L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Police rescues two kids from kidnappers
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

The SSP, Ludhiana, Mr Narinderpal Singh, with the two children — Harsh and Sonu, who were saved from the clutches of two kidnappers by the city police
The SSP, Ludhiana, Mr Narinderpal Singh, with the two children — Harsh and Sonu, who were saved from the clutches of two kidnappers by the city police on Monday. The
fathers of these children are also seen in the picture. — Photo by Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, February 6
The city police has foiled yet another kidnapping attempt in the city by rescuing two children from the clutches of a gang of kidnappers from Bihar, who were hoping to sell the children in that state.

With the recovery of the children, the Punjab Police has issued a stern warning to such gangs to keep off Punjab.

It was a sort of second birth for one of the rescued child, Harsh Bhushan, 5, whose birthday falls today. He is a student of LKG in Sacred Heart Convent School. His father is an Income Tax Officer. The second child, eight-year-old Sonu, is the son of a migrant from Bihar. His father runs a restaurant in Giaspura.

Mr Narinderpal Singh, SSP, said both kidnappers Lakshman and Akhilesh were arrested from Dhandari railway station, from where they had planned to flee to Bihar. The kidnappers were arrested within hours of the kidnapping last night. The children were unconscious when they were rescued.

Six cops honoured

The city police today promoted four constables and gave cash reward to two others for heroic work in different cases and for saving several lives.

In a ceremony held at Police Lines here today, the SSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, promoted the constables to their new rank. The constables, Joginder Singh and Lakhwinder Singh, were promoted for rescuing the two kidnapped children, Harsh Bhushan and Sonu, from the two kidnappers at the Dhandari railway station last night.

The SSP also promoted Head Constable Mangal Dass and constable Pritpal Singh for arresting an alleged criminal, Jaswant Singh.

He also presented a cash reward of Rs 2,100 to each and a citation to two other PCR constables Joginder Singh and Dara Singh.

The SSP said both kids were kidnapped from near their houses in Giaspura colony here last evening. The kidnappers had lured the children with sweets. The parents of the two children informed the police late at night only after trying in vain to search them.

He said as no ransom call was received till that time, several police teams in mufti were deployed at different railway stations and bus stands, besides barricades were put up at several roads around the city.

One of such teams spotted two migrants with two children, who did not appear to be their own near the Dhandari Railway Station. The kidnappers tried to flee, but the police got better of them. Two PCR-motor cycle constables Mangal Dass and Prithipal Singh risked their lives to rescue two children.

The SSP said the kidnappers later revealed that their main plan was to sell the children. They could have also asked for ransom. The kidnappers had almost boarded a train when the policemen swooped on them.

SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh revealed that the kidnappers had in their preliminary questioning told the police that they had come to Ludhiana for doing labour work.

He said the police was trying to find out the past criminal record of the two kidnappers in the state as well as in their home state.



Punjab Government pensioners stage protest rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
On the call and action plan announced by the state joint front, Punjab Government Pensioners with the support extended by pensioners of the Central govt ex-servicemen, Railways, PSEB, govt-aided schools and Local Self Govt staged a massive district level protest rally here in front of Mini-Secretariat today to lodge their protest against the state government for its failure to implement poll promises made in its manifesto released on the eve of Punjab Assembly election held in February, 2002.

They said that the government had not followed the recommendations of the 4th Pay Commission made in its report submitted to the then government on 20.2.1998 regarding the pension and pensionary benefits to the Punjab Govt Pensioners, said Mr B.R. Kaushal, a member of the state level joint front.

The protesters lambasted the inaction on the part of the state government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh for failing to find any time to listen to the pensioners’ representatives. The pensioners have chalked out a plan to hold a state-wide demonstration to show unrest among them.

A 25-point ‘Demands Charter’ was handed over to Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma today to be forwarded to the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh. They want the Chief Minister to start a dialogue with the pensioners’ body soon for negotiation and settlement of their demands.

The demands include revision of pension w.e.f 01.01.2006, pension parity between pensioners of pre-January 1996 and post-January 1996, enhancement of fixed monthly medical allowance of Rs 500, grant of an additional slab of 5 per cent in old age allowance in respect of octogenarians, grant of 5 per cent house maintenance, etc.

Among those who addressed the demonstrators were Mr B.R. Kaushal, Mr Prem Sagar Sharma, Mr Ranbir Dhillon, all Members of the joint front and others.

