L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bandh against VAT evokes partial response
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 29
The fact that the valued added tax (VAT) has taken effect in the state from April 1 notwithstanding, the bandh call given against the new tax regime by the Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal and supported by the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal evoked a partial response here today.

While shops and commercial establishments in most of the wholesale markets remained closed, the industrial units more or less continued to function and business was as usual for shops in many other commercial areas in the city. At many places like Civil Lines, Ghumar Mandi, Sarabha Nagar and Mall Road the shutters were either half down even as the customers were being attended.

The functionaries of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, who command good influence in most of the wholesale trade in areas like Clock Tower, Girja Ghar, Saban Bazaar, Talab Bazaar, Mandi Kesar Ganj, Books Market and Pindi Street, however, claimed that the bandh was complete and a rally of traders and shopkeepers, held at Clock Tower Chowk, served an ultimatum to the government to scrap the VAT and revert back to the previous system.

Traders and other members of the business community took out protest marches from different retail and wholesale markets which culminated at Clock Tower Chowk where the traders, led by functionaries of the beopar mandal, raised slogans against the government for the introduction of VAT, which, they alleged, was not only having an adverse impact on business but had also created resentment among the general public due to spurt in prices of several commodities.

Among others who addressed the rally were Mr Sunil Mehra, Mr Ajit Singh, Mr Kasturi Lal Mittal, Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, Mr Sat Pal Gosain, a former Deputy Speaker, Punjab Assembly, Mr Hira Singh Gabria, district president, SAD, Mr Kamal Gupta and Mr Jatinder Singh Galhotra.

The activists of the beopar mandal apprehended that under the new tax regime the state economy would be ruined and the business community would have to constantly live under the threats from officials of the Excise and Taxation Department. They threatened that if the government went ahead with setting up new check barriers or a drive for inspection, searches and seizures, the traders might resort to gherao political leaders and bureaucrats.

The Ludhiana District Chemists Association, the Clock Tower Association, the Retail Karyana Association, the Hosiery Traders Association, the Talab Bazaar Shopkeepers Association, the Saban Bazaar Association, the Iqbal Ganj Traders Association, the Ghumar Mandi Association, the Sunder Nagar Traders Association and the Bajwa Nagar Hosiery Association, among other trader bodies, participated in the bandh.



Jasmeet topper in plus two commerce

Ludhiana, April 29
Jasmeet Kaur Jindal of R.S. Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, has topped the plus two in the commerce stream, conducted by the Punjab School Education Boards. The results for the commerce and science streams were declared here today.

As many as six students of R.S. Model School were among the first 10 position holders in the commerce stream. Karan Jindal has bagged the third position while the fourth position went to Abhimanyu Gupta. Rajni was placed at the sixth position and Chakshu Sharma secured the seventh position. Shivani of the same school bagged the ninth position.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Jasmeet said it was a great feeling to top the merit list and she gave credit to her teachers and parents for her success. She plans to join MBA after her graduation.

The other students, who were in the merit list, said they owed their success to Mr M.L. Kalra, Principal of the School.

Jyoti Kapur of Ramgarhia Senior Secondary School has bagged the fifth position in the commerce stream.

In the science stream, Rohit and Neha Suri of BVM Senior Secondary School, Rose Garden, have bagged the fifth position, while Sonam Sharma of the same school has bagged the ninth position. 



Lapse on part of PU costs students dear
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 29
Nearly 210 students of B Com (part I) of S.C.D Government College faced a tough time today when the college authorities did not allow them to take their exam of Environment as the university had not send their names in the cut list.

Mr Navdeep Jodhan, district president, Punjab Students Federation, said the students had to face the wrath of the university. When all had deposited their fee to the university, why their names were not included in the cut list? he asked. Mr Jodhan alleged that such blunders had become a regular routine on part of Punjab University.

Mr Jashandeep Singh, president, Punjab Students Federation, said earlier physics and chemistry papers of BSc part I were set out of syllabus and the students had demanded grace marks in compensation. “We are fed up and will protest in front of the VCs office on May 6”, said Mr Jashandeep Singh.

Mr Kuldeep Singh, Political Science lecturer at the Govt College for Women, who is also the vice-president of the Parent-Teachers Association, said the college had already completed all formalities and sent the fees to the university. The students were not allowed to take the paper as limited sheets and question papers were sent by the university. He criticised the university for the mistake.

About 50 students of Arya College also faced the same problem. Prof S.M. Sharma, Principal Arya College confirmed it and said to an extent the problem was sorted out in their college. He said when he spoke to the Controller Examination, he was told to accommodate the students by distributing spare papers

Ludhiana Tribune spoke to Mr Sodhi Ram, Controller Examinations, Panjab University, on phone. He said the university had sent all names in the cut-list and he had the copy of the same. The lapse was on part of the colleges or students who did not fill the Environment paper column, said Mr Sodhi Ram.



