L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Three youths brutally killed
Gang rivalry said to be reason behind the incident; victims were into drug abuse
Our Correspondent

A forensic expert examines a revolver found at the murder spot in Jassowal village on Thursday.
A forensic expert examines a revolver found at the murder spot in Jassowal village on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 8
Three youths, including two brothers, all residents of Jassowal village in Ludhiana district, were brutally killed near here last night by six members of a notorious gang of miscreants.

The killings have ruined at least eight families and are said to be related to the problem of drug addiction among the youths.

All victims and suspects were reported to be in age group of 20-25.

The affected families came to know about the tragedy after some passersby noticed blood splattered in fields adjoining Hadda Rodi (dumping ground for dead animals) situated on the outskirts of the village and body parts scattered in the fields.

Though no arrest has since been made, the police claimed to have “solved” the case on the basis of information received from various sources.

The kingpin of the gang was identified on the basis of the calls he made to borrow money for escaping from the area.

Meanwhile, panic struck the area after bodies of Inderjit Singh, a young farmer, Gurpreet Singh, a BBA student of a private college, and his brother Jasbir Singh of Jassowal village were found lying in the fields adjoining Hada Rodi on the outskirts of Jasswal village early this morning.

The victims were last seen at a dairy belonging to Inderjit Singh. They are believed to have been killed somewhere after 11 pm when they were returning to their homes on a motorcycle.

Jagtar Singh, alias Sukha, Gurpal Singh Guri, Ravi, Satvir, Davinder Kheri and Keetu of Jassowal have been booked under Sections 302, 148, 149 and 34 of the IPC.

Investigations revealed that all three victims had allegedly indulged in anti-social activities and were directly or indirectly involved in a number of cases registered at various police stations, including Dehlon, Sadar Ludhiana and Dugri area. For obvious reasons, they had developed rivalry with another gang of miscreants headed by Sukha.

Though the exact cause of immediate provocation was yet to be ascertained, investigations revealed that the victims had allegedly challenged the accused to settle some score, after which they (the accused) conspired to eliminate them (victims).

It was last evening that the accused laid a trap near Hada Rodi and intercepted the trio when they were returning home from dairy owned by Inderjit Singh.

Circumstantial evidence suggested that the victims had tried to save their lives by running in different directions, but they were overpowered by the assailants, who were armed with swords and axes. All victims suffered multiple injuries and one arm of Inderjit was severed.

Empty bottles of Corex and other cough syrups and some weapons lying in a tubewell room suggested that the miscreants had made extra preparations to teach their rivals a lesson.

As no impressions of any vehicles were noticed in the crime vicinity, the police presumed that the miscreants had escaped the area on foot. The weapons used in the crime were thrown in some well for obvious reasons of being caught. The police also recovered a Chinese revolver, which turned out to be a toy weapon.

“Though we had zeroed in on some of the accused, the kingpin was identified after he tried to borrow money for escaping from the region,” said the police.


Addiction to drugs ruins families
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Who is to blame for the tragedy? This question is stirring the soul of those residing at Jassowal village. The triple murder has yet again brought to fore the menace of drugs, which is ruining many youths. The victims, Gurpreet Singh, Jasbir Singh and their cousin brother Inderjit Singh, and the accused Jagtar Singh, Gurpal Singh Guri, Ravi, Satvir, Davinder Kheri and Keetu were chronic drug addicts.

In order to buy habit-forming drugs, including cough syrups and capsules, these youths used to snatch things in posh localities of the city.

After getting high, they used to take up fights on instant provocation. “Hardly anyone, young or old, is left in the village with whom the youths (the victims and the accused) had not fought,” said Sahwinder Singh, sarpanch of the village.

The Dehlon, Sadar and the Dugri police earlier caught the trio of Inderjit, Gurpreet and Jasbir.

Earlier, the accused and the victims used to operate together, but soon the gang parted ways and for obvious reasons developed rivalry with each other.

The residents said Jasbir, Indu and Gurpreet Singh had thrashed Gurpal Singh Guri and Sukha yesterday, which led to the brutal murder.

Harpal Kaur, mother of Jasbir and Gurpreet, had no one else to blame for the tragedy as she was expecting the inevitable to happen.

Either they used to fight or else remained drunk. They hardly used to return home at night and after consuming pharmaceutical drugs they used to sleep at the tube well, belonging to Inderjeet Singh Indu, said the resident of the village.



