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Gurusar Sudhar youth murdered in Vancouver
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Gurusar Sudhar (Ludhiana), January 16
A family of Gurusar Sudhar village, which had been preparing for the welcome of their Canada-based member, was shocked at the news that he was found murdered in a pick-up vehicle in Vancouver on January 14.

After receiving the news of the murder of Jatinder Singh, alias Jerry, his grandmother, Ms Gurnam Kaur, suffered a stroke and was admitted to a private nursing home in Mullanpur Dakha.

Jerry was allegedly found murdered on the front seat of the vehicle while his associate was lying injured on the rear seat.

A 21-year-old well-built youth, Jerry was all set to visit his native village within a day or two and had even told his octogenarian grandfather not to come over to Delhi to welcome him as he would himself reach the village.

When the preparations for his welcome were in full swing and places of his interests in India were listed, the news came that he was no more. A pall of gloom descended on the village. Villagers and his family were unable to believe that he had enemies and was murdered.

A visibly shaken Mr Ajmer Singh (83), grandfather of Jerry, said he was waiting for him, as he had desired to visit many places in India. Jerry was studying computers at Vancouver. He was a very good bhangra performer.

Denying the news reports that Jerry was a member of drug mafia, Mr Ajmer Singh said he was a god-fearing person and had never compromised with values. He added that though the family had immigrated to Canada in 1972, it had been ensured that the children remained close to the roots and values.

“Since his childhood, we had been giving them spiritual education. Our children are very obedient and hardworking. They cannot indulge in any anti-social activities,” he said.

“Jerry had visited India last year and visited all religious places here. He had donated for various noble causes also. We could not have imagined that he would be killed like this,” said his grandfather with tears rolling down his eyes.

The bhog of the youth would be performed at Vancouver and Gurusar Sudhar simultaneously on January 22. His last remains would be brought here to be immersed at Kiratpur Sahib.

Son of Mr Daljinder Singh, Jerry was to reach India a week ago. But he stayed back to wait for the delivery of his elder sister-in-law who gave birth to a son. The family at Gurusar Sudhar was celebrating the first Lohri of their great grandson and a few hours after the news of Jerry’s death was broken to them.

The paternal uncle of Jerry, Mr Piara Singh, had migrated to Canada in 1972. Later, he sponsored his younger brother, Mr Daljinder Singh, to come to Canada in 1983. Since then his grandparents had also emigrated there. They had returned to India two months ago. 



Campfire blast victim succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

The family of Baba Nihal Chand who died in a blast in Ludhiana.
The family of Baba Nihal Chand who died in a blast in Ludhiana. — A Tribune photograph.

Ludhiana, January 16
One of the injured labourers in the last evening’s blast in a campfire at Giaspura, Baba Nihal Chand, succumbed to injuries at Oswal Cancer Hospital this morning even as the police investigations found that a scrap bomb had exploded when it was accidentally put in the campfire by one of the labourers.

The police has found an empty shell from the spot. The presence of such a bomb in the scrap has belied claims of the police, the Customs Department and the district administration that scrap is being properly checked and sorted at Dry Port here.

The police meanwhile, arrested a scrap dealer, Madeen. It said he should have sorted the scrap as directed by the District Magistrate. He has been booked under Sections 304 -A (causing death due to negligence, not amounting to murder) , 337 and 338 of the IPC.

The injured persons Baba Nihal Chand and Ramesh had suffered serious injuries. 



3 of family among seven hurt in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 16
Seven person, including three of a family were injured in three different accidents last night. All the injured were taken to the local Civil Hospital. One of them was referred to a Patiala hospital.

It is learnt that Amrit Pal Singh of Turkare village was going to meet his relatives along with his wife, Pavandeep Kaur, and son, Jasmin Singh, in a car. When their car reached near Bahomajra village, it went out of control while Amrit Pal Singh tried to avoid a tractor-trailer coming from the opposite side. The car over turned and all three received injuries. The policemen of first-aid post, Khanna, removed all of them to the local Civil Hospital.

In another accident, two youths were injured when their motorcycle collided with a truck at about 10 pm near Ucha Pind village. The villagers admitted both to the local Civil Hospital. The victims were identified as Deputy Kumar, son of Laxami Chand, a resident of Krishna Nagar, and Ashok Kumar, son of Dharm Vir, a resident of Mohalla Inderpuri. Deputy Kumar was referred to a Patiala hospital.

In the third accident which took place near Monpur village, a cyclist and a motorcyclist were injured when their vehicles collided with each other. The injured, Charnjit Singh, son of Ganga Ram of Monpur, and Bhaskar Chohan, were taken to the local Civil Hospital.



