L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City to have Pandey’s memorial
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
The Deputy Chief Minister Punjab, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, today announced that a memorial will be set up as a mark of respect to late Joginder Pal Panday, who had sacrificed his life while fighting terrorism in the state.

She said the memorial would be set up in Ludhiana and the Government Law College, Ludhiana, would be christened Shaheed Joginder Pal Panday Memorial Law College. Besides a statue of the martyr would also be set up at a prominent place in the city

Paying tributes to Pandey, Ms Bhattal said he relentlessly braved the terrorists and strived hard to unite the secular forces for safeguarding the unity and integrity of the country.

She said he had been in the forefront in the fight against terrorism. Describing Panday as a multi-faceted personality, Ms Bhattal said he had mobilised the masses against the terrorists to ensure permanent peace in this border state.

She said, with his unparalleled sacrifice 18 years ago the nation had been deprived of one of its bravest sons. The real tribute to him would be to carry forward his mission of peace, mutual brotherhood, unity and integrity of the country, she added.

She said a large number of families had made exemplary sacrifices in the fight against terrorism and added that the families of the martyrs were the pride of the nation and proper respect would be accorded to them by the government.

Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Dr Kewal Kishen, said Panday had made great sacrifice for the peace in the state. He said during his political career he had served the people of Punjab earnestly and honestly and his name will always be remembered in the state as he had completed the noble task of the execution of Guru Gobind Singh Marg during his tenure as PWD Minister.

Mr Manish Tiwari, Secretary, AICC, described Panday as a brave and far sighted leader, who always worked for the downtrodden and even sacrificed his life to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country.

The Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, said ‘‘Panday, by sacrificing his life for the integrity of the country, had shown us the path of bravery and patriotism’’. He exhorted the people to take a pledge on this day to carry forward his principles and ideology.

He announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the construction of memorial of Shaheed Panday.

The Minister of State for Science and Technology and Industrial Training, Mr Rakesh Panday, thanked the leaders and people for turning up in large numbers to pay homage to the great leader.

Mr Avtar Henry, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies , Mr S.S Dhillon MP, Mr Sant Ram Singla Chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, senior vice- president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, Mr Jagmohan Sharma President, DCC (U) , Mr. Parminder Mehta and Mr. O P Mehta Secretary CPI were among others who paid tributes to the leader on the occasion.



3 booked for lynching suspected thief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
The city police today booked three persons for allegedly lynching a suspected thief while seriously injuring another suspect at Miller Gunj here last night.

Mohinder and Raju were caught by area residents yesterday morning when they were allegedly committing burglary in a shop selling mobile phones. The badly injured thieves were later admitted to the Civil Hospital by the Division No 2 police, where Mohinder succumbed to his injuries late last night.

Those booked included Sukhdev Singh, owner of the Hi Tone mobiles shop, and two Nepalese labourers, Vijay Bahadur and Vishnu Bahadur. They have been booked under Section 304 (causing death but not amounting to murder) of the IPC.

The death of the alleged thief and the registration of the case was quite an anti-climax for these people as they had taken the risk of grappling with the thieves who could have been armed. They along with other residents of the area, however, went too far by continuing to beat them up.

The city has been reeling under a spate of burglary and theft cases with mobile phone shops being the major targets of a gang. The police claimed today that the two burglars were involved in several other cases.

Inspector Gurmeet Kaur, SHO, Division No. 2 police station, claimed that the two alleged thieves were wanted in many cases and some of their victims had identified them today.

According to the FIR, the two thieves were decamping with mobile sets worth several thousands of rupees from the Hi Tone mobiles shop when a watchman spotted them. He raised an alarm and other residents and shopkeepers, including the shop owner, came there and gave them a sound thrashing.



Centre for disabled to come up in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has invited applications from the NGOs/ self-help groups (SHGs), who work for the welfare and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, along with the details of their human and financial resources and expertise for the setting up of a district disabilities rehabilitation centre here. The applications should reach his office within 15 days.

He said the city had been selected by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for the setting up of the centre.

