L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Muslims observe black Id
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Thousands of muslims observed the black Id to protest against the execution of the deposed Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, here today. They also staged a mock hanging of the effigy of the US President, George W. Bush, before setting it on fire.

Unlike the traditional atmosphere of gaiety and festivity, the mood during the Id celebrations was simple, quiet and sombre with anger writ large on everybody's face. Saddam Hussein's pictures were also seen in abundance at the venue of the Id prayers. With more and more details of Saddam Hussein going to the gallows while reciting prayer and that too without a hood flowing in, the anger among the Muslims against the US seems to be getting more intense day by day making him hero of the community across the world.

Addressing a gathering of Muslims carrying black flags and sporting black badges, the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid here, Maulana Habib-u-Rehman Ludhianvi, asserted, "Saddam Hussein has sacrificed his life for the cause of Islam and he died while reciting the kalima". He said, earlier people had heard of symbolic sacrifice only, while Saddam Hussein had laid down his life as a true Muslim soldier.

He said, the US President, George W. Bush was the "greatest terrorist of our times", who had killed so many innocent people in Iraq and around the world. He said, Saddam Hussein's sacrifice would not be allowed to go waste and every Muslim would resolve to avenge his sacrifice and follow the path for which he laid down his life.

The number of people, who had come to offer the Id prayers this year, was unusually high. The overflowing crowds had to offer the Id prayers on the road in Field Ganj as the space within the Jama Masjid fell too short for them. Amidst chanting of ‘Allah Akbar’, they denounced the US for the "murder of Saddam Hussein", who was described as a leader of not only the Arab, but whole of the Muslim world.

The atmosphere of festivity usually witnessed on the occasion was missing this time. The Shahi Imam had called for a simple and black Id immediately after the hanging of Saddam Hussein and people responded with a similar sentiment.

Meanwhile, a number of leaders from various political parties and different communities gathered at the Jama Masjid to greet their Muslim brethren. They included the parliamentary secretary and local MLA, Mr Surinder Dawer, the Shiromani Akali Dal candidate from Ludhiana West, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, Mr Kulwant Singh Dukhia and the president of the minority cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Atiq-u-Rehman. 



Muslims condemn Saddam’s hanging
Our Correspondent
Jagraon, January 1
Hundreds of Muslims of the area on Monday organised a march raising slogans against the US Government for the executing of Saddam Hussein.
In a press note by the Indian Communist Party Jagraon condemned the execution and called it a dastardly act carried out at the behest of George. W. Bush. They termed it strangulation of democracy. 
Muslims protest against the execution of former Iraq President Saddam Hussein by observing “Black Id” in Ludhiana on Monday
Muslims protest against the execution of former Iraq President Saddam Hussein by observing “Black Id” in Ludhiana on Monday. — Photo by Inderjeet Verma



Saddam execution unfortunate: NGO 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
The GGS Institute of Information Communications and Technology, an NGO accredited with the United Nations, called an emergency meeting today to condemn the execution of Saddam Hussein.

Mr Amar Singh Sidhu, secretary of the organisation, in a Press statement today said t it was a political death sentence given under the pressure of Mr Bush.

The members of NGO decided to produce an agenda in the United Nations NGOs conference on February 9, 2007, at New York through its representative Mr Sarvjit Singh Brar, who is attached with United Nations at New York.

Meanwhile, several other organisations staged demonstrations against the hanging of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein yesterday.

Prominent among these included the Communist Party of India, Inqilabi Kender, Punjab, Muslim Welfare Council, Punjab, Lok Morcha, Punjab, and Rashtriya Janata Dal, Punjab. The demonstrators burnt the effigies of US President George W. Bush and flags of the US.

They alleged that Saddam Hussein’s execution was stage-managed by the US.



A boisterous start to New Year
Tribune News Service

A belly dancer performs during New Year’s celebrations at a hotel in Ludhiana on Sunday night
A belly dancer performs during New Year’s celebrations at a hotel in Ludhiana on Sunday night. — Photo by Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 1
City residents welcomed year 2007 with great pomp and show here last night. Be it clubs, hotels, pubs, restaurants or private get-togethers, an untiring enthusiasm was witnessed everywhere.

Elderly, youngsters and children had great fun till midnight and the year was welcomed amidst cheers, fire-crackers and excitement.