Mother of slain brothers devastated
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
She sacrificed the prime of her life hoping that both her sons would take care of her during the fag end of her life. But after the killing of Jasbir Singh (26) and Gurpreet Singh (24), sons of ill-fated Harpal Kaur (55), the poor woman has been left to fend for herself.

She was in a state of shock to see the badly butchered bodies of her two sons that could barely be identified. At first she denied recognising both her sons, but her younger daughter consoled her mother and told her to accept the tragedy.

"I had a terrible youth and was hoping for a better life. But my dreams have been shattered. Both my sons have been killed. Cruel fate has only pain in store for me. First, I lost my husband and now both my sons," said Harpal Kaur mother of five children, including three daughters and two sons, who were slain last night.

It was a youth of the village who broke the tragic news of the murder to the victims' sister early this morning. She cried in disbelief and rushed towards the incident spot. Meanwhile, Harpal Kaur also came to know about the murder and fell unconscious.

After regaining consciousness, she rued her fate. "I did odd jobs and married off my two daughters. I was hoping that after getting married my sons, they would mend their way and start earning. But destiny had something else in store for me," lamented Harpal Kaur.

The younger sister of the victims said, "The killers have not only ruined my life but have devastated the life of our parents as well."



Real estate, drug-related murders on rise
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Booming real estate prices, illicit relations and drug menace have been behind the 74 murders that have taken place in the city this year so far. The ratio is almost the same compared to the cases registered last year.

Nearly 84 murders took place in 2010. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Chaudhry, "The crime trend has not changed. Property feuds, drug menace and illicit relations are still the prime reason behind the heinous crimes."

In a relatively new trend, brutal murder cases are on the rise. The city witnessed three brutal murder incidents this year.

The first incident took place in March earlier this year in which three persons chopped the neck of man and dumped the head at a shrine located on the banks of Sutlej River. The mystery was solved and the chopped head was recovered following the arrest of the accused. One of the accused said that the man, identified as Subash, who was killed, had a criminal background and was wanted by the police. Subash wanted to establish physical relations with the wife of the accused, which led to the brutal murder.

In the second incident in October this year, the headless body on woman created panic in Janta Nagar near Jodhewal Basti. The case is still a mystery.

Even in the last night's incident, the trio of Indu, Jasbir and Gurpreet was brutally murdered. Their bodies were chopped into pieces.

So much so that it took six hours for the police to locate the severed arm of Indu.

Besides murder, fraud cases are also on the rise. The city police has registered 374 cases in 2010, whereas 360 cases have been registered till November this year.

Unsolved cases

Though the police has managed to crack a majority of cases, the broad daylight murder of Namdhari worker Avtar Singh remains a mystery. Avtar Singh was shot dead by two armed assailants at Shanewal in March this year. The case remains a mystery. In June, the cashier of Bhaini Sahib, Dalbir Singh, went missing. It has been six months but Dalbir has not be located



Newly carpeted road gives way in Ambedkar Nagar
Residents blame contractor, Ludhiana Improvement Trust

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 8
A newly recarpeted stretch of the road in Dr Ambedkar Nagar near Lal Kothi here has given way, all with patches of top surface crumbling and stone metal lying scattered all around.

Charging contractor with using poor quality of material and workmanship, area residents held a protest against the construction agency, while also pointing an accusing finger towards officials of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) for lack of proper supervision by the field staff.

Surjit Singh and other residents of the colony said the stretch of the road was constructed and recarpeted last month. But just in less than a month, the top surface of the road has crumbled at several places, thereby exposing the stone metal used for compression.

“Apparently, the contractor has used sub-standard and poor quality material for construction and carpeting, and at the same time, the field staff of the LIT has also failed to discharge its assigned task of supervising the road work so as to ensure that it is carried out strictly as per the specifications mentioned in the work order,” the protesting residents maintained while demanding a thorough probe in the road construction work.

When contacted, LIT superintending engineer Sukhbir Singh Jakhar said the matter had been brought to his notice. He confirmed that the small stretch of the road was carpeted at the cost of some Rs 1.30 lakh in the middle of last month.