Referring to the objectives of the centre, Mr Verma said it would carry out a survey to identify persons with disabilities and hold camps, awareness programmes on the prevention of disabilities and its early detection etc. Disability certificates, bus passes and other concession/facilities for persons with disabilities too would be provided at the centre, he said.

He said the centre would also facilitate surgical correction through government and charitable institutes, loans for self-employment through banks and other financial institutions and counselling for the disabled, their parents and families.

Mr Verma said a special district management team would be set up for monitoring and coordinating all activities of the centre. It would comprise representatives from departments of Health, Panchayat Raj, Rural Development, Welfare, Women and Child Development, Labour and Employment, Education etc.



Residents protest slow pace of work on road project
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, January 19
Residents of the town and adjoining villages have demanded the early completion of the Sahnewal-Kohara road, work on which they complain has been going slow inconveniencing commuters.

The recarpeting of 4.80-km stretch from Sahnewal to Kohara was initiated in December last year. The work started from the Kohara chowk but it almost came to a halt at the actual main market road which has innumerable potholes.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Sanjeev, project contractor, said the entire road had been damaged and a 23-feet wide stretch was being set up again instead of repairing it. In winters the mud takes time to dry up, he said, adding “the major work has been complete, only the recarpeting of the road is left,” he said.

Asked why the work on the main market road has been moving at a snail’s pace, he said, “A 6-inch thick layer had been approved in the earlier estimate, but on second thought a layer of 1.75 feet is being considered on the stretch, the sanction for which from the Chief Engineer will be received this week.”

Mr J.S. Tung, SDO, PWD, B&R, however said there was no technical hitch in the project. “As the project is to be completed in four months till April, we are nearing the target at a considerable speed. We were just waiting for the festive season to pass for the convenience of the shopkeepers. Moreover, quality work takes time,” he said.

A Nabard Assisted Project under the RIDF IX (I) scheme, an amount of Rs 167.82 lakh is to be spent on it. There had been no repair on the road for years together. The bumpy road had led to several accidents. It serves as a major link from Kohara and surrounding villages to the Dehlon-Ahmedgarh route.

Residents of the adjoining villages of Sahibana/Jhabewal, Ramgarh, Jandiali, Sahni, Tibba, Umaidpur, Majara, Dhandari, Jugiana, Pawa, Khagat, Nandpur and numerous others are occasional users of the road. As Sahnewal is a major shopping centre for rural folk and has a big grain market, a number of vehicles laden with sugercane and other produce ply on the road daily.



Panch to be honoured for donating husband’s body
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 19
Ms Pardeep Kaur, a panch of Katana Sahib, will be honoured at the Republic Day function to be held at the grain market, Payal. This was stated by Mr Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, SDM, Payal.

Her husband, Capt Ram Singh, had made a will that his body should be donated. Honouring his wish, she donated his body to the CMCH, Ludhiana.

Similarly, Mr Malkit Singh, kanungo, Payal, will be honoured for donating the eyes of his mother, Gurmail Kaur.

A cultural programme will also be organised in which students of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha; Government College Karamsar, Rara Sahib; Government Senior Secondary School, Payal; Government Senior Secondary School, Maloud; and Government Senior Secondary School, Doraha, will participate.



Authorities buckling under
political pressure: villagers

Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 19
Residents of Sultanpur village, where fertiliser is being prepared allegedly from a harmful acidic liquid, have alleged that the authorities concerned are not taking any action against the defaulters even though a month has elapsed since a complaint was made by them in this regard.

Village panchayat members have alleged that the authorities seem to have buckled under political pressure as factory owners are allowed to remove ‘spurious’ fertiliser from the site.

Meanwhile, senior officials, including Mr Dil Bag Singh, SD (D), Mr Jasbir Singh, DSP, Mr R.S. Pander, Chief Agricultural Officer, Mr Dalit Singh, BDPO, had visited the spot. The DDPO had issued letters to the sarpanch and panchayat members for a meeting to be held on January 18. None turned up except panch Nachattar Singh who himself is the complainant. He had been called again on January 21 at the BDPO office.

