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Tribune Special
SITs take over complex murder cases
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
Drawing flak for failing to solve a number of murder cases, including that of high-profile business persons, in the past four months, the city police has formed special investigation teams(SIT) for each of the ten complex murder cases where the investigations were not making any headway.

The decision to form SITs was taken at a meeting of the city police officials held recently, where each case was discussed and marked for special attention. Ludhiana Range DIG, Parag Jain presided over the meeting.

The formation of the SITs also comes closely in the wake of the city police’s alleged shoddy work in the Reema Jain murder case.

On top of the list of the highly complicated cases is the gruesome murder of Prem Nath Devgan, owner of MEFA Needles. He was found stabbed to death in a room of his office-cum-residence on the factory premises on November 27 last year.

The police could not make a breakthrough in the property dispute angle. The focus shifted to some migrant labourers in the factory. Two of them had gone missing after the murder. A police team had gone to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in their search. But not much headway was made.

DIG Parag Jain informed Ludhiana Tribune that the meeting of the city police officials agreed that the investigation had to be started from a scratch in the case. For this purpose the a special investigation team of SP, City-II, Kuldip Singh, SP, Detective, Gurpreet Singh, DSP, Detective, and the area police officials has been constituted.

Next on the list is the twin murder of a 70-year-old hosiery trader Harbhajan Singh and his one-year-old grandson Sehaj who were killed on January 27 this year. The police has not been able to find any clue suggesting robbery, personal enmity or family dispute. The case has now been handed over to SP, City-I, Nilabh Kishore, DSP, City-I, and the area police officials.

Then comes the murder of 20-year-old Anita Jain in Brahampura Colony in division No. 4 police station area. Several theories were being discussed in the case but no success has been achieved. A special investigation team has been formed in this case also.

Another case awaiting solution is the rape and murder of a three-year-old, who was abducted from division No. 2 police station area. The body was found from Jassian village

The police is also groping in the dark in the murder case of a man whose badly mutilated body was found near Indian OverSeas Bank, Transport Nagar, on January 14.

The death of a middle aged woman , Meenaksh,i in Maharaj Nagar, on February 7 still remains a mystery.

On December 13 last year a six-month-pregnant migrant woman was found murdered near Jaspal Bangar village. The post-mortem examination revealed that she had strangulation marks around her neck. She could not be identified.

Another case is that of a youth found murdered near Kakuwal village on November 9. The police was suspecting that the youth could have been murdered because of some illicit relationship. Burnt crops in the field where the body was fond suggested he was set on fire here but murdered somewhere else.

No headway has also been made in the murder case of a youth whose beheaded body was found near Qasabad village on November 11 last year.

Same is the case with the murder of a middle-aged migrant labourer whose partially burnt body was found near grain market on October 14 last year. 

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Health staff threaten agitation
Non-payment of salaries
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 27
Coordination Committee of Para-medical and Health Employees, Punjab, has decided to hold a dharna at the office of the Civil Surgeon here on March 2 as a part of a series of district-level protests against non-payment of salaries to employees working on plan posts.

Giving this information here today after a meeting of the committee to review the preparations for the agitation, Mr Amarjit Singh Pandher and Mr Balbir Singh Kalia, convener and chairman, respectively, of the committee, said it had repeatedly taken up the matter with senior officials of the department concerned for budgetary provisions for the payment of salaries, but to no avail.

The agitating employees would also call upon the government to concede other pending demands, including time-scale promotion of 4-9-14 years, a hike in medical allowance, cash payment for uniform allowance to Class IV employees and grant of promised amenities to employees of anti-larva scheme.

The activists of coordination committee claimed that paramedical and health employees from all over the district would participate in the dharna in large numbers and the agitation would continue till the acceptance of all pending demands.

Among others, Mr Buta Singh, Mr Surjit Singh, Mr Major Singh, Mr Dalip Singh, Mr Labh Singh, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Malkhan Singh, Mr Mastan Singh, Mr Mehar Singh, Ms Sarbjit Kaur and Ms Ranjit Kaur attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Class IV Government Employees Union has also decided to stage a dharna at the office of the Civil Surgeon here on March 3 against the non-payment of salaries to Class IV employees in government hospitals and dispensaries for the past three months.

Mr Karam Singh and Mr Bhajan Singh, president and general secretary, respectively, of the union, said here today that other demands which were agreed to at the meeting with senior officials on January 23, were also not implemented and the department had adopted a delaying tactics on them.

