Saturday, October 18, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Schoolchildren quiz Pandey on corruption
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 17
Schoolchildren of the city today got an opportunity to put posers to Mr A.P. Pandey, Director Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, on issue relating to corruption and measures to curb the menace. The Punjab’s first state-level seminar-cum-interaction by the Ludhiana Midtown Jaycees on “Corruption — Its impact on democratic institutions” was presided over by Mr Pandey, with students from various schools shooting questions at the Punjab Vigilance Chief.

Mr Pandey exhorted the youth to clean their surroundings by reporting acts of omission and commission. “It is really the youth that can help curb this menace”, he said while addressing a gathering. Mr Pandey said there was an overall degradation in society. In spite of everyone taking a note of it, people felt quite helpless in fighting corruption, he observed.

“Almost every institution ranging from bureaucracy, educational, judiciary is crumbling. This will eventually lead to chaos and unless checked now, it may be too late. But I am happy to note that the issue is already nagging the minds of the youth of the state and they will contribute in checking corruption,” he said.

Inayat Dhanda, a student of Sacred Heart Convent School, asked the youth to take the pledge to eradicate corruption.

She said: “If each one of us is committed towards objecting to the wrong doings around us, corruption can be checked.” Ishneet Singh of Guru Nanak School blamed rot in education as the cause of corruption and wanted those holding public offices to declare their assets at the onset of their tenures.

Be it DAV School student Varundeep Mann, Sacred Heart’s Toshar Vallav or his teacher Ms Bina Rao, all felt that the levels of corruption had crossed all perceptible limits and people must stand up against these acts to turn the anti-corruption drive into a mass movement.

The Ludhiana Bar Association president, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, however differed by saying that corruption could not survive unless we contributed towards its success. He asked children to choose role models from life around them and bring about a change in attitude towards accepting corrupt practices.

The Chairman and CEO of Force Alpha and MGAI Corporation, both American companies, Mr Jagjit Mangat, in his address to the students said all ingredients of a corruption-free society were already present in the Indian Constitution, but were not implemented by the vested interest. Mr Mangat, who is currently in India collaborating with the Indian Government for national and homeland security, compared working of democracy in India with functional democracy in the USA. He said like the USA, people holding public offices in India should be made accountable and forced to declare their assets before being entrusted with a public job.

This, he said, would go a long way in curbing corrupt practices.

Several dignitaries were honoured for their outstanding contribution to society. Prominent among them was Mr S.K. Sharma, Municipal Commissioner, whose role in improving the city’s civic amenities was lauded.

Others who were honoured were Mr N.S. Tasneem for his contribution to literature, Dr O.P. Arora, a neurologist, PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, and Dr Mohammad Rafi, a known writer.


Doctor booked for removing kidney
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 17
The Civil Lines police yesterday registered a case under various sections of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act and Sections 307 and 420 of the IPC, against Dr B.S. Aulakh, Head of the Kidney Transplant Section of the DMCH.

The case has been registered on the statement of Mr Gurdit Singh, a resident of Dhilwan Kalan village.

The complainant said he had been under treatment by the accused since May 16,1996 for his kidney problem.

Since he did not feel any better after the treatment, he consulted Dr Chahal at Jalandhar, who told him that one of his kidneys was missing.

The complainant alleged that the accused had removed his kidney without obtaining his prior permission and sold the same to some needy patient.

The accused, by doing so, had committed a fraud on him, added the complainant.

No arrest has been made so far.


CM’s assurance on exim forms
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 17
The Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, has assured the trade and industry that all procedural complications in the way of exim forms and matters relating to sales tax will be soon sorted out. The government would pursue such policies that were friendly towards traders and industrialists, he said.

During an extended interaction with a delegation of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, led by Mr Amrit Lal Jain, at Punjab Bhavan, Chandigarh, on Thursday, he said efforts were already on to remove all difficulties in the way of easy availability of exim forms. The government would take all measures to simplify sales tax structure in order to promote trade and industry. Another meeting between senior government officials and representatives of trade and industry would take place in Amritsar on Tuesday next.

