L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Undisclosed income of over Rs 7 crore detected
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
In what is probably the highest collective disclosure of unaccounted income by industrialists so far, the Income Tax Department has claimed that unaccounted income worth over Rs 7 crore was detected in different cases after surveys.

The department conducted surveys on different industrial units this week. It recorded unaccounted income of Rs 1.25 crore in case of Ajanta Knitwear Group, Focal Point, Rs 1 crore in case of Mini King Knitwear, Bahadurke road, here, Rs 2.10 crore from Garg Furnace, Rs 1.15 crore from AK Steel, Malerkotla, and Rs 2.05 crore from Avinash Industries in Khanna.

The department, on the basis of market information and the latest returns filed by these industrialists, conducted surveys to assess the actual position.

A fresh trading account is prepared after physical verification of the stock so as to determine the income that was not shown in the returns.

“The industrialists concerned have admitted that these amounts have not been disclosed as income. They said they would declare it in the return for the current year,” said the Income Tax Commissioner, Ludhiana, Mr M.N.A. Chaudhary.

He said as the industry was competing on global levels, it was not healthy to hide income.

“Ultimately, they have to prepare themselves for the global competition. Besides it being their duty to give right information to the department, it is also in their interest considering the stiffening competition they are being exposed to now,” he said.

The surveys were conducted on the basis of returns filed for 2004-05.



'Heart- assist' system at super-speciality hospital
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 7
The industrial capital of the state will soon have the distinction of becoming the only place in the whole of Asia to have an advanced 'heart- assist' system when a special machine called PICSO (Pressure Controlled Intermittent Coronary Sinus Occlusion) will be installed at Mediciti, a state of the art super-speciality hospital coming up here.

The crucial 'heart-assist' system has been devised by Prof Werner Mohl of University Hospital in Vienna (Austria) and its function is based on a technique developed by Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, who is the Chairman of Cardiac Sciences and Director of Mediciti.

Dr Bedi, who was recently invited to the fourth Joint European Conference of Cardiothoracic Surgeons in Barcelona (Spain), told Ludhiana Tribune that this revolutionary concept was presented before a distinguished international faculty.

"The machine basically works by supplying fresh blood to the heart muscle which is suffering from a heart attack. It is based on the fact that the venous system of the heart is never blocked. So fresh blood is supplied by the veins using this sophisticated machine which intermittently pressurises the veins so that blood flows backward."

Dr Mohl while displaying the working of this machine at the conference had maintained that if used in time, it could stabilise an otherwise hopeless case. It might possibly also be used in peripheral centres where cardiac surgery was not available so as to give adequate time to the patient to be shifted to the hospital.

Dr Bedi disclosed that the machine was portable and could be carried in an ambulance. This technique was already being used without the advanced machine in performing multi-vessel beating heart surgery. He was confident that with the addition of this machine, the advantage could be passed on to many more patients, who might not otherwise have reached a tertiary care centre. This machine was not yet available in any other centre in the whole of Asia, Dr Bedi claimed.



‘Milk-badam’ gang members arrested
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
They did not use any sharp-edged weapons or firearms. In fact, they never required the use of any force in the execution of their criminal designs. For what could be achieved with a few sips of delicious milk cannot be achieved, without immediate danger, with weapons.

Three members of the ‘milk-badam’ gang, which specialised in looting people after administering them drug-laced milk-badam, have been nabbed. The Division No. 2 police here has cut short the mad run of the gangsters, who had turned many a party into despair with their acts.

A father-son duo was running the gang and the recruitment of other members was done in the Central Jail here.

Inspector Gurpreet Singh, SHO of the police station, said the gang members had been found involved in over 20 incidents in the state. They operated mostly in Ludhiana, Phillaur, Kapurthala and Jalandhar.

The gang used to hire taxis, caterers for parties in hotel rooms or rented houses. They then used to offer ‘milk-badam’ to these persons and rob them of the jewellery that they wore and the cash and equipment that they carried.

At other times, they went as caterers or waiters to some parties and looted the hosts.

Those arrested were 21-year-old Sunil Kumar, a resident of Basti Jodhewal, 34-year-old Dheeraj Kumar of Bhulath, Kapurthala, who ran a sanitary shop and had studied up to BA II. The third accused was 22-year-old Gurpal Singh, alias Gopi, of Bhulath village. He was unemployed.

