L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Vikramjit murder: police begins probe afresh
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
The city police has relaunched investigation into the murky Vikramjit murder case by questioning five of his classmates.

The classmates have recently returned to India after completing a three-year course in business management in London. They are being questioned as the police believes that the seeds of the crime were sown in England.

Interestingly, acting after the lapse of four months from the day of murder, the police has now sent the DNA sample of the victim to Hyderabad to scientifically ascertain if the body recovered from Solan was actually of the youth or not.

Meanwhile, the UK police has given a positive report on Vikramjit Singh’s character and life while he was studying in the UK. Vikramjit was the son of Mr Rajinder Singh, owner of the Frontier Cycles.

The UK police said no shady activities could be related to the youth and there was no report or record of his involvement in cricket gambling or drug trade.

SSP A.S. Rai told reporters that the friends of the victim could not be questioned earlier as they were studying business Management in the UK. The five youths were questioned today evening.

The SSP said the questioning of the youths was significant as the police wanted to know about the life style of the victim in England. He reasoned that the youth had returned on June 9 this year and gone missing just 15 days later.

He said though the police had not ruled out any local conspiracy yet it was highly improbable that something developed here in 15 days only that could lead to such a gory crime.

He said the police could not disclose the findings at this juncture. ‘‘The leads would be developed to establish some breakthrough,’’ he said.

Vikramjit Singh was found murdered in Solan on June 29. He had gone missing four days earlier from Sarabha Nagar market here.

The police has been following innumerable theories behind the crime but nothing has enabled the cops to claim success in the case.



Chhath Puja or water pollution?
Kanchan Vasdev

Ludhiana, October 28
Though the Mumbai High Court has banned the Chhath Puja on the Juhu beach in view of water pollution and garbage piled up on the beach during the ritual, Ludhiana rivers and canals continued to be polluted in absence of any such directive throughout the day of the puja today.

Being a second home to a large number of Bihari migrants, the festival is of late becoming a regular feature in the city which is grappling with the problem of water pollution. Neither the state government, nor the local administration has issued any directions for celebrations.

While the local residents have all regards for the festival of migrants, the problem arises when they leave the banks of canals with litters of garbage, especially polythene bags and flowers.

The puja was in full swing with canopies of banana tree branches and sugarcane stems erected on the sides of the Sidhwan canal and the Sutlej.

A number of devotees thronged the place leaving behind a huge pile of polythene bags as well as flowers and other materials.

The state has been witnessing the celebrations for the past decades when the migrant labour population started swelling.

The festivities are at its feverish best in this city which has the highest number of labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

As the festival is centred around water bodies, the labourers' families chose the Sutlej and the Sidhwan canal.

Environmentalists demanded that a directive should be issued by the district administration to organisers of puja so that the banks were not polluted all the more.

They demanded that the devotees should be asked to refrain from littering and clean up the banks before they leave.

“They should organise their festivals but there should be some rules. And they all should follow these,” said a resident.

The Irrigation Department fears that the garbage chokes the area under the bridges or the opening of the small channels originating from the canal.

Chhath Puja takes place immediately after the sixth day of Divali.



Electoral office goofs up, issues wrong ID cards
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 28
Where would a common man go if the identity cards issued by the Electoral Registration Office here show his identity wrong? And in spite of giving the person a patient hearing, he is shown the door, saying that it is not their fault and they cannot help in the matter.

Mr Kartar Singh 'Gharib' (69), a resident of B-1/97, Civil Lines, here and his son Mahinderjit Singh (43) got themselves clicked for their voters I-cards on October 12.

On October 18 the cards were issued having photograph of Mr Kartar Singh on both I-cards. The name, age and father’s name on both were different.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Kartar Singh said he was disgusted to see the attitude of officials at the Electoral Registration Office, Ludhiana north constituency. “Instead of admitting their mistake, they started blaming me, saying that lakhs of such photographs had been clicked, so what if one was wrongly published? But in absence of the card I cannot vote, which is my right. Secondly, I may be held responsible for showing the wrong identity card at the time of casting votes.

