L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mumbai firm comes hunting for city industrialists
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Accompanied by legal representatives of a Mumbai-based yarn company, the local police today raided a number of places in the city in search of five directors of Arihant Industries, against whom arrest warrants have been issued by a Metropolitan Magistrate of Mumbai.

The raids did not yield anything as none of the accused could be arrested.

The team had arrived here for the execution of the arrest warrants issued by the Metropolitan Magistrate, 10th Court, Andheri, Mumbai, for allegedly playing a fraud with the owners of Modern Threads (India), Mumbai, who had moved the court.

Arihant Industries, a prestigious name here, had bought yarn from the Mumbai-based traders but had allegedly not paid the amount. According to the case file, Arihant Industries owed Rs 5.79 lakh to the Mumbai traders. The accused had issued cheques to the complainants but these allegedly bounced.

The court has issued warrants of arrest for the Managing Director of the industry, Mr K.L. Jain, and four directors Mahendra Kumar, H.K. Punni, Ravi Bansal and M. Vermani.

Police parties from Sarabha Nagar, Model Town, Focal Point and Division No. 7 police station conducted the raids where the accused were expected to be found. However, none of the five could be found.

Mr Vijay R. Shinde, legal adviser of Modern Threads, who accompanied the police team, said they had moved the court under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act and the court had issued arrest warrants after the accused failed to appear before the court despite several summons.



MC drivers resume clearing garbage bins
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 5
After resorting to a chakka jam for two days, the drivers of the municipal corporation deployed on sanitation duty resumed work today after the assurance them that no innocent person would be harassed in the Vigilance probe into the diesel scam that came to light recently.

For the past few days, the Vigilance Bureau had been calling groups of MC drivers to their office in the city for interrogation to investigate into the suspected conspiracy of drivers with the accused diesel and petrol assistant (DPA), Mr Krishan Lal, who is in the police net. The drivers had gone on strike, apprehending harassment and the implication of some of them in the case. They were demanding that a senior officer of the MC should accompany them whenever they were called by the Vigilance officials.

While the sanitation work done by the safai workers in the city remained uninterrupted, the removal of garbage from various city dumps had come to a halt, with the result that garbage containers in Books Market, Field Ganj, Link Road area, Jawahar Nagar Camp and Kailash cinema were overflowing. Both commercial and residential areas were suffering.

The MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, who met the aggrieved drivers this afternoon, categorically stated that while the civic body was extending all possible assistance to the Vigilance Bureau to ensure that the guilty were punished, it would stand by its employees who were performing their duty honestly and diligently.

After meeting with the drivers of garbage disposal vehicles, Mr Sharma told Ludhiana Tribune that they had resumed work and the garbage dumps would be cleared by tomorrow.

He said the MC would take up the matter with the Vigilance to make sure that there was no harassment of innocent persons and a responsible civic officer would also be deployed to accompany the employees whenever they were called for questioning. He also remarked that the internal checking and inspection system was being strengthened to plug the loopholes in the system and to effectively curb the irregularities.



UP liquor baron favoured, allege contractors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Members of the Ludhiana Liquor Traders Association today alleged that the government was keen to hand over the entire liquor trade to Mr Ponty Chadha, a liquor baron from Uttar Pradesh.

They said the way the government hastened the auction within 15 minutes for three districts at Jalandhar yesterday, it had raised apprehension that the same may be repeated in Ludhiana as well. Ludhiana is the largest liquor trading place in the state with the maximum revenue coming from here.

Addressing a press conference here today, the president of the association, Mr Subash Beri, and other office-bearers alleged that nobody was allowed at the auction venue, adding that even the media had been kept away.

The auction of liquor shops in Ludhiana is scheduled to be held on March 8. The traders want that the auction should be held in a transparent manner and the media should be allowed at the venue. Countering the argument of the government that it was concerned only with the increase in revenue, they said they were ready to raise as much revenue as offered by anyone else.

The liquor contractors said if the government repeated the Jalandhar experiment in Ludhiana, it would have a serious repercussion for the Congress in the coming elections. They said most of them were Congress supporters and would feel let down.