At the prestigious Sutlej Club, Bollywood Singer Sukhwinder Singh mesmerized the audience with his melodious voice for more than two hours. A huge stage was set-up for the Punjabi singer and his dance troupe.

As soon as the ‘chaiyan chaiyan’- fame singer began to sing, the crowd gave a huge round of applause. Sukhwinder sang his more than a dozen hit numbers. The club members and guests, who bore the biting cold for more than two hours, began to dance slowly on his foot-tapping numbers. Bonn-fires were arranged to give warmth to the members.

Drishti’s item numbers were another attraction of the show. The club strictly followed the Supreme Court's orders and the programme concluded around 10:30 pm.

The elite of the city celebrated the New Year blast at Park Plaza till late night. The residents were specially dressed for the occasion, some of them even wearing mini-skirts. Live bands, Ballet dance, geet-ghazals were organised for various sections of new year revelers. The Russian Ballet dancers remained favourite during the entire celebrations.

Farm house parties, private get-togethers were organised to say Good-Bye 2006. Youngsters had arranged their personal DJs to enjoy the occasion. Some of the residents followed the court directions whereas at far-off farm houses, the couples danced to the tunes of DJs, which were played till midnight causing disturbance to near-by residents.

Later, the young revelers were seen dancing on roads, round-abouts, Sarabha Nagar and Ghumar Mandi markets. They parked their vehicles on roads and danced on music played in their cars. Police personnel were seen on duty till midnight.

Many party revelers were dancing to the songs mixed by the DJs, whereas the famous gurdwaras and temples had people praying for a good and prosperous New Year.

There were still many who surfed the channels and saw various programmes sitting in the warm cozy quilts and yet another class of poor people for whom the last night passed as any other night and had no significance.

Bells could be heard in temples whereas sounds of 'Waheguru Satnam' could be heard from Gurdwaras.

Meanwhile, the partygoers toasted with whiskey or wine glasses and danced to the tunes of the DJs.

Surprisingly, people in large numbers were found not only at parties, but at temples and gurdwaras.

All city clubs, pubs were jampacked, especially the Sutlej Club, as people flocked to hear Sukhvinder sing in his rich baritone voice.

Dukh Nivaran Sahib, a gurdwara in the heart of city, was brightly lit and people poured into the gurdwara in huge numbers to seek blessings.

Special arrangements were made to handle the large number of crowds and ragis with their melodious singing of shabads brought peace and tranquility to the listeners.

At ISKCON Temple, a special ‘mahaaarti’ was arranged and devotees chanted with reverence ‘Hare Krishna , Hare Rama’ despite the cold .

Hence, the youngsters could be seen zipping on the roads and congregrating at Sarabha Nagar Market, Model Town Market, Mall Road, but the police was asked to keep a strict vigil to check any untoward incident happening on the ‘New Year eve’ and the year 2006 passed into history amidst prayers, revelry and a lot of 



Revelry saw SMSing on a new high 
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Amid promises of strengthened networks and better services by mobilephone companies, Short Messaging Service (SMS) congestion could not be prevented this year too. 

For subscribers, increasingly relying on text messaging to convey their greetings, SMSs were delayed by even more than 12-14 hours and in many cases failed.

Besides text, picture messages and MMSs too witnessed a significant rise.

According to Spice Telecom officials, the SMS traffic on December 31st and January 1 was a high of 2.5 crore. "High mobile phone usage has increased SMS popularity and number of SMSs this time was quite high. Even MMS and picture messages were sent in large numbers," said Mr Mukul Khanna, assistant vice-president, Spice.

He said to handle traffic on such occasion the company had doubled its SMS servicing centres.

Learning from their previous experiences, most mobile phone users started sending messages almost a week in advance to their near and dear ones instead of waiting for the New Year eve.

Though congestion was relatively less this year, people said many of their SMSs were not at all received or were received much later.

"The messages that I sent a couple of days earlier were promptly delivered. However, most messages that I sent last night were delayed and may of my friends told me they did not receive them at all," said Anu Sharma a student.

As per phone companies, SMS traffic increases by almost four times on days like the new year and festivals in comparison to routine which is what causes congestion. Added to it is the phenomenon of sending a large number of messages at a particular time that causes delay.

Mobile users were irritated with few companies that resorted to charging extra on messages sent on New Year eve.