The union leaders said if the government continued with its apathetic attitude towards the staff, the employees would hold a state-level protest in Chandigarh, which could include a siege to the state Assembly.

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Tribune Impact
Probe ordered into harassment of vendors by police
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
Taking serious view of the “extortion by cops”, the police today ordered an inquiry to look into the allegations of fruit and vegetable vendors in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and Sham Nagar that some policemen took away their goods without paying for them.

Mr Nilabh Kishore, SP (City-I), said he was inquiring into the matter himself as it was a very serious case.

The action followed in the wake of a news report carried in these columns today highlighting the plight of vendors.

A police team today visited Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and Sham Nagar and recorded statements of vendors. The vendors said they had been suffering losses for the past many years because of the policemen who took away their goods without paying for them. Their complaints to senior officials fell on deaf ears.

The Maha Sabha, a local NGO, which has taken up the cause of the vendors, expressed its pleasure at the probe. Mr Jaswant Jeerakh, from the NGO, demanded a strict action against the erring cops.

He said the NGO had prepared entire documents and had even named the police officials who were harassing the vendors. “We are ready with dates and names of the policemen, who took away goods of the vendors for free. We are ready to provide all record to the police.”

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Keep tabs on kids’ TV viewing: expert
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 27
“Television viewing, nowadays, is a major activity and has a great influence on children and adolescents. Children in India have started watching television for longer hours since the past decade, especially because of the presence of a large number of channels. While TV entertains, informs and keeps the children company, it may also influence them in undesirable ways.”

Dr Paramjit Singh Khurana, Consultant Neuro-Psychiatrist and Drug De-Addiction Specialist at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, is of the opinion that time spent watching television will be at the cost of important activities such as reading, school work, playing, exercise, family interaction and social development. Children also get information from television that may be inappropriate or incorrect.

“Often, they cannot tell the difference between fantasies on television and harsh realities. They are influenced by thousands of commercials each year, many of which are for alcohol, junk food, fast food and toys. Such children, who watch a lot of television, are likely to have lower grades in school, read fewer books, exercise less and be overweight.”

He says violence, sexuality, race and gender stereotypes, and drug and alcohol abuse are common themes of television programmes. Young children are impressionable and may assume that what they usually watch on television is typical, safe and acceptable. As a result, television also exposes children to behaviors and attitudes that can be overwhelming and difficult to understand.

Emphasising the need for the parents to be watchful, Dr Khurana advised that active parenting could ensure that children had a positive experience with television. “Parents can help by viewing programmes with their children, selecting developmentally appropriate shows, placing limits on the amount of television viewing (per day and per week), turning off the TV during family meals and study time, turning off shows which they feel are inappropriate for children.”

In addition, the parents can help children in selective TV viewing. They can suggest such programmes that meet the developmental needs of the child. “Children’s shows on public TV are appropriate, but soap operas, adult sitcoms, and adult talk shows are not.”

Dr Khurana asks the parents to be rather suggestive than being assertive.

The parents ought to set certain periods when television will remain switched off. The children should be told that study times are for learning, not for sitting in front of the TV.

Similarly, meal times are a good time for family members to talk to each other, and not for watching television.

“Encourage discussions with your children about what they are seeing as you watch shows with them. Point out positive behaviour, such as cooperation, friendship and concern for others. While watching, make connections to history, books, places of interest and personal events. Talk about your personal and family values as they relate to the show. Ask children to compare what they are watching with real events. Talk about the realistic consequences of violence. Discuss the role of advertising and its influence on buying. Encourage your child to be involved in hobbies, sports, and peers.”

He says once the parents succeeded in regulating the time for watching TV and making the child selective in what particular programmes to be viewed, the child  can learn to use television in a healthy and positive way.

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Man immolates self
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
A 41-year-old man, son of one of the partners of the popular Kanpuria Dhabha near Samrala Chowk here, allegedly immolated himself to death on the third floor of his house in Guru Arjan Dev Nagar following some alleged financial problems.

Manjit Singh, who was allegedly not on good terms with his parents, was living separately from his parents with his wife and three minor children, including two girls. He was said to be facing financial problems, besides suffering from depression.

