L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


IT officer held for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Income Tax officer Raj Kumar Arora being taken away by a team of CBI officials in Ludhiana
Income Tax officer Raj Kumar Arora being taken away by a team of CBI officials in Ludhiana. 

Ludhiana, February 1
Sleuths from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested an Income Tax officer at Ayakar Bhavan, Rishi Nagar here, while taking a bribe of Rs 20,000 from a city-based industrialist for giving a favourable ‘Income Assessment Report’.

The raiding team headed by DSP R. Upasak arrested the officer, Raj Kumar Arora, when he was pocketing the bribe amount given by Mr Ashok Kumar, the complainant and owner of Devinder Industries.

Arora is an Income Tax officer, Headquarters (Administration), in the Income Tax office here. He had the powers to assess property and income of persons as well as of transferring employees of the Income Tax department. He is a resident of Amritsar and was commuting daily from there to the city. He was promoted to the post two years ago.

The CBI team was examining various documents seized from his office. The examination of the papers recovered from his office and his interrogation for involvement in some other alleged corruption activities were on till the filing of this report. The accused official is in the CBI custody.

According to the DSP, the accused official was ‘harassing’ the complainant on one pretext or another and had sought a bribe of Rs 1 lakh for favourable assessment of the industrialist’s income. He had been repeatedly called to the Income Tax office or at other places for the last six months and told to explain one point or another.

The industrialist, however, got in touch with the CBI and planned a trap for the official. He struck a deal of payment of Rs 20,000 to the accused and got him arrested. A non-government anti-corruption organisation also played an important role in the trap.

The raid took place at 2.30 pm. The CBI will also search his residence in Amritsar.

The CBI had been investigating the role of some senior officials of the Income Tax department in abetting the alleged corrupt activities of the accused.

No senior official was, however, willing to talk to mediapersons over the issue.



Trust to allot PUDA flats to slum-dwellers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has decided to handle the issue of slum-dwellers in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar sympathetically by offering to allot PUDA flats to them on installments.

The issue of slum-dwellers, who have encroached on prime land in SBS Nagar, has been hanging fire with residents of the area and authorities of the trust. The former have been demanding immediate removal of the slum-dwellers from the land, while the latter have been finding it difficult to do so.

The residents have staged protests on a number of occasions stating that the slum-dwellers had made their lives miserable by staying in their vicinity.

A team of trust employees had visited the area to get the land vacated but they were attacked by the dwellers who have set up jhuggis there.

Talking to TNS today, Wing Cdr Paramjit Singh Sibia (retd), chairman of the trust, said PUDA officials were willing to allot apartments lying unoccupied for the past many years in Dugri.

He added that PUDA would sell the apartments to these people but would accept the payment in installments.

He said a delegation of slum-dwellers had met him today and had prayed upon the trust to allot them an alternative place so that they could move out and find a place to live.

The trust could not allow them to continue to stay there as the land which was encroached upon by the slum-dwellers had already been allotted to many people.

Meanwhile, residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar claimed that it was impossible for them to live in the vicinity of the dwelling as its occupants indulged in anti-social activities and littered garbage in their colony and parks.

They said the jhuggis had sprung up in the area around seven years ago and following protest by residents, these were razed during the tenure of former Chairman M.M. Vyas.

But these came up again before the elections and some candidates got their names enlisted in the voters’ list. Consequently, nobody was able to remove them.

They said more than 250 jhuggis had come up in the 475-acre area belonging to the trust.

The dwellers created problems by drawing electricity through “kundi” connections, thereby increasing the load on power lines in the area. They also reared pigs, which created nuisance by entering the green belt of houses.

Moreover, dwellers used the parks as urinals and open toilets, causing threat of disease.

Residents threatened that if the trust authorities did not redress their grievances, they would be forced to go on an agitation. They said they would sit on hunger strike and gherao officials if their demands were not met.

They added that it was the duty of the trust to provide proper environment and proper amenities to the residents as the area was developed by it.



Man, wife get 7-year jail for murder
Rajneesh Lakhanpal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 1
A fast track court has sentenced Nardev Singh and his wife, Gurwinder Kaur of Sham Nagar to undergo rigorous imprisonment of seven years, on the charge of causing death of Surjit Kaur (mother of Nardev Singh).

Mr Sunil Arora- Additional Sessions Judge held that prosecution had proved the guilt of accused under section 304 Part-II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 342(wrongful confinement) and 323 of IPC. The Court also imposed fine of Rs 1000 each upon the accused.

