L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

306 workers rendered jobless, to get Rs 1.07 cr
Avon Components shuts; workers file review plea
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Following the order pertaining the bundling of handle and pedal sections of Avon Bicycle Components Private Limited, which would render 306 workers out of job, the Labour Department is looking into the review application filed by workers.

“The order to close has been passed. Now we are looking into the review application,” said Mr N.K.Wadhawan, Labour Commissioner.

The company had filed an application for the closure of two of its six units citing “continued losses and indiscipline” as reasons. The Labour Department permitted the closure earlier this month, to be in effect on September 8. The hearing on the review application is due on September 5.

The company, which has started giving compensation to workers, has asked them to take compensation before September 8. Today, a list of the workers whose services would come to an end was also pasted outside the factory premises.

“Of the 306 workers, 20 have already taken their compensation. A total compensation of Rs 1.07 crore would be given,” said Mr B.D. Arora, legal adviser to the company.

Giving details of the reasons for closure, Mr Arora said: “There were continued losses since 2003. These two divisions were suffering the maximum. This year, the losses mounted up to Rs 5 crore, which is why the closure remained the only option.”

On the review application by workers, he said: “The closure has already happened. It is better that workers who have lost jobs accept compensation. The workers have filed a review application but our reasons for the closure too are genuine.”

Workers’ leaders, meanwhile, condemned the closure and said they wanted the decision to be withdrawn. “There has been no indiscipline and the reasons cited by the management are wrong. We want the decision to be withdrawn as it affects hundreds of workers,” said Mr Jagdish Chand, joint secretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).

The two units supplied parts to Avon Cycles and Nova Cycles. It is learnt that while Avon Cycles has already begun outsourcing its requirement, Nova is in the process of doing so and is likely to begin outsourcing after the two units close.



Basant Resorts under IT scanner
Shingora Shawls in net too, surrenders Rs 1.25 cr concealed income
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 31
Income Tax officials have initiated a survey on a local shawl manufacturer— Shingora Shawls— and at least nine outlets of a leading food chain — Basant Resorts — in different parts of the city under the supervision of Mr A.P. Srivastava, Commissioner of Income Tax (CIT) I, and Mr Vijay Kumar, CIT III.

While the officials refused to give any details of the outcome of the survey at the food outlets of the Basant Group, sources in the IT department revealed that books of account, computer data, previous income tax returns, other records and details of real estate transactions of the business groups were being thoroughly examined to determine the extent of tax evasion.

It was learnt that the politically well-connected owners of the Basant Group had all along been making attempts to use their clout to wriggle out of the IT net without any success.

It may be mentioned that of the two brothers running the food chain, one held the post of Vice-Chairman of Punjab Warehousing Corporation while the other was a trustee of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust.

“Once the department is able to calculate the extent of concealed income by the owners of food chain on the basis of information collected during the survey and details of high-value transactions, a survey report will be prepared and due tax liability raised against the business group,” the sources said.

Meanwhile, the shawl-manufacturing unit— Shingora Shawls — has surrendered a concealed income of Rs 1.25 crore and accepted additional tax liability on this amount.

The surrender of the amount came following a survey launched by the Income Tax Department on Tuesday at its factory in the Focal Point area and a retail outlet in the Ghumar Mandi here.



Vigilance begins probe against PAU draftsman
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The state Vigilance Bureau has instituted an inquiry under the Prevention of Corruption Act against a PAU draftsman, Shiv Kumar Sharma, after allegedly ignoring his activities for several years allegedly under the influence of a senior Punjab police official.

The inquiry has come in the wake of the arrest of the accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a human trafficking case a few months ago.

The Vigilance was sitting on a previous inquiry also involving the accused in which he had taken permission for using black films on cars using the registration numbers of a two-wheeler.

Shiv Kumar Sharma, who is at present on bail, allegedly enjoyed the status of a pseudo-Punjab police official. He had been given gunmen specially and senior Punjab police officers, including a former DGP frequented his house, sources have disclosed.

Highly placed sources in the bureau revealed that the inquiry would focus primarily on the alleged corruption of the draftsman, his amassment of wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income and the power centre he had become due to his proximity to the senior police officials.

Though beleaguered after the CBI action, the accused seems to be enjoying the same status as no Vigilance official was willing to be quoted on the inquiry. A senior official only confirmed to Ludhiana Tribune that the inquiry had been instituted but preferred anonymity.

Vigilance sources said the inquiry had been instituted as the Vigilance had prepared a detailed report on his alleged activities.

The CBI had found his photographs with several Punjab police officials, displayed in the drawing room of his house in Haibowal.

Sharma had allegedly played a dubious role in several arrest deals involving local industrialists and allegedly used to broker deals between cops and persons associated in crime, Vigilance sources claimed.



6-year-old raped, murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Blinded with lust, a 20-year-old boy allegedly raped and murdered a 6-year-old girl in Prem Vihar Colony of Basti Jodhewal late last night.

The accused, identified as Bunty, allegedly took the victim, daughter of a hosiery worker into the bathroom of his house and raped her. The police said the accused strangulated her to death to prevent her from raising an alarm.

Investigating officer of the case ASI Bhajan Singh said the girl’s father was in a state of shock even after several hours of the crime as he and other residents of the area had seen the girl lying unconscious on the toilet seat of the bathroom with the boy dressing up after the ghastly act.

According to the FIR, the girl had disappeared sometime after 8 p.m. Her parents and other area residents searched the colony but could not find her. They then looked for her on the rooftops. On the roof of the accused house they found the door of a bathroom locked from inside. When they broke open the door, they were shocked to find the two there.

While the boy was handed over to the police, the girl was rushed to the Civil Hospital, where doctors declared her brought dead.

The post-mortem examination has confirmed the rape. It said the neck of the girl bore marks of strangulation.

The father of the accused pulls a cart-wheel for livelihood. He too was in a state shock.



Newlywed killed for dowry
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 31
Sukhvinder Kaur of Nagra village, 5 km from here, has allegedly been killed by her husband Manpreet Singh, mother-in-law Manjeet Kaur and father-in-law Bachan Singh for dowry, according to her father Rulda Singh of Bahopur village police station, Kharar, here today. They got married three months ago.

The dead body was brought to the local Civil Hospital which was returned to her parents after post-mortem.

Rulda Singh told mediapersons that his daughter invited him yesterday to Nagra but he could not go there due to unavailability of casual leave from the office and he promised to come on September 5, on her birthday but Sukhvinder Kaur said it would be too late.

Mr Rulda Singh said the in-laws of my daughter had been demanding more dowry since the time of marriage. The police has registered a case and started investigation but no arrest is made till now.



CM promises 50 cr for city

Ludhiana, August 31
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has assured a grant of Rs 50 crore for various development projects in the city.

Stating this here yesterday, Mayor Nahar Singh Gill said the assurance was given during a meeting in Chandigarh.

The CM instructed the officials concerned to expedite the release of grant.

Municipal Commissioner Vikas Pratap briefed the CM about various ongoing development works in the city.

The Mayor said the CM made it clear that making Ludhiana the most beautiful city in the northern region was on top of his agenda.

He also asked for details of pending development projects so that steps could be taken to accomplish the task. — TNS



New Sub-Registrar’s office lacks facilities
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Lack of amenities dogs the functioning of Sub-Registrar (East) office which was shifted to Transport Nagar from the local Mini Secretariat on Monday.

A number of residents, who had visited the office to get their works done had to go back empty-handed after computers developed a snag. The residents awaited till 1 p.m. on the rainy day but they were asked to report tomorrow as repairs could not be carried out.

Computers developed a snag at 10 a.m. after being allegedly run on a generator in the absence of power supply to the office. Officials asked the residents to wait for an hour but even after three hours the fault could not be corrected.

Senior officials said the office was getting over the ‘‘teething problems’’ but soon everything would be normalised. They said it would take some more time for it to function comfortably. They added that the residents should be happy as they did not have to wait in a waterlogged office.

The residents said though this was a technical snag, they had to suffer on account of it. Coming from various villages in the district, they said their day was wasted and yet the work was not done.

There were no arrangements for using toilets in the building and there was no water supply. ‘‘They have put water tankers from the Municipal Corporation for supplying drinking water. Although they might have treated the water, yet who wants to drink from a tanker?’’ asked an elderly man, who had come to prepare his will.

He rued that his work was not done and he had to wait literally without having water. ‘‘They asked me to wait for some time and then finally told me to come tomorrow. Who knows if computers start working tomorrow or not and my another day will be wasted.’’

Instead of helping the matters, the shifting of office has caused a number of problems for the residents. The location of the office, being far away from the original place, has created other problems for the time being. They visit the main office on Ferozepur Road only to be told later that they will have to travel another 10-12 km to get their work done. 



Ujjain incident evokes resentment
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, August 31
Terming the Ujjain incident to be an unfortunate one, various teachers’ organisations, and even the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), feel that the incident, in which a senior Professor was killed, has brought disrepute to the student community.

Expressing their resentment, teachers said such incidents were a grave challenge to the safety and security of the teaching community.

Prof Jaipal Singh, President, Government College Teachers Union (GCTA), alleged that tall claims of the ABVP about value-based education were hollow.

He condemned the Madhya Pradesh Police for being mute spectators to the whole incident.