They said the government would only create a monopoly at the cost of hundreds of other native contractors. While the process started last year with Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Gurdaspur entirely going to a single contractor from Uttar Pradesh, the government was all set to hand over Ludhiana and other districts to him this year, they alleged, adding that they had met everyone concerned on the issue but had got a cold response.

They said they would not allow the government to hand over the liquor trade to a single outsider on a platter. They said last year also in order to favour the said liquor baron, the government had suffered a loss of over Rs 8 crore in Jalandhar and Rs 1.8 crore in Amritsar.

Last year the auction in Ludhiana had fetched the state a revenue of Rs 225 crore, an increase of Rs 19 crore over the previous year. The contractors said if the government organised the auction in a transparent manner there could be a minimum increase of 10 per cent in the revenue.

They alleged that the government had decided to create groups of not less than Rs 15 crore each. This would give a blow to small traders who would either have to pool in their resources or get wiped out. Even if they did pool in their resources, they might not still be able to get the contracts for obvious reasons, they said.

If a monopoly was encouraged, it would lead to unemployment and eviction of thousands of locals from the trade, they said, adding that last year in Amritsar, a business family which was in the trade for over 100 years was forced to quit after the vends were allegedly arbitrarily to the UP liquor baron.



Substantial fall in steel prices, says Jaitley
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
There has been a substantial reduction in the prices of steel following the suspension of export of steel for some time by the Union Government. This was stated by a delegation of the Joint Action Committee of steel consumers that met the Union Steel and Commerce Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, in New Delhi yesterday in connection with the unprecedented hike in the prices of steel.

Mr Jaitley assured the delegation that the prices of H R coils, C R coils and C R strips would not be allowed to go beyond Rs 27,000 per metric tonne. He also said within a few days, the steel raw materials would be easily available on reduced price.

He advised the delegation that the local administration should be approached to initiate action against the business community engaged in the dumping and stocking of the steel raw materials.



Holi spirit catches on
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 5
The city is gearing up to celebrate Holi in a big way tomorrow. School examinations notwithstanding, children turned out in large numbers in the markets here today to buy the paraphernalia for Holi.

Apart from the children, migrants also seemed to be in a festive mood. The Focal Point area, which has the maximum concentration of migrants, particularly from UP and Bihar, has been witnessing pre-Holi celebrations for the past couple of days. Singing and drum sessions are being held in the evening in and around Vishwakarma Colony where the migrants dance to folk songs.

According to sources, roadside sellers of bhang products have been doing brisk business. The migrants are also collecting donations for organising “holika-dehan” and “nautankis.”

Though the locals celebrate Holi only for a day, the migrants celebrate it for a week.

Liquor shops have also replenished their stocks to meet the demand for the occasion. Meat shops are also doing good business as the prices of chicken stabilised today. The prices of mutton that had soared to Rs 140-150 per kg in the wake of the bird flu scare, came down to Rs 100 per kg.

Meanwhile, roadside langar were put up at villages around the city today to cater to pilgrims on their way to Anandpur Sahib to take part in the Hola Mohalla on Sunday.



Eight injured as van overturns
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 5
Eight persons, including two women, were injured in a road accident near Gurdwara Kalgidhar on the G.T. Road here, this evening. The injured have been admitted to the Civil Hospital.

According to information, the accident happened when a Maruti van coming from Patiala tried to overtake a bus near Gurudwara Kalgidhar. The bus driver turned the bus to save a vehicle and the van lost the control and van rammed into a railing. It then over turned, injured eight passengers.

The injured have been identified as Anil Kumar, Dev Sharn, Prem Nath, Vijay Kumar, Bachitar Kumar, and the driver of the car, Surinder Kumar. The injured women are Tara Rani and Shushil. 



Indian, Pak teams are under pressure, says Navjot
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 5
There will be pressure on both India and Pakistani teams during the upcoming cricket series as they are playing after a tone gap. This was stated by the cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, here today. Navjot was in the city to inaugurate the customer meet of the State Bank of Patiala, Ludhiana region. He is Manager, Public Relations of the bank.

The former cricketer was of the view that most of the players of the Indian team are established whereas Pakistani team is going through a rebuilding process but nevertheless they are expected to give tough time to the visitors since the hosts will have the advantage of the home crowd. When asked about whether he was satisfied with the teams selection, Navjot said given the resources, the selectors had picked up the best available cricketers in the country.