The accused were booked on the complaint of Mohinder Singh, husband of deceased at Division No. 5 police station, on August 10, 2002. The incident was outcome of property dispute, as per the prosecution.

The complainant had submitted that on the fateful day, when he entered his house after purchasing medicines, his son-Nardev and daughter-in-law, Gurvinder were already present there. They caught hold of him and took him inside a room where his wife was also present.

Both accused then gave beatings to him as well as his wife, by inflicting fist and kick blows. They were locked in the room. After some time, accused again entered in the room and thrashed them. Somehow, he managed to come out and raised alarm. The duo fled away from the spot, added the complainant.

The injured, Surjit Kaur was taken to the Dayanand Medical College and hospital. But she was declared to be “brought dead” by the hospital authorities, further added the complainant. The prosecution examined as many as eight witnesses to prove its case.

On the other hand, the accused pleaded innocence. They pleaded that earlier, Nardev Singh was living abroad and sending money to his father. With that money, his father purchased the property. They wanted to live in the same house but complainant was not allowing them to reside therein.

Surjit Kaur (deceased) was suffering from hypertension and a heart patient. She used to remain under tension due to disliking behaviour of the complainant. On the fateful day, the dispute had arisen between complainant and Surjit Kaur, she being a patient of hypertension collapsed and died. But they were falsely implicated by the complainant in order to grab the property, added the accused.

During post mortem, the 4th to 6th ribs of woman were found to be fractured. After appreciating the evidence and hearing arguments, the court came to the conclusion that the accused were guilty and sentenced them accordingly.



1 held for kidnapping
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
Four months after a minor boy was kidnapped and taken to Muzzaffarpur in Uttar Pradesh by his alleged kidnappers, the Haibowal police has arrested a member of the kidnapping gang from Raipur Nangli village in that state.

Rakesh Kumar, a labourer with a stone crushing unit in the village was the only absconding accused in the kidnapping case of 4-year-old Abhishek, son of a tailor, Sushil Kumar. He was kidnapped in October last year and traced after eight days to Falawda village in Uttar Pradesh. The three kidnappers — Munshi Ram, Anil Kumar and Chandgi Ram — were nabbed but Rakesh Kumar, in whose house the boy was kept had managed to escape.

DSP Simratpal Singh Dhindsa told mediapersons in a press conference today that a team headed by SI Gurpreet Singh and ASI Kuldip Singh arrested him after raiding his house.

Mr Dhindsa said the kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs 10 lakh from the minor boy’s family.

Rakesh kept on changing his residence after the arrest of the other accused.

Rakesh was being interrogated for his possible links with other gangs of kidnappers active in the country. 



Shopkeeper held for selling PDS wheat
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 1
Wheat meant for distribution through fair price-approved depots is being diverted to shopkeepers and fake records are maintained showing the distribution.

ASI Rajbir Singh, police post bus stand, Jagraon, arrested Vijay Kumar of Gurdip Nagar, who is running his shop and seized 428 bags of 50 kg of wheat allegedly sold to him by Des Raj, depot holder, Dhurkot. The arrest is in pursuance of a tip-off and case has been registered at the local police station. Mrs Jitender Walia, Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, today remanded the accused to judicial custody till Feb 15.



Ludhiana Calling

With no addition to new buses, the number of condemned buses of Punjab Roadways is on the rise. A number of buses that have outlived their age are still plying on the roads. The Road Transport Department is already facing public ire for the poor state of the main bust stand. Though the prestige of the department has been severely dented, neither the officials concerned nor the government seem to be bothered about it.

No chance, honey!

Taking cue from farmers who use scarecrows to ward off birds, a number of honey sellers along the National Highway No. 1 are using mannequins as guards for their honey bottles, which are usually stolen by thieves who drive by on two-wheelers. As it is tiring to stay all the time at the stalls and stand guard over the bottles, they have placed well-dressed mannequins near the stalls giving the impression of a woman sitting on the chair. Now that is called ingenuity!

Hardly uniform

If there is one uniform that has the reputation for lack of “uniformity”, the uniform of the Punjab Police tops the list. One can see all types of shades of the khaki uniform — from light to dark. In a group of policemen, once can see as many shades as the number of cops. This reflects the seriousness of law-enforcers toward their profession. Even senior officials who are expected to follow the code are no less. Policemen would soon have a blue uniform as per a proposal. But as blue has a vast array of shades, one can only hope that the law-enforcers will bring some semblance of uniformity to their uniform!