Whatever the reasons, subscribers decided to give a vent to their feelings through messages like : “Before the sun sets on this year, before memories fade and before networks get jammed, wish you a very happy New Year”. Among the other interesting messages that were circulated was: “On the occasion of New Year and birthday of famous Indian scientist S.N. Bose, I salute all those dedicated to public welfare.”

For many, it was poetic messages like “Troubles as light as air, love as deep as ocean and friends as solid as diamonds and success as bright as gold; these are the wishes for you on the eve of New Year” that helped convey greetings to friends.

Residents also resorted to Services like dedicating songs to their loved ones to convey their greetings.



Rickshaw-puller’s death: Police begins probe
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, January 1
Taking cognizance of a complaint lodged by a family of the local Chand Cinema area, the local police has initiated probe into the death of the head of the family, a rickshaw-puller, who according to the complainant was thrashed by a financier about a fortnight ago.

Delay in payment of daily installments of a loan was reported to be the motive behind the incident.

Jaswinder Kaur, wife of Surjit Singh, and Jagan, his son, accused Amarjit Singh, a financier, of causing death of the head of their family, who according to them was thrashed by the suspect about a fortnight ago.

The financier has, however, denied the charges levelled against him.

According Jagan Singh, Surjit Singh had borrowed Rs 5,000 from Amarjit Singh on interest about a month ago. The borrower was supposed to repay the loan by daily installments of Rs 30.

“My father continued paying the installment regularly till December 15 after which he couldn’t pay up due to family problems. The moneylender instead of listening to our problems called my father to his office on December 20 and thrashed him and impounded his rickshaw,” Jagan Singh told the police, alleging that his father later succumbed to injuries caused during the assault.

Accusing authorities of inaction, the family alleged that their plea to register a case was not heard.

According to SHO city police Yogi Raj, Amarjit Singh had denied the charges levelled against him.

“However we have initiated process to know the cause of death and further action will be taken after receipt of post-mortem report,” said Mr Raj while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune today.

Meanwhile, social organisations came to the rescue of the family that had been left in distress on the first day of the year.

The deceased is survived by two minor children including a physically challenged daughter and his wife.



One killed, four hurt in car mishap
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, January 1
One person was killed and four others injured when the car in which they were travelling hit an electricity pole after being hit by another vehicle at Pawa Khagat village last night.

The accident happened as people celebrated to usher in the New Year.

The car, in which five occupants - Shivkumar, Surjit Singh, Balbir Singh, Manoharlal and Rakesh Kumar - were travelling from Sahnewal to Ludhiana, was hit by a vehicle and it careened down the sidewalk before hitting the pole, 2 km from here.

The roof of the Zen (WB20 B 9283) was ripped due to the impact and the occupants received injuries.

All occupants of the car belonged to Kangra in Himachal Pradesh and had been working at Transport Nagar.

According to ASI Ram Nath, three of the injured were taken to Oswal Cancer Hospital. Out of these, Rakesh Kumar died this morning, while Balbir Singh and Manohar Lal are reported to be out of danger.

The other two injured - Shiv Kumar and Surjit Singh - were admitted to Apollo Hospital.

They were also said to be out of danger.



Goods worth lakhs stolen from garment store
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Thieves broke into a garment showroom in Ghanta Ghar Chowk in last night and decamped with garments and artficial jewellery worth lakhs of rupees.
According to the owner of the shop, H.K. Groverson, the thieves jumped on the roof of the shop from the elevated road and broke into a wall and a door.

The incident took place after 10:30 pm yesterday when the owner had left the shop. When they came today morning they found the shop broken into and ransacked. The exact loss is being ascertained.

The police was informed in the morning and a dog squad was also pressed into service. Further investigations are on.



SAD (A) committed to forming third front
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) today said it was mulling alliance with like-minded parties to defeat the Congress and the SAD-BJP alliance. Addressing a press conference here today, senior vice-president of the party Daljeet Singh Bittu and general secretary Prof Jagmohan Singh said: “The SAD (A) believes that the era of two-party politics in Punjab is over. We are committed to the development of a third force to overthrow the anti-people rule of the Congress as well as SAD-BJP alliance.”

They said the state had seen the regimes of these two parties for a long time but the basic issues of the Sikhs and Punjab and the economic, social, religious and political rights of the people of the state had been ignored and sidelined.

