Thursday, October 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


IT raids unearth illegal transactions
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 15
Illegal transactions to the tune of crores of rupees have been traced by several teams of the Income Tax Department in late evening raids at houses, offices of traders, money exchange firms, banks and industries here.

The teams took assistance of the local police. Each team of the raiding officers was accompanied by a team of cops working under the supervision of SP(D) Gurpreet Singh Toor.

While the raiding officers were tight-lipped about the outcome of the raids, reliable sources revealed that several incriminating documents containing details about theft of income tax and other taxes have been found.

In one raid at a bank in Bharat Nagar Chowk here, one such team has recovered an amount of Rs 50 lakh, being deposited by a tax defaulter.

The sleuths of the Income Tax swooped down on two money exchanging firms in Gur Mandi late this evening. The companies were allegedly run by relatives of deposed Shiv Sena Chief Jagdish Tangri. The raids were led by Deputy Director (Intelligence) Y.K. Saxena.

Sources said the raids were a follow-up operation of the last week’s similar exercise on some hosiery units in the city.

Sources said the raids at hosiery units had revealed that some money exchanging firms were operating through bogus firms that existed for few months only and then closed down. The timing of the raids was crucial as the business winds up in the evening hours only.

Simultaneous raids were on in Samrala Chowk area where the Income tax parties along with the police were conducting raids at the house of a prominent transporter and industrialist of the city.

The raids were on at the time of filing of this report. No officer was divulging any details about the incriminating documents but only said that they have caught some big fish.



‘Case vehicles’ disappear from police malkhanas
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 15
In one of the biggest scandals involving ‘case properties’ stored at the malkhanas in various local police stations, nearly 20 two-wheelers and four three-wheelers have gone missing from the Division No. 6 police station here.

Reliable police sources inform that the vehicles have been sold off in a clandestine manner by a Head Constable posted with the police station, who may be in league with some senior officers.

The police has began an internal probe into the matter and has almost zeroed in on the accused, his accomplices and the scrap dealers to whom the vehicles were sold off. The probe is on in a secret manner and an official inquiry would be ordered after the registration of a case.

While on record none of the police officers was willing to comment on the ‘embarrassing’ development, off the record officers admit that the allegations were true. Interestingly, the matter would have remained under wraps had the accused shared the booty with some of his colleagues.

According to sources, some lower rank cops in the police station got wind of the alleged scandal and demanded their pound of flesh, otherwise they threatened to spill the beans. Sources said the scandal leaked out before the deal was struck.

The district police conducted massive checking of all the malkhanas two weeks ago. While the checking was aimed at finding the stocks of narcotics whose cases have been decided, the inspection yielded irregularities in the maintenance of stocks at the stores. It is from here that the scandal came to light.

The cost at which the man sold off the vehicles was yet to be ascertained. Sources said the vehicles were rotting here for the last several years and may have fetched a price around Rs 5000 each for the two-wheelers and more for the three-wheelers.

The investigators were also interested in knowing how such a large number of vehicles were transported out of the police station without the knowledge of the senior officers, especially the SHO of the police station.

Items labelled malkhana properties are vehicles, things or any object associated with a police case. The articles are stored in the malkhanna as long as the cases are not decided or the objects are not taken on supardaari system. As cases take quite long to settle in a court of law, the items, especially the vehicles rot, so much that they are almost condemned.

The district has witnessed a number of such scandals in which the ‘case properties’ had gone missing. Eight guns had disappeared from the Sarabha Nagar police station last year. An inquiry was ordered but it remained inconclusive.

Similarly, at Atam Park police post, a non-gazetted rank officer had allegedly sold off some machine parts from 25 vehicles stored in the malkhanna there. However, in the latest scandal, the complete vehicles have been sold off.



SSP told to book ex-sarpanch for embezzlement
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 15
The district administration has directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Khanna, to register a case against a former woman sarpanch of Kishanpur village for embezzling panchayat funds.

The former sarpanch, Manjit Kaur, had allegedly misappropriated Rs 3,40,848 by submitting false bills for the purchase of furniture and had also not deposited the returns from the annual auction of the agricultural land of the panchayat in the bank account. The irregularity was detected during an inquiry conducted by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Zila Parishad, Ludhiana.

Subsequently, the SSP, Khanna, has been asked to register a criminal case against the accused.

Elaborating further, Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, said the new panchayat of the village, after assuming charge, had lodged a written complaint against the former sarpanch levelling charges of embezzlement of funds of the panchayat, which was forwarded to the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Zila Parishad, for inquiry.