“The field staff of the engineering wing has been directed to visit the spot, inspect the portion of the road, which has crumbled and also collect samples of the material used, so that these could be tested in a laboratory. We are looking into the matter and wherever any deficiency on the part of the contractor comes to light, or if anyone from among the field staff is found guilty of dereliction of duty, strict action will be taken,” Jakhar added.

Poor-quality material used

The contractor has used sub-standard and poor quality material for construction and carpeting, and at the same time, field staff of the LIT has also failed to discharge its assigned task of supervising the road work so as to ensure that it is carried out strictly as per the specifications mentioned in the work order.

— Residents



Memory boosters a fad among students
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 8
With the college and school board examinations around the corner, students as well as parents are getting jittery. A mere thought of examination makes students stressed, which affects their preparation. In such a scenario, there is a great demand of memory-booster products among the students.

Taking advantage of the situation, firms manufacturing tonics and other products for “better memory” are having a ball. The advertisements of a variety of memory-booster tonics galore across the town and products are being sold like hot cakes.

There are several ayurvedic and homoeopathic memory-booster products available in the market. “The ayurvedic memory products are the most sought after. There is a huge demand for tonics like brahmi syrup, shankh pushpi, brahmpushpi and tej ras,” says Deepak Jain of Jain Medical Store situated at the College Road here.

According to Dr Dinesh Kumar, a homoeopath, the number of visitors has increased manifolds ahead of the examinations. “A large number of people, a majority of them students, have visited me with complaints of memory loss during the recent past. Homoeopathic medicines certainly boost the memory,” he says.

It was also observed that most of the persons prefer homoeopathic medicines for they have no side effects.

Atul Sharma, a medical representative of a firm manufacturing homoeopathic medicines, says, “I visit 10 to 12 doctors daily and most of these doctors prescribe these medicines to persons having complaints of memory loss. These doctors say these medicines are proving quite useful in boosting the memory.”

However, in allopathy there is no medicine or syrup available for enhancing memory. According to Dr Vipin Garg, there is no prescription for boosting memory or better focus and concentration in allopathy. In medical science, no such tonic exists that can improve concentration or enhance memory.



Another purse snatching incident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
In yet another snatching incident, two youths riding a motorcycle snatched a purse containing Rs 5,000 and other important documents from an elderly woman near the National road here last evening. The incident took place at around 8pm while she was going towards Ghumar Mandi.

According to Bhupinder Singh, an eyewitness, two youths riding the motorcycle coming from Ghumar Mandi entered the National Road and waylaid the woman. In no time, the youth sitting pillion snatched her purse and fled from the spot.



Dec 8 warmest in five years
Temperature to fall after clouds clear

Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
If the data available with the Metrological Department, Chandigarh, are to be believed then December 8 was the warmest day of December in the past five years. Both maximum and minimum temperatures are 5°C to 7°C above normal due to western disturbances.

Director, Metrological Department, Chandigarh, Surinder Paul, said the maximum temperature recorded today in the city was 25.9°C while the minimum hovered around 13.2°C. “It is astonishing that both temperatures are 5 to 6°C above normal. Normally the maximum temperature should be around 21°C while the minimum should be about 7°C. There is variation of 5 to 6°C. Thus, December compared to previous years has been the warmest so far,” he added.

He further added that similar weather conditions would persist for the next 24 to 48 hours and there were chances of isolated rainfall in many parts of the region. “Once the weather becomes clear, temperature will start falling,” he added.

Dr KK Gill, an agro-meteorologist, Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), said November 2010 was hotter than November 2011. The maximum temperature in November 2010 was 27.1°C while in November 2011, the maximum temperature was 25.9°C. “But December 2011 is warmer than previous years,” he added.

Temperature Variations
(in °C)





















Aided colleges’ employees hail govt’s decision
Withdrawal of pension, CRF rule

Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Non-government-aided colleges’ employees (retired) are feeling pleasant with the decision of the Cabinet to withdraw the Punjab Affiliated Colleges’ Pension and CRF Rule, 2002. Now employees are pleading to the government for issuance of pension payment orders under the Cabinet approved pension scheme in December 2001.

These employees have been demanding pension and gratuity from several years. Earlier, in March 1999, the government accepted their demand of pension and gratuity and approved the same in assembly. Even the government issued a notification on April 26, 1999.

But in 2002, the ruling government set the Punjab Affiliated College Pension and CRF Rules. According to the rules, managements of aided colleges had to give pensions to their employees instead of government treasury.

