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DFO orders probe into forest land pollution
Says dumping of contaminated water serious crime
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
The District Forest Officer, Ludhiana, today ordered an inquiry into discharging of polluted water in forest land on the GT Road that was killing eucalyptus trees.

Taking cognizance of a Tribune report highlighting the practice that had already killed a number of trees, the DFO, Mr Tushar Kanti Vahera directed the Range Officer to thoroughly look into the allegations and instructed him to take action of the dyeing units were actually dumping polluted waste on the land.

Talking to TNS, Mr Vahera said that they will find out whether the water was laced with chemicals and identify the units discharging water on forest land.

"After getting samples of water tested we would zero in on the units causing pollution. If the owners are found guilty we would definitely register cases under appropriate sections against them. " he said.

He added that causing death of trees on forest land by dumping polluted water was a serious offence. The forest cover in the state was already depleting and if such practices continued there would not be a single tree left.

"We will not spare anybody. I have instructed my colleagues to probe and get back to me with the details of action taken," he added.

Meanwhile, a number of city residents expressed great concern over discharging untreated water on forest land. Mr S.S. Chana, a retired Forest Officer, said that it was a shame that the industrialists, just to save their money, were indulging in such practice which was no less than a heinous crime.

"They are thinking that they can exploit the nature as much as they can. They do not realise what the future will hold in store for their kids who have to survive on this planet," he said.



Quick money, fast girls did him in
Arrest of Vikramjit murder accused
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
His zeal for leading a high life by making easy money for squandering it on many girlfriends had led the tall and strapping 29-year-old youth Jagminder Singh, arrested as the kingpin in the Vikramjit Singh murder case, into the dark world of crime.

Possessing good fluency in English, a significant degree in computers could have enabled this son of a Superintendent Engineer with the BSNL to make a career in corporate sector like any other youth but he chose the fast way of making bucks without realising he would have to eventually spend the prime of his youth in jail. He even admits lifting a car just to arrange money for gift to his girlfriend. No wonder his peeved parents had disowned him long ago.

Giving a peep into the mindset of an alleged notorious criminal, who IG Hardeep Dhillon and DIG Parag Jain said, his case would be an apt study into the reasons behind the criminal activities of the youth, who lose way in pursuit of enjoying worldly pleasures through unfair means.

A resident of Canadian Enclace, Ayali Chowk, Jagminder kept on adopting new identities to hoodwink the police and travel in India and abroad. He even possessed fake Identity card of a being a journalist with a British newspaper. The police would question the involvement of some of girlfriends, namely Monisha Sharma, Kamni, Pryinka and Sonia, identified so far on whether they were indulging in crime or not.

He started his crime carrier in year 2000 when he came in contact with his cousin Harvinder Singh @ Bittu. They stole a car and were later on arrested by the police of Division No.6, Ludhiana, in 2000. They were also arrested in car theft case at Bathinda and later on got bail. During this time Jagminder became friendly with a girl named Sonia Sirohi, R/o Jodhewal Basti.

To fulfill demand of his girl friend he again formed a new gang with Ranjit Singh @ Ghukki, who was the cousin of his friend Rajinder Singh, S/o Baldev Singh, and all of them stole a bag from car from The Mall Road, Ludhiana. They were arrested in this case and later bailed out.

After this he went to Delhi and joined Brahma gang with his friend Subash. This gang kidnapped Amit Gogia and later on gang leader Brahma was killed in an encounter with Delhi police and Jagminder, along with others, were arrested in New Ashok Nagar Police Station in 2001.

Another case of murder was registered against him in Vasant Kunj police station, Delhi, in June-2001 and he was arrested and sent to Tihar Jail. He remained in Tihar Jail from June, 2001, to September, 2003.

In September, 2003, he came to Bathinda for appearance in a court case from where he escaped from police custody with the help of his friends Amardeep Singh and Talwinder Singh.

After this he started living in Kochar Market area of Ludhiana as tenant in the house of Kulwant Singh till year January, 2004.The police raided this house but he escaped and ran away to Sonepat, where he met Pardeep, who took him to Ghaziabad. There Jaminder, Nazi, Deepa, TT and Babli made a planning of dacoity at Nakshtra Diamond Showroom, Sector 39, Noida, in March, 2004, and ran away with a jewellery worth Rs 60 lakh. After this he came to Chandigarh.

He stayed in Chandigarh House No.632, Sector 8, in a rented accommodation with Deepa and Nazi. In August, 2005, he shifted to Sector 21. He sold diamond jewellery in Chandigarh and Amritsar. He and his girlfriend Sonia Sarohi planned kidnapping of some big industrialist. The two along with Manoj Sharma, alias Shanty (whose father is DSP in Muktsar Jail), Honey Sharma of Dhonla committed kidnapping Nipun Joshi S/o owner of Joshi Auto Zone, Chandigarh on November 18, 2005.

