L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Minor allegedly raped by two, police sceptical
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
The Jagraon police today booked three persons, including two brothers, in separate cases of rape, one of a minor girl and another of a teacher, in the town last night. The veracity of both the cases is, however, being investigated.

In the first case, the police booked two brothers for allegedly raping a minor daughter of a roadside vendor in a grocery shop owned by their father in Jagraon last night. The police, however, was not convinced with the complaint.

“We have registered a case on the basis of a complaint made by the victim’s mother. No doubt, the girl admitted in the Jagraon Civil Hospital is in pain, but the doctors have not confirmed rape,” said Sub-Inspector Satnam Singh, SHO of Jagraon City police station.

The doctors at the hospital have referred the girl to Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, for examination by a gynaecologist.

The girl, aged 9, was admitted to the hospital late last night. She was in a state of shock and was not able to tell much. Her mother alleged in the complaint that she had been raped by the two accused, aged about 20, in the shop when the victim had gone there to buy something.

The father of the accused, however, counter-alleged that the case was false and motivated. He claimed that the woman owed him Rs 2,500 since long. He had a few days ago threatened police action unless she returned the money, and now she had come up with this kind of “blackmail,” he alleged.

The victim’s father is a roadside vendor in Sidhwan Bet while her mother works as domestic help.

The girl’s family did not even have the money for her treatment. The medical expenses were being borne by their neighbours and friends.

Sources revealed that the accused had been arrested, but the police did not confirm it.

In the second case, a government school teacher complained to the police that her brother-in-law (her husband’s younger brother) had raped her when she was alone in her house. She alleged there was a power cut and the accused, who had been making advances towards her, exploited the situation.



Ban on stapling notes comes apart
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
Even as a year has passed since the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued directives to all banks, government offices and private persons to stop stapling currency notes, the practice continues.

The RBI had issued directives under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, in March last year, banning the stapling of currency wads as it was damaging the notes. The advertisements that RBI brought out at the time in a number of newspapers besides TV channels had urged upon the public not to accept stapled notes.

While many banks have stopped stapling, some branches of nationalised banks in the city continuing with the practice even after one year. Certain branches have even put up notices asking the public not to staple the notes while themselves issuing stapled wads.

With no directions regarding alternatives to stapling given by the RBI, some banks are binding the wads by gluing a transparent tape. When one tries to open the binding, the tape, which is stuck to the notes, spoils them.

As stapled notes are common in the city, banks also accept such wads. According to sources, any bank issuing such bundles can be fined up to Rs 2.5 lakh by the RBI. But the RBI has not taken very strict measures so far.

Bank managers say that they have no option but to accept and issue such notes as the RBI has failed to suggest alternatives ways of making bundles of notes. Certain managers, on the condition of anonymity, say that they have clients who withdraw or deposit lakhs of rupees every day and stapling spares them the effort of counting thousands of notes at the counter.

“We take the responsibility of a stapled wad issued. If someone reports a missing note, we don’t hesitate in compensating him. But if the notes are not stapled, anybody can pull out a bill and try and cheat us,” says one manager.



Power cuts disrupt practical exams
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 20
Erratic power supply, unavailability of raw material and failure on the part of external examiners to reach centres resulted in a chaotic start to practical examination of vocational courses at most of the schools in the city today.

While evaluation of all vocational courses is based more on practical knowledge of students in their respective trades, today’s practical examination seemed to be a mere eyewash at most of the centres here. All those practical tests that involved the use of electricity for running the equipment could not be taken today as power supply remained shut during the entire duration of the examination.

As a result, students simply wrote down answers to a few questions on their sheets, thus, completing the formality of practical examination. In the absence of an external examiner, the viva was taken by schoolteachers.

At Government Multipurpose Senior Secondary School, Cinema Road, no practical examination could be held for the students of computer technology today due to a power cut.

Nearly 20 students taking the course said for the past two years they had been doing practicals using a single computer system available to them. Yesterday when they were told that they had been given four more computers by the District Education Department, they were very happy. But even before they could assemble these for use this morning, the power cut had been imposed by the electricity board. The students said they were told to take today’s practical test on Monday.

The students of knitting technology in the same school, however, were quite fortunate today as they had conventional, hand driven machinery for making socks. Their only problem was that they were made to wait for almost one and a half hour as no external examiner came to conduct the examination. The school authorities had to inform about the same to the District Education Department so that it could arrange for another examiner.

The students of auto engineering in the same school had a bad time as they could not operate any electric machinery for their practical examination. Till noon, they simply wrote answers to written questions and appeared for viva.

Similarly, only a few students of auto engineering course in Government Senior Secondary School, Jawahar Nagar, could perform their practical examination as power supply remained disrupted in the area during the second half of the practical test. No external examiner came and a schoolteacher himself conducted the viva of the students.

Due to lack of funds to buy raw materials, the students of garment technology at Government Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, took practical examination using brown paper covers. 



