L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Novel way of cheating vehicle owners
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 27
“Obey The Traffic Rules (All States), National Etching and Reflector Wing” is purportedly the organisation in whose name some persons were collecting money on the pretext of affixing radium reflectors. Those who insisted not to pay were threatened to be sued. Though the amount collected from individuals was not substantial these groups admitted having collected lakhs.

The self-styled employees of the said organisation that claimed to be concerned about the safety of the vehicle owners of the country made the owners of the vehicles part with an amount ranging from Rs 20 to Rs 50 in the name of court orders.

Observations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that some teams each consisting of Hindi speaking youths and uniformed security personnel were collecting money on the pretext of orders by a court.

Deepak Sharma of local Mahavir Road said he was made to pay Rs 50 to a group of migrant labourers who introduced themselves to be employees of an interstate firm which was an authorised contractor for affixing reflectors and etching number on some part of the vehicles running on the roads.

There were many others who had paid Rs 20 to Rs 50 for getting radium stickers affixed on their vehicles and the headlight blackened partly. A battery-operated equipment was also used to etch number of the vehicle.

“When I showed my inability to pay money demanded, they detained my motorcycle and asked me to bring money from home,” said Mr Rajesh Sharma a resident of local Batta Bagh.

While one of the group leaders introduced him, as Babu Ram Verma from Mathura other was Sunder Lal Sharma from Meerut. Though no document proving their authority was shown, they claimed to be acting on behalf of an interstate firm authorised to ensure fixing of reflectors on vehicles as per orders of a court. They kept on issuing blank receipts to those who were in a hurry.

Both group leaders admitted that they had been in the field for more than 20 days. A group on an average intercepted around five 500 vehicles and around 10 such groups were told to be working in this belt of Malwa.

When this reporter insisted on seeing their identity card they proffered to pack up and shift their naka to some other place. The sources at local police station showed ignorance about orders from any statutory body.



Women beat up Dalit woman
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 27
In a bizarre incident, a woman of Rachhin village and her mother-in-law have thrashed a Dalit woman who protested against extramarital relation of her husband with the former. The hair of the victim were also cut by the accused.

Jagjit Kaur (32), wife of Gurmel Singh of the village, was allegedly beaten up by Narinder Kaur of the village and her mother-in-law after dragging her in their house on Friday evening.

Talking to this correspondent at a local hospital Ms Jagjit Kaur alleged that they had hurt her sentiments by cutting her hair with scissors.

“When I was passing through the street, they stopped me and dragged me in the house. I was thrashed by them mercilessly”, said Ms Jagjit Kaur.

When asked about the cause she said the family had an enmity with her.

Further inquiries at the village revealed that the suspects had beaten her up as she had protested against her husband’s illicit relations with Narinder Kaur.

The victim had reported the matter to the Latala police also. In her compliant, she had informed the police that Narinder Kaur used to call Gurmel Singh to her house and the two were having illicit relations.

When the victim woman started accusing her of disrupting her family life, the latter decided to teach her a lesson.

The victim was admitted to the hospital where she remained unconscious for a long time.

Mr Rajinder Singh SHO, Latala, recorded her statement.

Meanwhile the Dehlon police has registered an FIR against the accused under Sections 295A, 342, 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC. No arrest was yet made.



MC fails to demolish Councillor’s ‘illegal’ shops
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Demolition squad of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation which were gone to demolish alleged illegal shops of area councillor in the Dugri had to return empty handed following protests by the residents who did not let the squad do its duty.

Led by Mr Balkar Singh Brar, Senior Town Planner, the team had reached the house of the councillor of Ward number 32-Ms Gurdeep Kaur to raze shops constructed in the residential area today but area residents including women gathered outside her house and did not allow the team to do its duty. Another Shiromani Akali Dal councillor, Simarjit Singh Bains and his brother, also a SGPC member, Mr Balwinder Singh Brar were among the protesters.

Following the protests the team which was accompanied by police force returned without demolishing the structure. Many women were seen sitting outside her house and had laid a siege outside the street.