He said following an inquiry, all charges levelled by the new panchayat had been established. As per the inquiry report, the former sarpanch, during her tenure, withdrew an amount of Rs 1,58,848 from the account of the panchayat for making the payment to M/s Hemkunt Furnishers, Ludhiana, for the purchase of furniture, which included 12 wooden tables and 100 wooden chairs, for the panchayat ghar.

However, no furniture was purchased and only some old and rickety furniture from her own house was shifted to the panchayat ghar and the whole payment was embezzled, he added.

Interestingly, no resolution was passed by the then panchayat for the purchases but to cover this up a resolution was passed later on by the panchayat on July 23, 2002 to condemn 60 chairs and two tables out of this furniture, which was later shown as auctioned at Rs 2,200. In the auction, only one bidder, Mr Mohan Lal, participated in whose name the auction was executed. The DC further informed that when the inquiry officer contacted the owner of the furniture firm, he informed in writing that no furniture was sold to the panchayat. Instead he had submitted a quotation on the demand from the sarpanch. The then sarpanch drew the amount against the false bill, which was fabricated from the quotation by making required cuttings and changes and a copy of the false bill was pasted in the record of the panchayat.

The inquiry officer also found the former sarpanch guilty of not depositing the auction amount of the agriculture land of the panchayat for two consecutive years i.e. Rs 1.42 lakh for 2001 and Rs 40,000 for 2002. He said the auction returns had been received from the parties concerned but were never deposited in the accounts of the panchayat. Hence, a total fraud of Rs 3,40,848 had been detected against the former sarpanch.



Baba charged with beating up ailing woman
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, October 15
The misery of a middle-aged woman Santosh, suffering from a prolonged illness, was further compounded when a self styled tantrik mercilessly beat her up, causing grievous injuries as a part of the ‘treatment’. The husband and son of the patient, accompanying her to the baba’s dera, were also roughed up in the process.

Mr Ram Lal, a local resident, has accused one ‘Seetiwala Baba’ of Raarhi Kanugoa village, Bala-chaur, Nawanshehr district, for beating up his ailing wife, which landed her at Christian Medical College and Hospital in serious condition. The complainant said that he took his wife to the baba because some of his relatives and friends had suggested that the baba would cure his ailing wife.

According to Mr Ram Lal, who works as a sweeper at a private school here, his 38-year-old wife Santosh was having fever for the past one month. "On September 18, I, along with my son Sonu and one of our relatives, Vicky, hired a taxi and took my wife to the baba ji’s dera in Nawanshehr district. We came to know that baba had gone out and would be coming late in the evening”.

One of Baba’s disciples suggested to them to send back their taxi as Baba ji would drop them to Ludhiana in his own car, once his wife’s ‘treatment’ was over. At around 12 o’clock at night, Baba came in his luxurious car and was apparently drunk, said the complainant.

“He went straight to my wife and started abusing her. He started kicking my wife in the abdomen. Not only this, he even thrashed me and my son. We were really terrified to see all this. I urged Baba’s wife to stop the beatings. She said that this was Babaji’s way of treating and soon the patient would be alright”, maintained Ram Lal.

The complainant, his son and others started screaming but nobody listened to their woes as Baba had told his driver to increase the volume of his car stereo. “After thrashing us all, Baba went to sleep. We took Santosh and ran from that place. After one and a half hour, we got a taxi and came back here”.

Meanwhile, Ms Neerja, SSP, Nawanshehr, when contacted said that they had received the complaint. A police party from Balachaur had gone to CMCH to record the statement of Santosh. “But doctors said that she was not in a position to give any statement. The police came back. We have called Santosh’s relatives but no one has turned up so far. We will take suitable action only when statements of all these people are recorded”, said Ms Neerja.

Santosh, who was admitted at Bhagwan Ram Charitable Hospital on September 19, was referred to CMCH as her condition was critical. She was operated upon by Dr Yashbir Dewan, neurosurgeon at CMCH.

Dr Dewan, who operated upon the patient said that the lady was suffering from TB of the brain. “The treatment of the disease had to continue for a long time but the patient was fit to go home now. She would be recovering slowly”, he said.



BJP councillors call off dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 15
The Bharatiya Janata Party has called off the proposed dharna from today to protest against discrimination in allocation of funds for development works to the party councillors and delay in execution of pending works in the wards represented by the councillors belonging to the BJP.

