L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


 

4 children of bonded labourer rescued
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
Activists of the Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan (DDVA) got four children of a bonded labourer released from the custody of a landlord of Muktsar district after a warrant officer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court raided the farmhouse today and found that the children had been detained in lieu of their father.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Jai Singh, national coordinator of the outfit, said Mr Balkar Singh, a resident of Bhagwanpura, was working as a farm hand with Gurbachan Singh and had been promised a salary of Rs 18,000 per annum. He had taken an advance of Rs 8,000 but had been unable to repay this amount even after putting in more than two years of labour. To help him, his wife, too, worked as a maid in the house of the landlord.

To keep Balkar working on his farm, Mr Gurbachan Singh charged an interest of 5 percent on the amount and did not give him a fixed salary. The latter sometimes gave Rs 50 or Rs 100 to the former for his expenses. Whenever he fell ill or did not turn up for work, the landlord imposed a fine of Rs 100 per day and also added this to the principal amount.

Mr Jai Singh said when Balkar's wife died, his elder daughter Ms Kulbir Kaur (14) went to work in place of her mother but was not paid any additional amount for her labour. He was fed up with the abject poverty he was forced to live in and was worried about the future of his three younger children — Surjit (8), Harpreet (7) and Manpreet (3) — who went to a government school. Whenever he asked for money for his daily needs and for the books and fees of his children, he was severely beaten up by the landlord.

Unable to take the humiliation any longer, Balkar sent his children to live with their uncle and somehow managed to reach the Phillaur office of the organisation. Meanwhile, he came to know that Mr Gurbachan Singh had forcibly taken his children and was forcing them to work on his farm in his place. The children were fed according to their work and were not allowed to attend school, he pointed out.

The DDVA filed a habeas corpus in the high court following which warrant officer Mahinder Pal Kohli raided the farmhouse and recovered the children. They have been handed over to their father, he added.

Mr Jai Singh said the government had turned a blind eye to this problem and most DCs just file false affidavits that there were no bonded labourers in their districts. The magnitude of the problem can be gauged from the fact that more than 3,000 cases are pending in various courts besides the high court. Given the pendency of cases in the courts, it will be take many years before the affected families will be free again, he added.

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2 held on robbery charge
Tribune News Service

Two suspects who were arrested on Friday on the charge of robbery in Sham Nagar
Two suspects (wearing monkey caps) who were arrested on Friday on the charge of robbery in Sham Nagar in Ludhiana on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, July 23
Stressing upon the need for verification of antecedents of a person before employing him or her, the police today said two persons, accused of robbery in a house in Sham Nagar here on July 20, had been arrested. The accused, Rehman and Deepak, were former workers at a shop of the owner of the house.

The police arrested the accused from Kidwai Nagar. It recovered an air pistol, a box of cartridges and two knives from their possession.

The police said the case of a daylight robbery in the house of Mr Harish Gupta, owner of a shop in Mochpura Bazar here, on July 20, was solved with their arrest. His wife Leena was alone when the accused entered the house, threatened her and decamped with her earrings.

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Students protest against form shortage 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
Students of various colleges affiliated to Panjab University, Chandigarh, who had visited the PU Extension Library today to buy forms for supplementary examination had to return disappointed due to shortage of forms.

Hundreds of students, who had come from all parts of the district, staged a protest against the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities and said they had been making rounds of the library for the past one week but they return empty handed.

They said they had to visit the library everyday hoping that they would get the forms but in vain as the employees expressed their inability to help them.

Manpreet, a student, said he had been making rounds of the library for past 10 days but everytime he was told that the forms were in short supply. He was coming all the way from Jagraon everyday but could not get a form, he added.

Another student, Jaswinder said she and her friends had to board a bus from a village near Macchiwara to reach here but her harassment had not stopped even today. “Now the employees have asked us to come on July 27. I am not sure whether we would get the forms on that day,” she complained.

They said they had to wait in the open for hours together and then an employee would tell them that they are in a short supply.

An employee of the university said the forms were in short supply. He said in Ludhiana there was a requirement of hundreds of forms everyday but the university could not supply more than 200 everytime.

The employee said the university had extended the last date of submission of forms to August 2. Earlier, it was July 27. He added that a communique in this regard was received by them today only.

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Hospital staff strike work
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
Employees of the local B.L. Kapoor Memorial Hospital today went on a pen-down strike and refused to admit new patients in protest against the alleged embezzlement of funds by the hospital management leading to non-payment of salaries of the doctors and para-medical staff for the past many months.

