L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


BJP seeks ouster of tainted ministers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 18
BJP workers from the rural and urban units and Jagraon in this district today held a protest at Clock Tower Chowk here demanding the ouster of tainted ministers in the Union Cabinet. The protesters, led by Mr Vijay Sampla, general secretary of state unit of the party and the respective presidents of the participating units also condemned the government for jacking up prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.

Later, the BJP leaders submitted a memorandum to the President of India through the Deputy Commissioner to press for the dismissal of tainted ministers in the Congress-led UPA government, headed by Dr Manmohan Singh. They alleged that while including persons like Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, Mr Mohammed Taslimuddin, Mr Jai Parkash Yadav, Mr Prem Chand Gupta, Mr M.A. Fatmi and Mr Shibu Soren in the Council of Ministers, all established norms in public life of a parliamentary democracy had been thrown to winds.

The BJP further observed that the ministers named in the memorandum were facing criminal cases of serious nature or grave economic offences and they had no moral right to occupy the august offices.

Terming the hike in prices of petroleum prices as an anti-people step and calling for its roll back, the party asserted that the move would have adverse impact on prices of other essential items and services.

Meanwhile, the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner here today demanding the scrapping of all unjust agreements on sharing of river waters, which rightfully belonged to Punjab and the withdrawal of recent increase in prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.



Move to use badminton hall for SGPC poll resented
Anil Datt

Shastri Badminton Hall in Ludhiana which got damaged during the last general election
Shastri Badminton Hall in Ludhiana which got damaged during the last general election. — A file photo

Ludhiana, June 18
Even as sportspersons are yet to recover from the inconvenience caused to them due to the use of Shastri Badminton Hall of the Guru Nanak Sports Complex for the recently held Lok Sabha elections, the administration again intends to use the venue for other than sports activities.

The local office of the Punjab Sports Department has received a communique from the Deputy Director, Local Bodies, Punjab, to make arrangements to occupy the hall for the coming elections of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). The letter says the venue will be used on June 29 and July 5 for the rehearsal of the SGPC elections.

A large number of shuttlers, who visit the hall daily, expressed anguish over the administration’s decision to use it for election purposes. When the hall was taken over by the administration during the Lok Sabha elections, the players were debarred from entering the area as many as fifteen days prior to the election, causing a great difficulty to the sportspersons. They remained out of action for more than three weeks.

The move of the administration had left the hall, which had been spruced up spending lakhs of rupees during the 2001 National Games held in Punjab, damaged. The teak wood floor in the hall was damaged. The mats, fixed at the gym and changing rooms, were removed and the floor was painted. Barricades were erected at a number of places damaging the floor. Cemented walls were raised in front of the doors which further caused damage to the hall.

When this correspondent talked to the players in the hall, they expressed anguish over the administration’s decision to occupy the hall again for election purposes. They said they would be deprived of practice and it would cost them dearly as they were to take part in the national ranking tournaments to be held at Bangalore and Chennai next week.

Sports organisers and representatives of sports associations too expressed resentment at the decision to use the hall for other than sports activities. Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal and Mr Raj Kumar, general secretaries of the Punjab Basketball Association and the Punjab Volleyball Association, respectively, while criticising the decision said the administration should make alternative arrangements for such exercises and avoid using sports centres for other than sports activities.



3,000 IGNOU scholarships for PG, vocational courses
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 18
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will award 3000 scholarships for post graduate and vocational training programmes for its open and distance learning system. These scholarships are being offered with the cooperation of South Asia Foundation (SAF).

Giving this information, Dr Umesh Chandra Pandey, Regional Director IGNOU for Punjab and Chandigarh said these scholarships, known as ‘South Asia Foundation. Madanjeet Singh Scholarships’, would be particularly meant for students from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. “Students will be selected for these scholarships based on their past academic record and an interview. The scholarship amount per students shall be equivalents to $300 per annum. More details about the scholarship are available on IGNOU web site which can also be used for on-line applications.”

Dr Pandey said this scheme would help IGNOU to reach out to a large number of students from disadvantaged groups which had always been a focus area of IGNOU’s policy planning. The university was running a number of short term and long term job oriented programmes and postgraduate programmes on education, management, computers, English, Hindi, History, Political Science and Commerce. These programme were offered through distance mode of education and fee structure of these programme had been kept very low so that these courses could be made available to all such people who could not afford to take costly education through conventional system.

Dr Pandey further informed that IGNOU had launched several courses and programmes in its new academic session which was about to commence. The university would offer MA course in political science and history, M.Com and BA degree in Social Work, for which its study centers at Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana, DAV College for Women, Amritsar, Doaba College, Jalandhar, MGDAV College, Bathinda, Punjab University Chandigarh and the Department of Correspondent Courses, Punjabi University, Patiala, had been activated.