Question paper outside syllabus, say students
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 29
The students appearing in annual examination of M.A. Part I (History) by Punjabi University, Patiala, were shocked to note that the question paper they received for second paper contained many questions that were outside the syllabus. They have urged the university authorities to either give grace marks or cancel the old paper and take afresh examination.

Parents of some students appearing at Government College at Malerkotla informed that their wards were given a question paper for the said examination, that contained some questions, which, were outside the syllabus.

“We were shocked to see question papers with questions for 20 marks outside the syllabus and we reported the discrepancy to the staff in the examination centre,” said one of the students.

Showing her question paper, she claimed that in E section, question number (c) asking, “the effects of glorious revolution” was totally outside the syllabus and there were other changes in contrary to instructions given to the paper setter.

A private college lecturer, teaching history to the students of Punjabi University alleged that the paper setter had ignored the instructions given by the university authorities. Instead of following the procedure laid down by the university he acted arbitrarily while setting the question paper of the said class, claimed the lecturer.

The question paper was supposed to have five sections. Sections A to D was supposed to contain two questions each from respective portions of the syllabus. Each question was to carry 15 marks. However, the paper setter erred to put a question in section C, which was otherwise to be asked in section A. Thus internal choice for the student was restricted.

Drawing attention of the authorities to the state of the students, Mr H.S. Neel an advocate and a social activist demanded that the erring authorities should be reprimanded for causing irreparable loss to the students.

The parents of the affected students urged the university authorities to either give grace marks or cancel the old paper and take afresh examination.



Passing Thru

Mr S.K.Aggarwal, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Jalandhar.

What is your opinion on the concept of lok-adalats?

It’s very beneficial for the litigants, as it saves valuable time and money, which litigants spend on cases for years. We generally see that if one party wins a case in subordinate court, another party files appeal before the sessions court. And if the appellate court reverses the findings of subordinate court, then the loser party reaches in high court and the Supreme Court. In this way the final disposal of a case takes long time. Whereas, if a case is settled in lok-adalat, no party can file the appeal.

What is the response of general public ?

The people have started realising the benefits of this concept of ‘panchayat’. In Lok-adalats. The Judicial Officers make their best efforts and act like Sarpanch heading a panchayat in a village, with the assistance of panchayat members. And here in lok-adalats, the members of lok-adalat(a social worker and an advocate) assist the sarpanch in resolving disputes of parties. Even in rural areas the people are coming forward.

— Rajneesh Lakhanpal



Cure of diseases claimed through meditation
Kudip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 29
The ‘Sarb Rog Ka Aukhad Naam’ (treatment of diseases through recitation of Gurbani and meditation) Mission has claimed that several persons in the city and elsewhere, some of them suffering from incurable or other life-threatening diseases, had been completely cured and they were living a normal life now.

Discussing the activities and achievements of the mission with the media persons here today, Dr Balwant Singh, its secretary, said that the case of a young girl Amardeep Kaur, a resident of Punjab Mata Nagar in the city, was nothing short of a miracle. The girl, suffering from multiple sclerosis, an incurable and devastating disease, had achieved such progress during the last couple of months that her parents were now planning her marriage.

In multiple sclerosis, an auto immune disease, there is patchy destruction of grey matter of the brain. The patient suffers from walking and speech problems as well as sensory loss and long. Amardeep Kaur was undergoing treatment from a noted neuro-surgeon, Dr A. Dhanuka.

According to Dr Balwant Singh, the patient attended an hour-long gurbani recitation session at the headquarters of the mission for four days in a week for some time with remarkable turn around in the disease, and her entire life underwent a change. She has had no relapse for quite some time now and all the medications were stopped.

Similarly, Ms Neelam Behal, a patient of coeliac disease, had been able to say good bye to the incurable disorder in four hours (four sessions of gurbani recitation of one hour each). She had an attack of wheat allergy after consuming a few grains of wheat at Mussourie about an year ago and had to be hospitalised. But now for the last five months, she was able to eat the food of her choice without having any kind of allergy or other problem.

In recorded medical history, no body had been completely cured from coeliac disease, caused due to congenital deficiency of enzyme for digestion of gluten. The patients, due to restricted diet, often suffered from nutritional deficiencies like anemia, loss of weight, lack of growth, osteoporosis and diarrhoea. The patients could also develop bowel tumours (a kind of cancer) in later life.

Dr Balwant Singh emphasised the curative powers of ‘gurbani recitation’, saying these persons, like many others in the past, had been blessed by Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The mission regularly held one hour gurbani recitation sessions at 385-L, Model Town, here on four week days from Tuesday to Friday, he added.