Badal seeks votes for Sharanjit
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 20
In the wake of the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President , SAD recounted the achievement of his party, addressing a rally at the grain market, Payal, near here today.

Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, the party candidate from Ludhiana, Mr Manpreet Badal, MLA, Gidarwaha, Mr Amrik Singh, Aliwal, former members Parliament, Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, an Akali activist, Mr Inder Iqkbal Singh Atwal, MLA Koomkalan, Mr Bharpoor Singh Rauni, Mr Hardev Singh Matharoo were among those present at the rally.

Mr Badal appealed for support to the party candidate, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon. He was “an educated, young, energetic person” Mr Badal added.



Govt failed to fulfil promises, say pensioners
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 20
The Government Pensioners’ Association has alleged that the Amarinder government, during its 25-month rule, has failed to fulfil even a single promise made by the Congress in its manifesto on the eve of Punjab Assembly poll in February, 2002. The promises included a raise in medical allowance and grant of house rent allowance to pensioners. Strangely, the government has money for ministers, MLAs and former MLAs but its coffers are empty for the pensioners, the pensioners alleged.

Mr Yash Paul Ghai, additional general secretary of the association, in a press note here today said despite financial crunch confronting the state, Punjab MLAs were again given a significant but indirect hike in their salaries. It was on March 16 when the Punjab Vidhan Sabha passed the Punjab Legislative Assembly (Salaries and Allowances of members) Amendment Bill-2004 making it the responsibility of the state government to pay income tax on the salaries of the MLAs. Mr Ghai said the ministers, parliamentary secretaries, Speaker and Deputy Speaker, besides the Leader of the Opposition, already enjoyed this perk. On the contrary, pensioners had been denied this benefit despite the Fourth Punjab Pay Commissioners’ recommendation to refund the income tax paid by Punjab Government pensioners.



Mohan Singh Dao gets children’s literature award
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 20
The Mata Jaswant Kaur Award for original writing of children’s literature was conferred upon Mohan Singh Dao for his book “Kirli ta Titli” at a function organised by the Punjabi Sahit Akademi at Punjabi Bhavan here today. He was presented a cheque for Rs10,000, a shawl and a citation. Presenting the award, Mr Amrik Singh Pooni, chief guest, said it was sad that very few books are being written for children. As a result, there was not much good literature available for children. Whatever little had been written, was not relevant. No wonder, children were moving away from reading books. He appealed to all writers to start a wave of writing for children. He said Professors Pritam Singh and Kulwant Singh had done a good job by setting up this award to encourage literature for children.

Prof Jasvir Bhullar from Chandigarh said Mohan Singh’s writing demonstrated his wonderful understanding of the interests of children. Prof Kulwant Singh, complimenting Mohan Singh Dao, said he had the capacity to put himself on the same mental plane as children and that is what made children like his books.

Mr Surjit Patar, president of the Punjab Sahit Akademi, said Mohan Singh’s wonderful creativity made him stand apart.

Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill, senior vice-president of the akademi, said this award had been instituted to inspire writers to write original children’s books. Prof Ravinder Bhattal, secretary of the akademi, said the award was constituted three years ago and its earlier winners were Hardev Chandan, Col Jasbir Bhullar (retd) and Dr Darshan Singh. Mohan Singh Dao said the award had put on him the responsibility of producing even better literature.



Rally against globalisation held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 20
On a call given by the Central Committee of Bharti Communist Party (M.L), New Democracy and Samraji Vishvikaran Virodhi Forum hundreds of their members hold a rally in the Jagraon bazar. Mr Avtar Singh Rasulpur slammed the USA for acting like the police and committing atrocities on the weaker countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr Hardev Singh, flayed the role of World Trade Organisation and gave a call for the District-level rally on March 30.



NSUI rath reaches city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 20
The National Student Union of India organised a Yuva Chetna Rath Yatra in the city today. The Congress president Ms Sonia Gandhi, had handed a torch to Mr Randeep Singh Surejewala Chairman, All-India Youth Congress and Ashok Tawar national president, NSUI, in February. The torch was brought here today. It was received by Jaspreet Singh, president, NSUI, Punjab.



Author booked for making derogatory remarks
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 20
A case has been registered against A.P.Darshi, author of “Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderawala” and resident of the local Gurdev Nagar, following an inquiry conducted by the SP City-II.

The inquiry was conducted on a complaint lodged by Mr Sudesh Gaurav Parshan. He had alleged that the accused had made derogatory remarks in his book against the Valmiki community.

Minor kidnapped: The Jodhewal police has registered a case under Section 364 of the IPC on a complaint lodged by Kamaljit Kaur of Janta Colony mohalla. She had alleged that her 11-year-old son, Maninderjit, was kidnapped from outside her house on Thursday. The kidnapper, later, threatened her husband on his mobile phone. The woman has given the mobile phone number of the kidnapper to the police.

