L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City’s first police-public meeting a flop show
DIG Parag Jain fails to turn up, SSP arrives four hours late
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

A view of the police-public meeting held at Aggarwal Palace in Ludhiana on Monday
A view of the police-public meeting held at Aggarwal Palace in Ludhiana on Monday. — Photo by Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, November 15
The much-hyped Shikayat Nivaran Darbar of Ludhiana police turned out to be a flop show with the DIG, Mr Parag Jain, staying away from the meeting and the SSP Narinderpal Singh coming nearly four hours late than the scheduled time here today.

Angry residents said the very purpose of the meeting had been defeated. It was aimed at settling the long pending disputes and the resultant harassment of making rounds of police stations and courts faced by a common man but the people were more harassed in a single day than ever.

Incensed at the non-availability of a higher official to listen to their grievances, the residents registered their protests with the S.S.P. who reached the venue nearly four hours late. It was a difficult time for the S.P. City-I, Mr R.K. Jaiswal, who had to pacify the residents before the start of the meeting.

Incidentally, this was the first such meeting to be organised in the city by the police. Earlier, such meetings were organised in other parts of the district and the police had claimed these to be a great success.

The meeting was scheduled to start at Aggarwal Marriage Palace at 10 a.m. The residents had started gathering there half an hour in advance. They were disappointed when no official turned up till 1:30 p.m. and then an announcement was made that the D.I.G. would not be coming. The meeting was continuing till the filing of this report.

Residents claimed that while calling them for the meeting the police had not specified the location of the marriage palace as there were two palaces of the same name in the city. Moreover, they were made to wait for hours together.

Some participants staged a walkout from the meeting after they were told that their names were not included in the list. Members of an NGO, Maha Sabha, Punjab, came out of the meeting when they were told that their cases would not be taken up today.

Col. J.S. Brar, (retd), president of Maha Sabha, said he and the secretary of the sabha, Mr Jaswant Jeerakh, were called up by Sarabha Nagar police to attend the meeting. ‘‘I went to the police station in the morning to confirm the venue and reached there at 10 a.m. I waited for the officials for around four hours and when finally the SSP came I was told that my case would not be taken up today.’’

He added that his organisation had been taking up cases of land grabbing worth crores of rupees in the city and he was not even heard today. ‘‘This is not the way. They cannot harass us like this,’’ he said while going out of the venue.

Cases like marital disputes, civil disputes and fraud were taken up in the meeting.



Anti-US sentiment rules Id celebrations
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

 Muslim children greet each other on the occasion of Id in Ludhiana on Monday
ID MUBARAK: Muslim children greet each other on the occasion of Id in Ludhiana on Monday.

Ludhiana, November 15
Anti-US and anti-George Bush sentiment prevailed during the Id celebrations here today. Thousands of Muslims who had come here to offer the Id prayers at the historic Jama Masjid in Field Ganj resented the attempts of the Western countries in general and the USA in particular, to identify Islam with terrorism.

Leading the attack on the USA, the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, Maulana Habib-u-Rehman regretted that the Islamic countries and small nations were being victimised in the name of terrorism. He asserted that Islam was the most peaceful religion in the world. He said, if the world followed the teachings of Prophet Mohammad there would not be any violence in the world.

The Maulana maintained that Muslims were the most patriotic community and they would sacrifice their lives to safeguard the honour and integrity of their country. He said, the Indian Muslims were loyal to the country and loved it as much as anyone else. He appealed to Muslims of the country to work for the peace and progress of the country.

Addressing the congregation, the Punjab unit president of the Indian Muslim Council, Maulana Atiq-u-Rehman, said, “India was a great country with cultural and religious diversity. He said, it was a unique example of unity in diversity.”

He welcomed the efforts of India and Pakistan to improve relations and work for peace. He said, the Kashmir issue could only be solved only by bilateral negotiations. He pointed out that gun and violence were no solutions to any problem. He called for an immediate end to the killing of the innocent people. He said if India and Pakistan joined hands then no power in the world would be able to browbeat the two countries.

