L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Remove posters or pay fine, DC tells candidates
Sets Monday as deadline
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
The Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer, Mr Anurag Verma, has served an ultimatum on all candidates contesting the Lok Sabha poll to ensure that posters and banners defacing public property are removed by Monday. In a meeting held with party candidates here today, Mr Verma told the candidates that if the posters were not removed by the given time, a fine would be imposed for each poster and the fine amount would be added to the election expense of the candidate.

Initially, the administration had given the candidates time till tonight, but on persistent demand the time limit was extended to Monday. The Returning Officer has indicated that he proposes to impose a fine of Rs 100 per poster that remains on public walls and buildings. A final decision on the amount of the fine will be conveyed to the candidates in a meeting on Tuesday after reviewing the effort made by each party to clean up the poster mess.

While the Akali Dal and the Lok Bhalai party candidates, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, were present at the meeting in person, the Congress candidate, Mr Manish Tiwari, was represented by a close aide. All those present at the meeting assured the Returning Officer that they would strictly abide by the guidelines of the Election Commission. In the past political parties had accused the administration of showing bias towards the ruling party candidate, but the administration has made it clear that it would deal fairly.

All candidates have been told in no uncertain terms that any violation of plying more than three four-wheelers in a convoy will lead to the administration impounding the vehicles and registering of a case against the party nominee/workers. All candidates have assured the Returning Officer that they would abide by the rules.

However, this condition will not apply to party workers leaving a venue of the meeting. This will only apply to conditions where a large number of vehicles is seen moving in a convoy for show of strength or canvassing. At the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday the Returning Officer will review the situation and bring up the issue of poll code violation with the candidates. 



Even martyrs’ statues not spared
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
While workers deputed by the district administration to remove posters of Lok Sabha candidates following orders from election observers are busy with their work, supporters of various candidates are making their task difficult by pasting posters all over the city. They are not even sparing martyrs’ statues.

The administration had registered cases against violators for pasting posters on various public and government buildings and had got these removed by launching a drive. However, of late martyrs’ statues in the city have been defaced with posters of various candidates.

One statue in the city, which has had to bear the brunt of defacement during the elections, is that of martyr Kartar Singh Sarabha at Ghanta Ghar Chowk. The statue has been covered with election posters.

Although the defacement took place many days ago, no action has been taken against the violators. While numerous posters were removed in the drive by the administration, the statue of the martyr, still carries posters of advocate H.S. Narang, a candidate

The workers deputed by the district administration to remove the posters are having a difficult time. They rue that everyday numerous new posters are being pasted.

Today, posters could be seen all over the city. Some residents alleged that their recently whitewashed walls were spoiled by campaigners. They said they had to hire the services of labourers to remove the posters, but these were being put up again.

Under the provisions of the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1997, the defacement of private property invites strict punishment for violators, but disgusted with the way the legal system works, most people prefer to spend a little money to undo the defacement rather than lodge a complaint.

‘‘Nothing is going to happen if we lodge a complaint. Moreover, we will invite the ire of workers of parties,’’ says Mr Pritpal Singh, a city resident who prefers to spend a little money to get the mess cleaned up rather than confront the offenders.

According to the provisions of the law, no one can put up posters, banners, slogans, etc without the written permission of the owner of the building, whether private or public. The party, association, body, candidate, person concerned is liable to be prosecuted and proceeded against under the law and charged with causing wilful damage to the property of others.

Though there is a lot of resentment in the city over the pasting of posters by politicians and their supporters, there are not many people coming forward to take on politicians. The problem seems to be serious in the walled city as well as in the relatively posh areas.

Under the Act, the defacement of property includes interfering with the appearance or beauty, damaging, disfiguring, spoiling or injuring in any other way, whatsoever, and the property includes any land, building, hut, structure, wall, tree, fence, post, pole or any other installations. Similarly, fixing of posters on the power and telephone poles or putting up banners on poles on the roadsides is punishable under the provisions of the Act.

