L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Industry observes bandh against VAT
Tribune News Service

The usually over-crowded roads and markets including Ghumar Mandi and Chaura Bazaar in the city wore a deserted look today as shops remained closed in protest against the implementation of VAT. While near total bandh was observed during the day, a couple of shops began opening in the evening. Residents had a tough time as even petrol pumps were closed today. “Shops were closed today we faced a tough time as even essential commodities were not available.

To add to it, petrol pumps were also closed,” Reena, a resident in Ghumar Mandi area said. Mobile vendors, meanwhile, had a good time as vegetable and fruit prices shot up. “The prices of vegetables and fruits today is atleast three times more than it was prevalent a couple of days back,” Priya, another resident rued. While the bandh would continue tomorrow and a day after that, petrol pumps would open. “Petrol stations would be open tomorrow as our protest was for today only,” said Mr Ashok Kumar, general secretary, Ludhiana Petroleum Dealers Association.

Traders burn an effigy in Vishwakarma Chowk on the first day of the three-day bandh against VAT in Ludhiana
Traders burn an effigy in Vishwakarma Chowk on the first day of the three-day bandh against VAT in Ludhiana on Wednesday. — Tribune photoby  Sayeed Ahmed

A heavy rush of customers at a petrol station on the Ferozepore road in Ludhiana, which was open despite a bandh against VAT
A heavy rush of customers at a petrol station on the Ferozepore road in Ludhiana, which was open despite a bandh against VAT on Wednesday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, March 30
Shops and industrial units in the city remained closed on the first day of the three-day nationwide bandh in protest against the implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT). The bandh was marked by protest demonstrations and rallies and various associations burnt effigy of VAT.

While the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association led by Mr G.L.Pahwa, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Wholesale Cycle Dealers Association, and Ludhiana Cycle Parts Suppliers Association burnt an effigy of VAT in Vishwakarma Chowk, traders associations held protest demonstration at the Clock Tower chowk here. Industry units also put up black flags outside their premises. Slogans of “VAT hatao beopaar bachao” (remove VAT, save industry) were raised by industrialists and traders.

“We will extend full support to the three day bandh call against VAT,” said Mr Inderjit Singh Navyug, vice-president, CICU. Condemning implementation of VAT, industry associations said its provisions would increase inflation and would be detrimental to the interest of industry as well as common man.

Said Mr Sunil Mehra of Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, “the government must defer the decision to implement VAT as it would ruin industry.” Industrialists said as five BJP-ruled states had deferred the implementation of VAT, there would be lack of uniformity, which would have a bad impact on industry in the states that are implementing the new taxation system.

They also said that provisions and rates of taxation differed in different states, which was unfair. For instance, essential commodities like pulses, salt, wheat and rice are tax-free in Delhi, in Punjab a four per cent tax has been imposed on them, said industry associations, adding, “there are several commodities that attract four per cent tax in other states, but 12.5 per cent in case of Punjab.”

Implementation of VAT would also encourage corruption and inspector raj, the protesting traders and industrialists said.

Meanwhile, a meeting of industry associations would be held tomorrow to discuss further course of action regarding VAT implementation, informed Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

Over 200 industry and traders’ bodies in the state are supporting the protest against VAT.



Strike against VAT in Khanna

Khanna, March 30
A total strike was observed by the traders and industrialists of the city in protest against the implementation of V A T today. The leaders of the local traders associations presented a memorandum to the Governor of Punjab through the S. D. M. Khanna Mr. Jaspal Mittal. The associations had demanded withdrawal of the VAT. Medical shops were also remained closed which causes a lot of inconvenience to the patients. OC



Three brothers’ bid to grab govt land
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 30
To grab government land worth Rs 50 lakh three brothers connived with a patwari and a lambardar of Abdullapur village in Sangrur district to show themselves sons of an unmarried person who had died without leaving a will regarding his property.

The fraud could have remained undetected had a revenue officer not noticed pedigrees with three brothers having two fathers.

Observations at the office of the local sub registrar and naib tehsildar revealed that three brothers, residents of Abdullapur village connived with the patwari and a lambardar of the same village to get themselves registered as sons and survivors of a person who never got married. They did so to inherit a piece of fertile land worth Rs 50 lakh.

Ajaib Singh of Abullapur village in Sangrur district had three sons namely Jagjit Singh, Pala Singh and Amarjit Singh besides daughters. Jang Singh a cousin of Ajaib Singh used to live with them. Every body in the village knew that he never married in his lifetime. As Ajaib Singh is a simple man Jang Singh during his lifetime managed the affairs of the family as a “lanedar”.

