L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S




55 buffaloes found dead in trucks
Overcrowding the likely reason
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Faizal, the main accused, in police custody.
Faizal, the main accused, in police custody.

Ludhiana, July 17
As many as 55 buffaloes were found dead in three trucks, under mysterious circumstances, when these trucks, carrying cattle for slaughtering were stopped by some animal lovers near Grain Market in the wee hours today. The cattle had, in all probability, died of asphyxia or starvation.

This is the highest number of casualties of cattle in one instance. There have been incidents in the past when a few such animals have died on way to butcher houses in Uttar Pradesh.

The trucks were carrying 86 buffaloes, out of which only 31 were alive. Five were seriously ill. The carcasses were sent for post-mortem examination to find out whether the cattle died due to asphyxiation caused by overloading or these were killed by truck drivers before transporting these to their destination.

According to the police, five trucks carrying these buffaloes were intercepted by the some residents but two trucks gave a slip. The residents had suspected them to carrying cows. The police has registered a case under Section 429, IPC, and under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act on the complaint of the PFA. Faizal, the main accused who was alleged to be a supplier of cattle to slaughter houses in UP, was arrested. The police was on the look out for others.

The police said the cattle were being transported to some destination in Uttar Pradesh for slaughtering by a 12-member gang, which was active in various districts of Punjab. Last evening, they were said to have collected the cattle from villages in Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts and neighbourhood villages in Ludhiana.

Further investigations were on. It was being found out whether the buffaloes had died on the way or were killed before being transported. Dr Ramesh, a veterinarian on the spot, said the buffaloes were being taken for a post-mortem and the cause of death could only be ascertained after the report. It was, however, not conducted till the filing of this report.

Witnesses said the trucks were passing through the Jalandhar bypass in the wee hours when some persons smelt a cat and chased the trucks. Two managed to escape and other three lost balance and were caught.



3-year-old girl dies of gastroenteritis
Threat of malaria looms large over city
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 17
As gastroenteritis claimed its first victim as the local residents in more than six colonies have been affected with the disease, the threat of malaria also looms large in the city.

A 3-year-old girl child in Jiwan Nagar Colony died here yesterday after a severe attack of diarrhoea and resultant dehydration. According to officials of the Health Department, three children of a family were brought to a private hospital in Focal Point.

Information gathered by Ludhiana Tribune from health officials and several private hospitals revealed that more than 100 patients of gastroenteritis, coming from Muslim Colony, Bhagat Singh Colony, Sherpur and Guru Arjun Dev Nagar were under treatment in different hospitals.

Even as the attack of gastroenteritis refused to relent despite claims by the authorities that it was not being epidemic, the threat of malaria appeared to be knocking at the doors of city residents. In Dr Ambedkar Colony, on the outskirts of the city, eight cases of fever had already tested positive for malaria and were being given treatment.

The area residents were sore at the apathy of the administration which had failed to take timely measures to prevent the outbreak of malaria which had claimed several lives and affected hundreds of people last year. Several residents alleged that even though the government had declared this colony as high-risk area after the malaria attack during last year, the preventive steps like fumigation and DDT spray were nowhere to be seen. Mosquitoes were breeding in stagnating water in the vacant plots and the people were exposed to grave health hazard.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajinder Kaur, told Ludhiana Tribune that the level of sanitation in affected colonies was pathetic and at many places the people were using drinking water drawn from hand pumps. She claimed that the outbreak of diseases, in many cases, could be attributed to unhygienic conditions and consumption of contaminated water and food.

She further said as far as preventive measures against malaria in Ambedkar Nagar and some other disease-prone colonies in the city was concerned, the Health Department had launched a campaign in March this year and several hundred blood slides were prepared. “Those found to be carriers of malaria were given specific treatment. Even now teams of the Health Department are distributing anti-malaria medicine free of cost to suspected cases.”

