L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Mayor complains against Birmi to high command
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
The ongoing turf war between rival factions in the Ludhiana Congress — one led by Mayor Nahar Singh Gill and the other led by Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi — has finally reached Delhi, with the former meeting the All India Congress Committee high command leaders. Interestingly, the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, against whom Mr Birmi levelled several charges has preferred to remain silent.

The Mayor led a group of about 25 party councillors to Delhi yesterday. They reportedly met the party in charge for Punjab, Mr Janardhan Dwivedi. They reportedly told Mr Dwivedi that Mr Birmi was harming the party interests by levelling baseless allegations against the Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo.

The Mayor told The Tribune over the telephone from Delhi that he brought to the notice of the high command how Mr Birmi was trying to sabotage the gains of the mass contact programme of the party on June 4. He claimed “the phenomenal turnout at various functions on June 4 had led to a great enthusiasm among the workers and now Mr Birmi was sabotaging the gains”.

Mr Gill claimed that he and the councillors had been assured that the high command would look into the matter and nobody would be allowed to break the party discipline. He disclosed that he had also told the high command that action must be taken against Mr Birmi for abstaining from the party functions in his own constituency even after he was duly invited by him and the District Congress Committee (DCC) president, Mr Jagmohan Sharma.

Mr Birmi is also camping in Delhi. He has his own grievances against the PCC president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, whom he feels to be encouraging Mr Nahar Singh Gill in his Ludhiana rural parliamentary constituency. After levelling serious allegations against Mr Dullo, Mr Birmi has remained quiet so far. He has also not reacted to the charges of the councillors and the Mayor.

While Mr Dullo has remained silent about the allegations levelled against him by Mr Birmi, his supporters like Mr Gill and Mr Sharma have already rallied round him along with a number of municipal councillors. Mr Gill and Mr Sharma asserted that they were waiting for the party high command decision against Mr Birmi, following which further course of action would be decided.



BJP alleges scam in sewer cleaning
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today alleged that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had fraudulently awarded the contract for cleaning a sewer to a company without inviting tenders. The party alleged that the costs were inflated and the company had no past record about the job. The party has demanded an inquiry by the CBI to establish the truth as it had no faith in the state Vigilance Department.

However, a spokesman of the MC claimed that the contract had been awarded to the company after completing all the mandatory formalities. The contract had been cleared by the finance committee, the general house and the Department of Local Bodies also, the spokesman added.

The BJP state secretary, Mr Anil Sarin, former MP Lala Lajpat Rai, former Deputy Speaker, Mr Satpal Gosain, the district president, Dr Subash Verma, the leader of the party in the MC, Mr Praveen Bansal, and former Improvement Trust Chairman MM Vyas while addressing a joint press conference alleged that the corporation had paid an amount 140 times more than what was originally decided.

Narrating the sequence of events, the BJP leaders disclosed that the MC finalised the tenders for cleaning the sewer between GT Road (Chand Cinema) to Bajwa Nagar measuring about 5000 square feet for about Rs 7 lakh. The tenders, according to BJP leaders, were finalised after completing all the formalities.

However, these were rejected by senior officials of the corporation and fresh tenders were invited. The BJP leaders claimed no formalities were completed and the process of allotting the work to a private company for about Rs 90 lakh was rushed through and payment was made to the company within two days.

The BJP leaders asked as how was it possible that the MC, which is known for delaying payment to the contractors for months together could make it within two days only.

They alleged that the company had been set up with the sole purpose of bagging this contract as it had neither a past record of executing any such work, nor does it work anymore. It may be difficult to find out the whereabouts of the company now, the BJP leaders claimed.

Meanwhile, a spokesman of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation denied these allegations saying that due process for allotting of tenders was followed and adopted. The spokesperson claimed that the tenders go through multiple scrutiny. These are passed by the finance committee from where these go to the general house. After the general house approval these are sent to the secretary, Department of Local Bodies for the final approval.

