L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


IT raids on shawl maker’s premises
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
A team of around 100 officials and employees of the Income Tax Department and policemen descended on the business and residential premises of a leading shawl manufacturer in the city in a bid to unearth concealed income. Raids were conducted simultaneously on 10 premises, including a showroom of a leading brand of shawls in Mochpura, the factory and residences of the partners in Udham Singh Nagar and Kitchlu Nagar localities here.

Since the checking of books of account, bank accounts, physical verification of stocks, operation of bank lockers and scrutiny of other assets was on till the filing of this report, no details of the search and seizure operations were available. The officers, leading the inspection team of the department, also refused to say anything till the search operations were completed and the accounts of the firm verified. However, it was reliably learnt that a number of incriminating documents, cash and jewellery were seized by the raiding party.

With police guards posted at the entrance to the showroom in Mochpura, the biggest market of shawls, wool and woollens in the region, all through the day and the officials of the Income Tax Department moving in and out of the premises, there was an atmosphere of panic in the market. Shopkeepers in the market said there were fewer transactions and quite a few buyers from other towns had to return back disappointed as many of them chose not to transact any business.

Till late in the evening, the income tax officials were reported to be busy in searching three bank lockers of the partners of the firm in the presence of independent witnesses but no further details were available.

When contacted on telephone at Chandigarh, the Director-General of Investigation, Department of Income Tax, Mr K.K. Kapila, confirmed that search operations were being carried out on the premises of the shawl manufacturer, but declined to say anything more.



War heroes remembered on Vijay Divas
Tribune News Service

Ms Gurmail Kaur, a war widow, awaits her turn to be honoured on the occasion of Vijay Divas in Ludhiana
Ms Gurmail Kaur, a war widow, awaits her turn to be honoured on the occasion of Vijay Divas in Ludhiana on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, December 16
Glowing tributes were paid to Flying Officer Shaheed Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon and other martyrs who laid down their lives for the country during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, at a function organised to observe Vijay Divas at the mini secretariat here today.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner and president of the Zila Sainik Board Ludhiana, was the chief guest. Brig J.S. Jaswal Director, Sainik Welfare Punjab, presided.

Mr Verma said the war heroes had made enormous sacrifices and showed gallantry and patriotism during various wars. He said the administration was according top priority to the rehabilitation of ex-servicemen and the families of Army martyrs. All officers in the district had been directed to take up the problems of ex-servicemen and serving Army personnel at the earliest.

Stressing upon the need to educate the younger generation about the heroic deeds of the brave soldiers, he said a spirit of patriotism and nationalism required to be inculcated among them. He also paid rich tributes to Flying Officer Sekhon, saying that Sekhon had sacrificed his life while fighting alone against seven fighter planes of Pakistan.

The Deputy Commissioner distributed nine cheques as marriage grants, two as ex-gratia grant, and two as awardees’ cheques to the beneficiaries. Two sewing machines were given to widows and 10 blankets were given to needy ex-servicemen.

Brother of Sekhon and widow of Subedar Malkiat Singh (MVC), were honoured at the function.

Brig Jaiswal said a large number of schemes had been implemented by the Defence Services Welfare Department to benefit ex-servicemen. He said all ex-servicemen leagues, must come together so that problems of the ex-servicemen could be settled more effectively. He said the interest on loans advanced by PESCO to the ex-servicemen had been waived and the ex-servicemen concerned should contact the District Sainik Welfare Officers to avail of the benefit. He announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the maintenance of statues and parks set up in the memory of the martyrs.

Earlier, Air Commodore V.K. Bali, Air Officer Commanding AFS Halwara, Col Jyant Khare, Commanding Officer, 49 AD, Commodore Makhan, vice-president, Zila Sainik Board, and Col Harbant Singh Kahlon laid wreaths at the memorial.



Improvement Trust on the lookout for astrologer!
Kanchan Vasdev

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
Stung by the loss of revenue in auction of trust properties in the past, the Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, Mr Ashok Singh Garcha, has sought the help of an astrologer to predict auspicious dates for conducting the auctions.