Leaders of different political parties and members of various communities also visited the Jama Masjid to offer their greetings to Muslims on the occasion. They included the Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Surinder Dawer, former minister Mr Ishwer Singh, Akali leader Mr Kulwant Singh Dhukhia, president of Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran, Mr Prithipal Singh Pali, Congress leader, Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal and others.

The community members thanked the local administration, the police and the municipal corporation for extending cooperation in making the celebrations smooth. There was huge rush of devotees at the prayer meeting. As the mosque could not accommodate all of them, a number of devotees offered prayers on the Shahpur Road.

MANDI AHMEDGARH: Id was celebrated with great fervour here and in the surrounding villages. Leaders of various Hindu and Sikh organisations also greeted their Muslims brethren on the occasion.

Clad in colourful garments, people from all strata of Muslim community gathered near the local idgah in the morning.

After “namaz” at idgah they gave alms to the persons from the weaker sections of society. Ms Razia Sultana, MLA, greeted Muslims on the occasion.

AMLOH: Id-ul-Fitr was celebrated by Muslims with great enthusiasm here today. Namaz was performed by the devotees on the occasion. Mr Sadhu Singh Dharmsot, Parliamentary Secretary, Home and PWD, congratulated Muslims on this auspicious occasion and announced a grant of Rs 31,000 for various development works.

Id was also celebrated at Bhadalthuha village, 1 km from here, today. Former minister Dilip Singh Pandhi participated in the celebrations at the village. Sweets were distributed among people on the occasion. The village Sarpanch, Mr Tilak Raj, congratulated Muslims on the occasion. Mr Jarnail Khan, president and Mr Dogan Khan, cashier, of the Muslim Welfare Committee thanked the people for their cooperation.



Id peaceful at Bhaura
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, November 15
The festival of Id passed off peacefully in Bhaura village here which had witnessed communal tension between the members of two communities over the ownership of a religious place last week.

Heavy police force was deployed in the village especially near the religious place. The villagers, mainly Sikhs, have been performing religious rites for the past several decades at the building claiming that it was a gurdwara. However, members of the Muslim community have been claiming that the religious place was actually a mosque.

A strong group of Muslim youths had tried to take possession of the mosque last week but in vain. Both the groups are already locked in a legal battle over the matter.

The day passed off without any untoward incident even though tension could be sensed in the village. The police did not take any chances and made elaborate security arrangements.

The police was hopeful that a meeting between the leaders of the warring groups scheduled to be held on Wednesday would solve the matter in an amicable manner.



Stage set for national sports festival
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 15
The ball has been set rolling for the 30th National Sports Festival for Women Group-I with the arrival of 31 member contingent from Kerala here today. The festival is scheduled to be held at Guru Nanak Stadium here from November 17 to 20. Competition in three disciplines — basketball, gymnastics and swimming, will be conducted during this four-day festival. More teams are expected to reach the city tonight or by tomorrow.

While Addressing the mediapersons here today, Mr Kartar Singh, Director Sports Punjab said around 20 teams comprising around 750 participants and officials, drawn from different parts of the country would take part in the festival being organised jointly by the Punjab Sports Department and the Sports Authority of India.

“All arrangements for the successful conduct of this mega event have been completed. Various committees have been formed to oversee the arrangements. The accommodation arrangements for the players have been made at Parker House, Punjab Agricultural University, Panchayat Bhavan and hostels of the Speed Fund Academy being run by the sports department,” Mr Kartar Singh said.

The Director further said the reception counters at the local railway station and bus stand have been set up where the officials of the Sports Department would be present round the clock to receive the visiting teams. Transportation from these places to the respective stay places would be provided to the participants. A control room has been set up at the district sports officer’s room to have communication with all those concerned with the conduct of this festival, Mr Kartar Singh said.

He expressed hope that the hosts who have been the overall champions for the last couple of years would again emerge the winners this year. A number of players of national and international repute will be seen in action during this sports extravaganza, he said.

Mr S.L. Lotey, District, Sports Officer, Ludhiana and joint organising secretary of the festival informed that besides the march past, a cultural programme by children would be the main attraction of the opening ceremony. Mr Mahal Singh Bhullar, former Director General of Police, Punjab will declare the festival open on November 17 at 11 am while Mr Prag Jain, DIG, Ludhiana police range will preside over the inaugural function.

