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Medicos protest, to observe bandh on May 18
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
A peaceful assembly of students, interns, residents, senior residents and faculty of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) today took out a march strongly protesting against the government’s policy of reservation in professional courses.

The work in the out-patient departments (OPDs) in the hospital came to a complete halt as a result of the agitation by doctors and medical students.

Addressing the rally, Dr Gursharan Singh, President, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr B.S. Shah, president, Dr Sanjeev Uppal, secretary, Dr Harpal Singh, press secretary, DMC Teachers Association (DMCTA)), Dr Ashish Ohri, Dr Pankaj and Dr Gaurav condemned the indifferent and repressive attitude of the government against the anti-reservation agitators.

Expressing solidarity with the nationwide protests against the reservation in professional courses, the activists of the bodies of medicos announced to organise a ‘medical bandh’ in association with the IMA on May 18.

In their bid to intensify the agitation, the doctors further decided to suspend all teaching activities from May 16 to 18, suspend all OPD services during this period and also to suspend operation theatre services on May 17 and 18.

The medical teachers and students would hold a demonstration at the reception area of the DMCH which would be followed by a protest march from new DMC to old DMC campus on May 16.

The protesters, however, made it clear that emergency services and care to indoor patients would be kept out of purview of the agitation.

Dr Gursharanm Singh and Dr Shah made a fervent plea to the President and the Prime Minister to intervene and save the situation from worsening.

They regretted that in the land of Mahatma Gandhi, peaceful protesters were brutally assaulted in Delhi and Mumbai.

“It is a matter of great shame that the peacefully protesting doctors and medical students were subject to brutal action of the police.” Demanding a judicial probe into the unprovoked use of force, they also condemned the reservations in all the fields and at all levels, in whatsoever form.

The DMCTA, meanwhile, had also started an awareness campaign against the evils of reservation for the common man.

The acting president of the body, Dr Shah said the political parties were using it for a vote bank and if they were serious about helping the economically backward people, they should have evolved an economic criteria for reservation rather than dividing the Indian nation on caste basis like the British did 200 years back.

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Everything for CM, nothing in martyr’s honour
Administration, leaders forget Sukhdev’s birth anniversary
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
While the government machinery and political leaders remained busy in making last-minute arrangements for the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who was scheduled to visit today but did not turn up, only a small gathering attended the birth anniversary function of martyr Sukhdev.

Activists of an NGO, Shaheed Sukhdev Yadgar Committee, organised a function to commemorate the 99th birth anniversary of the martyr at his birthplace, but the district administration forgot the day conveniently.

There was no representative from the administration or from political parties to attend the function.

Those who attended the function were shocked when they found heaps of garbage thrown right in front of the ancestral house of the martyr in Nau Ghara here.

They said it was shameful that the residents living nearby were finding the front of his house a perfect place for dumping garbage.

The activists set the garbage dump on fire to go ahead with their function. Dr Hardeep Singh, convener of the committee, said it hurt him that the residents living nearby were throwing polythene bags full of garbage in front of the martyr’s house. To add to it was the attitude of the MC employees, who did not care to clean the same.

The martyr had done the city proud by laying down his life as he was born and brought up in the Nau Ghara area. The district administration had chalked out many plans to conserve the house so that next generations could value the sacrifice made by him for the country.

“It is a sad state of affairs that an elected representative is given more importance than martyrs. Roads are laid afresh for the visit of the CM and all officials and leaders make a beeline to attend him but nobody cares for the martyrs’ who did not mind kissing gallows for the freedom of the country,” said an elderly man who came to visit Sukhdev’s house with his grandson.

“The residents living nearby should also be ashamed of what they had been doing all these days. How can they be so unmindful of what they are doing? How come their hands did not shiver when they were throwing garbage there?” he asked. He demanded action against those who threw garbage there.

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Four teams to crack jeweller murder case
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The city police has constituted four special investigation teams (SITs) in the intriguing jeweller-murder case to independently explore four possible theories relating to the cause of the crime.

While the police is focusing on the deceased's employee, Pooja alias Neeru, as the prime accused, it is also working on three other theories that suggest involvement of some persons other than Pooja.

The photographs of the prime accused had been circulated all over the country, sources said.

Reliable sources revealed to the Ludhiana Tribune that a significant lead had been established in the case by zeroing in on the missing mother of Pooja . This was significant as it would help in tracing Pooja and her alleged accomplices.

Further, the police has found out some technicality in the case which could only be known to persons with expertise in goldsmith business or those close to the deceased jeweller, Rajesh.