In an official order issued to the Executive Officer, Mr Dayal Chand Garg, today, the Chairman has directed him to “consult an astrologer to determine the most auspicious days and periods of 2005 to hold trust auctions.” He has further directed him to appoint an astrologer as honorary trust astrologer for auction of properties.

Mr Garcha says, “Potential buyers do not turn up for the auction on inauspicious days and thereby competition is reduced. This results in loss of revenue to the trust. This could be one of the reason which explains why the trust properties are sold up to less than 40 per cent of their actual marked value in auction,” explains Mr Garcha.

Sources in the trust told The Tribune that Mr Garcha gave the directions following the auction by Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority here yesterday, in which the property was sold at twice the reserved price.

Besides, the Chairman also directed the EO to fix responsibility and take disciplinary action against the guilty staff due to whose negligence the reserve price of auction property could not be determined. He added that owing to the reason the trust had not been able to hold a single auction in the current financial year.

He further said the trust had managed to conduct sale of property worth over Rs 8.4 crore.

Mr Garcha has also given direction for speedy clearance of sales from the Local Government Department and the Deputy Commissioner. 



PSEB employees go on strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
On a call given by the Employees Action Committee and Technical Services Union (PSEB), employees of the board today observed a strike at the east and west circle offices here.

The strike was in protest against the state government and the PSEB management’s decision to dissolve the PSEB and form corporations. The employees had earlier held a rally in Chandigarh on December 8 and in Delhi on December 10.

Circle head of Technical Services Union Inderjit Sharma said even cash counters and complaint centres remained closed today.

Union members said the employees of the board had observed a strike at various places in the state, including Hoshiarpur, Sangrur, Jalandhar, Khanna, Ropar, Bathinda and Faridkot circles where 90 per cent to 97 per cent employees remained on strike.

The union said its struggle would be intensified if the government did not take action.



Rs 1.20 lakh stolen from scooter
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
The city continues to be in the grip of thieves and snatchers, who strike during the daytime , round-the-clock patrolling by more than 100 PCR bikes notwithstanding.
The latest victim is Mr Harbans Singh, who runs a machine tools manufacturing unit in Dashmesh Nagar.

Mr Harbans Singh withdrew Rs 1.20 lakh from a bank in Kalsi Nagar yesterday morning and locked the money in the glove compartment of his scooter. He went to a factory near Partap Chowk and parked his scooter outside. When he came out after some time, he was horrified to find that the glove compartment had been busted and the money stolen. The Division No. 6 police, which arrived on the spot after some delay, could not obtain any clue. According to police sources, the thieves had probably been following Mr Harbans Singh after he came out of the bank.

Theft incidents involving busting of glove compartments of scooters have been taking place all over the city at regular intervals. Invariably, in all such cases, money had been withdrawn from banks.



Fake currency seized, two arrested
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 16
The Sahnewal police has arrested two persons and recovered fake currency from their custody last evening.
The accused, Ram Avtar Verma of Shimla Puri and Mohinder Singh of Jagraon, were allegedly carrying fake currency worth Rs 13,100 in a vehicle when they were nabbed by the police.

Mr Dilpreet Singh, SHO, said they had received secret information that the accused were involved in the exchange of fake currency, on the basis of which a red alert had been sounded in the surrounding areas.

Mr Barjinder Singh Dhillon, DSP, said that the accused, who were earlier in jail due to their involvement in a case, became friends and after their release, started this business. They came in contact with a UP-based person who gave them a consignment of Rs 20,000 after which the second consignment of Rs 14,000 was received by them. They brought this amount to Sahnewal to befool the locals.

A case has been registered against them under Sections 489-A, 489-B and 489-C.



Hooch still raided, two arrested
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 16
The Salem Tabri police raided a hooch still at Bahadurke village last evening and arrested two persons. The other, however, escaped.
According to police sources, the police had received a tip-off that an illicit liquor still was in operation in the house of Beant Singh.

When the police raided the house in the evening, Beant Singh ran away. Those arrested have been identified as Ranjodh Singh and Goldy Kumar. The police seized 10 bottles of hooch, 30 kg of lahan and objects required for the still. The police has registered a case under the Excise Act.



