L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

All 200 milk samples fail test
Urea traces found in most of them
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Here is shocking news for the milk consumers of the city. All the 200 milk samples collected from Gurdev Nagar and Sarabha Nagar were adulterated with traces of urea found in the maximum number of samples.

The samples were tested in two camps simultaneously organised by the area councillor, Ms Amrit Varsha Rampal, in collaboration with the Milk Testing Cell of the Dairy Department.

Ms Laj Sarna, Deputy Director, Dairy Department, headed the teams and tested milk on a computerised machine specially imported by the Punjab Government.

Mr B.K. Rampal, husband of the councillor, said almost all 200 samples collected from various houses had urea, 10 to 20 per cent of water, lower quantity of protein and fat than required and other impurities like salt and baking powder in it.

He added that people were being supplied highly adulterated milk by their milkmen and they did not know about it. He added that they were also shocked at the results as they had not expected that all the samples would report adulteration.

Mr Rampal said they would organise another camp in the PSEB colony soon and would make the people of the area aware of the adulteration. He said the innocent people were drinking toxic liquid in the guise of milk, which was posing a threat to their health.

“Even cow’s milk, which the residents drink after being advised by their doctors, had some impurity. It is a shocking scenario, ’’ he said, adding that they had announced the holding of a camp late last evening only so that the milkmen were caught unawares.

“We went from door to door inviting the residents to bring milk samples, which was not boiled before, in the morning. There was a great response as people kept pouring in and testing continued till 1 pm”, he said.



Kalam to visit Sanghol on August 17
Our Correspondent

Khamano, August 12
President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam will inaugurate an educational complex established by residents in collaboration with the Sharadhanjali Charitable Trust at the ancient village of Sanghol, near here, on August 17 at 11.15 a.m.

The Shardhanjali Charitable Trust has been established by UK-based entrepreneur Lord Diljit Rana, who was born in Sanghol and who is at present honorary Indian Consul at Belfast.

The project, it may be recalled, was begun on November 17, 2001. That day Bhoomi Puja was performed for construction of the academic complex. Now the college has been functioning for the past one year. The President will formally inaugurate the Sanghol Educational Complex on August 17.

Residents of Sanghol and its surroundings are excited about the visit of Dr Kalam and are optimistic that it will bring significant development of Sanghol.

On the request of the Sanghol panchayat and other eminent persons of the area, the college has been made co-educational. The college is affiliated to Punjabi University, Patiala. The aim of the project is to provide world-class education in the rural area.

In view of Dr Kalam’s visit, all arrangements are being completed by the district administration. Security arrangements are being supervised by senior police officials. Dog squads and other devices have reached the venue. A helipad is being constructed at Dana Mandi for landing the helicopter of the President.

Heavy police personnel are being stationed at the helipad and the college complex. The Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, today visited the site.



6-yr-old takes cops, villagers for a ride
Cooks up tale of kidnapping
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Jandiali (Ludhiana), August 12
A six-year-old boy, allegedly in the habit of running away from school and cooking up wild tales about his disappearance, put two labourers in a tight spot by claiming that they had kidnapped him and kept the Ramgarh Chowki police and the residents of this village on tenterhooks last night.

The self-scripted tale of kidnapping of the boy, Veer Singh, alias Sanju, began at about 7 pm last evening and ended at 11.30 am today leaving the villagers and cops fully exhausted after spending a tense and sleepless night.

Apart from the victim labourers, who were beaten up after being taken as kidnappers, the boy took the cops and villagers for a ride as they kept searching his house, which he claimed was located near Samrala Chowk in Ludhiana. It was only after 11 am today that they learnt the boy belonged to Jandiali village only.

Dharamjit Singh Jandiali, spokesperson of the village Panchayat, told Ludhiana Tribune that the drama began in the evening when some women labourers at a brick kiln spotted the boy carrying a bag of note books and moving aimlessly near the brick kiln.

When they asked him, he said he had lost way to his house and did not know the address. The group of labourers decided that two of their members Birju and Bikram would take him to the house of the village Sarpanch and leave the matter at his discretion.

However, at the Sarpanch’s house the boy suddenly changed track at the sight of two gunmen of Koomkalan MLA Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal. The boy started crying and claimed that he had been kidnapped. The labourers were caught.

A large number of people gathered there within a few minutes and the labourers were thrashed.

The boy kept on insisting that the labourers had lured him by offering sweets and had brought him there from Samrala Chowk Ludhiana.