Mr Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab and Sports and Youth Services will be the chief guest on the concluding day. Mr Rakesh Minhas, officer on special duty to Mr Kartar Singh along with coaches of the sports Department were present on this occasion.



Physically challenged PCO owner’s plea accepted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
A physically challenged PCO owner, who was displaced after the shifting of district courts to new courts complex has finally been given a space to set up his xerox machine in the new building.

The plight of PCO owner Mr Lalji Singh was highlighted by the Ludhiana Tribune. He was allowed to put up the xerox machine on the second floor of the new courts complex, from where he had been running a PCO.

After getting the permission, an elated Lalji Singh, a 40-year-old physically challenged man, said he was grateful to a High Court judge who had been instrumental in getting him the place that would enable him to keep his kitchen fires burning.

Earlier, he was allowed to run a PCO on the second floor of the building and he had been seeking permission for putting up his xerox machine also there. But other xerox operators, who were allotted shops on the sixth floor of the building protested against this and claimed that this would hit their business.

For the past 11 months, Lalji was moving from pillar to post to get the place to earn a living. Various officials had been promising him that he would be relocated but to no avail. The shifting of the district courts from the old building had spelled doom for him. He had been running a PCO in the old building for the past 20 years and after the shifting from there he had no place to run his business in the new building.

Some months ago, he had started running his PCO near the parking lot of the new building. His office comprised a chair and a table besides a telephone apparatus. But again he was told to move his goods from the place and he had to call strangers for help.

“Now I will be able to give my daughters better education. I was not earning enough by running the PCO only as a few people came to use telephones while many required to get their documents copied. Things have changed for the better now.” he added.

The other PCO owners, who had a kiosk in old building had been allotted the cabins in the new building on the sixth floor but he could not climb up stairs due to his handicap and was seeking a place on the ground floor only.

He was allowed to put up a kiosk on the ground floor of the building but protests by other xerox operators located on the sixth floor had forced the authorities to ask him to leave the place.

Lalji was allotted a kiosk in the Old Courts Complex in 1982 by the then Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, Mr Ravi Sawhney who wanted to make him on his own.



30 new nursery schools by December 1
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
With a view to provide early child care and stimulation of children of the age 3-6 years, 30 new nursery schools were being opened in the district under the Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan (SSA) which would start functioning from December 1, said Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana.

Elaborating further, Mr Verma said these schools would be ideally located in the Government Primary Schools, but if there was no extra accommodation there, then suitable rent free community buildings near the schools would be selected for this purpose.

The buildings for nursery schools would be properly repaired and renovated from funds being provided by the SSA. He said the children in the age group of 3-6 would be imparted proper care and be given pre -school training through charts, toys and other training equipment.

The DC said the villages for these schools have already been identified and involvement of the village panchayats and development committees was also being ensured in this context. The villages where such schools were being started include, Jamalpura Awana, Sukhdev Nagar, Mundian Kalan , Bijli Ghar Jamalpur, Kuliawal, Bhaura, Meharban, Kothe Samshey, Adda Raikot, Basti Bajigar, Chhappar, Madpur, Mandiala Kalan, Basti Bajigar Doraha, Deep Nagar, Baddu Bast Doraha, Sarabha, Mansooran, Miller Ganj, Janta Nagar, Madhepur, Akuwal, Pusian Kalan, Kot Umra, Kul Gehna, Talwand Nau Abad, Khanna (near Railway Station), Azad Nagar, Kual Patti, Raikot, and Adda Jangpur.

Mr Verma said to impart good care and training, capable and motivated teachers (volunteers) from the same village would be deputed in these schools and a helper in each school would also be appointed to assist the teacher on contract basis. He said these volunteers would be given training in pre-school education techniques for this purpose by the component resource persons trained by the NCERT at district and block levels.

He said the mid-day meals would also be provided to the children in nursery schools and the timings of the schools would be such that the mid-day meals for the pre-school children should coincide with that of primary school children.

The Deputy Commissioner directed the DEO (P) to accord top priority to provide all kind of required facilities in the schools .



