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Two cops arrested in corruption case
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, January 25
Twelve persons, including two Sub-Inspectors of Punjab Police and an advocate, have been booked in a classic case of releasing a narcotic smuggler and his impounded truck by taking a bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh in the Jagraon police district.

Taking a tough stand in the case, the Jagraon police today booked and arrested the two cops SI-cum-former SHO Raikot police station, Gurmeet Singh, SI-cum-Additional SHO Bacchan Dass.

The cops had first caught the narcotic smuggler, Raghbir Singh, along with a truck used for smuggling at a police Nakka in Raikot in September last year. But after taking the bribe, they allegedly helped the smuggler in assuming a fake identity and preparing fake documents to release the impounded truck on Supardari. The registration number of the truck later proved to be the number of a scooter in the name of a Ludhiana resident.

Both the cops have been arrested. Judicial Magistrate Ms J. Walia has remanded the two arrested cops to police custody till January 27.

A Jagraon-based advocate, a stamp vendor and two Nambardars also helped in the deal in which another smuggler allegedly played the role of a middle man to perfection.

The 10 other persons booked in the case were the alleged smuggler Raghbir Singh, the conduit Darshan Singh, advocate Ashok Bhandari, Nambardars- Makhan Singh and Nirmal Singh, Stamp Vendor Jarnail Singh, Manjit Singh, Ujagar Singh, Jagdev Singh alias Jagga and Kohli.

The Jagraon, SSP, R K Jaiswal said the alleged deal between the cops and the smuggler took place two months ago. The lid over the corruption was lifted when the alleged smuggler spilled the beans to Barnala police after he was caught in a drug-trafficking case there.

He said the SP-Detective Sohinder Singh conducted investigation in the case and found the involvement of 12 persons. All the accused have been booked under section 419, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120 B of the IPC, and sections 7,8,13(2), Prevention of corruption Act of 1888.

Mr Jaiswal disclosed to Ludhiana Tribune that Raghbir Singh, alias Jagga, of Jalwena, Ahmedgarh had managed to get his truck released on Supardari orders from a Jagraon court. He impersonated himself as Sarabjit Singh of Transport Nagar Ludhiana and furnished fake documents and other papers with the help of the police.

Mr G Nageshwar Rao, IPS, SSP Barnala in his letter Ho 934/A/Reader dated 28-12-2005 addressed to Mr R K Jaiswal, SSP Jagraon apprised Mr Jaiswal of the disclosures made by Raghbir Singh, alias Jagga, before the Barnala Police for carrying poppy husk in a truck No. PB-10-AJ-4107.

Mr Jaiswal said he had taken stern action against the cops as they were supposed to nail the smugglers and not help them in such a manner. He said the police was conducting raids to nab the remaining accused. He said the arrest of Jagdev Singh, alias Jagga, was most important as he would reveal if the impounded truck was carrying poppy husk or was returning after delivering the consignment.

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Police on high alert
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 25
The Punjab Police suspects that there can be terrorist attacks on some high-security buildings in the state. The rank and file in the force has been directed to be extra vigilant while maintaining security of government buildings and vulnerable points, including the venues of the Republic Day celebrations.

Sources said the police apprehended terrorist attacks on the organisations or venues of the Republic Day celebrations, which would be attended by high dignitaries.

According to a communication received from the office of the ADGP (Intelligence), Punjab, at Chandigarh, the agencies had received vital information about the current planning of various terrorist groups.

“Militants having their base in the valley may make an attempt to sneak an explosive-laden vehicle into a high-security building or camp, flashing it as a vehicle deployed in a VVIPs’ security,” reads the communication received from the office of the ADGP (Intelligence) by all SSP offices in the state.

The militants might come clad in clothes resembling the uniform of either the police or some other agency associated with the security of the dignitary concerned.