The gang leader was Ashok Kumar, father of Sunil Kumar. Sunil said his father had pushed him into the world of crime after he had failed in the Class X exam.

The alleged criminals were remanded in judicial custody last evening.

The accused had booked a photographer for some party in Kakkuwal village in April. After the photographer and his helpers fell conscious, the accused ran away with their video camera, a still photography camera, gold rings and Rs 4,000 cash. They looted a cameraman from Gill village in a similar fashion at Dhandra road here on June 16. After 10 days, they robbed a man of Rs 33,000 cash and jewellery in Ajit Nagar.

Their next target was a barber running a shop near Passport Office, Jalandhar. They had invited him at a place for the ‘mundan’ ceremony of their child and looted him of the cash and jewellery.



Vexed by slum dwellers, residents move rights panel 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Tired of knocking at the doors of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) for the past many years to remove jhuggis from Block-E of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, residents have now approached the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) to redress their grievance.

Claiming that jhuggi-dwellers had made their lives miserable by using public parks as toilet, littering garbage and drawing electricity through “kundi” connections, the residents in their complaint to the commission have stated that there was no official action against them despite protests.

Only last year, the residents had returned the keys to their houses to the Chairman of the trust as a mark of protest.

The then Chairman had promised to take action against the jhuggi-dwellers but to no avail.

They claimed that the slums had mushroomed on open spaces meant for parks in the area. The LIT had never developed the parks, so the jhuggis had cropped up on these pieces of land in this posh area.

The residents said the jhuggis had sprung up in the area around seven years ago and following protests by the residents, the jhuggis were razed during the tenure of former Chairman M.M. Vyas. These came up again before elections and some people got their names included in the voters’ list. Later, nobody was able to evict them.

Arvind Sharma, a resident, said more than 250 jhuggis had come up on an area of 475 acre belonging to the Improvement Trust.

The jhuggi-dwellers were creating problems for them by drawing electricity through “kundi” connections, thereby increasing the load on the power supply in the area. They also reared pigs, which caused nuisance as pigs entered greenbelts of these houses.

Moreover, the dwellers used the parks as urinals and toilets, creating perfect breeding grounds for diseases.

The residents claimed that slum-dwellers had erected their own poles and connected wires to get the power supply. Almost all jhuggis had television sets, music systems, room coolers, refrigerators and other electric gadgets.

They added that their children could not study as they played blaring music. They gathered, watched movies and indulged in hooliganism, residents alleged.

“There is a threat to our lives also as many slum-dwellers indulged in thefts and robbery. 



Passing Thru

Brahmchari Heeranand Maharaj
Brahmchari Heeranand Maharaj, Yog Sadhna Ashram, Chehrata, Amritsar district.

What is the main motto of the Yog Sadhna Ahsram?

Curing people suffering from chronic diseases and motivating them into doing regularly yogic kriyas, pranayam and meditation to have a healthy body and mind. To create awareness amongst the masses, we keep on organising yoga camps at various places in the Punjab.

What are the main causes of diseases ?

Blockage of waste materials, antioxidants in the body, bad eating habits, stress and tensions due to the non- fulfilment of ambitions are the main causes.

What do you suggest for people suffering from diabetes, blood pressure and heart problems?

The persons suffering from these diseases should drink cow-milk through the nostrils as it activates sympathetic and para-sympathetic (ida and pingla) nerves, which regulates the whole body. But it should be done under the guidance of a yoga teacher. Apart from this, such people should also perform asanas and pranayam daily. Within days, they will get better results. However, having full faith is pre-requisite.

—Rajneesh Lakhanpal



Assaulted Congress leader dies
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 7
Ujjagar Singh, a Congress leader of Nangal Khurad village, who was assaulted by SAD sarpanch of the same village and his brother on September 9 succumbed to his injuries at the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, today.

The Sudhar police has added Section 302 of the IPC to the case — already registered under Sections 323, 324, 325, 326, 341, 506 and 34, IPC — against the accused.

Sarpanch Surinder Singh Shindi, the main accused, has already been arrested and remanded in judicial custody. The police is hunting for the other accused.

According to complaint lodged at the Sudhar police station, Ujjagar Singh of Nangal Khurad was assaulted by Surinder Singh Shindi and his brothers — Joginder Singh and Narinder Singh — on September 9.

The accused had attacked him with rods and crude weapons in the presence of a large number of villagers. The altercation had broken out when an inquiry into the verification of pension was in progress.

The complainant had claimed that he had been assaulted due to political rivalry. Surinder Singh Shindi had contested civic body election against Ujjagar Singh, who later won.

The faction led by the complainant had earlier alleged that Shindi had been acting arbitrarily and discriminating against beneficiaries having alliance with his faction while deciding on development works and grant of pensions.

Acting on the complaint of victims, the panchayat director had suspended the sarpanch.

The district administration had also ordered a fresh probe on the request of the village chief.

Preliminary investigations had revealed that violence was preceded by a hot exchange of words between the two factions.

Ujjagar Singh had been brought to the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, on the day of the incident with severe injuries.

SHO, Sudhar, Shawinder Singh Dhillon said hunt was on to arrest the other accused.



BJP hails HC verdict on AMU quota issue
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 7
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has welcomed the decision of the Allahabad High Court to quash the 50 per cent reservation for Muslims in postgraduate courses in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and demanded revocation of the order by the government on its own without going into appeal.

In a statement here today, state secretary of the party Anil Sarin said the government ought not to repeat the method adopted in Shah Bano case when an ill-conceived and unconstitutional legislation was enacted to nullify the court judgement.

The party functionary condemned the religion-based reservation in Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere, since the nation should always remember that it was partitioned precisely on the same basis.

Mr Sarin maintained that the country could not allow these divisive tendencies to grow, which could culminate in a second partition.

In Andhra Pradesh also, the High Court had quashed the 5 per cent reservation order of the state government.

However, the UPA government, he added, was playing a dangerous game with political motivation and vote bank politics. He said reservation based on religion was detrimental to the national unity and was a retrograde step for any secular state.

“The BJP has been opposing ever since the UPA government sanctioned these religion-based reservations. The UPA government wants to create a religious divide in the field of education just to gain political mileage by playing the minority card.”

According to Mr Sarin, the AMU was a government-funded university and the government could not discriminate on the basis of religion, which went against the spirit of Article-14 of the Constitution.

In a secular country like India, the government efforts should be to bring minorities to the mainstream and not create division in the society. He reiterated that the BJP believed in the cultural and educational advancement of Muslims, which crucially hinged on giving them access to institution of high quality.



Open manhole poses threat to motorists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
An uncovered manhole is threatening motorists near triangular park on the Model Town-Jwaddi road here. The cover of manhole has been damaged owing to heavy load of traffic but the municipal authorities are yet to replaced it. Shopkeepers said they had covered it with branches of trees to warn motorists. Many scooterists have been caught unawares and have fallen into the manhole, they said.

They added that many children also walked on the road and the manhole posed a threat to their lives.

The problem was compounded during night when unfunctional streetlights made it impossible for anybody to anticipate the open manhole.

“We have complained to the authorities a number of times but to no avail. Maybe they are waiting for a tragedy to wake them up from their slumber,” complained a commuter, who escaped an accident on the spot. The shopkeepers also said the road remained busy especially at night as there was a lot of traffic there. A number of makeshift shops selling eatables opened by the roadside every evening and people frequented here. Only a few days ago, a minor boy had fallen into an open manhole in the Focal Point area. His body is yet to be found. He was playing near the manhole when he fell inside and drowned.



Wives behind IAF men’s success
Mahesh Sharma

Halwara Air Force Station, October 7
Representing wives of Air Force personnel, Ms Suman Chopra, patron of the Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA) at the Air Force Station here, says women are the inspiring force behind the success of the “rulers of the sky”.

Unlike women of other sections of society, wives of IAF personnel believe that their husbands have a lot to do for the nation. “Instead of creating problems for them, we should send them on their mission with a jovial gesture and give a warm welcome when they return studded with success,” said Ms Suman in an interview with Ludhiana Tribune.

She claimed that every woman associated with an Air Force family understood that the life of IAF personnel was full of adventures and risks.