Dr S.S. Dhir, SMO, Sahnewal, said three teams of health staff were carrying out a door-to-door survey in Ambedkar Nagar and 41 more blood slides were prepared today for screening against malaria. He claimed that there were sporadic cases of fever in some houses and the outbreak of the disease could not be termed epidemic as things stood at present.



Valmikis flay Dullo’s appointment as PCC president
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Adi Dharam Samaj, a representative group of the Valmikis constituting a major group among the Dalits, has criticised the appointment of Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo as the president of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC).

It observed that one particular sect among the dalits to which Mr Dullo belonged had held monopoly over the Dalit politics and were grabbing all the plum posts.

The Samaj also said that Mr Dullo had become a minister and an MP and had already availed to the benefits of reservation. Now people like him should be excluded from the benefits of reservation as had been proposed by Dr Baba Sahib Bhim Rao Ambedkar that the benefit of reservation should be time bound till the time people achieved social, political or economic progress.

This, it observed, will provide chance for progress to other less privileged among the down trodden and the oppressed.

According to the national convener of the Adi Dharam Samaj, Mr Darshan Rattan Ravan, Mr Dullo belonged to the Ravi Dassia sect among the Dalits.

He said, for last so many months the Congress was claiming to appoint a Dalit as the PCC president.

He remarked, “Although the Ravi Dassia sect is also among the Dalits, but there are other 38 castes among the Dalits who have never got any representation anywhere”.

Mr Ravan alleged that some influential sections among the Ravi Dassias had monopolised the politics. He said all the contenders among the dalits for the post of PCC like Ms Santosh Chaudhary, Chaudhary Santokh Singh and Mohinder Singh Kaypee were all Ravi Dassias and no Valmiki leader was given any representation.

He regretted that neither there was any Valmiki member in the central government nor in the state government.

He alleged that the Valmikis have always been exploited since independence by the Congress. He said, now the Congress will learn the lesson a hard way as the Valmkis have decided to explore other options who would watch their interests.



Arrested teachers intensify stir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
The unemployed ETT teachers lodged in the Central Jail here have further intensified their fight against the alleged repression and injustice inflicted upon them by the state government.

Claiming this in a statement here today, Mr Jaswinder Singh Sidhu, president, Unemployed Elementary Teachers Union, Punjab, said earlier batches of 15 teachers were resorting to chain fast, but since yesterday, all arrested teachers had launched a mass hunger strike for 24 hours.

Mr Sidhu said the arrested teachers had refused to accept fruits and other eatables taken to the jail by their family members and relatives and asked them not to bring any eatables till the government relented and their demands were accepted. He said during a meeting of the union functionaries with the teachers in the jail, modalities of the agitation were also discussed.

The union president said the leadership had resolved to continue the battle so that the government could be forced to come to the negotiation table and demands of the unemployed teachers were accepted. He gave a call to other trade unions to come together at a single platform and wage a battle against the denial of justice to the teachers.



Work on roads in Kilaraipur begins
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 17
Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, a senior Congress leader and in-charge of Kilaraipur constituency, inaugurated the work on the Pohir-Lohatbaddi road at a function organised in Chhapar village here yesterday.

While addressing the gathering, Mr Khangura claimed that construction projects for all planned and non-planned roads falling under the constituency had been approved by the authorities. He said PWD Minister Partap Singh Bajwa had recommended the approval of the projects that needed funds of Rs 15 crore.

“The work on link road inaugurated today would be completed from Pohir to Guga Mari Chhapar within one month so that the devotees attending the annual fair do not face any inconvenience. All other roads will be completed by the end of next year,” said Mr Khangura.

Commenting on the condition of the roads, Mr Gurnam Singh Azad, Executive Engineer, said the repair and construction work on all major roads would be completed soon. He admitted that the commencement of strengthening work on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road had been delayed due to implications of VAT as the officials had to negotiate the terms with the contractors again.



Passing Thru

Mr Sarvdeep Singh Virk DGP, Punjab
Mr Sarvdeep Singh Virk DGP, Punjab

How do you view the increasing number of custodial deaths in the state?

