L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


12 colonisers booked for illegal sale of land
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Taking action against 12 local colonisers for developing colonies without permission from the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority, the city police has booked the owners of Vikas House Building Private Limited and a local councillor following complaints by PUDA officials.

A case under Sections 3, 6, 9, 15 and 36 of the Punjab Properties Act has been booked. The police has booked Mr Ajaib Singh, councillor, Mr Krishan Lal Chhabra, Mr Tara Singh, Mr Tarlok Singh, Mr Narinder Singh, Mr Sukhpal Singh and Mr Harbhajan Singh.

In another case, the police has booked Mr Najar Singh, Mr Nahar Singh, Mr Sohan Singh, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Inderjit Singh, Mr Gurnam Singh, Mr Gurdyal Singh, Mr Ranjit Singh and Mr Balbir Singh.

The police has also booked the management of Vikas House Building Private Limited. The issue of developing colonies illegallyhas been hanging fire for the past many years.

PUDA had asked the local police to register a case of fraud against 15 colonisers. These 15 colonisers had allegedly sold off 90 acres of land illegally. PUDA had suffered a loss of around Rs 6 crore because of the illegal activities of the colonisers. A coloniser is supposed to pay development charges at the rate of Rs 7 lakh per acre for a colony to PUDA.

PUDA officials claimed they had complained to the police on August 20 vide letter No. 4879 against the sale of 65 acres of land illegally in NN Estate in South City, and on October 26 vide letter No. 7277 for taking action against some colonisers for selling another 25 acres in DX Extension Block I. But the case was registered after so many months.

In other complaints, some plot owners in South City had been alleging that the firm has duped several person of crores. They alleged that the company had sold off 500-acre land while claiming that it was a PUDA-approved colony. PUDA officials, however, said the colonisers had obtained a licence for developing 150 acres only.

PUDA had marked an inquiry into the allegations last year. The complainants, Capt Joginder Singh Kullar (retd), Director of Small-Scale Industries, Government of India, and Mr S.L. Vig, former Additional Director (Employment), Punjab, had lodged a complaint against the company in that regard.

They had alleged that Vikas Housing Building Company Private Limited had sold off around 350 acres of undeveloped land without obtaining any license from PUDA.

Mr S.L. Vig, another complainant, had claimed that the company had bypassed the provisions of the Punjab Apartments and Property Regulation Act, 1995, and used PUDA as an ‘instrument in their design to loot public’. He further said the company had obtained a licence for developing 150 acres of land from PUDA in 1996, but had developed 500 acres.



Woman taken for dead, returns from pyre
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The alert staff of a cremation ground in Sunet here prevented a group of Nepali labourers from burning alive a 50-year-old Nepali woman presuming that she was dead. The woman was in a coma.

The incident took place in the afternoon. Krishna Devi, who had been seriously ill for the past few days, was discharged from a city hospital today morning.

Saying that the woman was in a coma, the doctors had asked the labourers to take her home as she was not going to survive for long.

Her heart was functioning, but she was unconscious.

The illiterate labourers thought she was dead and brought her to the cremation ground.

However, the staff posted there checked her pulse and found that she was not dead. Seeing this, the labourers fled from the scene.

However, some of them later returned to take her back.

The police was investigating whether the labourers had done this out of ignorance or it was a deliberate act.

The woman works as a domestic help and has no close relatives here.

When mediapersons visited Sunet village, no Nepali labourers was willing to talk about the incident.

Initially, a rumour had spread that the woman had become alive when her pyre was lit.

The caretakers at the cremation ground reportedly saw the woman breathing while the labourers were performing rituals.

They stopped them from performing rituals and checked her pulse. They added that those accompanying the woman might not know that she was alive.



Parks a haven for gamblers, criminals
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, February 6
Most of the city’s parks are being used by gamblers and shady characters. On Friday, the police paraded before the media six rickshaw-pullers who had been arrested in connection with murder cases.

According to the confession, they operated at night and relaxed during the day in a park near the Bharat Nagar chowk which also served as a meeting point.

The police had in the past swooped on some criminals sitting in parks and hatching robbery plans on a number of occasions. However, gambling in parks still continues.

If one visits the Urban Estate park adjoining Jamalpur on the Chandigarh road, one would find gamblers huddled in several groups with cards. They arrive in large numbers every morning and occupy sunny spaces. As a result, the elderly are deprived of benches to soak in the sun. The presence of the gamblers and other shady characters who consume liquor has instilled insecurity among residents.