Now, the inquiry was focusing on four persons and their role was being investigated into.

The police has also not ignored the possibility of involvement of some friends or close relatives of the deceased jeweller in the case.

Informed sources revealed that Pooja's mother had been traced and was being questioned about the whereabouts of her daughter.

Pooja’s mother had gone missing earlier this week when her daughter had disappeared with the jeweller, Rajesh, a co-owner of Raghav Jewellers, Ghumar Mandi, last week.

The police had raided her house in Haibowal but she could not be found. She was finally traced from a hideout yesterday.

Rajesh was found brutally murdered on May 4 morning near Chamkaur Sahib. His body was found tied to the rear seat of the car. He was strangled and stabbed.

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Govt woos transporters with sops
ST mobile wing dismantled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
Punjab Finance Minister Surinder Singla today announced a bonanza for transporters on behalf of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who could not attend the transporters' rally here today. It was jointly organised by the Ludhiana Goods Transport Association, the Punjab Truck Operators Union, the Punjab State Goods Transport Association, the All-Punjab Tempo and Mini Truck Union and the Mini Bus Operators Association, Punjab.

Mr Singla announced to dismantle the mobile wing of the Sales Tax Department, doing away with the practice of detainment of trucks at sales tax barriers forthwith and the amnesty scheme for the one-time settlement of the unpaid taxes without any penalty, besides the abolition of octroi posts by the end of June.

He also announced to grant Rs 5 crore to the Transport Department for setting up 10 rest houses with ultra-modern facilities for truckers in the state, the land for which would be provided by the Local Government Department.

He also asked the Punjab Truck Operators Unions to constitute a committee of 5 or 7 members for the selection of site for these rest houses and also promised to arrange a meeting with the Chief Minister at the earliest to sort out their remaining demands.

Responding to the demand of the truck operators to implement the orders of the Supreme Court regarding the loading capacity of nine tonnes, Mr Singla said the government would direct the district administration to strictly enforce the direction of the court.

On the issue of non-insurance of the pre-1996 vehicles, Mr Singla assured the transporters that he would soon take up the matter with Union Minister Pawan Bansal to sort it out to the advantage of the truckers.

Mr Singla said it was the personal initiative and concerted efforts of the Chief Minister that VAT on the diesel was slashed from 20 per cent to 8.5per cent in Punjab. Mr Singla also said there was no target or quota fixed for the DTOs for revenue collection as alleged by the transporters.

He expressed regrets over the inability of Amarinder Singh to attend the rally. He said the Chief Minister had convened a high-level meeting of officers to sort out the demands of the transporters in the morning at his official residence and directed him along with Local Bodies Minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Transport Minister Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Malkiat Singh Birmi and Parliamentary Secretary Surinder Dawar to attend the rally.

Earlier, Transport Minister Mohinder Singh Kaypee assured the transporters that the Punjab Government had an open mind and they were welcome to discuss their problems with him as the Chief Minister was committed for their welfare.

In his address, Local Government Minister Jagjit Singh announced Rs1.85 crore for the development of Transport Nagar. He said the Punjab Government was committed to develop the nagar as a model in the state with all hi-tech infrastructure and civic amenities. He also assured the members of the various transport unions to review the issue of registration charges.

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Johar is District Taxation Bar president
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
Mr Rajiv Johar was today elected President of the District Taxation Bar Association(Sales Tax).

He defeated his rival candidate, Mr P.C Garg, president of the BJP legal cell by a margin of 40 votes.

For the post of Vice-President,Mr Ashwani Kochhar was elected. For the post of Joint Secretary, Mr Saurav Berry was declared elected. Mr Varinder Sharma had already been declared Secretary of the association unanimously.

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Stone laid for Rs 18-crore housing complex
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
Punjab Minister for Cooperation Jasjit Singh Randhawa today laid the foundation stone for the fourth Housefed flats complex in the city to be constructed at a cost of Rs 18 crore. The function was scheduled to be presided over by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who could not make it due to other preoccupations.

Addressing the function, Mr Randhawa placed on record the significant contribution made by Housefed in tiding over the acute shortage of residential accommodation in the state through construction of housing complexes at different places in Punjab. He said the issue regarding allotment of more land and allocation of more funds for the housing sector would be taken up at an appropriate level.

Chairman of Punjab Housefed Krishan Kumar Bawa said Housefed had constructed two housing complexes in Mohali, three in Ludhiana and one each in Amritsar, Jalandhar and Bathinda. Work would soon commence on new housing projects in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Mohali.

