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Armed robbers strike in Mullanpur
Kill pregnant woman, injure husband; decamp with cash, jewellery
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Aggrieved relatives of victims of murder and robbery in Mullanpur on Wednesday.
Aggrieved relatives of victims of murder and robbery in Mullanpur on Wednesday. 

Mullanpur, June 16
Armed robbers struck at a house on the outskirts of this town early this morning and murdered a six-month pregnant woman, grievously hurt her husband and decamped with cash and jewellery worth lakhs.

The victim, Roopinder Kaur, and her injured husband Jasbir Singh were government teachers and were married just nine months ago. The robbers picked only these two as they were sleeping in the ground floor room of the house. Jasbir’s father Ranbir Singh (a tailor), mother Mohinder Kaur and younger sister Rajwinder Kaur were left untouched sleeping in rooms on the upper floor.

The robbers, numbering three to five, went about their work without showing any mercy on the couple. Blood splattered all over the walls of the bedroom reflected the brutality of the assailants. The police said the victims were hit hard on the head with clubs due to which the blood stains were found all over the place.

More than 10 migrant labourers were rounded up by the police on suspicion of being involved in the heinous crime after two tracker dogs of the police led them to a dilapidated house where the labourers were found.

The dogs succeeded in tracing the scent of the accused from a pair of abandoned bathroom chappals found near the boundary wall of the house. The canine detectives led the police to a crumbling house some 500 m from the crime spot. The police said the gruesome manner in which the robbers attacked the victims suggested that labourers or gang members of some traditional criminal tribes had affected the incident.

Police investigation suggests that the robbers probably hit the sleeping woman dead. She had multiple injuries on her face and head and was barely recognised by the relatives. Her earlobes were torn away as the robbers had pulled out her earrings. Her husband was also hit repeatedly on head though there were some signs that he tried to resist the robbers. He was found unconscious on the bed at about 5 am by his mother.

Jasbir Singh was admitted in a serious condition at DMC hospital here. His sister Rajwinder Kaur, told the Ludhiana Tribune that her mother was the first to see the ghastly sight in the morning.

She was shocked to find that the door of her son’s bedroom open and the entire house ransacked. “Veerji was alive but unconscious but bhabi could not be recognised. The robbers had smashed her head and face badly,’’ said the young girl weeping profusely.

The house is a perfect place for the robbers to strike. It is situated isolated in the fields with no other house in the vicinity. The robbers climbed up the first floor of the house by using the boundary wall. They came down through the stairs without doing any harm to the victim’s parents sleeping on the first floor.

The DSP (Detective), Mr Gurmukh Singh Cheema, said forensic and finger- print experts from Phillaur found pieces of wooden sticks or clubs from the house. He said the accused must have frequented the house in the recent past as they planned the robbery well.


Suspects fond of movies, cinema halls raided
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
The city police today raided a number of cinema halls here in search of the criminals suspected to be involved in the Mullanpur robbery and murder incident, besides cautioning the people against such strikes in the next week.

The dark nights would continue for a week. This is a golden opportunity for criminals to strike, especially on the outskirts of cities, towns or villages. The police said last night being an ‘amavyasya’, hence the robbery at Mullanpur.

Joining hands to check the spate in robbery and snatching incidents in the district, the Ludhiana and Jagraon police today decided to launch a drive against the alleged criminals who were striking at will first in city here and then in Jagraon police area. The police suspects that the notorious ‘Kalandar’ gang was behind the recent crime incidents.

Besides educating the public about the ‘high risk dark nights’ the police today raided all cinema halls in the city and rounded up dozens of suspects, most of whom were labourers.

Some members of the ‘Kalandar’ gang were caught recently by the police. It was found that members of this gang usually spend the day watching movies in different cinema halls and regroup at some isolated place in the night.

Mr Gurpreet Singh, SP (Detective), Ludhiana informed that a number of suspected persons had been rounded up in the raids at the cinema halls. He said the modus operandi of the accused in Mullanpur suggested a strong possibility of the involvement of the ‘Kalandar’ gang. Members of these gangs lived as nomads and were expert in committing robberies on dark nights.

He has advised the residents to keep the rooftops, porches and courtyards of their houses illuminated to ward off the robbers.

Incidentally, quite a drama took place at various cinema halls when the cops raided the premises. Some employees of the cinema ran away with film prints fearing that the police would confiscate them.