Division No. 7 police station SHO Balbir Singh told Ludhiana Tribune that the investigation so far suggested that the man had committed suicide. He said though no suicide note had been found, the police had registered a case of committing suicide on the statement of his wife and other relatives.

The man had told his wife that he was going to the third floor to check an LPG cylinder. However, he allegedly set himself on fire after dousing himself in petrol.

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ETT teachers on warpath
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 27
“Even if the government fixes our salary at Rs 10,000 and gives us employment through panchayats, 12,000 unemployed ETT teachers are not willing to take up these jobs. We will prefer the starting grade of Rs 4,550 and will accept regular employment through the Education Department,” stated a press note issued here today by Mr Balraj Gholti and Mr Paramjit Mann, adviser and district president of the ETT Union, respectively.

It said they would go to panchayats and tell these the fallout of recruitment of teachers through panchayats. They stated that from March 14, they would start a “jhanda march” and burn the effigies of Ms Sonia Gandhi and Capt Amarinder Singh.

Meanwhile, in a protest held yesterday by the Nijikaran Virodhi Front outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office, it flayed the alleged anti-education policies of the government.

The district convener of the front, Mr Piara Singh Dhillon, said they condemned the beating up of unemployed ETT teachers at Nihal Singh Wala.

They demanded that the letter of the Principal Secretary, Education, written on December 21, 2005, should be withdrawn. According to the letter, primary schools would be merged with high, secondary and senior secondary schools.

Mr Dhillon said this was not acceptable to primary teachers as the promotion channels for them would close as the primary directorate would disintegrate.

The front said the merger would render hundreds of primary teachers jobless.

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Tributes paid to Dr Sandhu
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 27
The trustees of Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Trust paid rich tributes to a fellow trustee, Dr Gurdial Singh Sandhu, who passed away on September 25 in Canada. Secretary-General of the trust while speaking at the bhog ceremony (held on February 25) at his native village, Jeewa Arain, Jalalabad in Ferozepore, said Dr Sandhu was the most respected trustee and was instrumental in opening of Canada chapter of the trust. He was a renowned scientist and Head of the Department of Plant Breeding, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

Mr Gajjan Singh Thind, acting Chairman of the trust, Mr Jagir Singh Rattanpal, a trustee and vice-president of the All -India Kamboj Mahasabha, Mr Gulzar Singh Thind and Swaran Singh Chatrath and many others expressed sorrow over the sudden demise of Dr Sandhu.

Dr Gurpal Singh Sandhu, son of late Dr Gurdial Singh Sandhu, was appointed as an associate trustee of the trust. 

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Pensioners lambast Punjab Govt 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 27
Pensioners lambasted the Punjab Government for not addressing their problems at a meeting held here yesterday. They said the state government had failed to fulfill even a single promise contained in the Congress manifesto.

They said a fixed medical allowance of Rs 250 per month was being paid to them for the past 8 years and it was inadequate to meet the medical expenses. They demanded raise in the allowance.

They pointed out that old age allowance at the age of 80 years was allowed to MLA-pensioners in Punjab. However, this benefit was denied to them despite the 3rd Pay Commission's recommendation.

The meeting urged the state government to pay travel concession to pre-April 2004 retirees after merging 50 per cent DA in their basic pension as it had been done in the case of post-April, 2004 retirees.

They hailed the Union Government's announcement to set up 6th Central Pay Commission. Meanwhile, they have urged the government to set up the 5th Punjab Pay Panel Commission. The pay-scales recommended by the previous Pay Panel have become irrelevant in view of the price rise and various other factors. 

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Interviews postponed

Ludhiana, February 27
District and Session Judge Harbans Lal has stated that the interviews/tests for the posts of clerk, steno-typist and class IV employee scheduled to be held on March 3 in his office has been postponed.

The next date for the same will be intimated later through newspapers. The Judge said applications were invited for 33 posts of clerk, steno-typist, orderly, peon and chowkidar in the district courts for which about 10,000 applications had been received in his office. — TNS

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1 killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 27
A person was killed and another injured in a road accident involving a mini-tempo and an Indica car near Pohir village yesterday.
The police has arrested the driver of the car and impounded both vehicles.

Vipan Kumar (45) of old Madhopuri, Ludhiana , and Sarwan Chobey, both employees of Basant Ice Cream, Ludhiana, were returning from Milap Palace Jagera when the tempo in which they were travelling was hit by the car. Though a large number of persons were present at the spot, nobody came forward to take the injured to the hospital. In the meantime, the driver of the car fled the scene.