Mr R.D. Pandher, Chief Agricultural Officer, said in the absence of any labelling the material could not be considered for sampling. He said the report of the same would be sent to the Deputy Commissioner shortly.

Meanwhile, Mr Jasbir Singh, DSP, told The Tribune that we were helpless to take any action unless we were provided with a solid ground by the agricultural experts who had visited the spot.



Power cuts hit industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) today said that power cuts of five to six hours per day had crippled the working of the industrial sector.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president, CICU, said in a press note that the government must take steps to solve the ongoing power crisis in the state which was causing huge losses to the industrial sector.

Alleging that the government was not conscious abut the adverse impact of these cuts on the industry, Mr Pardhan said, “If this is the situation in winters when only 800 lakh units per day are required we wonder what will the government do when the demand in summers will shoot up to 1,400 lakh units per day.”

He further said that steel furnaces were particularly hit as the entire material got cooled down once the process was interrupted due to a power cut.

The chamber also said that power cuts would mean that exporters were not able to meet their targets on orders on time. “On account of unscheduled power cuts, production will go down by almost Rs 400 crore per day, which is also a revenue loss to the government,” said Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary, CICU.

According to the chamber power cuts are creating unemployment and owners of units where workers are rendered idle will have to bear additional costs as the labour has to be paid minimum wages. 



The man who saved 19 lives
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
When Balbir Singh, a fireman with the Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE), reported for duty on May 21, 2003, little did he know that by the end of the day he would emerge as a hero for being instrumental in rescuing 19 persons trapped in fire on the fourth floor of a building.

He was honoured with a silver medal at the 13th Annual Red and White Bravery Awards presentation ceremony by the Punjab Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), at an impressive ceremony in Chandigarh on January 17. A total of 11 persons were honoured, four of whom were from Punjab. The award comprises a medal, a certificate, a shawl besides Rs 15,000 in cash.

Recalling that eventful day, Balbir, who belongs to Abada Barana village in Una, said at about 10. 30 a.m. one of the LSE security guards rushed in to say that Narvang Towers, a multi-storyed complex on Pakhowal Road, was on fire and that some people were trapped there.

“I rushed to the spot and saw that the sole exit was covered in dense smoke and the elevator had stopped functioning. Many of those trapped had rushed to the fourth floor and could be seen waving frantically for help. Their woes were further compounded with the sun shining brightly and the temperature rising by the hour”, he added.

The slightly built father of three, said some fire tenders reached the scene but these did not have ladders long enough to reach the trapped people. Finally, two wooden ladders were arranged and were attached to the one with the firemen. Even this was not enough as the height was too great for the people to climb down.

“As no fireman was willing to go up the precariously placed and swinging ladder, I volunteered and was given the go ahead by Sarabha Nagar DSP R.S. Brar who was supervising the rescue operation. Since I had received training from the HP Fire Training Centre, Baldean, during my stint as a Home Guard, I reached the top of the ladder and asked the four girls to tie their dupattas and lower them down so that a rope could be sent across to them.

Finally, the men tied the rope to some railings and one by one all of them were brought down safely. These people had to spend more than three hours of uncertainty in scorching heat before they were rescued, he pointed out.

His bravery was acknowledged by the district administration and he was honoured at the Republic Day function last year. Not to be left behind, his employers too rose to the occasion and gave him a commendation letter besides a cash award of Rs 1,000.

Balbir said he was happy with the attention he got and would have missed out on the Red and White Bravery Award but for the persuasion of Mr Manohar Bhandari, who works in the LSE, who made him send his entry.

“I was elated when I received a communique informing me that I had been chosen for the silver medal”, Balbir added.

The good Samaritan has now made Ludhiana his home where his children — one son and two daughters — are attending school. He has also been recently promoted by his organisation as a Senior Technician in view of the good name that he brought to his institution.



Rs 4 lakh sent for tsunami victims
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 19
The SDM Payal, Mr Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, sent a sum of Rs 4 lakh for tsunami victims to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund today.

Mr Dhaliwal said the amount had been donated by different social and religious organisations, clubs, employees and officers of different departments. He said Rs 31,000 had been donated by the pensioners association, Rs 15,000 by Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha Rs 11,000 by Improvement Trust Dhamot, Rs 5100 by Malkit Singh, Kanugo, Payal, in memory of his mother and Rs 5,000 by Gram Panchayat, Chapran.