Violations under the said Act are punishable with imprisonment up to six months or a fine up to Rs 1,000 or both. Under provision of Section 3 of the Act, the government is competent to take such steps as may be necessary for erasing any writing, removing any defacement or any mark from any property.



Neglected residents to vote for ‘right’ candidate
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 24
Upset over utter neglect by authorities of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) and indifference of political functionaries, harassed residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (E-Block) have decided to extend their support to only that political party which commits itself to solving their problems.

At a meeting of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Residents Welfare Association residents lamented that every time during elections, candidates belonging to different political parties made false promises to seek their votes but once the elections were over, the residents had to hanker after them, while the solution to their problems remained elusive. Some others pointed out that ruling party functionaries had not only been completely apathetic to the misery of residents but had refused to recognise them, to whom they had made tall promises at the time of election.

Focussing on the plight of residents of the locality, Mr Pran Bhatia, former councillor and Chairman of the association, remarked that “jhuggi” dwellers and other unauthorised settlers, all around the colony, had made the life of the residents miserable. While the LIT administration, despite repeated representations and personal meetings, continued to be oblivious to the conditions prevailing in the colony, thefts, snatching incidents and other unlawful activities had become the order of the day.

“Stray animals and pigs, reared by ‘jhuggi’ dwellers not only cause road accidents and create unhygienic conditions but wreak havoc on parks and roads. Scavengers have literally converted all vacant spaces and parks into garbage dumps, thereby exposing the residents to grave health hazards.”

Other functionaries of the association took the LIT Chairman and other officials to task for their persistent inaction. To add insult to their injury, residents lamented, senior Congress leaders, including the LIT Chairman, had recently participated in a rally organised by “jhuggi” dwellers in which they promised not to uproot the unlawful settlers and even went on to the extent of announcing government houses for them.

According to Mr Arvind Sharma, members of the association vowed to stand unitedly against the “dirty political games” being played at the cost of residents, who were being denied their rightful access to necessary infrastructure and basic amenities. The residents, he asserted, were determined to use their right to vote as a bargaining point to seek just and permanent solution to their problems.



Bairagis pledge support to Manish Tiwari
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 24
After dithering for quite a while over the alleged raw deal given by the successive Congress governments, both at the Centre and in the states, the Bairagi Maha Mandal came out openly in support of Mr Manish Tiwari by holding a well-attended political rally at Aggarwal Palace here today. Besides Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president of the body, Punjab ministers Tej Parkash Singh, Malkiat Singh Beermi and several family members of freedom fighters and terrorist victims attended the rally.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Bawa recalled the contribution made by Dr Vishwa Nath Tiwari towards the cause of Punjab and Punjabis by laying down his life in his fight against communalism and separatism. He said the Congress leadership had done a great favour to the people of Ludhiana by nominating the late Dr Tiwari’s son as the party nominee for Ludhiana seat.

Mr Tiwari, while addressing the meeting, asserted that he would not spare any effort to mitigate the suffering of the people in the industrial capital of the state. He said he would make special efforts to bring in big industry and agro-based industry in Punjab which would provide massive employment opportunities to the Punjabi youth.

Mr Tej Parkash Singh and Mr Beermi focussed on the achievements of the Congress government in the state during the past two years as a result of which the financial situation had turned healthy and the process of development had been resumed. They claimed that the Congress alone could provide a stable and secular government in the country and charged the NDA coalition with creating a communal divide in the nation for their political motives.

Prominent among other speakers and participants were Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, Mr Rajinder Pal Singh Bairagi, secretary general of the Political Affairs Committee of the Bairagi Maha Mandal and Mr Jasbir Singh Bawa.

Mr Tiwari was presented with a turban, a robe and a sword by functionaries of the Maha Mandal and was assured of full support of the members of the Bairagi sect in the elections.



