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Seven arrested in Rs 18 lakh robbery case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The Rs 18 lakh robbery case in which three members of the family of a money transfer trader were wounded last week was allegedly committed by a 10-member gang which had used hi-tech technique including pilot and cover up teams to make it a successful operation.

The accused along with six other persons were part of one gang which was in touch with each other and have committed at least four other major robbery in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Phagwara cities in the recent past. Seven out of the 16 member-gang have been arrested.

Gang formation and modern style of committing crime touched new heights with the activities of this gang as was revealed by SSP Ludhiana, Narinderpal Singh at a press conference here today.

The police claimed that kingpin of the gang was Amarjit Singh alias Mandal alias Kaka who has been arrested. He was part of all the robberies committed by the gang. Other arrested persons were Sanjeev Kumar alias Laali, Dinesh Kumar alias Happy, Lalit Kumar alias Cho Cho in the Rs 18 lakh robbery case.

In the Mehtoot bank robbery case another alleged gangster Jimmy Parecha has been arrested along with Mandal while Deepak Saede and Sunil Kumar along with Mandal have been arrested in the Salem Tabri robbery case.

Paramjit Singh Pamma who was a proclaimed offender of the Jalandhar police is a member of the gang. His posters are also pasted on the walls of that city for the past several months announcing his ‘Most Wanted’ status. He could not be arrested.

SSP Narinderpal Singh said the gang members have been found involved in the Rs 18 lalkh Muradpura robbery incident, Rs 3.12 lakh Mehtoot Bank robbery. Rs 58,000 looting from a trader Rakesh Bhatia, Rs 80,000 and two gold chain snatching from Badala village in Noormehal, Jalandhar and Rs 98,000 stolen from a scooter-diggy in Phagwara some months ago.

The absconding gang members in all these cases were Vikas Sood alias Bobby of Jain Colony, Dabba road Ludhiana; Paramjit Singh alias Pamma of Bajuha village, Jalandhar; Mahavir Singh of Sasaaye village in Hansi, Ludhiana ;Surinder Kumar alias Maamu of Mahrauli, Delhi ; Raju of Haryana ;Daadu alias Sardar of Haryana, Sunil Dutt of Nanak nagar near Sabzi Mandi Ludhiana; Gurjinder Singh and Naresh Kumar alias Bunty of Ghai Market Ludhiana.

The SSP said contrary to previous reports that four persons had committed the Rs 18 lakh robbery, as many as 10 persons were involved in that incident that had shaken the city. Six accused were riding three motorcycles and four other in a Santro car. One motorcycle was the pilot or the road opening vehicle which went ahed of others to verify if the route was ok.

Two motorcycles followed it as well as the car of Sunny who had the money and eventually robbed in Muradpua. A santro car in which four other gang members were seated followed the motorcycles. They were the ones who eventually took the money.

The police however could not recover much from the gangs. Not a single rupee from the Rs 18 lakh robbery has been recovered. The Police has recovered Rs 3900 from Jimmy in the Mehtoot bank robbery case and Rs 10,000 from Deepak and Sunil in the SalemTabri robbery case.

The police has recovered three Hero Honda motorcycles from the arrested accused and one .315 bore pistol.

The SSP has specifically praised SP-Detective Gurpreet Singh, DSP Simrat pal Singh Dhindsa, Inspector Sandeep Wadhera, Inspector Nishan Singh, Inspector Mukhtiar Singh, Inspector Balbir Singh, Dulla Singh and Amrik Singh.



Forum summons marriage palace owner for disobeying order
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 14
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has summoned the owner of a marriage palace on the charge of not complying with the orders of the forum, “intentionally and wilfully.”

Earlier the forum had directed the owner of the marriage palace, M/s Mehar Meadows, Ferozepur Road, to refund an amount of Rs 11,000 alongwith 9 per cent per annum interest for two years to a consumer vide its judgement dated February 11. The judgement was pronounced in a complaint filed by a local lawyer, Mr Vinod Sehgal.

Now the complainant has alleged that the owner and the manager of M/s Mehar Meadows have intentionally and wilfully disobeyed the orders of the forum. The verdict announced was very much in their knowledge.

The complainant has prayed that Mr I.S.Sidhu and Mr Gurvinder Singh, owner and manager of the marriage palace respectively, be ‘detained in the civil prison’ for disobeying the orders of the forum. Following this, the forum ordered to issue summons to the opposite party for June 18, 2005, to explain their stand.

In its complaint, the consumer had alleged that he had booked the palace for the marriage of her daughter in January 2003 by making a payment of Rs 11,000 in advance. The marriage was fixed for October 27, 2003. But due to certain reasons, he himself got the booking cancelled after three months. He was assured that the booking amount would be returned very soon but it was not done, added the complainant.

On the other hand, it was pleaded by the opposite party that as per the duly printed terms and conditions, the booking amount was not to be returned in the event of the cancellation of booking by the consumer.

In its verdict, the forum had held that there was no evidence produced to show that the marriage palace was not again booked for October 27, 2003, by any other person and due to that they suffered financial losses. So, the advance amount was to be refunded back. 



Ignored at function, Mayor leaves the venue in huff
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The contribution of city’s Mayor in the development of the city as well as maintenance of civic amenities was largely underplayed at a function organised by four Congress Councillors where accolades were showered in praise of Municipal Commissioner only here last evening.

None other than the first citizen of the city, Mayor, Nahar Singh Gill made his displeasure obvious by walking out of the function mid-way. Though he walked out of the venue claiming that he had to attend another function, sources close to him said that he was annoyed at being ignored by the four Councillors, who had organised the function.

The function was organised by four Congress Councillors including Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Mr Balkar Singh, Dr Jai Parkash and Mr Madan Lal Bagga. Almost all speakers invited on the dais spoke about the good work done by the commissioner, they did not refer to the Mayor in their address.

While the Mayor continued to share the dais with the Commissioner for quite some time, he left the venue along with some Councillors midway when, Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma was being honoured. The four Councillors were seen talking to him also but he did not relent.

Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu, one of the organisers said that the Mayor had felt ignored. He claimed that it was, however, not deliberate. He added that they had met him in the morning today and everything was settled.

He was, however, quick to add that they were going to honour him also and all arrangements were already in place when he left the function. “We thought of honouring the commissioner first. We had not imagined the consequences. But next time this will not happen,” said Mr Ashu.

Congress leaders close to the Mayor said that he had felt very bad and decided to leave the function. They added that the Mayor was equally responsible for the development of the city and he also deserved bouquets from atleast the Congress councillors.

Mr Parvin Bansal, leader of Opposition in the MC house, who accompanied the Mayor last evening said that he had also felt bad about the entire episode. ‘‘Being the first citizen of the city and leader of MC house, he should not have been ignored like this. I am a leader of Opposition but I will call a spade a spade. The treatment meted out to him was unfair. He was humiliated though not deliberately. Afterall, the development of the city is a team work and Mayor is definitely an important part of this team,” he said. 



5-year-old appears in court for ‘traffic violation’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
A five-year-old boy attended a court hearing in case of the impounding of a motorcycle that listed him as the offender of some unspecified traffic rule violation much to the chagrin of his family which claimed that they do not own any motorcycle.

Jaspreet Singh Gujral, a student of Upper Kinder Garten (UKG) in Guru Nanak International school, Model Town here, a resident of 282-B, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar had to appear in the court of Judicial Magistrate Ravi Inder Kaur after taking special leave from his school. His grandfather Daya Singh Gujral who is a retired sub-Inspector told The Ludhiana Tribune that he was shocked when the summons were received in the name of his grandson. He said the most surprising thing was that the name of his son and grandson as well as the address matched.

However, when they reached the court, they were reportedly told that there must have been mistake some where in the issuing of the Challan. An inquiry would be conducted to find out where the mistake took place.

The two-wheeler is impounded and the police was hoping to find out who the culprit was. Jaspreet has probably created a record of sorts by being the youngest person to be summoned in a court in a case. He was cynosure of all eyes when his grandfather produced him in the court.



Fire in hotel
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Rescue operation and fire fighting by staff of the Maharaja Regency hotel and the local fire brigade today averted a major tragedy when fire broke out in an AC ducts in the kitchen of the hotel today morning.

No injuries were reported but there was substantial damage of property as several window panes were broken to fight the fire as well as to release smoke-filled up in the kitchen hall.

The hotel staff showed alacrity and evacuated all guests in the hotel well in time.

Mr R K Sharma, incharge Fire Brigade Ludhiana and Fire Officer Mr Parmar led the rescue operations.

Four fire tenders were pressed into service. The cause of the fire was being examined.



Rights panel seeks Vedanti’s resignation
Row over ‘Jo Bole So Nihal’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) has flayed the state government for neutralising the protests of Sikh organisations at several places in the state against the screening of the controversial film “Jo Bole So Nihaal”. It has also asked Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti to resign from the post for hurting the sentiments of the Panth.

Mr D S Gill, chairperson of the outfit, said Jathedar Vedanti had created chaos in the Sikh community by acting hastily and under the alleged influence of his “tainted” PA, Prithipal Singh Sandhu, in giving a clean chit to the film on the basis a report by his handpicked committee, he added.

He alleged that the organisation apprehends that the tainted PA brokered a deal with liquor baron Ponty Chadha.