The SSPs have been asked to take necessary action to counter the threat posed by the militants. “The security personnel deployed at various installations may be briefed properly to remain extra-vigilant and alert while performing their duties and the security of all government properties, vital installations and VVIPs must be ensured,” conveyed the state police to its constituents.

Meanwhile, the police has enhanced security at vulnerable points at Sangrur and Jagraon.

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Greed of dowry leaves her paralysed
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
A 26-year-old dowry victim may not be able to walk for life. A nursery teacher, Pooja, was allegedly pushed from the third storey of her in-laws house as her parents were not able to accede to the in-laws’ ‘‘ever-growing’’ demands for more dowry.

Having fractured her backbone, legs and arms after the fall, Pooja is lying paralysed in DMC Hospital unable to move any part of her body. Hoping against hope that she will be able to walk in future, Pooja keeps on blubbering to all visitors, ‘‘Do not give birth to a daughter. She will be killed for a house or a car.’’

In her statement to the police, Pooja alleged that she was pushed from the third floor on December 30 when she had gone upstairs to clean the house. She was rushed to Ram Charitable Hospital from where she was referred to the trauma centre of DMC Hospital. The police has registered a case against her husband, Gagan Thakkar, her mother-in-law, Sumitra, father-in-law Gian Chand and her sisters-in-law under Sections 307, 498 A and 34 of the IPC.

Talking to The Tribune at the hospital, she alleged that she was married to Gagan Thakkar of Mishra Chowk in 2003. It was a love-cum- arranged marriage. ‘‘Soon after my marriage, my in-laws had started torturing me for a car. I took Rs 50,000 also after they demanded Rs 2 lakh. But this did not satiate their hunger for money.’’

She was allegedly sent back to her parents house at Chauri Sarak in Bajra Mohalla a number of times. She gave birth to a daughter a year after her marriage but the girl died after she was not provided proper medical care as a daughter's birth was not a happy occasion for her in-laws’ family.

After staying for some months at her parents' house she had been sent to her in-laws following perusal of the case by some responsible citizens. She went in September last year and fell on December 30. Since then she has been battling between life and death.

‘‘Doctors say I will not be able to walk for six months. I do not know whether I will be able to do so ever or not. I cannot feel my legs. The only hope is that I can feel my hands when I touch my legs. ’’ she said, while crying bitterly.

Mr Prem Kumar, her father and cloth merchant, said he had spent Rs 14 lakh on her wedding thinking her in-laws would be happy with her. But things did not go her way. She was allegedly told to bring a car and buy a house.

He alleged that though the police registered a case against the accused after they staged protests after the incident. ‘‘But the police is not arresting the accused following political pressure from a senior Congress leader. They are even trying to spare the accused by levelling counter-allegations against us,’’ said her father.

The police said the accused were not arrested because senior officials had ordered an inquiry into the case. The accused had counter-alleged that she had jumped on her own following marital discord and was now levelling all kinds of allegations against them. ‘‘We will take action after the inquiry is completed. ’’

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SAD to hold insaf rally on Feb 1
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 25
For the success of insaf rally to be organised on February 1 at Grain Market Amloh, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, general secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal and former Finance Minister, launched a campaign today from Saunti village, near here.

He was also presented Rs 5100 by Mr Karamjit Singh Bhagrana, former senior vice president of State Karamchari Dal, Mr Tejinder Singh Salana, general secretary, All India Youth Akali Dal and a former SGPC member, Mr Jassa Singh Ahluwalia.

Addressing a gathering at a gurdawara at Saunti, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said that the state government had failed on all fronts. The farmers had become bankrupt as no hike had been declared in the farm produce. Also the inputs had become more costly due to hike in diesel price, free power up to 200 units to Dalits was only a propaganda as no order had been issued so far, and the bills were being issued to them.

During the rule of Akali BJP government in the state 9.5 lakh people were beneficiaries of old-age pensions of Rs 200 per month. But after coming to power, these pensions were stopped by the Congress government. But after a dilly dalling for four year pensions were allotted to only 3 lakh persons.

