L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Artificial shortage of cooking gas
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
The local administration has taken a serious view of the scarcity of cooking gas created by various gas agencies in anticipation of the proposed price hike. It is learnt that the gas agencies have started hoarding LPG cylinders. Some have even started charging extra for the cylinders.

While until a week ago there was an abundance of LPG cylinders.

After the reports of proposed hike in the LPG prices, the distributors curtailed the supply.

The authorities have advised consumers against panic buying of gas cylinders.

The authorities did not rule out possible raids on some godowns to find out whether the distributors had hoarded the cylinders.

Long queues of people at the gas agencies could be seen at various places.

The angry consumers have demanded strong action against the hoarders.



5 musclemen arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
The Ludhiana police today arrested five members of a recovery agency and freed three residents of the city, who were allegedly picked up by agents and were being beaten up in a case pertaining to instalments of a finance company.

Those arrested are Gurpreet Singh, alias Lucky, Ajay Pal Singh, Kuldeep Singh, alias Deep, Harmeet Singh, alias Sony, and Sudarshan, alias Bablu of, K.K. Enterprises Recovery Agency. The main accused, Parminder Singh Toti and Kaka, are, however, at large.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Rajesh Jaswal, Superintendent of Police, said alleged musclemen had picked up four persons after Mr Tarun, a medical representative, did not pay instalments of Tata Finance, the financing agency for his bike. Some cheques issued by him to the finance company were dishonoured. So the company took the services of the recovery agency to recover the money.

To pressurise him, the musclemen picked up Traun’s three friends, including Atin, Rohit Sood and Lakhwinder Singh, and took them to a flat in Baba Isher Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road.

Rohit Sood managed to give them the slip and complained to the police, which, in turn, raided the flat and found five musclemen and three victims from the spot.

The police claimed that the victims were stripped and beaten up mercilessly. Showing injury marks, the victims said had the police not reached the spot on time, some mishap could have taken place.

A case has been registered. The police claimed to have recovered some arms used for torturing the victims by the suspects.



Youth booked for uncle’s murder
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 4
The police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC against a youth Mandeep Singh, for allegedly murdering his uncle Rachhpal Singh, whose body was found lying on the bank of the Bathinda canal near Jandali village on Tuesday.

Ms Sukhwinder Kaur, wife of the deceased, has accused Mandeep Singh of the murder.

Rachhpal Singh was last seen by residents of Jandali village on Monday evening. Though the police worked on the hypothesis of a blind murder initially, it identified some farm labourers, who were accused of trying to destroy evidence of the cause of the death. It was later established that the body of the victim had been pulled out from a dry tubewell situated nearby and somebody had tried to destroy the evidence of the death.

Rachhpal Singh, a farmer of Jagera village, is believed to have died under mysterious circumstances on Monday night.

Though Rachhpal had been missing from his home since Monday morning his family came to know about his death the next day from his son Gurvinder who happened to stop near the spot while passing by. Gurvinder, instead of going to school, returned home and narrated the story to his family, which informed the police.

The police mistook it to be a blind murder initially and a dog squad was pressed into service.

Dogs went first towards the tubewell and then to a bus stop near Jagera bridge, around 3 km from the spot.

Investigations took a turn when the police noticed a bloodstain on the well. Later, the police collected pieces of flesh and blood-soaked soil from the bottom of the well. The police also recovered the rope used to pull up the body.



Nursing college case gets murkier
Tribune News Service

Mandi Mullanpur, November 4
The long-pending issue regarding misappropriation of funds of the Dr Mohan Kaur Memorial Nursing College took an ugly turn today when the pro and anti-president factions levelled serious allegations and counter allegations against each other. Moreover, the faction led by Dr Bhupinder Singh urged the authorities to probe the alleged misappropriation of funds and fictitious entries and bank accounts showing unaccounted for entries. The police washed its hands of by saying that the case was to be dealt by a court of law. The meeting was adjourned till November 7 and would take place at police station, Mullanpur.

Mr Raiv Ahir, Senior Superintendent of Police, Jagraon, said the warring groups had been levelling allegations against each other but no complaint had been registered in this connection. He denied having received any record pertaining to the school or college being run by the trust or any other person associated with these organisations.

Mr Baldev Krishan Arora, one of the trustees and general secretary of the college, had accused Mr Mal Singh Ghuman, a SAD leader and president of the trust, of concealing monetary transactions. Claiming the property of the trust to be worth Rs 20 crore, Mr Arora alleged that Mr Ghuman had allegedly tried to benefit his family. At one instance he had altered an agreement of rent between one of his close relatives and the school run by the trust. It was alleged that rent rate was increased from Rs 2,000 per month to Rs 7,061 per month without the approval by the trustees.