Homage paid to leaders of Gadar Movement
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 15
The Shaheed Bhagat Singh Vichar Manch organised a function here today at Dr Amrit Kaur Nursing Home to pay homage to three martyrs Kartar Singh Sarabha, Vishnu Ganesh Pingle and Rahmat Ali.

The manch also made people aware of the Gadar Movement and the sacrifices made by Gadarites for India’s independence.

Dr Ved Vatuc, former Professor Berkley University, California said in his key note address that the dreams of Gadarites had not been fulfilled till now even though India had achieved its freedom more than five decades ago. He said, “Gadarites had dreamed of a classless and casteless society which appears to be a distant dream even today. They had dreamed of equality and brotherhood, which seems far fetched concept even today. Hence their thoughts are still relavant.”

The other speaker Dr Tejinder Sibia from California, USA also said freedom fighters of Gadar Movement had fought for social, economic and political justices. But the social system had not changed. He said the only solution to the multiple challenges being faced by the Indians was to carry on the legacy of Gadar Movement and build a society on values of brotherhood and equality.

The seminar was attended by Prof Jagmohan, Prof A.K. Maleri, Dr H.S. Grewal, Mr Jaswant Zirakh, Master Bhajan Singh and Mr Gurmail Singh. 



Veerappan keeps date with city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
Notorious dacoit Veerappan kept his date with Ludhiana and appeared at Maharaja Palace through the magic of Magician Samraj, famous conjurer specialising in horror magic show, at the palace here last evening.

Civil Engineer-turned-magician, George Sam ‘Samraj’ enthralled the audience more when Mother Teresa also appeared from a magic box to bless the spectators, the city and the state. Before that the magician had already spelled a magic web by conjuring up pigeons, biscuits, flowers, and even saris from empty boxes, hats, magic wand and a piece of cloth.

The show was organised by Saint Gregorios Church here. It was a charity show for the benefit of orphaned and other needy children. It was held in a jam-packed hall of the palace. The magician took ample help of layers of multi-coloured curtains, high-decibel dolby effect music and lights. He claimed himself to be the reincarnation of a great horror magician who had died when Titanic ship had sunk.

Setting up the show with that background, Samraj went on to perform one trick after another and regaled the spectators. He left everybody in awe when he, dressed as a yogi, defied gravity and rose up to almost the roof of the stage and came down steadily.

The spellbound viewers then watched unbelievably the magician cutting a girl into two pieces and then joining the body parts with ease. The magician also sought to spread the message of communal harmony by dressing himself as priests of different religions. He also dispelled notions of superstition by saving a girl and a child from the hands of a ‘tantrik’, about to sacrifice them. Not to miss the patriotic fervour, the magician hurled national flags while Vande Matram was being sung in the background.

The highlight of the show was when the magician invited a spectator to chain him and lock him in a large box. Samraj directed him to open the box in 60 seconds only after he knocked from inside the box. However, not more than 20 seconds after being locked in the box, the magician appeared from the other side of the hall in police uniform.

The magician then told the stunned youth to open the box from which the notorious brigand Veerappan came out threatening with a gun. He was overpowered by members of the STF but vanished suddenly. The vanishing act was an illusion mastered by the magician with the help of changing lights swiftly and bursting of crackers.



Johar promises upgrading of civic amenities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Education Minister, Punjab, has stated that the government was according top priority to provide basic amenities in the urban areas. During the current financial year, more than Rs. 500 crore were being spent to upgrade these facilities in different cities of the state, he added.

Mr Johar was addressing a function organised for on-the-spot redressal of the problems of the people at Dasmesh Nagar last evening. More than 10 complaints, mainly relating to sewerage, water supply , proposal for shifting of industrial units from the area, roads etc, were submitted by the people before him. He assured that all problems would be sorted out at the earliest in consultations with the officers concerned.

Mr Johar asserted that during the past two and half years, the government had released sufficient funds for the development of the cities. The work on the project to provide drinking water to entire population in Ludhiana was also under execution and it would be completed by 2005. The minister said that the municipal corporation would spend Rs 200 crore on the development projects in the city and to ease out the problem of traffic in the city many new overbridges have been planned.

