Sunday, June 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Woman murdered in brutal manner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
A semi-nude body of an unidentified young woman, who had been brutally murdered by sharpedged weapons, was found under mysterious circumstances, from an agricultural field near Ladian Khurd village falling under Haibowal Police station area today morning.

The woman, a migrant labourer, seemed to have been killed in a cold-blooded manner by a close relative due to some vengeance, the police said. The woman’s throat was slit open and one of her breasts was severed. There were several other injury marks on the body. The injuries were inflicted with both blunt and sharp-edged weapons. Only the lower part of the body was covered with clothes.

According to police sources, the woman did not seem to be raped. It could be a case of murder due to illicit relations or jealousy of a lover. The police said it was awaiting postmortem report.

The Haibowal Police conducted a search in several slum colonies near the village as the woman was also a migrant labourer. However, no one could identify the body. The police said it suspected that the woman may have been killed in some far off place and then the body was dumped here.

Sources said the body had been dumped there sometime during the night. According to a farmer, in whose fields the body was found, he had left the place at about 7:00 p.m. after watering the fields and no body was spotted at that time. When he visited the fields today morning, he saw some birds encircling in the air over something near a dry rivulet.

When he came near, he was horrified to see the ghastly sight. Around the badly wounded body fleas and insects were swarming and a terrible smell was emanating from it. The farmer, who did not wish to be identified, said he told other villagers and called the police.



Will voter oblige Cong again?
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
The vote of the rural populace who will cast their franchise in the Zila Parishad and panchayat samiti poll tomorrow will act as a barometer of the impact of the first 100 days of the rule of the Congress under the stewardship of Captain Amarinder Singh. The elections will also give an indication of the support enjoyed by the Akalis in the rural countryside despite the involvement of several ministers in various scams.

If this election goes to the kitty of the Congress, it will be a hat-trick for the Congress, besides adding another feather in the cap of the CM, which has been on a winning spree since the party came to power in February. After the assembly and the municipal polls in the state, the Congress is counting on the goodwill generated by the anti-corruption drive of the CM to be translated into an impressive mandate yet again.

The heat wave has acted as a dampener for the contestants and most of them have been maintaining a low profile. The run-up to the finale tomorrow has been quite low key. The people did not evince much interest in the initial days but the campaign picked after the party stalwarts fanned out in far-flung villages. Liquor and intoxicants are being distributed freely. The rising disenchantment of the government employees on the privatisation issue is also likely have its fallout on the polls.

In most of the seats the main contest is between the Congress and the Akalis but at some places Independents may upset the permutations and computations of the ruling party and the opposition.



13 returning officers for Zila Parishad poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
The district of Ludhiana is all set for holding the elections to 23 seats of Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, and 201 seats of 12 panchayat samitis, and the polling parties equipped with the required election material have been sent for 1100 polling booths.

Giving more details Mr Anurag Agarwal, Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer, informed that for conducting the whole process 13 returning officers, including one for Zila Parishad and 12 for panchayat samitis, have been appointed who have today distributed the election material to all the parties.

He said that proper security arrangements for maintaining the law and order situation on all the polling booths have been made and a police officer of the rank of DSP has been attached with each returning officer. Mr. Agarwal informed that 475 candidates were contesting these elections and 10.51 lakh voters will be participating the election process. To conduct the elections 8,500 government officials of different departments have been deputed for this purpose, and to establish the proper liaison of the returning officers with the polling staff and making efficient monitoring, 120 supervisors have also been put on duty.

He further said that to conduct the simultaneous elections for Zila Parishad and panchayat samitis, two ballot boxes, one each for Zila Parishad and panchayat samiti were being kept at each polling booth and ballot papers of different colours have been provided. The colour of the ballot papers for Zila Parishad is pink, whereas, for panchayat samitis the colour is white. Elaborating about the counting of the votes which will take place on June 10, Mr Agarwal disclosed that the results for the elections to the panchayat samitis would be declared by the concerned returning officer after the counting is completed and that for the Zila Parishad zones, the result would be compiled and declared by Mr S.R. Kaler, returning officer for Zila Parishad, after receiving the counting sheets regarding the counting of votes from assistant returning officers.

The Deputy Commissioner appealed to the people and candidates to cooperate with the election machinery and to abide by the directions of the Election Commission under the model code of conduct for elections during polling to ensure the peaceful and impartial elections in the district.