Lawyer alleges police inaction
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
A Phillaur-based lawyer, who was allegedly beaten up by some local industrialists two years ago, has alleged that the police is not arresting the accused in his case though the court had issued non-bailable warrants against one of them.

Mr Jitender Kumar Agarwal, a practising lawyer at Phillaur, has alleged that the two influential industrialists of the city had been threatening him of dire consequences for fighting a case against them on behalf of his client. When the lawyer refused to listen to them, they allegedly beat him up with an intention to eliminate him on Jassian Road near Haibowal two years ago. A case under Sections 307/ 326/ 324/323/ 341/506/ 148 and 149 of the IPC and 25/54 and 59 of the Arms Act had been registered against the accused.

He said after the incident, the Bar Associations of Jalandhar and Phillaur had remained on strike for many days but justice was not meted out to him. He moved the court on July 28, 2002, and the then JMIC issued non-bailable warrants against both accused. One of them got anticipatory bail but his accomplice had not been arrested till date.

He claimed that fresh non-bailable warrants were issued by the court on March 4, 2003. Again on May 9, 2003, the court directed to effect the non-bailable warrants against the influential industrialist through the SSP, Ludhiana.

‘‘I wrote three letters to the SSP this year and received a reply in which I was informed that the DSP, Sarabha Nagar, had been deputed to arrest the accused. He lives near the Sarabha Nagar police station, attends all functions and goes to his factory daily but the police seems reluctant to arrest him, ’’ alleged Mr Agarwal.

He said the accused did not even apply for an anticipatory bail in the case although his brother was bailed out months ago. ‘‘Earlier the police had been claiming that they could not do anything due to elections. But now after these are over the accused is roaming scot free. Meanwhile, the accused is again threatening me to withdraw the complaint or face dire consequences,” he said.


Encroachments, poor amenities bane of city residents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 16
Residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, E-Block, Pakhowal Road, here are a harassed lot, with nobody to turn towards, as a result of proliferating unauthorised settlements on green belts and other vacant sites. Besides, extreme insanitary conditions, created by hundreds of jhuggi dwellers all over the area, and the menace of stray animals has made their lives miserable. Pleas by the affected residents with the authorities concerned as well as officials of Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) have failed to evoke any positive response so far.

Functionaries of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Residents Welfare Association lamented that the jhuggi dwellers, settled along the main road near Housefed super deluxe flats had virtually turned a park and other green belt, alongside, into a public toilet and objection to such undesirable activity was met with aggressive postures by the unauthorised settlers. Moreover, the unlawful occupants of public places were using ‘kundi’ connections to steal power.

“Not only the Punjab State Electricity Board is losing a considerable revenue due to power theft but unauthorised load on transformer has led to voltage fluctuation and occasional damage to electrical gadgets and appliances of the area residents.”

According to Mr Japnam Singh, vice-president and Mr Arvind Sharma, press secretary of the association, the plight of the residents of the colony developed and maintained by LIT had to be seen to be believed. The thick growth of congress grass all over had caused a number of respiratory disorders, particularly among the children. The jhuggi dwellers were running dairy farms and piggeries in the settlements, much to the annoyance of the residents.

“The activists of the association have made repeated written representations and have also met senior officials of the LIT to draw his attention to the poor plight of the residents and the nuisance created in the colony by the jhuggi dwellers. However, except for hollow promises and assurances to clear encroachments and undertake the much-needed development works, nothing worthwhile has so far been done,” remarked the residents.


Development works reviewed at MC meeting
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 16
In a bid to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of civic services and basic amenities to the city residents and check the availability of officials even on a holiday, Commissioner of Municipal Corporation S.K. Sharma today convened a meeting at his camp office. It was attended by senior officers of engineering wing, O and M wing (water supply and sewerage), health and sanitation branches despite the day being a gazetted holiday on account of Gurpurb.

During a review of works relating to water supply and sewerage and the sanitation level in the city, Mr Sharma said no laxity in the delivery of services would be tolerated and even though the outbreak of gastroenteritis in some parts of the city had turned out to be a false alarm, the MC had to remain in a state of complete preparedness to meet any eventuality. The civic officials, heading the respective branches, were told to accord priority to complaints related to water scarcity, choked or overflowing sewers and non-functional streetlights.