“IGNOU will make available these programmes through the distance education mode, under which high-quality print material will be provided to the students at their doorstep. Academic support services will also be provided at these selected study centers. Students taking counselling sessions at the study centers, will also have access to video tele-conferencing sessions, interactive radio counselling, recorded audio-visual lessons in the form of CDs, library and other forms of support services,” he said.



4-year kid flies alone from USA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 18
Gurjot Singh is not even four. He is too young to travel alone all the way from San Francisco to New Delhi. His companion was an unknown Sardar who was requested by his parents at San Francisco airport to “take care” of the kid during the 24-hour journey to New Delhi.

Mr Jagtar Singh Bedi, Gurjot’s grandfather, said he has just started schooling in Union City, San Francisco. Gurjot’s father runs a taxi business while his mother is a housewife. The school had closed there for about two months.

His parents wanted to send him to India, but they could not spare time to accompany him.

Jagtar Singh said Gurjot is an extrovert child. His parents felt confident to send him to India all alone. Luckily at the San Francisco airport, they met a Sardar who was also to travel to India. But they did not know him.

He gave the child company during the journey. Although he felt a little nostalgic on the way and kept inquiring about his mother and father, at no point of time did he create any problems.

Gurjot carries a US passport. But he has always been keen to visit India and see his grandparents, with whom he is deeply attached. Jagtar Singh said when he received him at Delhi airport, he could not believe that the kid had travelled for 24 hours all alone.

Interestingly, Gurjot knows and realises that he has travelled alone, speaking in broken Punjabi “aapay aya”. On the way in the taxi from Delhi to Ludhaina, he noted that the street lights were not functioning and asked his grandparents as why those were not working.



Flood-control measures reviewed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 18
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, has directed all departments concerned to finalise the flood-protection arrangements keeping in view the onset of monsoon and not to allow the staff required for the purpose to leave the station without prior permission.

These instructions were issued at a special meeting held here today under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner to review the flood-protection arrangements.

He said on the Dhussi Bundh in the district, nine vulnerable sites, including Dhulewal, Ghumana, Kasabad, Jamalpur, Lilly Seed Farm, Khera Bet, Talwandi Kalan, Noorpur Bet and Madhepur, had been identified. He added that the Drainage Department had been directed to keep vigil on the 100-km-long bundh along with the Sutlej in the district.

To ensure coordination among different departments, two control rooms had been set up. One of these has been set at the office of the DRO, Mini-Secretariat, with phone numbers 1077 and 2401358, while the other is at the office of the Executive Engineer, Drainage, with phone no. 2409043. The control rooms will function round the clock.

Mr Verma said subdivision-level control rooms had also been set up at the offices of SDMs to monitor the situation. He said that a number of divers to protect the residents in the event of floods had also been identified in the villages situated near the bundh. 



Ornaments of landlady looted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 18
A gold chain, earrings, and a couple of gold bracelets of Ms Avinash Kaur, an old woman who has some tenets in her house in Ram Nagar, were looted by a couple and a10-year-old girl this morning.

A man and woman had rented out a room from Ms Avinash Kaur a few days ago. They came again yesterday to take possession of the room. They cleaned the room in the evening and also offered tea to the landlady. A 10-year-old girl was also accompanying the couple. In the meantime, the couple said since it had become dark, they would like to spend the night there and bring their belongings tomorrow morning.

The girl was made to sleep with the landlady and the couple went to the roof to sleep. At around 3.30 am, the couple gagged the landlady and took away the ornaments that she was wearing. She raised an alarm after a while but by then it was too late. The cheats had paid the only Ms Avinash Kaur Rs 200 and promised to pay the rest of the rent later. A case has been registered.



Chowki set up in Siahr village
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 18
Even as the Crime Branch of the state police has initiated an inquiry into the incidence of violence that took place at Nanaksar Thath in Siahr village in October last year, the Khanna district police has established an independent chowki in the village to prevent such incidents in future.

Mr Parmod Ban, Senior Superintendent of Police, confirmed the opening of the chowki at the village and said it would work under Payal police station.

Emphasising on the need of the arrangement, Mr Ban said it had been established to prevent any incident of violence at or near Thath. Besides keeping a vigil at the religious place, the staff here would help maintain law and order at Siahr and its surrounding villages. Referring to observations made during recent researches in the police department, he claimed that the mere presence of the police would frustrate notorious elements and instill a sense of security among villagers.