While many patients were inconvenienced and had to look for alternatives, the protesting employees said they had no option but to resort to this method. They, however, claimed that they were not refusing treatment to any patient in the emergency.

They also claimed that they were providing services to the patients already admitted there even during the period of strike. They demanded intervention of the district administration in solving the crisis.

The protesting employees, including several doctors and nurses, staged a demonstration against the hospital management, the Medical Superintendent and the clerical staff alleging they had not been paid salaries for the last eight months. They alleged that the clerical staff, in connivance with the Medical Superintendent, Dr T.S. Cheema, and other members of the management were sharing the earnings of the hospital amongst themselves.

They claimed that the Audit Department had put an official stamp on the embezzlement and had found a clerk guilty but the management was allegedly shielding him and not getting a case registered against him. Mr Surjit Singh, president of Dr B.L. Kapoor Memorial Hospital Employees Association, alleged that the salaries of doctors were not been paid for the last eight months. and the nursing staff was not paid for the last four months. However, the clerical staff was drawing regular salary with due increments and other benefits, he claimed.

He said it was ironical that the hospital trust was a rich trust with around 200 shops owned by it and it had no money to pay salaries to the staff. Some of the employees also alleged that the hospital management had also sold some prime land worth crores of rupees on the Ferozepore road. They also alleged that a senior member of the management was diverting patients to the hospital run by his relative resulting in loses to the hospital.

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DCC (Rural) vice-chief resigns
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 23
Mr Sudarshan Sharma, vice-president, District Congress Committee (Rural), and former president of the Doraha Municipal Council, has sent his resignation to the Chief Minister in protest against the dropping of Mr Tej Parkash Singh, a son of Beant Singh, from the ministry.

Mr Sharma announced his decision to resign while presiding over a meeting of office-bearers and members of various committees and associations of the town on July 21.

Among others present at the meeting were members of the Durga Sewa Dal Mr Vinod Gupta, Mr Surinder Sharma, Mr Brij Lal Raton, Mr Vinod Kaushal, Mr Rajnesh Bhalla and Mr Mohan Lal Pandu; the president of the Jai Mao Club, Mr Amit Kumar; the chairman of the Social Welfare Club, Mr Sunil Ratan, and its cashier, Mr Rajesh Bobby; the president of the Shiv Mandir Committee, Mr Raj Kumar Tiwari; the president of the Bhai Kanya Seva Society, Mr Inderjit Singh, and its vice-president, Mr Vipan Seth; the president of the Shiv Diwala Committee, Mr Pawan Kumar Sharma, and its secretary, Mr Suresh Rattan; the chairman of the Rama Natak Club, Mr Om Parkash Bhanot, its vice-president, Mr Mohan Lal Pandey, and its general secretary, Mr Jawahar Lal Kapila; the president of the Shiv Puri Nigam Ghat, Mr Som Nath Sharma; the patron of the Electronics Association, Mr Sohanlal Sood, its president, Mr Keshwa Nand, and its vice-president, Mr Taranjit Sharma; the president of the Vishkarma Mandir Club, Mr Gurnam Singh, and its former president, Mr Harbhajan Singh; and the president of the Cloth Merchants Association, Mr Raj Kumar.

Meanwhile, Mr Tej Parkash Singh yesterday refused to accept anything except the ministerial post. He said this while addressing mediapersons at the office of the council.

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Abduction suspects in police custody
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 23
Judicial Magistrate Anshul Berry today remanded in police remand till July 26 the suspects in the abduction of seven-year-old boy Chirag from his house in Tagore Nagar here.

The suspects, retired sub-inspector Des Raj (a relative of the child); Jaipal Singh, a son of ASI Bhupinder Singh, posted in Ferozepur; Gurmeet Singh; Gurinder, alias Rock; and Ranjit Singh, a resident of Tarn Tarn in whose house the child was allegedly held captive were produced before the Court after this afternoon.

Counsel of the retired sub-inspector had submitted that his client had a clean record during service and had received several medals and appreciation letters from top officials during service and was innocent. He demanded that he be remanded in judicial remand.

Ms Anshul Berrry remanded all accused to police custody except one person, who was juvenile. He was remanded in judicial custody till July 26. The alleged mastermind in the abduction, Amandeep Singh, a son of the retired sub-inspector, was not produced today as he is admitted in a hospital at Muktsar.