On the issue of inflated payment, the spokesman claimed that the sewer had to be cleared by vacuum cleaner. He said while manual costs would be far less, vacuum cleaning costs more. He said, it would have been dangerous to engage manual labourers for cleaning the deep sewer as it could have endangered the lives of the people. He claimed that the MC had confirmed the rates from Delhi and had paid less than what the Delhi Metropolitan Council had paid for a similar job. The spokesman added, everything was on record for anybody to check and verify.



Sharma back, unfolds plans for development 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 16
The Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Mr S.K. Sharma, is back in the saddle. In less than 24 hours, his new posting orders as managing Director of Sugarfed were revoked while at the same time, Mr Vikas Partap Singh, MD, Milkfed and Mr V.K. Singh, MD, Sugarfed were directed to stay put at their respective places.

It was officially stated that Mr Vikas Partap Singh, who had taken over as MC Commissioner here on Wednesday evening in the absence of Mr Sharma, was recalled to Chandigarh and asked to rejoin his previous post in Milkfed.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Sharma unfolded mega projects worth Rs 4000 crore for the city, which were a part of ‘vision document for 2025’, submitted to the Union Government after approval of the state government and the general house of the MC here.

The project profile was prepared for massive infrastructure development, needed to cope with the population growth during next two decades after the city was selected, along with 27 other major cities in the country, under Jawahar Lal Nehru National Renewal Mission.

Giving more details, Mr Sharma informed that to meet the requirement of a projected city population of 45 lakh in the year 2025, expansion of water supply network would entail an expenditure of Rs 35 crore, laying new sewer lines and augmentation of sewerage treatment plant would cost Rs 488 crore while laying storm water lines, gullies and chamber would need Rs 563.74 crore.

The proposed ring road with an approximate length of 62 km would require an outlay of Rs 1100 crore whereas an amount of Rs 622.23 crore had been earmarked under the project for development, widening and strengthening of roads, drains, street lights, parks and another Rs 64.03 crore would be spent on construction of cricket and football stadia, beautification, consultancy and community facilities.

In the wake of existing and expected traffic movement in the mega city, the project provided or extension of elevated road from Chand Cinema to Jalandhar bypass and Jagraon Bridge to Vishwakarma Chowk, along with construction of two over bridges at Gill road and Aarti chowk at a cost of Rs 225 crore, construction of four flyovers and four sub-ways on National Highway, involving an expenditure of Rs 200 crore, six rail over bridges at different places at a cost of Rs 100 crore.

According to the MC Commissioner, a sum of Rs 100 crore had been proposed to be spent on improvement of slums and construction of one room tenements, Rs 17 crore for construction of five canal bridges and culverts on Budha Nullah, Rs 20 crore for covering open drain passing through the city, Rs 20 crore for development and maintenance of parking places and Rs 4 crore would go for construction of three electric crematoria and 20 cremation grounds in different parts of the city.



Pre-monsoon showers bring down temperature
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
People heaved a sigh of relief here today after pre-monsoon showers lashed Ludhiana for several hours. The day temperature also came down providing relief to people from the scorching heat. The Met officials said these were just pre-monsoon rains as the state came under low atmospheric pressure zone. The intermittent rain continued since morning.

Meteorologists at the Punjab Agricultural University said the rains would not last long as these were only “pre monsoon showers”. They said the monsoon would take about a week or so to reach the state.

They said there may be some more mild showers due to the low atmospheric pressure building up in the area.

The PAU scientists said it was very good for the ongoing paddy transplantation

They said although there was not much downpour today but even the marginal moisture would come as a boon to farmers because this would lessen pressure on the depleting ground water.

They pointed out that those farmers who started transplantation according to PAU guidelines would benefit.



PAU crop varieties get national recognition
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
Punjab Agricultural University has added yet another feather in its cap.
A maize hybrid — PMH-1 — evolved by plant breeders has been identified at the national level for cultivation in North-Western plain zone comprising west UP, New Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.