Tiwari releases manifesto 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
The Congress nominee for this parliamentary constituency, Mr Manish Tiwari, has released a six-point manifesto of issues that he will take up if elected. At a press conference held here today, Mr Tiwari said he had managed to dispel several misgiving spread against him by his rivals. The people of the constituency are fully aware about his credentials.

Expressing confidence at the response he has received from voters, he said he was highlighting the six main issues that he felt required attention. He said he would work towards compulsory education for every child under 14, who is also provided a wholesome and nutritious mid-day meal in the government and government-aided schools.

He said he would prepare a comprehensive plan to reduce air, water and soil pollution in the coming five years. To achieve this, his topmost priority would be to get the Sutluj plan implemented as early as possible to clean up the water of Buddha Nullah. With the involvement of the community, one lakh trees would be planted every year for a “cleaner and greener” Ludhiana.

For the development of trade and industry, he said he would ensure an investment of Rs 10,000 crore in his constituency over the next five years that would also promote Ludhiana as a hub of service industry on the pattern of cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore, besides ensuring the creation of five lakh jobs over the next five years. He said he would also work for the upgradation of the Ludhiana airport to international level and to upgrade the dry port with all ultra-modern facilities congenial for creation of an atmosphere for investment that will give a boost to the trade and industry.

Mr Tiwari said he would also work for the setting up of a steel regulatory authority on the lines of the Telecom Regulatory Authority to ensure that price fixation was kept out of any influence of cartelisation and ensure withdrawal of multi-level excise duty on hosiery goods. Besides, an information centre and an e-commerce centre will be established that would deal with all possible avenues in the service sector and extend guidance and counselling regarding different self-finance schemes.

Infrastructure for diversification of agriculture and to set up small and medium processing plants on the European pattern will be established in each block. Vegetables like potatoes tomatoes, chillies, carrots, capsicum, cabbage, peas, fruits and barleys will be processed. Efforts will be made to set up a full-fledged veterinary university here.

Earlier in the day, Mr Tiwari visited villages of Daad, Thkarwl, Laltokallan, Lallto Khurd, Jhadhe, Bandhardi, Hussainpur, Prmal, Parmali and Mankhura along with Mr Malkit Singh Dakha, MLA of the Mullanpur Dakha area. On the occasion the panches, sarpanches, councillors along with hundreds of men and women of the villages welcomed the leaders. 



Papers of 19 nominees accepted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer Anurag Verma today conducted the scrutiny of nomination papers filed for this parliamentary constituency. At the time of scrutiny, Mr Sunil Soni, Mr Dalip Singh and Mr P. Amba Shankar Dev, Observers, were also present. Various candidates and their representatives also attended the scrutiny process.

After the completion of the scrutiny, Mr Verma informed that in all 22 candidates had filed their papers. Since a candidate can file up to four nomination papers, so a total of 33 nomination papers were scrutinised. After the scrutiny, papers of 19 candidates were found to be in order and were accepted. Nomination papers of Ms Amrit Tiwari were rejected because she was the covering candidate of Mr Munish Tiwari, the candidate of the Congress. As per the directions of the Election Commission in case nomination papers of the main candidate of recognised political party are approved, the nomination papers of substitute candidate are to be rejected. Similarly, the nomination papers of Mrs Pawandeep Kaur and Mr Hardev Singh were rejected because they were covering candidates of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bahujan Samaj Party respectively.

Mr Verma informed that the papers of following candidates have been found to be valid: Mr Sharanjit Singh, Mr Munish Tewari, Mr Ravinder Singh, Mr Sadhon Singh, Mr Balwant Singh, Mr Manjeet Singh, Mr Ravinder Kumar, Mr Jagjit Singh, Mr Abdul Shakoor Thind, Mr Satnam Singh, Mr Karnail Singh, Mr Jasdev Singh, Dr Janardan Prasad Singh, Mr Daljinder Singh, Mr Balwant Singh, Boby, Mr Mahinder Lal, Mr Rashpal Singh Gill and Mr Varinder Kumar.