There have been only four custodial deaths after I had taken over as the DGP Punjab. The cases are under magisterial investigation. But I have already issued stern warning to those police officers charged with such cases. I have ordered that such police officers should be treated as criminals and dealt accordingly.

Which is the most serious crime in your opinion?

I would love to live in a crime-free society. But everybody knows, this is impossible. As the DGP, I am bothered about the effect of a crime on the law and order situation and the trust of the police among the public. Any crime which shakes the trust is a serious crime for me. Personally speaking, I am disturbed when someone robs a person on the street than the occurrence of theft in a locked house. It is the dare of the criminal which reflects his fear or no fear of the police.

Crime like robbery, snatching, kidnapping are on the rise in the state. Do you agree?

No. This is not correct. The crime figures should be seen in relation to the increase in population. The population increase gives birth to unemployment, poverty, inferiority complex, rivalries which become cause of different kind of crimes. While lambasting the police for the crime incidents, people should take this in account too. The police is working round the clock to check the criminals, that is what I can assure you.

— Jupinderjit Singh



Bairagi Mahamandal honours Dullo
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
The newly appointed President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, was today honoured at a function organised by the Bairagi Mahamandal, Punjab. President of the mandal and chairman of Punjab Housefed Krishan Kumar Bawa, along with Vaid Swarn Das, secretary, presented a shawl and a portrait of Bairagi Baba Banda Singh Bahadur to him.

Mr Bawa expressed confidence that the new PPCC chief would further strengthen the party up to the grassroot level to prepare it for the coming Assembly elections which were only one-and-a-half year away.

Mr Dullo said he would try to do his best to come up to the expectations of senior party leaders and the AICC president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, who had entrusted him with the task of rejuvenating the organisation. He observed that all sections of workers would be given adequate representation in the party set up which would be recast in the next couple of days.

Among others, Mr Ramesh Joshi, secretary, PPCC, and director of the Punjab Pollution Control Board and Mr Ashok Makkar, secretary, PPCC, were also present.

In another functions organised by Mr Ashok Makkar to felicitate Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa on his nomination as chairman of the Punjab Housefed, the Congress functionaries distributed sweets on the appointment of Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo as new PPCC President.

Addressing the function, Mr Bawa said Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, and Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, PPCC President, would take the Congress to new heights in Punjab. He said the party cadres were enthusiastic about the change in guard of the Congress in the state and the party was looking forward to putting up still better performance in the next Assembly elections.



Probe DGP’s charges against Mann, demands Badal
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Former Chief Minister and the president of the Shiromani Akali Dal-Badal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today demanded a CBI probe into the allegations levelled by the Director General of Police, Punjab, Mr S.S. Virk against the Shiromani Akali Dal-Amritsar president, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann. Mr Virk had recently alleged that Mann had collected huge money from foreign countries to fund terrorist activities in the state.

Talking to reporters here today, the Akali leader pointed out that in view of the serious nature of allegations and since these had come from no less a person than the state police chief himself, a thorough probe was needed. He said since he and his party had no faith in the efficiency of the state police, it thought it would be better if these were investigated by the CBI.

Claiming that SAD-A president, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann had no base and his Akali Dal was a “pseudo Akali Dal”, Mr Badal alleged that he (Mr Mann) and the Chief Minister were playing a “friendly match”. He remarked, “It would be better to call the Shiromani Akali Dal-Amritsar as Shiromani Akali Dal-Amarinder, since it was working according to his (Capt Amarinder’s) diktats only.

Commenting on the appointment of Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo as the president of the Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Badal remarked, “It only established that the more corrupt you are, the more capable you are considered in the Congress”. He alleged Mr Dullo had already been indicted by the Punjab Lok Pal in corruption charges.

“Moreover he was denied party ticket during 1997 elections by the party just because of his having been indicted for corruption charges,” Mr Badal pointed out.