The Senior Citizens Welfare Council, Khanna, has also sent Rs 21,500 for tsunami-affected people to the Prime Minister Relief Fund according to Manmohan Singh, general secretary of the council.



Bhog ceremonies of couple pass off peacefully
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
The bhog ceremonies of the couple, killed in the sensational case of ‘honour killing’, passed off peacefully yesterday with the parents of the girl and the boy organising separate functions for the purpose.

The mourners at the ceremony organised at Grain Market, Gill Road, by the parents and relatives of the deceased boy, Harpreet Singh, and the state unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), gave an ultimatum to the city police for arresting the main accused, Amrik Singh.

The speakers also demanded immediate identification and arrest of the contract killers allegedly hired by Amrik Singh. People also rued that despite the spread of education and social reforms, people were still divided along caste lines to such an extent that they could commit such gory murders.

On the other hand, the parents and relatives of the deceased girl, Amandeep Kaur, in a ceremony organised at a gurdwara near Jassian Chowk condemned the registration of a case against Amrik Singh and others in the murder case under the pressure of the BSP.

Harpreet Singh and Amandeep Kaur were allegedly murdered by five or more contract killers two weeks ago in an isolated house in Kiran Vihar.



Search Within
Islam and spirit of sacrifice

THE Id-ul-Azha or Id-ul-Zuha, which falls on Friday, like all festivals, has a philosophy behind it and the chief value implied in it is that of sacrifice. Self-preservation is the first law of nature; its opposite, self-sacrifice, is the virtue that believers are expected to practice in their lives.

This festival commemorates the ordeal of Hazrat Ibrahim, who had been put to a test by God when he was asked to sacrifice whatever was dearest to him and he decided to sacrifice the life of his son. As he was on the point of applying the sword to his son’s throat, it was revealed to him that this was meant only to test his faith, and it was enough, if instead he sacrifices only a ram in the name of Allah. This is celebrated on the tenth day of Zilhijja, when the Haj celebrations at Mecca are rounded off by the sacrifice of goats or camels. In India, too, goats and sheep are sacrificed all over the country and prayers are offered.

There are Islamic commentators who maintain that God would not have demanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his own son Ismail with a knife, because it contradicts God’s nature. There is for instance the commandment: “Thous shalt not kill.” Muslims believe Ibrahim had this dream of killing his son and thought it was from God, but God stopped him.

The Muslims believe the son to be Ishmael rather than Isaac as told in the Old Testament. Ishmael is considered the forefather of the Arabs. According to the Koran, Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son when a voice from heaven stopped him and allowed him to sacrifice a ram instead.

According to the teachings of Islam, the sacrifice of animals is not offered to appease offended deities nor to win their favour as an atonement of sins. The Holy Koran states: “Neither the flesh nor the blood of your sacrifices reaches God, but it is the righteous motive underlying them that reaches Him.” (22:37)

In other words, the slaughtering of animals is a symbolic expression whereby a Muslim declares his readiness to lay down his own life and everything he owes for the sake of God Almighty. The animal that is sacrificed really stands for the animal in man himself.

“No one should suppose that meat or blood is acceptable to the One True God. It was a pagan fancy that Allah could be appeased by blood sacrifice. But Allah does accept the offering of our hearts, and as a symbol of such offer, some visible institution is necessary. He has given us power over the brute creation, and permitted us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life, for without this solemn invocation, we are apt to forget the sacredness of life. By this invocation we are reminded that wanton cruelty is not in our thoughts, but only the need for food ...” (Yusuf Ali commentary)

The feast re-enacts Ibrahim’s obedience by sacrificing a cow or ram. The family eats about a third of the meal and donates the rest to the poor. It is not permissible to give a portion of meat or the skin of the slaughtered animal as wages. They should instead be given to the needy in charity. Even the rope and cover of the sacrificed animal should be given away as charity.