BJP workers demonstrate against cops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
The ongoing confrontation between the local police and the district unit of the BJP reached a new high when a large number of party workers gathered at the Division No. 5 police station and raised slogans against the police inside the premises, with the policemen remaining mute spectators late last evening.

The immediate provocation for the demonstration by the BJP workers was the alleged demand of bribe by some lower rank policemen who had gone to some worker’s house and demanded Rs 300 each for filing a police verification report.

The party workers led by former Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain and Mr Anil Sareen, alleged that the policemen were going to the houses of those workers who beaten up and arrested for staging a demonstration outside the SSP’s office in December. Later addressing mediapersons at an impromptu press conference on the police station premises, Mr Gosain said if the police did not take action against the policemen by Monday morning, the BJP would be forced to launch a fresh agitation.

While no senior police official was present at the police station, ASI Sumit Sood assured the demonstrators that suitable action would be taken against the policemen. He, however, insisted that no police personnel from this police station had gone to the BJP workers houses.

The party workers have given a complaint with sworn affidavits by three persons at the police station.

Mr Gosain and Mr Sareen alleged that the police was harassing party workers regularly because of which they were forced to launch an agitation earlier also.



Land dispute: 24 persons booked, 11 tractors seized
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 16
Agitation by residents of nearby Bhogiwal village, in protest against trustees of a proposed polytechnic college, took a uturn when police here booked 24 persons including leader under Sections 447, 506, 148 and 149 and seized 11 tractors used for tilling the land forcibly.

Tables were turned yesterday evening villagers attempted to plough a piece of land earlier which had been possessed by the management of the Guru Ram Dass Educational and Charitable Trust.

Baba Balwant Singh of Karamsar had laid the foundation stone of the Polytechnic College. A police party led by in-charge Chowki Kup dispersed the agitators and seized 11 tractors left by them. Mr Harjit Singh Bhogiwal, a former sarpanch of the village and 24 of his associates were booked allegedly for trying to take possession of the land.

Residents of the village led by Harjit Singh had blamed the trustees for grabbing land measuring 120 bighas, which had been left by their ancestors as Mushtarka Malikan.

Laying of foundation stone 10 days ago had created the tension and villagers had launched an agitation that went unnoticed.

The agitators claiming to represent more than 200 families had claimed that, that they were the legal owners of their respective shares, which could not be, transferred to any person without their consent.

If some wanted to sell or donate his share to someone he should first get his share earmarked, which had not been done so far.

Mr Gurnam Singh Pandher, Chairman of the trust, claimed that they had taken possession of 70 bighas of land and for that they had legal rights.

Representatives of both groups had several meetings to resolve the issue and at part of barbed fence had reportedly been removed with persuasion of social and political leaders.

But a group of villagers entered with their tractors in the land that had been occupied by the trust earlier and the police stopped them from taking the land.

When another group led by some leaders of the village visited the spot to take stick the situation the villagers started tilling the land that was resisted by the representatives of the trust. The police party that had been deputed here for a fortnight dispersed then and seized 11 tractors from the spot.

Though the villagers said that the police had rounded up some of the residents, and no arrest was reported officially.

Dr Indu, SDM Malerkotla, said she apprehended a clash and had sought a report from the police authorities so that action could be taken. The division and earmarking of respective shares was yet to be done, she informed.



Generation gap led to death of 2 couples
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Generation gap seems to be the reason behind murders of the two love-lorn couples, one in the city and the other in Jagraon, with their parents being held responsible for the barbaric killings.

A seven-month pregnant girl of a Jat Sikh family and her husband of the Ramdasia Sikh community were allegedly murdered by contract killers hired by the girl’s parents on January 8. Four days later, 19-year-old Rajni and her fiance’, Ricky, were shot dead by the girl’s father. Their marriage was to be solemnised after two weeks.

While young generation had defied the custom of marrying within the same caste, elders were still sticking to traditions. The older generation in both cases wanted to chose the life partners of their children as was done with them by their parents.

Sociologists say though it is good that youngsters were shying away from the caste-based society but at the same time elders were so agitated that they preferred to kill their children instead of doing away with customs and traditions.

The city-based couple was murdered on caste lines as per the police investigation. In the case of Jagraon’s couple the girl’s father was not ready to toe daughter’s line as his generation had done.

Fathers of both women were the main accused. The families of both men had given its consent suggesting that the men were still having their say whereas the women were asked to do as told.

The sympathy goes with youngsters but at the same time the young generation was found restive in both incidents. The deceased couple was neither of marriageable age nor had patience to convince their parents.