Earlier, addressing zonal level review meetings of zones C and D here yesterday, the Commissioner said the MC intended to fix responsibility of officers concerned regarding the availability of basic amenities and delivery of services in the city. Further, supervisory officers, entrusted with the execution of development works would be punished if found lacking or misguiding their superiors.

Referring to frequent complaints by councillors over poor maintenance of streetlights, parks and water supply, he said a process to privatise these services had already been started. The maintenance of streetlights was being handed over to contractors. The ongoing work for maintenance of parks by the contractors was also being monitored by senior civic officials and erring contractors would be proceeded against.

Mr Sharma said the MC had no problem in handing over the maintenance of parks to the Park Management Committees (PMCs) provided they were prepared to do the job at the rates approved by the state government. Mr Rajiv Katna pleaded for declaring a list of unapproved colonies in the city so that those could be provided with basic amenities. Mr Sushil Raju Thapar demanded more work force and equipment for maintenance of streetlights while Ms Amrit Varsha Rampal focussed on poor maintenance of parks in the Sarabha Nagar area. Mr Jai Parkash, Mr K.L. Chhabra and Ms Sukhchain Bassi, all councillors also took part in the deliberations.


CMC’s ‘single supplier system’ under scanner
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 16
Reports that Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) was in the process of revising its policy for purchasing drugs and medicines for its in-house pharmacy, had kicked off a lot of controversy with both employees and local chemists, till now supplying medicines to the institution, protesting against the proposed 'single supplier' system, saying that it would not be in the interest of the patients and the CMCH.

On the other hand, the hospital authorities, asserting that no final decision had so far been taken, termed the hue and cry being raised by different sections as unwarranted and over reaction on a 'non-issue'.

Alleging that the CMCH administration had already taken the decision to introduce the single supplier system for medicines, the Brown Memorial Hospital Employees Union had claimed that directions had been issued in this regard to the pharmacy and other departments.

The general secretary of the union, Mr B.M. Frederick, had said the revised policy was unjust and against the established policies of purchasing the drugs in the hospital. It laid down the condition that drugs, and other material should be bought from authorised hospital suppliers designated by the pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of hospital material.

In a similar signed representation, submitted by wholesale suppliers of medicines in the city, it was contended that in the event of the CMCH shifting to a single supplier system to meet its demand of medicines, it would not be physically possible for the supplier to fulfill the requirement of the pharmacy in such a big hospital.

It was further pointed out that all major companies had their own distributors in the city and procurement of drugs and medicines from all of them by a single supplier would entail many problems and could also add to the purchase price.

Refuting all charges as being baseless, Dr John Abraham, Medical Superintendent of the CMCH, told Ludhiana Tribune that several proposals to run the hospital pharmacy efficiently were under discussion but no final decision had so far been taken in this regard. He said the prevailing practice of having a large number of suppliers was creating complications and the management wanted to cut down the size substantially. However, no such procedure as 'single supplier system' was being adopted. "We have called quotations from the manufacturers and a few trial orders have also been placed."

Claiming that the entire process of effecting any change in the purchase policy would be transparent and in the interest of the hospital, he made it clear that all supplies, including drugs and medicines, were to be made on special rates fixed by the manufacturers or the pharmaceutical companies for the hospitals, therefore the number of suppliers would have no bearing on the price structure.



Corn on the cob

Corn on the cob on the roadside compel the passers-by to stop as the mouth-watering aroma is irresistble. After picking up a corn of his or her taste, the buyer instructs the sellter to add a dash of lime and salt into it. Then, to dig into the freshly roasted corn is just too good an experience to miss. 

Mr Manish Tewari, a former president of the Indian Youth Congress, who unsuccessfully contested the last parliamentary elections from Ludhiana, has decided to have a permanent address in the city. He has rented a house where he will set up an office-cum-residence in the Model Gram area. Mr Tewari had to face some resistance in the beginning for being an outsider. The city is abuzz with reports that Mr Tewari was also in the race for the PCC presidentship.