They said these parties were more interested in mud-slinging game over corruption than mitigating the sufferings of the common man in the state.

The leaders alleged that the character of the Congress in defaming the Sikhs, torturing and annihilating them in stage-managed encounters could not be forgotten.

“The sinister role of the SAD and the BJP to undermine the unique character of the Sikh people and to destroy the Akali legacy needed to be exposed,” they asserted.

The leaders said: “In the coming elections, the SAD (A) will continue its campaign to forge a united front. It is our endeavour to have a seat-sharing alliance with parties of all shades and hues, provided they are committed to defeating the other three parties.”

They maintained that their election campaign was on and would ensure three-corner contest in all 117 constituencies of the state.

They claimed that they were the inheritors of the Akali legacy, which had been bartered away by the feudal leaders like Mr Badal.

They appealed to all Akali workers to stand by the spirit of the Akali movement and “not be bought over by money, liquor and drugs”.



Dilemma for Congress on Jagraon candidate
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
While SAD president Parkash Singh Badal might be finding it difficult to make the final choice of the party candidate from Jagraon, for the Congress, the task appears to be equally tough.

It was being presumed that with Darshan Singh Brar shifting his base to the neighbouring Bagha Purana, the decks had been cleared for Gurcharan Singh Galib, an former MLA and two-time MP.

However, it may not be easy for Mr Galib to get the party nomination, given his poor reputation of having worked against the own parliamentary candidates during the past.

First against Jaswant Kaur, widow of Beant Singh, and in the recent past against Manish Tewari.

Mr Tewari holds quite an influential position in the Congress as secretary of the All-India Congress Committee.

He would obviously not like Mr Galib to be fielded from the Assembly this time, given his open opposition to him during the parliamentary elections.

Had it not been for Mr Galib’s opposition to Mr Tewari during the parliamentary elections the results might have been different.

Jagraon has traditionally been a Congress constituency with the vote share of the party ranging between 54 to 58 per cent.

But infighting and wrong choice of candidates has always helped Akalis pocket this seat.

Mr Galib was believed to bring entire Congress flock under his leadership. But his past reputation of working against Congress candidates both in the Assembly and parliamentary elections, coupled with his old age has impeded his path to becoming a widely accepted leader.

On the contrary, Mr Brar and Mr Tewari have been able to consolidate their group with the emergence of second-generation leadership like Raman Kumar, one of the close confidantes of Mr Tewari, and president Jagraon Vikas Manch and Darshan Brar’s son Kamal Brar.

With the switching over of loyalties of Galib’s closest aide Shamsher Singh Dangian, chairman Block Samiti, Jagraon, to Darshan-Manish group reportedly at the behest of Raman Kumar, Darshan-Manish group has now the largest following.

Though the group is being sidelined by the state leadership to placate Mr Galib, it has established its strength by holding a mass rally to mark Lala Lajpat Rai's martyrdom day.

Also in the fray is former MLA Gurdip Singh Bheni, who has a limited sway in the Bet area, but suffers on account of old age and Pritam Singh Akahra, a close confidant of Jagmit Brar.

Darshan-Manish group holds key to success of Congress candidate in Jagraon.

With the party leadership looking for young and clean candidates, Jagraon could find some new Congress candidate with the intervention of central party leadership.

However, at the same time it may be difficult to overlook the claims of Mr Galib, given his seniority and influence among both people as well as party leadership.



Tax assessment invalid sans statutory notice
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 1
Income tax assessment will be invalid if the statutory notice under the proviso to Section 143(2) (ii) of the Income Tax Act is not served on the assessee within stipulated time.

The Delhi High Court, in an important judgement delivered recently, held that there was a clear distinction between issuance of notice and service of notice.

Service means the notice must have actually been received by the assessee within stipulated time and not after that period

This was stated by Taxation Bar Association (TBA) president Ashok Juneja and general secretary Ajay Paul Singh at the general house-cum-study circle meeting of the TBA while discussing the “Assessment procedure under the Income Tax Act”.

Convener of the Study Circle B.R. Kaushal, who was the main speaker at the meeting, highlighted the latest position of law on the matter in the light of the current judgement.

It was pointed out that for fixation of case under scrutiny, the notice as per proviso to Section 143(2) (ii) of the Income Tax must be served on the assessee before the expiry of 12 months from the end of the month in which the return was furnished.