Marriage jams

Ever heard of traffic jams at the dead of night? This is exactly what happens near marriage palaces in the city. Lack of parking space, mismanagement and laxity on the part of the traffic police contribute to jams on roads leading to marriage palaces. So much so that senior police officers, politicians and even the bridegroom and the bride are often caught up in these jams.

Clean-up rush

The city railway station is rarely visited by senior officials of the Railways. Consequently, local officials only go for cleaning up the place whenever one has to arrive. This is exactly what happened before the visit of the General Manager, Northern Railways, Mr R.R. Jaehrurar, to the city railway station this week. All senior officials and junior officials were seen busy cleaning up and supervising the operation. If only this was done regularly, there wouldn’t be a need for such drives.

Hypocrite teacher

The other day a school teacher was lecturing students on drug abuse and asking them to abstain from narcotics. Students were quite impressed and vowed to never get hooked to narcotics. But some days later, the same teacher was found drinking at a party, where one of the pupils was also present. He mustered courage and went up to the teacher only to tell him that he hated him for his hypocrisy. The teacher had to feel sorry and resolve to shun liquor.

Cr(ew)uise cut

Getting a Tom Cruise look proved quite embarrassing for some students of DAV Public School when the school Principal called a number of barbers to the school and got the long hair of students shortened to crew cut. Though embarrassed, the students learnt the lesson — schools are for studying and not for fashion!

Desensitised cop

Schoolchildren at primary level are often taught to give way to an ambulance or a fire-tender on the road. What is expected out of a traffic cop in such a situation? Well, things work differently here. On Monday evening, a traffic policeman at Fountain Chowk stopped an ambulance coming from the Guru Nanak Stadium side and kept it waiting for more than five minutes. While the driver of the ambulance constantly blew siren requesting the policeman to let him pass, the policeman was unmoved. It seems he needs to learn the elementary rules of controlling traffic more than children do.

(Dis)credit cards

Procuring a credit card, which was considered a status symbol till recently, has now become more of a headache now. One is regularly charged by companies even if transactions are not made. What is more, residents complain that despite furnishing requests or surrendering their cards, companies keep sending them bills for months! The result — people have stopped entertaining executives from credit card companies.


“The Municipal Corporation should be re-christened ‘Municipal Kar-Pareshaan’.” Sentinel overheard a man, seemingly harassed on some issue at the MC functioning, telling an official of the Local Bodies Department recently. — Sentinel



BJP to support bandh against VAT
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
The trade and industry cell of the state BJP has decided to support the nationwide bandh call on February 21 against the introduction of VAT. The president of the cell and former Punjab Deputy Speaker Mr Satpal Gosain, said VAT would add to the woes of the industry.

Criticising the Punjab Government for announcing to implement VAT from April 1, Mr Gosain alleged that there was no logic in blindly following in the footsteps of the Centre. He observed that the situation was not at all conducive for the introduction of VAT as the industry was not prepared for it.

Mr Gosain observed that while the government might be able to generate some additional revenue after introducing VAT, it was the common man who would face the brunt as the prices and inflation to increase. He claimed that while the existing rate of the sales tax was about 8 per cent, after the introduction of the VAT it would go up to 12 per cent and the impact would be felt by the common people only.

The BJP leader pointed out that the state government was yet to clarify about various ambiguities in the Act. He pointed out that nothing had been specified as yet as how the traders would be able to get the refund or the credit on the tax paid by them, the benefit of which they would need to pass on to the consumers. He alleged that the state government was just being run by select bureaucrats while the common man had no voice.

He said to ensure the success of the nationwide bandh in Punjab, the trade and industry cell of the BJP would hold a meeting of various trade and industrial organisations here on February 6 to chalk out final plan of action.



None qualifies for Kalpana Chawla award
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 1
The Chahal Welfare and Sports Club at Uchi Daud village has been disappointed that no student of the surrounding villages has come up to their aspirations, who can be honoured with the Kalpana Chawla award that was instituted by the organisation two years earlier. The organisation had to postpone the celebration of annual sport meet also as no family member of the deceased astronaut could spare time on schedule. However, a brief function was organised by the club at this village to pay tribute to her.

While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after paying tributes to Ms Kalpana Chawla, Mr Harvinder Chahal, president of the Chahal Welfare and Sports Club, said they had to postpone the annual sports scheduled to be held in memory of Kalpana Chawla as none of her family member was available to chair the function.

The village had remained in highlights as Sant Nikka Singh, Guru of the Chawla family, used to stay at Bhumana Tibba, situated on the outskirts of the village. Kalpana used to visit this village, along with her parents, to receive his blessings.

