L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Arrest warrant against Cong nominee
Rajneesh Lakhanpal
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 12
Judicial Magistrate Shatin Goyal has issued fresh arrest warrants against Balwinder Singh of Sekhewal village, Subash Kumar of Shimla Colony and Surinder Kumar Jain of Shivpuri.

Subash Kumar is the Congress candidate in the byelection to Ward No: 66 of the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana.

The accused had been booked under Sections 341, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC at the Salem Tabri police station following a complaint of former councillor of Ward No: 66, Mr Satpal Puri, who was removed from office following his disqualification to hold the office.

The complainant had alleged that on September 15, 2004, the accused stopped him and abused him when he was going from his house to Kitchlu Nagar. But when passers-by gathered there, the accused fled the spot.

Earlier, the arrest warrants were issued following a written request by Sub-Inspector Sukdev Singh of the same police station on June 14, 2005. The police officer had submitted in the court that the police had raided the houses of the accused several times to arrest them, but to no avail. So, non-bailable warrants be issued against them.

When Subash Kumar was contacted on the telephone he claimed that a false case was registered against him. After enquiry the police also found that the case was false. The police had recommended the cancellation of the case, he said.

According to official sources, the police has recommended for the cancellation of the case last month. But no cancellation report has been filed in the court of Illaqa Magistrate concerned yet.



Mule electrocuted, boy has narrow escape
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
An 18-year-old boy had a narrow escape while a mule was electrocuted at Bute Shah Mandi, when a loose electricity cable fell on both after rain here this afternoon.

Vishnu Sharma, the boy, was driving his scooter when the cable fell on him. He had a providential escape. But a mule pulling a cart coming behind Vishnu was electrocuted and it died on the spot. His owner, Som Nath had a narrow escape.

A shocked Vishnu could not regain his composure for some time and had to be rushed to a nearby doctor where he was given first-aid. Shopkeepers of the area said they had been complaining against the loose cable and transformer for quite some time but in vain.

“The impact of the shock was so much that I was thrown 10 m away from my scooter,’ said Vishnu.

Mr Gulshan Kumar, a shopkeeper, said following the incident an official of the Punjab State Electricity Board had visited the spot and offered Rs 5,000 as compensation to the mule owner. The latter was said to have refused the amount till the filing of this report. He added that they were going to file a complaint to the police.

Som Nath said he had bought the mule for Rs 60,000 some days ago and it was the only source of his bread and butter.



Files go missing at LIT
Kanchan Yasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
If you were allotted a plot by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, (LIT), but could not get it registered in your name and were told that your file was misplaced, you are one of the hapless victims of an ‘‘organised racket’’ run by land sharks allegedly in connivance with some trust employees.

This alleged nexus has already cost a number of allottees dear and in many cases the LIT had to suffer a loss of lakhs by waiving non-construction charges levied on such persons’ whose files were misplaced in the office.

This was revealed by a trustee of the LIT, Ms Malkiat Kaur, who has demanded that action should be taken against such employees, who misplace the files.

She said the modus operandi followed by these racketeers came to light when files of some allottees went missing and they were contacted by some property dealer, who was ready to buy the plot in question with an ‘‘advice’’ otherwise it would be of no use to them.

After making rounds of the LIT office for years together some persons succumbed to the offers of property dealers and some did not mind spending many years in want of justice. Hundreds of cases pertaining to lost files are pending with the trust, claimed the trustee. She further said that in every meeting of the trust, the agenda items include waiving off of non-construction charges due to the same reasons.

‘‘It is not surprising how the property dealers caught hold of such allottees whose files have been lost. This means they are in contact with some insiders who divulge such important details to them. Otherwise, how can anybody come to know that this man’s file has been lost. ’’ said Ms Malkiat Kaur adding that they had seen many property dealers sitting with the employees in the office premises. In her letter to the Local Bodies Department, she has demanded that procedures of preparing duplicate files should be made simpler and less time consuming so that innocent allottees are spared of the ordeal.

