L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Fake currency seized
Four accused in police net
Manish Sirhindi

Tribune News Service

Khanna, January 10
The Khanna police here today busted a fake currency racket with the arrest of four persons and seized fake currency of Rs 2.20 lakh from one of the rented accommodations in the town.

According to the SSP, the operation was carried out by the Kumkalan police. He said the police had put up a check post where they stopped two persons who were found to be in possession of suspicious looking currency of Rs 20,000. On verifying the authenticity of the currency, it was found to be fake. The police immediately placed the two persons under arrest, who were identified as Narinder Kumar, a resident of Khanna, and Sonu of Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh.

On being interrogated, the two accused revealed that they were running a fake currency racket in the area with the help of a Shahdra-based Mukesh Kumar and another Khanna resident Sunil Kumar.

The two also revealed that they had rented an accommodation in the town where they had installed a computer and other equipment required to produce the fake currency. After producing the fake currency, the gang used to circulate it in the market through a network.

After gathering the information from the two persons, the police raided the premises of the house that had been rented by the gang and arrested Mukesh Kumar and Sunil Kumar from there. The police then seized more fake currency of Rs 2 lakh from this accommodation of the gang members, which was taken into custody by the raiding police party. The other two members of the gang were also placed under arrest, the SSP said.

The police has registered a case under relevant section against the four persons. The SSP said the matter was still being investigated to find out modus operandi of the gang.



Amarinder’s visit halts work
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Notary public and typists while away time due to the heavy police bandobast in the courts complex during the hearing of City Centre Scam case in Ludhiana on Thursday.
Notary public and typists while away time due to the heavy police bandobast in the courts complex during the hearing of City Centre Scam case in Ludhiana on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Sayeed Ahmed

Ludhiana, January 10
The high-profile visit of the former Chief Minister in the District Courts became a day of inconvenience for the public and also those working in the courts complex.

Work of typists, notary public and others came to a halt while people had a tough time even entering the courts complex that was virtually sealed from all sides with heavy deployment of police security.

As parking vehicles was also not allowed with a view to ensuring security, chaos prevailed in Feroze Gandhi Market and Feroze Road where people struggle to park their vehicles.

"I came here in connection with the hearing of a criminal case. However, cops are not allowing me to enter," rued Joginder Singh, who sought help from journalists present on the venue.

Whether it was hearing or appearing for challans or getting certificates made, the public had to suffer. On the other hand, those engaged in these works had a work-free day and only kept waiting for the scenario to normalise.

"As people were not allowed to enter the premises, there was no income for us today. Work suffered heavily ," said a notary public.

Situation was no easy for commuters using the Feroze Road as the ones who were unable to park their vehicles inside the courts complex kept looking for a space in the Feroze Gandhi market.

"There is total chaos. I wonder why the premises has been sealed," commented Rajinder Kumar, a passerby.



MC keeps minutes under wraps
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
The SAD-BJP combine in the House has not yet sent the minutes of the last house meeting held on December 7 to the state government and councillors.

Although the rules say that the minutes of the meeting should be sent to the state government within three days and to all councillors within seven days, the SAD-BJP combine is flouting the rules though it had always been hammering the former leadership for the same.

The councillors have started raising a voice that the ruling alliance would have, at least for the first time, ensured that the rules are followed in the letter and spirit as it had been criticising the all through the last term.

They said the Akalis were the one who were raising hue and cry over meeting and minutes of the meeting. A SAD councillor Bhairaj Singh had even moved the High Court asking for a direction to the former MC house that the meeting was held in time.

Leader of the opposition in MC house and Congress leader Prem Mittal said at least they should practice what they had been preaching. ‘‘The ball is in their court now. One can well imagine what they are doing. When we were in power the minutes were never delayed for such a long time.’’

The HC had directed the MC to hold the meeting at least once in every month. Parvin Bansal, senior deputy mayor, said the house had taken up the projects that were to be cleared by the F&CC committee as it was not constituted. Minutes were being recorded as there were 400-500 items on the agenda. ‘‘It was not like 10 or 20 items. It has to take a longer time. We will cite the reason of delay along with, ’’ said Bansal, adding that the minutes would soon be sent to everybody.