Though the chowki would be lodged in a building at the power grid in the village, Mr Saudagar Singh Gill, Assistant Superintending Engineer at the local PSEB office, held that no space could be spared for the purpose.

Meanwhile, sources revealed that the power board had provided some rooms to the police during the period of terrorism for running an investigation centre here. Neither the police nor board officials confirmed the revelation.

Mr Raghu Nandan Sharma, a member of the Block Samiti, said in case no space is available, the village panchayat would provide space for the chowki.

In the Siahr incident that happened on October 11 last year, two warring groups staking claim on the religious place attacked each other. Some villagers sustained injuries and a family had lost its only bread winner in the violence. Both warring groups had been accusing the Punjab police of favouring the other group. The inquiry has since been transferred to the Crime Branch at Chandigarh, which held the preliminary investigations at Doraha recently.



Rationalise Income Tax, says expert
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 18
Mr Ashok Juneja, noted taxation lawyer and member of Regional Direct Tax Advisory Committee of Income Tax Department, has made a plea for the rationalisation of the tax structure.

He has urged the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, to slash the rate of tax by 20 per cent in the next Union Budget since the prevailing rate of income tax on the middle class in the country is one of the highest in the progressive countries of the world. He says, “Income tax rates in Singapore are around 9 per cent, Thailand 10 per cent, Taiwan 13 per cent, Argentina 14 per cent, United States 15 per cent, Indonesia 15 per cent, Hong Kong 17 per cent, Bangladesh 18 per cent, New Zealand 19.5 per cent, Pakistan 20 per cent and in Japan it is in the range of 20 per cent.”

Mr Juneja says past experience had shown that whenever tax rates were brought down, the revenue of the Central Board of Direct Taxes increased sharply. Under a rational tax regime, the public would show higher income in their returns and with the increase in flow of funds as well as declaration of undisclosed income, the business and industries would achieve faster growth. As a result of faster economic growth, the business and industrial sectors would generate more job opportunities and collection of revenue from various other taxes would also go up.

The government is very well aware that with friendly and persuasive approach by the Income Tax Department, rich dividends are attained which is evident from higher number of assessees and voluntary compliance by the tax payers. At present, net direct tax collection has reached Rs 1,661 crore up to the end of May this year, recording a healthy 45 per cent rise in total income tax collection.

He says last year when excise revenue went up, the then Finance Minister Mr Jaswant Singh rationalised the duty structure and decreased the excise duty rates, saying that reward of increase in revenue was being passed on to the business and industry. Similarly, now when income tax collection has taken a quantum jump, the Union Government should also pass on the benefits of higher tax collection to public by bringing down tax rates by 20 per cent.

He made a strong case for reintroduction of Voluntary Disclosure-Cum-Amnesty Scheme so that yet another opportunity was given to the public to disclose their unrecorded income, which in turn would facilitate progress of economy. “Multiple tax system, imposition of income tax, wealth tax, excise duty, sales tax, service tax, octroi and other local taxes is causing complications and excessive burden on the trade, industry and service providers,” he says. He also thinks the government should give a second thought to the introduction of value added tax.



Badal to meet Gill today
Our Correspondent

Doraha, June 18
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President, Shiromani Akali Dal and former Chief Minister of Punjab will visit the house of Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, in charge, Payal constituency of the SAD, tomorrow.

His visit is supposed to be meant for persuading “the annoyed Akalis” for reconciliation as far as the selection of candidates from the Payal Vidhan Sabha constituency is concerned. According to sources, Mr Bharpoor Singh Rauni, circle president of the SAD was expecting to get the ticket from the Payal Vidhan Sabha constituency this time. Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill along with other party workers was also making efforts to make the party candidate of the Payal constituency stand for these elections.

The Akali workers resent that the Payal Vidhan Sabha constituency has been left unrepresented in the SGPC elections. Akali workers of the Payal constituency are resentful over this move of their party chief.



Neighbourhood watch scheme suggested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 18
With the recent spurt of robberies in the city and the suburbs the district police has suggested the idea of neighbourhood watch scheme in the city. In the rural areas it has advised people to reintroduce thikri pheras to prevent possible robberies and thefts.

The district police has launched an awareness campaign among residents on the issue by way of advertisements and pamphlets. One of the pamphlets being currently circulated by the police said, with the schools being closed, a number of people in the city have gone to the hill stations. It advised the neighbours to keep a watch on those houses which remain locked.

The police has also advised people to ensure proper and flash lights in their respective areas so that any suspect movements during the night hours can be prevented. It has asked the traders and shopkeepers that they should have at least one watchman for every 10 shops.