Faith healing

Faith can move mountains. But can it cure diseases like depression, diabetes or cancer? Although such cases are rare, but these are true. Thanks to the ‘Sarab Rog ka Aukhad Nam’ mission, an organisation that helps patients in curing different diseases with the help of reciting shabads from Guru Granth Sahib, several chronic patients have found relief. During a special camp organised by the mission here, some patients revealed that they 80 wonderful results by reciting shabads from Guru Granth Sahib. Ms Jagmohan Kaur Bagga from Jalandhar, who was suffering from diabetes, said she was regularly taking insulin injections. “But after joining the camp, I have been feeling normal and my blood sugar level has also come down significantly,” she claimed. Even some cancer patients claimed to have got relief. Ms Amarjit Kaur and Ms Surinder Kaur, both suffering from breast cancer, claimed that within six months of recitation of holy shabads they felt better. Both of them have stopped taking medicines. The mission has been also benefited patients of acute depression.

Dr Balwant Singh, the general secretary of the mission, said the mission has started afternoon camps from May 18 and these would continue throughout the year.

Lucky Speaker

Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal had lost all hope of an important position after his party, the SAD, an alliance partner of the NDA, failed to form the government. Nevertheless, clearing of his name as the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha has come as a surprise to many in the city. But not his family, who say Mr Atwal has the blessings of the almighty and was destined to make it big.

Auto-rickshaw nuisance

Auto-rickshaws have a great nuisance value in the city. The drivers abruptly stop anywhere on the road to pick up or drop passengers. This leads to a traffic chaos. Many a time, the passengers don’t have the exact fare. They start searching for it after getting down. Then they hand over a big note, and the driver starts searching for the amount to be returned. The whole transaction takes what appears to be a long time and the drivers behind the three-wheeler get irritated. Not only do they create a traffic mess, but they cause air and noise pollution which gives rise to respiratory diseases. Will the traffic police do something about the erring auto-rickshaw drivers?

Christ’s portrait

The removal of a portrait of Jesus Christ at the reception of Christian Medical College and Hospital here by the management was opposed by the hospital staff. The Indian Christian Welfare Society and two of other Christian bodies had charged the CMCH management with trying to transform the identity of the minority institution. The episode, however, has ended on a happy note as the portrait has been restored at its original place.

— SentinelBack


Ghalib lauds govt move on river waters
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 16
In a significant political development, former member of the Lok Sabha, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib has lauded the initiative of the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, and his government, to solve the river waters dispute and the all-party meeting convened for the purpose.

Mr Ghalib, who was denied the Congress ticket from Ludhiana and had maintained a visible distance from the party campaign in the Lok Sabha elections, came down heavily on the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for his reported threat to start a morcha against the construction of the SYL canal, saying it was a gimmick to befool people.

In a statement here yesterday, he remarked that the SAD chief ignored the issue when his party was in power in Punjab and also an ally of the NDA Government at the Centre. “Mr Badal had failed to do anything worthwhile to secure control of the Punjabi speaking areas and restore the rightful share of the state in river waters.” He said it was due to the wrong policies of the NDA government, led by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee that the electorate had rejected the NDA allies, including the BJP.

Mr Ghalib made a fervent plea to the Punjab Chief Minister to provide the facility of free power and water to small land holders, owning upto 7.5 acres, as also to grant them other benefits enjoyed by the Scheduled Castes and backward classes. 


Evasion of excise worth lakhs detected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
The local office of Excise Commissionerate has detected an evasion of excise duty to the tune of Rs 81.78 lakh by a local knitted fabrics and ready garments unit.

Acting on a specific information that M/s Knitwell Apparels Limited, Ludhiana, engaged in the manufactures of knitted fabrics and readymade garments, were indulging in evasion of duty, the factory premises of the party was raided by a preventive team headed by Mr B.S. Khara, Superintendent (Prevention) of commissionerate.

On physical verification of the stock of inputs and final products, a shortage of 376-892 metres of raw material, involving Central excise duty of Rs 81.78 lakh was detected. The party admitted their duty liability of Rs 81.78 lakh, out of which they deposited an amount of Rs 16.73 lakh on the spot. Further investigations are on.

The modus operandi adopted by the party was that they used to purchase raw material from the manufacturers and registered dealers and avail Cenvat credit on the same but subsequently it was sold in the local market without issuing any bill and without showing such sales in their records in order to evade Central excise duty.

This modus operandi was adopted by the party to generate excess Cenvat credit to discharge their central excise duty liability in respect of readymade garments and knitted fabrics manufactured by them.


Petrol price hike flayed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
There has been widespread criticism of the latest hike in the prices of petroleum products like petrol, kerosene and LPG. While the Opposition parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal-Badal reacted on expected lines, the common people also felt enraged, saying that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre had given them a shock in the very first month of its coming to power.

Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal said the hike in the prices of petroleum products was quite uncalled for. He wondered as why the UPA Government at the centre was in such a hurry to raise the prices of the essential commodities like the cooking gas, the diesel and even petrol. He observed that this hike was going to effect the common man.

Mr Grewal said, his party will vigorously oppose the hike by using all resources at its disposal. The party may also stage protest demonstrations against the hike. He pointed out, even the petrol was used by the common people as ordinary middle class people still used a two wheeler which is run by the petrol only.

The district President of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Dr Subash Verma also criticised the hike saying that the “true colours” of the UPA government had come out. He expressed surprise as how the Left parties like the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) claiming themselves to be the pro poor could agree to such a hike. Dr Verma declared that various wings of the BJP like Mahila Morcha and the Bhartiya Yuva Morcha will stage a protest demonstration at Clock Tower on June 18. He said, the party will also hold demonstration against the inclusion of the tainted ministers in the Manmohan Singh ministry.

Even the common man has reacted sharply to the price hike. Mr Sushil Sharma, a trader belonging to Kitchlu Nagar, said that the UPA Government raised the prices on the eve of the Budget, probably to make the Budget appear as pro poor and pro middle class. “The common man has already been affected with this hike now the UPA can bring in the budget of its choice as it will not need to increase prices on these commodities in the budget”, he remarked.

Sudha Sood, a housewife of the Civil Lines area also regretted the “undue and untimely” hike in the prices of LPG, diesel and gas. She apprehended that the government may not mind increasing the prices of other essential commodities as well.


MCPI flays fuel, LPG price hike
Our Correspondent

Doraha, June 16
The MCPI today criticised the government for hiking the petrol, diesel and cooking gas prices and threatened to launch an agitation if the government failed to reconsider the hike.

A meeting of members of the Marxist Communist Party of India was held at Doraha today. Mr Lakhwinder Singh Buani, general secretary, district MCPI, Mr Jandeep Kaushal, and Mr Pawan Kumar, committee members, described the hike as anti-people and anti-farmer. They said would put a heavy burden on the common man, especially the farmers who make maximum use of diesel for irrigation and ploughing purposes.

They said that the party would oppose this decision of the government. They also said that the government should think of the lower strata of society.


Shuttler’s family gets help
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 16
A number of good Samaritans came to the aid of the family of shuttler Harish Chander, who died in a road mishap in Kolkata on Friday. They include members of the Shastri Badminton Club, who use to visit the badminton hall daily for the past two decades and were witness to Harish emerging as the national champion.

Around 100 players collected money to bring Harish’s body by air from Kolkata to Delhi and then to Ludhiana by road on Sunday since it was beyond the reach of his father, Mr Babu Ram, to arrange it in this way. Mr Babu Ram, is the caretaker of the Shastri Badminton Hall in the Guru Nanak Sports Complex.

Mr Prem Gupta, Mr Kailash Prabhakar, Mr Tarun Arora, Mr Ravi Jain and Mr Anupam Kumaria, members of the Shastri Badminton Club, took lead and coordinated the exercise to bring the body. They also remained in touch with the Railway authorities in Kolkata to expedite the process to complete the formalities. They informed that officials concerned had assured them to recruit Harish’s widow in the Railways. 


At the  Crossroads
At the Death — the ultimate relief

Some poems may outlive a poet but he has a limited space to cover during the course of his life. This is what has happened to Dom Moraes who passed away on June 2. His end was peaceful, although he was suffering from cancer, as his feeble heart came to his help. He slipped away quietly in his sleep, avoiding harsh radiation treatment and confinement in a hospital ward. Earlier, Nissim Ezekeil suffered for many years a vegetative life, till Alzheimer’s disease claimed his life. Ranjit Hoskote has summed up — “Nissim’s was a long goodbye, his intellect, senses and memory draining away. It was only a shell to which we bade farewell. Dom left us mid-passage, with conversations still to be completed, appointments be made, books in progress, journeys yet to be undertaken”.

Death is unpredictable no doubt but coming out of the jaws of death is an ultimate victory over death. This is what happened to Prof. P. Lal of Writers Workshop, Calcutta. He had a close brush with death a decade ago, but ultimately he celebrated life.