According to the records Jang Singh owned a piece of cultivable land measuring 640 biswas that was worth Rs 50 lakh. He died without making any will and as such the land should have been transferred in the name of the state of Punjab.

Instead of handing over the land to the revenue department Jagjit Singh, Pala Singh and Amarjit Singh allegedly conspired with the patwari and a lambardar of the village and got the entries made in the name of Jagjit Singh alias Jita, Dharampal alias Pala and Amarjit alias Raja during the year 1999. After getting the title rights transferred in their own names the trio took the possession of the land also. They thus succeeded in duping the government of lakhs of rupees.

Had Mr Mukesh Sharma Joint Sub-Registrar and Naib Tehsildar not noticed the irregularity in the sequence of “kursinama” the fraud could have gone undetected. After receiving information about the detection of the fraud the “illegal owners” tried to dispose of the property in hurry but the revenue staff posted at local office foiled their attempt.

Mr Mukesh Sharma after going through the records reported the matter to Dr Indu SDM at Malerkotla who got an inquiry conducted by the competent authorities.

Interestingly during investigations all concerned deposed that they knew that Jang Singh was unmarried. “Though he was unmarried I identified him as father of three sons as they used to call him ‘Bhappa’,” stated Jagmail Singh lambardar in his statement.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune Dr Indu said the investigating officer had recommended stern action against the suspects including patwari and lambardar. “Report would be forwarded to the district collector and further course of action would be decided on the recommendations of the higher authorities,” asserted Dr Indu. 



Property dealer’s family refuses to buy suicide theory
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Family members of a deceased property dealer who was found dead under mysterious circumstances yesterday at Surya Towers building have refused to buy the suicide theory behind his death as claimed by the police.

Though the family was waiting for the arrival of the deceased’s son from Australia later tonight for deciding to lodge a formal complaint or not with the police regarding their suspicion about the incident, they have while talking to mediapersons totally rejected the suicide theory.

Mr Jaswinder Singh Bakshi, owner of Deep Property Dealers, Fountain Plaza and a retired Bank Officer was found dead outside Surya Towers yesterday morning. The police was claiming that it seems he had committed suicide. However, no suicide note was found. The family members had also not cast suspicion at someone till yesterday evening.

However, family sources told The Ludhiana Tribune today that the deceased had loaned a large amount to some persons who were not returning the money. The details are known to his son only, who had gone to Australia two weeks ago only on study visa.

Gajinder Kaur wife of the deceased said she was in a daze and could not find any reason for her husband’s suicide as claimed by the police. She said my hubsand was not under any depression, tension and had no enemies, ‘‘ He was a strong-willed person and can never end his life in such a manner’’ she stressed adding that though she has no evidence regarding foul play she could not believe her husband would commit suicide.

Jagdev Singh, a brother-in-law of the deceased said the suicide theory was highly improbable.

Police sources said they have not find any clue about murder of the property dealer but would launch an investigation in a focused manner after receiving complaint from the family members.

Meanwhile, post-mortem examination report of the deceased has suggested that the man died after suffering multiple injuries and fractures all over his body.



One killed, two injured in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 30
A woman was killed her husband and daughter injured in a road accident.
According to the information Amrik Singh of Malsihan Bajan was going on his scooter along with his wife Balwinder Kaur and minor daughter when a fast driven TATA 907 vehicle hit their scooter in the area of Leelan Megh Singh killing his wife Balwinder Kaur at the spot and injuring her husband and daughter.

A case under section 304A, 427, 279 IPC has been registered by Sidhwanbet police. The body of the deceased has been handed over to her relations after postmortem. The driver is alleged to have fled away.

Act of bravery: In a daring act of bravery of a youngman to fire two shots in air made the five persons to flee empty handed who came to commit theft in the house.

According to information five unknown persons with intention to commit theft entered into the house of Kuldip Singh of Chowkiman 10 kms from here. During last night and spread chilly powder in the eyes of Kuldip Singh and his wife making them unable to see. Feeling the gravity of the act, son of the house owner, fired two shots from his fire arm making the five paniky, who without committing theft fled away. Local police has registered a case. No arrest has been made so far. 



Acid attack accused arrested
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 30
The police here has arrested Karn Maheshwari accused of acid attack in which a class XIth student was injured on the eve of Holi. A case was registered on the charges of attempt of murder against four persons at city police station.