According to Mr Amarjit Singh Khaira, SHO, Dehlon, Vipan Kumar had succumbed to his injuries before the police party reached the spot. Another injured, identified as Sarwan Chobey, was taken to a private hospital at Pohir where doctors referred him to a multi-specialty hospital at Ludhiana.

The police has registered a case under Section 304 A against Harpal Singh of Sri Ganga Nagar, driver of the car. He was arrested today.

A post-mortem examination on the body of Vipan was performed at Civil Hospital at Dehlon. 

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Case registered

Khanna, February 27
The police has registered a case against the Director of Land Mortgage Bank, Kashmira Singh, and his brother on the complaint of Mr Hardev Singh, Vice-Chairman of the bank. Mr Hardev Singh alleged that Kashmira Singh and his brother attacked him and beaten up him. OC

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Industry seeks lower VAT on auto parts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
In its pre-Budget recommendations, the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association of India has urged the Finance Minister to address the issue of high percentage of VAT imposed on the auto parts manufacturing industry.

Mr G.S. Kahlon, president of the association, said: “Auto parts attract a VAT of 12.5 per cent, which makes this industry uncompetitive and unviable. This percentage should be lowered to 4 per cent, on a par with the tax on tractor parts.”

The association said the investment limit in small-scale sector on plant and machinery was Rs1 crore, which was not sufficient and hence, it should be raised to Rs 5 crore.

On the issue of submitting form “C” on a quarterly basis, the association said it had become an irritant and needed to be withdrawn at the earliest as it was creating problems for the auto parts industry.

Mr Kahlon said the imposition of service tax on job works had had an adverse impact on the SSIs in the industry. “Either it should be withdrawn or its limit of Rs4 lakh should be raised up to Rs1 crore. In case of units having a turnover exceeding Rs1 crore it should be withdrawn as these units are enjoying a CE exemption limit.

“However, the CE exemption limit should be raised from Rs1 crore to Rs2 crore as the cost of all inputs being consumed in this industry have increased manifold.”

Mr Surinder Singh, general secretary of the association, said fluctuating steel prices, too, had had a highly adverse impact on the industry. Stressing on the need for the government to form a regulatory commission to control steel prices, he said issues like poor power supply and labour problems needed to be paid attention to.

Demanding a special package for the industry in Punjab, he said in case of states like Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh, the governments provided several relaxations and exemptions, which should be given to Punjab too.

The association also urged the government to speed up efforts towards developing special economic zones in the state.

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LSE starts training in capital market today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
As the training for the certification programme in capital market begins at the Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE) tomorrow, the exchange becomes the first institution in the region to provide such training.

Among those who would participate in the 45-day long programme are students, retired persons, professionals and investors.

“With the launch of this programme, the LSE has become the second institution in the country, after Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), and first one in the region to offer a certification in the course in capital market. We are doing this in association with Punjab University,” said Mr H.S. Sidhu, Executive Director, Ludhiana Stock Exchange.

Mr Sidhu said as the exchange received quite a number of inquiries from other cities too, they would soon try to introduce training on weekends for outstation candidates. Besides, the LSE planned to start the course in Chandigarh too, he added.

The exchange also plans to launch a diploma programme in capital market soon. “Panjab University would soon launch a degree course in capital market and those who have done this course would get exemption in terms of fee or lectures as we have a tie-up with the university.”

Mr Sidhu said though such type of training programmes were being offered by National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the BSE, those were either offered through online mode or through classroom sessions that were conducted in Mumbai.

The training programmes started by the LSE would include theory and practical lessons in topics ranging from Indian capital market, primary markets, secondary markets, depository system, derivatives market, stock exchanges, risk management in stock exchanges and investor protection.

The LSE selected faculty for the programme from the regulatory authorities like the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), leading academicians in this field, stock exchanges and professionals like company secretaries, he said, adding that the course would be beneficial to students aiming to adopt a career in capital markets, existing professionals in the field and also academicians.

Fourteen seats have already been filled, Mr Sidhu said.

To generate awareness among people associated with capital market, the LSE would now focus on students as building human resource would accrue benefits in terms of added skill to the country in the long run.

Meanwhile, a book “Outlines of Indian Capital Market”, written by Mr H. S. Sidhu for the course, was also launched.

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