During four-year tenure of Congress rule no appointments against vacant posts had been made. It also continued befooling people that the former Akali government had left no money in the treasury. To cover-up its failure, the government was celebrating this year as development year, but the people could not be deceived again by false promises as in the past, he added.

The captain said an independent survey report had stated that Punjab was at the top among the 24 states of the country in per capita income but during the past four years it had been pushed down to fifth place.

He appealed the people to join the rally at Amloh on February 1,in large numbers. Mr Tejwant Singh, former council chief, spoke about the development works during the SAD rule.

Among others, Mr Randhir Singh Bhambri, Jathedar Kahla Singh, Bazigar Dal chief Makhan Singh Lalka, Jathedar Kashmir Singh Shahpur and Jathedar Hardyal Singh Naraingarh were also present. 

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Teachers plan protest rally
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 25
A meeting of government teachers and union activists was held here last evening to make arrangements for maximum participation of teachers at a protest rally be organised at Patiala on January 29 by the joint front of 31 unions of teachers .

The convener of the joint front Mr Balvir Singh Ghuman, said the teachers had been forced to press for the acceptance for their genuine demands despite the government assurance in the past.

The demands included regularisation of services of those teachers appointed on contract basis, to make new regular appointment against all vacant posts of all cadres, withdrawal of the policy to hand over education in private hands .

The teachers showed resentment against the discriminatory treatment meted out in respect of promotion scale formula which provided higher scales to doctors ,PCS officers after completion of four, nine and fourteen years of service but not to teachers, who were given this benefit after 8,16 and 24 years of service. 

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SMS to tell status of your application
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma today informed that his office is going to launch Suvidha - a new scheme wherein passport applicants shall be informed about the status of their applications through SMS.

The scheme will be formally launched by Capt. Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, at the Republic Day function being organized at Government College for Boys on January 26.

Mr Verma, who has conceptualized the scheme, said he found that many a times people come to Deputy Commissioner's office only to find the status of their applications. This resulted in wastage of time of the people and on the other hand also increased the workload at the office.

He informed that as soon as the application of an applicant is processed and the documents are ready to be delivered, an SMS will be sent to the applicant stating "Dear customer, your application has been processed. You may collect documents from Suvidha counter - D.C. Office."

In case, because of some problems the office is not able to process the documents in time, computer automatically will generate the SMS stating that "Your application for renewal of arms licence is still under process. We are sorry for delay. Shall SMS you as soon as your case is ready. - D.C. Office."

This way, in case the work is getting delayed, the applicant will be informed by SMS only and he does not have to come to the mini secretariat and return empty handed.

Similarly for passport applications, SMSes will be sent to the applicants at various stages apprising them of the status of the application. The DC further informed that during the trial run of the system about thousands SMSes have been sent so far. Feedback has been received from some of the recipients and they have highly appreciated the system.

He further informed that status regarding Suvidha is also available at the websites of the district administration namely www.ludhiana.govt.in and www.ludhiana.nic.in.

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Increase in investment limit for SSIs sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Representatives of the small-scale industry sector, which forms 60 per cent of the total industry in the state, have urged the government to increase the capital investment limit for SSIs from Rs 3 crore to Rs 5 crore.

In a memorandum submitted to the Director (Development), Small-Scale Industries, Mr S.N. Mishra, who was in the city today, industry associations said there had been manifold increase in the cost of plants and machinery, inputs for auto parts and bicycle industry.

“An increase in capital investment limit would help SSIs perform better,” said industry representatives.

They also took up the issue of non-payment of capital subsidy. Capital subsidy had not been paid to the industry since 1997 despite repeated representations by various association, they said.

They demanded that modernisation subsidy be released on priority. They said though the government had granted funds in the shape of modernisation subsidy to the industry in the state with a view to upgrade quality so that they could compete on the international level, funds had not been released so far.