After this kidnapping Jagminder went to Singapore and made ransom call from Singapore. Later on November 20 last year Chandigarh police arrested Manoj Sharma and Honey Sharma. After this Jagminder went to Nepal from Singapore via Bangkok, where he met some persons and purchased a pistol and 10 cartridges.

In March, 2006, he came to Jaipur because he was wanted by police of Punjab, Delhi, UP, Haryana and Chandigarh. He again contacted TT and again indulged in crime. He stole two cars from Delhi and sold them in Nepal. He also tried his hand in drug trafficking but he did not like this trade.



Agonised father vents his anger
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
‘‘Such criminals are the cancer of the society. They cannot be treated with medication,’’ said Mr Rajendera Singh, father of slain youth Vikramjit Singh, venting his ire against the two alleged killers nabbed after four months of the brutal murder here today.

‘‘He just said sorry to me when the cops introduced me to Jagminder, the killer of my young son early today,’’ revealed the aggrieved father in choked voice. I had asked him why he chose my son of all people.’’

Talking to TNS, Mr Singh, owner of the Frontier Cycles, said the busting of the case had not only brought out the killers but had also killed many kinds of theories revolving around our son.



Shobha has ‘designs’ on city
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, November 22
After successfully establishing herself as a novelist, a columnist and a television serial writer Shobha De has proved that she has another ace up her sleeve. She has come out with a new line of designer clothes in collaboration with well-known designer Satya Paul.

Shobha De was in the city at the house of a celebrity where a select few persons got a chance to look at her collection--sarees, long skirts, kurtis etc. In the sprawling lawns the women moved around freely and admired the creations of Shobha De which were on display .Talking to Ludhiana Tribune she said: "My collection 'serendipity’ has a potpourri of designs and are really very practical and wearable."

Shobha De was accompanied by her daughter Arundhai and was wearing a saree designed by herself. When asked how does she find time for writing, designing clothes , she said:" I find time for whatever interests me . Earlier I was deeply involved into doing interiors of houses and now it is clothes that fascinate me .Hence In am passionately into fashion designing.’’

She further said: "My collection 'Serendipity' has clothes for real Indian people as I have specially kept their requirements in my mind . My range of clothes includes the clothes I would love myself to wear and which I would like others to wear. The clothes are practical, rich in colour and are extraordinary as far designing is concerned."

She said that she pays special emphasis to cloth weaving and has used rich brocades and traditional phulkaris in modern ways.

Shobha De says: "My collection offers a lot for men too.. I know that men like to dress well too. So I have added a whole range of rich textured shirts like brocade , woven silk and cotton ,too, embroidered well. I am very aware of the fact that men too like to dress well as they are fashion conscious. I am very happy with my collaboration with Satya Paul as I feel that our creations are very artistic and wearable and affordable."

Shobha is getting a serial ready for Doordarshan and it would shortly be on air. She also has a social conscience and does work for the uplift of poor girls.

Truly a woman who can wear different hats and come out with flying colours.



Hunt on for absconding duo; police puts banks,
traders on alert

Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 22
The Dehlon police has registered a case under Sections 308, 353, 333, 186, 224 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act against the absconding undertrial brothers.

The brothers had allegedly made a daring escape from the police custody at Latala village after badly injuring policemen who were taking them back to the Central Jail, Ludhiana, after producing them at a court in Barnala. The injured cops were also booked under Section 223 of the IPC for showing negligence in their duty.

Though the Jagraon police claimed to have started a well-coordinated hunt for the escaped brothers, inter-district coordination was conspicuous by its absence.

Meanwhile, the Circle Malerkotla police has cautioned banks and traders about the possibility of any ‘action’ by the accused who had earlier committed many robberies in the area.

Mr R. K. Jaiswal, SSP, Jagraon, said Kuldip Singh, resident of Latala, and his brother, Jasbir Singh, who had escaped after assaulting cops with sharp-edged weapons had been booked for attempting to murder the cops and obstructing them in performance of their official duty.

Rajpal Singh, havaldar, and Lashkar Singh, constable, who were allegedly allured by the accused to divert their route through their native village, were also booked for showing negligence in duty.

Preliminary investigations by the police revealed that Kuldip Singh, kingpin of a notorious gang of robbers, was involved in many incidents of robberies and vehicle snatching. At least 13 cases under various sections were registered against Kuldip Singh.

Besides snatching cars and other vehicles from a number of persons, Kuldip Singh was booked for robbing traders and banks at Ahmedgarh, Amargarh, Thikriwal, Raikot, Ludhiana, Halwara, and Chhajjawal during past couple of years.