It is strange that Capt Amarinder Singh government has used police force against the protesters just to safeguard the economic interests of liquor-mafia chief Ponty Chadha, the producer and distributor of the film, instead of watching the interests the Sikh Panth, he pointed out.

“Indiscriniately patronising Ponty Chadha and brutally opposing Sikhs in general and Sikh groups opposed to Badal, in particular, in such a sensitive matter seems nothing but a callous act of the Capt Amarinder Singh’s government,” he added.

He added that the state government should immediately stop the screening of the film in Punjab and talk to Sikh representatives without any delay, failing which the government shall have to pay a heavy price for its stupidity.



Punjabis get ‘inhuman’ treatment in Haryana jails
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 14
A Punjabi undertrial, who has returned recently from Haryana after spending one month there in a district jail, has alleged that despite the Supreme Court directions that an undertrial does not lose all his rights when in jail, Punjabis appearing in various cases, and lodged in the jails of Haryana continue to bear the brunt of official apathy and the hatred at the hands of more privileged Haryanvi inmates. Punjabis are getting inhuman treatment as they are deprived of facilities according to the jail manual.

Malkiat Singh, a driver of Lohatbaddi village who had been lodged in the Rohtak District Jail recently, alleged that junior officials posted in the jail had been acting on the behest of more privileged inmates of Haryana. Besides receiving inhuman treatment at the hands of officials, the Punjabi inmates, especially the Sikhs, faced humiliation at the hands of “senior Haryanvi inmates” also.

Malkiat Singh said Punjabi undertrials were discriminated against. While those belonging to Haryana got A-one treatment, the Punjabis were treated as their subordinates.

“We were made to sweep and scrub the floor whereas the inmates from Haryana used to enjoy recreation facilities. A Lambardar, who was a senior inmate from the home state, used to dictate terms to Punjabis,” he said.

He further alleged that officials at the jail had virtually authorised the lambardar to exploit the Punjabi inmates and collect bribes on their behalf. “Out of Rs 100,, the lambardar received from us occasionally for getting proper food and water, Rs 50 were given to a havildar on duty,” said Malkiat Singh.

Referring to the information received from other inmates lodged in the same jail, he said that in most of the jails there, Haryanvi inmates used to harass Punjabis physically also. They had told him that hardcore Haryanvis beat the Punjabi inmates occasionally and they were so helpless that they could not stop them from doing so. 



Taxation advisers discuss VAT
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The Taxation Advisers Association held a meeting to discuss provisions of the Value Added Tax (VAT) system.
Addressing the meeting, Mr Satish Aggarwal, president of the association, said the audit provision in VAT would only result in washing time of traders and industrialists whereas the government would not derive any benefit out of it.

He said this would happen because under the provisions of the Income Tax Act, if a firm’s annual turnover exceeds Rs 40 lakh, it has to conduct an audit, which renders the provision under VAT useless.

Condemning VAT, press secretary Jatinder Khurana said instead of simplifying things, several provisions would rather complicate matters for trade and industry. Talking about such provisions, he said the increase in fee from Rs 100 to Rs 500 for getting a registration number, increase in guarantee from Rs 15,000 to Rs 50,000 are provisions that would trouble trade and industry.

“Earlier, a trader or industrialist was required to file returns every quarter but now in case of turnover beyond Rs 1 crore, he would have to submit information statements every month and also an annual information return, which increased work load,” he said.

Mr Khurana said a registered dealer, who paid tax, would not get input tax credit in the first quarter. Rather, he would get one-fourth of the total credit in the next three quarters . “This blocks a trader’s money and creates problems for him,” he said.

Mr Inderjit Sachdeva, chairman of the association, said traders were also suffering on account of non-clarity in taxation rates under VAT.

The association demanded the provision concerning audit and other rigorous provisions. Mr Vijay Vohra, Mr Bimal Arora and Mr Rakesh Aurora were among others present on the occasion.



Tax lawyers deny Addl Commissioner’s statement

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 14
Members of the District Tax-Bar Association expressed surprise over the news item carried in some newspapers through Mr S.K. Ralhan, Additional Excise Taxation Commissioner, Punjab which stated that shortage of forms VAT 2 and VAT 16 is due to the fact that these forms were taken away by the advocates from the offices concerned.

The association under the signatures of its President Prem Kumar Bansal and Secretary Anil Khullar has issued a written statement here today that not even a single VAT 2 or VAT 16 form has been made available in this district of Fatehgarh Sahib.

The press note, further stated that the registered persons have purchased these forms from the local printers.

“We, the advocates, have been co-operating the department for the last more than two years to educate the masses and to implement the new VAT Act. In spite of this fact, we the advocates are being blamed,” the press note maintained. The association condemned the statement.