“Whom should I approach if the persons concerned are not bothered?” asked Mr Kartar Singh.



Admn goes full steam on voter ID card initiative
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
The district administration has called upon the representatives of political parties and panchayats to direct their workers to extend full cooperation to the election staff deputed by the administration.

The administration seeks to mobilise the maximum number of people for photography for issuing elector’s photo-identity cards (EPIC) to the remaining voters and to make required corrections in the already issued EPICs during the ongoing special drive for this purpose.

Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, addressed a joint meeting of the Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) of different constituencies and representatives of political parties at the Bachat Bhawan late last evening.

He said as per the directions by the Election Commission of India, no voter without voter identity card could caste his vote.

He informed that the administration had already launched a special drive on September 25 to carry out photography to issue the voter identity cards to each and every voter.

The programme was started in the first phase in four constituencies — Kila Raipur, Ludhiana North, Ludhiana East, and Ludhiana West. Now, the work was being started in other constituencies like Dakha, Ludhiana Rural, Samrala, Payal, Khanna, Koom Kallan, Raikot and Jagraon from November 6 by deputing two teams for photography in each constituency.

He said during the campaign the staff would prepare new EPICs to those who have lost their EPIC by charging Rs 25 each. He said the forms were also being filled for making corrections in the voter lists, if any.

The booth-level officers (BLOs) appointed by the administration at all 1845 polling booths had thoroughly reviewed the voter lists of the booths and had identified the persons without identity cards.

Mr Gupta directed the EROs to start holding meetings with the representatives of political parties and other influential people to ensure the maximum mobilisation of people for getting photographed for EPICs and told them to ensure that the cards might be prepared and disbursed for the same.

Expressing concern over the low turnout during the ongoing campaign in four constituencies, the DC directed the EROs to provide advance information prior to the day of photography to the panchayats and make announcements from the public address systems in the religious places in the villages/mohallas.

He informed that the BLOs had already prepared lists of the voters, who were expired, girls who got married and those who had shifted to other places with a view to make required corrections in the electoral rolls.

The BLOs were also making the physical verification of the applications submitted in Form No. 6,7,8, and 8-A for corrections etc under the General Revision, 2007, of voter lists, he added.

The Deputy Commissioner informed that the each recognised political party would be provided with a hard copy and a CD of the electoral roll of each constituency free of cost and asked the representatives to produce the authority letters for the getting the same.

He said the whole operation was aimed to ensure the error-free voter lists to totally eliminate the chances of false voting. and appealed the people to get their EPICs prepared this time.

Representatives of all political parties assured that they would extend full assistance to the staff in getting the EPICs issued to each and every voter.

Others who attended the meeting included Mr. Pryank Bharti, ADC(D), Mr. S.R. Kaler, ACA, PUDA, all EROs.

Mr. Jagmohan Sharma, president, DCC, Mr. Hira Singh Gabria, District President, SAD, Mr Sukhminder Singh Sekhon, District Secretary, CPM, Mr Kartar Singh Bowani, District Secretary, CPI, Mr J.N. Dogra from Hartron Company and Mr Parkash Singh Jandiali, district president, BSP.



JE caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
The Vigilance Bureau has arrested a Junior Engineer of the PSEB for taking bribe to repair a transformer in Guru Angad Dev Nagar here.

A Vigilance press note said an industrialist, Harjit Singh, had complained that JE Narinderpal Sharma was seeking Rs 4,000 for repairing a transformer.

SP Gurpreet Singh said a team led by DSP Sandeep Goel and Inspector Rattan Brar caught the JE when he had come to the factory to get Rs 3,000. He had taken Rs 1,000 as advance.

The accused has been booked under Sections 7 and 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.



Man dies of head injury at courts complex
Lack of first aid facilities exposed
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, October 28
A litigant died of a head injury following a fall while climbing stairs in the courts complex here yesterday, exposing inadequate first aid facilities at the multistoreyed complex.