Mr B.R. Kaushal said that the state level joint front members are meeting again on February 19 in Ludhiana to decide future programme to stage a massive protest demonstration in Chandigarh during the budget session of Punjab Assembly.



Small-scale industry unwilling to shift
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Upset over constant notices from the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) regarding shifting industrial units from non-designate (residential ) areas, small-scale industry has demanded that the areas be declared as industrial areas.

The PPCB, in a public notice in newspapers, directed all highly polluting industrial units to be shifted from residential areas by September 30. Most of these units are located in areas like Muradpura, Dashmesh Nagar, Chet Singh Nagar, Janata Nagar, Kot Mangal Singh Nagar, Bhagwan Chowk, Partap Nagar, Kalsian Street, Sewak Pura and Preet Nagar.

While residents in these areas have been demanding that these units should be shifted on priority, industry is unwilling to shift and is rather demanding these areas to be designated as 'industrial areas'.

"A majority of the red category units have already shifted from here. In the case of green units, there is no problem of pollution. We want the board to let these units stay and the areas be declared as industrial so that the industry continues with its operations," said Mr Inderjit Singh Navyug, vice-president, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU).

Industrialists said that even the Supreme Court had directed that the areas that have more than 70 per cent industrial units be designated as 'industrial areas' . A survey can be conducted here too as over 80 per cent of the area is covered by industrial units. Instead of shifting they should designate these areas as industrial, they asserted.

While a couple of red-category units have shifted, remaining continued to function in these areas. What bothered industry is that the PPCB started sending notices to industrial units asking them to shift. Reportedly, board officials even visited a couple of units in this regard.

"Initiatives by the government in the recent past showed that these areas were recognised as industrial. For instance, PSEB extended the time limit for granting electricity connections to units in this belt till September 30. On one side they indicate that they are encouraging industry in these areas on the other, they are asking them to shift," said Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

He said for the past over five decades, industry had been functioning in these areas and shifting would ruin the small scale sector. "Over 60 per cent of small units in light engineering industry are located in these areas. At least 1,500 units got their load extended, shifting them would have an adverse impact on industry."

Industry associations would now meet the chairman PPCB next week to discuss the issue.



Admn raises compensation for Dalit family
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The district administration has enhanced the compensation to a Dalit family whose house was allegedly razed by a Jat family in this village two days ago. The village panchayat has also renewed efforts for an out-of-court settlement of the issue stressing that the incident was a confrontation between two families and not any caste conflict.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr Narinder Pal Singh, SSP, today visited the Bains village and reviewed the progress of rehabilitation work and reconstruction of the house of the victim Dalit family, which was allegedly demolished by a Jat family day before yesterday.

Responding to the demand from the village people and Dalit leaders to enhance the amount from Rs 20,000 as declared earlier for the reconstruction of the house, the Deputy Commissioner announced that the administration would bear the entire cost of the re-construction of the house.

For this purpose the Deputy Commissioner had formed a six-member committee comprising Mr Malvinder Singh Jaggi, SDM (west), Mr. Manjit Singh Dhesi, DSP (Sadar), XEN PWD, Mr. Kuldeep Singh, sarpanch of the village, Mr Jeet Singh, head of victim family and District Welfare Officer, which would undertake the construction of the house as per the satisfaction of the victim’s family.

Mr Verma also presented a cash amount of Rs 5000 out of the District Red Cross to Jeet Singh for immediate needs of the family. Keeping in view the winter season, the Deputy Commissioner asked the sarpanch of the village to provide the family shelter in the village dharamshala till the damaged house was reconstructed. The Deputy Commissioner, on the special request of the people, asked the SDM (west) to take up the matter with the Punjab School Education Board for making arrangements for a special chance to appear in the maths paper of class V for the daughter of the family, who could not appear in that paper because of the incident on the day of the examination.

The Deputy Commissioner strongly condemned the incident and assured that all help would be provided by the district administration to the victim family and appealed to the people to extend full cooperation to the administration in strengthening the social environment in the village.

He also appreciated the people, panchayat of the village and Dalit leaders of the area for their constructive role in providing immediate help to the family and for creating congenial environment in the village after the incident.