Amandeep Kaur and her husband, Harpreet Singh, could not wait till she became a doctor or he established himself in business. They were not financially sound as well. Rajni of Jagraon, who was killed by her father, was just a teenager. Even though the date of her marriage was fixed she could not resist entering into arguments with her father over the matter.



15 labourers hurt in shed collapse

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 16
Panic spread among migrant labourers of the area with the news of 15 persons being injured due to collapse of a factory shed at nearby town Malerkotla on Friday. Four injured were admitted in DMC Hospital at Ludhiana. All others were discharged. Migrant labourers here kept visiting various hospitals to see if any of the injured was related to them.

The news item in a section of press on collapse of a shed of Vishal Paper Mills at the Malerkotla-Dhuri road brought panic among labourers as most of the injured were reported to be from outside the state. Labourers visited various hospitals to confirm if any of them was their relative.

Fifteen persons were hurt seriously when a shed under which they were packing cardboard collapsed on Friday.

Those were admitted to civil hospital Malerkotla were identified as Bala ji, Shyam Sunder, Majid, Mohd. Kamal, Shukran, Mohd. Arif, Mohd. Nafiz, Dinesd, Mohd. Amaan, Kartik, Ashok Shah, Major Singh and Deepak Verma. Ajay, Javed, Mohd. Arif and Vipan Verman were shifted to DMC Hospital at Ludhiana. Sources at Malerkotla civil hospital revealed that most of the labourers had received multiple fractures. The condition of Ajay and Javed was stated to be serious.

Mr Krishan Kumar Mittal owner of the mill claimed that the management had been taking all care of the treatment of the injured. He claimed that the authorities concerned inspected the building of the mill recently and the civic body authorities had also approved the design plan of the factory. But the shed collapsed suddenly injured 15 labourers.



Bag containing cash snatched from leader

Ludhiana, January 16
Two unidentified motor cycle borne youths snatched a bag containing Rs 3000 and some documents from an Akali leader in Ghumar Mandi last evening.

Mr Santokh Singh Pahwa alleged that the youths with muffled faces snatched the bag when he was returning home on foot. He said due to power failure he could not see the motor cycle number. TNS



Traders burn VAT effigy, seek uniform Act
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 16
Led by functionaries of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal (PPBM), a large number of traders and representatives of more than 50 bodies of trade and industry, today held an angry demonstration against the “anti-trade” polices of the state government and burnt an effigy of Punjab VAT (value-added tax) at Chowk Mata Mandir here.

The members of trade and industry were demanding that the proposed state law of VAT be withdrawn and its implementation be put off till a uniform Act was prepared which should take effect simultaneously all over the country.

Earlier, a meeting of the PPBM, held under the presidentship of Mr Kasturi Lal Mittal, resolved to launch a protest from January 17 during which the units of the beopar mandal, all over the state, would submit memoranda to their respective MLAs, MPs and Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioners to pressurise the state government and make it withdraw the VAT Act in its present form. During January 17 to January 31, the activists of the beopar mandal would also burn effigies of the state government and the VAT Act.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, general secretary, PPBM, raised the issue of multiple taxation. He asked the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, to make it clear whether the state VAT existed in around 120 countries of the world which were following the VAT system of taxation. The Union Government should also examine the continuation of other taxes and levies like the central sales tax, market fee, entry tax, purchase tax and octroi in the VAT regime.

Other speakers, including Mr Kasturi Lal Mittal, Baba Ajit Singh, Mr P.C. Garg, Mr Ashok Juneja and Mr Sunil Mehra, emphasised the need for simplification of VAT and not creating more problems for the tax payers. “The VAT in its proposed complex form will strangulate the trade and industry. More than 40 items, exempted under the General Sales Tax Act, will come under the burden of taxation. As a result, products like exercise books, ball-point pens, slates, feeders, thermometres, biscuits, toothpaste, washing soap, hospital equipment, cotton, hypodermic needles and fire extinguishers will become costlier.”

Mr Juneja pointed out that in addition to multiple taxes, the registered dealers would be required to maintain more than half a dozen registers, write complete name, address and VAT (tax identification) number of buyers on each bill. The situation would become worse as the officers and the Excise and Taxation Department were granted unlimited powers, including those of sealing the stock, imposing heavy penalties and even cancellation of VAT registration number, thereby threatening the very existence of the business community.

The functionaries of the beopar mandal made a fervent plea to the Union Government to frame a uniform legislation of VAT which should take effect on the national level. Further, the proposed taxation regime should take into account many other constraints like the WTO, global competition, increasing unemployment and the rising prices of essential commodities.


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