Sixty-year-old R.K. Rajan was climbing the stairs to get to the fourth floor as the lifts were not working due to a power cut. He was on the second floor when he slipped and hit his head on the floor.

Dr Rajan was not provided with any medicare for want of a dispensary in the complex. He was accompanied by his brother, who, with the help of some Bar members, shifted him to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.

His brother Brijinder Prasad said it took him around two minutes to shift him to hospital. “He was declared brought dead. Time could have been saved had there been a dispensary on the court premises. A number of lawyers helped me but to no avail,” he said.

This is the fourth such incident in the past one year, when lack of medicare has resulted in death at the complex. Earlier, two lawyers—Pal Singh Ghumman and Amarjit Singh Bagga—had died after suffering a heart attack.

The incident had sent shock waves among lawyers. District Bar Association president Naval Kishore Chhiber said they had been demanding a dispensary. He said the lawyers had decided to go on a strike for two days in this regard but after the intervention of the District and Sessions Judge, Mr Harbans Lal, they decided to lodge their protest while working.

The Sessions Judge has taken up the matter with the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Gupta, who is believed to have said a dispensary would be set up soon at the complex.

Mr Lal said in November 2005, the then Bar president had moved a representation for the setting up of a dispensary. The matter was referred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. “As per my information, the Registrar-General of the high court had referred the matter to the Principal Secretary, Health, Punjab,” he added.

Mr Chhibber said around 15, 000 to 20,000 persons visited the complex situated at the mini secretariat everyday.



Barnala dist: Ahmedgarh, Raikot residents celebrate exclusion
Jupinderjit Singh, Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh/Raikot, October 28
Celebrations broke out in Raikot, Mandi Ahmedgarh and surrounding areas following the last minute exclusion of these areas from the newly carved out Barnala district. Residents of these towns were up in arms for the past several weeks following reports that these areas would be included in the twentieth district of the state.

Senior Congress leaders announced that the Chief Minister keeping in view the problems of the residents of the area had taken the right decision to exclude certain segments of Ludhiana and Sangrur districts from the district. They announced that they would be organising thanksgiving functions in order to acknowledge the Chief Minister’s concern for them.

Even though confusion prevailed among certain sections of society and officials concerned about jurisdiction limits of the district, the aides of Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, and the chairperson of the committee constituted in this regard confirmed that no part of Raikot, Malerkotla and Dhuri subdivisions was included in Barnala district.

“Though the agenda note included some parts of these subdivisions, no entity of Raikot, Malerkotla and Dhuri subdivisions has been included in the soon to be carved out Barnala district,” claimed Mr G.K. Singh, OSD to Ms Bhattal, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune. He pointed out that gazette notification and further processing would be done shortly.

Terming the last-minute decision to exclude Raikot from Barnala district as a festival gift for the residents of the subdivision, Mr Mohinder Singh Pardhan, a senior Congress leader of Ludhiana district claimed that people, in general, and Congressmen, in particular, were overjoyed over the decision. Mr Pardhan stated that a thanksgiving rally would be organised at Raikot next Wednesday.

Mr Jatinder Bhola, president, Municipal Council, Ahmedgarh, and Mr Ravinder Kumar, president, city unit of the Congress said, “Had the area under Sandour Kanoongo segment been merged with the new district, chances of upgrading Ahmedgarh to subdivision could have become more thin.”

Mr Nirbhai Singh Nathumajra, member, District Planning Board, and Mr Harjinder Singh Pandher said the retention of the areas in Sangrur district would pave path for upgrading of Malerkotla subdivision to a district.



Hundreds throng ‘Surya Kriyayog’ camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 28
A large number of people from all walks of life attended a special three-day free ‘Kriyayog’ camp at PUDA Ground, Dugri here today. Both young and old people enjoyed the musical camp.

‘Siddhamrit Surya Kriyayoga’ (SSKY)is a one-stop remedy for all physical, mental and spiritual needs.

It could cure physically from a seasonal fever to the deadly dengue, mentally from anger to depression and spiritually from temporary uncertainty to the certainty of death.