“Song of Seasons” depicts divine beauty
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, May 14
T P S Sandhu, a well-known photographer, is inspired by the wisdom that to be happy, healthy, holy, love and nature. Hence as a photographer , he finds divine beauty in the nature. He told Ludhiana Tribune, ‘I have been overwhelmed by the grandeur of nature my outlook towards nature is steeped in spiritualism.

I have tried to capture the essence of Baramah composed by the fifth Guru , Guru Arjan Dev Ji in “Raag Majh” ,wherein he inspired the human soul , detached from the God, to rejoin Him through noble deeds.”

He says: “Nature seems to convey a fresh message in each month from Chetar (March-April)to Phagun (February -March) through the tree. The tree conveys that all seasons of the year remain attuned to the will of God and identification with nature is akin to connectivity with the Lord. As one gets assimilated with the God, all months, seasons, days, hours, and minutes appear superbly comfortable, making the entire surrounding blissful”

Each page of the album carries a stanza (pauri) of Baramah (Majh)along with the English and Punjabi translation as rendered by Mr Manmohan Singh, advocate. For Chetar March -April it is written: “In the pleasant month of Chetar, this tree, standing like a pious figure, communicates the message of attainment of absolute comfort and divine bliss by keeping in mind the omnipresence of the Lord. The scene changes dramatically in Baisakh (April-May ) as there is great hectic activity . But amidst all the tree stands comfortably and seems to be conveying that even while attending to worldly affairs, one can attain bliss by always remembering Him in the core of the heart

In Jeth (May-June), the Guru says that owing to its attachment to the Almighty God , the undetered green tree proclaims the message that even the scorching month of “Jeth” becomes pleasant through submission to the will of the God whereas in Har (June-July)the tree standing at ease in the extremely hot month makes us understand that even the scorching heat of Har cannot scald those who have forever submitted to the will of the God. This conveys that as one reaps what one sows.

In the month of Sawan (July-August) the tree in bloom of Sawan conveys the message that even if this month symbolizes prosperity, in reality it is delightful only for those who adore the Almighty, considering him to be all pervasive. 



Gangsters active in city?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Gang wars between the Rana and Lalla groups in the city have once again come to the fore with the arrest of seven members of a 16-member gang announced by the city police today in several robbery incidents.

Reports that the gangs had ceased to exist with the murder of Lalla last year and arrest of Rana in the case have been proved wrong with the Lalla gang members hatching a conspiracy to kill Rana as has been revealed by the gang members, the police claimed today.

SSP Narinderpal Singh said the prime accused Amarjit alias Mandal was close to Lalla who was allegedly shot dead by Rana and three other persons. Mandal and some other supporters of Lalla wanted to avenge his murder . He hatched a plan with Paramjit Singh alias Pamma and got in touch with other accused Laali and Bobby to kill Rana.

As the plan was to eliminate Rana openly in such a manner that his gang members remained terrified for several years, Mandal and Pamma brought more people in their gang. They then allegedly committed a number of crimes including the Rs 18 lakh robbery to facilitate the Rana elimination plan.



Old man hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 14
Bhajan Singh (65) of Shakti Nagar Jagraon received serious injuries when an unknown vehicle hit him near Basant Palace on Jagraon Sidwanbet Road and fled away with the vehicle. The injured has been admitted in the local civil Hospital . police has started investigation. No arrest has been so far.

Illicit Liqour seized: The Sidhwanbet police arrested Jarnail Singh of Kotmana and recovered from his possession 15. 180 litres of illicit liqour. A case under Section 61.1.14 of excise Act has been registered.



Lottery draw held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The first prize of Rs 25 lakh of the Punjab State Monthly Lottery, May 2005, went to ticket number B-329322. The monthly draw was taken out here today in presence of the Director Lotteries, Mr A.S. Pannu, Ms Amrit Kaur Gill, SDM (East) and Mr Ajay Sood, Assistant Commissioner, GA, Ludhiana.

Mr Pannu informed that as per the government policy, the department was not making any other deduction from the prize money except income tax as applicable. He said while winners who get prizes up to Rs 5,000 would be given the amount without any deduction, those winning above Rs 5,000 would have to furnish their claim with the department on a proforma accompanying the prize-winning ticket in original.

The department also released the tickets for the Punjab State Monthly Lottery, June, 2005, the draw of which is scheduled to be held on June 14, 2005.

In today’s draw 10 second prizes of Rs 1 lakh each were also declared, 20 third prizes of Rs 20,000 each, 200 fourth prizes of Rs 2,000 each, 2,000 fifth prizes of Rs 200 each and 2 lakh sixth prizes of Rs 20 each were declared.


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