They also litter the parks with cigarette and bidi butts.

Various PCR motor cycles which pass by the parks do not pay attention to them.

Apart from parks, the gamblers can be seen everywhere in the town, including deserted market lots, parking spaces and along railway tracks. The police starts picking up them only around Divali when gambling is at its peak.

With the crime graph rising alarmingly, the police should scan these gamblers and idlers every now and then.



Police shielding groom, alleges complainant
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 6
Residents of Ber Kalan village of Ludhiana district have accused the Malaudh police of shielding a groom and his relatives who had allegedly humiliated and manhandled the family of the bride of their village on Friday. The groom’s family had returned without the bride as her parents had shown “inability to give a car in the dowry”.

The police on the other hand refuted the charges levelled against it and maintained that appropriate action would be taken against the accused after the preliminary investigations were completed.

Mr Jagjit Singh Ber Kalan, a social activist, alleged that the police had been shielding the culprits.Claiming unanimity among all leaders of the village and the area on the issue, he warned that the villagers would hold a protest against the police if the accused were not arrested immediately.

Mr Satnam Singh,brother of the girl, said the marriage of his sister had been arranged with a resident of Nilas village near Rajpura. His father had recently retired from the PSEB and they had spent a good amount of money on the marriage which was arranged at a marriage palace on the demand of the groom’s parents.

Everything went smoothly on the day of the marriage till afternoon when the mood of the parents of the groom suddenly changed after seeing a motorcycle that was to be given in dowry.

They insisted that a car should be given as promised earlier,he alleged. They said they could accept Rs 1 lakh in lieu of the car,the girl’s parents expressed their inability to arrange the money,he said.

“Infuriated, they started abusing us and manhandled my mother. We called the police after they started beating our family members but the police instead of nabbing them, ‘facilitated’ their escape.A bag containing Rs 25,000 and ornaments was snatched by the groom,” he said.

No case has been registered so far. 



Going gets tough for pedestrians
Lovleen bains

Doraha, February 6
Pedestrians at the local bus stand are facing a tough with the ever-increasing number of vehicles on the national highway and the inappropriate gaps in between iron railing fixed on the divider for the "convenience" of the public.

Several people have been crushed to death and others have received injuries in the past while crossing the G T Road. This is because the vehicles ply at a tremendous speed and the gaps in between the railings fail to accommodate the rush of pedestrians. As a result, there are frequent accidents.

Recently, Kuldip Kaur was crushed to death under a vehicle coming from Khanna the side. A Junior Engineer of the PWD was also killed by a vehicle. Another man lost his life when he was crossing the road.

There is commotion as commuters jostle one another and buses, instead of stopping at the bus stop, usually halt on the road itself, covering nearly half of it.

Mr Tarlok Singh Jaggi, former president of the Punjab Kariyana Retailers Association says that it is risky for schoolchildren who have to cross the road. The elderly also find it more difficult due to poor vision and lessened mobility.

Mr Jandeep Kaushal, a social worker, says that barricades installed by the traffic police are not useful and act as an obstruction on the national highway. The traffic needs to be regulated at the spot mainly during peak hours, he adds.



Club to honour Ravinder Ravi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The local Sutlej Club has decided to honour Ravinder Ravi, a singer who brought laurels to the district by capturing a position in the top five at the popular Indian Idol contest being telecast on Sony TV.

This was announced today by Deputy Commissioner and president of the club, Mr Anurag Verma. He will be honoured at a cultural programme to be held at Sutlej Club on February 13.

While appreciating Ravi for his talent and courage, Mr Verma said the local painter had made the city proud by giving fierce competition to the other four top contestants. He said though Ravi had been voted out of the contest last Friday, yet during the entire competition, he had been the most favoured artiste. He said rising from a down-trodden family, Ravi, without any proper musical training, had made his presence felt only through his talent at such a high forum, which was being widely viewed by the music lovers of the country.

At the initial stage of the contest, the most decorated personalities of the industry, including Farah Khan and Anu Malik, had given encouraging comments on his performance and lauded his talent. Even Anu Malik had pointed out that the time had come for him to come out from hibernation and to shine in world of music, Mr Verma added.

During the competition, the public highly appreciated Ravi and had clearly steered him into the top five slots. Ravi, in spite of discouraging comments by judges during a few rounds, had constantly worked hard to impress the public, which was the final judge for the contest.