Mr Narinder Pal Singh, SSP, while addressing the people informed that necessary steps were being taken to provide justice to the family and assured strict action against the accused persons as per law at the earliest. He also appealed to the people to cooperate with the police in dealing with the situation arising out of the incident and to get the culprits punished.

Mr Vijay Danav and other Dalit leaders highly appreciated the quick steps taken by the administration regarding the rehabilitation of the family and in creating a sense of security amongst them. They especially appreciated the role of the DSP (Sadar), Mr Manjit Singh Dhesi, for taking efficient steps to help the family and promptly starting the reconstruction work on the site of the damaged house.

Among others who were present on this occasion included Mr Kuldeep Singh, SP City-II, Mr M.S. Jaggi SDM (west) Mr Laxman Drawar, Shiv Soni, Mr Mohanvir Chauhan, Mr Ashwani Sahota and District Welfare Officer.



Farm techniques impress Pakistan scientist
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Pakistan Agriculture Research Council Chairman, Dr M.E. Tusneem was impressed by the “quality” of farm practices, “mechanization” adopted by the Punjab farmers and the “uniformity” of plush green wheat fields as he drove down from Wagha to his native place, Adampur, on the weekend.

Dr Tusneem shared his experiences on the common agricultural and cultural roots of the Punjabis of two countries during an overnight stay at PAU. He told scientists that the kind of “harmony” and “standards” of farming he saw in Indian Punjab was much better than in Pakistan. He is in India for participation in the Regional Steering Committee meeting of Rice-Wheat Consortium at Varanasi from February 7 to 9.

Director of Research, Dr B.S. Dhillon and Director of Extension Education, Dr S.S. Gill, briefed the visiting scientists on PAU’s contributions to the ushering in of the Green Revolution, how it had evolved over the decades, what new problems and challenges had cropped up in the intervening period and what were the future thrust areas of research at the university.

In an interaction with them Dr Tusneem, who was visiting PAU for the first time, said that farmers in Pakistan did not have the kind of government policy support mechanism as was available to Indian farmers in terms of farm produce prices or assured market or subsidies on electricity and fertilizers.

Marketing system in Pakistan was unorganized and “open” with mandis located at far away places.

“Most of the farm produce was purchased by private enterprise on the farms. We do not have a very elaborate food buffer stock system either,” he added.

Commenting on the problems of Pakistan farmers, the visiting Pakistan scientists said water was their main concern. Water conservation, management and judicious use are imperative for sustainable agriculture both in India and Pakistan, whose export earnings from basmati or aromatic rice are internationally recognized.

He said both India and Pakistan must assure “quality” of Basmati rice and exporters must not “corrupt” it with non-aromatic varieties. “Once such credibility is lost, both countries will suffer”.

Dr Tusneem, who went around PAU camps, said problem of ‘yellow rust’ in wheat was a cause of concern. While wheat yields have reached a plateau the total factor productivity showed negative growth rate in Pakistan. Pakistan and India must evolve joint strategies to fight “yellow rust” problem, as our common varieties, India’s PBW 343 and Pakistan’s “Inqulab” evolved from same germ-plasma had revolutionised wheat production.

He endorsed the views of Dr Dhillon and Dr Gill that with agencies like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund getting engaged in “peripheral” works, it was time that some countries got together to extend full support to International Rice research Institute, Philippines or Mexico-based Wheat Research Institute, CIMMYT. A memento and set of PAU publications was presented to Dr Tusneem.

Besides Varanasi meeting, the Pakistan Council chairman wanted to study the grassroots agricultural progress, problems and challenges in India and how “cutting-edge farm technologies” could be improved and deployed to raise production and profits.



AIATF rebuts charges against Bitta
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
Strongly reacting to allegations levelled against Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, chairman, All India Anti-Terrorists Front (AIATF), by the Shiromani Khalsa Dal (SKD) leaders, the functionaries of the AIATF have termed these as bundle of lies.

In a joint statement here today, Mr Yogesh Dewan, state general secretary, and Mr Anil Sharma, district president of the front, maintained that persons like Mr Daljit Singh Bittu heading the SKD were responsible for the bloodshed which Punjab had witnessed in the past. The acts of terrorism had claimed thousands of innocent human lives.

The AIATF functionaries further observed that now when peace had been established in this state as a result of sacrifices made by security forces, police personnel and people of Punjab, the bodies like SKD and other mischievous elements were once again out to preach their poisonous ideology. “It is apparent that such people can not tolerate that Punjab remains peaceful and moves on the path of progress and prosperity.”

They further alleged that the acquittal of Mr Bittu by the Supreme Court was a result of the failure of the agencies concerned to present and plead the cases properly before the apex court.



SAD ‘misguiding’ masses in the name of Panth
Our Correspondent

Amloh, February 6
The aim of great Gurus who made supreme sacrifices was not to gain power as is the case of Shiromani Akali Dal who misguide the people in the name of Panth. People of the state have a bitter experience of SAD rule when corruption was rampant in all the departments. Farmers had to wait for days together in the markets for the sale of their farm produce and they had to come to the commission agents time and again to get payments, asserted Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot Parliamentary Secretary, Home, justice and PWD.

Mr Sadhu Singh was speaking at a function at Municipal Council complex here today. He distributed cheques worth Rs 10 lakh to 19 villages for development works. Mr Dharamsot condemned SAD leaderships, which instead of being ashamed of, was getting its leaders garlanded from their supporters as if they had done something remarkable for the nation. They were released on bails of heavy amounts by the courts in corruption cases, he said.

SAD has lost base among the masses and a revolt in its leadership may take place at any time. The farmers who had been the backbone of the SAD in the past are not happy with the party.

Captain Amarinder Singh’s Government has brought industry worth Rs 42,000 crore which would provide employment to lakhs of people. The government also purchased additional power of Rs 5,500 core from other states to cope.up with the power shortage of agriculture sector, despite the fact that SAD had left empty coffers and a huge debt of Rs 32,494 crores.

Mr Dharamsot thanked the people of Amloh constituency who were not responsive to the “insaf rally” of SAD organized here on February 1. The Akali leadership had to bring followers from 10 constituency but still the gathering was not impressive. He lashed out at SAD leadership for misusing the name of Panth for their personal gains.

Adding that Panth is not sole property of SAD. Now people have seen the real face of SAD in its five-year rule.

The Congress will return with thumping majority in the coming elections on the basis of its development agenda.



‘Drastic measures needed to
revamp Punjab’s economy’

Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 6
Ms Patty Sahota, an NRI from Goraya and a former minister in the British Columbia Government, said Punjab would have to take drastic measures in order to maintain its economic position at the national and international levels.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Ms Sahota, former Economic and Trade Minister of British Columbia, said the prices of all commodities and services had risen steeply during the past decades.

“The NRIs, who had been considered belonging to high income group, have recently started feeling that the prices of various commodities have risen drastically,” claimed Ms Sahota. She pointed out that volume of purchases by visiting NRIs had also seen a downward trend.

Ms Sahota maintained that the entrepreneurs in countries other than India had been offering more lucrative packages to the international buyers. “A dollar spent in Punjab fetches only a fraction of what could be purchased in markets in China and Japan,” justified Mr Sahota. On organisational measures to be taken in the path of economic progress, she said Punjabis should learn from the experience of their brethren settled in Canada and other countries of Western Hemisphere.

“It is high time that the politicians of the state should honour the suggestions and efforts of the bureaucrats who are certainly more versed with the complexities of transforming the society”.

Ms Sahota further said the Punjabis should stop daydreaming and realise the gravity of the situation.



Protest against staff retrenchment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Protesting against alleged “unfair labour practices” adopted by the management of Avon Cycles, the Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) activists held a protest rally outside Mini Secretariat here today. The union also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner in this regard.

Alleging that the management of Avon Cycles had turned out almost 500 workers in the last one month, CITU demanded that the workers be taken back.

“The management retrenched 500 workers without any reason. It is absolutely unfair and we want that they should take the workers who have been forcibly turned out, back on job,” said Mr Jagdish Chand, joint secretary, CITU Punjab, while addressing the rally.

The union said that it had apprised the Deputy Commissioner on January 24 about the issue, but no action had been taken so far.

The company, which is violating labour laws, does not even turn up for hearings to the labour department, CITU alleged.

Addressing the rally, Mr Chand urged workers not to get intimidated by the managements. “We would not hesitate to raise our voice whenever injustice is done to workers. We are fighting against those who are violating laws and in return they are snatching their source of livelihood.”

Over 500 workers participated in the rally which was also addressed by Mr Jatinder Pal, district vice-president, CITU.



Late-night partying disturbs residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Residents of Sarabha Nagar, Block-I, could not sleep properly last night due to the beating of a drums in a marriage party.