Employees plead for expeditious framing of the rules for implementation of the law of the land. That scheme had already been sent to the colleges after approved by the Cabinet in December 2001.

SS Hundal, president of Punjab Non-Government-Aided College Employees’ Association, said, “We strongly appreciated the government’s decision for the cancellation of pension and CRF rules. The retired ailing employees, most of them in their seventies, plead for compensation and issuance of pension payment orders. Hundreds of families will be benefited by it.”



Ludhiana scan
Gabria under fire

Ludhiana: The congress councillor Gurdeep Kaur has taken strong exception to the cabinet minister for jails, tourism and cultural affairs Hira Singh Gabria inaugurating the road work and sewerage project in her ward without intimating or inviting her to the functions. This was not only against the norms of the civic body but also was a brazen attempt to draw political mileage from the development projects, she said while adding that the SAD-BJP government will have to pay dearly for its acts of omission and commission in the coming assembly elections.

Applications for free bus passes

The district administration has re-invited the applications from freedom fighters, war-widows and unmarried daughters for providing them with free bus passes. Deputy Commissioner, Rahul Tiwari, said the eligible applicants can send their applications in the prescribed form along with photocopies of pension payment orders (PPO), bank passbook, showing disbursement of pension and proof of date of birth.

Aggarwal Welfare Council

Pawan Garg, state president of Aggarwal Welfare Council said the state body had been dissolved with immediate effect, and it will be reconstituted in the next 15 days. He said the council had been serving the poor and the needy in rural areas for a long time, but now it will play an active role in the political, social and religious fields in the urban areas as well.

Placement drive

Mandi Gobindgarh: A placement drive was organised at the Desh Bhagat Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology here today.

At least 42 students attended the drive.

Out of these, Le Meridian, Ahmadabad, selected five students. Director General of the DB Group of Institutes Shalini Gupta handed over appointment letters to selected students Kapil Dev, Jai Gopal, Ramesh Chand, Rajesh and Nainsi. — OC



Property developers want hassle-free policy
Regularisation of unauthorised colonies in city

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 8
In the wake of proliferation of unauthorised colonies all over the state, and the policy for regularisation of such colonies notified in December 2010 not yielding the desired results, the developers have called for a soft and hassle-free policy so that more and more such colonies could be regularised.

It was towards the end of last year that the state government had framed a policy for regularisation of unauthorised colonies with separate provisions for such colonies developed before August 17, 2007, or after this cut off date. However, the policy did not evoke the desired response and not many developers came forward for getting their unauthorised colonies regularised.

The general perception among the property developers and colonisers was that the policy was not developer-friendly, and involved various complicated provisions, some of which were hard to fulfill.

Gulshan Kumar, a leading realtor and CEO of the GK Group, says, “Even when the offence committed under the provisions of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act (PAPRA) is compounded by the competent authority on payment of the prescribed fee to cover the EDC (external development charges), the developers are still required to offer bank guarantee against the provision for completion of all internal development works within one year, and further have to provide necessary clearance like no objection certificate from several departments.”

He added, “When the developer of an unauthorised colony is prepared to pay the EDC, fulfill all other conditions like desired width of access road and internal roads, provide stipulated area for public and community use and also provide internal development works like electricity, water supply and sewerage, then there is no justification for demanding bank guarantee and NOCs from departments like Powercom, forest department and the Punjab Pollution Control Board.”

Echoing similar views, Kamal Chatley, president, Ludhiana Property Dealers and Colonisers Association, said in the first place, the provisions of PAPRA were very harsh and loaded against the property developers. And when the state government formulated the policy for regularisation of the unauthorised colonies, it failed to provide any relief to the realtors. The developers strongly feel that unless the state government simplifies the procedural wrangles and softens the harsh conditions laid down in the policy for regularisation of unauthorised colonies, it will be of no practical use. “The regulated and planned growth of the real estate sector will remain a pipe dream if the policy (for regularisation of illegal colonies) is retained in its present form,” they maintained.

Complicated policy

The general perception among the property developers and colonisers was that the policy was not developer-friendly, and involved various complicated provisions, some of which were hard to fulfill



Experts dwell on research in organic farming
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Due to growing urbanisation and burgeoning population, requirement for food is also increasing. There is a need to take initiative regarding food security, these views were expressed by Dr BS Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor of PAU, while inaugurating a two-day research and extension specialists’ workshop for vegetable, fruit and flower crops here today.

