Sunday, January 7, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


No scope for another VDIS: CBDT chief
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 6 The Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Mr A. Balasubranian has ruled out another voluntary disclosure of income scheme (VDIS), saying it was only a one-time incentive.

After inaugurating a cyber library here today, Mr Balasubranian told reporters that VDIS was introduced in 1997 as the tax rates were brought down. It was thought that people should be given a chance to disclose their income and now there was no further scope for such schemes, he added.

The CBDT chairman disclosed that there was a progressive increase in the number of tax payers in the country. He said the total number was expected to touch 6 crore within next few years and there were 2.2 crore tax payers in the country at present. He claimed that the general attitude of the people towards taxes was changing.

He said the total revenue collections had touched Rs 72,000 crore for the year 1999-2000, with an average increase of about 30 per cent over the previous year. He attributed the increased revenue collections to the low tax rate, which had been brought down to 30 per cent for individuals and 35 per cent for corporates, besides simplification of administrative and tax procedures. He revealed that the average increase in the number of tax payers every year was 20 to 30 per cent.

He said all public sector banks had been authorised to receive tax collections, while earlier there were only a selected few. He added that the computerisation process had been started and nationwide computer networking would be completed soon. He hoped that computerised tax returns would be implemented within the next two years.

The CBDT chairman disagreed with the view that only the salaried class paid taxes properly. While not denying that massive tax evasion still continued in India, he said there were many honest tax payers.

Answering a question on the level of tax evasion in the country, Mr Balasubranian said there was no official study so far. He added that there was time-to-time investigation and regular surveillance to prevent tax evasion. He was emphatic that there was no concession for tax evaders.

He disclosed that PAN numbers were being issued within a week. He stated that about 95 per cent of tax payers had been issued PAN cards, which were now being accepted by other departments and were being utilised by several state governments. He said PAN reference had been made mandatory for several high-level taxes.


VVIP visits hamper police functioning
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 6 VVIP visits to the city impede the police functioning. Since the start of New Year almost daily one or the other high-profile minister or officer visited or passed through the city.

The city police being short of staff has deployed Home Guards at FCI godowns. The visits of the VIPs even affected routine jobs like patrolling, laying nakas and registration and investigation of cases. No wonder the city witnessed a number of robbery, rape, sodomy and theft cases in the past one week. Among the VVIPs who visited the city were Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the Chief Minister, Punjab, SGPC Chief Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti.

Dr Farooq Abdullah, Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir, also passed through the city. Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President, SHSAD, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, MP, Master Mohal Lal, Education Minister, and Capt Kanwaljit Singh Finance Minister also participated in functions in the city.

Mr Bhure Lal, Chairman, FCI, Mr Bala Subramanium, Chairman, Income Tax and Sarbjit Singh, DGP, Punjab, visited the city.

Sources in the Police Department revealed that not long ago there were 100 policemen, including about 60 Home Guards on deputation, deployed at each of the 15 police stations and police posts in the city. However last month the FCI requested the state government for providing a large number of Home Guards for manning the FCI godowns in the state. About 60 Home Guards were pulled out of all the police stations.

According to sources, the remaining staff under the required rules is to work for eight hours, each in three shifts. Even though most of them are work for about 12 hours, yet the stations were not able to cope with the work pressure.

A police inspector on the condition of anonymity said even if the staff was working overtime yet then there would be shortage of staff for nakas, patrolling and investigations. He said while most of the staff was busy in VIP duty the remaining attended courts and provided security to officers and a few also stayed at police stations.


Non-teaching duties hit studies
From Our Correspondent

AMLOH, Jan 6 Non-teaching duties of government school teachers appear to have become a routine phenomena, which are adversely affecting the studies of students.

Mr Achhra Singh Lapran, state president of the Scheduled Caste and Backward Class Employees Federation, said in Amloh block, of the 199 posts of primary school teachers, 135 teachers were called for census duties, while the remaining 64 posts were vacant. The condition of secondary and senior secondary schools was no better, he added.

Out of the 41 posts in Government Senior Secondary School (Boys), 7 posts were lying vacant. There was only one Punjabi teacher for about 1300 students. Out of the 15 posts of lecturer, 3 were vacant and 11 had been put on census duty. Out of 32 teachers, 22 had been deputed for this work. Similar was the case in Government Middle school.

In June, teachers were deputed for door-to-door survey about the kind of houses, people lived in. In November, they were entrusted with the work to prepare and revise voter lists.Back


Argument ends in murder
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 6 Minor bricking among members of a family in the industrial area of the city took a turn for the worse here today when a middle-aged man murdered his father-in-law and fled away.