They have nowhere to go
Tribune News Service

Bipan and Abhishek
Bipan and Abhishek who were orphaned after their mother died in the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. — IV

Ludhiana, June 8
The fate of two minor children, Bipan and Abhishek, orphaned after the death of their mother in the Civil Hospital here four days ago continues to hang in the balance as they await adoption either by relatives or some other person.

Consequently, the children are being forced to live in a ward of the hospital and sleep on patient’s bed. They have to eat whatever the hospital authorities or some donors can arrange for them.

According to hospital sources, a woman, Madhu, died of a serious disease four days ago. She had come on her own to the hospital and was not enjoying good relations with her husband. A resident of Jain Colony, Dabba Road, the woman had brought her two sons, 6-year-old Bipan and 2-year-old Abhishek. The children have been staying in the same ward ever since.

The woman died on the night of June 3. But the doctors came to know about the death in the morning. The police later cremated the body.

Later, some relatives came to the hospital and wanted to take away the children. However, the hospital authorities refused to let them take away the children saying that they required an order from district courts. The hospital sources told Ludhiana Tribune that this was done to verify the motive of the relatives as none had come earlier.

Interestingly, while the children’s condition continues to be pathetic, their father has not come to see them in the hospital. Hospital sources said the relatives had told them that the father, Balbir Singh, who lives in New Delhi, had been informed but was yet to reach there.



No headway in murder case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
The police is yet to make any breakthrough in the murder case of Sunita, a middle-aged woman, who was found dead in a vacant plot near Jaspal Bangar village while her three-year-old son was found crying loudly near the body on June 3.

Even though five days have passed, efforts of the Shimla Puri police to trace the identity or address of the deceased woman have not borne any fruit. The police has only got clues from the child that the probable name of the woman was Sunita and the child’s name is Ashok. Her husband is apparently a mason by profession.

Police sources said the child told them that his father was in the habit of beating the woman. However, his statements were incoherent and the police was not expecting much from the child. The police said it had flashed the picture of the woman across the district and adjoining areas but no one had identified her.

The police believes that the woman could have been killed by her husband but nothing was certain at this stage.



10 remanded in immoral trafficking case
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 8
Ten persons, including six women who were arrested yesterday by the Khanna police on the charge of immoral trafficking, were produced in the local court after a one-day police remand. The judge remanded them in judicial custody. All six women, including a minor girl, were medically examined at the local Civil Hospital.

Yesterday, the Khanna police claimed to have unearthed a flesh trade racket running at Billan Wali Chhappri with the arrest of 10 persons.

According to a press release of the Senior Superintendent of Police, Khanna, the ring leader of the gang, Kulwant Kaur, wife of Angrej Singh of Billan Wali Chhappri, was running flesh trade at her house. The Khanna police conducted a raid at her house and succeeded in arresting Kulwant Kaur along with five others, including a minor girl. They were identified as Rani, resident of Jattan Mohalla Khanna, Rekha of Uttar Pradesh, Manjit of Jangewal and Meena, a minor girl of Nepal, now residing at Billan Wali Chhappri. The police also arrested four so-called “customers” from the spot, who were identified as Bura, son of Khilla Teli, Vinod of Saharanpur, Issa Mohammad of Ajnali in Fatehgarh district and Manjit Singh of Rangeri Kalan village under the Amloh police station.

The CIA in charge, Malkit Singh, said two other persons, Banti of Mandi Gobindgarh and Sohan of Sarhind, had absconded. The Sarhind police has also been informed regarding the racket.



Rejected candidates for fresh selection
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, June 8
Candidates who could not make it to the posts of lecturer in government colleges of the state during the chairmanship of Mr Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu today welcomed the anti-corruption campaign launched by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. These selections were made hurriedly in February and March, 2002, and were “unfair”.

A group of candidates today stated in a written statement that the interview and test conducted by the PPSC for the selection of lecturers was an eyewash and a mere formality.

When part-time lecturers, they recalled, were recruited on temporary basis by the government, the selection panel comprised five members in each government college. Ironically, the PPSC panel for conducting interviews to fill these posts on permanent basis had only two members — a single member of the PPSC and a subject expert. The selections were thus arbitrary, they stated. In many cases the expert selected his own student or a ward of his colleague. A selection committee for lectureship in private colleges normally has two experts from the university, one nominee of Vice-Chancellor, one nominee of the DPI, Principal of the college, President of the managing committee and the Head of the Department.