The police has been arguing that it was not possible to provide security to individual houses and shops round the clock. So it was necessary that people come forward and cooperate with the police to ensure the safety and security of the public property and life. It has urged people that in case they notice any suspect movement of any suspect person they should immediately inform the local police station.



Club organises modelling workshop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 18
The Satluj Club, Ludhiana, yesterday organised a modelling workshop for the children of its members. The workshop was conducted by some leading models. Mr Sanjiv Dhanda, cultural secretary of the club, said about 50 children participated in the workshop.

Since it is the vacation season, the children were provided an opportunity to participate in various programmes in the summer camp. There was a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about the modelling workshop among both the boys as well as the girls. The workshop helped the children learn important points about personality development. It built up their confidence and they felt wiser after attending the workshop. 



Readers write
MC ignoring upkeep of parks

THE Municipal Commissioner (MC) has been pursuing, without any success, the beautification of entry points to greet the visitors to Ludhiana for the past one year. But, the MC has not bothered to work for the upkeep of 700-odd parks within the city which are closely linkaged with the quality of life for the residents, who are burdened with huge levies and taxes to make it the richest corporation in the state.

He has undone the good work started by his predecessors by involving the residents in reviving and rejuvenating the green lungs of this highly polluted city. Even the state government and the PSHRC were mislead by him by furnishing incorrect information that all 717 parks in the city were being maintained by the corporation. This, when he local press carried pictures of the degraded, neglected and filthy parks, almost daily.

In spite of the specific directions given by the PSHRC that city parks and green belts must be kept in high standard of maintenance for providing quality of life to the residents, the ground situation has not changed during the past 10 months and the parks and green belts are lying in shambles.

Residents and some councillors have sent numerous representations to the commissioner, highlighting their anguish over the sad state of affairs, but no action has been taken against the contractor.

Some PMCs have been compelled to resume the upkeep of their parks to save them from further degradation. One wonders how a rate of 50 paise was accepted by the commissioner against the estimated cost of Rs 2.14.

On the one hand the corporation talks of making Ludhiana as beautiful as Delhi and Mumbai, on the other it has even covered the road berms with premix, concrete slabs whereas those should have been planted with avenue trees to enhance the green cover. It is surprising that even the engineers did not object to this fallacy because the berms help to absorb the rain water and thereby save the roads from damage.

By disbanding the Horticulture wing, the commissioner drove the last nail in the coffin so far as greening of Ludhiana is concerned. The civil engineers, entrusted with the work, have little knowledge of the subject. Moreover, they have hardly any time to attend to this work because of the other equally important jobs of maintaining water supply, roads, sewerage etc.


Power tariff hike move unjust

The proposals to recommend a hike in the power tariff for domestic consumers by the Punjab State Electricity Board recently sent to the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commissioner for approval have disturbed the public.

The proposals to increase the tariff from 9 per cent to 25 per cent is on the high side and will adversely affect the budget of the common man. Already, the power rates for domestic users, raised during the previous financial year along with other categories, are very high.

In addition, the people will now have to find means to absorb the steep hike in the prices of petrol and LPG. Istead of giving any relief to the public, the new UPA government has decided to slash the interest rates on savings like NSCs and Kisan Vikas Patras which will discourage the small investors.

It is surprising to note that some days ago, the CM had claimed that the PSEB has earned a profit of Rs 72 crore in 2003-04. Under such circumstances, one feels that there is no need to make any increase in the power tariff at present.

The kundi system should be tackled and corrupt practices prevailing within the department stopped.

Silence on the parts of welfare organisations and NGOs on this vital issue and other consumer related matters will further boost the government to adopt anti-people steps.

Kuldip Singh Kreer

Ban exit polls

During elections, a farce is played with the electorate by various TV channels by giving doctored and partisan accounts of the prospects of the major political parties.

That such exit poll render a disservice to the nation can be judged from the final results. The gullible voter is influenced by these exit polls and blindly follow the trend presented by these channels. They cast their votes en mass in favour of a party shown in a favourable position.

Exercising their franchise in such a situation cannot be described as a judicious decision and such a vote cannot be termed to have been cast with a free will. When the results are declared, they are a reverse of the trend predicted by the pollsters. There has been a demand by all major political parties for a ban on the exit polls.

Now when the new government is in the saddle, the matter should be pursued

S.L. Katyal



Five booked for bid to murder over monetary dispute
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 18
The Sarabha Nagar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 307, 452, 323, 148, 149, 427 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Davinder Singh Khangura, who lives in Adarsh Colony at Barewal, against Jasvir Singh and Charanjit Singh, residents of Thakkarwal village and three other unknown persons accompanying them.