The officials said that they would come back after some days with woman police to remove the encroachments. The action against the encroachers came in the wake of a question raised by local MLA, Malkiat Singh Dakha in the State Legislative Assembly three days ago. The local bodies department had sought a reply from the local Municipal Corporation on the issue. Councillor, Gurdeep Kaur owes allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal.

The issue of the encroachments by the MC councillor has embarrassed the MC a number of times. It is being alleged that on December 15, 2004, the councillor was getting her shops constructed and Building Inspector, Jasdev Singh Sekhon had stopped the work after reaching the spot. The matter was also reported to the authorities. Later, another Akali Councillor, with some accomplices, had allegedly got the construction completed in the evening the same day.

The MC had issued demolition orders in this case on January 13. Ms Gurdeep Kaur, the Councillor said that she was a widow and she had constructed shops in the house for source of income. But some people had political rivalry with her and her husband when he was alive. It was out of political vendetta that they were complaining against her.

The issue has been hanging fire in the city for last quite some time. It came into limelight when the MC had demolished shops of a former councillor, Satpal Puri, who was sacked from the MC house some time ago. He was associated with the councillor’s party.



Suicide by newly wed: in-laws booked
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 27
The Khanna police has registered a case against in laws of Sandeep Kaur, who had committed suicide in Bhamdi village, 8 km from here, on Friday. Daljit Singh, husband of the deceased, has been arrested.

Deceased Sandeep Kaur was married to Daljit Singh of the village three months ago. On Friday, she committed suicide by hanging herself with the ceiling at her in laws house. The deceased was preparing for BA third year examinations. When she committed suicide, her books were lying open on bed.

Sukhwinder Singh, father of the deceased, had lodged a complaint against Surinder Kaur, mother-in -law, Rajinder Singh, father-in-law, Daljit Singh, husband, and a Panchayat member of the village. He alleged that his daughter's in laws had not informed them about the incident. They did not allow her to meet her family.

The police had registered a case under Sections 306 and 34 of the IPC against all three accused. The body of the deceased was handed over to the family members after conducting post-mortem. 



2 minor girls missing
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 27
Two minor girl students of class VIII had been missing from Guru Harkrishan Nagar area since last Friday. The police has started investigation after receiving complaints from the parents of the girls.

According to information, Manjeet Kaur daughter of Ghola Singh and Meena daughter of Shri Ram residents of Guru Harkrishan Nagar came to Gurdwara from their houses in the evening.

But they did not return. Parents searched for them but failed. Next day police was informed. Some residents alleged that the girls had gone with two migrant labourers as they were seen with them at 7.30 p.m. on Friday. It is said that migrant youths were living in the area and working artisans. They are also missing from their house.



Passing Thru

Mr H.P.S. Mahal
Mr H.P.S. Mahal, Member-Secretary, State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh

Who are entitled for free legal aid service provided by the Legal Services Authority?

Persons belonging to scheduled caste or scheduled tribes, persons in police custody or undertrials, any woman, industrial workers, mentally challenged persons or anyone affected from natural calamity as well as the people having an annual income less than Rs 30,000 irrespective of their gender are entitiled for this service.

Whom should they approach for availing free legal aid ?

Aggreived persons may move an application with an affidavit to the District and Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman of the District Legal Services Authority at District headquarters or to the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate at Sub-Division Level or to the Assistant District Attorney Legal Services Authority and in case of a person is in judicial custody — he or she can submit application through Jail Superintendent.

How does the Legal Services Authority provide legal aid ?

A panel of lawyers has been constituted for this purpose at sub-divisional level, district headquarters, High Court and Supreme Court. This facility can also be availed if an affected person intends to pursue his case before any tribunal.

— Rajneesh Lakhanpal



Ludhiana Calling

No matter how hard the government tries to ward off the media, members of the fourth estate will always get the news they look for. So, when the Punjab Government banned photojournalists and electronic media from recording the auction of liquor vends, the electronic media journos took to the spy cam. They recorded quotes of some officers of the Excise Department and channels aired the stories, much to the embarrassment of the officials and the government. One hopes they would soon realise the futility in banning the media from covering such programmes in future.

