L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

In search of greener pastures, he found death abroad
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 24
A septuagenarian couple of Pohir village near here is cursing the moment it allowed its only son Amritpal Singh Samra to emigrate to the Philippines in search of greener pastures five years ago.

The couple, which was expecting to receive news about the birth of its grandson, was shocked to learn that Amritpal had been killed by some unidentified robbers at Manila when he, along with his employee, was going on a motor cycle on Tuesday.

Having found agriculture a non-remunerative profession, Amritpal, the only child of Nazar Singh Samra and Surjit Kaur, impressed upon his parents to send him to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, five years ago. The old parents not only arranged money for sending their son abroad through an agent but gave him huge amounts after borrowing from friends and relatives so that he could start a finance company there.

Contrary to the expectations of the old parents and relatives, Amritpal could not even earn enough money to visit his native land. What to talk of visiting India during these five years, Amritpal could not even come for his marriage. The marriage ceremony of Parminder Kaur Grewal of Lalton village with Amritpal was performed with a photograph of the former in Manila last year.

The inconsolable parents told Ludhiana Tribune that they had asked Amritpal to close his business in Manila and return home. “Even recurrent killings of Punjabi financers in Manila did not deter our son who ultimately ruined our lives as well as that of a child yet to see this world,” they said.

The situation is equally difficult for the Lalton family as Parminder Kaur, confined to a maternity home, is yet to be told about the tragedy.



Furnace owners launch stir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
The induction furnace and engineering industry today launched an agitation against the alleged “discriminatory decision” of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) pertaining to stopping power supply to induction furnaces and continuing the same to arc furnaces in the state.

More than 15 associations from fasteners manufacturing, auto parts manufacturing, cycle parts manufacturing and other industries staged a dharna at Vishwakarma Chowk here. Industrialists also sat on a relay fast and wore black badges to mark their protest. Associations from Jalandhar, Gobindgarh and a few other places also joined the protest today.

“The PSEB has ordered closure of induction furnaces whereas arc furnaces, that have similar operations, are still running. While the closure has brought production to a standstill, affecting not only induction furnaces but also the ‘consuming industry’, we are agitated with the favouritism shown to five arc furnaces in the state,” said Mr K.K. Garg, president, Induction Furnace Association of North India.

Leaders of various associations alleged that the board was showing undue favouritism towards arc furnaces. “While 90 per cent of the final product of arc furnaces is sent to other states, over 80 per cent of production by induction furnaces is used by the industry within Punjab. The move to order closure of induction furnaces has put industries like fasteners manufacturers, hand tool manufacturers, cycle parts and auto manufacturers in the state on the verge of closure,” said Mr S.C. Ralhan, regional chairman of the Export Promotion Council and president, Hand Tools Manufacturers Association, adding that “the buffer stocks that we had will not last more than two days, which is quite worrying for the industry”.

The industrialists demanded that the PSEB should take “balanced” measures to save power like supplying electricity for four days to arc furnaces and using the same towards catering to the remaining industry and induction furnaces. Besides, the board needs to take steps like ordering closure of commercial markets and malls after 7 pm, they suggested.

“In 2006 alone, 18,000 air conditioners have been sold in this city which means that a significant additional requirement has been created. Since no additional generation has been there, it is important to take steps towards regulating usage,” Mr Ralhan said.



SSF holds protest march
Cutting of hair of Sikh youth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
Activists of the Sikh Students Federation and other organisations today held a protest against the chopping of hair of a Sikh youth in Jaipur. They took out a protest march which passed through various areas of the city. Condemning the incidentthey demanded action against the culprits.

The members of the SSF(Mehta) group took out a procession which passed through main bazars and business centres of the city. They also blocked traffic which led to a lot of inconvenience to the people. They were holding banners and placards demanding strict action against the culprits.

Meanwhile, a number of organisations and leaders have condemned the incident, terming it as deliberate mischief aimed at hurting the sentiments of the Sikhs. Senior Akali leader and former minister Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal termed the incident as the most sacrilegious.

He said the culprits had tried to hurt the feelings of the community. The senior vice-president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, in a separate statement, condemned the incident. He warned that such incidents could not be tolerated. 



Five-year RI in attempt-to-murder case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
Mr Roshan Lal Ahuja, presiding officer of the fast-track court, has sentenced Malkiat Singh (32) of Kulla Patti village, Raikot, to rigorous imprisonment for five years in an attempt-to-murder case. A fine of Rs 2,000 has also been imposed.

The accused was booked under Sections 307 and 324, IPC at the Raikot police station, on February 13, following a complaint by Jaswant Singh of Kulla Patti village.

The complainant had submitted to the police that the accused had borrowed a sum of Rs 15,000 from him on the pretext of getting his tractor repaired. At that time, he had said he would return the borrowed amount.

The accused pleaded innocence and claimed false implication. During arguments, defence counsel stressed that there were contradictions in the statement of witnesses. So the accused be acquitted.

The Judge held that minor discrepancies in the statement of witnesses did not put a dent in the case of the prosecution. The prosecution had successfully proved the charges levelled against the accused beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt. So, he did not deserve any leniency.



Rs 1.5 crore concealed income surrendered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
The simultaneous survey of four companies carried out by Income Tax officials here on Tuesday led to the surrender of an additional income of Rs 1.5 crore. The business house agreed to meet the tax liability of the disclosed income as per the rules, it was officially confirmed here today.

Several teams of IT officials surveyed the business premises of Surdarshan Forge, Ess Ess Steel Castings, Ess Ess Wheels and Happy Machine Tools on Kanganwal road here under the supervision of Mr S.S. Rana, Additional Commissioner. The IT sleuths, all through the day, carried out detailed inspection of books of accounts, IT returns for the past three years, documents relating to sale and purchase as well as physical verification of stocks.

The team also questioned directors and staff members of the said companies and restrictions were imposed on movement of personnel as well as telephone calls while the survey was in progress.



Sanctioned police post functioning from a tent
People ‘fear’ to rent out rooms
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
The Ghumar Mandi police post here that caters to the need of one of the busiest markets and residential areas of the city has found itself in a peculiar condition that no other police post had probably faced.

The post is at present functioning from a tent near Aarti Chowk with the city police trying for the past several weeks to find a suitable place for the cops to function from.

The pitiable working conditions do not end here. Of all 22 police posts in the city, this is the only one, which has been duly sanctioned by the government, while the others are functioning on a need basis of the local police only. Ironically, it is the only post that is functioning in the open sans a roof and proper rooms to work from.

All efforts of the city police to find even a two-room accommodation for running the post have failed as no person or organisation is willing to take ‘the risk’ of leasing out a place to the police.

The post presents quite an embarrassing picture for the cops. Sources in the police post said whenever there were heavy showers the cops had to run to a safe place along with their files and documents to save them.

Some persons recently tried to construct two rooms on a small triangular roadside park near Aarti Chowk. The construction, however, had to be stopped as the land was in the green belt area and the Municipal Corporation and environmentalists objected to the construction. Since then the police post is functioning from the tent only.

The post earlier functioned from the Division No. 5 police station building near Jagraon Bridge for the last several years. But the location was always objected to by the Ghumar Mandi shopkeepers and the area residents who complained they had to travel all the way to Jagraon bridge for taking police help in crime incidents.

SSP A S Rai, commenting on the irony of the police post in a tent, said he was trying to find some place for the police post. He requested the public to help the police department in finding a place.

DSP R K Bakshi said the police was meant to function from any place it could get and his force was not facing any problem in functioning from the tent. He stressed that the place was actually a police picket but as the old building of the Division No. 5 police station has been demolished for new construction, the police post officials were working from a tent.



Suvidha camps constituency-wise every week: minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
Rural Development and Panchayats, Food and Supply and Jails Minister Lal Singh has announced that constituency-wise Suvidha camps would be organised once every week, where counters of all departments dealing with public would be set up.

He was presiding over the monthly meeting of the District Planning and Development Board (DPDB) at Bachat Bhawan here today.

Unfolding the plan, Mr Lal Singh said that he would personally supervise the camps and Deputy Commissioner and other district officers of various departments would be present. He announced that the first such camp would be organised in Kila Raipur on Sepember 4 and the dates of the remaining camps would be given shortly.

The minister said that work on development projects had been launched on a war footing in each village and town and funds amounting to Rs 660 crore had been released under the Punjab Nirman Programme.

He asked the MLAs and members of the District Planning Board to ensure efficient utilisation of grants for quality work in their areas and in case they noticed any irregularity or delay on the part of the executing agency, it should be brought in the notice of the Deputy Commissioner, so that prompt action could be taken.

At today's meeting funds amounting to Rs 10.54 crore were released under different schemes. Funds amounting to Rs 5.49 crore were approved for development projects under the Punjab Nirman Programme out of which Rs 5.01 crore released for construction of 9,600 toilets in the houses of Scheduled Castes and other poor people.

The Minister said to ensure speedy release and proper utilisation of funds, regular monthly meetings of the DPDB and Grievances Committee would be organised every first Thursday of the month.

Taking serious note of the absence of some officers from the meeting, Mr Lal Singh warned that all heads of the district must attend the meetings in future.

Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, informed that all funds would be utilised by October 31. He informed that the progress of ongoing works was being reviewed regularly by him at monthly meetings and the Additional Deputy Commissioner (D) every 15 days.

Later, Mr Lal Singh, presided over the meeting of the District Grievances Removal Committee, in which 12 complaints were discussed, out of which eight were redressed on the spot.

Others who attended the meeting were Mr Surinder Dawar and Mrs Harbans Kaur Dulo (both Parliamentary Secretaries), MrMalkiat Singh Dakha, MrAmrik Singh Dhillon, (both MLAs), Mr Vikas Partap, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Mr K.K. Bawa, Chairman, Housefed, Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, Mr Rajinder Singh Basant, Deputy Chairman, Conware, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, Mr Gurdeep Singh Bhani and Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran.



Devotees pay obeisance to Gajju Thapar

Ludhiana, August 24
Hundreds of devotees belonging to the Thapar community paid obeisance to Gajju Thapar, a seventeenth century saint at the local temple set up in his memory at Gurdev Nagar. A free medical checkup camp was also organised.

The Thapars, who originally belong to Kabul, came to Ludhiana about a 100 years ago. They set up their cultural centres like the memorial to Gajju Thapar. Every year a religious congregation is held at his memorial where members of the community together pay obeisance.

On this occasion, a free medical camp was organised in memory of Vijayant Thapar, a Kargil war martyr, who was awarded the Vir Chakra posthumously. The medical camp was inaugurated by his father, Col (retired) VN Thapar. —TNS



Dharamsot gives grants to village

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 24
The Congress government in the state has been implementing its development programme for the past three years whereas the SAD has been misguiding people by indulging in false propaganda. This was stated by Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Parliamentary Secretary (Home, Justice and Sanik Welfare) in response to a query of mediapersons at Ghulu Mazra village, near here, yesterday.

Later, he inaugurated a dharamshala and the project to make streets of the village pucca. He also addressed a well-attended gathering in the village. He announced Rs 1 lakh grant for the elementary school, Rs 50,000 for the Islamia school and Rs 10,000 for a mahilla welfare body.

State Congress secretary Sawtantra Karkara, market committee chairman Pratap Singh, Zila Parishad Chairman Pakhar Singh, block committee chairman Dilbagh Singh, Media in chareg Pargat Singh Annia, block Congress chief Shingara Singh, Sarpanch Tilak Raj and Sarpanch Baljit Singh also addressed the function. OC



Minor girl raped
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 24
A 16-year-old girl was repeatedly raped by her maternal uncle, as a result of which she became pregnant.

The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC on the complaint of the victim.

According to sources, the mother of the victim died when she was two-year-old and her father Darshan Singh remarried Usha Rani of Nangal Street, Phillaur. The victim along with her father and stepmother was living at Raikot when her father also died on November 13, 2003. Usha Rani thereafter called his brother Chandi Ram to live with them. The victim was a student of sixth standard when she had to leave the school due to the death of her father.

Chandi Ram once raped the victim and thereafter on the threat of killing her continued to rape her.

Man killed

A man was killed when a bus (PB-29E- 9966), belonging to Malwa Bus Service and driven by Sukhwinder Singh of Kaunke Kalan, hit him today near the main gate of Jagraon bus stand.

2 arrested

The Sidhwan Bet police has arrested Ram Singh of Kot Umra and recovered 5,430 ml of illicit liquor from him. In another incident, the Jagraon police has arrested Ranjit Singh, alias Deepa, resident of Kushth Asharam, Mohalla Mai Jeena, Jagraon, at the Agwar Ladhai area and recovered 4,500 ml of illicit liquor from him.



Advocate booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
Samrala police have booked advocate Surinder Vashisht, Subash, a tailor, and four others under sections 452, 323, 506, 34 and 120-B of the IPC on the complaint of Rajinder Pal, a resident of Bank Colony.

According to the information, the complainant was running a shop named ‘Sharma Garments’ in the main bazar. He had taken the shop on rent from one Vidyawati, wife of Bihari Lal, about 17 years ago. Vidyawati was childless and after her demise, SurinderVashisht claimed that the shop had been transferred in his name.

Though he started obtaining the rent amount, he never issued receipt for the same.

About three months ago, Surinder Vashisht managed to station a tailor, Subash, in front of the shop, who away create nuisance by throwing among articles. On August 21, 2006 at about 7 p.m. when he was attending to his shop along with his son Kulbhushan, Subash, instigated by Surinder, entered the shop supported by four persons and beaten them up.



Zee TV to bring back ‘Antakshri’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
Responding to demand of viewers, Zee TV plans to bring ‘Antakshri’ back on air by early November this year. Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Ashish Kaul, senior vice-president, Zee TV, said the show, which went off air early this year, would be back with a new look in a fresh format.

“The shooting would begin in October and it would be on air soon,” he said. Regarding the host, he said it was yet to be finalised whether the previous host Annu Kapoor would continue or not.

Mr Kaul said Zee also planned to begin its hunt for ‘Zee Cine Stars’ after the movie of the winners of the first series of the contest, Aditi Sharma and Sarvar Ahuja, was released. “The movie is due for release in December after which we will begin talent hunt for cine stars again.” The film is being directed by Sudhir Mishra of the “Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin” and “Hazaar Khwahishein Aisi” fame.

He said Zee TV’s endeavour for a fresh look had paid off well with a majority of its serials recording high TRPs. “Our prime time rating has grown by nearly 400 per cent in the last one year. We are now ahead of Star Plus in the 6 pm to 8 pm slot and also in the 9 pm to 10 pm band for six months,” he added.

A film on dramatisation of events detailed in the 9/11 commission report and other sources, ‘The Path to 9/11’ would be presented on Zee Studio, “Zee Studio would be the first channel in the world to show the film, considered the most authentic so far.



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