According to Mr Kaushal, while dismissing the appeal, the court held that the assessee had filed the return on November 20, 1996, and the time stipulated under the proviso to Section 143(2) (ii) of the Income Tax Act 1961 for service of notice expired on November 30, 1997.

Notice under the relevant Section, though issued on November 27, 1997, and dispatched on November 28,1997, was actually received by the assessee only on December 1, 1997.

The court had ruled that the notice must have been served on the assessee on or before November 30 and not after this date. Therefore, the assessment was not valid.

Further, Mr Kaushal also focussed on a decision by the full Bench of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Delhi, that an Additional Commissioner of Income Tax (ACIT) cannot be termed as Assessing Officer (AO) and as such an ACIT cannot exercise or perform all or any powers and functions of an AO.

The tribunal had further held that definition of an AO was given under Section 2 (7A), which did not include an ACIT and the same was conclusive. 



Road accident fatalities alarming in India: expert
Kuldip Bhatia

Dr Manoj K. Sobti
Dr Manoj K. Sobti

Ludhiana, January 1
Whereas in the developed countries the incidence of neurotrauma is on the decline owing to better highway engineering, automobile innovations and greater awareness among public about prevention of accidents, India witnesses six deaths for every one million kilometres driven as against one death for 160 millions kilometres driven in USA, where highways are considered to be safest in the world.

Stating this at a seminar on “Roadside Accidents and Management of Head Trauma”, Dr Manoj K. Sobti, Consultant Neurosurgeon at Sobti Neuro and Trauma Centre, said a survey conducted on road traffic safety by the Central Road Research Organisations had revealed that there was one accident for every one minute on roads while one human life was lost (due to road accidents) every 8.5 minutes.

Situation of road accidents was altogether different because of enormous population and neurotrauma was the greatest killer.

The seminar was attended by members of medical fraternity, traffic safety experts and other representatives of service clubs and other voluntary bodies in large numbers.

Dr Sobti observed that the mortality rate in India with in the Glasgowcoma Score (GCS) motor response 1 to 4 was reasonably comparable with western figures, thus testifying to the satisfactory management of trauma patients in intensive care units here.

However, in GCS motor response 5, mortality was rather high at 12.5 per cent, against 4.8 per cent in the US.

Similarly, in GCS motor response 6, mortality was 0.4 per cent in India in comparison to 0.2 per cent in the US.

He attributed the high mortality rate in India to several factors like poor first aid facility on the spot, transportation of victims to the hospital by untrained and uneducated people.

“It is easy to understand how a patient with simple dislocation in the cervical spine could be quadriplegic by the time he arrives at the intensive care ward.”

Other reasons for poor survival rate of road accidents victims, added Dr Sobti, were absence of monitoring the condition of the patient during transport and depressing delay in transferring the patient from the site of the accident to hospitals.

“In the US, 50.2 per cent of the victims reach the trauma centre within one hour. In contrast, only 6.9 per cent are admitted during the first hour in major trauma centres in India.”

Emphasising that CT scan was very important investigation, he said it could detect any intracranial haematoma, contusion, oedema or infection.

He pointed out that trauma victims suffering from mild concussion injuries, small contusions in brain or linear fracture of the skull could be managed with anti-oedema, anti-convulsant and diuretic drugs whereas surgery was indicated in cases of large haematoma inside brain, large contusion, major fractures or depressed fractures.

Dr Sobti stressed that results of surgery were better in patients who were treated with in four to six hours, which indicated the importance of an early referral of a head injury patient to a super specialised neurosurgery centres.

As preventive measures to cut down road accidents and avoid massive loss of precious human lives, he suggested that roads should be better designed, helmets be used while driving two-wheelers, seat belts be used during car driving, alcohol, sedation or addiction be avoided, children be not allowed to drive, level of traffic management and enforcement be improved through traffic lines for separate vehicles with proper lane systems and traffic light at place of heavy rush.



State Bairagi Mandal chief felicitated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 1
The president of the Bairagi Maha Mandal, Punjab, Mr Hari Das Bawa, was felicitated in a function organised by Mr Ramesh Kumar Bawa, president of Ludhiana rural Assembly segment, and Ms Kanchan Bawa, president of women wing of the body here today.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president, All India Bairagi Maha Mandal and chairman of Punjab Housefed, Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, former president of the District Congress Committee, Mr Ashwani Kumar Mahant and Mr Ravinder Ravi.

