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Opposition councillors protest against meeting adjournment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
Councillors belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) were up in arms against the ruling Congress as the general house meeting of the municipal corporation (MC), convened here today after a gap of more than four months, was adjourned immediately after making a few obituary references.

In particular, the BJP councillors were sore at being left high and dry and termed the move of the Congress as a pre-emptive attempt against the expected onslaught by the opposition councillors.

Protesting against the adjournment of the meeting, the BJP district president, Dr Subhash Verma, and the group leader of party councillors, Mr Parveen Bansal, announced that the party would stage a dharna at the MC office on June 28 to raise issues of public interest which were being neglected due to deliberate delay by the ruling party in holding the House meeting.

The meeting was presided over by Senior Deputy Mayor Prem Mittal in the absence of Mayor Nahar Singh Gill, who was reported to have suddenly gone to Chandigarh this morning after being summoned by the state Chief Minister. After being called to order, the meeting mourned the deaths of veteran Akali leader Gurcharan Singh Tohra, brother of Mr Surjit Singh Ahluwalia, councillor of Ward No 46, brother of Mr Balkar Singh, councillor of Ward No 45, husband of Ms Baljit Kaur, councillor of Ward No 14, and the wife of a superintendent in Zone D of the MC.

As the obituary references were over, the acting Mayor proposed that the meeting be adjourned without transacting any further business and the motion was carried with majority support amidst angry protest by the BJP and SAD councillors.

Alleging that the adjournment of the meeting, convened after a long gap, that too with insignificant agenda items, was pre-planned by the ruling Congress, Mr Bansal and other BJP leaders alleged that they were to use question hour for raising several crucial issues like the regularisation of undeclared colonies, water and sewerage related problems, slow pace of special projects and maintenance of parks and other amenities.

They said the ruling group had given a go by to the earlier established practice of a short adjournment after obituary references and then conducting regular business.



Demolition notice to four building owners
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has served demolition notices to the owners of four multi-storeyed buildings under construction in violation of rules on the Pakhowal road. The notices were dispatched from the office of the trust today and the demolition squad would be taking action against the defaulters within a few days.

A decision to this effect was taken in the general house meeting of the trust last evening. The Chairman had signed the notices yesterday only and had asked the executive officer to give six hours time to the owners and then swing into action.

But the demolition could not be done today. Mr Ashok Singh Garcha, Chairman, said that the squad could not go to demolish a building without the help of police and he had written to the Senior Superintendent of Police to provide security. He added that as soon as a police team is made available, the demolition squad would raze the illegal structures. He said that he would be going on some days leave and the E.O. would be taking appropriate action in his absence.

The trustees of the trust had been complaining against the illegal structures as they had been claiming that the owners were misusing private property. They had raised the matter in the meeting yesterday and did not agree to the Chairman’s suggestion to regularise the encroachments.

The trustees, however, accepted the Chairman’s proposal to pay back the long-pending dues of hundreds of farmers whose land was acquired by LIT through negotiated court settlement. The resolution in this regard would be passed in the next meeting.

The LIT owes an amount of Rs 8 crore to the farmers whose land was acquired by the trust 30 years ago. Although the trust had acquired the land years ago, it had not remunerated them. The proposal to pay the money was raised by the Chairman during the last meeting also but the trustees had rejected it.

Mr Surinder Pal Singh Bindra, a trustee, raised the matter of allotment of four plots to ex-servicemen in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar but the E.O. explained that the allotments were done in accordance with the court direction . Mr Garcha asked the E.O. to submit an inquiry report in the allotment of plots. The trustees accepted all the proposals of the Chairman but the chairman refused to provide rooms to the trustees in the LIT office. Airing their protest, the trustees said that they would be sitting in the lawns of the office to listen to the grievances of the public.

The trustees raised the issue of prestigious schools located in BRS Nagar, Shastri Nagar and Civil Lines for constructing shops on the school land and exploiting these commercially. They asked the Chairman to take action against the shops as the schools were misusing the area allotted for playgrounds.