Besides Captain Amarinder Singh, the Excise and Taxation Minister, Mr Sardool Singh, the Industries Minister, Mr Avtar Henry, MLA (Pathankot), Mr Ashok Sharma, Chief Secretary, Punjab, Ms Jai Singh Gill, Financial Commissioner (Taxation) Mr Mukul Joshi, and the Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab, Mr D.P. Reddy attended the meeting.

Mr Amrit Lal Jain said the Congress had made three poll promises with the traders, which included abolition of octroi, simplification of sales tax laws and an end to ‘inspector raj’, but even after two years of its being in power, none of these commitments had been honoured. “Trade, industry and majority of urban population had overwhelmingly supported the Congress in the Assembly elections, but the government had failed, to reciprocate the gesture,” he added.

As result of indifference and apathy of the government, the gold and dry fruit trade in Amritsar, sports goods industry in Jalandhar, hosiery and readymade garment industry in Ludhiana and iron and steel industry in Mandi Gobindgarh were being pushed towards annihilation. Even the Union Government was discriminating against the state. While Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal were being extended wide ranging concessions in Central excise and income tax, the trade and industry in Punjab was being denied such incentives.

The mandal chief maintained that the Excise and Taxation Department would not to supply an estimated 50,000 exim forms every day to the traders. The non-availability of these forms was already adversely affecting the trade and commercial activity, in the festival season. “The excise and taxation officials are also creating misconceptions about the extent of tax evasion and benefit of exim form for their selfish and motivated interests,” he added.

Others members of the delegation were Mr Piara Lal Seth, Mr B.K. Bajaj, Mr Pratap Chand Bhutani, Mr Nirmal Das Malhotra, Mr G.S. Bedi, Baba Ajit Singh, Mr Sunil Mehra, Mr Kasturi Lal Mittal, Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, Mr Om Parkash Gupta, Mr Ravi Passey, Mr L.R. Sodhi, Mr P.C. Garg, Mr Virendra Rattan and Mr Rajinder Singh Josh.


US delegation visits PAU
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 17
As part of its global survey, a four-member delegation from the US Department of Agriculture visited the Department of Economics, College of Basic Sciences, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), here today.

The group had Mr Edwin Young, Market and Trade Economics Division, Economic Research Services (ERS), US Department of Agriculture, as its leader with three other members — Ms Mary Barfisher, Mr John Wainio and Mr R.P. Landes. The delegation was received by Dr Joginder Singh, Head, Department of Economics, PAU.

Giving an outlook of the state of agriculture in the USA Mr Young said that the contribution of agriculture in the country’s GDP was 1 per cent. He said that of the total land, 24 per cent was under crops, 30 per cent under pastures and grasslands, 29 per cent under forest cover, 8 per cent under highways, parks and wild life centres and 3 per cent under urban usage.

Presenting a comparative picture of India and the USA, Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said that at present, about 25 lakh hectares was under paddy during the kharif season and 33 lakh hecteres was under wheat during the rabi season. He said that the main priority now was to divert 10 lakh hectares from this monoculture crop rotation to other crops like pulses, oil seeds, maize and cotton. The delegation showed keen interest in the data given by economists on paddy and cotton cultivation in Punjab, situation of dairy industry and other environmental problems affecting the state agriculture.

In a slide show, Dr Joginder Singh discussed in detail the problems confronting marketing services, agro-processing, storage and transportation services. He said that the fall in water table level was yet another problem that had arisen due to continuous rice-wheat cultivation pattern being adopted by farmers. He also asked the US scientists to give suggestions on deteriorating soil health, developing pest resistance, eroding bio-diversity and other ecological problems that had occurred due to wrong cultivation practices.

Dr P.S. Rangi, Senior Economist, Marketing, talked about the monopoly of the state government through its Mandi Board at the time of selling produce. He said that since vegetables, pulses, oil seeds and fruits were not being marketed well, the farmers who had switched over to cultivation of such products had now reverted to growing rice and wheat. He said the government was not encouraging any private agencies to come forward for procurement as it was creating an atmosphere of mistrust.