He said in the different wards falling in his constituency would be provided with sufficient funds to carry out the development projects. Referring to the problem of inadequate sewerage system in the area, he said shortly he would visit the area again along with Mr Nahar Singh Gill Mayor and officers of the municipal corporation to sort out this problem and more funds would be released to carry out different development works in these wards.

Mr Johar announced a grant of Rs. 1 lakh for the dharamshala building of the mohalla.



Hindu bodies plan protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
Various Hindu organisations will stage a demonstration here tomorrow in protest against the arrest of Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Sarswati. Addressing mediapersons here today, representatives of various organisations, including the Vishva Hindu Parishad and the Shiv Sena, alleged that the arrest of the seer was part of a conspiracy to defame Hindu religion and its institutions.

The organisations alleged that the Kanchi seer was arrested in haste and with an ulterior motive. They pointed out that if the police wanted to probe the allegations against him, he could have easily been questioned as he was readily available. They termed it as an insult to the greatest institution of the Hindus, which has an over 2,500-year history. They warned that it would lead to dangerous repercussions as the Hindus could not tolerate insults any longer.

They said they would burn an effigy of the Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil, whom they held responsible for the arrest of the seer.



Democratic unions hold march
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 15
Activists and officer-bearers of various democratic unions today organised a flag march which passed through various villages and the town. Mr Sukhdev Singh Bari of the Punjab Subordinate Services Federation led the march.

Mr Sikander Singh Jartoli of the federation said a dharna would be held in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office at Sangrur on November 25.

The march passed through various villages, including Sandaur, Manki, Dasaundha Singh Wala, Mithewal, Kothala, Bhudan, Faridpur Kalan, Kanganwal, Rohira, Jitwal Kalan, Jandali Khurad, Jandali Kalan, Kup Kalan, Kup Khurad, Maherana Khurad and Jhaner.

Leaders of various unions urged the people to join fight against price hike and privatisation of government enterprises. Among others who addressed the rally were Mr Mohinder Singh Seelon, Mr Baldev Singh Latala, Mr Jagtar Singh Maherna, Mr Gurmel Singh Pancchi and Mr Nihal Singh.



Remove encroachments, shopkeepers told
Our Correspondent

Samrala, November 15
A meeting of shopkeepers was held here today under the chairmanship of Mr Ajmer Singh Romana, SP (Headquarters), Khanna. Mr Romana instructed the shopkeepers to remove encroachments and warned them not to allow the rehriwalas to sell items in front of their shops.

Mr Jasveer Singh, DSP, Samrala, appealed to the chemists not to sell medicines without prescription of the doctor.



Road inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 15
Mr Sadhu Singh Dharmsot, Parliamentary Secretary (Home and PWD), today inaugurated the 2.5-km Circular Road at Jassaran village, near here. The road was laid at the cost of Rs 10 lakh.

Mr Jagmeet Singh Bawa, vice-president, Municipal Council, Mr Inder Jeet Singh Randhawa, sarpanch, Mr Jagmohan Singh Bittu, president, House Building Cooperative Society, and Mr Harpreet Singh, vice-president, District Congress Committee, addressed the gathering.



Man murdered by wife, paramour
Our Correspondent

Doraha, November 15
The alleged illicit relations of a woman with one of the relatives of her husband resulted in the brutal murder of the husband at the hands of the two suspects last night.

Sources reveal that Joginder Singh of Gurditpura village was murdered last night allegedly by his wife, Baljit Kaur, with the help of her husband’s cousin, Daljinder Singh, and a migrant labourer, Naginder Paswan. The murder was committed by a sharp-edged weapon which was used by one of the men accused while Baljit Kaur tried to shut the mouth of her husband by one of her hands. As the victim was attacked in the dark , fingers of Baljit Kaur also got injured as a result of which she had to be admitted to the CMC Hospital, Ludhiana.

The incident came to light early in the morning today when the wife of the deceased held the other two suspects responsible for the brutal murder.

The reason behind the murder is said to be illicit relations allegedly between Baljit Kaur and Daljinder Singh, son of Darshan Singh of the same village, for the past one and a half years. The deceased was residing in Saudi Arabia and whenever he came back, he used to oppose the liasion and beat his wife and cousin, but to no avail. It was due to his opposition and resistance to their relations that the two planned to end his life. A case has been registered at Payal police station.