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Here vehicles idle more than they move
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, July 23
Traffic jams in this prosperous city have become the bane of residents while the authorities nonchalantly look the other way.
Although the city boasts of most modern technologies, it seems to belong to the pre-historic age as far as traffic management is concerned.

The roads present a chaotic look with drivers commonly overtaking from the wrong side, jumping red lights and turning without indication.

Certain old-city areas are more prone to traffic jams than the relatively open Civil Lines and outer-city areas.

The Division No. 3 chowk remains the most congested with six roads converging here. About six years ago, traffic lights were installed at the chowk, but these never became operational and the poles have been rusting since then.

Shopkeepers and rehriwallas of the area have encroached on the footpath and other roadside spaces in the area. They fear they would lose business if these lights became operational, so they have an interest in not letting them function.

In the absence of lights the traffic moves at a snail’s pace for most of the day, as a result the whole place turns into an open market of sorts where people can pick up of vegetables whatever else is available on the roadside. The place becomes so congested that even for a pedestrian it is a Herculean task to squeeze past the shoppers.

Traffic jams in the commercial areas of Mandi Kesar Ganj and Gur Mandi, where business worth crores is transacted every day, are also frequent.

Mini trucks as well as carts are parked haphazardly outside shops as goods are loaded or unloaded. The traffic jams in Mandi Kesar Ganj spill over into the nearby Books Market and Chaura Bazar, which are congested at all times of the day.

Similar congestion can be seen in the narrow bazars adjoining Chaura Bazar, including Meena Bazar, Sarafa Bazar, Dal Bazar and the Lalu Mall Street. Hand-pushed carts often block the lanes for what seems to be an eternity to the held-up commuters.

The stretch of the GT Road between Jagraon Bridge and Ghanta Ghar Chowk is another stretch on which despite a ban on heavy vehicles traffic jams occur every day. Since the traffic lights on this road installed near Laxmi cinema and the exit of the railway station have been out of use ever since the beginning of the elevated-road project, it has become a free-for-all zone with drivers making u-turns at will. The road is congested even more near the railway station as autorickshaws remain parked there all the time.

The Old Sabzi Mandi area also experiences frequent traffic jams even though the traffic lights at the Kapur Hospital chowk are functional.

In the Civil Lines area, Ghumar Mandi is difficult to even pass through. In the past traffic police officials and shopkeepers have tried to enforce certain rules to ease the congestion in the area. Yellow lines have been drawn many times, but with little effect.

About four years ago, the municipal corporation, in collaboration with the traffic police, had chalked out an ambitious programme to clear 12 roads in the old-city area of all encroachments. Most of these roads lead to CMC Hospital. But the plan could never be executed. Then, in the wake of the Khud Mohalla fire tragedy, the district administration issued orders to all shopkeepers, particularly along Brown Road, to remove all unauthorised extensions. But things were back to square one within a fortnight.

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Kargil Vijay Divas organised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Kargil War, the local unit of All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) organised Kargil Vijay Divas here today.
Paying rich tributes to the martyrs and their families, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, national chairperson of the outfit, said the soldiers had sacrificed their lives while evicting the enemy. The families which were honoured with the Pride of Nation award are of the late Sepoys Balwant Singh, Gurinder Singh, Paramjit Singh, Jaspal Singh, Balbir Singh and Naiks Paramjit Singh and Nirmal Singh.

Mr Bitta said nation was indebted to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the sake of country’s honour. He said it was ironical that when the bodies of soldiers arrived, politicians made a beeline for their homes, but today nobody was bothered about the plight of these families.

Neither the government nor politicians have bothered to fulfil the promises made to these families. He said a martyr is a martyr whether he lays down his life on the border or the war against terrorism. He said politics was being played on the issue of sacrifices of our jawans.

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Pandhi credits Badal for waters Act
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 23
It is an achievement of SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal in getting Punjab’s river waters agreements, which were against the interests of the state, annulled by prevailing upon Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, said Mr Dalip Singh Pandhi, a former minister, here yesterday.

At the time digging the SYL canal was started, the SAD had launched an agitation from Kapuri village in Patiala district, he pointed out. In 1981 Indira Gandhi pressured then Congress Chief Minister Dalbara Singh to withdraw a suit from the Supreme Court against the distribution of river waters and got an illegal agreement signed to share more water with Haryana and Rajasthan, he alleged.