Another maize hybrid — PMH-2 — is now ready for release in the western Indo-gangetic plains and central India.

Stating this, the Director Research, Dr B.S. Dhillon, said on Wednesday that a fodder variety of barseem — BL-180 — has been selected for release in the North-West region, parts of Uttaranchal and hill zones of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Its yield potential was assessed high during field trials by 10 to 15 per cent in the North-West zone and by 18 to 42 per cent in hill zones.

To provide alternative crops as part of the diversification programme, Dr Dhillon said “adaptive” trials at fields were underway in respect of hybrid bajra, summer moong, mash, pigeon pea and a desi cotton hybrid.

A hybrid bajra variety — PHB 2168 — has been released in Punjab. In research trials it yielded 21.8 per cent higher than PHB 47 and in adaptive trials its yield was higher by at least 19.4 per cent.

At present, PAU’s six varieties/hybrids have been approved for testing in “adaptive” trials at fields. Summer moong — SML 732 — has yielded 22.7 per cent higher than check variety, SML 668.

Another variety, ML 1265, has out-yielded ML 818 by 12 per cent. This also proved to be fairly resistant to moong bean yellow mosaic virus. It also ranked first in North-West plain zone in coordinated research trials.

About other varieties, Dr Dhillon said Mash 114 gave more yield, 45.2 per cent, over Mash 338 in breeding trials and 20 per cent in agronomic trials. It is resistant to moong bean yellow mosaic virus.

Pigeon pea AL 1507 variety yielded 22 per cent more than check variety AL 201. It matures a week earlier than AL 201. In desi cotton, a hybrid FMDH 3 has out-yielded the check hybrid Moti by 10 per cent. It has better tolerance to wilt and bacterial blight attacks on cotton.

Rice breeders are working on a strain — PAU-2769 — which has showed superiority of 12 per cent in yield over best checks. It is early maturing by 14 days, as compared to PR 118, and is resistant to all eight patho-types of bacterial leaf blight.



Fervour marks Guru’s martyrdom day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 16
The fourth centenary of martyrdom day of Guru Arjun Dev was observed with religious fervour at Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha. A three-day katha darbar, kirtan darbar and gurmat samagam was organised to mark the occasion.

On the concluding day of programme here today, Bhai Kirpal Singh, Bhai Gurbachan Singh and Bhai Dalbir Singh, all hazoori ragis at Golden Temple, Amritsar, Bhai Harjit Singh, hazoori ragi from Saharanpur, Bhai Gurcharan Singh from New Delhi and Bhai Manjit Singh from Mumbai among others recited gurbani and kirtan.

Mr Narinder Pal Singh, a Guinness Book record-holder, put up an exhibition of Nanakshahi coins which drew huge crowd.

According to Mr Mohinderjit Singh, general secretary of the gurdwara committee, members of the Istri Satsang Sabha and children from Mata Bhag Kaur Dal actively participated in the religious activities that were undertaken to mark the occasion.

All members of the gurdwara management committee and a large number of devotees paid tributes to the Guru and also offered siropas to different jathas. Langar and chhabeel were also organised on this occasion.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Holding of special kirtan darbars, community kitchens and chhabils marked the martyrdom day of Guru Arjun Dev here today.

In almost all gurdwaras of the town and surrounding villages, after the culmination of akhand path, special congregations were held where eminent ragis recited gurbani.

Besides chhabil, langar was also organised in all gurdwaras. The Kalgidhar Federation, Sukhmani Sewa Society, State Bank of Patiala, Grain Market, Punjab and Sindh Bank, Punjab National Bank and the Chaura Bazar Association were among the organisations which held langar and chhabil. 



MC chief’s election postponed yet again
Loveleen Bains

Doraha, June 16
Organising a meeting, fixing a particular date for the elections of the president (reserved for woman) of the Municipal Council and postponing or cancelling the same on one pretext or the other is said to be the council’s way of delaying the election as far as possible.

