the end of November. It was only in the first week of December that they received their pending bills, which they were asked to pay within few days.

Interestingly, in most cases the last date for payment of all dues mentioned in the bills falls a week after their dispatch to the subscribers. Furthermore, the subscribers are being harassed by staff of the company who call them up at least twice a day reminding them of the payment and informing them of schemes or free-gift offers available with timely payment.

“I have to narrate my problem time and again to over half a dozen persons working with the company”, said Mr Harbans Singh, a subscriber working with a private firm. He said it was very difficult for him to make the payment at one go. He said the company staff themselves were at fault for delaying the process of billing and that they had no right to demand payment for over six months in a week’s time.

He further added that if the company wanted a follow-up on a case, it should do it systematically so that a subscriber was not made to repeat the same grievance to different people. If subscribers are asked for extra time to make payments, they should be allowed to do so without having to pay any fines.

Mr Sandeep Sahni, another subscriber, said it was too shocking for him to see a bill being sent almost every day. He said he had subscribed to the services of the company in June. He had been awaiting bills for the past six months. But now, he said, bills for all six months had been sent. An amount of Rs 6,000 was too big for him to pay in one month, he added.

Frustrated over the company’s style of functioning, Mr Sahni said if the company kept pestering him without giving him reasonable time to make the payment, he would have to eventually surrender the phone. While doing so, he said, he would not pay a single penny to the company for he had made a substantial payment at the time of applying for a phone connection. Despite repeated efforts, the company officials were not available for comments.



CII trade fair from Dec 18
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The northern chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will organise a trade fair in the city from December 18 to 21. Around 150 companies are expected to participate in the fair. This is fourth fair being organised by the CII here.

A CII spokesperson said the fair had been “perfectly timed” to cater to buoyant consumer sentiments in the holiday season. The fair was being organised at South City. Over one lakh visitors are expected to visit the fair, which is being organised in a sprawling space of over 10,000 sq mtr.

The “CII Ludhiana Fair-2003” will serve as an umbrella for six focussed concurrent expositions. These are “Infocom-2003”, which will be an exposition dedicated to the IT and communications; “Finmart-2003”, which will focus on banking finance and investments; “North India Auto Show 2003”, which will focus on automobiles; “Good Health-2003” for health care and fitness; “Consumer Fair-2003” featuring everything for today’s consumer; and “Decor-2003” for home and office accessories.

The salient market trend displayed in this year’s fair is the increased presence of major corporate industries with a strong focus on regional markets and a clear upward trend in the two-wheeler auto segment. The finance exposition has also received interest from sectors like banking, finance and investments.


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