“Office-bearers of the ABVP abused and threatened the faculty openly and the whole country is witness to the incident but no body dared to stop them.

“As if it was not enough, the statement of the Chief Minister of MP said it was not a murder added fuel to the fire.

“The culprits should be punished so that unfortunate incidents like the one in Mohindra College, Patiala, and the Kamla Lohtia College here, should not happen again,” said Prof Jaipal.

Dr Satish K. Sharma, Principal, LRDAV College, Jagraon, said all right-thinking sections of the society had condemned the killing.

Terming it to be the most disgraceful act, he said,“ We were shocked to see the manner in which the police remained dumb spectators.” “The news clippings show that the MP Government did not rise to the occasion to save precious life of Mr Sabharwal. The reason can be that agitators had a political backing,” he rued.

Meanwhile, Mr Rajat Sood, joint secretary, ABVP, Punjab, when contacted, said the incident was regrettable.

He however, said, “I feel that it was unintentional. The students never wanted to kill the Professor.

“They (students) wanted elections to be held at the earliest but when their demand was rejected, they turned violent.”

“They should have convinced the management politely as the demands of the students can be put forth only through a representative body,” he said.



Lyrics must have depth, says state awardee
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 31
It was a proud moment for lyricist Chan Goraya Wala when he received a state award from Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh at a state-level Independence Day function held in Patiala on August 15.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune he said, “I am the first song writer from Punjab who has been given the Geet Kari State Award. I am so proud to receive it from the Chief Minister and happy that my efforts of writing good songs for films have been recognised. I have been writing songs from 1972 and had shifted to Mumbai from Goraya. I wrote songs for Punjabi films like Putt Jatta Den, Sarpanch, Nimmo, Gaburo Punjab De etc.

So far, I have written songs for 20 films. I had to come back to Goraya in 1988 during terrorism as my family wanted me back. Moreover, I love Goraya as it is my native place and now everyone knows me as Chan Gorayan Wala and nobody remembers that my name is Bhulla Ram.”

He said his guru Niranjan Singh Panchi from Pakistan had told him to write lyrics that had depth. He said, “I sought his guidance for 11 years. He always advised me that only those songs get immortalised that have ras in them and can be set to tune in classical ragas. My endeavour has been to write good songs. I started my career by producing my own film Balviro Bhabi but I was not successful so I decided to be a song writer. I am a spiritual person and 12 religious cassettes and VCDs have been released so far. My cassettes Singh Da Kurbania and Dhan Dhan Guru Ravidas have been very popular.”

Asked what he wants to do in future, he said, “Work extremely hard and try to get a National Award from the President. I know I will have to work very diligently but I am not scared of hard work and I hope I will achieve my goal.” 



Thousands throng Khullar Kul Devi fest
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 31
To seek the blessings of Khullar Kul Devi, people came to the Manupur village, 10 km from here, today in large numbers.

At the Khullar Kul Devi festival, free services were provided to them. Free medical camp and free dental check-up camp were set up to help the poor.

The festival was declared open by Sarabjit Singh Bhalla of Barwati. Maha Mandleshver Dev Bharti Ji gave religious tips to the audience.

Baba Jag Nath 108 of Durga Mandir, Samrala, inaugurated the community Langar. Jathedar Kirpal Singh Khirnian gave away the free books to the needy. The free medical check-up camp was inaugurated by Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon. The camp was organised by Aurora Clinic and Scan Centre.

Maharaja Sachdanand of Gosi Khaki inaugurated Sita Kitchen. Bibi Harbans Kaur Dullo inaugurated the free dental camp which was arranged by Mr Milap Chand of Ludhiana.

Mr Kanti Bhalla, ex-minister, Haryana, inaugurated Sant Kutir while Mr Vijay Dhim, advocate, spokesman, Punjab Khatri Sabha, honoured the intelligensia, press reporters and freedom fighters. 



Man caught on cheating charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The Division No. 6 police today nabbed a conman, who had allegedly cheated several persons of the city by offering to arrange loans within 72 hours, besides running a fake marriage bureau.

Inspector Gursewak Singh Brar told reporters that the accused, Param Singh, who ran Khalsa consultancy had adopted a novel method to fleece local traders. He used to claim of providing them with loans within 72 hours and took a sizeable fee for the purpose. He took cheques only for this purpose.

He gave cheques to persons who had applied for loans, saying that they could cash them. He kept on taking cheques and gave it to others. However, he did not give the promised money to anyone and then started dilly-dallying on the payments.

The police said the accused had cheated the complainants of Rs 3-4 lakh.

He tried to run away when a team of policemen caught him near Cheema Chowk today.



Assault victim offered money
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 31
The assault on Ram Surat Mishra, a peon of Sanmati Vimal Jain Public School, Kothe Khazuran village, Jagraon, has taken a new turn when last night Subhash Jain and Gandhrav Sharma approached him in the local Civil Hospital, where he is his admitted, offered money and pressed him for changing his statement before the police.

Ram Surat Mishra was assaulted by three persons in the servant quarter and the police has registered a case under Sections 452, 323, 506, 34, IPC. The victim has doubt on Subhash Jain and Mapinder Jain who intend to take forcible possession of the institution from Vijay Kumar.

In another incident, Sham Lal, gardener of Sanmati Vimal Jain Public School, has lodged a complaint to the police against Subhash Jain, along with Ram Avtar, another gardener of the school, that the duo along with one more person, broke the lock of his servant quarter and removed the electricity connection to make him leave the room.

He also threatened to face the consequences. He blamed the police for not initiating any action against the erring persons and demanded registration of case.

One killed in mishap

Raj Kumar of Kailash Nagar, Fazilka, was killed and four persons, Ajay Kumar, Mahinder Singh, Gurwant Singh and Harbans Singh, of Jandewal Khrait village were seriously injured in an accident between a Qualis and an ambulance near Mor Karima village on the G.T. Road, .

The police has registered a case under Sections 279, 304 A, 337, 427, IPC, against the driver of Qualis. The injured have been admitted to Arora Hospital, Ludhiana. No arrest has been made so far.

6 booked for assault

The Dehlon police has booked Gursharan Singh, Parminder Singh, Goldy, Satwant Singh, Harbans Singh of Narangwal Kalan and Dilsher Singh of Mahima Singh Wala when they allegedly assaulted Bhagwant Singh of Narangwal Kalan with sticks.

The police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 148, 149, IPC. Some old enmity is said to be the reason. No arrest has been made so far.

Booked for trespassing

Jagraon police has booked Inderjit Singh and Karnail Singh of Kothe Khazoran, along with four persons, when they allegedly entered the house of Naib Singh of Lakha village and broken his colour TV set and other household things and threatened him.

The local police has registered a case. Some domestic dispute is said to be the reason. No arrest has been made so far.



Bharat Electronics wins quality award
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The safety of workers is a cause of concern and the industry needs to address it. While focussing on quality and quantity, it should not forget that safety of workers should never be overlooked and safety measures should be reviewed from time to time. This was stated by Mr N.K. Wadhawan, Labour Commissioner, while addressing a valedictory function with regard to Quality control circle Competition Awards by the CII here today.

Talking about labour unrest, he said workers and managements needed to realise that they supplemented each other. “Problems arise only when there is mistrust. Workers could feel that the management is not taking measures in their interest while the management could feel workers are slowing down or resorting to trade unionism. The need is to sit together and find a way out instead of fighting,” he asserted. Mr M.C. Munjal, Chairman, Ludhiana Zonal Council, CII, said the CII conducted quality control competitions with a view to facilitating and retaining quality. “Maintaining quality is the key to hold customer. The competition, hence, is to win the customer,” he said.

Mr Harinderjit Singh, counsellor, CII LM Thapar Centre for Competitiveness, announced the awards. The first position was won by Bharat Electronics, Kotdwada (QC Paragati), while the second went to New Swan Enterprises from Ludhiana (QC Fateh). The third position was won by Vardhman Spinning and General Mills, Ludhiana (QC Vikas).



Apex chamber meets PSEB chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
A deputation of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Punjab) met the Chairman of the Punjab state Electricity Board (PSEB) at Patiala yesterday and discussed the problems being faced by industry.

Mr P.D. Sharma, president of the chamber, said: “Induction furnaces have been subjected to a surcharge of 17.5 per cent for those units, which are running on 11 KV which should be withdrawn. The board needs to plead this case with the PSERC so that this issue of surcharge is closed forever.”

The chamber requested the Chairman not to levy penalties on some violations of electricity used during restricted hours. It was explained that the power cuts this year were unusual and there is daily review of power cuts. “Due to a communication gap between the board and consumers on a daily basis, some unwanted violations must have taken place. The PSEB should not subject an industrial unit with minor violations.

The chamber said some industrial consumers were availing themselves of exemption from peak load hours by paying an extra amount. During this season, peak load hour span was increased from three hours to almost nine hours. “The board is planning to charge extra amount beyond these hours of peak load hour restrictions.”

The chamber said on its request, the Chairman agreed not to charge any extra amount in this case from consumers.

The chamber also alleged that flying squads of the PSEB were harassing several industrial consumers. Mr Sharma said the Chairman assured the delegation that the matter would be decided soon.

“The Chairman also assured us that miscellaneous issues like clubbing of connections etc which are pending with the board would be resolved in a month’s time.”



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