Discussions were held on the Rs 200 crore city centre project and 18 other points listed in the agenda of the meeting. These included plot allotments and loan for employees. Earlier quite a scene was witnessed before the start of meeting when Mr Garcha did not allow the mediapersons to attend the meeting. The trustees, however, asked the chairman to allow them and the meeting was delayed by one-and-half-hour. It started at 5:30 p.m. and continued till late evening.



Five policemen booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
Five cops, including a Station House Officer, were booked in different cases in the district today. They are SHO H. S. Cheema, Additional SHO Gian Singh and Munshi Jagwinder Singh of the Mandi Ahmedgarh police station, and Head Constable Harjit Singh and Constable Harjinder Singh, both of the Dakha police.

A case under Sections 364 and 342 of the IPC was registered against SHO H. S. Cheema while a case under Sections 223 and 224 of the IPC was registered against Additional SHO Gian Singh and Munshi Jagwinder Singh.

Mr Darshan Singh Maan, SP (H), Sangrur, said Mr Gurvinder Singh Dhillon, SSP, Sangrur, had received a complaint that SHO Cheema had detained Ms Balwinder Kaur and Mr Raj Arora of Talwandi Rai village illegally. The police had earlier received a complaint against the duo for allegedly duping a youth on the pretext of sending him to Italy.

On receiving the complaint, Mr Dhillon directed Mr Mukand Singh Mallhi, DSP, Malerkotla, to conduct a surprise check. The SHO was booked and arrested from the police station, but managed to flee from the custody. As the charge of the police station was given to Additional SHO Gian Singh, he was booked along with Jagwinder Singh under Sections 223 and 224 of the IPC.

Though none of the booked policeman was available for comments, there are allegations that he had been victimised.

Harjit Singh, Head Constable, and Harjinder Singh, constable, have been booked under Sections 420, 407, 468, 471, and 10-B of the IPC by Mr Amarjit Singh, SHO, Dakha, as they made a false entry in the register regarding a walky-talky set and did not report about its loss.

The SSP, Jagraon, Mr Rajiv Ahir, said Rajinderpal Singh, ASI, Dakha, was issued the walky-talky set, who handed the set to cops for patrolling. The duo made a false entry in the register about its return, and did not report about its loss till June 21 to any of the senior officers. The cops also scratched some of the pages of the register and replaced these with new ones. Later, the set was found on June 24 from a public recreation room.

Meanwhile, Ms Jitinder Walia, SDJM, Jagraon, today remanded Head Constable Major Singh, Constable Baldev Singh and Harjinder Singh of Shakti Nagar, Jagraon, in judicial custody till July 7 for abducting and beating up Nirbhai Singh of Kothe Khazooran village. The cops were booked under Sections 365, 220, 323 and 34 of the IPC.

According to a press note issued by the SSP, Jagraon, Mr Rajiv Ahir, Harjinder Singh, alias Pappu, brought Nirbhai Singh from his house on a Sumo to Raikot and purchased a liquor bottle where both cops were taking liquor. Nirbhai Singh was kept waiting in the vehicle. Later, the cops dragged Nirbhai Singh out of the vehicle to the police chowki verandah and assaulted him. Eyewitness Gurmel Singh informed the police following which a case was registered. 



Amusement park owner attacked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
Col. J.S. Sandhu, owner of the popular Dreamland Amusement Park, Sahnewal, was badly injured in a murderous attack on him at his house in Sahni village near the park. He was admitted to Sidhu Hospital at Doraha. He had suffered injuries on his face and head.

A maid, Poonam, witness to the attack, said five persons came to the house at 3:10 p.m. and beat up Colonel Sandhu after having tea with him. The suspects locked the maid in the kitchen before fleeing.

It was unclear if the persons were robbers or had some personal rivalry with Colonel Sandhu.

Family sources said the victim used to withdraw money from banks to disburse it among employees on the 25th of every month but no one was sure if the money was stolen or not.