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At the Crossroads
English as an Indian language

English is no longer considered a foreign language as it has acquired the status of an Indian language. Sahitya Akademi (national academy of letters) awards are given to an Indian writer in English alongwith the other litterateurs of 22 Indian languages. This language no longer poses a threat to the study of the other Indian languages. Rather it sometimes brings together the writers of such divergent languages as Malyalam, Marathi, Bengali, Hindi and Tamil by virtue of a common language. In Punjab the agitation, that still persists in the academic circles, was not aimed at eliminating English from the school curriculum but to introduce it from the third standard instead of the first.

In the city not less than five colleges are imparting postgraduate teaching in English, besides the other colleges on the periphery. The classes in some of these colleges are overcrowded and in certain cases the number of students in a class is above the sanctioned strength. The time has come for the teachers to emulate Greek philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle, for imparting knowledge to their disciples by taking short walks in the class. I am reminded of the days before partition when the strength of the postgraduate students in English at Khalsa College, Amritsar was less than 10 and at Hindu College, Amritsar less than five. Shortly after partition, M.A. English classes in both these colleges were discontinued as the students preferred other subjects, particularly Punjabi and Economics.

Now there is a craze for M.A. English. Personally speaking I am delighted to be at a place that has the aura of an open university as the postgraduate students of other subjects, too throng the portals of the 15 colleges within the municipal limits of this megacity. But why English? The question persists. Perhaps it is the language known as the lingua franca of the world. It is considered a passport for an honourable living in the western countries. This language knits together the people of different nationalities by eliminating the divisions of caste, colour and creed. The warmth of togetherness ensues by the fireside of the English language.

Still my heart goes to English literature rather than to English language for which post-graduate study is more or less decorative. It is the English literature that owes its richness to Greek and Latin literatures as much as to German and French literatures. On its part, it is enriching Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu literatures in this part of the land. The process goes on unchecked, without in anyway lowering the status of a regional language. Punjabi, for example, has much to offer to the literatures of the world. This language dearer to our heart, as Hindi and Urdu, is viewing the panorama of the world literature like T.S. Eliot. He once said that he considered the European literature right from the Greek poet Homer to the present day as part of the English literature. For me, as with many others of my ilk, there are no boundary lines on the world map of languages. There is, of course, jostling over of one language by the other for marching ahead. But this is a healthy competition.

The teacher in me is coming back to the English literature. The students are eager to learn at the start of the academic session but, before long, they start making efforts to grab ready-made notes. This tendency takes away the flavour and leaves behind the mashed up stuff. The real joy, not mere pleasure, resides in the study of poems, plays, novels, essays and criticism. Of course, criticism comes last as it should corroborate one’s understanding of the text and not act as a guiding principle. It may, in the process, illuminate the dark areas that persist on the horizon of comprehension. It should never, however, be allowed to eclipse one’s own judgement of a work of literature.

My personal experience tells me that the teacher should also make honest efforts to come up to the expectations of the students. The students may not be knowing more about the subject than their teacher but their understanding at times surpasses that of the teacher. So the teachers and the taught have to make joint efforts for the common pursuit of knowledge.

N.S. Tasneem

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Harassment of VRTC employees alleged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
The Handicapped Institution Employees Federation today alleged that the employees of the Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre (VRTC) for Blind and Handicapped were being harassed by the management and the director Dr E.M. Johnson. However, Dr Johnson denied the allegation and claimed that the employees were trying to blackmail the management.

Representatives of the employees alleged that the Director of the institute had issued a circular in which he had said that the workers would be remunerated according to the production. The employees said there were some workers who were working in the institute for over 30 years and were quite old now. They said they were not in a position to work and show any production. They urged the Director to withdraw the circular.

Dr Johnson said he had issued no such circular and some of the striking employees were trying to mislead the workers. He admitted himself that some of the workers were more than 60 years of age. Most of them were not keeping good health. He pointed out, who can ask such people to show their production. He disclosed that all these workers were being given a remuneration of about Rs 1500 per month, besides free food and lodging. The Director said, instead of raising hue and cry, the employees could come directly to him to sort our the problem. However, the employees alleged that the Director was not prepared to talk to them.

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Hyderabadi food festival begins 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
In order to have the taste of world famous Hyderabadi biryani and other mouth watering non vegetarian delicacies one can stop over at hotel Majestic Park Plaza which is organising the ‘Nizam Ka Piagaam, Lodi ke Naam,’ an exclusive food festival of Hyderabadi cuisine from July 23 to August 1 at Lodi Ruwayat, the Indian Restaurant of the hotel.