Some even maintain that the main purpose of allowing Muslims to continue with animal sacrifices was to turn this tradition into an institution of charity. All the verses of the Koran Majeed which deal with the subject wind up with the proviso that the meat be fed to the poor, the needy, those who are too modest to beg as well as the mendicants - those who beg openly (The Koran 2:196; 22:28; 35-37).

Khurram Murad, founder of the UK-based Islamic Foundation, has this to say regarding the importance of sacrifice for a Muslim: “Sacrifices contribute to the success of our struggle in two ways. Firstly, they strengthen our inner spiritual and moral resources and develop qualities of character which are essential to our struggle at every level. Secondly, they develop and reinforce cohesion and discipline within a collectivism, giving it the strength and resources to conduct Jihad at the wider social level.

“Every act of sacrifice nourishes and increases your Iman; for it transforms a verbal confession and a mental conviction into a living reality. It confirms, and thus increases, your love for Allah; for at every step you give up something for the sake of this love (al-Imran 3:172-3). It reinforces your loyalty and fidelity to Allah; for all other loyalties become secondary as they are sacrificed for the sake of this loyalty. In short, sacrifices bring you nearer to Allah. The process is mutually interactive: the stronger the faith, the greater the will and capacity to sacrifice; the greater the sacrifices, the more internalised and deeper the faith.”

— MPK Kutty



Manish Tewari honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
AICC Secretary Manish Tewari was honoured at a function at New Grain Market here today. The function was organised by local councillor Madan Lal Bagga.

Among prominent persons who attended the function were Chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, Sant Ram Singla and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Milkiat Singh Birmi.

Addressing the function, Mr Tewari said he had made it a point to ensure that the grievances of the public were redressed in time. Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi said the state government led by Capt Amarinder Singh had provided a clean and transparent administration.

Chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board Sant Ram Singla said the state government had given top priority to the farmers and they were being given all facilities. 



Governor flayed for attending
bravery award function

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
A local non-governmental organisation (NGO), Burning Brain Society (BBS), has criticised the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), for participating in the Red & White Bravery Award ceremony yesterday.

Last year when Justice O.P. Verma (retd), the then Governor of Punjab, presided over the function the society had raised its voice and brought the issue to public notice. The chairperson of the BBS, Mr. Hemant Ramtirth Goswami, said, “It is a well known fact that Red & White is nothing but a registered trademark of a cigarette and any sponsorship, prize, award or function organised with the trade name of the same tobacco product backed by the same tobacco company is nothing but a surrogate way of promoting the cigarette brand.

Quoting section 5 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, Mr Goswami questioned the very legality of holding such a award in the name of a tobacco product. 



Teachers stage dharna against state govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 19
The state unit of the Democratic Teachers Front (DTF) held a demonstration at the Mini Secretariat here today to protest against the “anti-teacher” policies of the state government. More than 100 agitating teachers participated in a dharna under the banner, “Save Education Department”.

The teachers alleged that state government wanted to close down the Education Department by not providing grants and funds for various development projects. They said education was the foundation of a nation but, unfortunately, the state government’s “callous” and “apathetic” attitude towards teachers and the Education Department failed to recognise this fact.

They said posts of more than 28,000 teachers were lying vacant in the state but the government was not bothered to recruit new teachers. The teachers said under the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments, the state government wanted to hand over the village schools to the panchayats, adding that the teachers would revolt against the decision. Not only this, the state government had suddenly stopped promoting teachers for the past many years.

Mr Datar Singh, president of the DTF, Punjab, said the “anti-teacher” policies of the government would not be tolerated at any cost. The state government had violated the Supreme Court orders by not giving higher scales to highly qualified teachers.The teachers said they protested against the government’s mid-day meal scheme, irrelevant seminars, duties of teachers at non-educational events, etc. The teachers demanded that the Elementary Teachers Training courses should be restarted.

The agitating teachers burnt an effigy of the state government. The teachers had staged similar dharnas at Faridkot and Jalandhar also.



Readers Write
Decision on rent allowance unjust

The Punjab Government’s decision to withdraw the house rent allowance facility from one of the working spouses is altogether unjust. Both spouses had been enjoying the facility since May, 1990. Its withdrawal will hit more than 30,000 employees.