Swami Suryendu Puri and Sadhwi Yoganjali Chaitanya of Shabad Surat Sangam Ashram initiated hundreds of local people in this pure scientific spiritual practice today.

They said in the past three years, they had cured more than 25,000 persons from diseases like blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, rheumatic pain, menstrual problems, skin problems, migraine, allergies and what not.

In the past few years, scientists had once again started accepting the value of sun and they even called its light as ‘Medicine of the Future’, or ‘Food of the Future’.

They further said in the practice of SSKY, sunrays entered the brain through closed eyes and stimulated various parts of it and consequently the endocrine system got regulated, muscles got strengthened and immunity also increased.

Sunrays increased the number of white blood cells and raised the oxygen content in red blood cells; this was how they helped in fighting even Dengue.

Swamiji told the people that the main reason of all diseases was that people were not able to draw deep breathing. A common man used hardly 10 per cent of total lung capacity.

“If at all we could breathe deep in and spread the prana throughout the body, we may raise our immunity against diseases.

“These days there is a wide publicity of asana and pranayama but still people are not able to gain control over their health.

“The very reason of this is lack of breathing capacity, so before performing any asana and pranayarna we must learn the art of breathing,” said Swami Suryendu Puri.



Auction of VIP registration Nos. on November 9
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
To cash in on the craze for single-digit registration number, the Punjab Government has effected necessary amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act to auction the first number of the registration series.

Mr Gurwaryam Singh, District Transport Officer-cum-Registering Authority, said the first auction in the state in this context will be held in Ludhiana on November 9. The auction of registration No. PB1O BW 0001 will be held at the Circuit House at 11a.m.

Aspirants are required to submit applications accompanied by a demand draft worth Rs 25,000 as earnest money on any working day in the office of the DTO before the time and date of auction, he added.

He said more details can be collected from his office on any working day.



Man, son booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 28
The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324 and 34, IPC, against Najar Singh and his son Simerdeep Singh of Pona on the charge of assaulting Dev Singh of their village. The injured has been admitted to the Civil Hospital here. No arrest has been made so far.

Bike stolen

One Hero Honda motor cycle (PB-25B-2077) was stolen from Talwandi Rai village last night. The Raikot police has registered a case under Section 379 IPC on the complaint of Ashok Kumar of Talwandi Rai, owner of the motorcycle.

Some persons allegedly burgled the house of Kuldeep Singh of Bank Colony, Raikot, yesterday and decamped with Rs 2,000 and gold ornaments worth Rs 2,000. The police has registered a case under Sections 454 and 380 IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

Weapon seized

The Dakha police has arrested Baldev Singh of Indra Colony, Mullanpur, and allegedly seized one knife from his possession. A case has been registered.



From VAT to woes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Even after more than one and a half years of its implementation, delay in VAT refunds continues to add to the industry’s woes. According to certain industrialists, the government seems, to have failed to simplify VAT procedure. Expressing unhappiness with the Sales Tax Department for delay in VAT refunds, industrialists here say that the method adopted by the department for refund is causing them unnecessary harassment and is cumbersome.

“As per prescribed rules, the party that has submitted bills along with form H is entitle to refund. However, instead of following this method the department officials are asking industrialists to submit an affidavit and packing list, which is contrary to the procedure. This type of demand by the department concerned is only resulting in corruption and a delay in refunds of VAT,” said Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

Industrialists said contrary to the government’s claims of VAT being a simpler procedure, so far this new system has failed to simplify things for the industry. “The Chief Minister has announced so many times that industrialists would not be subjected to any harassment on account of VAT refunds. Despite the announcement and assurances, the department officers are not paying heed to the instructions and dealing with the matter in their own way,” industrialists rued.

They said their repeated written and verbal requests to those in the department, including Mr D.P. Reddy, Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab, and Mr Mukul Joshi, Principal Secretary and Financial Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, have not been able to evoke any positive results.

The association urged the Chief Minister to form a high-level committee involving industry to resolve this problem.



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