Fancy attires

It is fun to see students of various schools dressed in fancy attires at functions. With the rise in number of school functions organised at some time or the other, dress sellers have come up with novel designs to meet the demand. From a traditional Punjabi dress to Spider-man, all kinds of dresses are available in the market. Though it burns a hole in the pockets of children’s parents, there are some schools that have decided to provide dresses from their own funds.

Name game

The importance of being Ponty Chadha in the present economic-political scenario was all too evident at the recent auction of liquor at Ludhiana. The “pandal” was full well before the auction time of 11 am but the auction actually started after 1 pm when Ponty Chadha and his group of supporters had arrived. All heads turned towards the gate as “aa gaya” murmurs went around the gathering. He seated himself in one of the back rows. Fans hung on the poles were turned towards him depriving others of the cool air. His importance only increased when anyone winning a bid sought his blessing in full public view. Needless to say they were all his relatives or allies.

Overzealous compere

Recently, the Durga Dass Foundation in association with the Tribune and Spice Telecom staged a popular play, “Aap ki Soniya”, here. Needless to say the performance was par excellence as great actors like Farooq Sheikh and Sonali Bendre were on the stage. But the actors were constantly distracted by the beeping of mobile phones. Although most of the people had either switched off their sets or put them on vibration mode, there were some who either forgot or barely cared. However, the compere was over-enthusiastic enough to question the taste of the audience. It was unbecoming of the compere to make such a remark. Had it not been for the good taste of the audience, the venue would not have been packed to capacity for the play.


The staging of a monologue, “Vivekananda”, by the Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam in the city came as a pleasant surprise for some who were not expecting any crowd in the Guru Nanak Stadium. But contrary to the expectations of those who were thinking there would not be many takers for a play based on the life history of a saint, the hall ended up full to its capacity. Not only the elderly, a number of youngsters were seen glued to the seats. Every monologue of the artiste, Shekhar Sen, was well received and evoked applause from the audience, standing as a testimony to the love for the great saint.

Cold media

It has been an age-old belief that usually bad news makes good news. Last week, Nobel Laureate Norman E. Borlaug was on a visit to the Punjab Agricultural University. The 92-year-old scientists had won the Nobel Prize not for his scientific achievements, but for peace. He is the real apostle of peace, who scripted the story of Green Revolution and created the dwarf wheat variety. His contributions helped in, what the PAU Vice-Chancellor remarked, “banishing the hunger and starvation” from the world. Except for keen scientists and curious students, nobody new of the presence of the legend in the city. Even the media did not take much note of him. Had he been some celebrity, he would have hogged the limelight for several days.

— Sentinel




Irregularities in liquor auction, alleges Kanwaljit
Our Correspondent

Amloh, March 27
With the imposition of cess of Re1 per litre on diesel and 50 paise on petrol, the Congress government has put a financial burden of Rs 100 crore on the people of Punjab. An increase of Rs 2 per litre on diesel is expected from April1. Then diesel will be made available at Rs 29 per litre in the state, which is the highest in the country, asserted Captain Kanwaljit Singh, former Finance Minister and General Secretary of SAD.

He was talking to mediapersons after a function at the residence of Mr Hari Chand Mittal, president SAD, Amloh (Urban), here today. The hike in diesel and petrol will affect farmers and transporters who are undergoing financial crises. Now it will force the people to agitate in the state.

He flayed the government for failing on all fronts. It had adopted anti-people policies . There was no need of imposing cess on petrol and diesel. T|he auction of liquor had gone 1.5 per cent high in Punjab while the auction brought 18 per cent more than last year in Haryana. He alleged 200 crore bungling in the auction of liquor vends.

In reply to a query that Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, had offered to resign if corruption in liquor vends’ auction was proved, Mr Kanwaljit Singh suggested to form a committee of Legislators, including one member from each party, for a probe into this matter.

When asked why SAD Legislators opted for walkout instead of discussion over this point on the table of the House, he said the matter would be highlighted during the session for budget discussion on March 28.