Plea to raise income tax exemption limit
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
The Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC), the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), the Labour and Employment wing of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee and the National Organisation of Government Employees (NOGE), have urged the Union Government to raise the income tax exemption limit from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh.

These organisations have also urged to abolish the salary ceiling of Rs 4,500 for bonus purposes so that all employees, irrespective of their rank or cadre, were paid bonus.

In a joint memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, the functionaries of these bodies demanded that the dearness allowance paid to the government employees should be exempted from income tax, as it was a reimbursement in lieu of inflation.

“The government should also lower the income tax slabs and rationalise the tax structure, retaining only three slabs of 5 per cent up to an annual income of Rs 1.50 lakh, 10 per cent up to Rs 5 lakh and 20 per cent beyond Rs 5 lakh, so that every businessman voluntarily pays the income tax,” the memorandum sought.

The leaders urged that the national savings be boosted by increasing the limit for rebate under Section 88 from Rs 70,000 to Rs 2 lakh, housing loan repayments up to Rs 1 lakh should be given complete rebate and leave encashment and retiral benefits, whether routine or under the voluntary retirement scheme, should be exempted from the payment of income tax.

The signatories to the memorandum made a plea for bringing agricultural income of big landlords, profit-making public schools, nursing homes and call centres, under the income tax net.



He finds poetry in daily life
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Gursharan Singh Narula has brought out his second collection of Punjabi poems titled ‘Kaise Mausam Aaye’ in less than two years. His earlier collection of poems ‘Thori Dhupp Thori Chhan’ was wedl received. The latter collection reveals him as a poet of common life. He does not use any far-fetched images or laboured phraseology; he finds poetry in daily life and poetic idiom in ordinary language. He only gives a subtle touch of satire to his feelings and thoughts that he expresses through his poems. ‘Eh kutta mera paltoo hai;’ ‘Kar tez rafter hai;’ ‘Tun ki inqlab liyaven ga’, come under this category.

There are about 50 poems in ‘Kaise Mausam Aaye’. His favourite theme is hypocrisy in social life. He describes different situations in more or less in prosaic manner, but gives an artistic twist in the end to mock at people who are responsible for social maladies, hypocritical behaviour, or selfish nature (Mein koi aisi cheez nahin mangi; Mein tan khud nun kadi nahin milya).

Of course, he longs for a socio-economic set-up in which there is no exploitation of man by man and no discrimination on the basis of caste or creed, gender or economic status. He seeks equality and harmony in social life and is often shocked when he finds diversities everywhere (Eh mausam tenu den aaya han).

The collection also includes a few songs in which he is quite lyrical in his expression. He involves human relationships to make his songs poignant and appealing.



Local poet invited to US symposium
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
For Ruchit Kaplish, an amateur English poet, there couldn’t have been a greater acknowledgment than being invited to the poetic symposium to be held at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

The symposium is being organised by the International Society of Poets from February 25 to 27.

Besides seminars, workshops, lectures and rap rooms, poets from over 50 nations will compete in one of the most lucrative amateur poetry contests with a total of $ 74,000 to be awarded in prizes.

The first prize is worth $ 20,000, while the second prize is $ 5,000.

Ruchit Kaplish is an engineer by profession, having done his engineering in electronics and communication from Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar.

He did his schooling from RS Model Senior Secondary School and DAV Public School, Ludhiana.

Ruchit, who is not even 30 yet, feels being on cloud nine. Poetry comes to him without effort, he says. And he tries to polish it later.

He points out that the invitation will provide him with a unique opportunity to interact with poets of repute.



Declare Shivratri a holiday, demand Hindu organisations
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
Various religious and social organisations belonging to the Hindu community have resented the decision of the Panjab Government to delete Shivratri from the list of state’s gazetted holidays. And if the current mood of these organisations is any indication, Captain Amrinder Singh might have to restore this 

Some of these organisations have already shot angry letters to the Chief Minister in this regard threatening an agitation if the government did not take into account the religious feelings of the Hindus.

Mr Sunil Mehra, president of the Maha Shivratri Mahotsav Committee, said by taking the decision to abolish the holiday, the state government was trying to prove its anti-Hindu stance. Echoing similar sentiments, Mr Madan Lal Chopra, chairman of the committee, said the deletion of Shivratri from the list of holidays amounted to trespass upon the fundamental rights of the Hindus.