Other university officers who attended the meeting included Dr G.S. Nanda, Director of Research, Dr J.S. Kolar, Director of Extension Education, Dr Darshan Singh, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, and Deans of all five colleges.


Minor raped
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 17
The police has booked a migrant fruit seller for allegedly raping a minor.

According to Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Murlipur village in Chhapra district of Bihar, his minor daughter was raped by Bhola Giri, a middle-aged migrant fruit seller belonging to Damasha village of Chhapra district. Ramesh has been living with his family in a rented house at nearby Rohira village. On October 8, when his wife, Sanjoga, had gone for reaping paddy in the fields of a farmers of the same village, Bhola Giri allegedly raped the 13-year-old daughter of the complainant.

“Bhola entered my house on the pretext of giving fruits. When my wife returned from fields, the door was bolted from inside and my daughter was crying for help.


Three cracker sellers booked
Our Correspondent

Khanna, October 17
The police has booked three shopkeepers under Sections 285 and 286 of the Indian Penal Code and various sections of the Indian Explosives Act 9B-1984 and sealed their shops for selling and stocking crackers illegally.

The police conducted raids on the shops of Rajinder Mittal, Madan Lal and Jatinder Kumar in this regard.


Plea for paying taxes honestly
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 17
All those persons who are liable to file income tax return, must file the same voluntarily and should pay the taxes due towards them. In view of healthy economic growth, the revenue of government should also go up which will help in the progress of country and nation-building. There will be no need to conduct surveys if the taxes are paid honestly.

These observations were made by the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Mr Sudhakar Verma, who also heads the Regional Direct Tax Advisory Committee, while addressing a meeting of the committee here today. Senior officials, including Mr Sat Paul, Commissioner, Mr A.K. Mehrish, Commissioners Mr Suman Gupta, Joint Commissioner, Mr Sunil Saxena, Deputy Commissioner and Committee members Mr Ashok Juneja, advocate, Mr L. C. Gupta, CA, Dr Naresh Bassi, Mr G.S. Galib, MP, Mr Baldip Singh Sandhu, Advisor Income Tax-cum-Secretary (Finance), Government of Punjab and Mr Sudhir Ahuja, AGM, State Bank of India, were among those present at the meeting.

The committee deliberated on various suggestions for creating better understanding between the assessees and the department so as to create cordial and taxpayer-friendly environment. Mr Varma highlighted that refunds of huge amounts were issued recently.

Mr Juneja and Mr L.C. Gupta submitted two separate memoranda to the Chief Commissioner pleading that returns of income must be accepted in all those cases where PAN was applied, though that still remained unallotted. They also wanted more counters for accepting the PAN applications and that the agency concerned be directed to issue the PAN number within 15 days of the receipt of application as promised.

There was general consensus in favour of an amnesty-cum-voluntary disclosure scheme and taxing rich agriculturists.

The members stressed that applications for the rectification and registration of trust and exemptions under Section 80G be disposed of speedily.

Mr Sat Paul, Commissioner of Income Tax, said that the PAN number had been issued to all applications received upto June 2003 and the PAN cards were being dispatched. Mr Galib, Mr Baldip Singh and Dr Bassi urged the Central Government to grant income tax and excise exemption on the pattern of Himachal Pradesh for the establishment of new industry in Punjab.


INTUC for restoration of right to strike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 17
The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) has urged the Union Government to restore the right of the workers to strike, besides accepting other demands of government employees.

It served an ultimatum to the government to accept and implement all genuine demands, failing which an agitation would be launched after a rally by all INTUC affiliated unions in Chandigarh on October 22.

Addressing a meeting of the district council of the INTUC here today, Mr Swarn Singh, president, PSEB Workers Federation (INTUC), called upon the government to enact labour friendly laws, create more employment opportunities, raise the income tax exemption limit to Rs 1.50 lakh, grant higher grades for time scale of four, nine, and 14 years of service and give due representation to the INTUC in all government bodies.

He further demanded that the government must spend the budget allocation of Rs 20 crore for the purchase of new buses and pleaded against privatisation and the kilometre scheme.