The incident took place in the Mai DI Chakki area here today when Jagmohan Kumar allegedly hit his father-in-law Shiv Lal on the head with a heavy iron rod after an argument over a family problem.

According to the police, the son-in-law alleged that the father-in-law was interfering in his personal life. The father-in-law on the other hand accused Jagmohan of not taking proper care of his widowed daughter.

According to an eye-witness Nirmal Singh, on whose complaint the FIR has been lodged, Jagmohan hit Shiv Lal. The old man died immediately.

The Focal Point police has registered a case against Jagmohan Kumar. He is yet to be arrested.


Why are revered left to die?
From Tribune Reporters

LUDHIANA, Jan 6 Expressing anguish over the pathetic condition of the gaushala (cow shelter), maintained by the Municipal Corporation (MC) in the city, where a few cows had died recently due to extreme cold and poor maintenance, the DYC Chief ,Mr Parminder Mehta, warned that the party would launch a mass agitation if the administration failed to take remedial measures and the erring officials were not brought to book immediately, Mr Mehta was speaking at a party meeting held at Model Town today.

Meanwhile, the death of eight cows in gaushala here has come in for sharp criticism from residents in the city. Some called it 'callous attitude' of the corporation while others blame the managing body of the gaushala. Several religious bodies have expressed deep anguish , while others have demanded CBI inquiry into the incident.

Mr Sunil Puri , a businessman, said when a man can not walk through then how could cows come out from three- feet high garbage pile?" He said decaying waste and stagnant water combined with cold wave could have killed the cows.

Mr Varun Mehta, a social worker said a handful of officials should not be allowed to get away with negligent behaviour.arrangements should be made so that dairy people too take care of old cows.Mr Mehta said a committee should be constituted to monitor the use of funds meant for the gaushala. Gurmel Singh, a resident near gaushala, said, "these people(gaushala authorities) sell the healthy cows. The single row of shelter is sufficient for only 50 cows and rest had been forced to bear the biting cold".

Mr O.P.Miglani, a taxation advisor, said," there are more that 100 dairy owners in the city. if each one takes care of at least five cows, Then these kinds of incidents would not happen." Ms Mamta Malik, a student of B Com second year, suggested that a private organisation should be asked to take care of the gaushala.

Mr Gurnam Singh, a dairy owner said that there was no record of the number of these cows.We are afraid that these deaths might cause some disease to our cows also". He added that condition of these animals was appalling.

Ms Pooja Dhawan, another student at Khalsa College For Women saw the death of cows in moral light and deplored the lack pof compassion for the aged be it humans or cows.


Votaries of communal amity
by M.S.Cheema

JUST mention the word Ludhianvi, adjectival derivative of Ludhiana, and watch the response: Film-audience, radio-listeners and lovers of romantic and progressive poetry sentimentally recall Sahir.

Sahir's life forms part of Ludhiana's yesterday, his poetry survives him. However,Ludhianvi to earlier generations meant Habib-ur Rehman, a great son of the town much before Sahir's birth.

M. Habib-ur- Rehman has a place in history as a serious scholar and principled patriot. He is among the nation's front ranking freedom-fighters. He was an organiser of people and inspirer of youth, besides being an orator of excellence. Last but not least, he was a true Muslim, a real humanist. active in.

He worked almost with all the top leaders : Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Pandit Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Azad, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan , Hakim Ajmal Khan, Dr Ansari, Dr Gopi Chand Bhargava, Bhim Sen Sachhar, Mangal Singh, Kapoor Singh and Dr Zakir Hussain.

M. Habib-ur Rehman's great grand-father, Shah Abdul Aziz, was alarmed at the advance of East-India Company. He went out with volunteers to cry halt to the advancing army of the Britishers. During this campaign wife died at Delhi. She was buried in the courtyard of the historic Fatehpuri Masjid in Delhi. Shah Abdul Aziz retreated to the jungles of Shatrana (Patiala).

During the historical year 1857, Ludhiana witnessed death and destruction. Grand mufti of the family issued edict against the firangis.The sepoy mutiny was on in Meerut, Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, etc. At that time Ludhiana too witnessed blood bath.

Many were killed, a number of them were hanged at two places : near the present Girjaghar, close to the maidan now known as Ghas Mandi. Several houses were reduced to debris, which when removed gave rise to parade ground popularly known as Daresi ground.

This family opposed the foreign rule, hated the occupation-forces and joined hands with those fighting for freedom of the motherland. The grand father of Habib-ur Rehman, M. Abdul Aziz Shah, exhorted Indians in general and Muslims in particular to join the Congress. He even issued a fatwa (religious edict). This lent a new dimension to the role of Congress as a stronger national political party.