Regarding special privileges enjoyed by the families of IAF personnel, Ms Chopra said it was because of the immense contribution of the officers to nation building.

She said they enjoyed more liberty and visited far-off places which was not possible in civil life. “The joy of wearing a diamond necklace by the wife of a millionaire falls short of the thrill we receive when heroic tales of our husbands are narrated at a gathering,” said Ms Suman.

As the first lady of the enclave, Ms Suman has been inspiring women to understand the relevance of family harmony for the fulfillment of the goal of human excellence in the armed forces.

Petty problems, noticed occasionally, were resolved through counseling, she said, adding that the activities taken up by the AFWWA included organising health camps, healthy baby shows, picnicking, blood donation camps and distributing aid to underprivileged children.

The association played an active role in the ongoing celebrations of 73 Air Force Day by coordinating interschool and intercollegiate competitions with a view to creating awareness about the Air Force. 



Effigy making in full swing
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, October 7
Anwar Ali, 50, a resident of Kirawali village in Uttar Pradesh, and his 20 associates from the same village are working round the clock to meet the deadline of creating effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhkaran that will be consigned to the flames on Dasehra at the Daresi ground here.

Anwar Ali says another team of artisans from his village is working at Chandigarh these days while there were several other teams which are making effigies in various towns and cities of Punjab.

Apart from the artisans from Kirawali village, a large number of persons living in villages around Agra have taken to effigy making as it offers them a good chance to make money.

All their important engagements are carried out only after Dasehra is over and they are back home with their earnings. This year, Anwar Ali and his associates have a contract worth Rs 60,000 with the Daresi Ram Lila Committee and two other smaller contracts worth Rs 15,000 each with two other committees celebrating Dasehra in Upkar Nagar and Shiv Puri.

Since effigy making is a seasonal job, these artisans spend the rest of the year in their respective villages, doing a number of chores such as weaving carpets, rearing cattle and running shops.

They have also become hi-tech with the changing times. The effigies prepared by them are now consigned to the flames using a remote control. Unlike effigies of yore, which were reduced to ashes within a matter of minutes, these sturdy bamboo effigies take quite some time before going down finally, thus providing ample entertainment to the onlookers.



Jagir Kaur lashes out at predecessors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
The SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, today lashed out at her predecessors alleging that most of her time was spent in sorting out the mess created by them in the committee affairs.

She was in the city to attend the 33rd anniversary function of the Guru Gobind Study Circle. A large number of delegates from various parts of the country and abroad are attending the three-day event.

Referring to former committee presidents Jagdev Singh Talwandi and Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, she said she was trying to solve various ticklish issues that were the result of the inept handling by the duo.

“Many aggrieved parties have moved the court and most of my days are spent in court appearances and giving compensation,” she said. “Little time is left for other productive activities,” she added. She announced a grant of Rs 11 lakh to the society.



Follow consumer-friendly policies, PSEB urged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
In a memorandum to the Chief Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), the Apex Chamber of Commerce demanded immediate action by the board to relieve industrial consumers of the unnecessary irritants.
Mr P.D.Sharma, president of the chamber, said connected load should be the basis for quantifying load for a consumer.

"It is not possible to have load extended every time an industrial units adds even a marginal equipment. With electronic meters in place, every parameter of the load being used is available to the electricity board. In view of this, the PSEB should take into account the maximum demand instead of connected load," said Mr Sharma.

On the sanction of connections, the chamber said the electricity board, after attaining the feasibility report, should complete the remaining process at local level.



PSEB survey
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) will conduct a consumer satisfaction survey with a view to collect information about the level of satisfaction with regard to the services it offers.

According to board officials, through the survey, the PSEB aims to identify its shortcomings that are causing dissatisfaction among its consumers. The board has engaged AC Niclson ORG MARG, an international company, to conduct the survey.



Non-edible oil being used in vanaspati ghee
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 7
Imported crude palm oil in the non-edible category, meant for usage by soap manufacturers, is being misused and diverted towards the production of vanaspati ghee.