The General Manager of the Hotel, Mr Nipun Vig told reporters here today, to introduce to this city of Lodi the authentic Hyderabadi delicacies, Majestic Park Plaza has brought in Chef Nabi and chef Ahzaz and their special recipes and ingredients from the city of the Nizam for this festival.

What makes Hyderabadi cuisine a gourmet delight is the use of special ingredients carefully chosen and cooked to perfection. The amalgam of herbs, spices and condiments gives a unique taste and texture to the dishes. The world famous Hyderabadi Biryani is one such example.

The kebabs of Hyderabad need a special mention. The festival menu has a variety of these liek, lagan ke kebab, bootay ke kebab and the Hyderabadi hara kebab to name a few. The menu also features Haleem a mouth watering delicious dish made of wheat and meat cooked overnight over a slow flame. This dish is a reminiscent of the holy month of Ramzan.

The replica of the Charminar recreates the charming imagery of the bustling streets of the bangle sellers and the mehandiwalas. The hukka and chillam brings nostalgia of a bygone era of nawabi nazakat and the Shahi Dastarkhan, the dining place for the royals offers exclusive regal dining pleasure.

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Sawan Sensation at Niharika Ladies Club
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
Niharika Ladies Club organised Sawan Sensation, a function to mark the beginning of monsoon, here today. Though the participants at the function were in a celebratory mood, the rain gods did not oblige them even today.

Members of the club prayed for rain so that farmers were saved from hardship. Apart from that, there was fun and music. Club president Shaheen initiated the proceedings by welcoming the advisory board members and other members of the club.

Birthdays and anniversaries of club members were celebrated with a cake. A bumper tambola was also organised on the occasion.

A competition to select a Sawan Queen was held in which women decked up in green and yellow outfits participated. The contest was divided in three categories on the basis of age. The judge was Ms Razi Kapoor, who is a jewellery designer. Competitions were also held for decorated umbrellas, beautiful nails and bangles.

It was announced that the club had adopted a child from Nirdosh School, who will be given financial assistance for the whole year.

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Spate of thefts in Shimlapuri
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 23
Three houses were burgled in the Shimlapuri police station area on Tuesday night creating panic and residents are questioning the efficiency of the police.
The house of Mr Ravinder Kumar, who lives in Gobindsar mohalla, was ransacked by thieves while he was away to attend a jagran along with his family. The theft was detected when the family returned to the house at around 2.45 am. The door of his house was bolted from inside and the lights were on. Mr Ravinder Kumar entered the house with the help of neighbour. The whole house had been ransacked and the thieves had decamped with Rs 60,000, gold ornaments and other valuable household goods.

In the second incident on the same night, locks of the house of Ms Jasbir Kaur in Mairr Colony were broken open and 25 tolas of gold and Rs 5000 along with other valuables were stolen. The woman discovered the theft when she returned from a relative’s house yesterday morning.

The third theft., which took place in the house of Mr Gurjit Singh in Jhujar Nagar, occurred due to the negligence of the occupants of the house who were sleeping with the door of their room open due to the excessive heat. The thieves decamped with Rs 6500.

All these areas which fall in the jurisdiction of the Shimlapuri police station are located at considerable distance from each other. Area residents are wondering about the efficiency or otherwise of the PCR teams which patrol the area round-the-clock.

Meanwhile , in an incident of daytime theft yesterday , the glove compartment of a scooter was broken in Hargobind Nagar and a sum of Rs 40,000 was stolen.

Mr Shri Ram (58) who lives in Chhawni Mohalla, had withdrawn Rs 49,000 from his bank in the morning out of which he kept Rs 40, 000 in the glove compartment of his scooter and went to a hosiery in Hargobind Nagar to make his purchases. When he came out to take out the money, he found that the glove compartment had been broken open and his money missing.

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Poppy husk seized, 1 held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 23
In a raid conducted by the Focal Point police yesterday in Jagdish Colony at Dhandari Khurd village, the police arrested Parmod Kumar, a Bihari migrant and seized 16 sacks of poppy husk weighing more than 500 kg. A case Under the NDPS Act has been registered against the accused.

2 killed in mishaps: The Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279,427 and 304-A of the IPC on the statement of Ms Rakesh Rani, a widow living in Mangat Colony at Jodhewal, against Kewal Singh, a resident of a village in Hisar district of Haryana.

