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Spurned lover throws acid on girl
Victim’s sister injured too
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Two girls from the city became victims of the frustration of a dejected lover late last night.
Close on the heels of the shocking Ishita acid attack case in Shimla, 15-year-old Usha and younger sister Nikki (13) suffered burn injuries when two youths, Anil and Mukesh, threw a plastic can full of acid at them at the Focal Point here around 10 pm yesterday.

A married man, Anil had allegedly been making advances to Usha for the past two years and was upset for the past few weeks at her refusal to respond positively.

After Usha turned down a fresh proposal from him last evening, he, accompanied by friend Mukesh, threw acid on her. Usha suffered burn injuries on her face, arms and the back as she tried to save herself. The acid also fell on her younger sister, who suffered burns on the neck and face.

“If you won’t be mine, you would also not be of anyone else. I will teach you a lesson that even your future generations will remember,” shouted Anil before throwing the acid, as revealed to Ludhiana Tribune by Usha today.

The Focal Point police station has registered a case of attempt to murder against the youths. Sub-Inspector Surinder Mohan, SHO, said a case under Sections 307, 323, 341 and 34 of the IPC had been registered against Anil and Mukesh. Both the victims and the suspect work in a Focal Point factory manufacturing staplers.

The condition of the two girls was not critical. Hospital sources said the girls had shown good presence of mind by running away when they saw a plastic can in the hands of the attacker. They had thought there was kerosene in the can and that Anil would set them on fire after dousing them with it.

The girls rushed straight to their house in a nearby colony and narrated their experience to the parents. As the suspect also lives in the neighbourhood, his family allegedly tried to pressurise the victims’ parents into reaching a settlement. Certain common friends of the two families also tried to convince the victims’ family that the girls would lose honour if they approached the police.

The girls, however, insisted on getting the suspects booked so that no one dared to behave like this. On the suggestion of the police, a medical examination of the girls was conducted at the Civil Hospital after midnight.

The examination confirmed that the burn injuries had been caused by an acid, following which the police registered the case. The suspects, however, have absconded.

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Improvement Trust clears encroachments
Our Correspondent

Officials of the Improvement Trust clear encroachments in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in Ludhiana
Officials of the Improvement Trust clear encroachments in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in Ludhiana on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, August 5
Officials of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) today carried out a day-long operation of demolition and removal of permanent and temporary encroachments on 300 feet main road in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on the Pakhowal road here.

Mr Ashok Singh Garcha, Chairman of the trust, along with several trustees, Mr Avtar Singh Azad, executive officer and Mr Manmohan Singh, Superintending Engineer, led the team of men and machines for clearance of encroachments, which did not meet any resistance.

The LIT team descended on Nagpal Resorts, which was alleged to have encroached upon a part of the main road to provide an additional gate and construction of approach roads to the sprawling marriage palace. The gate was pulled down and the approach roads were also partly dug up with the help of a tractor. Later, a JCP machine, which was requisitioned from a private firm, was deployed to dismantle some more structures and jhuggis around the marriage palace.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Garcha said the drive against encroachments would continue and all properties, including roads, green belts and other vacant sites, presently under encroachments, would be restored back to the trust. He further said that the Enforcement Wing of the trust was being strengthened and a proposal to purchase a new JCB machine would be brought at the next meeting.

At a meeting of the LIT, convened here yesterday after a ‘truce’ was arrived at between the trustees and the Chairman, it was decided to start a comprehensive drive against encroachments, particularly on the 300 feet main road in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar which were coming in the way of further development of residential and commercial complexes in the area. The meeting had also resolved to take in hand the issue of construction of four commercial buildings in the residential area on the Pakhowal road.

According to LIT officials, notices were being served on the owners to pull down the unauthorised constructions at their own level within a stipulated period failing which the LIT would move to demolish the same and also take steps for cancellation of sale deeds under the relevant rules.

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Cancellation of trains hits commuters
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
Hundreds of daily wage earners, who travel to the city from Ahmedgarh, Malerkotla and Kila Raipur by rail have been hit hard following cancellation of all passengers trains running between Ludhiana and Hisar from today till August 14.

Following the washing away of a rail bridge near Ambala due to torrential rains, all rail traffic on the Ludhiana-Delhi section was diverted on Tuesday via Jakhal when the Hisar-bound passenger train which leaves Ludhiana at 4.30 pm was cancelled.

Yesterday also, some passenger trains running on the Ludhiana-Jakhal-Hisar section were cancelled while others ran several hours behind schedule.

Following the cancellation of all passenger trains this morning, hundreds of commuters were stranded at all railway stations on the Ludhiana-Hisar section. particularly at Malerkotla and Ahmedgarh.

Since the mail trains being diverted to this section have no set time table and stoppage at these railway stations, the commuters, particularly the daily wage earners, are facing a great hardship.

Speaking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Hari Chand, who hails from Ahmedgarh and works in a hosiery in the city on contract basis, says that it was really very hard to spend Rs 30 as bus fare everyday for a worker whose daily wages do not exceed Rs 100. Similar sentiments were echoed by other workers also.

The commuters are also demanding that all mail trains, which have been diverted to the route, should also stop at Kila Raipur, Ahmedgarh and Malerkotla for the convenience of daily passengers and the public. Currently only a select number of these mail trains stop at these railway stations.

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Bid to rob passengers; 1 hurt
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 5
Two scooter-borne youths fired at a tempo driver near Rampur village this afternoon while he was on way to drop passengers.
According to sources, the youths, one wearing a turban and the other with a cap, on a white Vespa scooter, stopped the tempo.

The youths asked women passengers to alight. When they tried to snatch their jewellery at gunpoint the tempo driver, Balwinder Singh, a resident of Satnam Nagar, Ward No 2, Doraha, attacked them with an iron rod. The accused fired at the driver and injured him. However, the police sources said the robbers failed to commit robbery.

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BJP protest against petrol price hike on Aug 13
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 5
The district unit of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) will hold a protest demonstration against hike in prices of petrol, diesel and other essential commodities here on August 13. This decision was taken at a meeting of the party held here today under the presidentship of Dr Subhash Verma, district president.

Addressing the party workers, Dr Verma alleged that as and when the Congress came to power at the Centre, the prices of essential items had shot up and at the same time profiteering and hoarding had increased. The party will mobilise the public to join the protest against persistent hike in prices of petroleum products which had upset the budget of every section of society, he said.

He said before assuming power at the Centre, the Congress had announced that it would stand by the common man but once its government was installed, the poor masses, farmers as well as members of trade and industry were being strangulated under the burden of rising prices.

The BJP chief further said that in response to a call given by the party leadership, the functionaries of the district unit would submit a memorandum to the district authorities against the proposed reservation in government jobs to Muslims on the basis of their population. Maintaining that the proposed reservation would not serve the desired purpose of removing backwardness among the Muslim community, he said the government would have to create an effective mechanism to ensure allround progress and educational level of all backward sections, including Muslims.

Other party activists made scathing attacks on the Congress Government in Punjab as well, charging it with pursuing policies that were detrimental to the interests of trade, industry and farmers. They were of the view that despite hike in petrol and diesel prices by the oil companies with the consent of the Union Government, the state government was in a position to provide some relief by slashing the sales tax rates on petroleum products if it was really worried about farmers. “The industry, particularly the small and tiny sector is in no better position with ever rising prices of steel material and acute scarcity of power.”

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Badal blamed for river waters dispute
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 5
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Chief Minister, is responsible for the river waters dispute. This was stated by Mr Ram Kumar Vinayak, vice-president of the Ludhiana (Rural) district Congress committee, while talking to mediapersons here today.

He said Punjab was an agriculture-based state and needed a lot of water for crops. He added that with the falling water table, farmers were being exposed to a critical situation. He asserted that the Congress would fight the battle in its own way and would not allow farmers to suffer.

He said Capt Amarinder Singh should have consulted the party high command and the Prime Minister before taking a decision on the river waters issue. He also criticised the Chief Minister for dropping Mr Tejparkash Singh Kotli from the Cabinet.

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Sutlej water level dips
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
People living in several villages alongside the banks of the Sutlej in this district heaved a sigh of relief when the water level receded today. Heavy rains for the past 24 hours had raised fears of flash floods in the area. News about more water being released in the river from the Bhakhra Dam had caused panic among the area residents.

Though intermittent, rains lashed the region today yet there was no rise in the water level of Sutlej.

According to an official release, water level was below the 4000 cusecs mark and it was receding further. Several spurs which were almost covered with water in the past few days were clearly visible today.

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Shoddy digging work upsets residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Residents of Sarabha Nagar, Block-I, are up in arms against the Water Supply and Sewerage Board and the Municipal Corporation for doing a shoddy work of the sewerage laying process in the area. The labourers employed for the job have dug up the roads in a haphazard manner causing plethora of problems for the residents.

The digging work has blocked water supply to several houses and disrupted the telecommunication services in the area as the labourers have cut the newly laid underground cables. Drinking water was flowing on the streets as a water supply pipe damaged due to the digging was leaking from several places.

BSNL officials expressed their inability saying that they had fined the diggers several times and had even complained to the police. The telephone connection of dozens of houses have been paralysed.

The residents were also agitated against the labourers for not giving them enough time to make arrangements for parking their vehicles. Due to the digging work, the road has been blocked and all the approach ways to the houses have been cut off. Residents have no place to park their vehicles. The vehicles parked inside will remain there for several days till the digging work is over. The residents are upset over the lack of planning by the diggers. 

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Nominations invited for Vivekananda awards
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has invited applications from youth, women and voluntary consumer organisations for outstanding work done in the field of consumer protection.

Mr Verma informed that the awards instituted by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, had been named after Swami Vivekananda. The proposals have been invited for the year 2003. The purpose of these awards is to promote a strong consumer movement in the country, wherein each section of the society particularly youth and the women and the consumer organisations contribute to this cause.

The DC further informed that there would be three awards in each category with the prize money of Rs.20,000, Rs.15,000 and Rs.10,000 for the top three awardees in youth and women categories and Rs.50,000, Rs.40,000 and Rs.30,000 in consumer organisation category.