The trade union activist made a strong case against the privatisation of the Punjab State Electricity Board and hiring of contract workers in health, education, PWD and local bodies departments.

He asked the government to regularise the contract labour working for procurement agencies for years.

Mr Swarn Singh was unanimously elected president of the district council of the INTUC on the occasion.


PPSC assailed for not conducting interviews
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 17
Public Cause, a city-based social service organisation, has stated that the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) had invited applications for college lecturers in 1999 and 2001 for 272 and 276 posts, respectively. Thousands of candidates had applied. The interviews were held in January/February, 2002, and about 400 selections were made. But later, the selections were cancelled by the Punjab Government and the PPSC was directed to hold interviews afresh. But the PPSC is yet to announce new dates for interviews.

Mr Yash Paul Ghai, Director, Public Cause, said more than 700 out of about 2200 posts of lecturer had been were lying vacant in government colleges in Punjab. And there had been no recruitment of lecturers for the past seven years. It was, indeed, a miserable state of affairs, said Mr Ghai.

He further added though the Punjab Government had added two members to the team of the PPSC to cope with the increased workload but the commission had yet not conducted any interviews during the past one and a half year. “It brings a bad name to the commission”, said Mr Ghai.


Assault victim faces threats
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 17
Even after the erring ticket collector, Sahib Singh, was placed under suspension by senior railway officials for beating up a migrant, Inderjit Yadav, and his son on Wednesday at the railway station here, the woes of the victim and those coming out in his support are far from over. The victim as well functionaries of the Jan Jagran Manch (JJM) are being threatened by railway officials to withdraw their complaint or be prepared for further consequences.

Mr Prem Pandey, national president of the Jan Jagran Manch, who had led a demonstration of railway passengers and activists of the front against the erring railway official for his highhandedness, told Ludhiana Tribune that the suspended railway official and some of his supporters were pressuring Inderjit Yadav to withdraw his complaint, failing which he would land himself in further trouble. “The front functionaries have also been given a veiled threat against pursuing the matter,” he said.

According to Mr Pandey, the victim had gone to the railway station to receive his father and other members of his family, who were coming by Shaheed Express, on October 15. As they were coming out, TC Sahib Singh caught hold of Inderjit and demanded ticket of three-and-half-year-old Uday, who was accompanying them. When pointed out that the child was entitled to free travel, the TC started beating Inderjit up. He also recovered a sum of Rs 394 for issuing a ticket from Hajipur to Ludhiana to the child.

“The TC further took Inderjit and other members of the family to GRP police station where they were kept in unlawful custody for three hours. Turning down the pleas of the victim and other railway employees, Sahib Singh issued yet another receipt for Rs 788 in the name of Inderjit Yadav as rail fare and penalty from Hajipur to Ludhiana although he had not travelled by that train and was carrying a platform ticket.”

The JJM chief said railway and police officials at the railway station were in the regular habit of fleecing and harassing migrants and the treatment meted out to Inderjit Yadav was not a solitary incident. He said the victim had suffered a fracture in the finger in the physical assault by the TC and the medico-legal report was being forwarded to the GRP for incorporation of appropriate sections of IPC in the case already registered against the guilty railway official with the GRP.

He vowed that the representative body of migrants would fight against the injustice and take the incident to a logical conclusion.


Lighting up their lives on Divali
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 17
Divali is here with the promise of joy and happiness. On this occasion, it is also time to spare a few moments for those children who don’t have a family to look after them. The SOS Children’s Villages of India, a non-government organisation takes care of such children.

A children’s village is being run by it at Rajpura. It houses about100 children. A need was felt to set up a home at Rajpura as after terrorism, a number of orphaned children had no where to go.

The SOS Children’s Villages of India was established 38 years ago with a commitment to providing love and care to the needy and deprived children. It is a member of the worldwide SOS family working in 131 countries, with the SOS-Kinderdorf International as the umbrella organisation.

Through 34 children’s villages spread across the country, the organisation provides security of a home to such children. It touches the lives of 2 lakh children everyday through SOS villages and 122 allied projects like kindergartens, schools, vocational training centres, medical and social centres spread across the country.

New initiatives need to be taken to reach out and support needy children. The educational and nutritional services will take care of children suffering from malnutrition. The primary school services will provide quality educational in the most interior regions of the country. A model childcare project at Bhopal will endeavour to provide appropriate care and rehabilitation services for physically infirm children.

You can help in giving such children a better life. It will be a gift for them on Divali. All donations to the SOS Children’s Villages of India are admissible for 100 per cent tax exemption under Section 35 AC of the Income Tax Act. Further details are available at website:


Kirtan darbar on Nov 2
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 17
The Shri Guru Gobind Singh Sewa Society will organise a kirtan darbar on November 2 in a park near Gurdwara Bebe Nanki, Model Town, according to a press note issued by the society.

Bhai Ravinder Singh, Bhai Harnam Singh, Bhai Surinder Singh, Bhai Kamaljit Singh, Bhai Joginder Singh, Bhai Jarnail Singh and Bhai Mohinder Singh will sing shabads at the kirtan darbar.


Two assault cases reported in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 17
The Jodhewal police has registered a case under Sections 324, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Vinod Kumar, a resident of Lajpat Nagar, against Kapil Dev, a property dealer, Sanjiv Kumar and Raj Kumar.

The complainant had alleged that the accused came to his house, beat him up and threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.

The Focal Point police registered a case under Sections 341 and 506 of the IPC on Thursday on the statement of Mr Harpreet Singh, a resident of Mehtab House on the Barewal Road, against Ravinder Singh and his son and Anu Preet Singh, running a gas agency at Baba Thaan Singh Chowk. The complainant had alleged that the accused had held up his worker, Rakesh Kumar, on Thursday and threatened him. No arrest has been made so far.


The Division No. 6 police on Thursday registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 338 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Vishwakarma Nagar, against an unidentified driver of a Tata-407 vehicle that hit him on the road near Guru Angad Dev Hospital on Wednesday.

The driver sped away from the scene after the incident.

The complainant had suffered injuries in the accident. No arrest has been made so far.

Two held

The Shimla Puri police on Thursday arrested Mohan Singh and Bittu, residents of Sehabana village, and booked them under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.

The accused were arrested with stolen iron scrap, which was loaded on a rickshaw.

Liquor seized

The Sadar police on Thursday arrested Paramjit Singh, a resident of Qila Mohalla, and seized 12 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession. the man was booked under the Excise Act.

Knife seized

The Division No. 2 police on Thursday arrested Ravi Kumar, a migrant from Bihar, now living near Society Cinema, and seized a ‘kamanidar’ knife from his possession.

He has been booked under the Arms Act.


Exhibition of designer apparel
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 17
An exhibition-cum-sale of designer shawls, stoles, bridal and formal wear items began at Chandan Towers, Pakhowal Road, here today. Harpriya and Mona from Delhi and Chandigarh have brought exclusive designer stuff to the city.

The outfits and accessories have been exclusively designed keeping the current trends in mind. Vibrant colours and contrasts with exquisite embroidery and embellishment dominate the collection of shawls.

Harpriya’s shawls and stoles are in the finest wool of pashmina, silk pashmina and silk cashmere. Some are beautifully hand painted with lovely motifs and designs, while the others have leather and suede work, feather tassels etc. These also make ideal gifts for Divali.

Mona’s ensemble is focussed on trousseaus and bridal wear with rich work in traditional gota, kundan and zardosi. The exhibition-cum-sale will be on till October 19.


Designer exhibition
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 17
Grapevine — an exhibition of contemporary Indian clothing — will be held at Sutlej Club on October 18 and 19. The collection would be an integration of old and new, urban and country, and past, present and future clothing.

Rohit and Vidhi Aneja, the organisers, said the exhibition would celebrate fusion. “The clothing is a perfect blend of Indian and Persian styles.

It suits every generation with detailed and intricate work and we would like to call it ‘contemporary Indian fashion’”, said Ms Vidhi Aneja.

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