The complainant had stated that the accused, who was driving a truck, had hit her son Sanjay Kumar on the GT road while he was going on his cycle. The boy was admitted to the Civil Hospital where he succumbed to injuries on Wednesday. No arrest has been made so far.

The Sahnewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC on the statement of Mr Isher Singh, a resident of Katani Kalan, against an unknown scooterist who dashed into his 13-year-old son, Dharaminder Singh, on Tuesday, on the GT road. His son was admitted to the Civil Hospital in the city where he died on Wednesday.

3 held for selling drugs: Acting on the compliant of Mr Kuldeep Sood, a resident of New Kundan Puri, that three persons were selling drugs and medicines in a Maruti car in the area, the Division No. 8 police yesterday arrested the accused and registered a case against them under Sections 420 and 468 of the IPC. The accused were identified as Gurdeep Singh, Manjit Singh and Avtar Singh. The police said that the accused did not possess any licence to sell drugs or medicines nor were the medicines being sold by the accused had been made under a licence.

2 held on theft charge: The Division No. 6 police has arrested two migrants living in the Bihari Colony in the area and registered a case against them under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

The police said the accused were arrested following a tip-off that they were engaged in stealing raw material from factories and selling it in the market. The police said one iron girder and other iron material were recovered from their possession.

House burgled: The Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Shashi Bala, who lives in New Ashok Nagar, against unknown person(s) who broke open the locks of he house and decamped with a colour TV set, a VCD, Rs 5000 and other household goods between July 16 and 18 while she was out of the city. No arrest has been made so far.

Chandigarh girl kidnapped: On the statement of Mr Sukhpal Singh, a resident of Khanpur village, the Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 363 and 366-A of the IPC against Mukesh, resident of Mansarpur village in Muzaffar Nagar, who was living near Chandigarh, and Ved Pal, a resident of Rampur village in the same district of Uttar Pradesh.

The complainant had stated that one of his relatives Ram, who lives in Sector-20 at Chandigarh , and his daughter Kindi (17) had come to stay with him for a while. The accused kidnapped Kindi from the village on Sunday, No arrest has been made so far.

Another case of alleged abduction was registered under Sections 366 and 120-B of the IPC at the same police station on the statement of Mr Lakhvir Singh against Sanjay Kumar, Amit, Raj Kumar, Varsha, Kewal Krishan and Vandana.

The complainant had stated that the accused had kidnapped his sister Harinder Kaur (23) from outside their house on the morning of July 13 and taken her to an undisclosed place.

Three cars stolen: The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Narinder Sharma, a resident of Shastri Nagar, against unknown person(s), who stole his Zen car from outside his house.

The complainant further stated another Zen car, which was registered in the name of Kulwinder Kumar, a resident of Sanet village, had also been stolen from outside his house.

Yet another Zen car was stolen from Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar on Wednesday evening.

Knife seized: The Civil Lines police yesterday arrested Sanjay Kumar, a resident of Chhawni mohalla, recovered a kamanidar knife from his possession and booked him under the Arms Act.

The accused was intercepted at Bharat Nagar chowk on Wednesday, added the police.

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Banks told to double farm credit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
All leading nationalised banks have been directed to double farm credit this year to ensure that farmers do not face shortage of funds. The banks have also been told to promote agro-based industries.

Officials of Punjab National Bank and Punjab and Sind Bank had held meetings in this regard. All branch heads of the banks, particularly those in rural areas, had been told to identify prospective and progressive farmers who would need financial help.

The banks had been implementing the programme after the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, laid added emphasis on the farm sector in his Budget speech. The banks had been directed to double their stake in agricultural sector. The process of sanctioning loans to the agricultural sector was being kept hassle-free.

According to Mr Gurmit Singh, district manager, Punjab and Sind Bank, all banks in Ludhiana had been asked to advance loans to the agricultural sector in accordance with the directions of the Union Finance Minister. He said an enhanced target of Rs 1,129 crore for agricultural finance had been set for 2004-2005. He said Punjab and Sind Bank had increased loan disbursement to the agricultural sector by about 30 per cent over the previous year.

The bank had decided that at least 100 new farmers each would be financed by rural and semi-urban bank branches at the district level. It also decided that kisan credit cards would be issued to all remaining eligible farmers. It had been decided that rural and semi-urban branches of the bank in the district would advance at least two investment proposals of between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh.

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