“There is a need to divert attention towards nursery production and export of the agricultural commodities,” said Dr Dhillon.

He exhorted the scientists to contribute as much as they can for the benefits of farming community, state and country.

Dr LS Brar, director of horticulture, Punjab, delved upon the targets, production and problems in growing of vegetables, fruits and flowers. He laid emphasis on carrying out research in ginger cultivation, olive cultivation and organic farming. Besides, Dr Brar underlined the need for pruning of fruits, enhancing knowledge of farmers about control measures for citrus fruit drop and management of mites in net-house and poly-house. He revealed that farm machinery had been imported and PAU could make modifications and prepare indigenous model, which was reasonable for the farmers.

Dr Brar also suggested on the cultivation of different varieties of kinnow, mushroom, sapota (chiku), guava, amla, etc.

Referring to the salient findings in research on vegetable, fruit and flower crops, Dr SS Gosal, director of research, PAU, said along with food security, nutritional security was also of prime importance. Vegetables and fruits were vital for diversification.

Referring to various plant protection and production technologies, he said, at present special emphasis was being laid on citrus monoculture and potato cultivation. Turmeric cultivation had also become popular among farmers.

The PAU director of extension education, Dr MS Gill, said new varieties with production and protection technologies would bring change in the present-day agriculture. India is leading in citrus and guava production, but need of the hour was to lay emphasis on mango production, as they were in demand for the preparation of agro-processed products.



Students apprised of symptoms, remedies of hepatitis
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
The Youth Association organised hepatitis awareness camp near Shivpuri Bypass Chowk yesterday. Dr Harmeet Singh Saluja delivered a lecture on hepatitis.

Dr Harmeet, a gastroenterologist at SPS Apollo Hospital, said hepatitis-B was a dreaded virus and there were nine viruses at present that caused hepatitis. Normally hepatitis-B is transmitted through blood transfusion, contaminated equipment, drug users using non-sterilised needles or anybody secretion. Hepatitis-B is more dangerous than cancer.

He said there were seven types of hepatitis virus infection and the most common hepatitis types were hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Infection with hepatitis A virus leads to mild inflammation of the liver tissue, but complications are never that serious. Infection with hepatitis B causes chronic long-term illness and permanent damage to the liver if not diagnosed at an early stage. Hepatitis C is more dangerous and causes liver cirrhosis.

Though causes, risk factors and symptoms are specific for each Hepatitis A, B, and C viral infection types, there are certain hepatitis signs and symptoms that are common with almost all three types of hepatitis infection.


  • Persistent pain in the upper right quadrant of abdomen
  • Jaundice
  • Frequent nausea and vomiting
  • Major loss of appetite leading to unusual weight loss
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Itching
  • Appearance of irregular black patches in some parts of the body

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Avoid alcoholic drinks: Consult doctor before taking if one is suffering from chronic hepatitis. It puts extra stress on the already inflamed liver tissue. Drinking alcohol increases risk of liver cirrhosis in hepatitis-C patients and also interferes with certain treatment procedures.
  • Unnecessary drugs: Whatever you think you want to have as your dietary and medical supplements, some herbal medicines or vitamins, do consult your doctor before going in for them.
  • Quit smoking: Liver tissues are known to heal by themselves with proper medications and treatment, but smoking interferes with this healing process significantly. So, one should quit smoking immediately after hepatitis infection is detected.
  • Follow a balanced diet: A good diet is a must for an inflamed liver. Follow a balanced diet to keep your liver stress free and working.
  • Do exercise regularly
  • It is never too late to get vaccinated if you are suffering from hepatitis. Even if you already have one type of hepatitis, you can still be infected with another type. This is called hepatitis co-infection. Effective vaccinations are available for both hepatitis A and B.



World Bank team to assess agri projects
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
“We want to see how projects going under the national agricultural innovation project (NAIP) are fitting into the big picture of achieving the overall growth in agriculture,” said Dr PS Sidhu, who was heading the World Bank team during the inauguration of a two-day meeting in connection with the implementation support mission of NAIP at the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) here today.

Dr Sidhu said they were here to get sense of the technical/financial achievements and how projects were going on meeting their objectives.

Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor Guru Angad Dev University of Veterinary Sciences (GADVASU), praised CIPHET for development of technologies, especially suitable for small entrepreneurs. Calling research initiative under NAIP well orchestrated, he said due to rigorous monitoring of these projects, technological output was appreciable.

Saying their major emphasis was on overall growth of the country, national coordinator NAIP, Dr RK Goyal, said they were interested on the impact of technologies developed under NAIP projects. Dr RK Gupta, CIPHET director, hoped that World Bank team would be getting required information to judge performance of NAIP projects.

Major projects to be assessed for performance included mobilising mass media support for sharing agro information, value chain on potato and potato products, etc.



Education notes
Day of fun for tiny tots
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Tiny tots of the pre-primary wing participated in the athletics meet with great enthusiasm at BCM, Dugri. They were curious and excited for the races, especially planned for them. They ran on the tracks chasing each other with spoons and lemons. They tried to maintain their balance in balancing race and hopping race. They enjoyed “under the table” and “draw mango race” the most. It was a fun-filled day for them. Certificates were given to winners of each race by the principal. The pre-primary coordinator remarked that such events act as stress busters and enable the children to exhibit their talents and channelise their energies.

Poster-making contest

An inter-school poster-making competition was held at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar bypass, wherein around 150 students from various schools participated. Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Education Minister, Punjab, was the chief guest who was given a warm welcome by chairman-cum-director of the chain of Green Land Schools, Rajesh Rudhra; president Shabad Rudhra, principal Baldeep Pandher and other members of the school managing committee. Sewa Singh Sekhwan was taken a round to see the exhibition. Navdeep Kaur of class XI bagged the first position, Kapil Nagpal of class X secured the second position and Shelza Singla of class X got the third position, whereas consolation prize was given to Prafulit Singla of class XI.

Personality development workshop

Ivanna IHM is conducting a special 10-day workshop “Personality development and interview preparation” for its students. All students of BSc hotel management are attending the workshop.

Workshop in charge Babneet Kaur gave tips on how to write a resume, prepare for interview, body language, vocabulary building and improving communication skills. She conducted group discussion sessions, mock interviews and telephonic interviews for the students.



Strike by excise inspectors paralyses industry
VAT refund worth Rs 300 crore pending with department

Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
The recent strike by inspectors of the Excise and Taxation Department, which has been “called off” today, has paralysed the industry and trade in the city. Perturbed at the “non-functioning” department, traders and industrialists said it had become difficult to run their businesses in such situation as Rs 300 crore VAT refund was pending with the department.

The local industrialists said the growth rate in Punjab had been constantly declining in the past few years and the strikes and protests by the state government departments had further aggravated their problems.

“On November 29 and 30, the inspectors went on strike. It was called off after two to three days. They again went on strike from December 5 to December 7. The work suffered as neither Form C were issued not VAT amount refunded. The inspectors even failed issue new VAT registration numbers. Thus, we failed to run our business smoothly,” said Rajnish Ahuja, president, Focal Point Industrial Phase IV Association.

Sore at the “callous” attitude of the department officials, Ahuja said the government must adopt “no work, no pay” attitude. “For the past three days, the officials were on strike. They have called off today’s strike for time being. They will not work efficiently till their demands are met,” added Ahuja.

Chairman of the Export Engineering Promotion Council (CCPC), SC Ralhan, said the VAT refunds worth Rs 300 crore were pending with the department for the past six to seven month. One can imagine how the working capital of the industry had been blocked due to the delay in VAT refund. The exporters are not even getting their payments on time. They have to rely on VAT refunds, which act as cushion in tight financial conditions, but this strike is affecting our trades. VAT means traders and industrialists have already paid their taxes and it was now department’s turn to refund the excess amount. But, we never get these on time,” added Ralhan.

Tax-lawyer Jatinder Khurana said that due to the strike, the goods were also not cleared at the barriers. “People are approaching us as no work was being done at the department in the last three days. Due to pending works, it will become difficult to clear the backlog immediately”, said Khurana.



Illegal political hoardings deface Jagraon
MC authorities fail to keep a check on this trend

Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 8
With election fever gripping the city, hoardings put up by supporters of various political parties in every nook and cranny has started defacing its aesthetic beauty.

Though, the practice of erecting illegal hoardings of commercial products and politicians has been going on since long, this year the number of hoardings has increased manifold.