Dr Bhupinder Singh, secretary of the trust, alleged that Mr Ghuman had tried to sell a low-value property of his son to the trust at a price four times the actual value. Mr Ashok Kumar, another trustee, who was delegated the powers to materialise the transaction had refused to do so later. Though the deal was cancelled but the opposition group retained the copy of the relevant documents. Trust president was also accused of opening more than one account under one head and allegedly misappropriating funds through bogus entries.

Accusing the president of adopting dictatorial behavior, Dr Bhupinder Singh said, “Recently he got her daughter-in-law appointed as the Director of the Guru Nanak Social and Welfare Trust without adopting proper procedure. This has increased the financial burden on the institute as the salary and perks for her are exorbitant.”

Interestingly, the procedure register was with the president, who denied the allegation. Though both factions claimed that the register was now with the police the latter denied having received any.

Mr Ghuman declined to comment on the issue as it was the internal matter of the trust, according to him. However, Mr Jaskirat Singh Ghuman, son of the president, denied the charges levelled against his family.



Garg for cutting taxpayers’ woes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
The new Central Excise Commissioner, Mr V.K. Garg, wants to reduce inconvenience to taxpayers. He feels a professional approach and reliance on IT would help. “We will encourage people to go online for filing returns,” he told The Tribune here today.

This 1983-batch IRS officer is all for efficiency. Talking about the city, he says is fast emerging as a major business centre. The industry here is quite aware and interactive,” he added.

A post-graduate from IIM, Ahmedabad, he does not believe in “transaction based approach” and would rather prefer an institutional mechanism in order to deal with problems. “If at all there is a problem I would rather try to look at it from its source and at an institutional level than attempting to solve it on an individual basis, “ he said, adding that “the general notion among people about this department is that things here would be complicated and there would be harassment. This is what needs to be changed.”

Regarding service tax, for which the department has set an ambitious target of collecting Rs 160 crore this year, he said that the department would organise awareness camps to educate people about the same. “We will try to resolve all confusion but after the deadline is over we will begin with surveys, though things so far are going fine,” he said. He said industry chambers and associations need to be more interactive. 



Complete bridge by Dec 31,  environment board told
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, November 4
The Punjab Government has instructed the Punjab Environment Development Board to complete the construction of the Machhiwara-Rahon bridge across the Sutlej by December 31. The construction of the bridge was started on February 14, 2001, and was supposed to be completed in 18 months. But due to certain reasons it is still incomplete even after three and half years.

Now there is hope about the completion of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Memorial Bridge as the work of laying down the last slab has started.

Giving details of the technical aspects of the bridge, PWD’s Assistant Engineer G.S. Bedi said the bridge was being built in accordance with international standards. Mr Bedi further stated that the 717.40-m long bridge had the provision of two-lane system.

The distance of Khanna from Pathankot would get reduced by 45 km with the construction of this new bridge, Mr Bedi added.

But, boatmen are feeling disappointed as the construction of the bridge will hit their livelihood. Though they were given an assurance of being given bus permits for the Khanna-Nawanshahr route by the then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal but they are still facing uncertainty due to change of government.



Canada to open 12 immigration offices in India
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
The Canadian High Commissioner to India, Ms Lucie Edwards, said here last evening that the Canadian Government planned to open 12 immigration offices all over India to facilitate interested Indians to process their cases for immigration to Canada.

Delivering the first Manjeet Singh Memorial Lecture, “India and Canada: Partnership for development,” organised by the Ludhiana Management Association in memory of its past president, Ms Edwards said the Canadian Government planned to invite foreigners equivalent to one per cent of its population to settle down in Canada and Indians constituted a major chunk of it.

She said there was great scope for multi-level cooperation between India and Canada as the two countries shared a lot in common. She pointed out that both countries were two progressive democracies. She said both India and Canada achieved independence around the same time. While India achieved freedom in 1947, Canada got it in 1931.

She emphasised the need for greater cooperation in agriculture, biotechnology, engineering and pharmaceuticals. She said India, and particularly Punjab, had taken great strides in the field of agriculture. She had a special word of praise for Punjab Agricultural University which had contributed a lot to the Green Revolution in the country.

To a question, she said Canada offered great opportunities to small and medium entrepreneurs. She said the Canadian industry, like that in India, was mostly guided by small and middle-level entrepreneurs. She said small entrepreneurs would have greater opportunities in Canada. Canadian High Commissioner had a special word for Ludhiana, as there was a considerable number of Ludhianvis settled in Canada.

Earlier in his welcome address, the general secretary of the LMA, Mr V.K. Goyal, highlighted various areas of mutual interest between the two countries.

The LMA president, Mr M.C. Munjal, in his presidential address, highlighted the entrepreneurship of Punjabis in general and Ludhianvis in particular. 



Kribhco observes vigilance day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
Krishak Bharti Cooperative Limited (Kribhco), a national-level multi-purpose cooperative society, organised vigilance awareness day at Jagraon today. Mr Gurmeet Singh, SDM, who was the chief guest on the occasion, stressed the need for providing clean, open, transparent and corruption-free service to farmers and society at large.