Mahant Narayan Dass Puri, who looks after the ancient Sanglan Wala Shivala in the city, said the occasion of Shivratri was marked by the day-long worship of Lord Shiva and a holiday was must for performing this special pooja. If the government did not declare a holiday on this occasion, a large number of Hindus would be deprived of performing the rituals, he lamented.

Mr Ashwani Kumar, president of Haibowal-based Shivratri Mahotsav Committee, said the government was playing with the religious sentiments, while Mr Pawan Sharma, a Shiv Sena leader of the city, said the state government was adopting double standards as far as the question of granting holidays on holy occasions was concerned. He warned that if the state government did not roll back its decision soon, an agitation would be launched in the state and a memorandum in this regard would be submitted to the Governor.

Another Hindu leader, Mr Rajiv Tandon, said if the state government did not declare a holiday on this occasion, demonstration would be held all over the state at which effigies of the Chief Minister would be burnt.

Meanwhile, the Ludhiana district unit of the Bhagwan Parshuram Brahman Sabha has urged the state government to reconsider its decision and declare a gazetted holiday on this occasion. A spokesman of the sabha told Ludhiana Tribune that the sabha would join hands with other religious organisations to press for the demand.



Bhattal hits out at Jagmeet Brar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, yesterday criticised senior PCC leader and former Faridkot MP Jagmeet Singh Brar for presenting a wrong picture of the situation in the state.

Mr Brar had recently said the government had failed to live up to the expectations of the people. He had even made some references to the corruption charges against some close aides of the Chief Minister.

Talking to reporters here, Ms Bhattal described Mr Brar as a “Delhi leader” who did not have any idea about the ground situation in the state. She regretted that Mr Brar was making wide allegations and presenting a wrong picture of the state.

She pointed out the government was doing its best to fulfil the promises made during the elections. She said the government had inherited a poor state of economy and development was at a standstill. She observed that Mr Brar must not make such remarks as would go against the government. 



Morcha activists burn govt’s effigy

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 6
Activists of the Bhartiya Yuva Morcha burnt an effigy of the state government and the Local Government Department in protest against the alleged neglect of the basic needs of the citizens.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Sukhminder Pal Singh Grewal, executive member and former state president of the Yuva Morcha, criticised the anti-people policies of the government. Mr Grewal disclosed that the state president of the BJP, Mr Avinash Khanna, would lead a road show in the state to make the people aware of the issues.



Kirtan darbar at Shivpuri
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
Baba Namdev Sewak Society organised a three-day kirtan darbar which concluded in Shivpuri here today. The akhand path was followed by a melodious kirtan performed by Bhai Amrik Singh, Jagjit Singh, Chandan Singh, Acchar Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Manjit Singh.

A huge congregation of devotees was addressed by Baba Hari Singh Randhawa. He said Guru Nanak had said that kirtan and equal distribution of things were important. Famous religious figure Dharamvir Singh threw light on the life of Baba Namdev Singh.



Shopkeepers fight for ownership
Our correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 6
Some shopkeepers of Raikot have been shuttling between various offices in Chandigarh and Ludhiana to get legal rights of ownership of the shops they had "purchased" from the municipal council about four years ago.

According to a complaint made by Mr Hans Raj before the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, on the occasion of a sangat darshan held at Raikot, he had purchased a shop four years ago but the council had not signed the deed. Records showed that in 2001, the Executive Officer of the council had asked Mr Hans Raj to deposit Rs 1.85 lakh as the cost of the shop if he wanted to continue the possession of the shop.

"I deposited the amount but was shocked when the authorities declined to sign the sale deed," said Mr Hans Raj. Mr Charan Jit Channi, Executive Officer, said he had been transferred to the office recently.

He said the high court had banned the scheme under which his predecessor had sent notice to the tenants for depositing the said amounts.



Industrial workers continue stir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
Workers of Riat Machine Tools factory continued their fortnight-long agitation by holding demonstration and dharna to press the demand for the reinstatement of sacked workers, payment of unpaid salary for two months and the grant of other service benefits here today.

Addressing the agitating workers, the secretary of the Moulder and Steel Workers Union, Mr Mohinder Singh, alleged that the factory owners had dismissed regular workers employed for the last 5 to 20 years to usurp their service benefits and new recruitment process had been initiated. He charged the district authorities and officials of the Labour Department with ignoring the plight of the workers and arbitrary action of the employers, who were flouting every labour law.

