L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Industry threatens statewide stir
Wants Asst Excise Commissioner suspended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The row between the local industry and the Excise and Taxation Department has got murkier with industry associations threatening to launch a statewide agitation in support of their demand to suspend Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner D.K. Verma.

Department officials, who have intimated their senior officers about “illegal detention” of ETOs, have demanded action against DCC president Jagmohan Sharma and United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association general secretary Varinder Kapoor for misbehaving with them.

Industry associations have also started a campaign to burn effigies of the said official in several cities across the state. An effigy was burnt in Chaura Bazaar by the Chaura Bazaar Beopar Mandal here today.

Mr Somnath Grover, president, Pradesh Beopar Mandal Punjab, said: “If the government

fails to accede to our demand we would observe an industrial bandh across Punjab.”

Department officials, on the other hand, blamed the industry for trying to give a political turn to the issue.

Mr Sharma took the lead on the first day, the second day witnessed Mayor Nahar Singh Gill coming in support of the industry.

In today's protest, Senior Deputy Mayor Prem Mittal and Mr Harnam Das Johar, Minister for Public Health and Sanitation, assured the industry of their support.

The row had started when a vehicle carrying tricycle parts was stopped by the department on Wednesday, following which industrialists gheraoed officials.

Industrialists, who were supported by the DCC president, alleged that the officials were trying to impose a fine of Rs 5,000 on goods worth the same amount.

As per the action plan of nearly 40 industry associations, effigies would be burnt tomorrow also.

Industry representatives said they had also contacted associations in Jalandhar, Amritsar, Abohar and Pathankot where the agitation would be launched if their demands were not met.



Love-hate: Johar, Singla at it again
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The love-hate relationship between Minister for Finance and Health Surinder Singla and Minister for Public Health and Sanitation Harnam Dass Johar is now well known.
Last night, at the reception organised by the Kila Raipur Congress leader, Mr Jassi Khangura, in honour of Indian-born Canadian Member of Parliament Sukh Dhaliwal, both Mr Johar and Mr Singla were present. However, both ministers preferred to avoid each other.

The compere of the function, Mr Harbans Kanwal, ex-Mayor of Hounslow, London, invited Mr Johar to speak first. To this, Mr Singla remarked, in quite an audible voice, “If you have to make people speak, why do you make them drink in advance,” obviously with an intention to make it known to everyone present that Mr Johar had some drinks.

Mr Johar retorted,”No, I just had coke, nothing else.” He preferred to speak in English, apparently wanting to assert his authority and command over the language. In his speech, he addressed most people who mattered by name, but left out Mr Singla.

When somebody pointed out to him that Mr Singla was also sitting in the audience and that too along with some people whom he had addressed by name, Mr Johar in his witty style remarked, “Do you think, Mr Singla is not a gentleman”, sending the audience into fits of laughter.

Even after he completed his speech, he again clarified that he had taken coke and no hard drinks. He subsequently went to Mr Singla, who was sitting at a separate table, and shook hands with him. Later, they dined together.



Candidate alleges discrepancy in merit list
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 22
Even after a month of lodging a complaint about the alleged discrepancy in the final selection list of headmasters in government schools under the Backward Class category, a local candidate is awaiting the correction that should have been made before the appointment letters are dispatched.

He has been visiting various offices at Sangrur, Mohali and Chandigarh to seek the intervention of senior functionaries, including the Principal Secretary (Education) and the Education Ministry.

Substantiating his claim on the basis of documents, Mr Davinder Singh has accused the Education Department of ignoring his merit at the time of preparing the final list of headmasters.

In response to an advertisement for 43 posts of headmaster, Mr Davinder had applied for the post. During scrutiny, a high-level committee verified his documents and okayed his candidature under the category. His merit was calculated at 63.68, including internal assessment.

His name was, however, dropped from the final list. “I was shocked to see the final selection list in which the candidates with merit lower than mine had been selected,” he said.

As the department had said candidates apprehending discrepancies should email it within three days of the publication of the result, Mr Davinder sent an email to the officials concerned.

Though the authorities had claimed that the necessary correction would be made before the dispatch of appointment letters, he has not received any communication. “Instead of listening to my grievance, the authorities had been humiliating me by sending me from one counter to the next. I was finally asked to contact the Secretary, Education,” he rued.

According to him, a candidate with 63.13 merit had already joined the service.

The only communication he received from the department was an email that says “Thank you for your email. Your query is under consideration. Kindly wait for the final communication.”

He has urged the Chief Secretary, Education, and the Education Minister to look into the matter.



Muslims throw weight behind Manmohan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
Hundreds of Muslims today extended their support to the Prime Minister for initiating measures with regard to the uplift of Muslims.
The rally was organised by the minority wing of the PPCC at Field Ganj.

Addressing the rally, Maulana Atiq-u-Rehman, Chairman of the minority wing of the PPCC, hailed the Prime Minister for taking note of the plight of Muslims. He said it was a fact which most political parties were not prepared to accept and acknowledge that most Muslims were living a life of deprivation.

He said by appointing the Sachar Committee to look into the remedies and reasons for the backwardness of the Muslims, the PM had shown concern towards the community.

Criticising those who were opposing the recommendations, he said it was “a communal and sectarian mindset which wanted the Muslims to remain deprived and discriminated.”

He said the Muslims living in the country were true nationalists as their forefathers had preferred to stay back in India than going to Pakistan.

Others who spoke included Hassan Kausar, Nayar Alam, Mohammad Sidiq Gujjar, Ghulam Rasool Gami, Sabir Jamalpuri and Shakir Aslam.



108 disputes settled at 3 camps
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 22
As many as 108 disputes were settled at three camps organised at Sudhar, Dakha and Jagraon, near here, today. Four complaints were found false. In all 209 complaints were presented by circle officers of Raikot, Dakha and Jagraon subdivisions at the camps supervised by Mr Vijay Kumar Sharma SP(D). Only 171 applications were considered at the camps as in other cases one of the parties were absent. Thirtyone cases were found of civil nature while four were found false.

Mr Gurtejinder Singh Dhaliwal, DSP, Raikot, Mr Dharampal, SHO, Sadar, Mr Jangjit Singh, SHO, Sudhar, and Mr Prem Singh, SHO, Jagraon, were present on the occasion.



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