After the labourers were detained, the cops and the villagers led by Mr Jandiali searched for the boy’s house well past midnight. The boy kept taking them from one street to another.

Mr Jandiali said as they were quiet tired, they decided to find his house in the morning. But then again the boy did not reveal anything. The mystery was solved when a school teacher of the village questioned him why he had not attended school for two days?

The shocked villagers and cops then learnt that the boy’s parents lived in Kotla Afghana, a basti near the village only. His father, Satnam Singh, later told them that the boy was in the habit of disappearing and they did not bother much about him as he usually returned on his own.

The accused and harassed labourers were released immediately thereafter with the villagers cutting a sorry figure.



Couple, property dealer issued summons in cheating case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana August 12
The Judicial Magistrate, Mr Ranjan Khullar, issued summons to property dealer Vijay Kumar of Ahluwalia Colony, Satnam Singh and his wife Narinder Kaur of Bank Colony to face trial on the charge of cheating a person of Rs 4,25,000.

The orders were pronounced by the court in a criminal complaint filed under Section 406, 420 and 34 of the IPC by Baldev Kumar Baweja of Madhopuri.

The complainant had submitted before the court that he and his friend Vikram Kumar had approached Vijay Kumar to purchase some plots. He introduced them to the other co-accused.

It was said that Satnam Singh was the attorney of Tejinder Singh and was competent to sell two plots bearing number 230 and 231 situated at Kuliewal.

Thereafter, the deal was struck for Rs 6,60,000. A payment of Rs 1,25,000 was made as earnest money. In April 2005, Satnam Singh and his wife collected Rs 3 lakh from the complainant and the endorsement to this effect was made on the back of the agreement.

The accused failed to execute the sale deed. Legal notices were sent to the attorney as well as the original owner of the plots Tejinder Singh. The owner, in reply to the notice, disclosed that the said plots had already been sold in March 2003.



Police on high alert
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 12
Urging leaders of various religious and social organisations to inform police promptly about any stranger seen in the area, the Circle Police Officer directed the policemen to be extra vigilant during these days.

While addressing a meeting of police officials at the local police station, Mr Rachhpal Singh Hara, DSP, Malerkotla, apprehended that anti-social elements might take refuge at inns and religious places. He directed Mr Darshan Singh, SHO, Sadar and Mr Jaswinder Singh, SHO, City, to constitute special teams that would keep in touch with the leaders of various social and religious organisations and watch the presence of strangers near sensitive locations.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune after convening a meeting of officials, Mr Hara claimed that special teams in plane clothes had been deputed at the Railway Station, the Bus Stand, government offices and all such places where Independence Day would be celebrated.

Observations revealed further that all SHOs had received instructions from higher authorities in the district and the state regarding beefing up of security in view of threats from various extremist organisations.



Kila Raipur Cong leaders deny Garcha’s charges
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Congress leaders from Kila Raipur Assembly segment today denied the allegations of former minister and sitting Kila Raipur MLA, Mr Jagdish Garcha, that the Congress and government officials were conniving to hamper development work in the assembly segment. They described it as “a gross lie that finds no support from the residents of this area”.

Addressing a joint press conference here today, the party leaders, including Mr Jesse Khangura, Mr Manmohan Singh Grewal, chairman, Kila Raipur Market Committee, Mr Parminder Singh Latala, block president Pakhowal, Mr Raj Singh Jand, member, block samiti, Mr Harjit “Biloo” Singh, sarpanch, Dhaipie, Mr Bitu Mohi, Mr Ravinder Pandey, and Mr Mann Singh both general secretaries of the District Congress Committee, and Mr Labh Singh observed “these are the words of a desperate politician who knows that he cannot win from Kila Raipur and is urgently lobbying Mr Badal to accommodate him elsewhere”.

The Congress leaders claimed “the reality is that Kila Raipur Assembly constituency has been transformed by development work that far exceeds that in the constituencies of some cabinet ministers after being closely and carefully managed by Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, the halqa in charge”

They claimed that the party considered it as a “winning seat”. They said “from a constituency that Mr Prakash Singh Badal once felt was so secure, an Akali stronghold that he chose to contest from there himself in 1997, to a place that the Congress party has firmly lodged in the win category and one from where the local Akali leadership is running scared”.