Regarding Kapil Dev’s three-day bowling assignment with the team, he replied that the former Indian all-rounder was a great player thus even his short stint with the boys would definitely help them. When his attention was drawn towards the black list issued by the International Cricket Council in which four Indian players figured, Navjot defended the players on the ground that their intentions were not bad and that was why they were allowed with minor punishments.

Navjot further said he joined the BJP only because during the tenure of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Prime Minister, the country had made tremendous progress on all fronts. He evaded the question whether he would be contesting the forthcoming elections but added that it was the pejorative of the party to take such  decisions in this regard.

Mr R.P. Tayal, Deputy General Manager, State Bank of Patiala, Jalandhar region, Mr S.K. Singla, Assistant General Manager, SBOP, Mr J. Kishore, PRO of the bank, were among those present on the occasion.



Khalsa Panchayat calls BJP, SAD anti-Sikh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
The Khalsa Panchayat has appealed to the people not to vote for the BJP or the Akalis in view of the “anti-people and anti-Sikh” policies being pursued by the two parties. The outfit also expressed its concern on the rath yatra of Mr L.K. Advani, Deputy Prime Minister, which, it said, would vitiate the political atmosphere and instill fear in the minds of the minorities.

Mr Charanjit Singh, a panch of the organisation, alleged that even though the Congress was responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent persons during the days of militancy, yet the loss was nothing as compared to the way the Akalis undermined the authority of Akal Takht and other prominent Sikh organisations and institutions.

He said the slogan about the BJP’s bond with the Sikhs was misleading as the former only looked after the interests of the Badal family. This was because the Badals helped in implementing the agenda of the BJP and its frontal outfits.

He cited the BJP forming a high-level committee to look into the arrest of the former CM. Lesser leaders jailed on the charges of corruption remained behind bars for months, he added.

The panch said the BJP had honoured on various occasions those responsible for killing Sikh youth, but the SAD did not register any protest. Not only this, the BJP had also opposed the Punjabi Suba movement and continued to do so, he added.

He asked why Badal had not taken up the case of scores of youth who are behind bars for the past 20 years while he was in power.

Mr Channi said the rath yatra of Mr Advani would not be allowed to enter Punjab and the outfit was geared for “any eventuality”. 



Safai mazdoors want minister shifted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 5
Charging the Punjab Local Bodies minister, Choudhary Jagjit Singh, with failure to safeguard the interests of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the state, the Akhil Bhartiya Safai Mazdoor Congress has asked the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to shift him to some other department and appoint somebody else in his place, preferably a person from other category.

In a statement here today, Mr Ashok Kumar Gharu, national organising secretary of the body, alleged that after a delegation of the mazdoor Congress had met the Chief Minister at Chandigarh to stress the demand for the setting up of state safai workers finance and development corporation and a state safai karamchari commission, Choudhary Jagjit Singh, who was present there, attempted to scuttle the move. The minister remarked that the government was trying to ascertain whether such a commission was set up at the national level by the Union Government.

Mr Gharu wondered that the Local Bodies Minister, who claimed himself to be the ‘messiah’ of the Dalit community, was unaware that such a commission did exist at the time of previous Congress government at the Centre as well as at present under the NDA government. He said the move by the minister was deliberate and motivated because one of the members of the National Commission for Safai Workers, Mr Ganga Ram Teja, had visited Punjab a number of times and had also met the minister.



Docs warn leaders of N-war fallout

Ludhiana, March 5
A delegation of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) met decision-makers of both India and Pakistan from February 26 to March 3 to impress upon them the health consequences of weapons of mass destruction and the necessity for their complete abolition.

The delegation included members from Malaysia, Sweden, the USA, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In Pakistan, the physicians met with Mr Mohammad Nasir Khan, Federal Minister of Health, Mr Masood Khan, spokesman the Foreign Ministry, and Maj-Gen Mohammad Aslam, Director-General, Health. In India, they met President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet, General V.P. Malik, former Army chief, and Mr Oscar Fernandes among others. Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), said here yesterday that South Asia was one of the most deprived regions of the world and yet it splurged a huge amount of resources on arms. OC


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |