L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

IHRO: cops used excessive force
Girl students were primary victims
Tribune News Service

  • SHO of Sarabha Nagar was main culprit, says Gill
  • Police action was aimed at pleasing Chief Minister
  • IHRO to back cause of jobless veterinary doctors
  • There was shortage of women cops

Ludhiana, September 23
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO), while condemning Punjab Chief Minister's for giving a clean chit to the Ludhiana police's onslaught on the agitating Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) students, accused the police force for using excessive force and censured the Veterinary University V-C, Mr D S Bains, for his inability to place the students' cause before the government.

"We also strongly condemn the district police administration that registered a criminal case (FIR) against the agitators, including girl students."

IHRO chairperson D. S. Gill told the media here today that this was the findings of its investigation team comprising M. S. Grewal (general secretary), Inderjit Kaur (secretary- women's affairs) and advocate Sukhdev Singh Ramgarh Sibian.

The three-member team, he said, met the agitating students, especially the girl students who were victims of the ferocious attack by the police to appease Capt Amarinder Singh, who later realising that the police was wrong had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.

According to preliminary investigation by the IHRO, the main culprit seemed to be the SHO, Sarabha Nagar police station, Mr Sandeep Kumar Wadhera, said Mr Gill, adding that there were, however, no case of molestation as had been reported in a section of the media.

"There took place scuffles between the police and the agitators, and during the scuffles clothes of some persons, mostly girl students, were torn.

There was shortage of women police to deal with agitating girl students. Police personnel ran amuck to gain the goodwill of the Chief Minister."

The IHRO, at its subsequent meeting, decided to lend its support to the cause of the agitators and help them to take up their case with the authorities concerned, including the Chief Minister, added Mr Gill. 



Surya Kiran sets the sky ablaze
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Halwara, September 23A spectacular display of intrepid manoeuvres by nine aircraft of the Indian Air Force’s Surya Kiran kept spectators at their feet at Halwara recently. The daredevils created various formations in the sky at speeds touching 500 plus per hour.

The aircraft created diamond, delta, Columbia, viggen and other formations, some with inverted aircraft, receiving thunderous applause from the jaw-dropped spectators.

The fleet of nine aircraft of the indigenous Surya Kiran made many a heart skip beat with each of their acrobatic displays.

Awestruck spectators broke into thunderous applause each time these aircraft pulled off a hair-raising manoeuvre.

They concluded the show with the formation of a heart, called Heart Loop and Cupid, midair.

The Commanding Officer of the nine pilots who took part in the show, Sandeep Bansal, said most of the maneuvers were “no big shot”. “It is just like crossing a truck on a single lane highway.”

Surya Kiran is among the top acrobatic air teams in the world, with only the Royal Air Force of the UK and Canada Air Force using nine aircraft in their shows. Most other teams usually use eight or six aircraft.

Inverted aircraft flying and head-on crossing at different heights by Surya Kiran displayed the pinpoint accuracy and precise timing of pilots.

Getting into different formations and making different patterns in the air using varied colours were well received by spectators, who also included children.

The Commanding Officer, who has been commanding the fleet for the past one year, says it takes over 1,400 hours of flying and several years to become expert in the field.

His personal favourite and the most challenging manoeuvre is the “9 aircraft bomb burst loop”. In this, aircraft coming in tandem disintegrate in all directions, spreading different colours like a bomb explosion.

Air Commodore Air Force Station Halwara P.M. Katti told mediapersons that the show was held as part of the platinum jubilee celebration air show by Surya Kirans.

He said such shows by the Air Force made citizens feel proud of the defence forces. Rigorous training sharpened the skills of pilots who were always prepared for any operation.

After the show, spectators witnessed static display of fighter aircraft of the Air Force.

Schoolchildren took keen interest in knowing armament load capacity of different aircraft.



Navratras draw shoppers to markets
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
The first day of Navratras brought a spur of activity in local markets, as happy traders expected sales to pick up with the season.
From jewellers who have been witnessing a slump for over a year now to shopkeepers, all have geared up to cater to expected rise in supply.

“The season started just today and we are hoping a better customer turnout this time. In case of jewellery, demand picks up as marriage season also begins,” said Vineet Dhanda of Prem Jewellers.

Demand for gold, that has been witnessing steep fluctuations, has witnessed a decline of more than 70 per cent. The festive season is expected to normalise the market if not bring a spurt, say jewellers.

Local markets of Ghumar Mandi, Sarabha Nagar and Chaura Bazar were all decked up today.

From apparels, gift items, household gadgets to utensils and food items, attractive discounts are being offered to lure the customers.

“We are expecting our sales to increase by at least 40 per cent. However, keeping competition in mind we are also offering discount,” said an apparel shop owner in Chaura Bazar.

The coming days, said traders, would witness heavier discounts on a wide range of items like cars and two-wheelers, home financing, household appliances, etc.

Restaurants too came out with attractive offers. “Navratra Special” thalis at attractive rates have already begun attracting customers.

“As a large number of people observe fast these days, they want to have food that is delicious. The trend has begun in recent years only but picked up well. Entire families come to have Navratra special food these days.”

Prices of fruit and vegetables, have however increased.

In retail market, potatoes are available for Rs 12-15 per kg, cauliflower costs around Rs 20 and tomato Rs 16-20 a kg.

Prices of carrot touched Rs 50 per kg and that of sponge gourd around Rs 20 per kg.

“Though prices of fruit and vegetables are already very high, they are likely to increase further as demand, particularly for vegetables like potatoes, gourd, carrot, radish, and that of fruits, increases,” said Shyama, a vegetable vendor in Field Ganj.



Farmer, scientist, politician network necessary, says expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
The two-day Kisan Mela at Punjab Agricultural University concluded here yesterday with emphasis being laid on for productive networking between the scientists, farmers and politicians. Dr G.K. Chadha, a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, presided over the function.

In his presidential address, Dr Chadha observed: “Unless Punjab’s politicians, academicians and farmers network, they can not bring Punjab out of the present crisis. The politicians and academicians must form unanimous opinion on agricultural crisis and present a cogent, effective case to the Centre. The division among academicians and lack of cohesiveness with political leaders is a stumbling block.”

He expressed concern over the suicides by the farmers and said: “We must evolve strategies whereby we can increase the income of the small and marginal farmers, who are the backbone of our economy.”

Hailing achievements of the Punjab farmers and PAU scientists for their glorious past, he said: “Punjab farmers have to look forward and compete in the international market through better quality of their produce. In the face of challenges of depleting water resources, inadequate facilities for processing and marketing, we must find ways to overcome them.”

Presenting a model of the future successful farmer, Dr Chadha said a farmer had to act like a scientist as well as a good businessman.

Earlier, welcoming the chief guest and the farmers, the Director of Extension Education, Dr S.S. Gill, said: “In view of the water crisis in the state, we have to shift to alternate crops that require less water. The university is focusing its research on producing short duration rice varieties that require less water to grow.” He pointed out that flooding of paddy fields not only consumes more water but it produces methane gas which pollutes the environment.

The following were awarded for their best produce in different crops:

Devinder Singh of Mukut Ramwal, Sultanpur Lodhi (Kapurthala) for pomegranate; Dosanjh Agricultural Farm of Jagatpur (Nawanshahr) for papaya, arvi, mitha and kachrinda; Gurdip Singh of Chaswal (Patiala) for brinjal; Gurmit Singh Sohi of Nathalpur (Ropar) for rose; Inderjit Singh of Saholi (Patiala) for maize cobs; Manjit Singh of Nagra (Sangrur) for bitterguard and tinda; Mohd. Ilyas of Malerkotla (Sangrur) for radish; Navnoor Dosanjh of Jagatpur (Nawanshahr) for ghiya kaddu; Paramjit Singh of Sirhind (Fatehgarh Sahib) for lemon; Rajinder Kaur of Naserabad (Kapurthala) for bhindi; Mr Ranjit Singh of Parhi Mianpur (Ropar) for chillies; Ravinder Singh of Fatehgarh Viran (Ropar) for sugarcane; Sarwan Singh of Boolpur (Kapurthala) for halwa kaddu; Sukhdev of Naseerabad (Kapurthala) for cowpea; Sukhminder Singh of Dyalpur Bhaika (Bathinda) for ram tori; Sukhvinder Singh of Chanan Khera (Ferozepore) for guava; and Sudhishal of Kherpawali (Ferozepore) for mosami.

In the agro-industrial exhibition, various firms bagged prizes for best display of their stalls.

The winners in different categories included John Deere Tractors, Pune (tractors); Standard Combines Private Limited, Barnala (combines and threshers); Droli Mechanical Works, Moga (tractor-driven implements); Kalsi Metal Works, Jalandhar (electric motor engines and pumping sets); Falcon Garden Tools, Ludhiana (hand tools and sprayers); Lucas Indian Service Limited, Chennai (machine tools); Speedway Rubber Company, Jalandhar (tyres and batteries); IFFCO (fertilizers); UPL, Mohali (pesticides); Markfed (agro processed products); and Mehram Publications, Nabha (literature).



Taxpayers face problems as computers develop fault
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Taxpayers are complaining of great inconvenience in submitting their returns due to problems in computer systems of the Income Tax department.
"People have to visit the department several times to submit their returns due to some technical fault in computers of the department. This is causing a lot of inconvenience to people," said Mr Jatinder Khurana, president, Taxation Young Lawyers Association.

He said not only individuals, but also lawyers were suffering. Condemning the Income Tax Department, the association said the department did not fail to publicise "better facilities" it was offering to tax payers.

"However, in practice, submitting returns, too, had become a tedious task due to small problems."



IHRO seeks CBI probe into Budha Nullah menace
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 23
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) has sought a CBI inquiry into the failure of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to take steps to clean Budha Nullah.

In a complaint to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, IHRO Chairman D.S. Gill said criminal negligence had been shown and public servants were deemed to be hand in glove with the vested interest at the cost of agony of Ludhiana people and around 40 villages in dealing with the problems created by Budha Nullah.

The IHRO had also set up a committee (Clean Budha Nullah) having Inderjit Kaur Ubhi as its coordinator and Sukhdev Singh Ramgarh Sibia as executive associate with Shashi Kant Verma and Ritesh Dhir as advocate investigators.

The IHRO team found that dyeing units were allotted plots in Focal Point, measuring around 2,500 sq yd, at the rate of Rs 600 per sq yd.

Instead of shifting the units to Focal Point, many owners sold their plots to earn profit or converted these into commercial establishments.

The IHRO investigating team also found that there had been around one dozen deaths due to drowning in the nullah during the past few years.

The IHRO has based its complaint on a number of reports and campaign launched regarding the pollution levels of the nullah.

The IHRO alleged that there were no proper arrangements for the treatment of sewerage and industrial effluents before the same were discharged in the nullah. As a result, the situation had deteriorated, posing serious danger to the lives of people.

It quoted a number of constitutional provisions under which the guilty could be punished.

It alleged that officials concerned had been evading questions, advancing excuses, dodging people and passing the buck to others with simple and stereotyped answers.

According to Mr Gill, the commission had taken cognizance of the complaint and referred it to the double Bench and the same would come up for hearing on September 26.

He said the commission had also desired that a high-profile committee consisting of citizens should be formed to deal with the nullah menace. The IHRO was in the process of forming the committee, he said.



SAD to ensure cancellation of city centre project
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
The SAD would ensure that the Ludhiana City Centre project was cancelled.
Addressing workers of the Youth Akali Dal at Alamgir, near here, the party general secretary, Mr Sukhbir Badal, said even while in the Opposition his party would ensure that the project would be cancelled and the money refunded to the investors.

Mr Badal said the government was now resorting to the cover-up operations. He said the Local Bodies Minister was resorting to all means to hush up the matter.

He promised that when his party would form the government, it would ensure that the guilty should be brought to book.

The general secretary also condemned the police excesses on peaceful students here on Thursday. He demanded that action must be taken against the police officers who ordered the lathicharge.

Addressing the rally, the president of the Youth Akali Dal and Ludhiana MP, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, said there was a lot of enthusiasm among the youth workers of the party for the Assembly poll. 



Declare this year as Bhagat Singh’s centenary: society
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
The Shaheed Bhagat Singh Memorial Society presented a memorandum to the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, here last night.
The society president, Mr Neel Kamal, and a Congress leader, Mr Parminder Mehta, requested that the state government should commemorate Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s birth centenary beginning September 28. A portrait of Bhagat Singh was also presented to her.

The Punjab Sahitya Academy senior vice-president, Mr Gurbhajan Singh Gill, told Ms Bhattal and the Minister for Tourism, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, that the government should declare 2006-07 as a centenary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

As part of the centenary celebrations, the birth place of Shaheed Bhagat Singh at Khatkar Kalan should be developed into a national memorial.

Responding to the suggestions, Ms Bhattal said she would certainly take appropriate steps to perpetuate the memory of the martyr.

“Such martyrs are not only national heroes but carve a niche for themselves on the international scene.

“The message of Bhagat Singh needs to be spread across all educational institutions to inculcate patriotism and nationalism among the students,” she added.



"Neon Jarh" staged at function against social evils
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 23
Child development and Project officer (CDPO)Satish Kumar in association with Maghi Memorial College, organised a function against social evils at the sub-divisional level here.

It was divided into two sessions. In the morning session, a seminar on female foeticide was held, in which Mr Devinder Singh Punia, president Democratic Teachers Front, Ms Meena Malhotra, principal, Government Girls College, Mandi Gobindgarh, Ms Nutan District Programme Officer, Ms Sunita, CDPO Khanna, and Mr Gurdev Singh Khanian, member, PPCC, expressed concern on the growing bias in favour of a male child among families.

At the evening session the Theatre Department of Panjabi University, Patiala, staged "Neon-Jarh"by Dr Ajmer Singh Aulakh. Directed by Dr Gurcharan Singh, it is based on female foeticide. The session was inaugurated by Mr Arshdeep Singh Dhind, SDM, Amloh.

Mr Som Nath Lutava, president, Mr Manohar Lal Verma, general secretary, Manav Bhalai Manch, Mr Harbans Lal Panjni, vice-President, Mr Hans Raj Bedi. member, Maghi Memorial Trust, Dr Mohan Singh, SMO, Primary Health Centre, Chanarthal, Dr Jyoti, Dr Anju Medical Officer, Civil Hospital Amloh, Principal Dr Sohi, and district vice-president of the BJP Rajpal Garg were also present.



Major computerisation drive in Income Tax Department
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 23
The Income Tax Department has embarked upon a major computerisation drive to achieve transparency and efficiency in dealing with the tax payers.
In a bid to bring about transparency and do  away with direct contact of the assessees, income tax refunds were being issued within four months of filing of returns and a mechanism was being evolved for direct credit of refund orders to the bank accounts of the assessees to cut down instances of frauds.

According to Income Tax Joint Commissioner Kanwaljit Singh, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had introduced a new software for processing of returns, which made it mandatory for assessees to mention their PAN number and details of bank accounts.

“In case of failure on part of the taxpayers to do so, a letter is automatically generated asking for these details and till such time that the information is furnished, the return is not processed.”

He said the exercise of issuing letters in such cases had already been taken up by the department here so that refunds could be issued within the stipulated period.

However, in some cases the assessees had not responded to the letters asking for details of PAN numbers and bank accounts.

He asked the taxpayers concerned, who had not furnished the information in the income tax returns, to communicate with their respective assessing officers so that their returns could be processed and refund orders issued at the earliest.



Woman jumps into canal with infant, saved
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 23
Parmjit Kaur of Kothe Khazuran, Jagraon, along with her three-month infant jumped into the Akhara canal today, but Lakhbir Singh of Lakha and Bhinder Fauji, who were passing by, rescued them both. They took them to the nearby Guru Nanak Charitable Hospital where the child was given oxygen being in a semi-conscious state.

Bid to murder: The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 307 IPC and Sections 27, 54, 59 of the Arms Act against Simranjit Singh of Sidhwan Bet for his attempt to murder Nawab Singh of the same village. The accused allegedly fired thrice with his .32 bore revolver. Old enmity was said to be the reason behind the incident. No arrest has been made.

Cyclist killed: In an accident between a bus (PB-05J-5555) and a cycle, Nirmal Singh of Mullanpur was killed. The bus belonged to the Fazilka Dabawali Transport Company. The Dakha police has registered a case under Sections 304-A, 279 and 427, IPC, on the complaint of Davinder Singh of Mullanpur against the driver of the bus.

Minor hurt: Raffi (4) of Sidhwan Bet was hit by an Indica car (RJ-13CA-0315) in Sidhwan Bet and injured. The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 337, IPC, against the unknown driver. The injured has been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon.

Booked for assault: In four separate incidents of assault, 19 persons have been booked by the police. In the first incident, the Jagraon police registered a case under against Nirmal Singh, Harmeet Singh, Sandeep Singh, Harjinder Singh, Avtar Singh, Ranjit Singh of Agwar Dalla and Bhadur Singh, Neela Singh and Raju of Kothe Rahlan on the charge of assaulting Rajinder Singh of their village with kirpans.

In the second incident, the Jagraon police booked Kania Singh, Kaka Singh and Jit Singh of Bhammipura Kalan on the charge of assaulting Gurmail Singh of their village. A case has been registered.

The Jagraon police registered another case against Rajinder Pal Singh of Burj Kularan when he allegedly trespassed into the house of Darshana Rani of his village and assaulted her with a hockey stick.

In the last incident, the Sudhar police booked Sukhdev Singh, Jagtar Singh, Shinda, Dhira along with three more persons. The accused assaulted Ajaib Singh of Halwara with kirpans. Some land dispute is said to be the reason behind the crime.

Drug peddler held: The Sidhwan Bet police arrested Harjinder Singh of Dahlawal district, Moga, from Abbupura and allegedly recovered 10 kg of poppy husk from his possession. A case has been registered.

Motorcyclist hurt: Paramjit Singh (40) of Sherpur Kalan, who was going with Karnail Singh on his motorcycle (PB-10BD-1509) near the Jagraon bus stand was hit by a Punjab Roadways bus (PB-12H-3833) driven by Sher Singh, causing serious injuries to Parmjit Singh. The injured was referred to Ludhiana by the Civil Hospital, Jagraon.

Held with liquor: The Humbran police has arrested Bhagat Singh of Kotli and allegedly recovered 6930 ml of illicit liquor from his possession. A case has been registered.

2 held for gambling: The Sudhar police has registered a case against Dalip Kumar and Dinesh Sahni of Bihar on the charge of gambling in public and recovered 52 playing cards and Rs 464 in cash from them.



One nabbed with 35 kg poppy husk
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
In its ongoing drive against anti-social elements, the police has nabbed a smuggler and recovered 35 kg of poppy husk from his possession.
According to information, a police party led by ASI Kuldeep Singh of CIA staff was on a routine naka duty at the distributary near Libra village on Thursday evening. They stopped a scooterist, who was later identified as Pal Singh of Ikolahi village. A search led to recovery of narcotics which was concealed in a jute bag.

A case under the NDPS Act has been registered.

Jagraon: 10 booked for assault: The police has registered a case under Sections 324, 341,148, 149 of the IPC against Billa, Joga, Jatinder Singh, Hari, Pinka and one unidentified person of Jagraon on charge of assaulting Raj Kumar of Agwar Gujjran with sharp edged weapons. The injured has been admitted to DMCH Ludhiana. No arrest has been made so far.

In another incident, the Humbran police has booked Tejinder Singh, Harwinder Singh, Parminder Singh and Kamal of Balipur Kalan on charge of assault. The accused allegedly trespassed into the house of Sukhwinder Singh of Humbran and assaulted him with sharp edged weapons. Some old enmity is said to be the reason behind the assault. A case has been registered.

1 held with liquor bottles: The police has arrested Baldeep Singh of Lakho Ke Behram (Ferozepore) from Sidhwan Khurd and allegedly recovered 12 bottles of IMFL. A case has been registered.

8 kg poppy husk seized: The Raikot police has arrested Pritam Singh of Shahzadpura and allegedly seized 8 kg of poppy husk from his possession in the area of Jalaldiwal village . A case has been registered under Section 15, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act.



PM urged to announce package for industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
City industrialists have urged the Prime Minister to announce a special package for industry during his visit to Ludhiana next week.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the president of the Knitwear Club, Mr Vinod K. Thapar, said: “Industry has been particularly waiting for his visit for a long time....we see a ray of hope that you would relax certain ‘draconian’ laws acting as irritants to industry.

The industry is being deprived of a level-playing field and it has not been granted any special benefits as have been given in neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttaranchal.”

Stating that the “injustice” had resulted in an exodus of industry from the state, he said it was a major setback to economy as well.



Sunil Mittal to address LMA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and group managing director of Bharti Airtel, will address the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) here on September 25. An alumnus of the local Arya College, Mr Mittal will also visit the college for shooting of ‘Walk the Talk’ television show with Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta.

Mr Mittal is the recipient of numerous industry awards, including the Frost and Sullivan Asia Pacific CEO of the Year, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, India’s Best People CEO by Hewitt Associates, Business Leader of the Year 2005 by Economic Times, Dataquest IT Man of the Year Award and Business Week “Stars of Asia” Award 2001.



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