He said this only indicated the leadership vacuum in the Congress that forced it to accept the corrupt leaders. He observed the Congress was already counting its days in the state and the people were alienated and disillusioned with the party since it had failed on all fronts. He pointed out the problem of law and order was worse in the state and the militancy was raising its ugly head once in the state. He said had Jagtar Singh Hawara, the Indian head of the Babbar Khalsa International, not be nabbed by the Delhi Police from Patiala, he would have been roaming free and who knows what he would have done by now.

Earlier a number of Bahujan Samaj Party workers joined the SAD-B in presence of Mr Badal at a function organised in Sherpur area. Mr Badal extended warm welcome to all the party workers and assured them that party would take care of their aspirations.



Centre, Punjab Govt meddling in Sikh affairs: Badal
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 17
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief, today accused the Centre and the state government of interfering in the affairs of Sikh religious organisations in India and abroad.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune at the local Lotey Market, Mr Badal alleged that the Union Government, acting on behest of Capt Amarinder Singh had allegedly pressurised the Pakistan Government to stagger implementation of certain projects concerned with the Pak Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee headed by Mr Mastan Singh.

“As Mr Mastan Singh tried to work on the policies of the SGPC, Capt Amarinder Singh tried his best to remove him from the office of president. As a member he wanted one of his members to be seated on the chair,” said Mr Badal.

Terming all other dals as agents of the Congress, Mr Badal alleged that they all were trying to disrupt peace in the state.

“Like Mr Mann, self-styled leaders of these so-called Akali dals were hand-in- glove with Congress leaders and were trying to project fake terrorism in the state so that they could realise the same during Assembly elections scheduled for February 2007,” argued Mr Badal.

Responding to a question on the appointment of Mr Samsher Singh Dullo as president of the PPCC, Mr Badal claimed that it would not affect the results in Assembly elections.

Mr Badal addressed functions organised at Gujjarwal and Malaudh villages where a large number of workers of the Congress had joined SAD.

Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, MLA, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, former minister, Mr Mann Singh Garcha and Mr Jagwant Singh Jaggie, circle president, also spoke on the occasion.



BJP workers’ training camp a low-key affair
Vimal Sumbly

Tribune News Service

State BJP president Avinash Rai Khanna talks to reporters during a workers’ training camp in Ludhiana on Sunday.
State BJP president Avinash Rai Khanna talks to reporters during a workers’ training camp in Ludhiana on Sunday. — Photo by Sayeed Ahmed

Ludhiana, July 17
The workers’ training camp of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) that was organised here today proved to be a low-key affair with most of the party leaders remaining inactive. The shadow of the party crisis at the national-level appeared to be looming large over the camp as the workers preferred not to discuss it. Even the assurance of the state party president; Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, that the party will emerge stronger did not appear to be appealing or convincing.

However, contrary to the expectations, the numerical strength of the workers at the special training camp was quite high. The workers were told to maintain discipline at all costs. They were asked to shun personal ambitions and work for the party “which is always more important than the individual ambitions”.

Senior RSS leader, Lala Lajpat Rai gave the theme lecture. Mr Rai, who owes more allegiance to the RSS and considers himself more to be a swayamsevak than a BJP leader, exhorted the workers to maintain self discipline. He reminded them of the sacrifices of the founders and focussed on the values the BJP stood for.

Later talking to the reporters, the state BJP president tried to avoid any reference to the leadership crisis at the national level. However, he could not help remarking, “Come what may, the party will emerge stronger from these crisis and it was only a parivarik (family) dispute”.

While criticising Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Mr Khanna demanded a judicial probe into the recent foreign trips of the Chief Minister and the subsequent terrorist incidents in India.

He alleged, “the Chief Minister’s controversial foreign jaunts, whether to Dubai or the speech at Dixie gurdwara in Canada and the subsequent blasts by Babbar Khalsa activists in Delhi are all linked together and these needed to be probed at the judicial level”.

The BJP leader said the party had decided to launch a jan andolan (mass movement) against the Congress government in the state. He said the party’s relationships with the SAD (B) were as cordial as ever.