Quoting a case, she said that an allottee of a plot( number 108-C) in Rajguru Nagar scheme, had written to the trust in 1996 about losing of file. He had even asked the trust to clear his case by giving him the possession of plot at that time. But nobody listened to him for nine years and finally non-construction charges, Rs 3, 83, 680, were levied on him. The trust had to waive it as the delay was not due to his fault.



Molestation: victim’s family alleges intimidation
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 12
Peeved with the alleged affront by a group of leaders and activists of the CPM, a family of Dhaler village has urged the party state president to probe the former’s highhandedness and impress upon the local police not to succumb to organisational pressure. To pressurise the police to withdraw a case registered against a person for allegedly molesting a minor daughter of the complainant after trespassing, the CPM leaders had allegedly threatened a dharna on September 14.

Meanwhile, Mr Bant Singh Namol, district unit president, CPM, claimed that the party had received a representation from the victim’s family and no dharna would be staged as announced by the tehsil committee earlier.

Mr Bhagwan Singh, a marginal farmer of Dhaler village, alleged that some persons claiming to be leaders of the CPM had threatened him with dire consequences in case he did not withdraw a case registered against Shingara Singh of the same village under Sections 452, 354 and 506 of the IPC for allegedly molesting his daughter.

In a communication addressed to Prof Balwant Singh, state unit president of the CPM, the complainant alleged that Shingara Singh had forcibly entered his house on August 14 and committed the crime.

Though the family caught him, but being stronger he succeeded in fleeing. “While running away he threatened us with dire consequences in case we reported the matter to the police,” the family told the police. “Some CPM leaders from Malerkotla and Dhaler village came to our house the next morning, but instead of showing sympathy with us they also started threatening us,” he added.

Mr Namol said the family along with other villagers had presented their case at a meeting held under the supervision of Mr Raghunath, member, state secretariat. He claimed that the announcement made by the tehsil committee had not been approved by the district or the state committee. No dharna would be organised till the district committee completes probe into the case, Mr Namol said.



Zinda dance banned at Chhapar mela
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
The district administration has banned zinda dance by semi-clad dancing girls at the historic Chhapar mela, which is scheduled this week end Chhapar village near Mandi Ahmedgarh.

The administration has not given the permission to the organisers of zinda dances to put up their stalls at the venue and has stated that violators will be strictly prosecuted. Though these dances generated revenue for the district administration, they were criticised by the masses.

Issuing orders in this regard, the District Magistrate, Mr Anurag Verma said as the vulgar dances could create law and order problems in the fair, these were banned along with carrying of firearms.



Passing Thru

Sukhwinder Singh
Sukhwinder Singh, coach of the national football team

Are you happy with the players’ performance during the recent tour of Pakistan and Fiji?

The boys have failed to come up to the expectations during these tour. We played without Baichug Bhutia who had been nursing an injury and a couple of other senior players. We were playing abroad after a long period and I think that was the main reason of the poor performance. In Pakistan, we managed to draw the three-match series while in Fiji, the boys failed to give their best and lost all three matches.

What do you suggest to improve the standard of the game ?

In my opinion, the Indian federation should chalk out a plan to send the team abroad frequently so that the boys could get more international exposure which would build their confidence. The National League being held for the past decade has done a lot to improve the standard of the game as the participating teams have been allowed to recruit some foreign players which force local players to perform well to secure a place in their respective teams. The start of academies at a number of places during the recent past is also a welcome step in this direction.

What steps do you think be made to popularise the game among the young generation ?

The media has a great role to play in making the game of football popular among the youth. Football should be encouraged at the village level by organising tournaments and the media should give adequate coverage to these. This would help in popularising the sport in which we had once entered the semi-finals during the Olympics in Melbourne in 1957)

— Anil Datt



6,000 cr spent to meet power shortage: Dullo
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 12
Committed to fulfilling its poll promises, the Punjab Government has abolished power tariff on agriculture sector from September 1 despite a huge difference between demand and generation of power.