The government is hurriedly imposing VAT from April 1 for which confusion prevailed among traders, industrialists and the government was not very much clear on several points. It should have been discussed among the concerned parties before its implementation.

SAD would oppose the VAT, he maintained. He further pointed out that the SAD government, in 1997, had brought down the registration fee on property from 12 per cent to 6 per cent and on ancestral property it was near 1 per cent but now the Congress government had raised it from 6 per cent to 9 per cent.

Among others circle Jathedar Hari Singh Virk, Youth Akali Dal district chief Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, Senior Vice-president Jaswant Singh Gold, General Secretary, All-India Youth Akali Dal, Tejinder Singh Salana, Sarpanch Balbir Singh, Amloh Council chief Baldev Singh Aulakh, Namberdar Harpal Singh, Political Secretary of former Finance Minister Zora Singh Haripur, Senior Akali leader Karamjit Singh Bagdana, Jatherdar Kahla Singh, BJP district vice-president Raj Pal Garg and SGPC member Ravinder Singh Khalsa were also present.



Trade unions resent denial of holidays
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 27
The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), National Organisation of Government Employees, the Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC) and the Hosiery and Industrial Workers Association have sought the resignation of Punjab Labour Minister Choudhry Jagjit Singh for his failure to protect the interests of the government and private sector employees as well as industrial workers.

Mr Shiv Gupta, general secretary, Mr K.R. Tripathi, president, Mr Sunder Lal Mehta, vice-president and Mr Bhola Nath Tiwari, president of these trade unions respectively, regretted here today that the government had denied many important religious and national holidays to the workers and the state Labour Minister had adopted silence over discrimination being meted out to the employees in the government departments, banks, insurance sector and private companies.

Trade union leaders further lamented that the government had turned deaf ear to repeated representations made by a host of labour organisations, political, social and religious bodies for restoration of holidays on Shivaratri, Holi, martyrdom day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Dr Ambedkar’s birthday, Baisakhi, Ram Navami, Mahavir Jayanti, martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur, International Labour Day, International Womens’ Day and martyrdom day of Udham Singh for government employees, as well as for banks under the Negotiable Instruments Act without any effect so far.

They served an ultimatum to the government against its anti-employees’ policies.



Easter celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 27
Parishners of Kalvari Church, led by Priest Ramlal, celebrated Easter today. Rev Ramlal explained to the congregation that 2000 years ago Christ had been crucified for the sake of the humanity. It was a black Friday and an unlucky one. But Christ was resurrected on the third day and hence the Christians celebrate Easter.

The Christians prayed for the world peace. Father Danial Gill led his parish in prayers in Sarabha Nagar Church. It is customary to paint eggs in a colourful manner as there are the symbol of fertility. The colourful eggs were on sale in the vicinity on the CMC campus and had a brisk sale.



Pensioners resent Budget proposals
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 27
Pensioners and senior citizens today voiced concern over the raw deal meted out to them by the Union Finance Minister in his Budget proposal.

At a meeting held here, they termed the proposals regressive. Mr Yashpaul Ghai, additional general secretary, in a press note said earlier, they were not liable to pay income tax on annual income of Rs 1,95,000 as they were allowed a standard deduction of Rs 30,000, interest income of Rs 12,000 on bank deposit and a special tax rebate of Rs 20,000.

However, according to the new proposals, they would now have to shell out Rs 9,000 as income tax on the same income as the concession available to them earlier had been withdrawn.

The meeting decided to send a memorandum to the Finance Minister urging him to review their case and raise the exemption limit to Rs 2 lakh.



Truck union’s factions merge
Our Correspondent

Khamano, March 27
Truckers of Khamano and surrounded area heaved a sigh of relief when two factions of truck union decided to work together.
A meeting in this regard was held at the office of Guru Nanak Truck Operators Union Khamano in which industrialist Baljit Singh Uppal, Mr Hari Chand, Block Congress President Sukhdev Sharma and many moer members of the two factions took part Janak Singh Uppal was unanimously elected President and the second Khamano Truck Operator Union was merged with Guru Nanak Truck Operator Union.