The police is following the personal rivalry angle behind the attack. DSP Daljinder Singh Dhillon told Ludhiana Tribune that robbery did not seem to be the motive as nothing was found missing from the house.

Mr Sanjay and Ms Gagan, son-in-law and daughter of the vicitm, told reporters at Sidhu Hospital that a room of the house was ransacked and they had no personal enmity with anyone.



EO gets police custody in graft case
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Jai Karan Mattu, today remanded the Executive Officer of Municipal Council, Mullanpur, Mr Balwinder Singh, to police custody till June 29, in a graft case.

The Vigilance Bureau team led by DSP Narinder Pal Singh ‘Ruby’ had arrested the accused on the charge of accepting Rs 5000 as illegal gratification from a private contractor, Jaswinder Singh, yesterday. The EO was booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The Vigilance Bureau officials today sought the police remand of accused with the submission that they wanted to further investigate the assets of accused, amassed from corrupt practices.

The complainant had stated to the police that the EO was demanding Rs 5000 from him, for releasing his balance payment of Rs 35,000, pending on account of construction of some roads.



8,500 duplicate VCDs, DVDs seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
In a raid on the Bhadaur House compact discs and cassettes market, a joint team of three police stations seized as many as 8,500 duplicate VCDs and DVDs being sold without the requisite copyright. The seized VCDs included a large number of X-rated movies.

Three persons — Ajaypal, Arun Kumar and Vijay Kumar — have been arrested in this connection. They have been booked under Sections 420, 292 and 294 of the IPC, besides Sections 51, 52-A, 63, 66 and 68 A of the Copyright Act.

DSP Mohan Lal, who led the team, said this was one of the biggest such recoveries in the region. He said the police had busted activities of a major gang indulging in selling duplicate VCDs in the city.



Two held for selling CSD items in open market
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau today claimed to have arrested two persons for allegedly selling cosmetics meant for sale in CSD canteens in the open market. The bureau also confiscated 300 packets of Ponds powder, 552 tubes of Fair and Lovely cream and 45 bottles of Dabur hair oil.

The suspected, Mandeep Singh and Rajiv Aggarwal, both from Amritsar had purchased the items on subsidised rates from a CSD canteen and were selling these at the Ludhiana railway station. A case has been registered against the duo for cheating.



Shopkeepers resist anti-encroachment drive
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
The attempt by the tehbazari wing of Municipal Corporation to clear the congested Field Ganj Road area of unauthorised occupants and encroachments today met with a strong resistance from the affected vendors and shopkeepers, who alleged the police had used force against them and further that the drive was selective.

Both the police and MC officials denied any use of force against the resisting shopkeepers and rehri and farriwalas, who squatted in the middle of the road for quite some time, obstructing traffic.

Mr Harjinder Singh, Joint Commissioner of the MC, who was deputed to diffuse the situation and sort out the matter, said that rampant encroachments on both sides of the road, which provided access to the Civil Hospital and the Christian Medical College and Hospital, were creating bottlenecks in the way of smooth movement of traffic.

The tehbazari staff, which had been visiting the area on, a regular basis to check encroachments and unauthorised extensions of shops towards the roadside, this morning had descended on the site and a number of hand carts and material stacked on the road was seized. Upset over the incident, some of the reheriwalas and shopkeepers tried to resist removal of their material. As the MC staff persisted with their task, the affected shopkeepers and vendors sat on a dharna against the civic body.

The SHO of Division No 2 Ms Gurmeet Kaur said that traffic had been restored on the Field Ganj Road and the vendors and shopkeepers had been asked to sort out the matter of encroachments with the civic officials on a permanent basis.

The MC Commissioner maintained that the MC was duty bound to remove encroachments on roads and footpaths in order to ensure smooth flow of traffic. The traffic movement on Field Ganj Road, in particular, assumed greater importance because of location of two major hospitals in this area. He further said that relentless drive against encroachments would continue.