Nearer home, the onslaught of death on Prof. Mohan Singh was sudden. He was enjoying, like John Keats, the song of ‘The Nightingale’, visible from his windowpane, when he realised that his heart was in the grip of excruciating pain. The end was sudden and poignant. In the case of Dr Parminder Singh, one of the architects of the local Punjabi Bhavan and lifetime general secretary of Punjabi Sahit Akademi, Alzheimer’s disease robbed him of his faculties of the brain and left him speechless and immobile. The loss of memory further complicated the matters. At long last, death came to him on tiptoe to provide him the ultimate relief.

Prof Surinder Singh Narula, eminent Punjabi novelist, has set a unique example of survival. He suffered from cancer in 1998 but he refused to be its victim. He was cured of this disease as it was detected early. Later he gave fight to some other diseases and gained victory over them. Now he is confined to bed or moves in the wheel chair within the house. He is reduced to a skeleton but his mental faculties are intact. Some days ago when I met him, he asked me to complete my next novel as early as possible, as time at one’s disposal was always limited. But then he added, perhaps as an afterthought, “Don’t worry about me, I don’t want to die.”

The daily ritual of existence carries a person sometimes on the edge of an abyss that is like the jaws of death. This coming out of the jaws unscathed is an ultimate victory over death. These apparent victories over death, however, leave behind some bruises and cuts on the surface of the mind of the person concerned. “Unscathed” is the word that perhaps rankles in the consciousness of a person who has fought many a lonely battle during his lifetime. Prof. P. Lal says, “And, after the return of life, there is no more any fear of death. Only a profound feeling of thanksgiving and a renewed passion to live richly and deeply and beautifully.”

Undoubtedly, life is like sunrise, whereas death is like sunset. But it need not be forgotten that the rising sun is the same sun that had run its course last evening. Sometimes there can be an eclipse, which may cause annoyance, vexation and exasperation. In the end I am with Samuel Butler who says succinctly, “To die completely, a man must not only forget but be forgotten, and he who is not forgotten is not dead.”

— N.S. TasneemCrossroads


3 held with poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 16
Three persons, alleged to be poppy-husk smugglers, were arrested by the Sadar police yesterday from near the Seed Farm along the Dhussi Bundh on the Sutlej near here and booked under the NDPS Act.

The police said today that the Tata-407 vehicle in which eight sackfulls of poppy husk weighing about 280 kg, were being transported was impounded. The accused have been identified as Sohan Lal alias Bittu, a resident of Doldwal Khurd village near Garh Shankar in Hoshiarpur district, Manjit Singh, a resident of Rupowal village and Karnail Singh, a resident of Pasla village in Jalandhar district.

Abductor held

The Salem Tabri police yesterday registered a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Dharam Pal, a resident of Peeru Banda Mohalla, against Hans Raj, a resident of the same locality.

The complainant had stated that the accused had abducted his daughter Salochna alias Mincky sometime between 7 am and 10 pm on Monday. The police said that the accused had been arrested.

Dowry demand alleged

The Civil Lines police yesterday registered a case under Sections 406,498-A and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Ms Shilpa, who lives on the Baba Balak Nath Mandir Road in Ghumar Mandi, against her husband Maneet Sharma, mother-in-law Promila Sharma, who live near the Subzi Mandi at Phillaur and sister-in-law Annie Sood, who lives in the Gandhi Lane on the College Road in the Civil Lines area.

The woman had stated at that the accused, after her marriage in 1999, frequently harassed her and also beat her up. The accused also demanded more dowry from her, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Fraud alleged

The division number 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Gagandeep, a resident of Kot Mangal Singh mohalla, against Sandeep Sachdeva and Ms Suneeta, who works in Bank of Punjab branch in Kalsi Nagar on the Gill Road.

The complainant had stated that accused Sachdeva had given a cheque for Rs 43,000 drawn on the bank. But after the cheque bounced, accused Suneeta returned the ‘dishonoured’ cheque to Sachdeva . The duo thus committed a fraud on him, added the complainant.

Two held for rash driving

The division number 1 police yesterday arrested two auto-drivers on the charge of over-speeding and negligent driving under Section 279 of the IPC.

The accused, who have been booked separately , have been identified as Charanjit Singh, who lives in Shimla Puri and was arrested at Girja Ghar chowk and Jatinder Singh, a resident of Haibowal, who was arrested at Local Adda chowk. Both of them were later bailed out.