A delegation of the BJP councillors, led by district president of the BJP, Dr Subhash Verma, met Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation S.K. Sharma and all pending issues like supply of potable water to certain localities, choked sewers and non-functional streetlights were discussed in detail. The BJP councillors presented a charter of demands and all these demands were deliberated upon. Quite a few issues were decided on the spot while others were marked to be decided by the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) so that tenders could be invited and works executed.

Former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly Sat Pal Gosain, Mr Parveen Bansal, group leader of the BJP councillors, and Mr Pran Nath Bhatia were also present at the occasion.

The MC Commissioner, while appreciating the approach of the BJP functionaries, sought their cooperation and constructive support for the overall development of the city. He assured that the MC, which had already registered landmarks in the matter of potable water supply and biomedical waste treatment, would continue to strive hard to come up to the expectations of the people in the industrial hub of Punjab. He further said that civic body had already declared the current financial year as the ‘year of development’ and therefore, the process of execution of all pending development works in different parts of the city would be automatically speeded up.

City Mayor Nahar Singh Gill also made an appearance at the meeting, which lasted for well over five hours. Mr Gill while pleading against the agitational approach, assured the BJP leaders that funds for development works were being provided without any discrimination, whatsoever and the elected leadership in the MC as well as the administration were taking all possible measures to accelerate the pace of development works and sort out all problems of the city residents.

Dr Verma and Mr Sharma later issued a joint statement about the deliberations of the meeting and the decision by the BJP to put off the agitation and review the status of pending issues after one month.



MC employees on warpath
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 15
The Punjab Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangathan has served an ultimatum on the civic administration here and the state government will decide all pending cases of recruitment on compassionate ground within 15 days, failing which the employees would launch a statewide agitation.

Addressing a meeting of the state executive of the body, Mr Kulwant Singh Saini, state general secretary, and other functionaries of the body charged the MC top brass and the government with dilly dallying approach on the crucial issue of providing employment to one of the eligible family members of the civic employees, who died while on duty.

The district president of the sangathan, Mr Gajraj Prajapati, noted with regret that Ashok Kumar, an employee of the municipal corporation here, had died of electric shock while on duty on June 10. The MC employees had also held a demonstration along with the body of the deceased employee demanding recruitment of next of kin on compassionate ground.

The MC officials had promised to give employment to Anil Kumar, son of the dead employee, immediately and further to decide all pending cases of similar nature within one month.

He lamented that rather than issuing orders for recruitment of eligible family members of deceased employees, the MC Commissioner had sent the file to the state government as a delaying tactic which amounted to betraying not only the hapless widows and dependents of such employees but also the members of the action committee of the civic employees. Mr Prajapati said the MC in Jalandhar had already decided all pending cases of employment on compassionate ground and appointment letters had already been given to eligible persons but the MC administration in the city was simply sitting over such files showing utter disregard and indifference towards the next of kin of its own former employees.

Among others, Mr Sardari Lal Sharma, Mr Krishan Lal Gautam, Mr Ram Gopal, Mr Ramjatan Pal, Mr Bhagirath Paliwal and Mr Jia Lal Gautam also attended the meeting.



Foundation demands holiday on October 20
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 15
Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, founder chairman of the Professor Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, Mr Pragat Singh Grewal, its president, Mr J.S. Khangura, chairman of the Welcome Committee, and Mr Gurbhajan Singh in a joint statement issued here today urged the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, to declare October 20 as a holiday for local schools and colleges so that students could participate in the mela whole heartedly.

The foundation would be organising cultural and literary functions on October 19 and 20 to celebrate the silver jubilee function of Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Mela at Punjabi Bhavan here. Mr Kamaljeet Singh Shankar, press secretary of the foundation, said president of the Mohan Singh Foundation, Denmark, Mr Gurdial Singh, and Mandher Brothers of Canada would also participate in the mela.

Mr Jassowal has urged the Central Government to give Prof Mohan Singh the status of national poet. Besides demanding the release of a postage stamp on Prof Mohan Singh, he has also urged the state government to convert the poet’s house into a museum.



Poets highlight female foeticide menace
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 15
To create awareness among the people on the menace of female foeticide, a seminar- cum - kavi darbar was organised by the Namdhari Darbar on the second day of the 99th annual Jap Tap Samelan at Bhaini Sahib today. Mr. H.S. Hanspal, President, PPCC, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Addressing the participants, Mr Hanspal said Satguru Ram Singh, had launched a crusade against those who killed their daughters at birth. Following his directions, the whole Namdhari Darbar, now under the spiritual guidance and direction of Satguru Jagjit Singh, was making efforts to create awareness among the people regarding the seriousness of this alarming situation.