Mr Verma further informed that the last date for the withdrawal of candidature is April 26. The notice of withdrawal can be given upto 3 p.m. on April 26. 



Libra to campaign in Amloh from April 25

Mandi Gobindgarh,April 24
The campaign of the SAD candidate, Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, which started ahead of his rival Congress candidate Shamsher Singh Dullo, had received a setback due to the death of SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra. Mr Libra has been a known confidant of Gurcharan Singh Tohra. However, the son-in-law of Mr Tohra and former minister Harmail Singh Tohra has formed a campaign committee to ensure his victory.

SGPC member Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Mr Chanda Singh, former council chief, Mandi Gobindgarh, said Mr Libra will campaign in the Amloh circle from April 25.— OC



Gopal Nagar residents to boycott poll

Residents of Ward No. 10, Gopal Nagar, who have decided to boycott the parliamentary election
Residents of Ward No. 10, Gopal Nagar, who have decided to boycott the parliamentary election in Ludhiana. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, April 24
In a significant development, residents of the local Gopal Nagar have resolved to boycott the forthcoming Lok Sahba poll saying that no political party or candidate in the past has done anything to improve their lot.

The Chairman of the Gopal Nagar Welfare Society, Mr Parmod Bhanot, and President, Mr Sukhwinder Kumar, said the locality had no electricity or street light. The resident held a demonstration at the colony last evening. — TNS



Excise Dept arrests firm director for fraud
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 24
The Central Excise authorities have unearthed a case of fraudulent withdrawal of cenvat credit of Rs 73.73 lakh on the basis of fake invoices by local firm and arrested the owner after his bail application was rejected by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

According to a press note issued by the department here today, a local firm, M/s Annapurna Impex (P) Ltd., registered with the Central Excise Department for the manufacture of copper ingots and copper wire, was found to have availed of inadmissible cenvat credit on fake invoices issued by a newly set up unit, M/s ATCO Products, Sambha, Jammu. Investigations conducted by officials of the commissionerate revealed that the Jammu-based firm was not even functional during the relevant period. No goods were actually received by the local firm against the invoices shown to have been issued by Atco Products.

It was further revealed that Mr Navneet Aggarwal, one of the directors of the local firm, was also the sole proprietor of the company said to be located in Jammu. Apprehending arrest for fraudulent operations, the accused businessman had filed a bail plea in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which was successfully opposed by officers of the Central Excise Commissionerate and standing counsel of the Central Government. Following rejection of his bail plea, the director of the firm was arrested by the Central Excise Department under Section 13 of the Central Excise Act, 1944.

The department officials further informed that Mr Aggarwal was also the overall in charge of the firm and looked after the day-to-day business of another firm, M/s Classic Alloys (Registered Dealer), at Doraha, against which investigations were also being carried by the department for passing on inadmissible cenvat credit of Rs 245.91 lakh to the same local firm without the actual supply of goods.



Police not keen to track down hoaxer
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 24
The local police seems not too keen to pursue a report given by handwriting and fingerprint experts of Forensic Science Laboratory, Chandigarh, about a hoaxer. The hoaxer has demanded ransom from local traders. It is alleged that the hoaxer enjoys the patronage of some influential persons.

Sources reveal that Mr Kimtilal and Mr Ashok Kumar, traders of the local Gandhi Chowk locality, had received three separate letters in September last year demanding ransoms of Rs 1 lakh each. The letters were purportedly written by the state unit chief of the Laskhar-e-Toiba. The police had laid a trap to nab the hoaxer, but the mission failed.

The police registered an FIR only after receiving directions from the state police chief through the SSP at Sangrur.

The police had reportedly identified the hoaxer and verified his antecedents long ago. But it is alleged that the hoaxer had been the President of a Yuva Morcha of a national political party. He is allegedly enjoying the patronage of a former IPS officer, who happened to be his close relative. Therefore the police is allegedly not tracking him down.