10 labourers fall unconscious after taking meals
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 10
The Ludhiana (Rural) police has initiated a probe into an incident in which over 10 migrant labourers, working in a rice sheller at Latala village near here had fallen unconscious after consuming some poisonous substance last night.

The migrants, working with a labour contractor, were found unconscious in their quarters by an employee and were shifted to a private hospital for treatment. While the condition of two of the victims was serious, others were stated to be out of danger.

Over 10 migrant labourers, working at Krishna Rice and General Mills, Latala, were brought in an unconscious condition to the local Hind Hospital at about 11 am today. They had allegedly consumed some poisonous substance during the night. The victims were identified as Santosh, Om Shanker, Sham Sunder, Ram Lakhan, Arun, Pintu Kumar, Maha Nand, Subhash Mehta, Panchhu Rishideva and Kamlesh. The condition of Pintu and Ram Lakhan was stated to be serious.

According to Vikas Kansal, a partner in the rice-sheller unit, the labourers had worked as usual yesterday but they did not get up in the morning till 10 am. Another employee found that all of them were lying unconscious in their quarters. Severe vomiting had worsened their condition. “Finding them in a serious condition, we immediately called a medical practitioner who advised us to shift them to a hospital. As the labour contractor himself was unconscious, the exact sequence of events could be not known,” said Kansal while talking to The Tribune.

Paramjit Singh Gorayan, DSP, Dakha, said he had deputed Mukhtiar Singh, SHO, Latala, to probe the case. Preliminary investigations revealed that the victims had eaten sarson ka saag in dinner. They were all fine before going to bed but could not get up in the morning.

Investigations further revealed that the victims were in the habit of plucking sarson leaves from the fields of a farmer. They had probably plucked sarson ka saag from a field that had been sprayed with a pesticide.



A day before CM’s visit, encroachers under fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
A day before Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's visit for inauguration of the bus stand here tomorrow, Tehbazaari wing of municipal corporation removed kiosks and other temporary encroachments from the bus stand road here today.

Learning from yesterday's experience when a team was sent back by residents and shopkeepers of Jawahar Camp, the squad went with heavy posse of MC police and removed encroachments. The squad confiscated all vegetable vendors, tea stall owner, fruit sellers and signboards placed on the roadside.

Naveen Malhotra, superintendent Tehbazaari, said the team would remove all rehriwallas from Vrindawan road and Ferozepore road tomorrow. A number of shanties under the flyover near the bus stand were also removed.



Only 2.5 pc returns undergo scrutiny: IT dept
Tribune New Service

Ludhiana, January 10
It is only 2.5 per cent of the total number of income tax returns that undergo scrutiny by the IT department. The remaining 97.5 per cent are accepted as a norm.

Seeking to allay all fears of assessees on scrutiny of returns, chief commissioner M.S. Rai said, "It is only when there are serious discrepancies that the department takes up a case. In order to ensure voluntary compliance, we have to counter check whatever is claimed in the return."

Surveys are feared by assessees and even tax sleuths do not bear a very friendly image. However, the department is now focussing on changing this image.

The department, currently undergoing computerisation, will be able to access details of any assessee on the basis of his Permanent Account Number (PAN). Among the modes adopted to counter check are annual information reports that come from banks, financial institutions and other sources, bearing details of transactional records.

This year, the IT department will focus more on door-to-door visits rather than comprehensive surveys of assessees. "It would only be when we find that a person, who, on the basis of information fed by him only, should be paying tax and he fails to do so despite being asked to come forward voluntarily that we would take any action. Otherwise the focus would be on voluntary compliance."

The new return forms, ITR 1 to ITR 8, would facilitate reaching this goal.

