L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


IT men swoop down on coloniser, liquor trader
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 26
Income tax officials faced stiff resistance from an employee of a local coloniser and the mob which gathered at the Lajpat Nagar locality during raids conducted at several places belonging to the coloniser and a liquor trader here today.

Though the 200-odd officials of the department and the police force accompanying them were tight-lipped, it was learnt that the raids commenced simultaneously at 18 places since early morning. Mr Mohinder Singh, Director of Investigation, Income Tax, was supervising the raids.

While no official word was available and the searches were still continuing, it was reported that the department had made a rich haul of cash, jewellery and other incriminating documents during the massive operation, which could lead to disclosure of huge amount of concealed income and evasion of income tax. More than half a dozen lockers belonging to businessmen in different local banks were sealed.

Trouble broke out at the residential premises of an employee of the coloniser in Lajpat Nagar when a bundle of documents, thrown from the first storey of the house by members of the household to avoid seizure by the income tax officials, hit a woman standing below. The woman sustained minor injuries, which provided an opportunity to the family members of the employee to raise a hue and cry and charge the income tax staff with assault.

According to eyewitnesses, a large number of residents gathered at the spot and offered resistance to the income tax officials, who were preparing a list of seizure of cash, jewellery and other incriminating documents, which included title deeds of large chunks of land in several city localities, proposed to be developed by the coloniser.

Unconfirmed reports said in the melee which ensued, someone from the family escaped with a suitcase containing more than Rs 1 crore from the spot. It was learnt that the income tax officials, comprising the raiding party, had lodged a complaint with the police, but no case had been registered till the filing of this report.



Education a costly affair for pvt college students
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, July 26
The students of private colleges, by paying exorbitant fee, have been suffering due to the apathetic attitude of the state government towards higher education. Due to government’s no clear-cut policy regarding financing of higher education and stopping of grant to private managements, education has become so costly that it has gone beyond the reach of even middle class people.

As compared to the students in government colleges, the private students are paying three times more money for each course.

Prof Jagwant Singh, general secretary, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU), talking to Ludhiana Tribune said that for the past 6-7 years, higher education in the state was suffering a lot. The government was not backing higher education. In the absence of any grant from the government, private managements were finding it difficult to meet their expenses. And they had put on all the burden on students. “Today, a private student is paying three times more for the same course as compared to his/her government counterpart. For a simple graduate degree, the government student was paying less than Rs 3,000 whereas the private student had to shell-out over Rs 8,000 a year. Education has become unaffordable for a poor or an average middle class student”, said Prof Jagwant Singh.

He said on the pretext of financial crunch the government was not making an proper policy on higher education. They had not increased the fee in government colleges for the past many years. If the government adopted a reasonable policy, much revenue could be generated for providing a boost to higher education and parents of private students could get respite to some extent.

One of the principals of a private college here said that they were bound to put “undue” pressure on students in absence of any grant from state government." Ultimately, we have to run our institutions. We have been asking for grants repeatedly but the state government has backed out from its pre-poll promises. They have told us to manage everything on our own. The managements have to generate their own resources. There is no denying the fact that fee in private institutions has increased manifold in the absence of state government support”, said the principal.



Race on for DCC chief’s post
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 26
With Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo taking over the reins of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC), race has already begun for the post of the president of the District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (urban). It is learnt that Mr Dullo has reportedly expressed his desire to find a new and younger face for the Ludhiana urban unit.

The incumbent president, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, was appointed by the outgoing president, Mr HS Hanspal. However, like the PCC, there was not much activity at the DCC-level either. The party remained in total inertia during the past few years. Moreover, Mr Dullo is learnt to be keen on inducting a new team at some district headquarters with special emphasis on Ludhiana, which happens to be his home district.

However, Mr Dullo is believed to have decided not to change the Ludhiana (rural) president, Mr Harmohinder Singh Pradhan. In fact on Sunday, Mr Dullo visited the residence of Mr Pradhan on the Pakhowal road, sending a clear signal that he was going to continue with his current post.

With Mr Dullo reportedly indicating that there would be change of leadership in the DCC urban unit, race has already started for this job. There are already a number of people who are in the race. While some believe that it may be a Hindu candidate, a section within the DCC is keen on inducting some urban Sikh as the DCC president. This, they argue, would be the best way to counter the Shiromani Akali Dal-Badal, which has a substantial support base among the urban Sikhs.

The PCC president had recently announced that as of now he was not going to change anyone from the existing team. But sources close to him revealed that he was not happy with some of the incumbent office-bearers, who had reportedly lobbied against his appointment as the PCC president in Delhi. These office-bearers were instrumental in raising the issue of Lok Pal in Delhi obviously to scuttle his elevation. 



School curricula under review
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 26
Acting on the suggestions of the Central Advisory Board for Education (CABE), the state Education Department has initiated a process for reviewing the curricula school’s in the state. Besides government schools, private-aided and affiliated schools will also be asked to follow the reviewed curricula.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Sadhu Singh Randhawa, Director, State Council of Education Research and Training, said the department had initiated a process for the evaluation of merits and demerits of the proposals put forward by CABE.

“We have prepared a draft plan on the subject, copies of which have been sent to all DEOs and DIETs. We have sought comments on the issue within a stipulated period so that further steps to make education more practical can be taken,” he said.

Referring to the outcome of a high-level meeting chaired by Mr Arjun Singh, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Mr Randhawa said the authorities had taken a serious notice of the contents of certain books that had been widening the gap among various sections of society.



Passing Thru

Santosh Chaudhary
Santosh Chaudhary, Chairperson, National Commission for Safai Karamcharis

What measures are you taking to improve the lot of safai karamcharis in the country?

There has been a significant change in the plight of the safai karamcharis across the country. But at several places they continue to live and work under sub-human and pitiable conditions. Moreover, they are even exploited by employers at several places. I have recommended amendments in the labour laws so that the safai karamcharis are not exploited.

What about the manual scavenging still prevailing in several parts of the country?

It is the most unfortunate thing that at some places there are manual scavengers. We are suggesting measures to remove manual scavenging and rehabilitate those affected with it. Latest technology is being used to provide comfortable work atmosphere to the scavengers.

Vimal Sumbly



Counter for bulk IT returns
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 26
The Income Tax Department here would set up a special receipt counter for bulk income tax returns to avoid heavy rush and inconvenience to tax payers and members of the bar. The counter, to be located at the computer centre in Rishi Nagar headquarters of the department, would become functional from July 28.

This was stated by Mr Ashok Juneja, president, Taxation Bar Association, and Mr L.C. Gupta, president, District Taxation Bar Association, in a joint statement here today. The special counter would remain open up to 5 p.m. from July 28 to 31 and up to 6 p.m. on August 1.

The functionaries of the two associations, representing members of the Taxation Bar, said the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Mr S.J.S. Pall, had further assured the bar associations that all grievances and representations relating to income tax refunds, appeal effects and rectification petitions would be disposed of by officials concerned in a time-bound manner.

The bar members were, however, required to submit a detailed list of all pending matters within seven days to the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax (Headquarters) so that officials could be asked to settle the pending issues without any further delay.



Police brutality in Gurgaon condemned
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 26
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) Employees Union (Punjab circle) has condemned the brutal police attack on agitating workers of Honda Scooters Company in Gurgaon in which hundreds of workers were injured, some of them sustaining serious injuries.

In a statement here today, Mr Balbir Singh, circle secretary, and Mr Balwinder Singh, district secretary, of the union, also criticised the Haryana Government and the Honda management towards the demands of the workers, who were struggling to achieve justice for the past more than six months.

Expressing its solidarity with the agitating workers, activists of the union demanded stern action against the police officials who had used brutal force against the workers. It also asked the Haryana Government to intervene effectively so that just demands of the workers were accepted by the management.



Councillor donates water tankers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 26
Instead of looking up to the Municipal Corporation for providing required infrastructure in his ward, this councillor has set an example for his counterparts to follow by buying water tankers and a Jeep from his own resources and providing these to the residents of his ward.

Mr Simarjit Singh Bains, Councillor from ward number 24, formally dedicated four water tankers and a Jeep for pulling these at a function organised at Mata Gujri Park on the ATI road here today.

Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, a senior Akali leader and MLA from the Kila Raipur constituency, flagged off the tankers.

“Going by the shortage of potable water in the city, I thought these tankers would come handy, especially in this weather when people cry for water. The tankers would fulfil the need of all those people besides helping those who organise functions at their houses. These would be a phone call away and residents from all parts of city can avail themselves of the services free of cost,” said Mr Bains.

Last year, he had dedicated two Mohindra tractors, three tankers and a hydraulic trolley for carrying silt removed from the manholes directly to the dump, he added. He had spent Rs 9 lakh from his pocket for buying these things.



Khalsa Panchayat supports SGJC action
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 26
The Khalsa Panchayat has supported the action of the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (SGJC) against the SGPC president, Bibi Jagir Kaur. The panchayat observed that the decision had been welcomed by the common Sikhs as Ms Kaur had allegedly betrayed their trust.

Panchayat leaders, in a meeting held here yesterday, while supporting the SGJC order against the SGPC president alleged that she, at the behest of SAD Parkash Singh Badal, had shown scant regard for the Sikh religious institutions.

They said there was a dire need of enforcing accountability among the office-bearers of Sikh institutions.



Police parties sent to trace minor girl

Ludhiana, July 26
Responding to the news in these columns today, Mr Pawanjit, SHO, Sarabha Nagar, told Ludhiana Tribune today that the police was not leaving any stone unturned in tracing the abducted minor daughter of a sewerage worker living in New Sham Nagar.

The SHO said that police parties had been dispatched to various relatives of the accused Bhola and his father, who are absconding, in order to trace the abducted minor girl. At the same time, the police was initiating proceedings to get Bhola declared as a proclaimed offender (PO) in this regard, he added. OC



Minor girl abducted
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 26
A minor girl of Mohalla Molivan Raikot has been abducted. The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 363, 368 of the IPC in this connection. According to information, the girl of 17 was lonely in her house in Molivian Raikot mohalla. Lakhi of the same locality abducted her. The police, on the complaint of Bachan Singh, grandfather of the victim, registered the case.

Lakhi and the girl were later produced in the court of the SDJM, where Lakhi was remanded to police custody till July 29 and the custody of the girl was handed over to her grandfather.

Sources disclosed that the parents of the minor girl are dead and she is being looked after by her grandfather.

Child killed in mishap: Sunil, (8), was run over by vehicle no HR-51-9708, driven by some unidentified driver on GT Road Mullanpur. The Dakha police has registered a case under Section 304 of the IPC on the statement of Eka Ram , father of the deceased. No arrest has been made so far.

Illicit liquor seized: In two separate incidents, the Sidhwanbet police arrested Surinder Singh of Gag Kalan and Jit Singh of Parjian Biharipur and seized from their possession 26430 Mls and 11430 Mls of illicit liquor, respectively. Cases under section 61-1-14 of the Excise Act have been registered.

Robbery in house: A robbery took place in the house of Nirbhai Singh at Dehlon, where her daughter Sukhbir Kaur was alone. The robbers tied Sukhbir Kaur, broke open the lock of an almirah and took away Rs 9000, gold weighing 70 gm and other valuables. A case has been registered under Sections 454 382 342 of the IPC.



Industry flays labour unrest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 26
The massive labour unrest and agitation by workers of Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI) at Gurgaon is a very unfortunate incident for the whole industrial set-up in North India, said the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU).

Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president and Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary, of CICU, condemned “the liberty taken by the workers of the HMSI”.

Mr Pardhan asserted that the government should take all precautions to prevent such incidents by mediating between the workers and the management of the HMSI. The labour problem is catching fire almost in whole of the Northern Zone of the country, which initially started from Ludhiana. It could soon reach other industrial cities in the country, CICU said.

Stating that such incidents are “a pre-planned conspiracy supported by the left-backed CITU and AITUC”, Mr Pardhan urged the Prime Minister to take stock of the situation to keep the image of the present UPA government clean because such incidents are taking place vigorously “only in the Congress-ruled states”.


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