L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rs 25 lakh excise evasion detected
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
The Central Excise Department here has unearthed a case of clandestine manufacturing and removal of MS ingots from an induction furnace unit at Mangarh village near Kohara on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road here during a raid conducted on Tuesday.

The unit, Isher Alloys, an old defaulter of the Central Excise Department, and officially closed for the past more than five years, had reportedly produced 780 metric tonnes of steel material during the past five months, valued at approximately Rs 1.47 crore and evasion of duty to the tune of around Rs 25 lakh.

Stating this at a press conference here today, the Commissioner of Central Excise Mr V.K. Garg, said the industrial unit had adopted a novel modus operandi to hoodwink the department and evade payment of the central excise duty. First of all, it had resumed production without intimating the department. In order to keep the entire operations under the wraps, the unit was run late in the evening and shut down in the morning after clearing the entire production.

“Not only this, raw material, just sufficient for the night’s production, was brought inside so that by the morning, finished goods were removed and it was ensured that there will be no raw material left which gave the impression that the unit was non-functional.” Mr Garg said the unit was about to shut its operations when the staff of the anti-evasion wing swooped down on the premises. An unaccounted stock of finished goods worth Rs 4.18 lakh, involving a duty of nearly Rs 68,000, was seized during the search operations.

Giving details of other cases of evasion of excise duty, detected by the department in the recent past, the Commissioner informed that a prominent bakery unit had been booked for allegedly clearing stocks of cakes and biscuits without payment of duty by claiming the inadmissible benefit of the SSI exemption whereas the turnover of the unit, for both excisable and non-excisable goods, for the last financial year was more than Rs 10 crore. The duty involved in this particular case was around Rs 20 lakh. Further investigation in the alleged evasion of duty was under progress.

Mr Garg claimed that the preventive wing had launched investigations against many other induction furnace units which were availing credit on goods not utilised by them in the furnace. Similarly, action had been initiated against several rolling mills for evasion of duty by showing less production.

“During the current year, the anti-evasion wing of the commissionerate has booked cases against various defaulters, including textile mills, iron and steel industry and paper manufacturers. The total number of cases of evasion of duty unearthed by the department is 19 which involves duty of Rs 12.66 crore. Out of this amount, the department has been able to recover an amount of Rs 2.34 crore on the spot while the recovery process in other cases is on,” he added.



Valmikis protest against Gohana incident
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
Various Valmiki bodies today staged protests against Jats of Gohana for burning of Valmiki Basti there.

The Adi Dharam Samaj took out a procession from the Civil Lines area to chowk Ghanta Ghar where an effigy of the Haryana Chief Minister was burnt.

Mr Raj Kumar Atikaye, convener for Punjab and Haryana demanded that a criminal case should be registered against the Deputy Commissioner and SSP of Sonepat along with the Haryana Chief Secretary, Mr Sanjay Kothari.

He alleged that the heinous act of setting fire to the Valmiki Basti at Gohana had been perpetrated with the connivance of the state government.

He also cited the cases of death of five dalits in police custody at the Jhajjar police station and the massive lathi-charge at Gurgaon on dalit workers as recent examples of state repression on the valmiki community.

Mr Kala Hans, president of Dr Ambedkar Ekta Mission, demanded that a criminal case should be registered against Mr. kishan Singh Sangwan, MLA from Sonepat after securing his resignation. He alleged that it was Mr. Sangwan under whose direct supervision the gory ritual of death was performed at Gohana.

Mr D.P. Khosla, president of the District Valmiki Sabha, also demanded a judicial probe into the Gohana incident.



Arrest warrant against cop after three years
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 1
Mrs Jitender Walia, Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Jagraon, has issued a warrant of arrest for Assistant Sub Inspector Amrik Singh and ordered the police to produce him in her court on October 29.

The warrant was issued in connection with an FIR registered at the instance of Ms Ranjit Kaur of Kacha Malak Road, Jagraon.

She had alleged that her husband was taken away on the night of October 4,1997, by police personnel.

A case under Section 364,IPC, was registered against ASI Amrik Singh on court directions after five years.

The local police submitted the report for the cancellation of the FIR No 81 of 1999.

But the court agreed with the Ms Ranjit Kaur and refused to cancel the FIR.

The court had issued summons to the ASI but he avoided appearing before the court for three years.



Law separates infant from Dilshad’s home
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Three days old Shamma will face many ordeals before she finds a home that she will call her own.