Addressing the function, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa stressed the need for the members of the bairagi community to come together on a single platform so as to initiate a concerted effort to carve out a political identity for the community. At the same time, there should be no let up in the ongoing social welfare projects against female foeticide and drug addiction.

The newly-nominated state president of the body, Mr Bawa, expressed his gratitude for the honour bestowed upon him and also expressed the confidence that he would get support and cooperation from each and every worker.

He lamented the fact that the community was still to get its due place in the political arena and that no political party had thought it fit to give due representation to the bairagis during the past six decades after independence. Mr Bawa exhorted the members of the community to sink all differences and work together in the wake of the coming Assembly elections in Punjab.



Mysterious death of owls to be probed
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
The controversy surrounding the claims of the local chapter of the PFA (People for Animals) about the recovery of six owls has deepened further with the national president of the PFA and environmentalist, Maneka Gandhi, terming the claims as mysterious and the honorary Chief Wildlife Warden, Dr Sandeep K. Jain, initiating an inquiry into the episode.

‘‘It is quite mysterious, ’’ said Ms Gandhi in an e-mail to The Tribune over news reports that the local chapter of the PFA had claimed that it had recovered six alive but injured owls out of which one had succumbed to injuries and another was consumed by a female owl. Where as all six of them were shown alive in the pictures released by the PFA.

Ms Gandhi said she had asked Dr Jain to look into the matter and report to her. Dr Jain, who is quite reluctant to talk on the topic, admitted that he had asked PFA activists to explain the sequence of events leading to the controversial claims and if the owls were photographed alive then how they claimed that two had died.

Not only the role of PFA activists, but also of officials of the Wild Life Department has come under the cloud. Dr Jain said he would get the matter inquired as soon as possible and submit a report to Ms Gandhi.

A number of objections are being raised over the claims of PFA activists as an owl is worth lakhs of rupees in this industrial capital of the state, where the bird of prey is sacrificed at the altar of Godess Lakshmi.

The press release of the PFA signed by Mr Sanjeev Jain had claimed that they had rescued two adults and four chicks. They were being carried in a sack by some persons in the Shivpuri area. After getting a tip off, some PFA activists had reached the place and rescued the owls. The persons carrying them managed to flee, claimed the PFA activists. They had further claimed that the male adult succumbed to injuries. Seeing the dead male, the female killed one of her chicks and consumed her. Though in the pictures, that were released, all owls were shown to be hale and hearty.

The president of the local chapter of the PFA, Mr Ajay Jain, had, however, rubbished all allegations. He said they had handed over the bodies of dead owls to Mattewara forest range officials. There were some remains of the chick consumed by its mother and that too were handed over to the forest officers. Mr Mohan Singh, the Forest Officer, was, however, not accessible.



WCA gets best district body award
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 1
The year 2007 commenced on a happy note for the Wholesale Chemists Association (WCA) here today when sweets were distributed and members danced to the beats of drums to celebrate the best district association award presented to the body at a state-level convention of chemists held at Patiala on December 30.

Presiding over a meeting of the executive committee of the WCA, Tikka Dalip Singh apprised the members with the proceedings of the state convention, which had participation from senior Akali leaders Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, besides Mr A.N. Mohan and Mr J.S. Shinde, president and general secretary, respectively, of the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists.

Mr Tikka and other speakers at the meeting, including Mr G.S. Chawla, general secretary, Mr Hairsh Kapila, senior vice-president, and Mr Pradeep Passi, treasurer, cautioned the members of the trade against the impending threat of retail chains, which would have adverse impact on both retail and wholesale chemists.

He also announced that the state body had also presented a cheque of Rs 1.11 lakh to the district association for the proposed Punjab Chemists Bhawan to be constructed in Ludhiana.



2 held with liquor

Jagraon, January 1
The Sidhwan Bet police in two incidents arrested two persons with illicit liquor and booked them under Sections 61, 1, 14 of the Excise Act. Amarjit Singh of Abbupura was arrested in Sherpur Kalan area and around 6.5 lt of illicit liquor was seized from his possession. In the second incident, Resham Singh of the same village was arrested from Galib Ran Singh village for carrying illicit liquor. — OC



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