Monday, October 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sales tax evasion worth lakhs detected
Tribune News Service

The department officials have sealed various records and other documents for further scrutiny. A team of the Excise and Taxation Department, headed by Mr H. S. Ghai, Additional Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, conducted the raid after specific information.

Ludhiana, October 12
Excise and sales tax evasion worth lakhs and illegal and unaccounted stock amounting to crores of rupees was recovered by the Department of Excise and Sales Tax after conducting a raid on a Chinese toy shop in the Field Ganj area here today.

The department officials have sealed various records and other documents for further scrutiny. A team of the Excise and Taxation Department, headed by Mr H. S. Ghai, Additional Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, conducted the raid after specific information.

Mr Ghai said that the raiding team had gone to the place early in the morning and a major tax evasion was expected to be unearthed in the case. He said that six AETCs, 28 ETOs, more than 50 police personnel and officials of the local administration and the police took part in the raid. He said that the stock of toys had not been registered at any of the Information Centres on the barriers at state borders and the firm was not having any genuine bill. He said that the party had been called at the office of the Additional Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, at Patiala tomorrow to submit all details and bills, if any, with the officials concerned. Mr Ghai further informed that after thorough verification, penal tax would be charged and a case could also be registered against the guilty firm.

The Additional Commissioner also disclosed that the department had planned special raids to check tax evasion in all parts of the state in coming days. He said that all efforts were being made to achieve the fixed target of Rs 3575 crore of taxes during the current financial year. He asked the traders to get their whole stocks voluntarily registered on the information centres, so as to avoid any kind of harassment.

The flying squad from Jalandhar , Patiala and Ropar districts also took part in the raids. 



8 injured in violence at Nanaksar dera
Tribune News Service

Siahar, (Payal), October 12
The four-day-long tension between the rival groups at Sant Meehan Singh Nanaksar Thath here took a violent turn late last night when eight persons were injured in a clash between supporters of the warring groups and firing by the police. One of the injured, Jeet Singh, was stated to be in a serious condition.

The victims included three cops, who got injured when the group favouring the three sons of late Sant Meehan Singh pelted stones at the police and the dera under the control of the Baba Harnek Singh group. The police opened fire to disperse the mob that had gone berserk just after some compromise between the groups was going to be reached.

The mob damaged the dera building, buses and even police Gypsies and vans. Tyres of the police vehicles were badly damaged when the mob cut these with swords and sharp-edged weapons. The mob also damaged the gypsy of SP(D) S K Agnihotri and stole the wireless set in the vehicle.

The injured persons were Jeet Singh, Bant Singh, Achra Singh, Sohan Singh and Dakbir Singh. They were admitted in the DMC hospital here. The injured cops — Gurdev Singh, Jagat Singh and Bhagwant Singh — were admitted to a hospital in Khanna

The Police is investigating if licenced weapons were used in the firing incident. A heavy police force was camping at the place for the past four days, which was reinforced last night and today morning.

The immediate provocation of the villagers was against a head priest of the opposite group, who called names of the three sons of late Sant Meehan Singh.

The place bore a police cantonment-like look today when a Ludhiana Tribune team visited the spot. All entry routes to the village were blocked by the police to prevent any gathering of people. All those going to the village were frisked and even mediapersons had hard time reaching the dera.

The police was fearing that the followers of the dera outside the village may strike in retaliation. Only the villagers were opposing Baba Harnek Singh. One family in the village was given special police protection as it was the only one supporting Baba Harnek Singh. The villagers threatened to burn the family and their house.

The police has registered a case of attempt to murder against 43 persons. All of these were residents of the village and supporters of the three sons of the late Sant, who founded the Thath and later joined the Nanaksar sect. The three sons — Mann Singh, Sewa Singh and Harchand Singh — were also rounded up and are in police custody.

The villagers are demanding the control of the dera in the hands of Baba Mann Singh. The other group headed by Baba Harnek Singh refuses this, as the late Sant Meehan Singh had given his “gaddi” to him and not to his sons about a decade ago.

Hectic talks mediated by the Khanna police, including SP(D) S K Agnihotri and DSP Amrik Singh Minhas were on between the groups to find an amicable solution.

Much is at stake in the matter. The control of the dera would provide the beneficiary hold over near 7000 acres in Canada besides several thousand acres in Punjab and elsewhere in India.