Satta bookie held

The division number 6 police yesterday arrested Narinder Kumar, a resident of Hari Kartar Colony and booked him under the Gambling Act.

The police said that the accused was arrested from Tajpur Chowk when he was booking ‘darra’ and ‘satta’ bets openly. A sum of Rs 345 and some incriminating slips were seized from the accused. He was later bailed out.

Knife seized

Ramesh Kumar, alias Bobby, a resident of Jawahar Nagar Camp was arrested by the Civil Lines police yesterday and booked under the arms act for possessing a kamanidar knife. The accused was picked up at Midda Chowk in the evening.

Liquor seized

The division number 6 police yesterday arrested Gurdev Singh, who lives in a shanty near the New Hari Krishan Colony in Transport Nagar, recovered 12 bottles of Binny whisky from him and booked him under the Excise Act.


PNB launches customer care centre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
To give its customers the best, PNB yesterday launched customer care centre (call centre) and it would be accessible to customers through a national toll free number “1600 12 2222” and the call centre would primarily be providing the account-related queries and requests of customers of CBS branches, requests/ complaints about Internet banking services, requests/ complaints about ATM/ debit cards for customers, information about the various schemes and products offered by the bank, Mr Harwant Singh, General Manager of the bank, Punjab zone, said here.

He said the bank had already interconnected its 557 branches at 118 centres all over India under the core banking solution under which the customer can operate his account in any of these branches.

In the Punjab zone, bank has inter-connected its 63 branches at 16 centres i.e. Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Kapurthala, Patiala, Khanna, Mohali, Sangrur, Rajpura, Chandigarh, Moga, Bathinda and Abohar etc. Bank has also launched multi-city cheque books in CBS branches and customers can issue cheques at 118 centres which will be payable through local clearing. There is no need to get drafts issued from the branches and it will enable them to save time.


Consumers hail move to form steel regulatory authority
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
Shares of the major steel manufacturers like the state -owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and the Tata Steel may have plummeted with the reported move of the government to constitute the Steel Regulatory Authority in the country, but the idea has enthused the steel consumers who had been demanding the setting up of such an authority for a long time.

After the five major steel producers in the country raised the prices of steel last year in an arbitrary manner, almost doubling the cost of the steel, the steel consumers were crying hoarse to curb the prices. But the steel producers' rampage continued unabated forcing several units to be closed. With the Union Steel Minister, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, hinting at the constitution of such an authority, a fresh hope has dawned among the steel consumers.

Welcoming the decision, the President of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab, Mr P.D. Sharma, hoped that the authority would go a long way in controlling the steel prices. In fact the Apex Chamber was first to raise the demand for such an authority. Mr Sharma said, on June 6, a delegation of the Chamber had met the Union Steel Minister and brought to his notice the need for such a regulatory authority.

The Apex Chamber has written to the Prime Minister urging him to ensure that such an authority is in place at the earliest. It pointed out that such regulatory commissions were already in place for the oil and pharmaceutical sector. Mr Sharma said the chamber had impressed upon the minister to reduce the custom duty on steel from 15 to 5 per cent which he (the minister) had agreed. The minister is learnt to have said that in case of the shortage of steel within the country, the export will be discouraged.

At the same time there are are apprehensions among the steel consumers that the powerful steel lobby which had manipulated the system during the previous regime may manage to get the idea scuttled and the regulatory commission might prove to be a stillborn idea.

However, they hoped that the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Union Steel Minister, Mr Paswan, might not allow the steel cartel to have its way once again. 


Refrigerator sales up
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 16
Despite the fact that it was a testing time for white goods industry due to sluggish market conditions, the LG Electronics had emerged with flying colours. As against the overall growth of refrigerator market from 9 to 10 per cent in terms of volume in the wake of a lot of price pressure, the LG has registered an impressive growth of 60 per cent.

The company said here today that the LG group had come out with the world’s first TV refrigerator — TV DIOS with a 13 inch hi-definition TFT LCD TV. The 600 litres TV DIOS was also equipped with a built-in radio tuner providing access to FM stations and was supported by built-in speakers. With silver nano-antibacterial and nano-carbon deodorising technology, the refrigerator would bring together the best in food preservation and storage with multi-media functions as a quintessential digital home appliance.

A leader of frost-free refrigerator with a market share of 23 per cent, the company was leveraging on colour marketing. The company had adopted a different model, different channel mode of marketing.

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