Giving example of fluctuating steel prices, representatives of the engineering industry said they had been adversely affected due to “arbitrary hikes” in steel prices by large steel manufacturers.

“Protective measures to ensure availability of raw materials should be taken so that the SSI units can frame and implement their production plans accordingly,” they said.

The representatives further demanded availability of finance at lower rates and withdrawal of service tax on job work. They urged the ministry concerned to issue a directive to the state governments to comply with its policies and commitments.

An innovative approach should be adopted to support SSIs, they said. A data bank of small industrial units could be prepared so as to provide information on demand and supply statistics in local and international markets, industrialists said. Such measures were necessary to help the industry compete on the international level, they asserted.

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Badal wooing industry
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, January 25
While the SAD has started wooing the industry to seek votes in the ensuing Vidhan Sabha elections, the Amarinder government has not bothered to solve the problems of small-scale industries. Rather resentment is prevailing among industrialists over the failure of the state government to grant subsidy to the small units and refund the arrears of vat.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal has convened a state-level meeting of the traders and industrialists at Bathinda on February 5 to listen to their grievances, besides he has already started holding meetings with representatives of the trade and industry. Last week, Mr Badal held meetings in Jalandhar with the representatives of various industrial organisations.

The industry has sizeable votes in the urban areas as huge workforce is involved in it. The industry can help in garnering the support of the workers and petty shopkeepers. The Chief Minister, Mr Amarinder Singh, has not held a single meeting with the industrialists. No doubt, he has held a number of meetings with big industrialists, who are represented by chambers like the CII and the PHDCCI.

The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana, which represents the small-scale industry of Ludhiana, has invited the Chief Minister many times. But all efforts have failed. The chamber held meetings with Finance Minister Surinder Singla before the implementation of the VAT in April last year. The promises made with the industry by him have not been fulfilled so far.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, president and Mr Avtar Singh, General secretary of the chamber, said today that the Finance Minister had lost his credibility with the industry as he promised that arrears of VAT would be paid without the C and H forms. But this assurance had not been implemented and huge arrears worth over Rs 800 crore had accumulated. 

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Iffco-Tokio disassociates from Kribhco
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
The Iffco-Tokio General Insurance Company (ITGI) has announced its disassociation with Kribhco for the sale of its ‘Sankat Haran Policy’ for farmers.

Henceforth, ITGI will not have any liability on any bag of fertiliser for Kribhco brand, the company said in a press note issued here.

However, ITGI’s ‘Sankat Haran’ policy will be available with Iffco (Indian Farmer’s Fertiliser Co-operative) and IPL (Indian Potash ) products.

ITGI’s ‘Sankat Haran’ Policy, a personal accident insurance policy for farmers, was launched by the company in October 2001. The policy protects farmers against physical injury or death resulting solely and directly from accident caused by external violent and visible means.

As per the policy, a farmer receives Rs 4,000 insurance cover with every purchase of 25 kg fertiliser bag of Iffco and Indian Potash.

The premium for the cover is paid by the fertiliser company as a value addition to the farmer. Under the scheme, ITGI till date has paid Rs 23.07 crore as claim amount and has covered 2.5 crore farmers every year.

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Hero Honda opens outlet for women
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Aiming at providing a special treatment to its women customers, Hero Honda today opened an exclusive showroom for women, “Just4her” here today. The company also launched its new scooter, “Pleasure”, targetting women customers.

While inaugurating the showroom, co-chairman and MD of Hero Cycles, Mr O.P. Munjal, said the idea of opening the showroom was to make women customers feel comfortable while making purchases. 

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Hutch roadshow

Ludhiana, January 25
With a view to generating awareness about its voice response platform- Hutch 123, Hutch conducted a roadshow in Sarabha Nagar here today. The company plans to conduct 20 roadshows in different cities across the state by February 7. A company spokesperson said Hutch subscribers who got the highest pulse by using various services on Hutch 123 for the maximum time, could win a 29” colour TV. — TNS

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