Applications invited for Deshmukh award
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The district administration has invited applications from social and voluntary organisations that have done outstanding and innovative work for the development of women in 2004 for the Dr Durgabai Deshmukh Award constituted by the Central Social Welfare Board which carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, a citation and a shawl. The entries should be submitted by July 25.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, said the award had been constituted after the name of Dr Durgabai Deshmukh, the founder Chairperson of the Central Social Welfare Board working for the welfare of the women and children since 1953 with a view to recognise the services of outstanding voluntary organisations and to further encourage them for social service.

He said the applications could be submitted in the office Assistant Commissioner (General) in a prescribed proforma which could be obtained from the office on any working day.

The Deputy Commissioner said the institutions must have at least 10 years of experience in service for the development and welfare of the women and sufficient documentary proofs should also be attached with the application to substantiate the claim.

He said the applications received would be sent to the state-level committee constituted to review and shortlist the applications for further forwarding to the Central Social Welfare Board.



Their will stood against govt apathy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
What the government machinery could not do for the past at least five years, some volunteers, motivated by the Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, made it possible within a few hours only.

About 50 volunteers led by Mr Paramjit Singh Sibia, Chairman of the trust, today filled huge potholes formed due to years of official apathy at the local bus stand.

The Punjab Infrastructure Development Board has allotted the contract of giving the bus stand a new look to a Baroda-based company.

Two JCB machines were offered free of cost by two contractors for the job.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Sibia stated that on a visit to the bus stand he was shocked to see 3 to 4 feet deep potholes. He talked to some contractors, dealers who volunteered to pool in resources and the work begun today.

The volunteers were able to make the driveway motorable by the end of the day.

The potholes were filled with the help of sand mixed with some industrial waste. ‘‘This mixture is better than the bitumen mix and helps absorb rain water,’’ said Mr Sibia.



Ludhiana Calling
Ice-cream sellers’ woe

Ice-cream sellers, who use deep freeze for ice-creams are having a difficult time due to the bad power scenario. Long power cuts have badly hit the ice-cream business. The sellers are having difficult time as the customers who open the wrappers of ice candies return it that after seeing their shapes. ‘‘They will open the candy and return it to us. The company also refuses to take the spoiled candies back, saying that it is our problem to keep them at a required temperature. What should we do? We suffer losses on account of power supply failure. It is better that we keep a rehri inside our shop, ’’ said a seller.

Sutlej bridge

The motorable bridge over Sutlej is in a bad shape. Potholes and broken fences can be seen as no repairs have been carried out by the authority concerned. The bridge was constructed by a private construction company on build, operate and transfer basis and commuters were made to pay toll at the barrier till some time ago.

Praise cops and sign

A city journalist was recently praising a certain public welfare scheme of the local police He was taken aback when the policemen demanded if the praise could be made in writing with signatures. “Why?” the exasperated journalist asked. ‘‘ Because it is rare to find someone praising the police, the officer remarked. He explained that it was discussed albeit in a lighter vein in police circles that whenever someone praises men in khaki it should be taken on record as the view can change any moment.

Health woes for men in khaki

The ratio of policemen to city population is loaded heavily against the former. To cap it all, men in khaki are facing a number of health problems due to over work, lack of proper sleep and inadequate rest. Alcoholism compounds the problem. No wonder one can find a policeman trying to steal some sleep while on duty. Not many people realise that he is also human and continuous duty can take a heavy toll on him.


Seen painted at the rear of an auto-rickshaw, ‘Angrej langhe se taann hi tange see’, ostensibly as a warning to those trying to overtake the vehicle.



When complainants turned accused
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 17
Complainants turned accused at least in three cases reported at respective police stations in Sangrur and Jagraon police districts.

The local police registered a case under section 182 of CrPC against two workers of Nani Filling Station, Kup village for reporting a false robbery on Friday night.