On March 25th Karn Maheshwari threw acid on Seema Sharma a resident of Shiv Puri Mohalla when she resisted attempt of Karn to throw colours on her. The victim was admitted at civil Hospital Khanna from where she was taken to a Ludhiana Hospital for further treatment. A case was registered against Karn his brother Sunny and two other unidentified youth. But all the four accused were absconding from the date. Today police have arrested Karn the main accused.

DSP Khanna Rajeshwar Singh Sidhu confirmed the arrest said that the accused would be produced in the court for taking police remand.



Passing Thru

Ravinder Singh
Ravinder Singh Co-ordinator of Khalsa Aid

What is When was the Khalsa Aid found and its aim?

The Khalsa Aid was found in UK in the year 1999. Its major aim is to render humanitarian aid any wherein the world where natural calamity has struck. KA has just completed the second phase of aid that it endured to the tsunami victims of Nicobar and Andaman islands We have spent around Rs 41 laks on victims of tsunami. We send help to far flung African countries like Etophia and Somalia too. Anywhere a catastrophe occurs , we are there, be it in any part of the world. Our funding is mainly done by UK sangat.

What plans have you formulated with Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle of Ludhiana?

Since I am the co-ordinator of the Khalsa Aid, I came to Ludhiana to sign an MoU with the Study Circle as it has been doing good work in tacking drug addiction problem Together we aim to face the growing menace of drug addiction among the youth of Punjab. The problem is grave but its gravity has not been realised unlike UK where social organisations , private bodies, Government , NGO’s are aware and trying to overcome it . Only a few institutions and individuals are tackling this problem in Punjab. With dedicated team of Study Circle and committed people of Khalsa Aid , we will achieve some results.

Will you send experts from UK?

There is a lot of local talent and qualified people available in India and we are going to give them a chance. A few doctors and counsellors from UK will also oversee the programme .For detailed information about this unique charity, one can log on to www.khalsaaid.org.

— Asha Ahuja



Cong leaders welcome MC budget
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Mr Rajinder Singh Basant, Chairman, Trade and Industry Cell, PPCC, and Co-Chairman, Punjab Labour Welfare Board, Mr Ramesh Joshi, secretary, PPCC, Mr Pawan Dewan, senior vice president, Pradesh Youth Congress, and Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, ex-president, DCC (U), in a joint statement issued here today appreciated the provision of substantial funds i.e. Rs 175.65 crore for the development of the city in the budget of the local municipal corporation against the last year’s Rs 113.54 crore registering an increase of 31 per cent for development.

They said it was encouraging that the budget of the municipal corporation has touched a new record outlay of Rs 354.88 crore for the year 2005-06 and hoped that it would further accelerate the pace of development in the city.

The Congress leaders appreciated the allocation of Rs 5.30 crore for the development in the slum colonies keeping in mind the promise with the poor people to provide all basic amenities in the colonies during the municipal corporation elections.

They said Rs 52 crore had been earmarked for the completion of sewerage project, which would help in providing the facility to the remaining areas.



Shiv Sena holds rally against pollution
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
Due to alarming level of pollution in the industrial hub of the state, the Shiv Sena (Hindustan) today took out an awareness rally here and also burnt an effigy of pollution. The event also marked the completion of two years of the establishment of the party.

Led by general secretary of the party Mr Pawan Sharma and district president Mr Krishan Sharma, the slogan raising party activists, carrying mottos and placards against pollution, marched from Railway Station to the Jagraon Bridge. They were also carrying an effigy of detrimental effects of environmental pollution, which was later consigned to flames.

Speaking at the occasion, the Shiv Sena leaders called for effective measures against pollution, caused by large number of three wheelers, dyeing units and other industrial establishments. They said the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) office here, the major enforcement body against pollutants, had virtually become a den of corruption and its working was reduced merely to issue ‘no objection certificates’.

They regretted that the PPCB officials had failed to enforce the statutory provisions of pollution control, both on the three wheelers and industrial units. As a result, the city residents, including children were falling prey to a host of respiratory diseases. The party functionaries apprehended that if the authorities failed to take appropriate remedial measures without any further delay, the people would have to use masks while moving around in the city to ward off the ill effects of air pollution.

A large number of students from a local school also participated in the rally and urged the people to launch a mass movement to create awareness against increasing environmental pollution.

Prominent among others present at the occasion were Mr Pradeep Jindal, Mr Parveen Mittal, Mr Suraj Ahluwalia, Mr Suresh Manchanda, Mr Shiv Murti Sharma, Mr Anil Singla, Mr Krishan Bansal, Mr Sunil Choudhry, Mr Pradeep Verma, Mr Balraj Sharma, Dr Rajesh Kumar, Mr Narendra Bhardwaj, Mr Kuldip Singh Chamkeela, Mr Tarsem Singh, Mr Hardeep Singh, Mr Bimal Kumar, Mr Harvind Sharma, Mr Yogesh Kapoor, Mr Nishu Vohra, Dr Naval Kishore and Mr Shiv Poojan Pandey.



Special counters set up for Income Tax returns
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
The Income Tax Department has set up special counters at its headquarters at Aay Kar Bhawan in Rishi Nagar here for receiving income tax returns from the assessees as the current financial year draws to an end.

Even as the officials expect a great rush of the income tax payers as well as the taxation lawyers till tomorrow evening, there was a good turnout of the assessees at the receipt counters till this afternoon.

It was officially stated that March 31, 2005, was the last date for filing income tax returns for the financial year ended in March, 2004, and those failing in filing the return by the stipulated date would attract a penalty of Rs 5,000 along with due interest for delay in payment.

Senior officials of the department informed that a special receipt counter had been put up for taxation lawyers to facilitate filing of bulk income tax returns on behalf of their clients. The designated banks had also been asked to accept payment of direct taxes till late in the evening on March 31.

Commissioner of Income Tax Sat Pal told Ludhiana Tribune that nearly 15,000 returns had been filed by the assessees till this afternoon and the total number was expected to exceed 20,000 till the last day tomorrow. The receipt counters in the income tax office were to remain open till 6 pm from March 29 to 31.

He said some assessees, who had not so far received their PAN cards had experienced difficulty in depositing tax in the designated banks because it was mandatory to mention the number on payment challans. However, the department had issued directions to receive income tax returns from such tax payers with the condition that they would deposit due tax with interest after PAN cards were issued to them. In such cases where tax could not be deposited due to technical reasons, the penalty provision would be waived, the IT commissioner added.

Meanwhile, the Ludhiana Commissionerate of Central Excise informed that the last date for the payment of central excise and service tax for the month or quarter ending March, 2005, was March 31 itself due to the end of financial year.

According to officials, the branches of the authorised bank, Punjab National Bank, within the jurisdiction of the commissionerate, covering the district of Ludhiana, Ropar, Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda, Faridkot, Ferozepore and Moga, had been instructed to keep their branches open till midnight of March 31 to facilitate payment by the assessees.

The tax return for this period could be filed with the respective offices by March 31 evening after payment of assessed duty and tax. The department made it clear that the assessees could file provisional return and pay tax on this basis subject to final adjustment, if any, during April.



Female foeticide ‘is a curse’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
“Female Foeticide is a curse for the humanity and can only be overcome if we educate our youth about the effects of the curse on our existence....” said Dr J.S. Sohal, Principal before a campaign was inaugurated at Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET) Campus here yesterday. The campaign was organised in association with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Mr. Jiwanjot Singh of 6th semester LCET was the student-in-charge for the campaign in which all faculity members and the students present in the campus signed and took a pledge that they will not be a part of female foeticide in any way and will educate at least five members of the society about the curse.

Mr Vijay Kumar Gupta, Chairman said “Professional institutes should not only excel in academics but also build social and moral values in the students and signing campaign is one just step. He assured students that LCET Management will not lag behind in educating the youth about the damage to society which is the fall out of female foeticide.”



Cheques distributed to war veterans
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 30
The India Ex-Services League, Punjab and Chandigarh, organised a rally at Lopon Ashram here and appealed to all ex-servicemen not to get divided by forming small groups and be led by dirty politics since the government has been using them according to its wish.

Addressing the rally, state president of the league Col Jagjit Singh Mand, general secretary Col Joginder Singh and District president Col Bhag Singh Tihara, asked the gathering that to achieve the welfare of ex-servicemen, they should get united.

World War II veterans and widows were delivered the cheques received from the Royal Commonwealth League, London, by Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, local SDM.



3 booked for rape
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
A youth, his sister and her husband have been booked by the police for allegedly physically exploiting a girl, belonging to a high profile socialite family, for the past three years and later making false promise of marriage to her. The boy allegedly injured the girl yesterday when he rammed his scooter into her scooter causing a fracture in her arm.

The Model Town police has booked Ashish Dhiman, his brother-in-law Ricky and sister on the charges of raping the girl in which the house of Ricky and his wife was allegedly used. Model Town SHO Rajesh Kumar said the case had been registered on the complaint of the girl and the police was conducting further investigations.

No arrest has been made so far. The girl is under treatment at SAS Grewal Hospital in Gurdev Nagar here.


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