According to them, the interviews were not conducted according to the norms formulated by the UGC. To confuse students, irrelevant questions were asked. These did not pertain to the relevant subjects and in most cases the interviews did not last more than two minutes.

The candidates were asked to attempt the screening test with ordinary pencil. The answers were allegedly rubbed off and replaced with correct answers in case of those who were to be selected. Many candidates who were gold medallists or Ph.D holders were rejected during the recruitment done by Mr Sidhu, alleged candidates who got interviewed at the PPSC office in Patiala.

Randhir Singh Dheera, a tout of Mr Sidhu, had also in his statement revealed that the rates of the selection of lecturers were anywhere between Rs 3 and 5 lakh. He had also named lecturers in various disciplines who had paid their way to get selected.

They hoped that the government would to cancel these appointments and hold fresh tests and interviews to select meritorious candidates.



SAD councillor, two others injured in clash
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 8
Three persons, including a woman councillor of the SAD, were injured in a clash took place at councillor’s residence situated at Bazigar Basti, Samrala Road here today. All three injured were rushed to the Civil Hospital. Bibi Kartaro Devi SAD councillor alleged that she was beaten up by some persons who were pressurising her to join the Congress.

According to Bibi Kartaro Devi, she was alone at her residence in the morning when a resident of their mohalla Acchar Dev along with his brother Kunda Ram, father Malak Ram and four other persons came to her house and attacked her with iron rods. She received injuries on her head. They were forcing her to join congress party, she alleged.

The police had been informed but no case was registered till the filing of this report.



Ludhianavis enjoy Shekhar’s wit

The big star of the small screen, Shekhar Suman, arrived here last week at the invitation of the Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam, a premier cultural organisation, to participate in a drama ‘Woh Tum Hi Ho’. Stage is his first love, screen being next. The living legend of ‘Movers and Shakers’ did move many, shook several others. Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan auditorium was packed to full capacity. Out of sheer curiosity, many children accompanied parents to the discomfiture of the organisers. The text of this play does not have new subject. It was thematically given a fresh treatment. It presented a well-integrated collage of emotions, both male and female. The subtle chain of cause and effect held the audience spellbound. It was all a bouquet of belief, no suspension of disbelief was necessitated. The action was fast and dramatic. It created light and provided delight. It afforded a peep into the female mind thirsting for love and searching for identity. The male dilemma hinged upon decision and revision. It is a simple story of a young artistic girl who at once wants a career and a life-partner. Her loneliness and ambition are artistically interwoven. It is a well-designed treatment of romance and reality. The role played by Ms Roma Navani was both lifelike and dramatic to the near perfection level. Shekhar Suman as the only other character, the male, both moved and shook everybody. L.S.S. added a golden page to the art history of this city.

In the beginning, behind the curtains, Shekhar was his witty usual: “Kindly switch off your mobiles. You forget phones. Believe me, even if you forget to switch on after the play, I will remind you. I take solemn pledge.” After the two-hour aesthetic feast the team of artists was introduced by Mr S.K. Roy, critic. At the award ceremony many Urdu couplets were exchanged by Mr O.P. Munjal and Shekhar Suman, ‘King of Humour’ as referred to by Mr. Munjal. The ‘P’ part of Mr Munjal was focussed upon wittily by Shekhar. The double P (PP-Punjab Police) was further highlighted and enjoyed through more couplets by Mr Munjal, a lover of poetry. It was a fine epilogue to the comedy enacted.

We know that Suman talks art, breathes art. He is perfect as he mimics the public figures from Laloo Yadav to Mr Vajpayee. He spares none. It is pure fun, no malice. He did portray his pet fellow Laloo Yadav. He said he missed the reception of Rohini and her spouse in Bollywood for his love for Ludhiana. He concluded, “Only next to my mother’s love, I have experienced love and received affection so warm and so deep from Ludhiana.”

We have no doubt that Shekhar Suman was not enacting a well-rehearsed text as he praised Ludhiana. He did praise. He was touched by love and impressed by affection of citizens who met him. We have a duty to him as well as to the image of our metro.

Shekhar Suman promised to visit our city soon. He also desired to have a little longer holiday. Dear citizens, let us treat him like the contemporary Siddhartha from Bihar. He should not know that we waste food by heavy tonnage.