Dr P.S. Bhogal, who delivered the talk on the main topic, “Corruption and its effects on common man” told the gathering that though the situation was disappointing, it was not gloomy yet.

Mr B.S. Brar, Senior Area Manager, said all Kribhco employees had taken a pledge on November 1 that they would provide better services to farmers. The elected delegate of Kribhco from the Ludhiana circle, Mr Gurmail Singh Bharowal, congratulated Kribhco for organising awareness programmes for cooperative officials of the Jagraon area. 



5 booked for assault

Jagraon, November 4
Kartar Singh, Resham Singh, Pal Singh, Piaro Bai and Paramjit Kaur, all residents of Kania Hussaini, have been booked for assaulting Kashmir Singh of the same village with sharpedged weapons. The latter was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Sidhwan Bet, with injuries. OC



Rules for import of scrap made stringent
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, November 4
It will take more than six months to defuse the huge quantity of explosives recovered during the search of imported scrap containers at the Ludhiana container freight station. This was disclosed by Mr Narinderpal Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, who held a meeting with the Army authorities yesterday and requested them to take up the disposal of the explosives at the earliest.

Mr Narinderpal Singh was told by the Army authorities here that they had sought permission for undertaking the operations to defuse the explosives with the higher authorities and would start work as soon as the permission was granted. More than 10,000 explosives recovered during search operations in Ludhiana.

Meanwhile, the Union Government has made fresh rules for the import of scrap. The rules have been made stringent.

According to a circular of the Union Government, the procedure for clearance of imported metal scrap (both ferrous and non-ferrous) has been made after consultation with the ministries concerned — Commerce and Industry, Shipping, Steel and External Affairs. Discussions were also held with trade associations. The government has divided scrap into categories. Category one deals with scrap which has already landed in India or which has left its port of origin on or before October 25 and the same has not been cleared as yet from customs port, ICD/CSF. Category 2 deals with scrap to be loaded for shipment to India after October 25.

The government has ordered 100 per cent physical examination of metal scrap which has arrived before October 25, depending on the congestion at the ICB (Inland Contained Depot), the availability of manpower and the antecedents of the importer. Local Central Excise officers may also requisition the services of the police or paramilitary forces during the physical examination. The cost of requisitioning the police or paramilitary forces will be borne by the importer/manufacturers. The Ministry of Home Affairs has already asked all Chief Secretaries and Home Secretaries of states to extend political assistance.

Under the second category, the import and clearance of metal scrap in unshredded, compressed or loose form will be permitted only at the following customs stations — Chennai, Cochin, Ennore, JNPT, Mumbai, Kandla, Morinugao, New Mangalore, Paradip, Tuirocin, Vishakapatnam, ICD, Tughlabad, New Delhi, Pipava, Mundra and Kolkata.



Industry upbeat over Bush’s re-election
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
The local industry is upbeat on the re-election of President George Bush. While majority of the industry representatives feel the Indian industry will benefit and petroleum prices will stabilise, a section labels it is as “undue excessive hype”. If Mr Kerry had emerged victorious his stand on outsourcing, which has been negative so far, can have an adverse impact on the Indian industry, analysts say.

Mr H.S. Sidhu, executive director, Ludhiana Stock Exchange, said, “Mr Bush’s re-election is likely to boost the Indian software industry. While he has been positive on outsourcing the final impact depends on the long-term policy, which is yet to be declared”.

Similar views were echoed by Mr Amarjit Singh of Frontier Softech who said Bush had maintained good relations with India and his victory would have a positive impact on the Indian economy.

“We are hopeful he will adopt policies that are favourable towards our economy,” said Mr Gurvinder Singh, branch head, Bank of Punjab, Akalgarh Market.



Hoteliers meet Delhi Tourism Minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
The Delhi Tourism Minister, Mr Arvinder Singh Lovely, has emphasised the need for cooperation between Delhi and Punjab to improve tourism in the two states. Disclosing this here today, the president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab, Mr N.S. Nanda, said Mr Lovely evinced keen interest in exploring the joint tourism potential of the two states.

Mr Nanda led a delegation of the association, which met Mr Lovely in Delhi yesterday. Mr Nanda lauded the idea mooted by Mr Lovely of introducing night bazars, food streets, shopping delights and heritage walks around Delhi for tourists. He pointed out that it would encourage night tourism.

Mr Nanda said Mr Lovely suggested that all neighbouring states should come forward to make them more neat and clean to attract tourists.

He announced that the annual convention of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab would be held in the third week of December in Ludhiana, where the Punjab Tourism Minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh, would be the chief guest and Mr Lovely and Mian Muhammed Aslam Iqbal, Tourism Minister, West Punjab, Pakistan, would be the guests of honour. A food festival would also be organised on the occasion.

Mr Nanda also presented a copy of Punjab Tourist Guide to Mr Lovely. 


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |