L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Former judo player held for robbery
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
A suspended Punjab police constable, who was also a former national-level Judo player and drug addict, was arrested today along with another addict on the charges of broad daylight robbery at a money changer's office in Ghumar Mandi and for snatching from a woman jeweller near the Fountain Chowk two days ago.

The main accused Ranjit Singh, alias Pehalwaan, a former Judo player, should have been posing smilingly for cameras on the victory stand of some championship. Instead he was standing with his head bowed and shirt’s collar clasped by cops in the police lines along with his accomplice Jaspreet Singh, alias Bawa.

Drug abuse has not only ruined his sports career but also cost him his job. He has remained absent from duty for 566 days and was dismissed from service by the SSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, today. He was earlier arrested in a robbery case by the Division No. 3 police.

The SSP told mediapersons today that Ranjit Singh was a close ally of wanted criminal Nirdosh Dhand and worked as his muscleman . Dhand used to supply drugs, especially smack, to him. The presence of a well-educated woman in his life had no positive effect on him. His wife holds a Ph.D degree in Punjabi and lives in Amloh near Khanna.

Despite his robust physique, a job and a well educated wife, Ranjit has been indulging in criminal activities time and again in order to arrange money for satisfying his craving for smack.

He along with co-accused Jaspreet Singh were nabbed by a police team from Rose Garden today morning where they had gone to supply a consignment of drugs. The police has recovered 520 gms of smack, worth Rs 2 lakh in the market, from their possession.

The police also recovered a US-made pistol mostly used by enforcement agencies in the USA. The accused claims to have bought it from a migrant labourer but its availability remains a mystery for the police.

The SSP, Mr Narinderpal Singh, said with the arrest of these persons, the residents could heave a sigh of relief as they were behind the criminal activities that took place last week.



Man moves Medical Council
Alleges negligence by doctor
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Paramjit Singh, who has accused Dr Monica Moudgil of Moudgil Hospital, Sahnewal, of negligence leading to the death of his wife Jaswinder Kaur, has moved the Punjab Medical Council.

Paramjit Singh has alleged in his affidavit that Dr Moudgil is not even a qualified doctor while she claims to be an MD. He said on July 5, 2004, he admitted his pregnant wife to the hospital. “My wife delivered a male child, but due to the negligence of Dr Moudgil she bled heavily and died the next day,” he said.

After the death of his wife, Dr Moudgil refused to provide any medical record to him. She did not even sign the birth certificate of his newborn baby. Praying for justice, Paramjit said he got an FIR registered against Dr Moudgil and the Chief Medical Officer, Ludhiana, was conducting an inquiry which had been referred to him by the SSP, Ludhiana.

Paramjit said, “Dr Moudgil does not hold an MBBS degree and in fact she has done some certificate/diploma in electropathy like BEMS. She had produced the BEMS certificate during the inquiry by the CMO office. I am attaching herewith a prescription slip issued to some patients in which Dr Moudgil has mentioned herself as MD (Medicine)”.

He alleged that she was also practising under two names — Monica Moudgil and Gaganpreet Moudgil.

He has demanded a high-level inquiry into his wife’s death.

Meanwhile, Dr Moudgil claimed that she was being "blackmailed" by Mr Paramjit Singh. She claimed that she had already been cleared of negligence charge in an inquiry by the Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana.

She said she had done postgraduation in medicine from Delhi and graduation as doctor from Ludhiana. However, she did not tell the names of the institutions from where she got the degrees. She said the case of Paramjit Singh's wife was handled by Dr Gaganpreet Mahal, an MBBS from Surat.



Waqf Board chief vows to retrieve ‘grabbed’ properties
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 24
Punjab Waqf Board chief and Parliamentary Secretary Ms Razia Sultana appealed to Muslims in the state to cooperate board officials in identifying and taking possession of the properties grabbed by individuals or organisations. She assured that no political mileage would be taken out of her post.

In an interview with the Ludhiana Tribune, Ms Sultana claimed that Muslims would need an assistance from any of the organisations if the whole property of the board was restored to it. It would generate enough income for the requirements of socio-religious organisations engaged in the up-lift of the community.

On reports regarding the grabbing of fixed assets of the board worth thousands of millions she said creation of an independent board and subsequent functioning would bring the real position before the public. “Our prime duty is that we should first identify the real grabbers and initiate action against them so that their activities were stopped. Once these elements and black sheep in the department were identified it will become easier to locate the properties also,” she viewed.

On plans of the board, for safeguarding its interests, she said that the preparation of a draft of the foolproof strategy had already been started that would minimise the chances of income leakage of the board. Apprehending a nexus between some board officials and the grabbers she said, “No outsider can take benefit unless some one in your own home spies for him. Similarly there will be some black sheep in the department also and once they are identified stern action will be taken against them.”

Admitting that execution of the orders in connection with some cases that were reportedly decided in the favour of the board might be pending she assured that the administration would be asked to expedite the process required to materialise the orders and hand over the property to the board. Status of around 5,000 cases that had been going on in various courts would be reviewed and computer generated prepared soon she added.

She assured that no coercion would be used to dispossess the occupants and board would resort to restoration of properties only through lawful recourse. “I would succumb to no pressure, political or social till the time I am in the chair to watch interest of the Muslims of the state. I would strive to implement the anti-corruption policies advocated by the Chief Minister, Punjab, in the board too,” she expressed.

She called upon the Muslims to cooperate with board members and the authorities of the board in identifying the properties of the board and restoring them possession to the community for its cause.



6-member panel to go into estimates of works
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 24
The Municipal Corporation has set up a six-member committee to look into alleged inflated estimates of development works to fix responsibility for financial irregularity.

The MC administration had transferred a junior engineer in the B and R wing Mr Satish Kumar two weeks ago after complaints were received that estimates for roads to be constructed in Focal Point at an expenditure of nearly Rs 2.5 crore were inflated. The tenders invited for these particular works on November 5 were also cancelled and new estimates ordered.

The Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) of the civic body, which met here on Monday decided that a committee comprising Joint Commissioner Dr Jaswant Singh, Assistant Commissioner B.K. Gupta, two Superintending Engineers Ashok Kumar and Mr Manmohan Singh, Legal Adviser Ashok Bazaz and Assistant Director, Local Audit would go through the estimates of repair and resurfacing of roads to ascertain whether these were inflated or not. The committee would also seek information on rates for these works from the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation, which was till now maintaining the Focal Point.

The F&CC further decided that all estimates for development works, to be prepared in future, would be scrutinised by senior officials before being presented before the F&CC for approval and further that the concerned officers from the rank of Executive Engineers, SDO’s and Junior Engineers would be made accountable and liable to penal action for any discrepancies.

It was officially stated that the MC Joint Commissioner Dr Jaswant Singh would look into the estimates of B and R wing, Joint Commissioner Ms Babita Kler into those of O and M wing (water supply and sewerage) while Assistant Commissioner Mr B.K. Gupta would scrutinise the estimates pertaining to electrical works and horticulture wing.

It was reliably learnt that transfer orders of the JE Mr Satish Kumar, who was shifted from B and R branch to O and M wing on November 11, were yet to be given effect even after two weeks. While it was learnt that the shifted official was trying to put political pressure to get his posting orders cancelled, senior officers of B and R branch in the civic body simply said that they had not received the transfer orders so far.



Repair of roads in Urban Estate demanded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
The Urban Estate Welfare Association has appealed to the Mayor and the Municipal Commissioner to get the roads in their area repaired at the earliest. Dr Shiv Gupta, general secretary of the association, said the MC should make special efforts to float tenders for remetalling all roads of Urban Estate, Phases-I and 2 (Dugri), besides maintaining of roads in the larger interests of the public.

He alleged that during the past 10-15 years, no roads had been maintained except the dividing roads. The condition of all roads was deplorable which not only caused inconvenience to the commuters but also resulted in many accidents. Other members of the association also claimed that they had submitted numerous representations to the civic authorities, but to no avail. Besides roads, other points raised included non-maintenance of parks, the sewerage system, storm water chambers and streetlights.

The residents have demanded installation of two tubewells in the Urban Estate, Phase-I, construction of a community centre, removal of rain water from vacant plots near the cremation grounds in Phase-I, shifting of the cremation ground from Phase-I to Phase-2, construction of a Dugri canal bridge, reconstruction and cleansing of storm water chambers, removal of encroachments on the main roads by rehri vendors, shopkeepers and fencing of vacant government land in Urban Vihar.

Mr Raj Garg and Mr Jasvir Singh Jassal stated that the MC should cover the drains and divert the sewer water, released by the dairy owners of nearby colonies, into the sabzi mandi ground which was giving foul smell.



Industrialist alleges police inaction in fraud case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
A city-based industrialist who was allegedly defrauded of Rs 61 lakh by four persons, including two NRIs, has charged the city police with not taking any further action against the accused after the registration of an FIR.

Mr Kuldip Singh Ghai, owner of Ghai Estates, today alleged at a press conference that the Civil Lines police was not arresting the four accused who were moving freely in the city despite the registration of the FIR.

He said the police had not even recorded the statements of the bank officials in front of whom he had given Rs 61 lakh to the four accused. He said instead the police was doubting his allegation that he had paid the money to the accused.

Mr Ghai said while responding to the police claims that it was suspecting if he had played a fraud on the other party, an official concerned with the case, preferring anonymity, said that the other party was claiming that the complainant, Mr Ghai, had cooked up the story to avoid selling the property whose value had appreciated.

Mr Ghai said police officials were harassing him time and again and calling him to the police station. The police, however, said it was investigating the case.

According to the FIR, Mr Ghai was cheated by four persons, including two NRIs, who allegedly got back an advance totalling Rs 61 lakh from him but returned fake sale-purchase documents regarding a property deal worth Rs 4.25 crore.

Mr Ghai had allegedly sold three plots for Rs 4.25 crore to the two NRIs, Joga Singh and Kamal Kumar, and local resident Jaswinder Singh through a property dealer, Vaikunth Lal.

The case was registered on November 20 but no accused has been arrested so far. The police claimed that it had been conducting raids to arrest the accused, but had failed so far. The property in question included a 4,000 sq yard plot in Barrewal and a 500 sq yard plot opposite Verka Milk Plant here besides a 4,700 sq yard plot in Zirakpur.



Rising population portends ill for eco-balance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
The increasing population pressure is posing a serious threat to economic and environmental security of the country. The man-land ratio has declined over the years and it is difficult to provide basic amenities like food, fodder, fuel-wood and water unless the issues of development, population-increase and environmental securities are tackled accordingly.

This was stated by Dr V.N. Sharda and Dr Rattan Singh, Director and Principal Scientist (soils), in Central Soil and Water Conservation Research Centre and Training Institute, Dehradun, while presenting their paper on Strategies for conserving natural resources for sustained productivity at the ongoing national Symposium on Resource Conservation and Agricultural Productivity at PAU.

The scientists said these problems call for serious efforts to check the menace of land degradation to preserve the soil fertility and ensured environmental security. The human based activities such as deforestation, mining, urbanisation, industrialisation, construction of roads and excessive use of chemicals were posing a threat to the sustainability of different agro-ecosystems and cause irreparable loss to the production potential of the soils, the scientists added.

They further said the mechanical measures were essentially required to compliment and supplement the agronomical measures. Various agro-forestry measures and vegetative barriers had also been identified in different agro-ecological regions to conserve rain water, minimise soil erosion and enhance productivity.

Water harvesting and recycling techniques had also been standardised. The research efforts should be done to evolve cost effective erosion control measures and specifications for water harvesting structures in different agro-ecological situations, they added.

The second paper on resource conservation and agricultural productivity in arid zone of Rajasthan was presented by Dr Pratap Narayan and T.K. Bhati from the Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur.

The scientists said the hot arid zone of Rajasthan, popularly known as Thar desert, covers about 12 per cent (32m ha) of the country's geographical area. The annual rainfall in Rajasthan varies from time to time and frequent droughts (once every 2.5 years) calls for drought preparedness, mitigation and relief strategies invoking traditional drought cropping mechanisms, water harvesting and its efficient utilisation and diversifying agriculture.

The soils are mainly sandy and main characteristics of these soils are light texture, low organic matter, alkaline reaction, poor fertility, low water holding, encrustation and prone wind and water erosion, which require scientific management for sustainable production.

They said water is a key issue in the arid ecosystem. The surface and ground water resources in the arid zone are very scarce due to less rainfall, poor water yields and high potential evaporation. So efforts should be done for effective harvesting, storage, recharging aquifers and efficient utilisation of water.

Besides this, the Thar grazing lands for livestock are shrinking and deteriorating. Valuable fodder plants have been replaced by less palatable plants causing hardship to grazing animals. The scientists further said the livestock husbandry is the backbone for sustainability in this region, therefore pasture grasses, fodder trees and shrubs and cultivated fodder crops should find appropriate place in alternate farming systems.

The scientists were of the opinion that the livelihood issues of arid region were very complex due to inhospitable climate, poverty, illiteracy and poor infrastructure. Agricultural sustainability and economic sustainability in the arid zone could be achieved through conservation of management of natural resources, diversification of crops and cropping systems, they added.



Development works worth Rs 5 crore undertaken: MLA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Under the integrated development programme of the government for the rural areas, big development projects, including strengthening of plan roads, repair of link roads, and construction of bridges on the Budha nullah, etc costing more than Rs 5 crore were being carried out in the Dakha Assembly constituency during the current financial year.

This was stated by Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA and former minister, while speaking at a function after launching the work for the strengthening and widening of the Ladhowal-Nurpur road which would be completed at a cost of Rs 1.48 crore at Ladhowal, 10 km from here, today. Ludhiana Mayor Nahar Singh Gill was also present.

Mr Dakha said these projects included two major plan roads and two bridges over the Buddha nullah i.e. widening and strengthening of the Ladhowal-Nurpur road, costing Rs 1.46 crore, construction of a high-level bridge over the Budha nullah on Link Road, Jainpur to Bagga Kalan costing Rs 66.95 lakh, construction of a high-level bridge over the Budda nullah on the link road Baranhara-Talwara to Bagga Khurd at a cost of Rs 60.11 lakh and construction of approaches of newly constructed high-level bridge over the Budha nullah on Link Road Malikpur to Nurpur costing Rs 23.50 lakh.

He also inaugurated a newly strengthened 7-km-long Ludhiana-Hambran road at a cost of Rs 103.22 lakh.

The former minister further claimed that the Congress government was fully committed to the welfare of all sections of society.

He said stress was being laid on completely involving the panchayts by giving them more powers and the functioning of seven departments had already been handed over to the panchayats and the remaining departments were also being handed over to the panchayats in the coming years, whereas the other political parties had always been cheating the panchayats by giving such false slogans and, in reality, they had always, during their tenures, curtailed the authority of the panchayats.

He asserted that from November 2004, the government had started regular pensions of Rs 200 each to 14,800 old-age men and women and for this purpose funds amounting to Rs 360 crore were being spent per year in the state.

Mr Nahar Singh Gill said the fast development in the rural as well as in the urban areas had been started by the government. He claimed that in Ludhiana city alone, development works more than Rs 200 crore had been taken up during the past two and a half years. Appreciating the fast development in the Dakha constituency, the Mayor said special attention was being given to all wards of this constituency falling within the Ludhiana city limits and sewerage system and water supply would be provided in all areas by the end of this year.

Later Mr Dakha and Mr Gill listened to the grievances of the people. The MLA said a culvert under the Ladowal-Nurpur road would be constructed before the strengthening of the road.

The village panchayat demanded the upgradation of the school and the civil dispensary functioning in the village.

Others present on the occasion included Mr Manjit Singh Hambran, president, District Youth Congress, Mr Gurnam Singh Azad, and Mr Bawa Singh.



BJP rally against price rise
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 24
The BJP will hold a national-level demonstration in front of Parliament in Delhi on December 1. Its cadres, including activists of different wings of the party, were being mobilised to protest against the rising prices.

The president of the district unit of the party, Dr Subhash Verma, convened a meeting of party workers in this regard today. The meeting was attended by functionaries of all five mandals, mahila and yuva morchas, legal, trade and SC/ST cells. While addressing party workers, Dr Verma said 1,000 workers would leave for Delhi on November 30.

While criticising the Congress-led UPA government in the Centre, Dr Verma said the government had failed to check the rise in prices of essential commodities which had virtually gone out of the reach of people, particularly those from the weaker sections.



Fulfil demands, say pensioners
Our Correspondent

Samrala, November 24
A meeting of the executive committee of the Punjab State Pensioners’ Mahasangh was held under the presidentship of Mr Prem Sagar Sharma. The meeting passed several proposals unanimously. The Mahasangh wanted Dr Harbans Lal Verma Chief Parliamentary Secretary Punjab and in charge Pensions and Family Welfare to meet the agreed demands to by him at the meeting between a delegation of pensioners and Dr Verma on August 24.

The Mahasangh also decided that December 17 would be observed as Pensioners’ Day. The Mahasangh also appealed to banks of Punjab for separate entries of profits in the passbook of pensions and family pensioners. In the cases of pensioners’, Family Pensioners above 65 years age, date of birth certificates from civil surgeon should be asked from pensioners.



Moudgils’ jor mela on Nov 26
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 24
Moudgil families and other devotees will assemble at Bihla village in this district on November 26 to participate in the annual jor mela to be held at the temple of Sati Mata Gahli, according to Mr. R. Moudgil , president of the managing committee of the temple.

Mr Moudgil told the Ludhiana Tribune today that path of the Ramayana will be held on the occasion and a havan performed in the morning. Apart from Moudgil families, people from other communities were also welcome to attend the mela for the blessings of the Sati Mata . Langar would also be organised on the occasion, added Mr Moudgil.



House burgled
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 24
Golden rings, pair of earrings, one VCR and Rs 2,950 in cash was allegedly stolen from Jarnail Singh’s residence of Guru Nanak Pura Street Raikot, by some unknown persons. The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 454, 380 of the IPC on the statement of Jarnail Singh.

Booked for assault

Surjit Singh, a resident of Kailpur Braich, has allegedly assaulted Sadhu Singh of the same village. The Dakha police has registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 506, 294 of the IPC on the statement of the injured. According to the information, Sadhu Singh was supporting the opposition candidates in the society elections.



Killer of neelgai held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 24
The Khanna police has claimed to have arrested the man responsible for killing a neelgai at Khatra village on Monday. The gun used by the man, William, was also recovered by the police.

According to the DSP, Khanna, Mr Rajeshwar Singh Sidhu, the carcass of the neelgai was sent to Veterinary Hospital at Khanna for a post-mortem examination under the supervision of ASI Mahavir Singh.

Post-mortem was conducted by Dr Ranjit Singh and four bullets of a .12 bore gun were recovered from the body of neelgai. The neelgai’s body was handed over to Forest Officer (Doraha Range) Jagtar Singh. The neelgai was cremated at Doraha by forest officials.

The DSP said the man was arrested yesterday. He would be produced in the court 



Policies of Punjab Govt anti-industry: assn
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Terming policies of the Punjab Government as “anti-industry” the Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association said today that industry in the state should be prepared for a tough time ahead.

Mr Gurpargat Singh Kahlon, president of the association, said imposition of power cuts by PSEB were adversely affecting the industrial units in Punjab. He also blamed the government for not generating awareness on Value Added Tax (VAT).

Recently Secretary Excise and Taxation Mukul Joshi had said VAT was only a substitute for state sales tax and all other taxes would neither be merged into it and nor abolished. This had frustrated the industrialists, he said adding that the statement indicated that industry here would never be freed from the clutches of the inspector raj.

Mr Charan Singh Kohli, general secretary, said the recent announcement by the Prime Minister for an economic package to Jammu and Kashmir had also disappointed industrialists in Punjab. He said the government needed to declare such packages for Punjab as well for overall development of the state.

Mr Kahlon said industrial problems had been aggravated with the notification issued by the Centre to ban import of loose and unbundled scrap at the dry port here. This had created shortage of the raw material for steel consumers. It was feared that the shortage would lead to an unnecessary hike in steel process which were already very high, he added.



PHDCCI holds workshop on service tax
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Merely 30 per cent of the total revenue from service tax is contributed by the organised services sector, excluding telecom. The tax to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio is less in Punjab as compared to other states and Punjab is on a par with under developed states like Jammu and Kashmir, said Mr V.K. Garg, Commissioner, Central Excise and Customs, while addressing a workshop on service tax organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today.

The seminar was organised to generate awareness among industry on the issue of service tax. Mr N.S. Aulakh, member, Punjab Chapter, PHDCCI, said the share of contribution from service tax in the country’s GDP had even surpassed the contribution by the agricultural sector as compared to other industrialised nations.

Now with the advent of the Finance Act, 2004, service tax has widened its net and the rate has also been increased. However, industries response to such hike has not been very positive, he added. The industry has also indicated an increase in prices due to levy of service tax and the Budget estimate. According to PHDCCI, from service tax revenue has been fixed at Rs 1,150 crore against previous fiscal year collection of Rs 8,000 crore.


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