This was stated by Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee chief, while talking to mediapersons at the residence of former Sarpanch Swaran Singh at Bhadal Thuda village, 1 km from here, today.

He said the government had to purchase power worth Rs 6,000 crore during the past three years.

A sum of Rs 750 crore collected through octroi in urban areas was spent on development works. The government would soon abolish it by providing alternative income for development works, Mr Dullo said.

Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Ved Hari Krishan, president, DCC, Mr Manjit Singh, Mr Partap Singh Sandhu, chairman, market committee, Mr Shingara Singh, block Congress chief, Mr Gurdev Singh Amloh, Mr Gurdev Singh Khanian, media in charge, Mr Pargat Singh Annian, and sarpanches were present at the press conference.

Mr Dullo said the government was pressing the Pakistani authorities not only for the release of Sarabjit Singh, who is lodged in Kot Lakhpat Jail, Lahore, but also for all other Indians lodged in various jails in that country.

He said posts of teacher and doctor would be filled in soon. Mr Dullo attended a function organised by the Bhartia Udasyan Sabha at Dera Harbhool Dass at Bhadal Thuba village to celebrate the 511th birth anniversary of Baba Siri Chander Ji.

The chief of the All-India Udasyan Sabha, Baba Kirtan Dass, spoke on the life and teachings of Baba Siri Chander Ji. After bhog of Akhand Path Sahib langar was served. Mr Tilak Raj, Sarpanch of the village, welcomed the guests.



Congress govt a success, claims Tewari
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
Senior Congress leader and secretary, All-India Congress Committee (AICC), Manish Tewari, has claimed that the Congress government in the state had been successful as it had come up to the expectations of people. He pointed out that some “pathbreaking measures” taken by the government would always be remembered by the people.

Mr Tewari, who toured various areas of the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency here yesterday, claimed that the party was geared up for the elections. He praised the “sincere efforts” of the government in providing free power to the farmers and up to 200 units to the Dalits.

Referring to some grievances aired by certain Legislators and party leaders during the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) meeting on September 7, he said, “It is quite natural that during the three-and-a-half-year rule, there may be some people who have some problems.” But, he added, it did not mean that entire rank and file was alienated from the party. Moreover, he asserted that giving vent to one’s problems was only possible in a democratic organisation like the Congress.

Later while addressing a sports meet organised by the Baba Kehar Dass Khel Club in memory of the late Sant Ram Singla, near here, Mr Tewari exhorted the youth to cultivate the good habits of nationalism. He urged the sportspersons to work hard and achieve great heights and make their country proud of their achievements.



Govt decision on free power hailed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
The chairmen of various market committees of the state have hailed the decision of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to provide power to the farmers for irrigation free of cost costing Rs 439 crore to the state exchequer per annum and said this would further boost food production in the state.

They said the decision had proved that the Chief Minister was dedicated to the cause of the farmers and the downtrodden.

In a statement issued here today, the elected representatives also welcomed the government’s announcement of providing domestic power up to 200 units per month free of cost to every Dalit family in the state. They said the new package was fully justified, as the brave and hard working farmers of the state had been contributing more than 80 per cent to the food stock of the country.

During the past three-and-a-half years, the farming community had been substantially benefited and the government had provided regular power supply for eight hours daily for paddy irrigation when it had to purchase power from the other states at a cost of more than Rs 2,000 crore.

They claimed that the farmers had also been benefited to the tune of Rs 400 crore through an increase in paddy production by 50 lakh metric tonnes during the past year.

The farmers were very happy and fully satisfied for the government had ensured a smooth purchase of the produce of various crops.



Rs 450 cr sanctioned for Dalits 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
Mr Surinder Dawar, Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, asserted that the Punjab Government had launched a comprehensive programme for the welfare of weaker sections of society. Funds amounting to Rs 450 crore had been sanctioned to benefit around 14 lakh beneficiaries under various pension schemes of the Social Welfare Department, he added.

Mr Dawar was addressing a function organised by the Brotherhood Club to distribute sewing machines among 15 women at Lions Bhavan here yesterday.

He said during the three and half years the government had substantially strengthened the financial position and there was no paucity of funds for the welfare programmes. Mr Dawar said the Government was also providing free education and scholarships to students belonging to Scheduled Castes.

He announced a grant of Rs 11,000 for the club.

Mr Prem Mittal, Senior Deputy Mayor, MC, Mr Ramesh Joshi, Director Punjab Pollution Control Board, Mr Sanjay Sharma, president, Mr Sameer Kaushik, Chief Adviser and Mr Inderjit Singh Dang, chairman of the club were also present on the occasion. 



CITU decries UPA performance 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
Condemning the UPA government for its “failure” to implement pro-people measures, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) national president and politburo member of CPM M.K. Pandhey today expressed disappointment over the government’s performance in the past 14 months.

“This government has failed to implement the promises made in the Common Minimum Programme,” he said while talking to newspersons here today. Mr Pandhey also addressed the state-level convention under the banner of the National Platform of Mass Organisation (NPMO) held today in the city.

Talking about unorganised workers, he said the government had not specified laws on minimum wages, overtime etc applicable on those working in unorganised sector.

He alleged that the government was only making announcements that favoured contractual system of employment and privatisation.

He said that ever since the UPA government assumed office, it has increased burden on the common man by increasing prices of petroleum products. He also demanded a legislation to prevent sexual harassment of women at work place and protection to women.

Condemning privatisation of public sector companies, he said the CPM was not against the FDI if it provided employment, brought in new technology and creating production capacity in areas that lacked it.

He said there would be a nationwide strike of working class, including bank employees, insurance employees and people from various other sectors on September 29.



Senior citizens seek better deal from govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 12
“The formulation of a model national policy for the aged and setting up of a national commission are needed. The existing national policy for the elder persons framed by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of the country has become weak and ineffective on account of variety of reasons, including the failure to provide sufficient funds for the policy,” says the All-India Senior Citizens Organisation.

Mr S.K. Thaman, organising secretary , states in a press note that the elderly are about 7 per cent of the total population and normally live and die unheard, unsung and uncared for in spite of being very productive citizens in their youth. Nobody knows who is to look after them — the government, society or the children? Senior citizens are suffering from mental torture, agony, harassment as no government seems to be worried about their plight. The elders face hardships and diseases in the evening of their lives.

The Hindu undivided family system has taken a back seat. After marriage, children break their ties with elder people when they need them the most.

The vice-president of the organisation, Mr Suresh Verma, says there is a need for the formulation of a model legislation of introducing senior citizens’ status in the Constituion of India. The definition of senior citizen is missing on the government of India agenda. Governments come and go, but the plight of senior citizens is worsening. The senior citizens deserve free medical aid , suitable homes, right of aged persons to be supported by their children, allotment of funds for senior citizens in the Budget, setting up of day care centres , old age homes and recreational centres, free bus fare schemes, 25 per cent air concession, 50 per cent concession in railway tickets and quotas in the allotment of flats in PUDA and Improvement Trust.

The members of organisation feel that the Government should enroll the senior citizens and engage them in Red Cross activities, use their services in maintenance of parks, engage them in the development of anganwaris/ playway schools, fix their lectures in schools/ colleges, and involve them in useful social projects like advising the younger generation against drug addiction, female foeticide , eating of nutritious food etc.

Senior citizens want to be made members of peace committees, danga peerith committee, sales tax committee, Railway Advisory Committee, District Grievances Committee, Help Centres Excise and Income Tax Committees, and Telephone Advisory Committee.



Atwal underlines need for global governance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal addressed members at the Second World Conference in New York recently. He spoke on parliaments and multilateral cooperation, meeting the challenges of the  21st century.

A communique from his office said Mr Atwal was of the view that global interdependence had increased at the international level. The global governance affected people’s lives as much as national governance with the changing dimensions of international law, international organisations, interests of transnational institutions and the emergence of the international civil society had resulted in increased consultation, negotiation and cooperation among nations in arriving at decisions that had global manifestation.