The duo had reported that five or six unidentified robbers had snatched around Rs 50,000 from them. Police parties led by Mr Harinder Singh and Harjinder Singh remained on toes for the whole night in search of the suspects.

Yesterday evening the police had to turn its investigations towards the complainants who broke down and admitted that they had concocted a false story to pocket cash collected during the daytime. Mr Rachhpal Singh, DSP Malerkotla, said a case had been registered against the complainants.

Another false case was detected at police station Dehlon. Partners of a Ludhiana-based insurance broker firm conspired to pocket insurance claim worth Rs 15 lakh by stage-managing a daylight robbery at Gopalpur village on Ludhiana-Malerkotla road a month ago. But, non-corroboration of facts of the story narrated by them made the police suspicious who would now initiate action against the complainants after cancelling the FIR.

Mr Ashis Bansal, an insurance broker, and his associate had reported to the police that three unidentified Qualis-borne robbers had snatched Rs 16.50 lakh at gunpoint from them on the evening of June 13. The robbers had stopped their car by breaking the windscreen with a hammer, they had claimed.

The news jolted residents of the area and the police of four districts including Jagraon, Khanna, Ludhiana and Sangrur started a hunt for the suspected robbers immediately. When police could not get any clue about the fleeing robbers, the investigating team became suspicious about the complaints and started investigating the matter from other angles.

During investigations, the police found out that the complainants had lied about the number of bags being carried by them. The police was informed that the robbers had carried away cash brought in two bags whereas the staff at the office had stated that their partners had taken only one bag with them while leaving office at Feroze Gandhi market office.

The brokers could not explain the receipt of such a huge amount on that particular day and the urgency of carrying it at a time when the bank was about to close daily transaction. Bank authorities had denied the broker’s claim that a cheque had been presented for clearing that day.

The investigations revealed that the firm had got an insurance policy worth Rs 15 lakh only 18 days prior to the reporting of the said incident. Perusal of the account of the firm maintained at local branch of a nationalized bank revealed that it lacked entries of such a huge amount. The inspection of the interior of the car occupied by the complaints had also pointed out that the windscreen had been broken in an ‘occupant friendly’ effort, a component of the robbery story that could not be digested by the police.

In still another fake incident, a farmer of Chhapar village lodged a false complaint at Latala Police Chowki on May 31.

The farmer had reported that around 6-7 miscreants had snatched Rs 50 thousand from him when he was returning home after withdrawing the amount from Cooperative Society at Kalakh village.

Sources in the police revealed that the Special Investigating Teams constituted by SSPs Mr Harinder Singh Chahal and Mr Rajiv Ahir had found these cases to be false and action against the complaints would be started soon.



This powerlifter needs money power
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 17
Pawandeep, a powerlifter, who is also a local resident, is among the four Punjabis selected for the final selection trial for inclusion in Indian team for the forthcoming Sub-Junior World Powerlifting Championship. The championship is scheduled to commence in the USA from September 5.

Informing about the selection of Pawandeep Singh, Vishal Joshi of Ludhiana and Sandeep Kaur and Randeep Sharma of Sangrur for the said event, the general secretary of the Indian Powerlifting Federation (IPF) has written to the secretary, Punjab Powerlifting Association (PPA) to ask those selected to deposit Rs 15,000 along with required documents.

Pawandeep is worried about the money he has to deposit in lieu of the registration and travelling expenses after his selection for the Championship.

“Though the IPF will be asking the PPA to arrange sponsors for the participants, there is little hope that the authorities would do something in this direction,” apprehended Pawandeep.

He had recently availed a bank loan of Rs 1 lakh that was used for payment pending bills of diet and vitamins.

Pawandeep has brought laurels for the nation by finishing runner-up in the World Sub-Junior Powerlifting Championship held in Pretoria, South Africa, last year. When he had expressed his inability to attend the championship for lack of financial support last year, an NRI, Dr Sanjiv Ahluwalia , convener of a non-profit organisation of Canada, Helping Hands, and an alumnus of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, had sponsored him.