Hoardings of parties like the Congress, SAD, BJP and the Peoples Party of Punjab (PPP) have been erected near main roads of the city, including local bus stand, Tehsil and Railway roads, Old City, Kamal

Chowk, Raikot Road, Sidhwan Bet Road, Malak Road and numerous other residential localities.

Hoardings erected at various localities have not gone down well with residents. Irked over this unhealthy practice, Nishant Sharma, a college lecturer and resident of the local Heera Bagh locality, said, “The political hoardings have been defacing the beauty of the city. It is really sad that municipal authorities were not doing anything to remove these.”

Moreover, a large number of political hoardings have also been put up on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway and various other roads. Commuters are suffering, as signboards are almost invisible.

“The leaders who have been putting up these hoardings shall at least spare the signboards on the highway and other main roads. These hoardings not only divert the attention of the commuters but also cause financial loss to the civic body,” said Puneet Bhandari, a resident of local Ram Nagar locality.

According to sources, most of the political hoardings have been erected illegally as prior permission was not taken from the local administration in this regard. Besides, the time limit of hoardings, which were put up after taking permission, has also expired. But, the parties have not removed them as yet.

Urging the higher authorities to intervene and get the illegal hoardings removed, the residents of several other areas said if the authorities of the local municipal council fail to discharge their duty, the SDM should intervene and issue directions in this regard.

Jagraon Municipal Council president Baldev Krishan Dhir said: “The council employees keep on removing the illegal hoardings on regular basis. But the practice of putting up illegal political hoardings is going on. Now, we have decided to take a strict action against those putting up hoardings illegally.



Shortage of funds
No question papers for classes IX, X
Charanjit Singh Teja

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
The education department has stopped sending monthly test question papers of classes IX and X to schools due to shortage of funds. The office of Director General School Education (DGSE) has sent a notification to all schools to conduct monthly tests at their own level.

These tests were conducted under the Central government’s sponsored scheme, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). According to DGSE, RMSA is not releasing the funds to continue the monthly tests.

In the absence of these question papers, school teachers make easy question papers on their own for good results, which leads to deterioration of standards of education.

Koshil, deputy state project director RMSA, said, “We don’t have funds to continue with this scheme. There are no funds for conducting the monthly tests and we have to manage these expenses from the management cost. This is the third year of the scheme. Now as the scheme is expanding, we are lacking funds because expenses are increasing.”

“The alternative system is more time consuming because the schools have no funds for getting question papers printed. Instead, we write questions on blackboard at the time of examination,” said a teacher from a local Government Senior Secondary School.



CIPHET scientist gets NAAS fellowship
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
Dr SN Jha, head, agricultural structures and environmental control, Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), has been awarded with the NAAS fellowship.

The National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), India, is a noted organisation to recognise the contributions of scientists in India and abroad.

Dr Jha has worked on the development of processing technology for makhana, to evolve non-destructive methodologies and storage technologies for short-term storage of horticultural produce. He has a number of publications in international and national journals to his credit.



Safai workers seek Sunday as weekly off
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 8
Alleging that safai workers were being exploited, and in many cases made to work seven days a week, the Bhartiya Valmiki Sewa Dal (BVSD) has urged the civic administration as well as the state government to declare Sunday as day off to those employed on DC rate or working on container duty and sections.

In a memorandum submitted to Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha, the dal pointed out that a few councillors and sanitary inspectors were forcing the sanitation staff to work even on Sundays. This is not only unfair, but also tantamount to their exploitation.

President of the Bhartiya Valmiki Sewa Dal Surinder Kalyan met the Municipal Commissioner in this regard and made it clear that injustice will not be tolerated. If Sunday wasn’t declared as off day, they will be left with no choice other than resorting to agitation.



4 arrested in theft case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 8
The local police has claimed to solve a theft case with the arrest of four youths.

The accused have been arrested in connection with the theft, that took place at Field Gunj on December 5 night.

The youths have been identified as Bhim Bahadur, a servant, Arjun Bahadur, Shankar Bahadur and Param Bahadur, all from Nepal.

All the accused were arrested from the railway station last night.

The SHO Amandeep Singh Brar said Som Parkash of Field Gunj was out of the city when Bhim Bahadur, who was working as a servant at Som’s house, committed the theft with his friends and fled away. Stolen items including cash and gold jewellery have also been recovered.



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