The complainant had stated that the accused, because of a monetary dispute, attacked his house on Wednesday night, broke the windscreen of his car, beat him with a baseball bat and tried to kill him, but he was lucky to escape with injuries.

Scooterist killed: The division number 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC on the statement of Mr Harbhajan Singh, who lives in Kartar Nagar on the Tibba Road, against the driver of a truck ( PB-10P-9941).

The complainant had stated that the accused had hit a scooterist, Mr Avtar Singh, near Transport Nagar on Wednesday evening and sped away. Mr Avtar Singh, who was injured, later died in a hospital, added the complainant.

Road mishap: On the statement of Mr Surjit Singh, a resident of Baba Shri Chand Colony at Mundian Kalan village, the division number 6 police registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC against an unknown driver of an unknown vehicle. The complainant had stated that the accused had hit an unknown person on the GT Road near Dholewal on Tuesday and sped away. The unknown person died on the spot, added the complainant.

Held with poppy husk: The Basti Jodhewal police on Thursday arrested Shashi Kant Shukla, a migrant from UP now living in Shimla Puri, recovered 2.50 kg of poppy husk from his possession and registered a case under the NDPS Act against him. The accused was arrested during checking at a naka, said the police.

Interference in police duty: On the statement of ASI Jagjit Singh, the Kotwali police on Thursday registered a case under Sections 358,279 and 186 of the IPC against four unknown persons.

The ASI had stated that he was checking vehicles outside the railway station along with a police party last night when he stopped a three-wheeler for checking. In the meantime, four unknown persons arrived on the scene on motor-cycles and interfered in the discharge of his duty. As a result, the three-wheeler that had been stopped for checking sped from the scene and the four unknown persons also managed to run away, added the ASI.

Cases of theft: The division number 3 police on Thursday registered a case under Section 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Gursharan Singh, a resident of Old Madho Puri, against Antar Pal Singh.

The complainant had alleged that the accused came to his house on Thursday and stole a mobile phone from there.

The division number 5 police yesterday registered a case under section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Moin Akhtar, who lives opposite Arya College for Boys , against an unknown person who stole his Hero Honda motor cycle from in front of the Government College on June 9. The police said it was clueless about the theft.

The division number 5 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC on a tip-off against Kamal Dutt, a resident of Lassara village in Jalandhar district. The police said the accused had stolen a scooter from in front of the New Courts on Thursday.

Motor cycle recovered: The division number 8 police on Wednesday arrested Murgas Kotal, a native of Tamil Nadu living in Kundan Puri, recovered a stolen motor cycle from his possession and booked him under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

On the statement of Mr Raman Rana, the Haibowal police on Wednesday registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC against Gurwinder Singh, a resident of Rishi Nagar.

The complainant had stated that the accused had stolen his Hero Honda motor cycle from in front of his house on Tuesday night.

On the statement of Mr Buta Singh, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, the Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 447,379,147 and 149 of the IPC against Bhag Singh, Balbir Singh, Darbara Singh, Gurnam Singh, Nachhattar Singh and Pargat Singh, residents of Ayali Khurd village.



Police foils suicide bid
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 18
Two police personnel saved the life of a man who was trying to commit suicide by hanging himself from a electricity transformer at Amloh road near New Subzi Mandi today.

According to information at about 7 a.m. a middle-aged man was trying to hang himself from a transformer at Gate No. one of the local Subzi Mandi. Meanwhile, two police personnel Gurcharan Singh and Kuldeep Singh noticed it. They removed the cloth tied around the neck of the man.

The victim identified as Ram Dev of Kaithal in Haryana said he had sold a combine to a person at Khadoor Sahib yesterday but he refused to pay the amount. He was under depression and tried to commit suicide. He was rushed to Civil Hospital Khanna, immediately.



Ludhiana gets another CCI Chairman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 18
With Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, Managing Director of the Hero Cycles taking over as the new president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), it will be for the second time that a Ludhiana industrialist has made it to the top of an important industrial association of the country. Earlier it was Mr Brij Mohan Lall Munjal, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Hero Group of Companies and the father of Mr Sunil Kant, who headed the CII.

Mr Munjal, is probably one of the youngest presidents of the CII. Earlier he worked in various capacities in the CII. Before taking over as the president of the CII, he was the chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee of the CII.

Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) has also hailed the elevation of Mr Munjal as the new president of the CII. The president of the CICU, Mr Inderjeet Singh Pardhan and the general secretary, Mr Avtar Singh said, it was a matter of pride for the people of Ludhiana in general and the industry in particular that Mr Munjal had taken over as the president of the CII.

The Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) has also welcomed the taking over as the CII president by Mr Munjal, also happens to be a member of the LMA.


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