At present, Swami Kanwaljit (In charge Asian group) Mann Singh, Govinder Singh, Surjit Singh Jodhan are members of the Trust headed by Harnek Singh.

The number of followers of the sect is in lakhs, including foreigners and VVIPs. The affairs at the Thath were normal till September 11, when the present management allegedly got the rooms vacated which were till now occupied by Mann Singh, Sewa Singh and Harchand Singh (sons of late Baba Meehan Singh). This angered the villagers.

Mr Kamaljit Singh Sarpanch said the villagers view it as an insult of the sons of the late Sant.

The three sons were settled in Canada and come to India in October and stay here till January. They are felicitated on January 13, when they are brought to the dera in a huge “palki” through the village. The “palki” has been manufactured at a cost of Rs 90 lakh.

Both groups level allegations and counter-allegations against each other. While villagers accused Baba Harnek Singh of misconduct including drinking, the three sons are being accused of aiming to grab the property of the dera.



CBI inquiry sought into land scam
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 12
The controversy surrounding the infamous Kulliewal land scam involving crores of rupees fails to die down with the complainant in the case writing to the Union Home Ministry to initiate a CBI inquiry into the matter.

Claiming that the land scam was the biggest-ever in the region as more than 100 acres of agricultural land belonging to the provincial government was sold off by private persons, Mr Rakesh Kumar Sharma, the complainant in the case, has asked for the intervention of the Union Government to do justice.

Mr Sharma, who has been given power of attorney by Harbans Lal, an allottee of 10 acres in Kulliewal, claimed that while district administration had claimed that it had taken the possession of 72 acres it had actually very small area in possession. The rest was with the occupants only.

Mr Sharma, in his complaint, has alleged that the land under khasra number 48-3-4-5-6-7-8-14 and 15 and under khasra number 41-17-18-19-20-22/1 was allotted to him in August 1965. But the area was still with the illegal occupants only, he claimed.

The land in question is in Baba Jiwan Singh Nagar, Swatantra Nagar, New Puneet Nagar and Sawan Vihar on the Tajpur road here. The scandal had come to light two or three years ago only and the selling of government land had stopped after former Deputy Commissioner Anurag aggarwal had taken up the matter.

Former SDM (East) Bhavna Garg had on September 18, 2002, issued orders against the illegal construction on the land and had announced that action would be taken against the defaulters. She had even said that no cash in the form of installments would be given to the ‘‘owners’’, who sold the government land illegally. She had warned the residents against it also.

The administration had swung into action and demolished some constructions in November last year and banned further construction. The residents were not aware of the fact that the area was agricultural land belonging to the provincial government, which was allegedly sold to innocent people by land grabbers in connivance with officials of the Revenue Department.

The district administration had booked some property dealers, who had allegedly sold off government land in the infamous land scandal, besides booking another 40 persons, including residents and colonisers of the city, on same charges. The administration had at that time claimed that they were closing in on key players in the scandal. These included several influential persons close to politicians. But no action has been taken against any influential persons so far.

In the revenue estate of Kuliewal village there exist abut 72 acres 4 kanals and 11 marlas of Gair Mumkin land in the ownership of the Provincial Government which now falls in Swatantra Nagar, Puneet Nagar, Baba Jeevan Singh Nagar and Savan Vihar.

In the sale agreements, the land grabbers had projected themselves as owner in possession and sometimes played the trick by projecting themselves as occupant.



Inquiry into beating case begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 12
The magisterial inquiry into the “VIP sons versus police controversy” began today with the inquiry officer, Mr Malwinder Singh Jaggi, recording statements of Vivek Chabhra and suspended cop, Sandeep Wadhera.

Jagdeep Singh, son of Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, however, did not appear before the Inquiry Officer. A relative requested the Inquiry Officer to call him later as he was away to Delhi and would be arriving here today evening.

Informed sources revealed that Vivek Chabhra, son of Municipal Councillor K.L. Chabhra, stuck to his stand that he was beaten up without any provocation. On the other hand, Mr Sandeep Wadhera, former SHO of the Sarabha Nagar police station, stated the circumstances under which he detained the youths.



Artistes exhibit Bharat Natyam finesse
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, October 12
A number of Bharat Natyam performances marked the evening at Guru Nanak Bhavan, courtesy the Nritya Bharati — a school dedicated to teaching of Bharatnatyam, here yesterday. The city residents witnessed girls as young as four years to 16 years perform different pieces of the dance. They were dressed in rainbow-coloured silk sarees, typical jewellery from the South, and flowers in the hair.