He was of the opinion that after the first world conference in 2000 the parliaments had worked towards setting national policies and strategies to realise our international commitments.

Terrorism, the most dangerous challenge in the present day world, threatened to negate civilisation. Democracies were most vulnerable to such challenges. So, it was more important for all of us to stand united, he added.

With parliamentary democratic setup, we work for the stability of democracy, economic uplift, human rights, gender equality, primary education, reduce child mortality, to control HIV/AIDs and ensure environmental sustainability, he added.



Anganwari workers hold rally
Our Correspondent

Khanna, September 12
Around 1,000 members of the Punjab State Anganwari Workers and Helpers Union hold a rally at the local grain market to press the state government and the ruling Congress to fulfil their demands here today.

The workers presented a memorandum to Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, President, Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee, who met them at the rally venue.

The workers had planned to block the road leading to Mr Dullo’s residence. Heavy rain forced the workers to hold the rally under a shed of the market. They said the Chief Minister of Punjab was spending crores of rupees to renovate his office but did not bother about their genuine demands.

Ms Harjit Kaur, general secretary of the union, said the union would continue its agitation till the government conceded their demands. They had demanded the closure of 1,700 centres running under Sarv Sikhyia Abhiyan, an allowance of Rs 200 to anganwari workers and Rs 100 to anganwari helpers each, end to the interference of panchayats in the working of anganwari centres and maternity leave for women workers.



Ludhiana records highest rain
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, September 12
Ludhiana has recorded highest rainfall this month. Against a monthly average of 102 mm rainfall during September in Ludhiana, the city has already received 145.8 mm so far. With the sky still overcast, there is likelihood of more rainfall in the city and around.

Even the adjoining towns like Jagraon had more rainfall this month. Jagraon recorded 54 mm rainfall till 2 p.m today, which is considered to be an all-time high. Nakodar, had received 65 mm till 10 a.m.

Experts maintain that there is no immediate threat of flash floods. The water flow recorded in the Sutlej at the Philaur bridge at 2 p.m was 13,000 cusecs only.

Rain disrupted life and surrounding areas and multiplied problems for the civic body authorities who remained busy in maintaining the rainwater disposal system.

The civic body authorities, already facing residents’ ire living on Railway Road, Bhagat Singh Chowk, Pohir Road and Jagera Raod remained busy in handling disposal system. Even hours after the rain had stopped streets could be seen flooded.

Students were seen wading through knee-deep water on roads and streets.



Police to honour eye donors
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 12
The Punjab Police has chalked out a plan to speed up eye donation movement in the region. Under the plan, outlined by Mr Parag Jain, DIG, Ludhiana range, during a visit to Punjarjot Eye Bank here on Sunday, police personnel would propagate the cause of eye donations, distribute motivational material and honour those who would come forward to donate eyes.

In an interactive session with recipients of corneal transplant at the eye bank, Mr Jain said the police would honour eye donor families and the efforts of those police personnel, working to promote the cause eye donations, would be recognised.

The Medical Director of the eye bank, Dr Ramesh, took the DIG to hospital wards where 12 recipients of corneal transplant were recuperating. He said the eye transplant operations on these persons were performed free of cost with the active cooperation of Lions Club, Ludhiana Skipper and Shri Ram Sharnam. Mr Jain lauded the efforts that had been put in by the eye bank.

An employee of the Punjab Police, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhattal, who had motivated 90 persons to pledge for eye donations around his native place, was also present.



Prompt response by PSEB hailed
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 12
The management committee of Janta College for Women has appreciated the role of staff in the Punjab School Education Board for promptly returning certificate of a student after duly rectifying a mistake committed by it earlier.

Ms Chitkra Rekha Sharma and Ms Surinder Kaur Jagera, Managing Director and Principal of the college, claimed that the staff at the PSEB, Mohali had returned a certification after rectification within a week of sending it by post.