Claiming that the Congress had changed the face of the constituency, they said “where pot holes littered every road and bus companies refused to ply the area for fear of damage to their vehicles, the constituency stands today with 36 km of new roads, and the complete re-surfacing and repairs of old roads...where Gobind National College, Narangwal, stood on the point of closure with salary arrears of 9 months and significant monthly deficits, S. Jagpal Singh Khangura has contributed in excess of Rs 50 lakh to College and is personally maintaining the current shortfall of Rs 1.5 lakhs per month”.



Expert seeks ban on pesticides use
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Eminent food expert Devinder Sharma has sought a ban on the use of pesticides. He said it was high time to move from the integrated pest management (IPM) to the no pest management (NPM). This, he said, was also important from the ecological point of view.

Addressing a farmers’ convention organised by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) here yesterday, Dr Sharma disclosed that in some Andhra villages about 6,000 hectares of land had been brought under the NPM. This had produced remarkable results. He said similar measures were adopted in Indonesia way back in 1987 and the results were good there.

He pointed out besides the harmful insects there are friendly insects also. The chemical pesticides kill the beneficial insects first to necessitate their excessive use for killing the harmful insects. He alleged it was a vicious circle aimed at benefitting big industries and multinational companies at the cost of the farmers’ welfare.

The food expert demanded that the farmers must be covered under the Sixth Pay Commission set up by the government. Quoting statistical figures he said the farmers’ income had remained static since 1985. He said practically there had been no increase in farmers’ income in proportionate terms, while so many pay commissions had been set up for the government employees.

Dr Sharma alleged that there was a design in the import of wheat in the country, particularly when surplus stocks were lying in godowns. He said, the western countries, particularly the USA, gave huge subsidies to their farmers which made their wheat and paddy cheap. He warned against importing food which he said amounted to “importing unemployment”.

Another expert Mr Yudhvir Singh, called for serious measures to ameliorate the suffering of farmers. He said since the Green Revolution the plight of farmers had further deteriorated. He claimed that on an average every farmer in Punjab owed a debt of Rs 44,000. “This is the blessing of the Green Revolution”, he remarked, while pointing out that something had gone wrong somewhere for which corrective measures needed to be taken necessarily.

In his address the president of the BKU (Punjab), Prof Manjit Singh Kadyan opposed the use of the genetically modified seeds. He said in the long run these products had proved counter productive and dangerous.



Officers’ families celebrate Teej
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
The wives and children of Non Gazetted (Police) Officers (NGO) celebrated Teej in Basant Resorts here today. Ms Balwinder Kaur, president of NGOs’ Wife Club, said that they were celebrating Teej for the first time. Several competitions were organised for the children.

Ms Sunil Dutt and Ms Jaswinder Chahal were the chief guests on the occasion. A competition for Ms Teej Queen was organised in which the officers’ wives took part.



One dead in mishap
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 12
One person was killed and another person injured in a road accident last night near Ghulal village near here.

Car driver Amar Singh of Ludhiana was killed on the spot while retired IAS officer Randhir Singh was seriously injured. He was admitted to the civil hospital here and was immediately referred to Ludhiana after administering first aid.

The injured IAS Officer Mr Randhir Singh was posted at Samrala as SDM in 1966.

According to reports, the car in which they were travelling was totally damaged when it collided with a bus coming from Mohali.

Both the vehicles have been taken into custody and the police has registered a case and started investigations.



6 booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 12
The police has booked Jasvir Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Surjit Singh, Balwinder Singh, Chamkaur Singh and Chhota Singh of Bhaini Baringan on the charge of assaulting Inderjit Singh of the same village with sticks. The police has registered a case under Section 323, 324, 148, 149 of the IPC. The victim has been admitted in civil hospital, Raikot. No arrest has been made so far.

2 booked

The police has booked Nachhattar Singh of Lamme and Nachhattar Singh of Chhiniwal on the charge of snatching one book of lucky coupons, six pass books of the post office accounts and Rs 75 cash from Rakesh Kumar. He was coming out from a post office when the accused came on motorcycle and snatched the documents at gun point. The police has registered a case under Section 382 of the IPC and 25, 27, 54, 59 of the Arms Act. No arrest has been made so far.

Two held 

The Sidhwan Bet police has arrested Jaswant Singh of Sallempura and seized 30,180 ML of illicit liquor from his possession. In another incident, the Sudhar police has arrested Kuldeep Singh of Rajoana and seized 95 kg of lahan and 9,180 Ml of illicit liquor from his possession. Cases under Section 61 of Excise Act have been registered. 
Car Stolen
An Accent car which belonged to Mr Sunil Gupta of Old Green Market, Jagraon, was stolen last night. The police has registered a case under Section 379, IPC.



12 booked for assault

Jagraon, August 12
The Sidhwan Bet police has booked 12 persons on the charge of assault in two incidents. In the first incident, the police has booked Iqbal Singh, Gulzar Singh, Harjinder Singh and Gurdeep Singh of Sawadi Kalan for allegedly assaulting Palwinder Singh of their village with swords and sticks. Some old dispute is said to be the reason behind the incident. Palwinder has been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon.

In another incident, the police has booked Bitu along with seven others on the charge of assaulting Gurinder Singh of Sawadi kalan. The police has registered cases under the IPC and the Arms Act. No arrest has been made so far. OC



Extension of VAT return filing date sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Suffering due to insufficient availability of C forms, local industry has asked the government to extend the last date for submitting VAT returns by at least five months.

Industry representatives said insufficient availability of C forms was acting as a hinderance in submitting VAT returns on time. The last date to submit returns is October 31, 2006, which the industry wants to be extended to March 31, 2007.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), said: ‘‘Industry is unable to procure forms C and H particularly from the southern parts of the country due to unfavourable weather. In such case we are helpless and we urge the Chief Minister to extend the last date for submitting VAT returns.’’

Pointing out insufficient availability of C forms, he said these should be made available so that timely filing of returns is not hindered.

Urging the government to extend the date, Mr Pardhan said in case it is not extended, industry would suffer due to stern penal provisions under the VAT law.



Wedding exhibition draws crowds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Wedding Asia 06, a three-day wedding exhibition, that began here yesterday, witnessed people pouring in large numbers.

The exhibition that has more than 65 participants offers a wide variety from trousseau to internationally-acclaimed cosmetic brands to household décor and furnishings, wedding planners, honeymoon destinations, jewellery and accessories - focused on catering to most of Punjabi wedding requirements.

“With wedding season round the corner, the turnout is quite encouraging. Yesterday, there were a large number of queries while today actual purchases are happening,” said Mamta Malhotra, a jewellery designer, who is participating in the exhibition.

While designer duo Rakhi and Vandana, who have their presence in London, the USA, the UAE and India, brought a collection of jewelled embroideries on tunics, kaftans, tops, skirt and suits on ultra fine chiffons, georgettes, silks, brocade etc, Ms Dolly Jhunjhunwala of Rewaaz brought an assortment of Indian and western wears. Deepa Arora showcased designer wear.

A new concept to the city was handcrafted purses by Meera Mahadevia of Mumbai. Targeting high end customer, the designs have brass, copper and silver engravings and lavish use of embroidery.

Among jewellery designers were Suhani Pittie from Hyderabad, Punita Trrikha who is know for catering to Hollywood and Bollywood clients, Naina Balsavar’s collection, which was a fusion of Indian and Victorian styles and Payal Gupta of Paayal.

Besides, there were names like Kirtilal Kalidas and Company, Kalajee Jewellers from Jaipur, Dwarka’s and Jewel Ace International.



Hike in interest rates concerns Chamber
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed concern over the hike in interest rates while asking the government to take care of the small and medium sector of the industry which was virtually being crushed under the additional burden.

In a statement here yesterday, Mr P.D. Sharma, President of the chamber, observed that in the ongoing tussle between the government and the banks, spearheaded by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the small scale sector was finding it difficult, if not impossible, to absorb the increase in interest rates. “Bank after bank is raising the prime lending rate (PLR). The small sector is to be charged interest within a band of 2 per cent of the PLR.” Mr Sharma strongly felt that the government was, in fact, concerned only about the loans to the farm sector and it was paying mere lip service to small and medium sector of the industry.

He claimed that that banks were still lending at sub-PLR level to corporates, which in other words meant that the small and medium sector was meeting the cost of cross subsidisation to the corporate sector.

“This situation (hike in interest rates) has arisen primarily due to the mistake of the banks. They have been lending long-term loans on the basis of short-term deposits. On March ending in 2005, long-term loans of banks were 45 per cent of the total advances whereas these were less than 25 per cent in March 1998.”

He further maintained that the inefficiency of the banks and their high establishment cost was also a burden on the borrowers. Banks had a spread of more than 3 per cent between the deposit rate and the lending rate which was twice the global norms. Moreover, the wage cost of public sector banks was at 1.4 per cent as against a much lower 0.6 per cent for private sector in India. Apart from the exorbitant interest rate, abnormally high service charges by the bank were also a big burden on small borrowers which ought to be rationalised, Mr Sharma said.



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