He said though the government has enacted several legislations to give stringent punishments to the guilty, but this social evil was assuming alarming proportions and was causing an irreparable loss to society. In present times, skewed sex ratio would create a serious imbalance in society.

Mr Hanspal appealed to the people to be vigilant and report any such by couples to the authorities so that they can be punished suitably.

Sant Daleep Singh Namdhari apprised the people about the efforts of Satguru Jagjit Singh and Namdhari Darbar in persuading the people to refrain from the female foeticide as the girls are equally important for society. He said the darbar was also educating the public regarding the growing use of the drugs and other intoxicants among the youth, which could completely ruin our future generations.

Prominent speakers and poets who participated included Dr Gurcharan Kaur Kochhar, Mr Surjt Patar, President, Punjabi Sahitya Akademi, Mr Harbir Singh Bhanwar, Mr Inderjit Singh Hassanpuri, Dr Swaranjit Kaur Grewal, Dr Gurminder Sidhu, Dr Kamaljit Singh Kakkar, Dr Harjinder Singh Sandhu, Mr Ajit Singh Lehal, Dr Tarlochan Lochi, Mr Jatinder Pal Singh Jolly and Mr Kulwant Jagraon. 



‘Implement Mandal report’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 15
The Backward Classes Welfare Front today urged the state government to implement recommendations of the Mandal Commission in the state with immediate effect.

Addressing mediapersons here, Mr Jagjit Singh, its president, said they would press the government to ensure that the backward classes got the same benefits as had been granted to members of their community in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, New Delhi and other states.

He said it had been decided that to empower their members, units would be constituted at the district, tehsil and mohalla levels. Similarly, they would also endeavour to enroll NRI members so that they achieved recognition at the international level.



Woman missing
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 15
Ms Harcharan Kaur (50), a resident of Mohalla Taj Ganj here, has been missing since October 13. She had gone to meet her daughter at Mundian Kalan village in connection with Karva Chauth.

According to a report lodged with the Division No. 3 police station by Ms Kulwinder Kaur, daughter-in-law of the missing woman, Ms Harcaharan Kaur left her house at around 1 p.m. on Monday, saying she was going to meet her daughter Daljit Kaur and would be back by the evening.

“When my mother-in-law did not come back till yesterday, we went to Mundian Kalan to enquire about her. Daljit Kaur told us that her mother had gone back home at around 4 pm on the same day.”

The complainant told the police that her mother-in-law, who is also the president of the mahila mandal of the locality, had told Daljit Kaur that she suspected of being followed right till the village by two persons.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case.




Hero Effy launched: Hero Effy was launched at a ceremony held at M/s Setia Motor here. Mr M.C. Munjal, Managing Director, Majestic Auto Limited, lighted the ceremonial lamp.

The vehicle has a 72 cc four-stroke engine and is available in attractive colours. Mr M.C. Munjal, Mr Suman Bhagat, Deputy General Manager (marketing and administration), addressed the gathering that comprised dealers, guests and customers. TNS

BIOFERTILIZERS LAUNCHED: International Panacea Limited (IPL), one of the leading company in biotechnology, has launched its premium range of biofertilizers - premium azospi, premium azoto-plus and premium phosphofix, keeping in mind the coming rabi season for the farmers of Punjab.

Azospi is recommended for crops like sugarcane, rice, sorghum, wheat, barely, maize etc. and can help in increasing the crop yield by 15-20 per cent. It is available in liquid formulation having a high CFU count.

Azoto plus helps in fixation of atmospheric nitrogen in soil and also controls several soil-borne, seed-borne and air-borne crop diseases caused by fungi and bacteria. It also improves the rate of percentage of seed germination, helps in root proliferation, accelerates plant growth initiates early flowering and maturation and thus may increase crop yield up to 10-15 per cent. TNS

LUCKY DEDICATIONS CONTEST: Spice Telecom today announced the winners of its “Lucky dedications contest.” The first mega prize winner of the contest is Mr Pawan Kumar from Moga who has won a Swiss watch — Tissot worth Rs 10,000. In addition to this, 45 spice subscribers have won daily prizes worth Rs 5,000 in the form of gift vouchers from Nike and Planet M.

This contest was launched on September 29, and was aimed at refreshing the lives of spice subscribers with new and exciting ring tones and songs. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Anupinder Singh, regional head, Spice Telecom, congratulated the winners of the contest. OC


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 |