L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Complainant turns out to be the murderer 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 4
With the arrest of Nirmal Singh of Roomi during a nakabandi near Nanaksar yesterday, the Jagraon police claimed to have solved the blind murder case committed on March 19, 2003, in which Amolak Singh of Roomi was murdered in his fields. Interestingly, Nirmal Singh had lodged a report with the police following which a case was registered under Section 302 of the IPC at the Jagraon police station against unknown person(s).

Briefing mediapersons at a press conference today, Mr R.K. Jaiswal, SSP, Jagraon, said detailed the events leading to the murder of Amolak Singh and the arrest of Nirmal Singh.

On the fateful day when Amolak Singh, uncle of the accused, Nirmal Singh, did not return, his wife, Gurdev Kaur, asked Nirmal Singh to locate his uncle. The accused, along with Darshan Singh of Roomi, went to locate him and on their return revealed the news about his murder. The police registered a case on Nirmal Singh’s statement.

Mr Jaiswal formed a team of Mr Vijay Sharma SP(D), Mr Wajir Singh Khaira, DSP(D), and Mr Prem Singh, in charge, CIA staff. Their investigation revealed that the deceased had four sons and a daughter. Two sons were killed during militancy, one had left the house and settled at Halwara while the fourth, Lakhvir Singh, left for Lebanon after his marriage, leaving his wife, Sukhwinder Kaur, with his parents at Roomi. Nirmal Singh had a bad eye on Sukhwinder Kaur to which Amolak Singh objected which led to his murder by Nirmal Singh. His body was kept under stubble which was later recovered by the police.



Car driver threatens to shoot Tribune journalist
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
Road rage, a raging problem in the city, crossed all boundaries when a car driver threatened to shoot a sports journalist with The Tribune after hitting his two-wheeler on the rear near Guru Nanak Stadium this morning.

Showing scant respect for the law of the land and any civilian courtesy, the unknown driver of a silver grey Maruti Car No. PB-19 B 0088 took out a pistol from under his seat and pointed at Mr Anil Datt, sports reporter of The Tribune posted at the Ludhiana office. The man fled when a number of passers by came in support of Mr Datt.

Adding insult to injury, officials at the Division No 5 police station, made the journalist sit in the station for two hours before coolly telling him to trace the car on his own. SSP A S Rai, apprised of the law and order problem reflected by the incident and the insensitivity of the cops, ordered the registration of the case late in the evening.

SSP Rai was also furious on the response of the cops who had no locus standi to tell the complainant to trace the accused. He also assured action against the negligent cop. He assured that all measures would be taken to trace the man .

Two youths have already been murdered in the city in the last few days suggesting how much the criminals feared the police besides how safe was life and property in the industrial hub of Punjab.

Narrating the sequence of events in a complaint filed before the police, Mr Datt has alleged that he was coming out of the stadium after covering a professional assignment when a rashly driven car bearing registration number PB-19B 0088, coming from behind almost hit him.

“When I protested with the driver, he started abusing and threatening me and pointed a pistol at me. He threatened to kill me,” he said.

He said had it not been for the passersby who stopped and intervened he could have even shot me. As the crowd gathered he fled from the place. 



Steely resolve needed, feels industry 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
The 21st annual general meeting of the All-India Induction Furnaces Association held here today deliberated on ways to ensure the induction and furnace industry’s growth amid rapid changes in the global steel industry scenario.

“The scenario of the steel industry is rapidly changing globally as well as in India. We will have to gear up to face the challenges and threats and at the same time make the most of the opportunities thrown up by fast developments taking place in the steel industry,” said Mr Gopal Gupta, president of the association.

Sating that the contribution of induction furnaces to steel production in the country would rise to around 21 million tonnes by 2020, Mr Gupta emphasised the need for tackling problems being faced by this employment-intensive industry that had a significant share in exports as well. “It is necessary that the national steel policy gives due recognition to the secondary steel sector and also takes care of the requirements of this sector for raw material and power.”

The Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Mr Kumar Arvind Singh Deo, said the ministry was in consultation with various industrial bodies regarding the issue of reduction in the import duty on scrap. “In around two weeks, we plan to send the proposal again with fresh details to the Finance Ministry,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting.

The association also announced its annual awards on the occasion. Mr Naresh Jain and Mr K.K. Garg from Sharu Steels, Ludhiana, received the Dhatu Nayak Award, 2006. Other companies that bagged the Dhatu Nayak Award were R.L.Steels from Aurangabad, Supreme Electrocast from Ghaziabad, Atam Concast Steel, Ludhiana, and Mukesh Steels from Ludhiana.

The Ispat Udyog Ratan Award, 2006, was given to Inductotherm Limited, Ahmedabad, A K Alloys from Pondicherry and Pulkit Steel Re-rolling Mills from Pondicherry.

Experts presented technical papers on price trends of steel, development of technology for air pollution control in induction furnaces, energy audit and several other issues.

Mr K.K. Garg, president, Induction Furnace Association of North India, Mr Sandeep Jain, chairman of the Punjab chapter of the AIIFA, and Mr J.K.Arora, general secretary of the AIIFA, were among others present on the occasion.



Shooting incident at Sihar village
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 4
An old rivalry between two political groups resulted in a shooting incident in Sihar village near here late last evening. A man allegedly tried to shoot a former state vice-president of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front.

The incident took place while the victim, Jatinder Laddi, was having an evening walk at the ring road of the village, around 9 pm. “I and my friend were passing from in front of the village sarpanch’s house when Sukhwinder interrupted our way and fired at me without any provocation,” Laddi told the police. “However, I was somehow able to run away from the scene and save my life,” he added.

Laddi is the son of Raghu Nandan Sharma, Chairman of the Market Committee, Malaudh, member of the District Planning Board and member of the Block Samiti, Dehlon.

The Sihar police has registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC. According to the FIR registered at the Payal police station, Sukhwinder Singh Pappi, son of Gajjan Singh, a resident of Sihar village, allegedly tried to kill Laddi by firing a bullet from his revolver. The accused was arrested today morning.



Employer tortured salesman to death: cops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
The police today announced that a salesman whose body was fished out from the Neelon canal yesterday morning had died three days ago while being tortured by his industrialist employer and three others, who accused him of embezzling
Rs 85 lakh and wanted the money back.

The victim, Surinder Gulati, who belonged to Jalandhar, was kept in illegal detention for a few days and given third-degree torture. They did not take recourse to legal or police action against the salesman and tortured him.

The SP, City-II, Mr Dinesh Pratap Singh, told reporters that the victim could not tolerate the torture and died.

The accused, including Janak Raj, owner of the Shiv Udyog factory in Focal Point, along with his two nephews Deepak Kumar and Sunil Kumar, have already been arrested. They all had connived to dump the body in the canal.

The police claimed that the accused had confessed that they had beaten up Surinder on the evening of October 31, as a result of which he died.

They claimed that Gulati had embezzled their money, which he was not returning. They had brought him here on the pretext of settling accounts.



Keep your word, farmers warn govt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has asked the Congress government in the state to fulfil poll promises made with farmers. It has also set November 10 as the deadline for fulfilling the promises. Otherwise, it said, BKU activists would pose questions to the Congress during its “jan sampark yatra and fateh yatra”.

Addressing a press conference here today after his return from the US, the Punjab BKU president, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, said most of the promises made with the farmers like waiving loans were still pending.

Mr Lakhowal was accompanied by the acting president, Prof Manjit Singh Kadyan. They said according to the prevailing price index in the country, the minimum support price for wheat must be Rs 1,140 per quintal which was far more than that fixed by the government.

They said even the international price of wheat per quintal was Rs 1,350. They rejected outright the Rs 750 MSP for wheat, maintaining that it was far too less than the input costs of the farmers.

The BKU leaders pointed out that four years ago the government had announced a bonus of Rs 30 per quintal on paddy. So far, only Rs 10 per quintal had been paid to the farmers while the pending amount was yet to be paid. Mr Lakhowal and Mr Kadyan said farmers would launch a statewide campaign to force the government to fulfil its poll promises. 



Cops pay obeisance to Guru Granth Sahib
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 4
Setting a new and novel precedence, the local police yesterday paid respects to Guru Granth Sahib at a nagar kirtan organised by various Sikh organisations ahead of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, which falls tomorrow.

Besides reversing arms in honour of the holy granth and Panj Piaras, the personnel presented robes (siropas) to the organisers. The representatives of various social and religious organisations appreciated the initiative taken by the police authorities.

Mr Gurdeep Singh and Mr Darshan Singh, SHOs of the City and Sadar police stations, respectively, said, “When we came to know that the organisers had changed the route of the nagar kirtan, and it was to pass our office, we decided to present the role of honour after consulting our seniors.”

The officials asserted that the practice would continue for other religious processions also. “The step has been taken to make people realise that we are also a part of the same society, though we have some limitations”, held the police officials.

Office-bearers of various social and religious organisations appreciated the initiative taken by the police. Mr Ajit Singh Walia, president of the Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Mr Bhagwant Singh Karwal, vice-president, Mr Bimal Sharma, president of the Shri Ram Mandir Committee, and Gurpreet Singh, president of the Pir Budhu Shah Seva Society, joined other in lauding the role of the local police. 



Help centre for corporate assessees
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 4
As per the latest guidelines of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), New Delhi, all corporate tax returns are to be filed on e-mail. Due to some initial difficulties, faced by the assessees and the taxation bar members in e-filing these returns, the CBDT had extended the last date for e-filing of such returns till Nov 30.

Meanwhile, Ms Aarti Sawhney, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT), today inaugurated a help centre at Rishi Nagar, Aayakar Bhavan, here in the presence of both Tax Bar members and officers of the Income Tax Department.

A similar centre had also been set up in Aayakar Bhavan in Jalandhar. Ms Sawhney said those centres had been equipped with computers having broadband connections. The officers of the department would be available to sort out the difficulties faced by the Bar members and assessees in e-filing of the corporate tax returns.

The centres would be operational from November 4 to 30, including holidays.

The commissioner laid emphasis on the importance of e-filing of the returns while interacting with the bar members at a meeting after the launch of the centre.

Extend date for filing VAT returns: lawyers

Khanna: The local Bar Association (Taxation) on Saturday demanded the extension of the last date of filing VAT returns to March 31.

The president of the association, Mr H.S. Ghai, alleged that the dealers were facing problems of unavailability of forms “C” and “H”.

The authorities concerned should extend the date for filing returns to save the dealers of a penalty of Rs 100 per day, Mr Ghai added.



Choked sewers make life hell for residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
Residents of Mandir Wali Gali No. 6 in Durgapuri, Haibowal, are up in arms against the municipal corporation authorities for not cleaning the sewerage in the area that starts flowing back every morning.

Residents claim that the problem has been prevalent since September and they have complained to the authorities concerned a number of times but to no avail. Things have come to such a pass that toilets of residents are overflowing and water is entering some low-lying houses. The situation is the worst during morning hours when people use toilets.

‘‘The toilets get flooded every morning and it becomes impossible to use them. Some labourers living in low-lying houses are having a bad time as water enters their houses,” said a resident.

He added that they had spoken to a Subdivisional Officer of the area and he expressed his inability to help them as they were not able to arrange for a water-pumping machine.

‘‘We have complained a number of times. However, we do not know what to do. Nobody has ever listened to us. The city is already in the grip of a number of diseases,’’ said residents. 



Dharamsot has a dig at SAD
Our Correspondent

Amloh, November 4
“People in the state have had the bitter experience of voting in favour of the SAD thrice in the name of the Panth, but after coming to power, the party has always failed to live up to their expectations. While corruption was rampant in appointments during the SAD regime, the Congress government has ensured that these are made purely on merit,” said Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Parliamentary Secretary, Home, Justice and Sainik Welfare.

Mr Dharamsot was addressing a function after laying the foundation stone for the Amloh-Khanna road here yesterday. The road is to be widened at a cost of Rs 5.37 crore.

Market Committee chairman Partap Singh and councillors Budh Raj and Happy Setha were among those present on the occasion.



Panel formed for PMC election
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana November 4
With the deadline for the elections to the Punjab Medical Council (PMC) approaching, doctors have formed panels for Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar. A meeting to this effect was held here yesterday.

Dr Anurag Goswami, a surgeon from Ludhiana, Dr Hardipinder Singh from Jalandhar and Dr Amrik Singh Bhatia of Medical College, Amritsar, formed a panel for the three seats of members of the PMC.

The trio got support from Dr R.C. Garg, the immediate past president of the Indian Medical Association(IMA), Punjab, after he announced his retirement from the contest in favour of these candidates.

Meanwhile, Dr Yash Sharma, former vice-president, IMA, Punjab, and president, IMA, Jalandhar, Dr Sanjiv Sharma, former vice-president, IMA, Punjab, and Dr Gursharan Singh, former national vice-president, IMA, announced their unconditional support to these three candidates.

The Punjab Medical Council is a seven-member body, including the president who has already been nominated. Three members will be elected and three nominated by the state government.



PSEB complaint office for Country Homes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
The PSEB has launched its complaint office at Country Homes, Singhpura village, here. The office has been operational since November 1. A PSEB spokesman said two PSEB employees would be on duty everyday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. The phone number of the complaint office is 92 175-84296. 



Eight booked for murder
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 4
The Dakha police registered a case under Sections 302, 307, 324, 148 and 149 of the IPC and Sections 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act against Jassa Singh, Pal Singh, Didar Singh of Raqba and Dalbir Singh of Bopa Rai Kalan, along with four unknown persons, on the charge of murdering Resham Singh of Bopa Rai Kalan with a .12-bore gun in Raqba village yesterday. Gurbachan Singh, Mandeep Singh and Manjinder Singh of Bopa Rai Kalan village were injured in the attack. OC

ONE HELD: The Dakha police seized 7 kg of poppy husk from scooter No. PB-10E-1996 in Dakha village on Friday. Amarjit Singh of Mullanpur, who was riding the scooter, fled from the spot. A case has been registered under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. OC

MAN HELD WITH LIQUOR: The Sidhwan Bet police arrested Sukhdev Singh, alias Sukhi of Parjian Biharipur on Friday and allegedly seized 16680 ml of illicit liquor and 100 kg of Lahan. A case has been registered under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act. OC

GAMBLER ARRESTED: Ashwani of Mohalla Balochan here was arrested on the charge of gambling on Friday night. A sum of Rs 2,200 and one card board and a pen were seized. A case has been registered under Sections 13-A, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act. OC

AGENTS BOOKED: The Dehlon police has registered a case under Sections 420, 406 and 120-B of the IPC against Paramjit Singh, alias Pamma, and his wife Parveen Kaur of Bhangala village (Jalandhar) and Pritam Singh of Sangatpura (Mohali) on the charge of duping Amarjit Singh of Rangian of Rs 6,00,000. They had allegedly taken money to send Amarjit Singh’s son abroad, but they neither fulfilled their promise nor returned the money. OC



Singla tries to placate furnace industry
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 4
In an attempt to placate the induction furnace industry, that remained upset with the government on the issue of stoppage of power supply to its units for quite some time, Mr Surinder Singla, Finance Minister, Punjab, for the first time assured this industry of a meeting in the Prime Minister’s Office regarding their demands.

“Since most of your demands are concerned with the Centre, I will organise a meeting for you with advisers in the PMO. If they are convinced, at least half your work is done. If need be, I will even try to arrange a meeting for you with the Prime Minister,” Mr Singla told the industry here today.

The induction and furnace industry raised various demands like reduction in the customs duty on import of scrap, reduction in excise and rationalisation of power tariffs today. They demanded that the customs duty be brought down from 5 per cent to 0 per cent and the excise duty on steel also be lowered. Burden of cross subsidisation should not be put on the industry and power tariffs be rationalised, they demanded.

Taking up the issue of power, Mr Singla said his government understood that power was like raw material for this industry and any rise in power rates would kill this industry and also affect employment. “That’s why I did not let power rates to rise,” he added.

Interestingly, induction and furnace units in the state remained closed several times for a week and at times even more as power supply was stopped to these in summers. This is the first time the state government came out with an assurance to this industry, that has been finding itself uncompetitive in comparison to its neighbours, primarily on account of power shortage.

The Finance Minister asserted that besides these issues, this industry needed to think ahead and take measures like adopting new technology or finding ways to put up a research and development centre.



BSNL facilities for pvt sector opposed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 4
The National Federation of Telecom Employees (NFTE) has expressed opposition to the proposal by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) to open infrastructure of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to the private service providers.

A meeting of the district unit of the federation, was held at the Mata Rani Road exchange here under the presidentship of its president Prem Singh today. It was of the view that access of the BSNL facilities by private service providers would weaken the PSU and pave way for further privatisation. Such policies might threaten the very existence of the BSNL.

The meeting also discussed several other pending issues like loans to the employees.



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