To cap it all, all phone calls to the police control room and the Deputy Commissioner residence proved futile. A PCR team reached the site, but could not prevail upon the revellers to stop disturbing others.

A group of revellers even went around the block dancing on high decibel beating of drums and music. Head Constable Mohinder Singh, who had come in vain to enforce the Supreme Court directions against such noise pollution, told Ludhiana Tribune that there were just two constables on duty at that hour and there were several such complaints to be redressed.

The residents have appealed to Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma to use his position for successful implementation of the Supreme Court orders. The DC had recently convened a meeting of the Disc Jockeys in the city informing them about the orders that no blaring music could be played in the night.



Khatri Sabha resolves to shun dowry system
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 6
The Khatri Sabha organised a get-together of Khatri families at the Community Centre here yesterday. Numerous families participated in the function, which was presided over by its chief, Dr Manmohan Kaushal.

Seth Kanahyya Lal was chief guest on the occasion while Mr Satdev Saggar and Mr Baldev Raj Chopra were the guests of honour.

Old traditions and customs were discussed at length by the speakers and it was resolved to say good-bye to the dowry system in marriages which is the root cause of many problems in the society.

The chief guest donated Rs 51,000 to the sabha while, Mr Saggar and Mr Chopra gave Rs 21000, each for the welfare of the community.

The meeting was addressed by council chief Jagmeet Singh Sohota, vice-chief Suresh Singla, Aggarwal Sabha president Parkash Chand, Brahman Sabha president Sushil Kumar and another Brahman Sabha chief Ved Parkash.



Lok Suvidha camp organised
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 6
Over 1,000, residents of 22 villages falling under Ahmedgarh kanungo area availed of the facilities provided at a Lok Suvidha camp organised under the supervision of Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, at Government High School, Jandali Khurad, near here yesterday. Mr Razia Sultana, Parliamentary Secretary, presided over the inaugural function attended by functionaries of various departments and thousands of residents from the area.

Residents from Jandali Kalan, Jandali Khurad, Nathumajra, Akbarpur Chhanna, Rohira, Baurhai Kalan, Bauhrai Khurad, Jitwal Kalan and Kup Kalan attended the camp.

Staff and district-level officers of 24 departments were present at the camp with records.

Besides other miscellaneous services, at least 1,000 persons got different documents prepared on the spot.

More than 600 applications for old-age pension were processed and health authorities led by Dr K.C. Goel, DHO, issued respective certificates to handicaps also. Besides rectifying records in connection with revenue department resident certificates were also issued. 



Beermi’s nomination to AICC hailed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
The nomination of Mr Malkiat Singh Beermi, Congress legislator from Ludhiana rural segment and Chief Parliamentary Secretary to the All India Congress Committee (AICC) has been widely acclaimed by the rank and file of the District Congress Committee here.

Presiding over a meeting of Block Congress Committee (BCC) (Block No 10) in Vishwakarma Colony today, the BCC President Mr Harbans Singh Panesar hailed the nomination of Mr Beermi to the AICC and expressed gratitude to the party President Ms Sonia Gandhi and the (Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee) PPCC President Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo. He said the induction of Mr Beermi to the organisational post was an honour for Congress workers in the rural constituency and the Ramgarhia community.



Valuables looted from factory
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 6
While the police is still to work out the dacoity at Khanna on Saturday, another one has been reported on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday. at Doraha, 20 km from here.

As per information available, 15 looters armed with swords and iron rods struck around 1.30 am at the premises of R I Agro Industries. They decamped with a digital movie camera, about 50 Euros, a golden ‘kara’ and some other valuables from its main office. The DSP, Payal, reached Doraha and inspected the site of crime. A case has been registered.



Biz Clips

TVS: TVS Motor Company has recorded a growth of 25 per cent in the number of motorcycles sold during January in comparison to the corresponding month last year. The company said in a press statement that it sold 69,278 units last month and it’s two wheeler sales also recorded a 20 per cent rise. — TNS

Workshop on VAT: The Ludhiana branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) will hold a workshop on value added tax (VAT) here on Tuesday. The workshop will focus on VAT audit and chartered accountants from Ludhiana, Khanna, Mandi Gobindgarh, Malerkotla, Phillaur and Moga will attend the workshop, said a press statement. — TNS


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