He made a strong case for allotment of more land in all major towns of Punjab so that the Housefed could take up construction of more residential flats. Mr Bawa said in the wake of more and more NRIs expressing their desire to make a base back home, Housefed was chalking out a plan to construct exclusive housing complexes for the NRI community.

According to Mr Bawa, till now the Housefed had disbursed loans worth Rs 933 cr for construction of nearly 1.14 lakh houses while another Rs 160 crore had been allocated for disbursement during the current financial year. Yet another plan for construction of houses for the economically weaker sections and allotment on easy monthly instalments was in the pipeline.

Prominent among others present at the function were Mr Vishwajit Khanna, Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab, Mr Baljinder Singh Jattana, Managing Director, Housefed, and Mr Paramjit Singh Sibia, Chairman, Ludhiana Improvement Trust.

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IT Dept gears up to streamline working
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The Department of Income Tax is in the process of pulling up its socks in a bid to streamline its working and ensure better services to the members of the taxation bar as well as the taxpayers.

Mr Ashok Juneja, President, Taxation Bar Association (TBA), and Mr Subhash C. Jain, President, District Taxation Bar Association (Direct Taxes), said in a joint statement here today that certain jurisdictional changes had been given effect by Mr M.N.A. Choudhry, Commissioner of Income Tax (CIT), Ludhiana-I, from May 15 which would facilitate timely processing of returns, fast completion of assessment work and speedy refunds.

As per orders issued by the CIT, the Joint Commissioner, Range-II, would hold additional charge over the area from Sherpur Chowk to Basti Jodhewal Chowk and from Basti Jodhewal Chowk to Division No 3 via Madhopuri chowk. As a result, this area would stand excluded from the jurisdiction of Range-I, Ludhiana.

Further, the Joint Commissioner, Range-III, would exercise additional administrative control over the areas from Jalandhar bypass chowk to Basti Jodhewal Chowk, from Basti Jodhewal Chowk to Octroi post at Rahon road, from Basti Jodhewal chowk to Sunder Nagar bridge and the area falling in the Ludhiana subdivision of revenue district Ludhiana outside the municipal limit of the city. Consequently, this area would be excluded from the jurisdiction of Range-I, Ludhiana.

According to Mr Juneja and Mr Jain, the CIT had further directed that jurisdiction over all cases of TDS and TCS, as well as penal provisions connected to these would now vest with the ranges having territorial jurisdiction over the place of business, profession or service of such persons.

They said the last date for filing of income tax returns was July 31 and many of the assessees had already started submitting these.

In case of refunds, the department had decided that in place of sending refund vouchers or cheques to the assesses, these would henceforth be credited directly to their bank accounts, they added.

As such, all individual tax payers and HUFs must mention their savings bank account numbers, details of bank branch along with BSR Code. Firms, companies, trusts and others would be required to mention their current account numbers or cash credit account number, as the case might be.

In the absence of details of bank accounts and account numbers, the computer system would not generate refunds, they added.

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Auditorium to be set up in memory of Prof Mohan Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The Dhan Pothohar Brotherhood has decided to construct an auditorium in memory of Prof Mohan Singh. This was disclosed by the president of the body, Mr N.S. Nanda, while addressing a sabhyacharak sammelan at Punjabi Bhavan here last night.

Dr Surjit Pattar, president, Punjabi Sahit Akademi, was the chief guest. The programme was dedicated to Prof Mohan Singh, Nand Lal Nurpuri, two great Punjabi poets, and Naushad Ali, the legendary music director of Hindi film industry.

Paying rich tributes to Prof Mohan Singh, Mr Nanda said he had made tremendous contribution to the development of Punjabi language and literature. He was a poet of the masses, and the coming generation would never forget him.

He said the community had decided to construct a Prof Mohan Singh auditorium in his memory and the body would demand a piece of land from the state government for it.

The auditorium would consist of an art gallery and a conference hall. To highlight the contribution of the Punjabi poet, a samriti granth of Prof Mohan Singh would also be published. It would comprise articles, poems and other literary pieces authored by prominent scholars, said Mr Nanda.

A commemorative volume comprising English translations of selected poems of Prof Mohan Singh was also released by Dr Pattar.