Nagar Council chief asked to prove majority
Our Correspondent

Doraha, June 25
Mrs Raj Rani, chief of the Nagar Council, Doraha, has been asked to prove majority following an application by nine councillors to Mr Gurmit Singh Bhari, a Congress leader, in this regard. He has directed the Executive Officer of the council to act on the application.

Of the 13 councillors (present strength 12 as one Congress councillor died recently),10 belong to the Congress while two are Akalis.

The nine councillors who have expressed discontent over the mode of working of the council chief are Mr Surinder Pal Sood, senior vice- president, Mr Navjeet Singh, vice-president, Mr Bant Singh Daburjee, a former senior vice-president, Mr Jasminder Singh Jassa, Mr Gurnam Singh, Mr Adarsh Pal Bector, Ms Priya Sharma, Mrs Harnam Kaur and Ms Kiran Bala.

The “disgruntled” councillors alleged that the president of the council had not held any meeting for a long time and no developmental tasks were being undertaken in the town. They added that the council chief had no coordination with the councillors.

In an application to Mr Gurmit Singh Bhari, the councillors demanded that the president should prove her majority. The application was forwarded to Mr Ranjit Singh Grewal, Executive Officer, who has asked the president to prove majority within 14 days or face action.



5 assault cases registered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 25
Five cases of assault were registered at different police stations of the city in the past 24 hours, according to the police.
A case under Sections 323, 341, 506 and 34 of the IPC was registered yesterday at the Haibowal police station on the complaint of Mr Jagdamba Kapoor, a resident of New Delhi, against Kiran Bhalla and Rachit Bhalla, both residents of New Tagore Nagar, Haibowal.

The complainant alleged that the accused had intercepted him on the road and beaten him up on Wednesday because of an old enmity.

The Division No: 6 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 447, 448, 506, 323 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Lekh Raj against Jatinder Singh, Varinder and Rana, all residents of New Subhash Nagar.

The complainant stated that he had been living as a tenant in the house of the accused who forcibly threw his belongings outside the room and took illegal possession of the same. The accused beat him up and threatened him also, added the complainant.

The Division No: 7 police, on the statement of Ms Kiran Walia, has registered a case under Sections 323, 341, 506 and 509 of the IPC against Surinder Walia, who lives in the same street.

The woman alleged that the accused had beaten her up in front of her house on Thursday.

The Focal Point police registered a case under Sections 341, 323 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ram Naresh, a factory worker, against Jagdish Chaudhary, Ram Dulare and Jia Lal, all residents of Rajiv Gandhi Colony in Focal Point.

The complainant stated that the accused stopped him on the road and beat him up on Thursday.

The Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 452, 323, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ajmor Ram, a resident of Kutbewal Rayan village, against Charanji Lal, Gogi, Teena and Beera, all residents of the same village.

The complainant stated that the accused came to his house on June 19 and beat him up.

Injured: The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Charanjit Singh, a resident of the Link road, against Shashi Sharma, a resident of Tagore Nagar.

The complainant had stated that the accused, who as driving a car, hit his car near Nanaksar Gurdwara on June 22.

One arrested: The Division No: 6 police yesterday arrested Parminder Singh, a resident of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, and recovered two mobile phone sets from his possession. A case was registered against him under Section 379 of the IPC.

Hooch seized: The Sahnewal police yesterday arrested Sony, a resident of Kiland Pur village, near Dehlon, and seized nine bottles of hooch from his possession. A case against him was registered under the Excise Act.

The Division No: 7 police has arrested Harpal Singh, a resident of Jamalpur Awana, and booked him under the Excise Act.

The police said 30 bottles of hooch, stored in a plastic can, were seized from his possession.

Liquor seized: The Jodhewal police yesterday arrested Parminder Singh, a resident of Sarabha village, and booked him under the Excise Act. The police said today that 24 bottles of liquor were seized from his possession.



Minor girl missing
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 25
Balbir Kaur, wife of Gurdev Singh, a resident of Billan Wali Chhappri Khanna, has lodged an FIR at city police station that her minor girl was missing since last June 21.