Other trade union activists, including Mr G.S. Johri and Mr Harjinder Singh, called upon the authorities to respond and take necessary steps to ensure compliance of labour laws by the private sector employers failing which the trade unions would have no other alternative than to intensify the ongoing agitation.

Referring to the blast that took place at a local steel rolling mill, the speakers demanded proper medical care of the injured workers, stern action under the law against the factory owner and thorough inspection of the existing safety measures in the industrial units.



Plan to check tax evasion on goods’ transportation
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 6
The Department of Central Excise has chalked out an elaborate plan to make transport companies and eligible business enterprises get themselves registered for the payment of service tax on transport of goods by road. The tax was levied from January 1.

Giving this information to Ludhiana Tribune, the Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise, Mr V.M. Verma, said till date, 315 goods transport agencies and 565 traders and industrial houses, had got themselves registered with the department.

A preliminary survey conducted by the department had revealed that over 50 transporters and around 5,000 business houses and industrial concerns were still to apply for registration.

He said the department had learnt that many of the limited companies based in the city, registered dealers and partnership and proprietary firms had not sought registration as per the provisions of service tax under the belief that they had asked the transport companies concerned to pay the tax.

“It should be clearly understood that there is no such provision of shifting tax liabilities in this manner and the firms or business houses taking services of transport agencies will continue to be held responsible for payment of service tax. Under the provisions of service tax law, penalty for failure to pay and collect tax is Rs 100 per day, which may be extended up to Rs 200 per day. The non-payment of tax for reasons of fraud or suppression of facts will attract an additional penalty to the extent of 200 per cent of the service tax due,” added Mr Verma.

The department, he said, had organised a number of service tax camps, workshops and interactive sessions to educate and apprise service providers on the issue.

Stating that the due date for the monthly payment of service tax on transport of goods during the current financial year was the 25th of the subsequent month, the Assistant Commissioner of the department said tax for January and February was payable by by 25th of February and March, respectively.

However, service tax for March had to be paid on the last day of March itself because as per notification No. 1/2005, the amount of service tax had to be credited to the Central Government account by March 31, the last day of the financial year.



From Schools
Students give farewell parties to seniors
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
Students of Classes IX and XI of Jain Public Senior Secondary School, Benjamin Road, Ludhiana, organised farewell parties for students of Classes X and XII. While Class IX students treated their seniors today, the Class XI students did the same for their seniors yesterday.

Cultural programmes organised on the occasion saw presentation of modern, traditional and Punjabi dances, songs and skits.

Mr S.K. Kalra, Principal of the school, wished the outgoing students success in their board examination as well as in every walk of their life.

Many titles were conferred upon the outgoing students. Nishant and Gunjan of Class X were declared Mr and Ms Scholar.

Akash and Kanwaljeet Kaur of Class X were declared Mr and Ms Jain. Similarly, Naina of Class XII (Commerce) was declared Miss Scholar and Rittal was declared Mr Jain. Priya of Class XII was declared Miss Jain. Nishi of Class XII (Arts) and Mamta of Class XII (Commerce) were given appreciation awards.

Manipuri dance show

The Ludhiana chapter of SPIC MACAY organised a Manipuri dance show by Padamshri Guru Singhajit Singh and his disciple and wife Charu Sija Mathur in the auditorium of Guru Nanak Public School here on Saturday.

The couple has displayed their talent worldwide. Mr Ranjodh Singh, president of the Ramgarhia Educational Council, said the society would organise eight performances by different artistes in the city.



Models exhibited in school
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 6
An exhibition on social science was organised at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School here. Mr Ajmer Singh, ADC, Ludhiana, was the chief guest. The centre of attraction was a mock Parliament and proceedings of the Supreme Court presented by students. A Bill on women empowerment and free and compulsory education, besides a Bill on the decriminalisation of politics was passed.

A scene of a gram panchayat was also depicted, besides proceedings of the court were also projected, whereby students learnt about appeals being heard in two cases.

The issue of the death penalty was also raised.

There were around 200 models on display, including tsunami disaster, solar system, revolution of the earth and pyramids. Working models of volcanic eruption, river system, dam and water cycle were also exhibited.

Scenes from the lives of Mughal kings were also enacted. The Indian National Army could be seen with Netaji and Mahatma Gandhi during the Dandi March.

A journey from gurukuls to the system of modern education was highlighted. 


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