Highlighting the achievements of the body, he said it was a matter of great pride that Dhan-Pothohar had the credit of producing two Prime Ministers of India, Dr Manmohan Singh and Mr Inder Kumar Gujral. The other prominent persons, who belonged to the community included Master Tara Singh, Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir, Mr Tarlochan Singh, Mr Kartar Singh Duggal, Mr Navtej Singh, Bhai Jodh Singh, Nanak Singh, M.S. Oberoi, Balraj Sahni, Om Puri, Sunil Dutt, Y.K. Sabharwal, a former Chief Justice of India, and Gen J.J. Singh.

Mr Nanda also announced that the next international convention of the brotherhood will be held in the last week of August in Ludhiana. Mr I.K. Gujral would be the chief guest.

Ten prominent persons from different countries would be honored for their meritorious services towards art, culture and literature at the convention. A food festival would also be organised on that day.

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Youth saves many lives
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
It was the daredevil act of Jaspal Singh, a youth in his twenties and working as driver with Congress leader Gurdial Khangura, that saved the lives of at least 12 persons who were trapped inside a furniture showroom which caught fire on Sunday night.

Witnesses said the fire in the Laureal Furniture in Ranjit Towers was instant and fast.

While people cried for help, nobody dared to go inside. Meanwhile, Ms Khangura was travelling on the way. She stopped and asked his driver Jaspal if he could do something. Jaspal said: "I found people shouting and screaming but nobody was ready to move inside".

He said he went along the watchman from the rear-end of the showroom and broke some windowpanes. He used a separate staircase to bring out 12 persons trapped inside.

Everybody was brought out safely without any harm to anyone. By that time, the fire tender had also reached. But Jaspal had managed to save the precious lives by that time.

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Woman raped
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 15
A woman of Abbuwal village in Ludhiana district was allegedly raped by a married youth in his house on the scorching afternoon on last Friday.

As husband of the woman, a driver, was away from his home, the victim did not disclose the incident to anyone and reported the matter to the police yesterday. The police registered lodged an FIR under Section 376, 342 and 323 of the IPC against accused Devinder Singh of the village.

According to the police, Devinder Singh of Abbuwal village was booked for allegedly detaining illegally and raping Sukhwinder Kaur (fake name) of the village on Thursday.

The victim was taken to his house by the accused on the pretext of allowing her make a telephone call from his house as a nearby PCO was closed on that afternoon.

"When Devinder noticed me near a closed PCO, he called me to his house to make a call. Before I could make the call to my husband, he dragged me to his room and stuffed clothes in my mouth and raped me," told Sukhwinder to the police.

She stated that she had agreed to make the telephone call from the house of the accused as his family was at home. "Had I known that he was alone at home, I could have never thought of going there," told the victim to the police.

On the delay in reporting the matter to the police, Sukhwinder Kaur said she had decided to report the matter to police after informing my husband who had gone away for some days.

Medical examination of the woman was performed at the Civil Hospital, Sudhar. The police registered the case on the basis of medical report of the doctors that showed that the victim, besides being raped, had received some external injuries also. A police team raided hideouts of the accused but no arrest had been made so far.

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Boy missing since April 25

Ludhiana, May 15
A 14-year-old boy, Mohammad Niyaaz, has been missing from his shop in Kuldip Nagar here since April 25.

All efforts to locate him by his family have failed. According to his father, Mohammad Qadoos, the boy was working with him as a tailor. On that day, Mohammad Qadoos had rebuked him for not stitching the clothes properly. The boy could not tolerate it and left the shop in the evening. He did not reach home.

His father kept thinking that he would come back on his own as he would have been angry. But he did not come. He has reported the matter to the police on May 13. A DDR has been registered. TNS

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Oil mill machinery makers seek relief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The Oil Mill Machinery Manufacturers Association (OMMA) has made a strong plea for declaring the sector as agro-based industry and grant of relief which would not only help in sustaining the growth, but also open doors for further expansion to meet the increasing demand for more oil mills.

Presiding over the general body meeting of the association here yesterday, Mr Surinder Arora said grant of incentives to oil mill machinery manufacturers should be taken up on top priority since the oil industry was solely dependent on this sector.

He demanded that oil mill machinery should be treated as agro-based industry on a par with harvesters and threshers because the primary raw material used in processing was oilseed.

Calling for relief in taxation, Mr Harish Singla, general secretary of OMMA, urged the government to allow deemed assessment of financial years prior to the introduction of VAT, besides some grace period for submission of C forms.

The OMMA functionaries pointed out that there were more than 100 oil mill machinery manufacturers in the city and the government should cover them under the cluster programme of the SISI which would facilitate development, expansion and modernisation.

Taxation expert Ashok Bhatia was the guest speaker and he focused on several provisions of VAT Act.

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