Witnesses depose in child’s murder case
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 15
Two witnesses to the antemortem (preceding death) statement of a five-year-old Dalit child of Pakhowal village have deposed before a judicial magistrate at Jagraon against the murder suspects who have since been sent to judicial remand. The police, meanwhile, is waiting for the results of the chemical analysis of the vomit swab and viscera of the deceased which had been sent to the forensic laboratory at Patiala.

Mr Rajiv Ahir, Senior Superintendent of Police at Jagraon, said Amandeep had said that Ms Usha Devi had made him “drink bitter tea” when his parents were away from home in the presence of two women of Pakhowal village. These women had taken care of Amandeep before his mother Sunita could reach home, as she had gone to work in the fields.

As the child had remained unconscious till his death at a private hospital at Ludhiana, the police depended on the statements of the witnesses. “Keeping in view the gravity of the case, we preferred to record the statements in the presence of a magistrate,” said Mr Ahir. He further held that in such cases the statement of a witness was as good as the dying statement of the deceased.

Amandeep, who used to go to Anganwari, had allegedly been given poison-laced tea by the suspect against whom the Raikot police had registered an FIR under Section 307 of the IPC earlier but Section 302 was added later after the child died at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital at Ludhiana on November 8. The child was admitted to the local Hind Hospital on November 5, the day of the incident, where he had been kept on life support system.

The suspect had not confessed to committing the crime and had maintained silence when she was in police custody. The nature of the poison would be ascertained only after receiving chemical reports of the viscera and the vomit swabs, police sources at Raikote police station maintained.



Industrialist held on rape charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
The city police has arrested an industrialist living in Block-B of the Sarabha Nagar on the charge of raping a woman in his house on November 13. The accused, Baljinder Singh, has been booked under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC. The FIR stated that the accused had lured the woman, whose husband had died last year, for some work at his house and allegedly committed the crime.



Bank to set up training centres
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
Punjab National Bank will establish PNB farmers’ training centres in various states in order to generate self-employment avenues. Training will be imparted at these centres to small traders, women, youth and others, said Mr Harwant Singh, General Manager, PNB, Punjab zone, while inaugurating the construction work of a training centre at Shamsher Nagar village in Fatehgarh Sahib district today.

He said the bank had already established a centre at Sacha Khera village in Jind district.

The centres would disseminate information on latest technological developments in agriculture and allied activities among farmers for increasing production and productivity, besides generating awareness on cultivation, animal husbandry, plant protection, storage and marketing practices. These centres will also enlighten farmers about the bank’s schemes, systems and procedures for raising loans.

Mr Jagat Ram, Deputy General Manager, PNB, Dr Tarsem Singh, Chief Agriculture Officer, Dr Bhagwant Singh, Assistant Director, Fisheries, Mr Chand Singh, Deputy Zonal Manager, Mr U.K. Sharma, Senior Regional Manager, Mr K.K. Gulati, Chief Manager, Mr Rattan Singh, Project Director, and Mr Major Singh Sekhon, Sarpanch, Shamsher Nagar, were present, among others.



Inflation hits industry
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 15
Steel and petroleum products are the main movers of inflation and both are getting costlier due to the policies of the government. Stating this here today, Mr P.D. Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab, said the RBI in its report for the year 2003-2004 has clearly stated that iron and steel were the main movers of inflation. The RBI in its credit policy has again observed that steel is the main culprit and if iron and steel are excluded from inflation, the index of inflation remains at 4 per cent instead of 7 per cent.

Mr Sharma alleged that the steel prices were rising due to the wrong policies of the Union Government which was encouraging export in the face of shortage of steel in the country. The NDA government had discontinued the incentives which had been restored by the UPA government. The steel producers reduced the prices of steel in response to the appeal by the Prime Minister but the SAIL was the first to restore the original prices within two months.

Mr Sharma said the steel ministry called a meeting of the main steel producers and some major consumers on November 8 where the consumers established that steel producers were arbitrarily raising the prices of steel on flimsy grounds. The steel minister refused to interfere, he said.


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