Man killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 17
Gurraj Singh (29), a resident of Roomi village, was killed when he was hit by an unidentified vehicle near his village. A case has been registered under Section 304 of the IPC. The body was handed over to the relatives of the deceased after the post-mortem examination.

In another incident, Manpreet Singh (12) of Dalla village suffered burn injuries when he came into contact with high-tension electric wires at a construction site near his house. He was admitted to the local Civil Hospital.

BOOKED: Hardial Singh of Akhara Darshan Singh and his wife Daljit Kaur of Bassian were booked allegedly for harassing Sukhwinder Kaur of Bassian on telephone. Hardial has been arrested and a case under Sections 294 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered.

POPPY HUSK SEIZED: Gurmal Singh Mela of Bassian and Billo Beba of the same village were arrested by the police from Shahjahanpur while both were going on a Bajaj Chetak scooter (PIG-2262) and seized 54 kg of poppy husk from their possession. STOLEN: Adid, a resident of Ahata Sujapuri here has been booked under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC by the police on the complaint of Darshad of the same locality who had alleged that the accused had stolen Rs 18,000 from his house.



Two held for smuggling liquor

Ludhiana, July 17
The Sunder Nagar police today arrested two notorious smugglers who were using a noval way to smuggle liquor in the city from Haryana where it was available at cheap rates. The smugglers were bringing the booty in an Ambassador car that was made up to look like the official vehicle of some senior Punjab Police officer.

The alleged smugglers had improvised the interior of the vehicle too. They had made space in the doors, side of the seats and in the diggy for hiding liquor bottles. As many as 12 cases of liquor were recovered from the car. The smugglers include Mangat Ram alias Silli, who was allegedly a notorious smuggler of Haryana, and Suresh Kumar. TNS



Steel cluster for Mandi Gobindgarh sought
K.S. Chawla

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 17
The industrialists of Mandi Gobindgarh — the steel city of Punjab — have sought early clearance of steel cluster which had been promised by the ministries of commerce and industrial promotion of the Ministry of Industry.

Mr R P Bhatia, zonal chairman of Steel-rerolling Mills Association of India, disclosed that the government of India had agreed to set up a steel cluster at Mandi Gobindgarh with one time grant and a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) ‘Gobindgarh Infrastructure and Steel Development Centre Ltd.’ was also set up. The state government had recommended to the centre all the projects prepared by this centre. The SPV had also taken to the steps of arranging melting scrap for induction furnaces through the MSFC.

Mr Bhatia disclosed that the steel ministry had also planned to set up a computer hardware centre at Mandi Gobindgarh through the UNDP. He said the government had also agreed to provide railway siding at Mandi Gobindgarh and regular container service for import of rerolled scrap and other semi- finished steels for feeding the industries of Mandi Gobindgarh.

He stressed on the need to clear the steel cluster for Mandi Gobindgarh which would help in building necessary infrastructure for the growth of iron and steel industry.

Mr Bhatia maintained that the steel industry of Punjab was meeting the needs of the engineering industries in Punjab despite the fact that they had to bring raw material from far-off places. The Punjab State Science and Technology Council along with the Punjab Pollution Control Board had helped the industry in devising latest designs of air pollution control for the steel rerolling mills, foundries and induction furnaces.

The steel-rerolling mills were now facing severe shortage of furnace oil. The heating furnaces were redesigned to use reheated RFO which is residual fuel of petroleum refineries. The state government should come to the rescue of the steel mills and induction furnaces to meet the needs of fuel and take up this matter with the petroleum ministry.

He further printed out that the state government had implemented VAT from April. But this should be implemented by all the states so that the Punjab industries did not suffer. The Punjab industries had to bring raw material from other states and had to face the competition from other states. The uniform implementation of VAT would not put additional burden on the Punjab industries.

He sought benefits for the industry in Punjab which the states of Uttranchal, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal were offering to industrial units.


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