By another decision the state government has withdrawn the benefit of higher grades for teachers possessing higher qualifications. The decision will take effect from January 1, 1986. It will result in reduced salaries for thousands of teachers besides recoveries from them.

To get the higher grades, the teachers had fought their case and got the benefit from the Supreme Court. Is the government decision fair?

Yash Paul Ghai, Ludhiana


Incidents of crime are increasing. The root cause of crime is mainly ignorance. To curb crimes, education and awareness are essential. Government and non-government agencies and the media should help educate the masses in this regard.

In movies and TV serials, persons are shown committing crimes but the consequences of their actions like punishment and the plight of their families are rarely shown so that viewers can draw lessons. Producers, directors and script writers should keep this in mind.

Prof Nahar Singh Chhal, Mullanpur

Migrant labourers

The increasing inflow of migrant labourers into Punjab has created problems for Punjabis. It has become a matter of serious concern. Such migrants have become permanent residents and most of them have got ration cards. Some of them have also entered political life.

The influx, particularly into Ludhiana, has led to an increase in the number of crimes. In a majority of crime cases, migrant labourers are reported to be involved.

The state government should take the necessary steps to curb the inflow. The administration, too, must ensure that such labourers are registered with the police.

Kuldip Singh Kreer, Ludhiana



Protest over erratic power supply
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 19
Activists of various organisations of Pakhowal block staged dharnas at the PSEB office, Pakhowal, and division office at Lalton in protest against irregular power supply yesterday. The protesters urged the Punjab Government to disband the board and hand over power sector to private companies.

Irked over erratic electricity supply during the past few weeks, the representatives of the organisations urged the PSEB authorities at Pakhowal to improve the power supply but the authorities showed their inability to do anything. After this the protesters went to the division office at Lalton in the evening and staged a dharna there.

While farmers said input cost of almost all crops had increased due to insufficient power supply, shopkeepers alleged that the local authorities had been harassing.

Transformers of the area needed immediate replacement, they said. A floor-mill owner expressed similar views.

Amandeep, a student, said the examinations were on hand but he did not get sufficient time to study during night.

The Pakhowal Shopkeepers Union, the Pakhowal Adda Union, the Floor Mill Association and the Farmers Union joined the protest.

Mr Rachhpal Singh, Executive Engineer at Lalton, said the problem had arisen as power generation had declined due to ongoing maintenance of the plants.

Power controller decides the duration of power cuts and that his office is just executing his orders, he said, adding that his office had got at least 50 transformers repaired and 100 more would be fixed soon.



No case of female foeticide in dist: DC
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 19
Girls have played an important role in every field of society and we should rejoice at the birth of a girl child,” said the Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib.

He was speaking at a function organised by the Parent-Teacher Association at Government Girls Secondary School here today to distribute books and woollens among the students.

The sex ratio in the district, the land where the Sahibzadas and Mata Gujari made the supreme sacrifice, is the lowest in the state. We should create awareness among the people.

No case of female foeticide has come to the notice of the administration so far, the Deputy Commissioner maintained.

He said the district had no shortage of funds.

He announced a grant of Rs 21,000 besides providing 10 ceiling fans for the classrooms of the school. The president of the Parent-Teacher Association, Seth Kanhaya Lal Bardeja, gave a cheque of Rs 10,000 to the school.



Man booked for intimidating woman
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 19
Manjit Singh of Abupura village has been booked under Sections 452, 323, 321, 354 and 506 of the IPC at Sidhwanbet police station.

The case was registered on the complaint of Karamjit Kaur of the same village. She had complained that Manjit Singh entered her house and intimidated her.

Assault case
Sohan Singh, Buta Singh, Kunda Singh, Tejkaur, Balraj Singh Jittoo, Surjit Kaur, Sher Singh and Sunny have been booked on charges of assaulting Saudagar Singh. A case under Sections 341, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC has been registered at the local police station.


One held
The Government Railway Police on Tuesday arrested a man at the railway station here on charges of pickpocketing.