The allegation has been levelled by domestic vegetable oil manufacturing industry, according to which, crude palm oil, with 20 per cent or more free fatty acid (FFA), is allowed at 20 per cent import duty for soap industry on actual users condition. However, solvent extractors allege that this oil is being diverted for the manufacturing of vanaspati ghee, which is a clear violation and also has an adverse impact on the vegetable oil industry.

Industry representatives have also written to Mr Sharad Pawar, Minister of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, to take a note of this matter and resolve it.

“The crude palm oil in the non-edible oil category is being cleared at 20 per cent import duty and is later being diverted for vanaspati manufacturing, instead of being used by soap manufacturers,” said Mr A.R. Sharma, president, The Solvent Extractors Association of India.

In view of this misuse, solvent extractors have urged the government to withdraw the concession duty on CPO.

According to industrialists, the current import duty of 30 per cent on vanaspati/hydrogenated fat is also adversely effecting the indigenous vanaspati industry. “Bulk of raw material for this industry is being imported at a duty of 80 to 90 per cent. As the duty on finished products is lower than that of imported raw materials, it poses a serious threat to domestic industry and renders us uncompetitive,” Mr Sharma said, urging the government to increase import duty on vanaspati to 80 per cent.

The industry is also reeling under the pressure of insufficient availability of raw material. The industry, which expanded its production capacities in anticipation of high demand for edible oils, is now badly affected due to stagnant production, low productivity of oilseeds and over-dependency on import of essential items like vegetable oil and is seeking government help towards strengthening the domestic industry.

The demand in the country for vegetable oil hovers around 110-115 lakh tones, which requires nearly 350 lakh tones of oilseeds. India, however, produces only around 230 to 240 lakh tones of oilseeds at an average yield of 900 kg per hectare, which is one of the lowest yields in the world. The average yield globally is 1,400 kg per hectare, whereas there are countries that have even attained a yield of 3,000 kg a hectare.

Industry experts say that if India is to increase its productivity to even 1,300-1,400 kg per hectare, it would need an appropriate policy and price support, besides developing high-yield variety seeds of oilseeds that are suitable for varying agro climatic zones, coupled with encouragement for crop diversification from grains to oilseeds.

Industrialists also demanded that the Central Government should create a separate fund towards this and adopt measures to reduce their dependence on imported edible oils.



IT surveys at hosiery, steel units
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 7
At least four industrial houses, including one in Malerkotla town, were under survey by teams of income tax officials of Ludhiana Commissionerate here yesterday and a large amount of concealed income was expected to be unearthed during the massive operations which were continuing till the filing of this report.

Sources in the Department of Income Tax told Ludhiana Tribune that survey operations were launched around noon at a steel rolling mill in Malerkotla, at a furnace unit on the G.T. Road, Kanganwal, a hosiery factory in Focal Point and a knitwear unit on Bahadarke Road in the city.

While officials refused to divulge details of the survey operations, it was learnt that four separate teams of around 60 officials were carrying out the exercise, aimed at boosting revenue.

Mr Suman Gupta, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Range III; Mr K.J. Singh, Joint Commissioner, Range IV; Mr J.S. Minhas, Joint Commissioner, Range I; and Mr Himanshu Sinha, Joint Commissioner, Range V, were heading the teams of officials deployed for the surveys.

Though officials confirmed that incriminating documents and other records pointing towards evasion of income tax had been seized from the business premises of some of the units under survey, the exact details of the concealed income would be known once processing of documents and books of accounts was completed.



Biz Clips

TVS launch:
TVS Tyres has launched its new bike tyre variant, Jumbo. A company press statement said Jumbo had been specially designed for bigger bikes such as Pulsar, Karizma, CBZ, etc. "Apart from the looks, the wider 5-inch tyres offer better high-speed handling on wet roads. The advanced tread pattern helps in sharp cornering on all kinds of terrain”, said Mr S. Balasubramanian, vice-president, Marketing, TVS Srichakra Ltd.

tanishq: Tanishq, a jewellery brand, has announced the launch of latest designs in jewellery for the festive season. Special ranges are also being showcased for the forthcoming "Karva Chauth" and other festivals, the company stated in a press statement.

Luxor: Luxor Writing Instruments has launched a new range of Divali gifts called "Celebration". According to the company, the range is a combination of Parker pens with personal and desk accessories like key holders, business card holders and leather wallets etc.


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