President Janak Singh Uppal said that members of executive committee, Malkit Singh Bhambri, Blora Singh Bilaspur, Pal Singh Bhutta, Jagjit Pal Khamano, Avtar Singh Bhambri, Swarn Singh Barwali Kalan, Harminder Singh Hawara Khurd and Dilbag Singh Khamano Kalan will continue as member and more members would be inducted in the committee.



200 bottles of liquor seized
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 27
Three persons while reversing maruti (No PB-08 S-4408) allegedly hit a truck and later fled leaving the car near Raja Dhaba on Jagraon Ludhiana GT Road. On the statement of Rajwinder Singh of Raja Dhaba, the police registered a case under Section 279 IPC and 61-1-14 of excise act as 200 bottles of IMFL were recovered from the said vehicle. No arrest has been made so far.



Traders threaten stir against VAT 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 27
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal (PPBM) has called upon MLAs not to give assent to the VAT Act during the ongoing session of Assembly till uniformity in the tax rates is ensured and provisions are made for tax-free items in the Act. The mandal has warned the government to be prepared for an agitation in case VAT is thrust upon traders.

In a statement here today, Mr Amrit Lal Jain, state president, Mr Sunil Mehra, general secretary, Baba Ajit Singh, chairman, Mr Kasturi Lal Mittal, district president, and Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, general secretary, said VAT had disregarded the claim of the empowered committee of state Finance Ministers on VAT that in the new tax regime uniformity in the tax rates in all states would be ensured.

“The VAT Act of Delhi, finalised a couple of days back, has placed items of daily use like rice, wheat flour, pulses, bread, salt and paddy in the tax-free category whereas in Punjab, these items will attract 4 per cent tax. Similarly, many other items to be taxed at 4 percent in Delhi, have been placed in the 12.5 per cent tax category.”

The mandal nembers flayed the decision to introduce VAT in 21 states from April 1, saying that the decision was a move to cause irreversible damage to traders in these states. Political functionaries and bureaucrats were out to victimise more than 4 crore shopkeepers and traders by bringing in such tax laws that would spell complications, repression, heavy penalties and corruption for the business community.

Making an appeal to the Legislators to oppose the VAT Bill, introduced by the state Excise and Taxation Minister in the House on March 24, mandal leaders maintained that the Chief Minister or the Excise and Taxation Minister had not held any meeting with representatives of traders to redress the problems related to several provisions of the proposed VAT Act.

They reiterated their stand that the traders would not accept VAT till the government would amend the objectionable provisions of the Act and fulfil its promise of abolition of octroi, other taxes and levies and undue official interference in the process of tax collection.

Meanwhile, the District Chemists and Druggists Association has hailed the government decision to introduce VAT in the state from April 1, saying that the tax on medicines would come down in the new system and people would be benefited by way of reduction in the prices of medicines.

A meeting of the association, presided over by Mr C.K. Sharma, criticised BJP governments in several states for not falling in line to achieve the objective of uniformity in the tax rates in all states. Addressing the meeting, Mr Sharma claimed that under VAT the menace of sale of spurious and substandard drugs and evasion of tax would also be curbed as all transactions would come on record.



Traders to oppose VAT
Our Correspondent

Amloh, March 27
On a call given by the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, the local unit of the Mandal at a meeting of different unions of shopkeepers resolved to close business establishments on March30, as stated by the office-bearers of traders here today.

It was also decided that all shop keepers will close their shops, and gather at Qila Chowk.

The meeting was presided over by Mr Bhavishan Kumar President of the local unit. Mr Raj Pal Garg, Mr Mangat Arora, Mr Bhim Sain and Mr Ravinder Arora also expressed views. The union will again meet at 7 PM on March 30 at Ram Bhavan Dharamshala to decide action.

With the implementation of VAT, sales-tax will increase from 8 per cent to 12.5 per cent means 5 per cent to 10 per cent hike in prices. 


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