These Ludhianvis were opposed to Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan. These men of learning guided the common folk of Punjab in particular. They kept in touch with members of Jamiat-ul Ulema and persons of different faiths and communities. Everyone appreciated collective march to freedom. The father of Ludhianavi, Maulana Mohammad Zakariya Shah, was a calm and serious person well-versed in ethics, philosophy and history. He was the grand mufti.

M. Habib-ur Rehman was a conservative in values, progressive in outlook and steadfast in resolution.

Born at Ludhiana on July 3, 1892, he was taught at his home and Nakodar and went to Deoband (U.P)for higher education. He became politically aware during the years of First World War (1914-18). The Jallianwala Bagh tragedy ignited the yearning for freedom in him. From 1921 to 1945, he underwent many jail-terms totaling nearly 15 years.

He was a major leader of the Ahar Party (Majlis-e-Ahrar-Kul-Hind). Most of the leaders of the party belonged to the urban educated middle class Muslim community and were forceful speakers. Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, a legend of oratory, could hold his audience spell-bound for hours. Agha Sorash Kashmeri, Sahibzada Faiz-ul Hassan, S. Mazhar Ali Azhar, Shahzada Azad too were past-masters of stage, speech, poetry and politics these speakers addressed the audiences at chowk Subhani Building, near the water tank very often.

M.Habib-ur Rehman fought for freedom of India, he opposed its division. He differed with the Muslim League approach to freedom. He chose to remain in India. But was forced to leave his dear Ludhiana on September 6, 1947 because of communal riots. He went to Bahwalpur (Pakistan).

He, however, came to Lucknow in December 1947, to attend Azad Conference.Thereafter,he remained in India. He lived in Delhi under most trying circumstances. But he never asked for favours. He was a humanist.A firm believer of Hindu-Muslim unity he had many times said, "Do away with Hindu Pani-Muslim Pani division, we should save India from this communal division. Hecherished Ludhiana. He wanted to come back to the city of his birth.

Maulana Habib-ur Rehman breathed his last on September 3, 1956 at Delhi and was buried by the side of his wife.


Cyber library inaugurated
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 6 The cyber library of the local Income Tax Department was inaugurated by Mr A. Balasubranian, Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes, at Ayakar Bhawan here today.

According to officials, the main objective of setting up this library was exposure to communication and data access technologies and first-hand experience for the staff. The cyber library has multimedia computers with Internet connection and CDs for reference, intellectual enrichment and entertainment.

The titles of the CDs, which are equivalent to the books in a normal library, have been catalogued on the computer. There is a search option by which a request can be sent to the librarian to search a particular decision regarding a case or a law, which the librarian can send online. The cyber library will offer reference and update on latest court decisions and eliminate the need to individually procure latest information.

Mr Balasubranian hoped that the library would help provide better services to tax payers. He announced that there would be total computerisation of the department soon and all collections would be computerised.


One crushed to death
From Our Correspondent

SAHNEWAL, Jan 6 A man was crushed to death by a Tata Sumo in Sahnewal Chowk on Thursday evening.

According to reports, Mukhtiar Singh of Tibba village was crushed to death by Bunti Uppal, driving a Tata Sumo (HR 23-A-5897), coming from Doraha. 

Mukhtiar Singh, who was on his Hero Panther, was seriously injured. He taken to the Civil Hospital, from where he was being taken to Ludhiana when he died on the way. A case under Section 304-A of IPC has been registered against the accused. Bunti Uppal is a resident of 52, Punjab Housing Board Colony, Ludhiana.Back


Five thieves arrested
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 6 The police claims to have achieved a major success against anti-social elements by arresting five persons of a gang of thieves and recovering a number of stolen goods from their possession.

Mr Paramjit Singh, SHO, said in a press note here today that the police received a tip-off that some suspicious persons were seen near Microwave Station, Gill Road, here yesterday. When a police party approached them, they tried to flee on scooters which were later found to be stolen ones.

The police party nabbed the persons after a chase. During interrogation, the persons were identified as Ram Bilash, Bhupinder Singh, Harbhajan Kumar Baba, Maha Dev Rai and Madan Singh.

Mr Paramjit Singh said Bhupinder Singh and Harbhajan Singh had been declared proclaimed offenders and were wanted in several cases. He also claimed that they looted people after giving them intoxicating substances.

They also admitted of having committed some thefts in the city. The police recovered three scooters, two pistols, three knives and some valuable goods from their possession.Back

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