Horse show draws to a close
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 24
The Second Punjab Horse Show and Equestrian Championship concluded at K.K.G. Ground, Punjab Agricultural University, here today. A lively “horse dance” and “decoration competition” won the hearts of the audience. Other events like “tent pegging” and “show jumping knockout open” exhibited the skill of riders. During these events, the long graceful movements of horses with their manes flying in the wind, their coats shining and riders guiding their horses provided a beautiful spectacle.

Besides, the “medley relay” event provided a lot of entertainment. Lively tunes of the school band thrilled the audience.

While on the first day of the horse show, NCC girl cadets of Punjab Agricultural University won the top positions in the “show jumping” event, students from Punjab Public School, Nabha, also performed well. Punjab Police riders did well in the “dressage and tent pegging” events, securing the top three positions.

There were around 125 horses from the state on the first day. The day began with the “dressage” event followed by the cart (rehra) race, which evoked an enthusiastic response from the audience.

Riders from PAP, Jalandhar, dominated the “tent pegging”event. The evening equestrian events started with “show jumping” followed by “tent pegging”. The main attraction of the day, however, was the “ladies show jumping event” and “tent pegging” by Nihangs.

Dalpreet Singh, a student of the local BVM School, won a gold and a bronze medal in the show jumping events.

Riders from the PPS, Nabha, the PAP, Jalandhar, the NCC, Ludhiana, the Punjab Office Academy, Phillaur, the Chandigarh Riding Club, Chandigarh, Sunny Riding School, Ludhiana and Yadavindra Public School, Mohali took part in the meet.

Results of the first day’s events are as follows:

Dressage (seniors) : 1 SI Talwinder Singh astride Samrat, 2 SI Talwinder Singh astride Rathore and Head Constable Jagtar Singh astride Raja.

Dressage (juniors): 1 Head Constable Prabhjot Singh and 2 Constable Gurpinder Singh.

Rehra race : 1 Kashmira Singh of Sangal Sohan, 2 Lakhbir Singh of Jalandhar and 3 Balbir Singh of Phagwara.

Show jumping (sub-juniors — 12 to 16 years): 1 Dalpreet Singh, (Pride, NCC, Ldh), 2 Vikramit Singh, (Leading , NCC, Ldh), 3 Dilpreet Singh, (Tushar, NCC, Ldh).

Show jumping (juniors): 1 Sandeep Singh (Sultan, PPS, Nabha), 2 Nitin Dhand (Pride, NCC, Ldh), 3 Gurdeep Singh, (Gulabo, PAP, Jal).

Tent pegging open : 1 Jagdish Singh (Jasmine, PAP, Jal), 2 SI Talwinder Singh (Khalifa, PAP, Jal), 2 Yungbir Singh (Ashwamegh, PAP, Jal).

Ladies show jumping : 1 Seema Madan, (Tushar, NCC, Ldh) and 2 Satya (Trident, NCC, Ldh) and Shelly Bansal (Pride, NCC, Ldh).



Another empty shell found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Even as the police is yet to solve the mystery of the recovery of at least five empty shells near the Central Jail here last month, a similar shell was found from the area today.

Tension gripped the area as the news spread of a bomb being found near the wall of the jail. However, the Division No. 7 police stepped in and announced that it was an empty shell, which was part of dummy anti-aircraft ammunition used by the defence forces for practice.

The police called in Army officials, who took away the shell. No case has been registered. The SHO, Division No. 7, Mr Gurpreet Singh, said there was no need to register a case, as such shells were often found in scrap.



Girls learn to cook exotic dishes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 24
About 50 girls are learning to cook continental as well as exotic Indian dishes at Shri Gyan Sthal Mandir here at a nominal cost. The ingredients are being provided by the Gyan Sthal which is also involved in doing a number of charitable works. The course is of 15 days. Ms Sunanda is teaching recipes from other countries like China and Thailand. The girls try out new recipes every day and go home and try out the dishes.

From the month of May, the girls will be taught how to make squashes, sherbats, pickles, chutneys etc. 


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 |