She was abandoned by her biological parents on August 30 midnight and brought home by a father of seven children Dilshad Mohammed and named Shamma. The district administration today ordered that the family cannot keep an abandoned child before adopting him legally.

Following the orders of Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma, Shamma, the Ludhiana police and District Social Security Officer would take the possession of the infant from Dilshad Mohammed’s family and hand her over to SGB Children’s Home at Dham Talwandi Khurd near Jagraon.

The orders followed a request by Dr Jagdeep Singh of Children’s Home, who claimed that the girl should be handed over to them till she was adopted by a suitable family.

A team comprising police officials, Social Security Officer and representatives of Children’s Home would be taking the infant away tomorrow morning. They had visited the family even today but after witnessing their emotional outburst, they postponed the separation of Shamma from Dilshads family.

The news that Shamma would be taken away from their home make Dilshad’s family sad. Till this evening, the elder daughters of Dilshad had been stitching new clothes for her. They had been showing the entire world that they had a sister.

Moved by the emotional scenes, Dr Jagdeep Singh announced that he would be honouring Dilshad tomorrow with a letter of appreciation, a shawl and a fruit basket for his children.

“We will allow the family to spend some time with the girl at the home whenever they will want. After all Dilshad has saved a life, said Dr Jadgeep.



Pooja gets foster parents
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, September 1
Fate intervened in the life of a week-old girl and from being an abandoned child, she has found foster parents.

Mr Sarwan Kumar Sharma, chairman, Nishkam Seva Ashram, has played a pivotal role in providing the child a good home.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune today, Mr Sharma said: “The child was brought to the ashram yesterday. The baby was found in rice fields on August 27 by a constable and he took her to the Shimla Puri police station. ASI Ashwani Kumar went around for two days to find a suitable place for the child. Then he came to know that Nishkam Seva Ashram has been authorised to adopt babies, so he brought the child to the ashram. I christened the girl Pooja.”

He further said: “We have registered the names of the couples who wanted to adopt the babies. The couple who has adopted Pooja wanted to adopt a male child. Yesterday when this baby arrived I called the couple. They came, saw the baby and wanted to adopt her. The preference for the male child fizzled out. Pooja won their hearts.”



Drain-cover project for Dawer’s area
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Parliamentary Secretary, Industry, Power and Housing and Urban Development, Mr Surinder Dawer has got approved a Rs 14-crore project for his Ludhiana East constituency. The development project is aimed at covering the drain in the Field Ganj area. It had been a long-pending demand of the people of the area.

Mr Dawer said that the project would be inaugurated by the Minister for Local Bodies, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, this month.

The Parliamentary Secretary said that during the past three and a half years Rs 50 crore had been spent on various development works in the Ludhiana East Assembly segment while Rs 50 crore more would be spent in the coming year. He said that a Rs 95 lakh sewerage project had been approved for the Janakpuri area and work would be started within two months. Among other projects he said, Rs 18 lakh were being spent on a musical fountain at Mini Rose Garden in Kidwai Nagar and a foot bridge in Janakpuri.

He said, the Punjab State Electricity Board will be installing two ATMs for the round the clock depositing of electricity bills in Ludhiana. One of the ATMs would be installed in the Industrial Area, and the other at Janta Nagar.



Passing Thru

Dr J.G. Jolly, Emeritus Professor and former Head, Department of Transfusion Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh.
Dr J.G. Jolly, Emeritus Professor and former Head, Department of Transfusion Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

As a pioneer of voluntary blood donation movement in the region how would you rate the present status of blood donation ?

Unfortunately, the voluntary blood donation movement has not progressed at the desired pace and still there are many misgivings and wrong notions among the common people about donating blood. It is a pity that out of the total annual requirement of about 8 million units of blood, only about 4.5 million units come from voluntary donation.

Are the blood banks able to cope with the increasing demand for safe blood?

The blood banks functioning in most of the major cities and towns in the region are far too inadequate and most of them lack trained professionals, infrastructure and modern equipment. The existing blood banks need to create comprehensive facilities to screen the blood against several transmissible diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B and C and sexually transmitted diseases.

Any strategy to promote blood donation movement?

Voluntary blood donation can only be promoted through intensive education and awareness programme by medical institutions and voluntary bodies. The blood banks also ought to focus on economics and turn available blood into different components so that a single unit can be transfused to more number of patients.

— Kuldip Bhatia



Thousands throng Dera Harisar
D.B. Chopra

Kila Raipur, September 1
“Change is life, each and every cell of our body is changing every moment, each and every particle of this world is changing every moment and so are all the planets and the universe because absence of change means death. Then why is it that we are still following the age-old traditions and customs of so-called religions which are no more relevant to society. Why are we not open to change?” queried Swami Budh Puri while delivering the keynote discourse on the concluding day of the 63rd Nirvan Mahotsav of Kali Kambli Wale Swami Devi Puri ji Maharaj at Dera Harisar here last evening.

Elaborating further, Swami Budh Puri Ji, who served as a lecturer in engineering at Engineering College, Allahabad, said “We are rather reluctant and afraid of admitting any change in our daily lives. Why do we not see our religion and evaluate our faith in the light of this new era of science?” The learned Swami then went on to explain the revolutionary practice of Sidhamrit Surya Kirya Yoga through which various ailments afflicting the human body can be cured.

The concluding day of the Nirvan Mahotsav got off to a flying start with a soulful rendering of shabad kirtan by Jai Gopal Kirtani Jatha from Patiala. The jatha’s performance was followed by Devi Santosh Kumari from Khanna who sang a couple of hymns in praise of Kali Kambli Wale. But the bhajan rendered by Mahesh Sharma from Gujarat was really spell-binding as the huge audience went into a rapture at his soulful rendering of “O badsar wale baba Kambli wale sarkar.”

The evening satsang sabha concluded with a Ram dhun. The huge gathering of Hindu and Sikh devotees of Kali Kambli Wale was served food at the massive community kitchen.



Rights body decries Punjab Police excesses
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The Punjab Rights Forum (PRF), a platform of 24 political, human rights, farmers and religio-political groups, applauded discharge of Ms Manjot Kaur by a Fatehgarh Sahib court due to lack of evidence and criticised the police excesses against a Chandigarh-based journalist, his family and mediapersons.

Manjot is the wife of an undertrial in Burail jail in whose diary the number of BKI International Jagtar Singh Hawara was allegedly found by the cops.

PRF chief-coordinator and chairperson of the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO), D.S. Gill, SAD (A) general-secretary Charan Singh Lohara and Forum coordinators Surinderpal Singh (Shiromani Khalsa Dal) and Rajinder Singh of the Khalsa Panchayat, in a statement, also applauded release of Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Kanwarpal Singh and others on bail.

Urging Capt Amarinder Singh to bridle the state police and to dismantle its brutal structure by inserting saner elements who can cope with the situation now prevailing in Punjab, the PRF described the arrest of Gautam Dheer as brutish, most condemnable and an attack on the freedom of the Press.

The coordinators, also decided to hold a meeting in Chandigarh on September 5 to discuss the fate of Prof Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, who is facing the gallows at Delhi Tihar Jail, since 2003.

The rights forum was likely to take up cases of all prisoners who were rotting in Punjab jails even after the completion of their jail term. There were half a dozen such prisoners in Nabha jail only, they added.



Probe into factory blasts sought
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, September 1
The delegate session of the Communist Party of India (CPI) was organised at Guru Nanak Colony dharamshala in ward number 2 in Mandi Gobindgarh. It was presided over by Mr Jatinder Singh. The House expressed sympathy with the families of factory workers who were killed at Gurgaon and those who were killed in factory blasts at Mandi Gobindgarh.

The delegates demanded an inquiry into the blasts and sought action against persons responsible for negligence in the case. The party gave a call to working class to join hands to fight against the anti-worker and anti-employee policies of the state government.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Sambhar and Kartar Bwani were special invitees from the state committee. Mr Natha Singh, district general secretary, presented three years’ report of the party in the district. The report was approved after a discussion.

The office-bearers for the new term were also elected. These include: district secretary — Amar Nath; assistant-secretary — Laxman Singh Chanarthal; delegates — Amar Nath, Lachman Singh and Natha Singh.



Banda Bahadur anniversary function
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
The birth anniversary of Bairagi Baba Banda Singh Bahadur will be observed here on October 16. According to Bawa Ravinder Nandi, general secretary, Bairagi Maha Mandal, Punjab Mr Kewal Singh Nirdosh, an NRI, who had compiled a book of poetry on the life of Banda Bahadur and Mr Harwant Singh Deol (Happy), a prominent social worker from Canada will be honoured at this function.

A meeting of the state body of mahamandal has been convened here by its president Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, chairman, Punjab Housefed on September 4 at Aggar Nagar Community Centre to make preparations for observing the birth anniversary of great martyr. The meeting, to be attended by all state-level office bearers, district presidents and Assembly segment heads, would set up several sub-committees to make arrangements for the function.



Lions Club plants saplings
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
The Lions Club Ludhiana Sutlej has shortlisted various long-term projects for this year, including sapling plantation, adoption of schools and blood and eye donation camps.

Mr R.D. Sharma, president of the club, said the club would plant 5,000 saplings in the Focal Point area for which the PSIEC had promised to give full cooperation for their upkeep.

The club planted 500 saplings in various areas yesterday. Mr Pradeep Maheshwari, Mr Yogesh Bansal, Mr Varinder Jain, Mr Kuljeet Singh Sethi, Mr Naresh Jain, Mr Suresh Sharma, Ms Rekha Sharma, Ms Satinder Sethi, Ms Pratima Maheshwari, Ms Santhosh Bansal and Ms Jyoti Sharma were present, among others, during the plantation of the saplings.



Rs 25,000 collected for wounded player
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The Ludhiana Basketbal Association paid a sum of Rs 25,000 for the treatment of Ricky a basketball player, who was wounded in a hit and run case, allegedly involving the car of a Deputy Superintendent of Police of Rajasthan.

Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal, secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, and Mr Sajjan Singh Cheema, DSP-Vigilance Bureau, here told Ludhiana Tribune that the plight of Ricky, highlighted in the Ludhiana Tribune yesterday, had moved office-bearers of the association and a few others.

They contributed the sum for Ricky. The main contributors included: Mr Rajiv Ghai, Mr Raman Aggarwal, Mr Pardeep Sarin, Mr Inderveer Nanda, Mr Raju Dhawan and Mr Aman Kapoor.



Slow start to filing of papers
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, September 1
In the local Nagar Panchayat elections scheduled to be held on September 18 only a few candidates have filed papers so far.

Most of the supporters of the Congress and even the likely Congress candidates are leaving no stone unturned to convince Mr Anil Sood to contest the elections.

Mr Sood, who is not only a popular figure but has also served as president of the Nagar Panchayat for the past 10 years, however, seems to be least interested in contesting the poll. He, however, said that he would support every Congress candidate whole heartedly. On the other hand, SAD-BJP alliance is watching the situation very carefully before revealing the names of its candidates. The situation is likely become clear within a day or two.

Apart from the Congress and the SAD-BJP alliance, the third front formed by the Lok Bhalai party and others is planning to field candidates from all 13 wards. There is a general feeling that the third front would give a tough fight to the candidates of the two major parties.



Union election
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 1
Mr Manmohan Kaushik, President Naib-Tehsildar Union, Patiala division, has informed that the election of the union would take place at Victoria Palace, Jagraon, on September 4.

Around 175 members of the union will elect their office-bearers. Earlier the division-level bodies were elected in Patiala, Jalandhar, and Faridkot and Ferozepur.



Woman robbed of jewellery
Our Correspondent

Khanna, September 1
A man posing as an LIC agent conned a woman in the Krishna Nagar locality here yesterday. The imposter managed to flee with a gold chain, earrings and a ring.

According to complaint lodged with the police by Ram Parkash, a PCO owner, Sunita was sitting in her home when a man came on a cycle and told her that he was an LIC agent. He said that an LIC policy of her husband had matured and he had come to deliver a cheque. He told her that she would have to pay some amount for this and that he had already talked to her husband. He made a phone call and posed if he was talking to her husband. He said if she did not have cash, he was ready to accept gold. Sunita gave him her ornaments. The agent fled on his cycle. Investigations are in progress.



NRI’s body with injury marks found
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 1
The body of a NRI was found murdered on the outskirts of Chakkar village, 20 km from here.

Bachan Singh, 60, was staying at Chakkar for the past one year.

The body with injuries inflicted by sharp-edged weapon was lying in a pool of blood.

The body has been sent to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon, for postmortem examination. The local police has registered a case under Section 302 IPC, on the statement of Balwinder Kaur, daughter of the deceased.



HMTL becomes Hutchison Essar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Following the consolidation of five entities under Hutchison Max Telecom Limited (HMTL) earlier this year, the company has changed its name to Hutchison Essar Limited.

According to a press note issued here today, the company’s subsidiaries include Hutchison Essar Mobile Services, Hutchison Telecom East, Hutchison Essar South, Airtel Digilink India and Fascel.

“Having established itself as a major entity in the mobile phone industry today, this consolidation reinforces the company’s commitment towards further strengthening and expanding its services across the nation,” said Mr Dennis Lui, Chief Executive Officer, Hutchison Telecom International.

He said the relationship between Hutchison Telecom and Essar began in year 2000 and the change in name was a step towards consolidation of the various joint ventures that have followed.

Hutchison Essar Limited provides cellular services in 13 circles, Punjab, Haryana, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, UP East, UP West, Rajasthan and West Bengal. The shareholders of Hutchison Essar Limited consist of Hutchison Telecom International, the Essar Group, Kotak Mahindra/ Hutchison Telecom International joint ventures, the Hinduja Group and Max India, the company press note said.



Import of Pak garments opposed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana, has opposed the import of cheap garments from Pakistan and any concession to the same on this count.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Chief Minister Punjab Amarinder Singh, Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, president of the Chamber, has opposed the grant of concessions on normal and specific duties to Pakistan for the import of garments and knitted fabric in the interest of the growth of the knitting industry of Ludhiana and Amritsar.

The Chamber has maintained that Ludhiana has remained a prominent centre of hosiery and knitted garments. The present value of textile products exceeds Rs 4000 to Rs 5000 crore and exports account for 25 per cent of this value. The textile industry provides employment to five to six lakh persons. The major component of the products are acrylic yarn and hosiery cotton-knitted fabrics and garments and textile fabrics.

Mr Pradhan has pointed out that Punjab’s industrial growth faced an unprecedented threat from the centre’s fiscal concessions to Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal Pradesh... as a result of which the industrial growth had slowed down considerably. However, subsequent fiscal decisions of textile industry made during the Budget of 2004 helped to achieve a meagre stability. “Now we learn that the Central government is going to relax custom duty or specific duty on import of textile from Pakistan and that too via Wagah border,” he said.

The chamber president has further stated that the knitting industry of Punjab suffered due to reservation under small-scale policy. Only in 2005, the government had withdrawn this restriction. Existing structure is only fragmented while Pakistan has large knitting factories. At least two years will be required to alter the structure and before that if the products from Pakistan were allowed it will stymie the process of structural adjustments that the new policy has unleashed.

Mr Pradhan has emphasised that power tariff in Pakistan was lower than in Indian Punjab. Power in the total value chain of textile accounts for 10 to 12 per cent of the cost. Pakistan industry enjoys a clear advantage of 5 to 6 per cent.

The chamber has sought a comprehensive study of the situation and untill then no such measures should be taken which can imperil the growth and sustenance of the industry in Punjab.



PCMA organises programme
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
Punjab Commerce and Management Association, Ludhiana, organised a two-day training programme for the trainers in the field of accounting.

Faculty development programme on “Changing Dimensions in Pedagogy of Accounting” concluded yesterday at CT Institute of Management, Information and Technology, Jalandhar, in which 45 teachers from all over Punjab participated and deliberated on the various issues of accounting.

Prominent speakers included Dr Ashok Arora, former technical director, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Dr Parvinder Arora from University Business School Panjab University Chandigarh, Dr Balwinder Singh Saini from Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ashok Arora from ICAI said most of the accounting details available in the market did not present true picture of accounting regarding the treatment of various items in profit and loss account and balance sheet.

He asked teachers to follow and read original text of accounting standards issued by ICAI. He said a lot of money was spent on preparing one standard of accounting therefore its promotion and implementation was the core issue, which had to be taken very carefully.

He also stressed on the need to create awareness regarding the various accounting softwares and added that basic infrastructure facilities should be created in the colleges and universities to teach accounting softwares to make accounting system automated and user friendly.

All the participants were also trained regarding the Tally 7.2 software of accounting.

Prof Ashwani Bhalla, Joint Secretary PCMA said next year the conference would be held at Jalandhar on the theme “Services Sector-The next wave” for which research papers could be sent till December 31.



LIC scheme launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India today launched its new ‘Bima Gold’ money-back policy here. The new policy was launched by Senior Divisional Manager D.K.Bhagat to mark the golden jubilee celebrations of the LIC.

Mr Bhagat said the new plan would cater to big as well as small investors. “It is money-back plan where the entire premium is returned to the policy holder in instalments. The plan has provision for payment of loyalty addition in addition to the premiums paid and is available for sale only upto March, 2006,” he said.

Talking about the performance of the LIC, which entered its 50th year of existence today, he said the Ludhiana Division had performed exceptionally well in the last financial year by holding upto first premium income of Rs 105 crore against a target of Rs 79 crore, achieving a 78 per cent growth rate. 


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