At the crossroads
The Song of Seasons

Ludhiana, April 29
Seasons influence the human mind in an uncanny manner. With the change of season, the rhythm of life, too, undergoes a change. In winter chilly winds drive human beings to home and hearth. When winter comes, spring cannot be far behind. In this season hope springs eternal in the human heart. Summer is the month of fruition in all respects. Later, rains ground the thirst of the parched soil and at the same time nourish the roots of desire. In autumn dry leaves fall intermittently but the melancholy strain they produce lifts up the drooping spirits. So nature plays a significant role in giving a peculiar shape to human nature.

The cycle of seasons during a year have attracted the attention of sages, poets and thinkers. In sacred scriptures too, the great minds have recorded their impressions of the changing seasons in no uncertain terms. These divine revelations have guided human beings, over the centuries, on the rugged paths of life. Baramahas in the holy Granth have a distinct identity of their own. Guru Nanak Devji composed Baramaha in Raag Tukhari that served as a trendsetter and thereby showcased the splendour of the 12 months. Later, Guru Arjan Devji composed Baramaha in Raag Majh wherein the human soul was urged to rejoin the God Almighty through noble deeds. Nature and man have been inter related from time immemorial. The unique beauty of this relationship has provided a significant colour to human experience.

Tej Partap Singh Sandhu is a photo artist but at the same time he is an ardent lover of nature in all its manifestations. During the past three years, he had been observing the moods of seasons from a strategic point of view. He has now showcased them, through the lens of his camera, in photographs that merge into paintings. In the album entitled, The Song of Seasons, the varying moods of seasons, over a period of 12 months, have been observed by keeping a tree in the focus. The saintly tree, standing undeterred at its place, centralises the whole concept of divine glory. Nature seems to be conveying a fresh message in each month from Chetar (March - April) to Phagan (February - March) through this tree. The tree conveys that all the seasons of the year remain attuned to the will of God. As one gets assimilated with God, all the seasons appear superbly comfortable and the surroundings become blissful. — N.S. Tasneen 



Sikhs demand ban on ‘Jo Bole So Nihal’

Ludhiana, April 29
The Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle has criticised the makers of the film “Jo Bole So Nihal” for portraying Sikhs in the bad light. The Circle said they would not allow any such films to be screened in future.

The spokesman of the Circle, Mr Inderpal Singh, said the Hindi feature film “Jo Bole So Nihal” had hurt the Sikh sentiments. “It is not the first time this type of film has been made but we are not going to tolerate it any more,” he said.

Principal Ram Singh, chief organiser, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, said the Sikh character in this film was portrayed as a coward person. They had also picturised the theme of Gurbani as a song, he added.

The Circle has demanded a ban on this movie. It has also demanded that a Sikh person be made a member of the Censor Board to avoid this type of mistakes in future.

Dr Charan Kamal Singh, Chief Secretary of the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, advised the legal advisory cell to take a stay order against the film.



Seminar on VAT on May 1
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 29
Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab, D.P. Reddy will preside over a seminar on value added tax (VAT) here on May 1. The seminar is being organised by chartered accountants here in collaboration with EMM Bee Financial Services.

Mr Sanjeev Malhotra from Delhi, an expert on VAT and author of two books on the subject, will interact with the participants and explain the technical, procedural, legal and other aspects of the new taxation system. 



Gang busted, fake currency seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
Just a day after fake currency notes of the denomination of Rs 500 were seized by the city police, another three-member gang indulging in circulating counterfeit notes of Rs 100 denomination has been busted by the CIA-wing-II of the city police. Fake currency worth Rs 72,000 has been recovered from the gang.

Addressing a press conference this afternoon, SP, Detective, Mr Gurpreet Singh, has warned the public to be careful about the genuinity of a note before exchanging it. He said only a vigilant public can help in containing the circulation of fake currency.

He said that the three members were nabbed by a team headed by Inspector Sandeep Singh Wadhera. The gang members have been identified as Raj Kumar alias Ravi , Sukhdev Singh alias Sukha, both of village Virk in Jalandhar district, and Arjun Singh of Phagwara.



Bank declares Rs 1410.12 cr profit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
Punjab National Bank has posted profit of Rs.1410.12 crore at the end of March, 2005, compared to Rs. 1108.69 crore during the corresponding period last year. The bank has registered a growth of 27.2 per cent.

Mr S.S. Kohli, Chairman and Managing Director, disclosed that the bank could achieve above profit after providing for Rs. 1297 crore towards income tax, wealth tax, NPAs, standard assets, gratuity, pension, depreciation, etc., as compared to Rs.2012 crore in previous year.

A spokesperson of the bank said in view of excellent financial performance of the bank, the Board of Directors have proposed a dividend of 30 per cent for this year. 


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