Meanwhile, the Taxation Young Lawyers Association said that tax assessees would have to undergo undue harassment as the returns filed on Saral forms were no more valid. Condemning the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) move to introduce new forms, the association said assessees would have to incur extra expenditure and also suffer inconvenience as they would be required to undergo the process of filing the returns all over again. "A large number of tax payers are not conversant with the technicalities of filing returns. Now that the returns filed on Saral forms this year have been rendered invalid and they would have to file them again, it would be very difficult for them," said Jatinder Khurana, president of the association. The association said voluntary tax payers should be given exemption from submitting their returns again.



Vehicle tax according to seating capacity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
A deputation of Punjab School Education Board, affiliated Schools, led by Rajinder Sharma, met Punjab transport minister Master Mohan Lal today and discussed difficulties confronted by affiliated schools due to consolidated vehicle tax imposed on school buses.

Sharma informed the minister that vehicle tax is a great burden on the meagre resources of affiliated schools, which do not get any grant or aid from the government. Therefore, they should be exempted from paying the tax. Later, Master Mohan Lal assured the delegation that vehicle tax would be imposed according to seating capacity of the buses and a consolidated tax of Rs 20,000 will be done away with. He also assured the delegation that demand for exemption of road tax will be discussed with the Punjab chief minister as soon as possible.



Seminar on agricultural research opened
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
A national seminar-cum-training session on high- resolution imaging in agricultural research was inaugurated at PAU here today. Dr Manjit Singh Kang, who presided over the inaugural function, said biological systems could only be understood well if their structure was known with precision. This underscored the importance of structural biology, the science that investigates the structure and function of components of the living system, said Dr Kang.

He highlighted that a state-of-the-art electron microscopy and nano-science laboratory had been created in the College of Agriculture, PAU, wherein efforts are being made for application of these techniques and tools in improving agricultural education and research.

Dr Kang observed that the green revolution of the 1970s revolved around gene selection that led to the development of improved crop varieties and complimentary production technologies supported by superior nutrients and water management strategies along with market support system.

He observed that the second green revolution would revolve around genetic modification involving the biotechnological and nano-technological tools. The seminar wherein nearly 200 participants from different universities and institutes of the country are attending, will continue up to January 23.



'Karta Koonda' released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
A video film in Punjabi 'Karta Koonda' (Chhankata-2007), jointly produced by Dr Jaswinder Bhalla, PAU faculty member, and his colleague Bal Mukand Sharma, chief manager, Markfed, was released by the PAU VC, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, here today.

Dr Kang said the materialistic life style in today's world had made man tense and worried. Comedy and sense of humour could help relieve tension and add spice to life.

He appreciated the efforts of the duo in preparing a comedy film, making satire on social misdeeds and highheadedness of certain sections of society.



New surgery technique a boon
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 10
Addressing a press conference here today, Dr Harpreet S. Gill, consultant in the department of orthopaedics at SPS Apollo Hospital, said minimally invasive hip replacement surgery is a boon for those suffering from hip joint problems.

"The surgical procedure requires specialised instruments, the incision is just three to five inches long as compared to 9 to 12 inches in traditional hip surgery, and cutting of muscles and tissues is less. Hence, complications related to blood loss, tissue healing and prolonged bed rest have decreased. Patients can get up in a day or so and able to walk." Gill added that the technique involved giving lesser anaesthesia, little or no loss of blood, less pain, fewer complications, speedy recovery, shorter hospital stay, and is consequently less expensive in comparison to traditional hip replacement surgery.



Sports meet kicks off
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 10
The three-day North Zone sports meet, organised by the Central Revenue Sports Board, began at the Sutlej Club here today.

Employees from ministry of finance, income tax department, excise and taxation department, customs and narcotics control board, belonging to Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, besides the hosts Punjab will take part in the meet.

Competitions in indoor games including chess, carrom, table tennis, billiards, bodybuilding and bridge will be organised in Ludhiana, while Jalandhar will host athletics events.

Matches in kabaddi and badminton will be played at Amritsar. On the opening day, preliminary round matches in chess and carrom were keenly contested.



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