The performance for these awards will be judged from work done by the applicants in taking up important consumer causes; putting in special efforts for redressal of consumer grievances, bringing out new ideas for consumer protection and safety from health hazards; promoting consumer movement, particularly in smaller towns and rural areas through exhibitions, seminars and demonstrations, undertaking consumer research or investigation into specific consumer problems; taking up any other activity which directly or indirectly contributes towards consumer protection and spreading the message of voluntary consumer movement.

Mr Verma added that for the youth category, the age limit was 15 to 35 years. For a voluntary consumer organisation, it should have at least 100 members, and should also be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It should have been in existence for the cause of consumer protection for the past three years. It should be non-political, non-official, under non-proprietary management and not for profit.

He further said that nominations and applications in this regard could be submitted in his office within a week, so that these could be sent to Chandigarh for further action.

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Book on pet dogs prepared by PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
A special book on pet dogs, their diseases and upkeep has been prepared by the Centre for Communication, Languages and Culture, PAU.
Dr Sukrity Sharma, Dr Harish Verma and Dr Parminder Singh, have prepared this book under the supervision of Dr Krishan Baldev Singh, Professor and Head Department of Veterinary Extension.

Giving the information about this book, Dr Krishan Baldev Singh said the book carried information about diet, basic cautions, vaccinations, attack of rabies, infectious, skin and other diseases of dogs.

In the preface, the PAU VC, Dr K.S. Aulakh says that dogs and human beings have been good companions for over centuries. 

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Staff not paid for SGPC poll duty

Amloh, August 5
The employees who were on election duty during the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee poll, have not been paid in Fatehgarh Sahib district according to Mr Balbir Singh Ghuman, district president, Government Teacher Union.
Mr Ghuman has urged the Deputy Commissioner to get the payment expedited. OC

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ASI booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
An Assistant Sub-Inspector of Punjab Police has been booked for allegedly preparing a fake compromise deal to facilitate land grabbing in Ayali Khurd village.
The ASI, Mr Madhav Anand has been booked under Sections 447, 448, 506, 465 , 471 and 120-B on the complaint of Mr Mohinder Singh. The complainant had a land dispute with a property dealer, Mr Jarnail Singh. The accused cop was investigating the case and allegedly helped the other party and to get possession.

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Industry rues PSEB proposal to review tariff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Punjab State Electricity Board’s decision to review the tariff in the next couple of months has set alarm bells ringing. Industry representatives described the move as “totally unwarranted” as it may put further strain on the slump-stricken industry. They said the industry was already paying a hefty tariff and it would not bear any further hike.

The reaction comes after the PSEB Chairman, Mr Y.S. Ratra, announced yesterday that the board planned to revise the tariff as it was suffering huge financial losses.

A joint meeting of the Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India and its affiliated associations was held here today under the chairmanship of Mr Joginder Kumar. The meeting expressed resentment against the move. It pointed out that while the tariff was being hiked for the small-scale sector, the arc furnaces were being given relief by reduction in the tariff.

Mr Kumar stated that the board was proposing a tariff hike for small and medium power supply from Rs 3.15 and Rs 3.57 per unit to Rs 3.50 and Rs 3.75 per unit, respectively, the large-scale supply at 11 KV to the general industry and arc furnaces was being brought down from Rs 3.66 per unit to Rs 3.40 per unit.

The federation asserted that it was the small and medium power supply consumers of the industry who needed power at cheaper rates, while the PSEB had decided to charge less from the large-scale consumers. The federation resolved to oppose the proposed tariff hike. It urged the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission that the rates of large-scale supply at 11 KV should not be reduced. It observed that instead the PSEB should reduce the tariff of the small consumers.

The leaders said in view of the regular power cuts, the provision of monthly minimum charges should be abolished. It also demanded that the slabs of domestic supply up to 100 units, 101 to 300 units and above 300 units should be revised to a minimum of 300 units and 301 to 600 units and the third category should be made above 600 units. It pointed out that the domestic slab needed to be revised as 300 units limit was too meagre and should be raised to 600 units.

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Seminar on growth of small, medium enterprises
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Punjab National Bank, Zonal Office, Ludhiana organised a seminar on growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and mid cap segments (MCS) here today. Mr C.P. Swarnkar, General Manager, Punjab National Bank (head office), was the chief guest on the occasion, while Mr Harwant Singh, General Manager (Punjab Zone), presided over the seminar.

Addressing the seminar, Mr Swarankar, said the Punjab zone’s non-food credit has taken a big leap from Rs 2,676 crore as on March 2001, to Rs 5,682 crore on March 2004. He said keeping in view the performance of the Punjab zone, it has been allocated a target of Rs 6,850 crore for the current financial year under the non-food credit.

Mr Harwant Singh said, earlier the bank had been concentrating on financing different priority sector segments of the economy like agriculture, small-scale industry and other down trodden sections of society, now its had rescheduled its priorities due to the emerging economic scenario in general and in the wake of WTO agreement in particular.

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