The accused, Karan of Uttar Pradesh, was arrested from platform No. 2. He was produced in the court of the SDM, who sent him to 14-day judicial remand.

Poppy husk seized
The Payal police on Tuesday arrested two persons for possessing poppy husk. They were arrested from Nandpur village.

The police seized 8 kg of poppy husk from them. Both were arrested under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.



Conman takes bank for a ride
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Chandigarh, January 19
The Union Bank of India (UBI), Sector 35, filed a fresh complaint against Bharat Bhushan Aggarwal, a resident of Sector 28-A, against whom the Economic Offence Wing of the Chandigarh police is conducting an inquiry into alleged frauds committed by him with this bank. The earlier complaint was made in October last year.

The bank in its complaint to the SSP, Chandigarh, filed on January 11 alleged that Bharat Bhushan had committed a forgery on the basis of the registration certificate of a Maruti Zen car (HR-03-E-1270) financed by the UBI, Sector 35.

The bank officials complained that he had raised loans from four other banks for the same vehicle.

Further the bank related the misdeeds of Bharat Bhushan, who had also got his Maruti Esteem car (HR-43-A-0004) financed by other three banks. His modus operandi was to defraud the banks on the basis of the same registration certificate of vehicles, which otherwise were required to be registered in the name of the bank.

The bank officials also gave details of loans raised by him for a billiards centre at Sector 32-D. He took a loan of Rs 2 lakh from the State Bank of Patiala but the centre was closed and the loan was raised on nil assets. He had also taken a loan of Rs 50,000 from the same bank to purchase a computer by submitting fake bills.

Further the bank official also discovered from the Registering Authority, Panchkula, that the registration record of the Maruti Zen car financed by the bank did not show the UBI as a financing bank. The bank also alleged that Bharat Bhushan availed of a housing loan from the bank and did not repay even a single penny.



Bank staff protest against FDI, mergers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
Protesting against the government’s decision to bring down equity in public sector banks to 51 per cent, to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to 74 per cent and merger of public sector banks, members of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation today held a rally at Punjab Bhavan here.

The call for protest was given by the All-India Bank Employees Association. Addressing the rally, Mr N.K.Gaur, secretary, of the association, said allowing 74 per cent FDI would mean public savings being cornered by foreign capital. He said Indian public sector banks had primary social responsibility and had to contribute towards rural development, employment generation, poverty alleviation, medium and small industries growth and infrastructure development.

“While significant strides have been made by the banks in the past 35 years of nationalisation any attempt to reverse their role will be retrograde,” Mr Gaur said.

The association also condemned the proposal of merger of public sector banks stating that India’s share in total global trade was only 0.75 per cent and their merger with banks of “international character” would further dilute their role.

Members said merger would also imply closure of thousands of branches depriving people of banking services.

The association also said broader unified approach on expansion of public sector banks by opening more branches in rural areas, adequate credit at cheaper rate for agricultural sector and no further dilution of government capital in public sector banks, was required.

The association also threatened to observe strike in mid-March if the government did not reconsider its decisions on the above issues.



Tehal re-elected chief of arhtiya association
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, January 19
Mr Tehal Singh Aujla has been re-elected president of the Sacha Sauda Arhtiya Association.

Mr Aujla’s name was proposed by the block Congress chief, Mr Surinder Kundra, which as seconded by the nagar panchayat chief, Mr Narinder Singh Batra.

Among others present on the occasion were Mr Jagjit Singh Pirthipur, Mr Amrik Singh Kahlon, Mr Amrik Singh Aujla, Mr Shakti Anand, Mr Nirmal Singh Nagra, Mr Sushil Luthra, Mr Rupinder Singh Benipal and Mr Tejinder Singh Kooner.




LUDHIANA: General Manager (Vigilance) of the State Bank of India M.M. Lal held a meeting with branch managers of Punjab on Wednesday. Mr Lal, who is on deputation from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), also addressed staff of Ludhiana branches and emphasised on security aspect in present day’s computerised working environment. He said bank employees must follow systems and procedures laid down by the bank so as to ensure foolproof transactions and security. TNS


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