Cases registered: The Haibowal police has registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC on a complaint of Mr Himmat Singh, a resident of Rafin village under Raikot tehsil in Ludhiana district, against Davinder Singh Gill, a resident of Haibowal Kalan. The complainant alleged that he had paid Rs 1.34 lakh to the accused as the latter had assured him that he would send him abroad. But the accused neither sent him abroad nor returned his money.

Cheque bounce: The Model Town police has registered a case against Harish Kumar, a resident of Shiv Puri, and Paras Ram on the complaint of Mr Randhir Singh, owner of an iron and steel near the Dhuri railway crossing.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had given him a cheque for Rs 10,000 which was not honoured by the bank. No arrest has been made.

Cash stolen: A case was registered on a complaint lodged by Mr Gurcharan Dass, a resident of the local Harcharan Nagar. The complainant alleged that some persons broke open the glove compartment of his scooter which was parked in front of a timber store on the Shingar cinema road on Friday and stole Rs 1,84,700 kept therein.

Car stolen: The Kotwali police yesterday registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on a complaint lodged by Mr Surinder Kaul, a resident of the Sanjay Kalyan society in Vikas Puri at New Delhi. He had alleged that his Santro car was stolen from the corporation parking on Wednesday or Thursday. No arrest has been made.

Assaulted: On a complaint lodged by Mr Mandeep Singh, a resident of Sarabha Nagar here, a case was registered under Sections 342, 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC against Narinder Pal Singh, Deepak Kumar, Sanjiv Kumar and Kavarjit Singh.

The complainant had stated that he had rented out a section of Hindustan Casting Factory, owned by him, to the accused.

He alleged that the accused sent two persons to the factory on the pretext of reading the electricity meter who indulged in beating up some factory workers. The accused also confined a worker in a room of the factory before running away, added the complainant.

Workers held: The Focal Point police has registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC against Chandeshwar Parshad, Ram Singh and Gurpal Singh, workers in Hero Cycle factory. On a tip-off that the accused were preventing some workers from working in the factory and resorting to beating up and threatening the workers, the police arrested the accused.

Canteen ransacked: Sudesh Kumar, Shri Parkash, Sadha Singh, Subhash Chander, Om Parkash, all working in the Rockman factory in the Focal Point area, have been booked under Sections 452, 323, 427, 148 and 149 of the IPC on a complaint lodged by Mr Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Dugri village and running a canteen in the factory.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had beaten him up and ransacked the canteen on Thursday.

Two arrested: Sunil Kumar, alias Monu, a resident of Sant Pura mohalla, and Gurwinder Singh, a resident of the local Guru Gobind Singh Nagar, have been arrested for being in possession of kamanidar knives. The two have been booked under the Arms Act.

Illicit liquor seized: Arjan Singh, a resident of the New Rajja Pur village, has been arrested for being in possession of 22 bottles of illicit liquor. In another case, Dalip Singh, a resident of Majara Khurd village, was arrested with 24 bottles of illicit liquor. The Koom Kalan police arrested Kishan Lal, a resident of Chaunta village, for being in possession of six bottles of illicit liquor. 



Man injured

Ludhiana, March 20
Manohar Lal, a resident of New Vishnu Puri, was injured when a truck hit the auto-rickshaw in which he was travelling with his family near Qadian village on Thursday. A case has been registered at the Salem Tabri police station against the driver of the truck(HR-29-1118). The truck driver allegedly sped away from the scene. OC



Small units for softer bank attitude
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
The tiny and small scale industries are resenting the enforcement of Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets, Enforcement of Security Interest Act by banks.

At a press conference held here today, Mr Joginder Kumar, president, Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India, said that the intention of the government was to cover units whose NPA amount was Rs 5 crore and above. But the commercial banks had started enforcing the Act on the units, whose working capital limit was Rs 4,5000.

“It has been brought to our notice that the commercial banks have initiated punitive action under Section 13(2) of the said Act by serving 60 days notice and further publishing auction notice and taking possession of the property.” stated Mr Joginder Kumar.

The RBI had announced a one-time settlement scheme covering NPA’s up to March 31, 1997, which was again reviewed up to March 31, 2000. He said that the one-time settlement scheme had proved beneficial to the banks as well as SSI units. The NPA amount to the tune of Rs 13000 crore was due with the SSIs. However, substantial amount had been recovered, he added.

“We urge upon Governor, Reserve Bank of India, to relax the rules and allow the one time settlement scheme to continue up to March 31, 2004. Instead of adopting coercive methods and the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets Enforcement Act may be kept in abeyance or made applicable to units with NPA over Rs 10 crore”.

The federation president said that the government had announced the reduction of Central Excise Duty from 16% to 8%, custom duty on prime steel from 20% to 15%, yet, it was an eyewash.

The government had not reduced customs duty on secondary/defective material. Customs duty on prime steel had been brought down to 15% from 40%. Thereby the government had helped the five major producers of HR Coils. World over customs duty on secondary / defective material is lower than prime steel.


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