Farmers becoming poorer: Kanwaljit
Our Correspondent

Amloh, December 16
The economic condition of farmers in the country, specially in Punjab, has been deteriorating, asserted Captain Kanwaljit Singh, SAD general secretary and in charge of the function to observe the tercentenary of the martyrdom of the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh and Mata Gujri at Fatehgarh Sahib.

He was addressing a meeting of SAD activists of Amloh and Mandi Gobindgarh circles at Singh Sabha Gurdwara here today.

Captain Kanwaljit Singh pointed out that the first centenary could not be observed in the reign of Mughals. The second fell under the British rule and now the third is being observed in an independent India.



Get carried away and shop
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, December 16
Youngsters in the city seem to be getting carried away and partying these days. They seem to be on a shopping spree as Christmas and New Year is round the corner. Majority of the buyers are teenage girls.

Keeping in mind their demands regarding clothes and accessories, manufacturers are designing accordingly. Long denim skirts with slits on both sides, stoles, short minis, leather and woollen jackets and jeans are in vogue these days. Special focus seems to be on formal and woollen ponchoos.

Light colours have given way to bright ones. Green dominates but red and black continue to cast their spell among the youth. This season the manufacturers have made red coloured leather and woollen jackets and skirts for girls. Jackets with hood and caps are also there. A local manufacturer in Chaura Bazaar has come out with 14 designs of red jackets for Christmas. The range starts from Rs 750 and goes up to Rs 1,400.

Santa Claus jackets and caps for kids at shopping malls on the Mall, Ghumar Mandi and Sarabha Nagar are selling like hot cakes

Girls remain attracted towards the formal and semi-formal ponchoos. “This was something I was looking for months. This Indo-western outfit can be worn with skirts and trousers and salwars also. The mirror work, delicate embroidery, beads, etc, look fabulous. I have bought two Indo-western outfits”, says Achla Gupta, a second-year arts student.



US clarification on Sikhs hailed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
The Khalsa Panchayat has hailed the Justice department of the USA Government for issuing a poster about the Sikhs in which it has clarified their (Sikhs’) identity.
In a statement issued here today, the urban district unit president of the Khalsa Panchayat, Mr Bhupinder Singh Nimana, said the poster would go a long way in clearing the misgivings about the Sikhs in the USA.

After the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre allegedly by Al-Qaida activists, several Sikhs were mistaken to be Al-Qaida supporters and sympathisers. This led to several hate crimes against them in which some of the Sikhs also lost their life. This prompted the Justice Department to issue a poster about the identity of the Sikhs to ensure that their identity is not mistaken.



B.K. Gupta gets President’s medal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 16
For his outstanding performance during the census operations — 2001, Mr B.K. Gupta, Assistant Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, has been conferred with the President’s silver medal.

The award was given to him by the Governor of Punjab, Gen S.F. Rodrigues, at a function organised in Chandigarh recently.

He was given two state-level awards and a memento for excellent performance during the two-phase programme of issuance of birth certificates to all children below 17 years of age.



Biz Clips

: Chola MF has launched a Chola Multi-Cap Fund that will invest equity and equity-related instruments across all ranges of market capitalisation. A press note said the fund would provide added diversification by investing in a mix of large caps, mid-cap and small cap stocks. The initial public offer for the fund will remain open till January 10. TNS

VAT CONDEMNED: The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal has condemned that implementation of VAT and has said it will act as a severe blow to the industry in the state. At a meeting held here on Thursday, the members said provisions in VAT would amount to the misuse of power and would hamper industrial growth. Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, general secretary of the mandal, said the state government had promised to put an end to “inspector raj” and simplify rules related to various taxes, however, nothing had even done. TNS

BSNL CENTRE: Mr G.S. Julka, General Manager, Telecom, Ludhiana, inaugurated a customer care centre of BSNL at the Mata Rani Telephone Exchange here on Thursday. The centre will deal with customer complaints and will also provide various types of connections, apart from offering online booking, recharge coupons, ITC cards and Internet cards. TNS

OSIM STORE: Osim International Ltd., a Singapore-based healthy lifestyle product manufacturing company, opened a store here today. The company, already has stores in Delhi, Gurgaon and Bangalore. Mr O.P. Munjal, Managing Director, Hero Cycles, inaugurated the store. TNS


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