Balbir Kaur said that her daughter had gone to market but had not returned till today. She alleged in the complaint that her daughter might have been be abducted by a neighbour, Bittu, alias Patiala, who was also absconding since that day. The police has registered a case.



Rickshaw-puller killed in accident

Khanna, June 25
A rickshaw puller was killed in an accident, which occurred near Alaur village last night. A Tata tempo number hit the rickshaw driven by Ram Nath from behind. The rickshaw-puller fell down and was crushed under the tyres of the tempo. He died on the spot. His body was handed over to the family members after conducting a post-mortem at the Civil Hospital here. A case has been registered against the tempo. OC



BSNL refutes claim
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) today refuted the claims of Mr Rajesh Aggarwal for awarding him Rs 10 lakh for the use of the picture of his son by the nigam. The officer maintained that the case was subjudice and Mr Aggarwal had gone to the press to build up pressure. Mr Aggarwal has demanded Rs 10 lakh from the BSNL for the use of the picture of his son in an advertisement.

A spokesman of the BSNL said that Mr Aggarwal was not competent to file the claims without procuring the guardianship certificate from the competent. Moreover, it was Airads Ltd which could be impleaded since it was the advertising agency to whom designing jobs had been given.

Disputing the status of the legal notice under Section 80 CPC, it was wrongly served, it said. Moreover, it added, Mr Prithipal Singh, a former Chairman and Managing Director, was falsely implicated in the case as he could not be a party since he was a former employee of the BSNL who had already relinquished his charge.

The BSNL said, the photo of the son of Mr Aggarwal was not meant for commercial purpose and was rather distributed free of cost. It claimed that Mr Aggarwal was trying to make illegal gains and was harassing the BSNL authorities.

The BSNL spokesman said that Mr Aggarwal was just trying to blackmail the nigam as he had demanded Rs 50 lakh in the first instance and later filed the claims for Rs 10 lakh. Questioning the timing of Mr Aggarwal’s going to the press, the BSNL said the case was filed for appearance on April 21 and the (BSNL) advocate had already appeared on behalf of the nigam and the case had been adjourned till August 12 for written statement.



BSNL directory

Ludhiana, June 25
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has started the distribution of the main issue of the BSNL telephone directory. The General Manager, BSNL, Ludhiana, Mr JS Julka, said that the directory was available at all the customer service centres. Mr Julka said the new directory was available free of cost to the BSNL subscribers at more than 50 customer service centres. — TNS



Experts against excise duty cut on tractors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
Well-known economists and agricultural experts have suggested that there should not be any excise duty cuts on tractors, at least in Punjab. They believe that the purchase of tractors in Punjab should be discouraged, particularly in the countryside where most people opt for it more as a status symbol than for any necessity.

Some people, apparently tractor dealers and claiming themselves to be “Farmers’ friends” urged the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, to reduce the excise duty on tractors.

They claimed that the previous government had reduced the excise duty on luxury vehicles from 32 per cent to 24 per cent during the 2002-2003 Budget. The then Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, in his budget address had promised to reduce the excise duty in case of tractors also. However, the promise was not fulfilled.

The “Farmers’ friends” said, “We are confident that the present Congress-led government will notify the reduction of excise duty in case of tractors in the interests of the farming community and in line with the policy of the present government”.

However, senior economists and agricultural experts, refusing to be identified, observed that the government should not reduce the excise duty on tractors. They pointed out that tractors were in excess in Punjab.

The experts argued that like in urban areas, where a vehicle is considered to be a status symbol, farmers purchase tractors for social status. In case the prices are beyond their reach, they will not get entangled in debts, the experts asserted.



IT surveys in Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 25
Officials of the Income Tax department today conducted surveys at some textile units on the Bahadurke Road. Survey was also conducted at the business premises of some stockbrokers at the Ludhiana Stock Exchange.

Sources said that two teams of officials one led by Ms Garima Singh and another led by Mr Anil Kumar conducted surveys at two different places. The surveys were described to be a routine matter and these were continuing. The officials refused to divulge any details.


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