M.S. Cheema



Cancer patient in need of help
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, June 8
Balbir Singh (35), a resident of Amritsar, is leading a miserable life. Suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia, he has already spent over Rs 12 lakh on his treatment but still requires about Rs 7 lakh to fight against this life threatening disease.

The only bread-winner of his family, Balbir is a lecturer in Political science at a government school in Pakhna Kalan village in Amritsar district. He said, “I have old parents, young brothers and sisters to look after. They are all dependent on me. My brother is studying in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here, and with the help of Punjab Agricultural University Students’ Association (PAUSA), I am appealing for some monetary help as all my resources have dried up now”.

His disease (blood cancer) was detected in February 2000 and he went to Tata Memorial Hospital Mumbai for consultation. “I had to spend approximately Rs 1500 daily on the treatment for two years. I belong to a poor family and this treatment was possible only with the help of relatives and friends. I have sold all jewellery of my mother and wife and now I have no option but to make an appeal”, he said.

As per the prescription of Dr S.H. Advani, chief, Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital Mumbai, Balbir has to be given injections and medicines daily which are not available in India but have to be imported from the USA. Balbir has to take four Glivee capsules daily, which cost around Rs 1000. He has to arrange Rs 1,20,000 per month, if the treatment is to be continued. Doctors have told the family of Balbir Singh to administer him the medicine for another six months as it would bring him back to his usual self.

Balbir’s younger brother, a student at PAU, said that with all their resources, they could manage the medicine for only three months. “But if people extend their helping hand to arrange the medicine for three more months, I am sure I will get my brother back. He is just 35”.

Balbir will be going to Mumbai in July for some tests and after that, he will be able to know the exact position. “Some of the tests will be conducted, which cost around Rs 10,000”, said Balbir.

Unfortunately at this time when everyone is extending help, the government authorities have left no stone unturned to harass him. “For the past two years, I have been struggling from pillar to post for the reimbursement of my medical bills but to no avail. It is a long procedure and I cannot really rely on it”, said Balbir in a helpless manner.

Balbir said that since his father was in government service, the family was now-a-days dependant on his pension of Rs 2000 per month. “How can we survive with such a meagre amount? My brothers and sisters are studying and because of my illness, I can not continue with my job. I am very worried as to who will look after my wife, my parents when I am not there?” he asked.

On behalf of the family, the PAUSA has requested people to donate generously to save Balbir ’s life. The donors can contact the PAUSA or call him at his Amritsar telephone number 570266.



Ten years on and still incomplete
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Awaiting its completion, the fund-starved Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum on Jalandhar Road, near Ludhiana, the only one of its kind in the state, would beckon the attention of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on his maiden visit to the incomplete building tomorrow in connection with a function of the Ex-Servicemen Association of 2-Sikh Infantry.

The war museum would, incidentally, witness the first-ever visit by any state chief minister ever since its construction began in 1991. Struggling for funds and fighting the pollution in the form of fly ash falling on it, the museum awaits to be on the top priority of the state. While the chief minister’s visit is mainly focussed on the meeting and paying obeisance at a memorial of the Sikh Infantry situated on the museum premises, it has reignited the hopes of early completion of this pilot project, which has been delayed unnecessarily.

The visit is also significant as there was resentment among the ex-servicemen community and defence forces over the manner in which the earlier governments had handled the project. Originally planned to be completed in a couple of years, the museum remains incomplete even after a decade. Ironically, the state government has been claiming of doing a lot for the defence forces but the museum was never on the top priority.

Wg Cdr M.S. Randhawa (retd), Deputy Director, District Sainik Welfare Board, told Ludhiana Tribune that the museum had last received funds from the state government in 2000-2001. After that no funds came. While the chief minister has readily agreed to come for the function of 2-Sikh Batallion, the question on its “official” opening to the general public remains unanswered as almost 10 years have passed since the work on it started.

While the paucity of funds has been quoted as the primary reason, the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities concerned seems to be a strong factor particularly in the post-Kargil phase where the state government had for umpteen times announced policies to commemorate sacrifices made by the defence personnel hailing from the state.

However, the museum was planned to create general awareness about the defence services not only for its role in defending the country but also in strengthening the bonds of national integrity and unity but despite such high talks the museum, which has the potential of giving befitting tribute to the war heroes, is still awaiting equal care and attention .

It was in 1991 that the foundation stone of the museum was laid by Gen O.P. Malhotra, the then Governor of Punjab. At the ceremony, it was announced that the museum was planned to commemorate the sacrifices made by people from Punjab in defending the country. The museum aimed at presenting almost all feats of the defence personnel of the state at one place.

Though it was promised that the work on the museum would be completed on war-footing yet it has now been 10 years since the initiation of the construction work. Only three years ago, a hall, having light and sound effects and constructed for the screening of films based on the feats of Punjabis in both pre and post Independence India, was completed and inaugurated. The completion of the work on this front had raised hopes that the remaining portion would also be completed soon but they are yet to be fulfilled.



Social worker plans march to Delhi
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 8
He is planning to march to Delhi with a national flag and will stay outside the Prime Minister’s house till he is heard. He will sit on a dharna and even go on a fast unto death, until he is given an opportunity to talk to the Prime Minister and the President regarding problems faced by the poor in the country. He is a disappointed man but is still ready to fight for bringing minuscule change in his own way.

Joginder Singh Mehra (66) had dreamt of India on the lines of Rabindranath Tagore, where I can hold my head high. But today he is disillusioned man.

Living a retired life in the suburbs of the city, Mehra is busy trying to fight injustice done to the poor by higher classes of society. He helps the poor, whom the police tries to harass as also those exploited by the rich. He writes to the police chief for such people and if that doesn’t work, he gives them emotional support.

“I have been writing to Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee regarding the problems faced by the poor. But nothing has happened so far. Now I have decided that I shall go to meet them in Delhi carrying a national flag. He also plans to meet the Leader of the Opposition, Ms Sonia Gandhi.



Transformer catches fire
Our Correspondent

The transformer near
The transformer near the Feroze Gandhi Market, Ludhiana, that caught fire on Saturday afternoon. — A Tribune photograph 

Ludhiana, June 8
An electricity transformer near the Feroze Gandhi Market on the busy Ferozepur Road today caught fire probably owing to some sparking and the excessively hot weather. However, no loss of life or property took place.

It was not a major fire as the oil in the transformer burnt itself out before the firemen could reach the spot. However, according to sources, when some shopkeepers informed the Fire Department about the fire they were told to call up the Electricity Department. But a source in the Fire Department said that the fireman, who said that must have been joking as they had immediately rushed to the spot apprehending danger on account of the West wind that was blowing fairly well at that time.



Jawan cremated
Our Correspondent

Khamano, June 8
Sepoy Avtar Singh of 44 Rashtriya Rifles who was killed during a gunbattle with militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on June 6 was cremated today at his native village Shamshpur, near here. Avtar Singh was the youngest son of Mr Gurbakhash Singh.

The Fatehgarh Sahib ADC, Mr U.K. Ohri, SDM, Mr Gurdeep Singh, MLA, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, and DSP Sudesh Agnihotri along with a large number of people were present.



Rape bid: migrant from Bihar held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 8
The division number 4 police yesterday arrested a migrant from Bihar, living in Vehra Sewa Singh in Chhawni Mohalla, on a charge of attempting to rape a girl of Bihari origin living in the same locality. She had alleged in her complaint that the accused entered her room on June 4 in the evening, closed the door of the room and tried to rape her. When she resisted his attempts, the accused threatened her. The accused has been arrested and booked under Sections 452,342,376,511 and 506 of the IPC. The case is being investigated by Mr Kashmir Singh, ASI.

Beating cases: The division number 2 police on Friday registered a case of alleged beating and intimidation under Sections 323,341 and 506 of the IPC on a statement of Nepalese Lal Bahadur, against another Nepalese Nar Bahadur, now living in Habib Ganj. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him on June 6, beat him up and threatened him. The accused has absconded.

Another case was registered at the same police station under Sections 323,341 and 506 of a IPC on a statement of Ms Joginder Kaur, wife of late Mr Avtar Singh, a resident of Islam Ganj, against Dara Singh and Gurdev Singh, sons of Avtar Singh, and residents of the same locality The complainant had stated that both the accused beat her up on June 4 and also threatened her. No arrest has been made so far.

The Haibowal police on Friday registered a case under Sections 323 and 341 of the IPC on a statement of Mr Jaspal Chand, a resident of Haibowal, against Pamma, a resident of the same area. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him and beat him up in front of his house. The accused has been arrested and bailed out.

Burglary bid: The Sarabha Nagar police on Friday registered a case under Sections 457,380 and 511 of a IPC on a statement of Mr Prem Chand, resident of Threeke village, against unknown person(s) in connection with a burglary attempt at Verka Milk Plant on Thursday night. The complainant, who is security officer at the plant, stated that a security guard, Mr Kirpal Singh, informed him about the incident. The police was still clueless about the unsuccessful attempt to steal cash from the milk plant.

Theft cases: Three cases of theft were registered under Section 379 of the IPC on Friday at different police stations of the city.

The Model Town police registered a case on the statement of Mr Sahib Khurana, a resident of New Model Town, against an unknown person. The complainant had parked his scooter (PB- 10 AL 9589) in front of his friend’s house in Model Town Extension from where it was stolen. The police was clueless about the theft.

The Shimla Puri police registered a case on a statement of Mr Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Makkar Colony, Giaspura, against unknown person(s) who took away his Vespa scooter (PB-36-6180) from outside Durga Tools Factory on the Daba Road on Friday morning.

The Focal Point police, on a statement of Mr Baij Nath, a resident of New Aman Nagar, Salem Tabri, registered a case against an unknown person. According to the complainant, he had parked his auto-rickshaw (PB 10 AT-1572) on the evening of June 5 in front of the Dhandari railway station.

Fraud alleged: The division number 7 police on Friday registered a case under Sections 406,420 and 506 of the IPC on a statement of Ms Somawati, wife of late Mr Kishori Lal, a resident of Sanjay Gandhi Colony on the Tajpur Road, against Avtar Singh, of the same colony. The complainant had alleged that the accused got Rs 70,000 from her for the allotment of a plot. But the accused neither allotted her a plot nor returned her money and thus committed a fraud. In addition to that, the accused even threatened her. No arrest has been made so far.

Porno stuff seized, one held: The Sarabha Nagar police on Friday arrested Tejinder Singh, son of Mr Niranjan Singh, a resident of J-block of Sarabha Nagar and seized from his possession 31 porno CDs, 21 porno books, one CD player and one TV. The arrested has been booked under Section 292 of the IPC.

Dowry case: The Dehlon police on Friday registered a case under Sections 498-A,406,506,148 and 149 of the IPC on a statement of Ms Ranjit Kaur, daughter of Mr. Gurdip Singh Kamboj, a resident of Dehlon, against her husband Harwinder Singh, father-in-law Ajit Singh, mother-in-law Hardish Kaur, and sister-in-law Ranbir Kaur, residents of Nawan Pind on the Mehta Road near Amritsar and Parkash Kaur, wife of Kulwant Singh, resident of Partap Nagar, Ludhiana. The complainant had alleged that the accused came to her father’s house and beat her up. The accused were demanding more dowry, added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Poppy husk seized: The Sudhar police, in a raid on Friday afternoon at Jodhan village, arrested Baru Singh, son of Ajit Singh, and seized 70 kg of poppy husk from his possession. The accused has been booked under Sections 15,61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. The Sidhwan Bet police also carried out a raid on Friday afternoon and seized 15 kg of poppy husk from Jarnail Singh, a resident of Umrewal village falling under the Mehatpur police station in Jalandhar district. The accused, arrested from Sidhwan Kalan village, has been booked under the NDPS Act.

Knife seized: The division number 3 police on Friday arrested a Bihari migrant Alam and sezied a kamanidar knife from his possession. He has been booked under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

Liquor seized: The Sadar police arrested Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Isher Nagar, on Friday night and seized 15 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. He has been booked under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act.



Brawl at petrol station, 2 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
A brawl took place at a petrol filling station near Agar Nagar here today afternoon allegedly over a dispute between two brothers over the ownership of the petrol station. The police has arrested two persons in this connection.

According to the police, two brothers Baljit Singh and Amrik Singh had been embroiled in a legal battle over the ownership of the petrol station. Today, a commission appointed by a court of law came to visit the disputed site. During the inspection, some dispute arose between the supporters of the two brothers. This led to a brawl in which blows were exchanged. 



Held for jamming traffic
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 8
The Model Town police on Friday arrested a driver , Gurdev Singh, resident of Abdullapur Basti, on a charge of parking his Tata-407 truck in the main market of the basti and jamming the traffic. The accused, who has been booked under Section 283 of the IPC, has been bailed out.