As a mark of respect the villagers had decided to name their annual sports after her name and the welfare club has also constituted an award. But this award was not given to any of the students, as the club could not find a suitable deserving candidate this year.

Earlier, Mr Nidhan Singh of Sihan Daud village was honoured with the Kalpana Chawla Memorial Award for standing second in the state in Class 12 examinations conducted by the Punjab board.

The residents of the village were disappointed as the only memorial being constructed in the village was still incomplete. The grant of Rs 2 lakh received on account of the village panchayat was not sufficient to construct Kalpana Memorial Stadium. The club has planned to raise funds so that it could be completed by next sports meet, which will be chaired either by Mr Banarsi Dass Chawla, father of Kalpana or her mother, Sanjogita Chawla.

Mr Jagtar Singh Sarpanch, Mr Prit Pal vice-president, and Jagroop Singh, general secretary of the club, were present.



Tributes paid to Kalpana Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
Tributes were paid to Kalpana Chawla on her second death anniversary here today. A function was organised at Punjabi Bhavan by Gurdeep Pandher, who has written her biography also. Leading literary figures like Surjit Patar, Gurbhajan Gill and others attended the function.

Paying their tributes to Ms Chawla they recalled her dedication and commitment in reaching out to skies and setting a mark in the world history. They said that the people like Kalpana Chawla should serve as ideal for the youth of the country.

The speakers also discussed the contribution of Gurdeep Pandher by way of writing her biography in most simple and presentable language. They lauded his efforts in brining the achievements of Kalpana Chawla before the youth of the country. They hoped that the book will help the students and the youth to learn a lot about Kalpana Chawla and seek inspiration from it.



Mahatma Gandhi remembered
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 1
A meeting of the Nehru Memorial Society Khanna was held under the chairmanship of Mr Surjit Singh Bhatti, President of the society at which Mahatma Gandhi was remembered.

The meeting decided that Rupees 21000 would be sent to the relief fund for tsunami affected people.

The meeting was attended by Mr Dharm Pal Angrish Secretary, PPCC, Dr Som Pal Kaushal, Prem Bakshi, Ex-President Municipal Council Khanna, Jaswant Singh Gill, former President M.C. Khanna, Madan Lal Balu, Chaman Lal Sharma and Dev Raj Kapoor Ex-Chairman Improvement Trust Khanna beside others.



Farewell to Dr Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
Emotional farewell was accorded to Dr Rantej Singh Gill, who retired as Deputy Director(TV) in the Centre for Communication, Languages and Culture, Punjab Agricultural University here yesterday. Dr Gill had contributed in spreading the scientific knowledge generated in the PAU through television and documentaries.

Dr Amrik Singh Sandhu, Director Extension Education pointed out, television and newspapers had played an important role in ushering in the first green revolution and Dr Gill was among the select few who helped in spreading the knowledge among the masses. 



ASI felicitated

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 1
A function was held at the local MGMN Senior Secondary School to felicitate ASI Gian Singh on his retirement.
DSP, Malerkotla, Mukan Singh Mahli chaired the function. Praising the ASI as an Investigating Officer, speakers said arbitrations by the officer were usually acceptable to warring parties. Gian Singh worked at the local police station for around six years. OC



Industry condemns power duty hike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
Industry associations here have condemned the Punjab Government’s decision of a 5 per cent hike in duty on power. Stating that the decision would come as a heavy blow for the small scale industry, representatives of associations said it would result in further increase in costs.

“Small scale industry in the region is already bearing the brunt of various taxes and irregular power supply. Instead of giving any relief to this segment the government has now announced another burden in the form of hike in power duty,” said Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

He said their association would write to the Chief Minister about the same. “The government should immediately withdraw this decision,” he said.

The Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association also demanded that the decision be withdrawn. Mr G.S. Kahlon, president of the association, said, “With an increase of 5 per cent in electricity duty, small industries would be crippled. Despite being well aware of the problems being faced by this industry the government is creating more problems by putting such additional financial burden on the industry.”

Leaders of associations pointed out that the power situation in the state was already very poor and an increase in duty was totally uncalled for at this stage. “Industrial activity in the state has already been badly hit due to poor power supply. This hike would only add to the woes of the industry,” said Mr Charan Singh Kohli, general secretary of Ludhiana Motor Parts manufacturers association. Mr G.L. Pahwa, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, demanded that the government should focus on improving the power situation in the state and withdraw the hike it has announced. 



New TV channel to be launched in March
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
Jagran TV has been granted uplinking license by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to broadcast its channel. The new channel, named Channel 7, is being marketed by Jagran TV itself, said a company press note today.


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