This practice is allegedly being carried out for the past two years and till date the MC is functioning under the command of an acting president despite the fact that several woman councilors (as fixed by the government) are eager to chair the post provided they are given a chance to do so.

Out of a total of 13 councilors, four are women and are eligible to contest the post. In July 2004, a vote of confidence motion was passed against the then president, Ms Raj Rani, after which Mr Surinder Pal Sood has been on the seat as the acting president of the council. Every time a meeting is arranged by the members and is either postponed or cancelled due to non-completion of quorum or some other reason.

A similar meeting was conducted on June 6, but the election could not be conducted for the want of quorum and it was postponed till this Wednesday. It was the seventh time when a meeting was organised and had to be postponed now for June 28, due to the non-presence of the councilors.

Local residents are of the view that granting equal status to women in a male dominated society is still a far-fetched dream.

Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, an Akali activist, said the tall claims of the government to grant equal status to women at par with men seem to be falsified in this case. He said in the absence of the president, developmental tasks of the town had come to a halt.

Mr Inderjit Singh Kala, president, Dashmesh Charitable Hospital, Doraha, said the town had become a pit of dirt and squalor.

Similarly, Mr Jandeep Kaushal, chairman, youth forum and vice-president, All India Federation of Democratic Youth, has criticised the means adopted by the council to abate the election and alleged the policy of “favouritism” in the council. He also raised doubts if the meeting on June 28 would yield any positive results.



Critically ill mother of three needs help
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 16
Ms Manju (40), a resident of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, needs immediate replacement of two heart valves urgently. She is admitted in Hero DMC Heart Institute (HDHI) here.

According to Dr V.K. Sharma, Head of Cardiac Surgery at HDHI, one of her defective valves fails to open as wide as it should while the other fails to close as tightly as it should. This condition is called ‘mitral stenosis’ and ‘aortic regurgitation’ in medical terms. The mitral valve stenosis is causing irregular heartbeats and the patient might suffer from heart failure or other complications, including stroke and heart infection if valve replacement is delayed.

Doctors attending on the patient opined that Ms Manju was in need of immediate surgery because there were chances that fluids might build up in the lungs due to inability of the heart to pump blood through the body effectively. The valve which did not close properly, was causing leakage of blood backward, due to which the left ventricle of the patient was pumping more blood than normal, and gradually getting bigger because of the extra work load.

According to Dr Sharma, such a condition was not very common. “The patient is in such a state that she feels fatigued even if she speaks a few words. Worried for the life of their mother, her children are also asking the hospital authorities to save their mother.”

Manphool, husband of the patient, is a labourer by profession and assists as a cook in functions. All three sons of Manju are studying. With paltry financial resources, the family is not in a position to afford the surgery, involving an expenditure of nearly Rs 2.35 lakh. “At times, we have to skip meals to save money for the school fee of our children as I am the sole bread winner for the family,” says Manphool.

Dr Sharma confirmed that HDHI had arranged one valve, along with a small donation of Rs 20,000 for Manju. On its own part, the HDHI management had also agreed to waive 30 per cent of the hospital charges, which was the norm in cases of very poor and needy patients. However, the mother of three kids needs a lot more financial help to see her through this terminal illness and generosity of the kind hearted people of the region is only hope of the family.

Donations for the treatment of Ms Manju can be made by cash or cheque to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Tagore Nagar, Ludhiana, with ‘donation for treatment of Manju in HDHI’, written on the back of the draft or cheque. Else, Dr V.K. Sharma (98156-03545) and Dr Sarju Ralhan (98140-64210) can be contacted. Donations given to the DMCH are eligible for deduction under Section 80G of Income Tax Act, 1961.



‘Gender imbalance alarming’
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 16
Pointing out that gender imbalance was most alarming in the states of Punjab and Haryana, Mr Shivinder Singh Brar, Joint Secretary, Health, Union Government, warned medical professional who were encouraging female feticide under the garb of diagnosing congenital deceases through ultrasounds and scans. He apprehended that the imbalance if not checked would further deteriorate the economy and social structure of otherwise prosperous border state.

The state health authorities maintained that the gender ratio had improved with consistent and coordinated efforts of the state and the Union Health Department.

On the overall development of medical facilities Mr Brar claimed that Punjab was one of the most advanced states of India, but a lot was still to be accomplished. He held that providing medical facilities to all residents was the duty of the government and private sector would not be allowed to eclipse the services presented by the regime.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune after inspecting the local Civil Hospital, Mr Brar said that gender ratio had deteriorated to an alarming state in Punjab and Haryana. Accusing a section of medical fraternity of encouraging the immoral and unethical practice of terminating medical pregnancies, Mr Brar held that radical change in philosophy of Punjabis was the reason behind the amplification of the problem. “Unfortunately, the mindset and philosophy of Punjabis has changed radically during recent decades. Even the elite class that should have come forward in sensitization of other classes was itself involved neck deep in the evil. Instead of treating girls at par with boys, they often tried to get rid of them,” said Mr Brar.

Mr Brar further apprehended that the trend, if not checked, would produce disastrous results. “Wide gap in the sex ratio would produce social and economical instability in the society. Indirectly it would create an environment advantageous for social evils including drug addiction and crime related with women,” apprehended Mr Brar.

He warned the medical professionals engaged in performing sex determination tests and MTPs. He said: “We have directed respective authorities to be strict with violators of PNDT Act. In no case a medical professional was found involved directly or indirectly in undertaking any case of female feoticide, he would not be spared.”

Mr Brar further maintained that state authorities had been asked to involve social organizations and NGOs in the crusade against the social evil.

While Mr Brar maintained that the gender ratio in Punjab was 793 females as against 1000 males, Dr G.L. Goel, Director Health, said it had improved to 871. Revised figures were arrived at after undertaking a random study, taking one sub centre from each block, he maintained.

Mr T.R. Sarangal, Managing Director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, Dr G.L. Goel, Director Health, Dr S.K. Bansal, Civil Surgeon Sangrur, and Dr K.C. Goel District Health Officer, Sangrur accompanied Mr Brar who had come here in connection with an inspection of various health centers as a part of National Rural Health Commission. 



At the Crossroads
The charming queen of hill stations

With Shimla I have been playing hide and seek for the last 55 years. Every time it is a new discovery, although there is nothing new except the change of season. At Tara Devi, when I have the glimpse of Shimla, it appears as if 'all's well with the world.' Thereafter the journey by road is like the footsteps of a toddler, rushing forward to keep its balance.

The ultimate destination is Scandal Point, dotted with people in a carefree mood. Then the ascend starts towards The Ridge where the Christ church looms large like a lighthouse amidst the sea of human beings. There is generally a galore of the ponytails, the pony rides, the glee of children running about, men and women strolling leisurely, the lingering steps of lovers and tourists in a hurry to scale the height of Jakku with their eyes or to locate the ever-receding horizon among the hills beyond.

This time, in the first week of June, I had a detour from Kandaghat to Chail, the place where Palace Hotel is the main attraction for tourists. But I was to reach Cedar Heights, located on the road to Kufri. Once at this resort, the old world associated with the plains disappeared and a new world emerged rooted to the spot but ever caught in the flux of time. The solitary clouds were ever on the move, the shadows of the trees were never constant, the air went by in a wind, the green patches around the cottages changed their hue like chameleon with the shifting sunrays, the birds moved about on the earth for their frugal meals or chased each other among the branches of the trees and the sun glided slowly into the fathomless mists at the horizon. Amidst this movement of time in slow measures, the mind seeks solace in recalling the years gone by and the heart misses a beat at the sight of the eternal beauty of nature.

The long evenings at Jolly Johar's Cedar Heights (Koti) provided me frequent visits down memory lane. In 1951 I went to Shimla as a fresh graduate in search of service. Without much ado, I found employment in an audit and accounts department of Central Government. The next decade saw me fully engrossed in literary activities. When the fever of holding poetical symposia at Jain Hall and Kalibari Hall subsided, I engaged myself in the study of English literature for my postgraduation. All along I had been in touch with Urdu literature, apart from gaining a smattering of Punjabi literature. The study of English literature held me in tight grip but I was fond of escapades into French and Russian literature. Flaubert, Maupassant, Zola and Balzac carried me to the world of passionate involvement and sensual gratification. Later Tchekhov, Gorky, Gogol and Turgneve transported me to the realm of harsh realities of life. In between, Hemingway, Huxley and Russel held my attention for intellectual ramifications of the world of modern sensibilities.

The end of the decade of my stay in Shimla saw me travelling down to the plains with wife and three children. It was like waking up from a long sleep and venturing forth to realise the dreams of obtaining a place in the sun. I did not look back for the next three decades, from 1962 to 1992, but kept on pushing forward the cart of individual fulfilments and social obligations. As a college teacher, I discovered the hidden recesses of my mind and found imparting knowledge to the younger generation as a part of the learning process.

Superannuation once again reminded me of my lost love and unforgettable past, dotted with trials and tribulations. This time I landed at Rashtrapati Nivas (Summer Hill) for engaging myself in academic research as Fellow of Indian Institute of Advanced Study. That year rekindled the snuffed out candles of old memories and held up hope for the renewal of the old bonds. Now nothing seems to have been lost at 77, except the capacity for long walks, striking new friendships at short notice and continuing flirtation with this charming queen of hill stations.

— N.S. Tasneem



Corporate bigwigs lay stress on innovation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
Innovation is the latest mantra that those who have made it big prescribe to emerge winner amid stiff competition. Recipients of the Ludhiana Management Associations (LMA) annual awards, Mr Shivinder Mohan Singh of Fortis Healthcare and SRL Ranbaxy, Mr N.S. Kalsi, director-cum-secretary, Department of Information Technology, Punjab, and Mr Satish Kumar Kaura, CMD, Samtel India, emphasised on the need to think ahead and implement ideas with dedication.

Talking about the success in manufacturing sector, the LMA-Vardhman Entrepreneur of the Year 2005, Mr Satish Kaura, said a decade back people were worried about the success of this sector which had now managed to generate a lot of success stories. “Earlier our focus was on quality and building efficiency of resources, which was a relatively easier task. The next challenge is innovation in all aspects”.

He said organisations needed to develop a culture where people got more space and freedom to create and implement ideas. “They will have to take risks,” opined the first generation entrepreneur, who set up the Samtel Group in 1973. The group has grown to over Rs 1,400 crore and employs over 6,500 people in nine factories.

Stressing on the need for India to embrace science and technology much more than it did earlier, he said: “We are already equipped with a huge infrastructure in terms of laboratories, universities and even experts. Only if we are innovative enough the things would move further and Ludhiana can be a role model.”

Mr Kalsi, who received LMA-Dayanand Munjal Award for Manager of the Year 2005, felt that in today’s knowledge economy, where knowledge and not raw material was the source of growth, the need was of management professionals and entrepreneurs who were just not competent but also knew how to implement technology and be innovative.

He emphasised on the need for a leadership where leaders set examples instead of directing others only and also where people knew how to market themselves before marketing their ideas and products and services.

Recipient of the LMA-Trident Award for Young and Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year 2005, Mr Shivinder Singh, revealed that it was the first award of any kind he had received. The 30-year-old business tycoon said visions could be borrowed it was more important to implement ideas with commitment and passion. “I borrowed my vision from my seniors. Whenever people asked me where my business would be in future I said it would be big, it would be better. I only continued implementing the vision with determination and passion”.

He said we needed to create an environment that facilitates implementation. “You have to continue growing else you would be grown over,” he shared the mantra behind his passion. 



Plea to withdraw tax on senior citizens’ scheme
Our Correspondent

Doraha, June 16
Senior citizens and members of the pensioners’ association have severely criticised the move of the government regarding the deduction of TDS on the interest money of these citizens.

Expressing resentment on this declaration, Mr Pawan Kumar Kaushal (retd), member of the Senior Citizens Union and Pensioners Association, said the government shall have to take back this harsh decision as old people would be forced to pay through their nose if the policy is implemented.

He added: “These senior citizens had deposited their pension in the post office under the senior citizens’ scheme and were getting a favourable amount of interest money on it. The recent decision of the government regarding the levying of tax on investment upto Rs 15 lakh, shall prove to be burden as the aged are already passing through a crucial stage of lives where they require financial support not only to sustain themselves and their life-partners but also to procure medical aid in case of need. This tax is in no way in favour of these old-aged persons”.

Comrade P.K. Kaushal, who is also the state committee member of MCP(U), also asked the CPM, CPI and other Left parties to withdraw their support to the UPA-led government and arrive at a common platform to fight such autocratic decisions of the government and raise their strong voice against the foreign imperialism that is raising its ugly head for the past quite sometime. 



Drug peddlers shift base to city periphery 
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, June 16
Following pressure by the city police, a number of criminals running drug and flesh trade rackets have shifted bases to various villages on the periphery of the city for their operations.

Giving the example of a flesh trade racket being run at Phillaur, sources said a notorious drug peddler of the city had made a village near the Engineering College his permanent abode. He had rented a house in the village and from there he was carrying out his activities. The police was not aware about his current whereabouts. His residence is reportedly frequented only by some of his trusted couriers, who supply drugs to customers in the city.

There are other drug traffickers, who have also shifted their bases outside the city, but not very far from it. Only a few drug peddlers are reportedly operating from within the city in connivance with the police.

Recently, the Model Town police caught an old woman, who had been involved the drugs trade for years. Interestingly, another woman is now doing a brisk drug trade in the same area but the Model Town police has not been able to arrest her. Similarly, in the jurisdiction of division number 8 police station, another woman is reportedly involved in drug trafficking. The sources confirmed that her husband was already facing trial in a case under the NDPS Act registered against him some time ago.

The sources further pointed out that Chhawni mohalla, which was notorious for drug trade a decade ago, was back in the news. A notorious drug peddler of the locality was arrested recently, but there were others in the locality who were peddling drugs openly.



Lottery winner ‘cheated’
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 16
Mr Des Raj Sharma, a resident of nearby Kanganwal village is in a fix as to contact whom to know whether his son, Sumit Sharma, who has won a lottery worth around Rs 10 crore, has been duped of Rs 30,000 that he sent as token money for entitling him to receive the final payment.

At present he is trying to locate an office of a barrister at Jakarta in Indonesia, where Sumit Sharma had sent a draft for $ 600. He had received the offer at his email address, around six months ago. Till now Sumit kept the incident secret as he had been directed by the lottery zonal co-coordinator. Moreover, he wanted to give his parents a surprise and had decided to break the news only after receiving a cheque from the barrister mentioned in the email.

According to Mr Des Raj Sharma, his son Sumit had received an email purportedly sent by lottery zonal coordinator, EAAS Lottery Headquarters, Euro-Afro Asia Sweepstakes Lottery Inc., Sacramento. The sender had congratulated the recipient for being selected and approved for a lottery worth $ 2,50,000. It was mentioned that he had been selected randomly through a computer ballot system drawn from 8.5 crore individual email addresses. Sumit was asked to contact a barrister office at Jakarta. Later, Sumit was asked to send a draft worth $ 600 so as to finalise his case.

Interestingly, the coordinator had warned Sumit against disclosing the selection until he receives the cheque. “For security purpose and clarity we advice that you keep your winning information confidential.”

“Though the person attending the telephone at the barrister office confirmed having received draft from Sumit, we suspect that he had been duped”, said Mr Sharma.



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