The function started with a dance by girls to the chanting of “Gayatri Mantra”. The next dance by tiny tots was dedicated to Lord Ganesha. “Pushpanjali”, the offering of flowers as prayer, was presented next. The dancers paid their homage to the Lord of Dance, Natraja, besides paying their obeisance to gurus and welcoming the connoisseurs.

Another dance item was dedicated to Gajanam, Saraswati and Laxmi, followed by obeisance to Lord Vishnu.

The most colourful item of the evening — Ganga — lent the feeling sorrow, unhappiness, inhumanity and grief into the air. The rendering of “Oh Ganga, why don’t you make people strong?” in the voice of Bhupen Hazarika added to the poignancy.

“Namau Shivaye” was the last presentation. This “Punchakshara Stuti” (five-lettered chant) was composed by philosopher Adi Shankaracharya. Each letter is elaborated into a stanza. The music brought out the inherent mood of surrender, while extolling Shiva.

The second part of the performance was by Dr Shreedhara A.R. of Bangalore. His first dance was dedicated to Lord Krishna. The adeptness of his feet, his hand gestures, his expressions of joy at the imaginary meeting with Lord Krishna and his extreme delight at His visit to his home was a sheer joy to behold. His other items included a rich tribute to Lord Shiva and Natraja.

Dr Shreedhara A.R. is the first male solo dancer from Karnataka to have performed at the famous Khajuraho Nritya Samaroh. He was instrumental in training the students of the Nritya Bharati in the 10-day workshop that was organised by him before the dance performance along with Ms Pinky Choudhry. She started the Bharatnatyam Dance School to impart training of this great dance and bring resurgence of the ecstasy of dance in this increasingly materialistic world.



Widows given monthly rations

Ludhiana, October 12
About 651 needy widows got their free monthly rations at the Shree Gyan Sthal Mandir Sabha (regd) here today. The 40 important items for running the household were provided to them.

Present on the occasion was Punjab Minister Pratap Singh Bajwa. He appreciated the good and charitable work being done by the Mandir Sabha. He granted a sum of Rs 1 lakh to the institution to help it carry on its noble work.

Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, MLA, also announced that she would be donating Rs 51,000 shortly. Today’s programme was started by Vikram Rathore, a former member of the Indian cricket team. He lit the traditional lamp. Mr Surjit Rai, president of the Jalandhar Cricket Association, said every month a cricketer would be present on the occasion of distribution of pension to the widows. OC



Rs 2 lakh for Valmiki dharamshala
Our Correspondent

Amloh, October 12
The SGPC Chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, yesterday announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh out of his development fund to the Valmiki Sabha for the construction of a dharamshala here. He was here to attend a function organised by the sabha as part of the birth anniversary celebrations of Maharishi Valmiki.

He said it had been proved that only the SAD government could bring prosperity in the state.

“The Congress government came into power because of a rift between the Badal and Tohra factions and it could not be seen as a mandate of the people,” Mr Tohra maintained. He pointed out that the “Shagan Scheme”, which was started for the daughters of the Dalits, was stopped by the Congress.

He said the state government on the one hand was crying about the poor financial health, on the other hand it had appointed chairmen of corporations that were already undergoing losses.

Mr Tohra held the Congress government responsible for corruption. He said though several Congress leaders and ministers had been charged with charges of corruption, the government had launched a corruption campaign against the SAD Chief and other leaders of the Akali Dal. The only motive behind the move was to malign the SAD leadership so that the Congress could win the next Lok Sabha elections in the state.

Mr Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, member SGPC, announced on behalf of Amloh councilor Budh Ram the joining of hands of the Valmiki Sabha with the Shiromani Akali Dal. Mr Tohra appointed him as the district jathedar of the sabha. Among others, Mr Hari Chand Mittal, city unit president of the SAD, Mr Kahla Singh, Mr Rajpal Garg, former president BJP, Mr Randhir Singh Bhambri and Mr Tejwant Singh were present.



Police marries off Dalit couple
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 12
The Jagraon police and the civil administration today organised the marriage of a Dalit couple in a gurdwara at Narangwal village amidst tight security. The village was turned into a fortress for fear of any violence by Jat community.