The authorities had mistakenly written Kuldeep Singh instead of Kuldeep Kaur as mother’s name of Ramandeep Kaur (Roll number 423991), who had cleared class XII examinations conducted by the board. Though the student did not observe the discrepancy, the board authorities called her to the Mohali office for rectification of an error.



Govt staff ask FM to release enhanced DA

Ludhiana, September 12
According to the All-India Consumer Price Index, another instalment of DA/DR at the rate of 4 per cent from July this year has become payable to Central Government employees and pensioners.

It will raise the quantum of DA/DR from 17 per cent to 21 per cent. In a communication sent to the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, the Government Pensioners’ Association has urged the Finance Minister to release the DA/DR instalment and pay the arrears before Dusehra on October 12 this year. OC



Migrants body cremated

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 12
Rachhin panchayat cremated the body of an unidentified migrant labour which was found by the Dehlon police on the outskirts of the village. A slip found in the shirt pocket of the deceased showed that he had worked with a wine contractor.

Though the staff of the contractor confirmed that he had worked there long before but nobody knew his address. The police handed over the body after postmortem to the panchayat which cremated the body. OC



Shop burgled, clothes stolen
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 12
Some persons allegedly burgled shop of a cloth merchant at Pakhowal after breaking the lock and stole clothes worth Rs 10,000 during night hours. The Raikot police has registered a case under Section 457, 380, IPC, on the statement of Narinder Kumar Jain of Mohalla Jalotian, Raikot. No arrest has been made so far.

Accounts of PSEB attached: Ms Jitender Walia, Additional Civil Judge, Senior Division, Jagraon, today ordered the attachment of the accounts of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Jagraon and Jeep (PB 25-A 5856) of the Xen as the PSEB failed to comply with the order of the court passed in a case, Bar Association, Jagraon, vs Chairman, PSEB, and the PSEB was ordered not to impose any cut in the power supply to the courts, lawyers chambers and Bar Room from 9 am to 5.30 pm daily.

It may be recalled that aggrieved with the frequent cuts, the local Bar Association filed a civil suit seeking restraint on the power cuts to the judicial complex and the court passed interim restraint till the disposal of the suits. 



Industry opposes sops to textile import from Pak
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, September 12
The textile industry is apprehensive of concessions to import of the Pakistan textile industry through Wagah. North India’s textile industry does not want immediate opening of textile trade with Pakistan which will be disastrous.

The government is contemplating liberal import of textiles from Pakistan and the proposed move is a part of the ongoing process to consolidate the trade between the two countries. Textile products will also be imported and duties will be diluted on import of textile items.

Enquiries showed that industrialists feel that they are not in a position to compete with Pakistan under the existing circumstances and any concessions to the Pakistan textile industry will be against the interests of the Indian textile industry.

According to Mr D.L. Sharma, president, Mahavir Spinning Mills, the textile industry in the North has grown in the form of clusters like Ludhiana, Amritsar, Delhi-Noida-Gurgaon and Panipat- Bhilwara clusters and is a source of livelihood for about 7 lakh to 10 lakh persons.

The industry also suffered due to the fiscal policies pursued in the past and knitting and garmenting were put under the reserved category for SSI for a long time. It was only recently that the government has rectified the situation. Moreover, the government has also launched the industry’s upgradation programme.

According to Mr Sharma, the power cost in Pakistan is lower compared to that in India.

He further points out that in Pakistan the labour laws are flexible and there are no trade unions. Whereas in the North the laws are rigid and the labour unions are very strong. The cotton and fabric are also cheaper in Pakistan. So Pakistan has many advantages over India.

Textile industry leaders maintain that considering the fact that the industry is in transition phase of restructuring and it will require about 4-5 years more to complete the cycle.

The export of textile goods — both knitted and woven from the Delhi circle — is estimated at more than Rs 10,000 crore per annum. The Ludhiana-Amritsar cluster has export of about Rs 1,000 crore per annum.


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