The Model Town police also arrested Baljit Singh, a resident of Jhingran Kalan village falling under the Kurali police station in Ropar district and booked him under Section 283, IPC, on a charge of parking his truck (PB 12C- 1317) on the road at Atam Nagar chowk and jamming the traffic. The accused has been bailed out.



Plea for rationalisation of sales tax structure
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 8
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal has pleaded with the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for initiating steps to rationalise sales tax structure and improving interaction with trade and industry for the overall economic well-being of the state.

In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister, the mandal president, Mr Tulsi Das Jaitwani, has called for a thorough cleansing of the Sales Tax Department. There is dire need to uproot corruption from the department to pave the way for rationalisation and simplification of sales tax laws, it was mentioned.

Mr Jaitwani pointed out that the previous SAD-BJP government had deliberately ignored the genuine demands of the traders, which led to a sense of bitterness and animosity between the government machinery and the business community. The government should come forward to convene a “harmony and concord conference” of the trade and industry to bridge the communication gap.

The Beopar Mandal further called for effective steps against “inspector raj”, a moratorium on raids, setting up state-level and district-level sales tax committees, elimination of bogus licence holders, radical change in licence system, uniformity of sales tax rates in all neighbouring states, appointment of such sales tax officers who are duly qualified, removal of arbitrary, repressive and harsh penal clauses of the Sales Tax Act and evolving a system in which officials were made accountable and punished for wrong-doings.

Other proposals made by the mandal in the 31-point memorandum included release of pending subsidy to industrial sector, setting up of a zonal committee of excise and taxation commissioners of all states in the region to sort out inter-state matters, holding transport companies equally liable for evasion of sales tax, putting an end to detention of trucks for indefinite period, revival of consultative committee of the Punjab State Electricity Board and appointment of a sitting or retired judge of high court to preside over the Sales Tax Tribunal. Meanwhile, the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab, has strongly reacted to the proposal by the Punjab Government to bring iron and steel material under the first stage of Sales Tax. At present sales tax is payable at the last stage.

According to Mr P.D. Sharma, president of the chamber, the previous government had also mooted this proposal which was stiffly opposed by industry and trade and was dropped. He said levy of sales tax on basic raw material for engineering industry like iron and steel at the first stage was not workable. There would be large-scale interference of the department in every unit and this would further result in great harassment. 



Amendment to IT Act irks industry
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 8
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal has expressed resentment over the amendment in Section 269-T of the Income Tax Act in which the word “loan” “is causing much harassment to traders and industry”. With the amendment having been given effect, repayment of any loan in excess of Rs 20,000 could be made only by account payee cheque or account payee bank draft. As a result, the repayment of the amount by any person to the cash credit account or term loan account or any account representing loan with banks needed to be made by account payee cheque or account payee bank draft.

In a memorandum submitted to the Union Finance Minister, the Beopar Mandal general secretary, Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, pointed out that if a person had to repay same amount in cash credit account, he had to open a current account and then deposit the amount in current account from where he could issue payee’s account cheque to the cash credit account. This created unnecessary burden on that person as well as on banks. Moreover, the banks were not opening current account, where cash credit account existed. So the members of trade and industry had no other alternative but to violate the law.

He appealed to the Finance Minister to amend the law and exempt any payment to the bank from the said amendment of Section 269-T. Till the period the law was again suitably amended, the Central Board of Direct Taxes should issue a clarification to this effect, so that the violation of law could be avoided and the traders might be protected from undue and unintended harassment.



PNB organises training programme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana , June 8
A three-day training programme for middle-level bank executives from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi concluded at the Punjab National Bank Zonal Training Centre here today. The programme was conducted for credit appraisal under the auspices of its Central Staff College, Delhi and Zonal Office Ludhiana. Specialists from the Credit Rating Information Services of India Ltd. (CRISIL) deliberated upon the finer aspects of the credit risk and had a discussion with the participants.

The workshop was inaugurated by Mr P.N. Khurana, general manager who, delivered the key note address. He called upon the participants to integrate the traditional methods of credit appraisal with the new risk assessment techniques (with special focus on the promoters), in order to assess the borrowers’ genuine requirements, in an effective manner.

During the workshop, senior executives, Mr H.L. Arora DGM, Mr Chand Singh, AGM , Mr K.I. Singh, SRM, Ludhiana, Mr C.L. Mahajan, AGM and other senior executives of the bank also interacted with the participants. Mr A.K. Ralhan, Vice Principal of Bank’s Central Staff College Delhi was also present. 


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