Jats were opposing the marriage on the ground that the Dalits cannot hold their marriage function in a gurdwara. No Dalit had been married here for the past 15 years, when the gurdwara was constructed.

Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chhina said the administration helped Dalits as per Akal Takht no marriage of Sikh could be organised outside the gurdwara and the village had only one gurdwara, which is controlled by Jats.

Another marriage of a Dalit couple would be solemnised tomorrow, he said.



Two marriages solemnised
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 12
The marriage of two poor girls were solemnised at Gurdwara Deep Nagar, here this afternoon. The Maa Bhagwati Club, the Mahila Yog Sansthan, Rakh Bagh, and the Bharat Vikas Parishad, Shivaji branch, arranged funds for their marriage.

The marriages were solemnised under the supervision of Acharya Gopichand and the Head Granthi of Gurdwara Deep Nagar. Mr Pritpal Singh, president, Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib, was the chief guest. 



Man found murdered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 12
A man in his early thirties was found murdered in the Mattewara jungle last evening. The body was spotted by forest guard Gurcharan Singh, who was traversing the forest area along with a watchman. The Koom Kalan police has sent the body for post-mortem and registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC.

Student kidnapped: The Division No. 8 police on the statement of Mr Sukhjinder Singh, a resident of Jamalpur Leli village, registered a case yesterday under Sections 365 and 34 of the IPC against Phool Badan, a resident of Haibowal, and a student accompanying him. The complainant stated that his brother, Gurinder Pal Singh, who is vice-president of the students’ union of the Arya College for Boys, was kidnapped on Saturday. Old enmity was behind the abduction, added the complainant.

Man killed: On the statement of Mr Mukhtiar Singh, a resident of Bonkar Dogra village, the Sadar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC against Gurdeep Singh. The complainant stated that he along with Mohinder Singh, a resident of Dogra village, were going on foot on Saturday when the accused hit Mohinder Singh with his tempo and killed him on the spot.

Cash snatched: The Jodhewal police registered a case under Sections 356 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Pardeep Kumar, a resident of Mangat village, against three scooter-borne miscreants who snatched cash and his mobile phone at Bazra village on Friday.

Case registered: The Shimla Puri police yesterday registered a case under Sections 465, 467, 468, 471, 420 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Jeewan Gupta, Manager, State Bank of Patiala, Laghu Udyog branch, Partap Chowk, against Amar Pal Singh, a resident of Amritsar. The complainant stated that the accused tried to encash a stolen cheque with the help of forged signatures. The accused has been arrested.

Assault cases: The Haibowal police registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Sukhdev Singh, a resident of Mohalla Rajesh Nagar, against Kesari, Banarsi, Pammy and Preeto, all residents of the same locality, and others. The complainant alleged that the accused had assaulted him.

The Sadar police has registered a similar case on the statement of Mr Joginder Singh, a resident of Bonkar Dogra village, against Surinder Pal and his wife Raj, Ghona and Sonu. The complainant alleged the accused beat him up on Friday.

Two injured: Sanjay and Bobby Deol were injured when a vehicle hit them near the Bhai Bala chowk on Friday night. Both of them have been admitted to the CMCH. The police has registered a case.

Held for gambling: The Division No. 3 police yesterday raided a place in Purana Dai hatta, near the CMCH, and arrested Shadi Lal, Chander Shekhar and Sukhbir Singh while they were gambling. A sum of Rs 7,060 and a deck of playing cards were seized from their possession.

One arrested: The Haibowal police yesterday registered a case under the Excise Act against Kashmir Singh, Surinder Singh, Pawan Kumar and Davinder Singh. The police said today that one of the accused, Davinder Singh, who was running a fast food joint in Main Bazaar, Haibowal, was allowing his customers to drink in his shop and was arrested on Saturday.

Knife seized: The Division No. 2 police yesterday arrested Rakesh Kumar and booked him under the Arms Act. The police said today that the accused was arrested for carrying a knife.



Man killed by woman’s relatives
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 12
A resident of Salem Tabri here was murdered allegedly by two persons, who suspected him of having illicit relationship with their relative. The two men have been arrested.

The victim, Abdul Sattar, was missing from his house since last evening. The family members had informed the police. The mutilated body of a youth matching Abdul’s description was found from Machhiwara forest range this morning. A forest officer, Mr Gurcharan Singh, spotted the body.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |