L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Youth arrested for killing driver of Scorpio
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 27
The Dehlon police has arrested a youth of Ghungrana village for allegedly murdering the driver of a Scorpio car that had been hired from a tour and travel office at Ludhiana about a week ago. The arrest was made during routine checking of vehicles undertaken jointly by the Dehlon police and CIA staff, Jagraon, at the railway level crossing near Ghungrana on Dehlon ---Majri link road last evening.

The police has seized fake number plates and identity cards of the deceased from the possession of the accused.

Teg Inder Singh alias Teenu, son of Malkiat Singh, resident of Ghungrana village, near here, was arrested for allegedly kidnapping and murdering Inderjit Singh, son of Joginder Singh, of Tharike village.

According to Mr R K Jaiswal, Senior Superintendent of Police, Jagraon, Teg Inder Singh and his accomplice Gurdeep Singh, son of Jarnail Singh, of Ramgarh Sardaran village, had murdered Inderjit at a deserted place near Zanaitpura village on the night of August 18 and thrown the body in Sidhwan canal. The body was later found and cremated by Kote Isse police after registering a report under section 174 of Cr P C.

Pritam Singh, son of Gurnam Singh, of Tharike had, on Wednesday had reported to the Dehlon police that Teg Inder Singh and Gurdeeep Singh had allegedly kidnapped his nephew Inderjit Singh on the pretext of hiring Scorpio van for a week- long tour to Rajsthan. They had hired the taxi from Damanpreet Tour and Travels, Rajguru Nagar, Ludhiana, on October 18.

The Tharike family had become suspicious when Inderjit did not return on scheduled date of October 23, and his mobile phone and those of the accused went out of range.

Their suspicion turned into belief when parents of the suspects could not give satisfactory answer to their questions.

Preliminary investigations by the police revealed that the duo, which, hailed from prosperous families but had fallen prey to bad habits had conspired to snatch and sell some luxury vehicle on the pretext of hiring and then eliminating the driver.

The body cremated by the Kot Isse Khan police was identified as that of Inderjit on the basis of clothes and golden chain that he was wearing at the time of the incident.

The accused were so hard-hearted that they continued their tour programme as usual and Gurdeep kept on driving the vehicle during this period. Besides travelling to Rajasthan they toured a part of Punjab also.The Khanna police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC for allegedly duping the manager of a petrol pump near Mohanpur.



Strike hits bank services
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, October 27
City residents were inconvenienced as all public sector banks and a few private banks remained closed on account of a nationwide strike by bank employees.

The business community also suffered as transactions came to a halt. Transactions relating to government departments like depositing of bills could not take place.

“We have to deposit cash on a daily basis as keeping it with us is risky. Strikes make things very inconvenient for us. If bank employees are to raise their demands, they should not do so at the cost of causing trouble to the public,” Mr Ramesh Kumar, a businessman, said.

According to an estimate, everyday almost 70,000 to 80,000 transactions pertaining to clearing take place in the city which amount to roughly Rs 100 crore.

Customers said such strikes created an adverse impact on the credibility of public sector banks and expressed disappointment over some private banks also joining the strike. “Why should customers suffer? Even after privatisation, we preferred to continue with public sector banks. Now, these banks have lower service charges and resort to strikes. Private banks, on the other hand, impose heavy charges. Where should people go,” Ms Savita Sharma said.

Bank employees, on a call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions, observed a strike under the banner of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation and the All-India Officers Association.

Their demands include one more option for pension scheme, implementation of compassionate appointment scheme as per bilateral discussions between the Indian Banks Association and the United Forum of Bank Unions, stopping outsourcing and commencement of recruitment to fill shortage of employees, besides no mergers and acquisitions in public sector banks and no dilution in the ceiling of voting rights.

Addressing a protest rally outside Canara Bank, Mr Naresh Gaur, secretary, Punjab Bank Employees Federation, said the employees had been forced to resort to a strike as despite raising the demands several times, no action had been taken.

They threatened to intensify the struggle if nothing was done by the government. “The issue of one more option for pension remains unresolved and the IBA has failed to come out with any solution. There are other issues like mergers which public sector banks do not need. The total capital of public sector banks is around Rs 15,000 crore, which is much lower than private banks. Even if all 27 banks in the country are merged into a single bank it will not be big enough in comparison to various global banks,” Mr Gaur said.

Samrala: All banks here remained closed, causing inconvenience to the public, especially litigants who had come for land sale deeds etc. A rally was held in front of Punjab National Bank, which was addressed by zonal secretary J.P. Singh.

Jagraon: Public sector banks went on a strike here but private banks functioned.



Non-linking of elevated road issue refuses to die
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
The issue of non-linking of elevated road to old city parts and non completion of pending projects continues to haunt activists of the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha.They have decided to launch a signature campaign against the delay.

Addressing mediapersons at the incomplete railway overbridge that had to come up in place of historical Lakkar bridge today, the morcha activists said residents were feeling cheated as the project had not been completed.

Stating that the Congress-run government had spent Rs 51 crore of the public exchequer on the elevated road which was almost non beneficial to city residents especially that of Civil Lines, Field Ganj, Chaura Bazar and other old city residents as it did not connect them to the new road.

Mr Parvin Bansal, Leader of Opposition in MC, and Mr Sandeep Kapoor, office-bearer of BJYM, Tagore Nagar Mandal and Dr Subhash Verma, a BJP leader, said that as per the original design conceived during the SAD-BJP regime in the state, the elevated road had to be connected to Civil Lines through the ROB, Raikhy cinema, multiplex parking of the MC and the machinery market.

‘‘But to take the credit for the elevated road, the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, inaugurated the incomplete project. Now we will come back in power and get the road connected to other city areas,’’ said Mr Bansal.

He added that work on ROB in Civil Lines was suspended for the past more than one and a half year but no efforts were made to get the work restarted. The project was worth Rs 4.26 crore when it was started. But now the delay has caused the estimate to grow to Rs 10 crore, said the leaders.

‘‘This bridge had to connect the elevated road from near the Clock Tower. But this did not happen. The MC has cheated the residents of Civil Lines who have to go all the way to Jagraon bridge to take the road. It is easier for them to go from under Damoria bridge and reach Jalandhar road. ’’ added Mr Bansal.

The activists said the residents of Field Ganj were the worst hit as entire traffic coming from the old city was going through Field Ganj to pass through Jagraon bridge. It had resulted in total chaos. Mr Kapoor said they would start a signature campaign with the help of residents of Civil Lines in the first week of November. ‘‘Later we would file a PIL against the wastage of money’’, he added.



Sex scandal shrouded in mystery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Mystery continues to shroud a sex scandal involving an Akali leader's wife and an upcoming Punjabi film actor, with the police not registering any case against either of the parties.

The identity of the film actor has been kept under wraps fearing adverse publicity.

Highly placed police sources said the Akali leader had allegedly found the woman with the film actor in Shimla Puri two days ago and had also called up the police. Not only officials from the Shimla Puri police station but senior police officials also rushed to the site.

Sources said quite a drama took place right on the street between the involved parties but yet no case has been registered. A police official, not wishing to be quoted, said they have not taken any action as the issue was quite sensitive and the police wanted someone to file a complaint.

Sources said hectic parleys were on behind the curtains in the case, with not only police by several influential citizens of the city also being actively involved in striking a compromise over the issue.



Residents decry wastage of resources
Kanchan Vasudev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Amidst allegations of wastage of resources, costly tiles are being used to line the outer wall of Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital in the city.

Rendered surplus after constructing a central verge for installing street lights, the tiles are being ‘‘dumped’’ outside the hospital wall.

Sources in the MC said the tiles were used on central verge of the road and a number of them were not utilised. So they decided that these could be used around the wall of the hospital.

Residents of the area said there was no need to waste the public exchequer money by dumping the tiles there. These could have been utilised at some other place. “But to take the money from the MC the contractor does not seem to mind wasting the material.” said a resident.

The Junior Engineer(JE) of the concerned area said the tiles would beautify the outer wall of the hospital. “The entire wall will be lined with tiles and later the road will be recarpeted. Moreover, these wills strengthen the wall as there is a danger of collision of vehicles with the wall.”

Some residents said the money was not being wasted on these tiles but also in installing the street lights afresh. A number of street light poles already existed on both sides of the road. These were not being repaired but new ones were being installed in the middle of the road.

‘‘There is no need of this project. May be it is awarded with a motive to please somebody. We are a poor country and we should do where we can do with repairs. Otherwise, one can calculate the cost of installing new poles that too when old ones are existing and can be used,” said another resident.

The JE said the work was almost over. After installing of street lights the central verge would be filled and the road recarpeting project would be taken up.



Revival of cotton crop in Moga advocated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana October 27
The newly set up Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) at Noormahal held its first field day on ‘Resource Conservation Technology and Machinery’ on Thursday. The Director of Extension Education, Dr S.S. Gill, inaugurated the field day, also distributed 
certificates to the first batch of 30 farmers and farm women who had attended different training courses at the KVK.

The assembled farmers were given demonstration on happy seeder, zero-till drill and laser leveler. Explaining the importance of these machines, Farm Power and Machinery head, Dr S.S.Ahuja, said these mechanised operations helped to conserve water process, paddy straw in the soil to enhance its fertility and increase efficiency of irrigated water.

The second field day was held at Sanghawala village in Moga at the farm of Mr Baldev Singh Brar. This farmer has sown cotton on 15 acre of land. Additional Director of Extension Education, Dr Sat Pal Mehra, who was the chief guest of field day on “Revival of Cotton” told the farmers that till sixties cotton was the traditional crop of Moga district. However, farmers switched to paddy even though the land was still suited for cotton. The farmers were shown cotton field of Mr Brar and educated on utility of reverting to cotton, particularly Bt cotton and reduce area under paddy.

This field day was organised by KVK, Budhsinghwala, (Moga). Since paddy was a water guzzling crop and had ruined Punjab’s ecology, the replacement by 
cotton would go a long way.

The farmers were also impressed upon not to burn paddy straw to prepare field for sowing wheat. This burning was not only hazardous to environment but would also kill many useful and farmer-friendly soil bacteria thereby adversely effecting the fertility of the soil.



Samagam to celebrate Guru's birthday begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
The two-day samagam to celebrate the 34th anniversary of the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle got under way at the GRD Academy campus here today.

SGPC chief Avtar Singh was the chief guest on the occasion which was attended by more than 600 delegates from various units of the organisation within the country and abroad.

Lauding the contributions of the study circle, the committee chief said the organisation had earned the respect of the masses by their selfless service and for taking steps to tackle various ills which plague 

The SGPC president also announced all help for the newly set up Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha Human Resource Development Institute. He also hoped that the study circle would continue to do yeoman service for society at large.

Mr Raja Singh, chairman of the Guru Ramdass Academy, said the study circle was doing sterling service in the field of creating awareness about drug de addiction and hoped that more youngsters could be weaned away from the clutches of death.

Earlier, while welcoming the delegates, chief organiser Principal Ram Singh administered the oath to all the delegates who would work for the betterment of the society and abide by the directions issued by Akal Takht.

Mr Pirthi Singh, organiser of the celebrations this year, also read out the achievement of the study circle and hoped that more projects could be taken up next year.

Others present on the occasion included Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian, Mr Raghbir Singh, Mr Bahadur Singh and Mr Gurlal Singh (UK), Air Cmdre Ajit Singh (retd), Mr Ajit Singh, Mr Sarup Singh Alagh, Mr Jatinderpal Singh, Mr Pratap Singh, Mr Gurmit Singh, Mr Ranjit Singh, Mr Inderpal Singh, Bibi Kanwaljit Kaur, Prof Balwinderpal Singh and Mr Pritam Singh.



Protest rally by PAU employees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
The PAU Employees Union and PAU Fourth Class Workers Union held a rally today, blocking Thapar Hall, the administrative wing of the university, in support of their demands.

Later the employees took out a rally and shouted slogans against the Punjab Government and the PAU authorities.

Today was the 10th day of the agitation against the non-payment of DA announced by the government and due to be released before Divali.

Addressing the rally, Mr D.P. Maur, president, and Mr Amrit Pal, general secretary of the PAU Employees Union, said the PAU authorities had not been paying leave travel concession for the past three years and now the instalment of the DA had been stopped. On the pretext of shortage of funds, the authorities had withheld a number of important benefits to employees, they said.

Mr Pal Singh, president, and Mr Harddev Ghaloti, general secretary of the PAU Fourth Class Workers Union, said the agitation would be intensified if the decisions of the Board of Management were not admitted by the DC (LA).

The union leaders said the agitation would also spread to PAU outstations at Gurdaspur, Bathinda, Faridkot and Patiala, etc.

Others who spoke on the occasion included P.S. Gill, C.S. Grewal, S.N. Sharma, B.S. Walia, Surinder Singh, G.S. Tung, Joginder Ram, Gurmukh Singh and S.P. Sharma.



Probe against murder accused doctor
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
The troubles of a local surgeon, arrested in a murder case by the Amritsar police couple of weeks before, are growing day by day.

Now, the Health Department, Hoshiarpur, has launched an inquiry as to whether he had been taking government salary by posting a ‘proxy’ doctor in his name at a rural health centre in Phuglana village of the district.

The proxy doctor had also interestingly disappeared the day the accused doctor, Ravinder Singh Thind, was arrested.

Incidentally, the paramedical staff working with the rural health centre had been complaining against the strange behaviour of the proxy doctor, who was not prescribing medicines citing one problem or another.

Dr Thind is quite well known in the city and is a visiting doctor with number of private hospitals here.

Dr Kamaljeet Kaur, Civil Surgeon, Hoshiarpur, has ordered an inquiry into the case. She told the Ludhiana Tribune that there were allegations that Dr Thind had ‘planted’ some other person in the hospital, who claimed himself to be Dr Thind.

She said an inquiry team would be visiting the Amritsar Jail to meet Dr Thind and also investigate in Ludhiana to find out if he was actually the same doctor posted by the government at Phuglana but had kept a proxy doctor in his place.

She has already seized the entire record pertaining to the working of the alleged proxy doctor.

She said if proved, Dr Thind could face serious action for cheating and playing with lives of patients. He had pocketed nearly Rs 15 lakh of salary.

The Health Department has so far got only one picture of the proxy doctor as he always resisted getting photographed.

She said as per the allegations, the proxy doctor always claimed he was depressed due to family problems and refrained from prescribing medicines. However, the arrested doctor was quite articulate and fit.

Dr Thind was arrested by the Amritsar Police early this month on the charges of murdering a youth by injecting some poison into him. Sources close to him said he had been falsely implicated in the murder case.

The inquiry team of the Hoshiarpur Health Department would be taking the help of the Amritsar and Ludhiana police for ascertaining the reality of Dr Thind and the identity of the proxy doctor.





Extend last date for returns till March 31: industry body
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
The local industry today urged the government to extend the last date for submitting returns to the Excise and Taxation Department to March 
31, 2007.

“The last date to submit annual return for this financial year to the Excise and Taxation Department is November 20. However, trade and industry will not be able to comply with the same on account of several hurdles like procuring Form C,” said Mr Gurpargat Singh Kahlon, president, Auto Parts Manufacturers Association, today.

The association said under the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, in case of failure to submit returns they would have to bear consequences. “However, we are facing difficulties in getting our ending forms H and C from our clients located out of Punjab. It takes a lot of time, atleast a year, to procure these forms, which is why we have been asking the government to extend the last date to file returns,” said Mr Singh.

Worried over lack of response from the government, the association said industry was in panic as the last date was drawing closer.



Lodhi Club to get facelift
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
Lodhi Club is all set to get a facelift with the management deciding to go in for additional facilities.

Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner-cum-President, Lodhi Club,today informed that a facelift and latest equipment costing Rs 22 lakh was being installed in the gymnasium of the club.

The approval for the purchase of the equipment was accorded in the meeting of the Executive Committee held under the chairmanship of Mr. Gupta late last evening.Others who attended the meeting included Mr Mohinder Singh Kainth,Additional Deputy Commissioner(G),Mr Gurpreet Singh Khaira,SDM,Jagraon, Mr Darshan Singh,District Public Relations Officer (all Executive Members), and office-bearers of the club.

The President informed that the cultural and sports activities in the club were being substantially improved and the quality of the facilities would be strictly monitored by executive members.

The Deputy Commissioner formed a committee comprising Mr Khaira, Mr Bedi and Mr Bhambri to clear the formalities for the purchase of the equipment within two days, for which the tenders had already been received.

It was also decided that the new equipment in the health club would be installed at the earliest.The Deputy Commissioner further said that the swimming pool of the club would be developed as an all weather pool and wet area with all facilities, including sauna, steam bath, would also be added to the club.

The executive has also decided to enhance the entry fee for the club membership immediately after the inauguration of the new health club.

Mr Gupta informed that the club would celebrate its annual day function on October 29 and renowned ghazal singer Pankaj Udaas would perform in the club in the evening. The members informed that with the opening of the railway crossing near the club, public activities in the area had been substantially enhanced and the location of the club had emerged as the central point in the posh localities of the city along the Ferozepore road.



Industrial-cum-auto exposition begins today
300 companies to showcase products
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 27
A four-day industrial and auto show will be held in the city from October 28.

The exhibition — Tender World Industrial Show-2006 and Punjab Auto Show-2006 — will involve participation from around 300 companies.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Dev Joshi, Director, Four Square Exhibitions, said: “It is an endeavour to provide a platform for interaction to companies.

“Since participants from all over the country are involved, they would get ample opportunities to widen their customer base and also get to know about the latest in technologies in the engineering sector.”

He said atleast 50,000 business visitors are expected to visit the expo.

“Besides exhibition of various kinds of machineries and engineering products, there would also be several product launches,” said Mr D.P. Singh, project co-ordinator, for the exhibition.

The exhibition targeted small and medium enterprises and a significant per centage of the participants were from Punjab and Chandigarh, said Mr Joshi.

The expo is being supported by several industrial associations, including the Federation of Karnataka Automobile Dealers and Allied Industries Association, the Fastener Manufacturers Association of India, the Chhatisgarh Laghu and Sahayak Udyog Sangh, the Delhi Motor Traders Association and the Focal Point Industrial Shed Association.



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