Robberies at the Oriental Bank of Commerce, Raikot (Feb,2003, Rs 8.40 lakh ), the Punjab and National Bank, Kanganwal (May, 2005, Rs 4.65), the State Bank of Patiala, Ahmedgarh ( September, 2003, Rs 1.25 lakh) and Thikriwal (Feb,2006, Rs 15.45 lakh ) were committed by the gang led by Kuldip Singh.

Kuldip Singh and Jasbir Singh, who were being taken to Ludhiana in a private bus, had persuaded the policemen, Rajpal Singh and Lashkar Singh, to alight at the Raikot bus stand on the pretext that their mother was waiting there.

The duo later impressed upon them to take them to their home at Latala village. The cops were attacked by at least three accomplices of the accused who were already present at the house.

Meanwhile, Mr Rachhpal Singh Hara, DSP, Malerkotla, has cautioned authorities of various banks and financial organisations of the area to be more vigilant while transferring heavy cash from one place to another.



Tax raids on industrial houses yield rich haul
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 22
Sleuths of the Income Tax Department made a rich haul in the course of surveys on three industrial houses here yesterday when two of them made a surrender of Rs 1.5 crore of unaccounted income and agreed to meet the additional tax liability thereupon.

Teams of IT officials under the supervision of Mr S.S. Rana, Joint Commissioner, Range V, had launched surveys on Sangeeta Tools in Dhandari Kalan, Balwindra Tools on G.T. Road and Waryam Steels in Kanganwal area on Tuesday.

In the survey operations, which continued till late in the evening, books of accounts of these firms, records of sale and purchase for the last several years, inventory of stocks and computer data were minutely inspected and key personnel of the industrial houses questioned.

While the senior officials of the department were tight-lipped about the outcome of the surveys, it was authoritatively learned that the directors of Sangeeta Tools had surrendered an amount of Rs 1 crore while Balwindra Tools had agreed to an addition of Rs 50 lakh to their income for the current financial year.

Sources in the department further revealed that survey on Waryam Steels had been completed and the extent of concealed income would be determined in a day or so when the owners of the firm, who were stated to be out of town, returned back.



Rs 55 cr spent on elevated road but no one is happy
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
The issue of non-linking of elevated road to various parts of the city is going to reverberate in the General House meet of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation scheduled for tomorrow.

While the city residents feel cheated and angry over the elevated road that was far more deviated than the original plan, the Opposition, led by Mr Parvin Bansal in the House, is going to take up the matter on the floor.

According to the original plan, the elevated road had to connect the city at seven points. But despite spending Rs 55 crore, the elevated road could not benefit the old city residents, who were supposed to be the main beneficiaries as per the original plan.

The original design of the elevated road, procured by the Ludhiana Tribune, revealed that the elevated road was to be connected to Raikhy Cinema, Chaura Bazaar and to the MC office at two places. Similarly, on the other side, it had to have a four-lane carriageway from the Civil Lines side and two-lane carriageway on approaches from Bhadaur House side and Raikhy Cinema side.

After crossing the railway tracks, it was to have a rotary near existing society cinema from where an integrating link to the elevated road was to be provided through Bhadaur House at Mata Rani Chowk.

But none of the linkages were constructed and a long elevated road passing overhead the old city starting from Jagraon bridge to Jalandhar bypass was the final product.

This has left the residents incensed, who had been claiming that they were shown dreams of an imposing structure with a state-of- the-art design.

‘‘They have really made a mockery of the original plan. We have spent so many years waiting for the road thinking it would really solve our traffic problems. But nothing of that sort happened. 
What to do? ’’ said a resident.

He added that it was surprising that the plan was enhanced from Rs 33 crore to Rs 55 crore yet the final road was not even half of the original structure. 



Protest against demolition of Iskcon temple
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
In protest against the demolition of the Iskcon temple in Kazakistan, members of the Iskcon, Ludhiana, and the Bhagwan Jagannath Rath Yatra Mahotsava Committee held a march from Vrindavan Road near Kailash Cinema Chowk to Mini Secretariat here today.

"The demolition of the temple has hurt our religious sentiments and we want the Indian government to take up the issue with the Kazak government before it gets murkier," said Mr Rajeev Duggal, general secretary of the committee.

The protesting members said Lord Krishna's devotees were spread all over the world and such a move was uncalled for. "We have even written to the Prime Minister and the President on the matter," added Mr Duggal.



Devotees throng nagar kirtan
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 22
A nagar kirtan was taken out in the city by Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib on the eve of martyrdom day of the ninth Sikh guru, Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji, here today. The procession was led by the 'Panj Piaras' in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji adorned in the highly decorated palanquin created for the purpose.

Devotees in large numbers thronged to pay obeisance and seek the blessings of Guru Granth Sahib. The nagar kirtan passed through several busy commercial and residential areas of the old city and was also attended by two groups of Hindus and Muslims led respectively by Mr Jagdish Bajaj, President of Gian Sthal Mandir, and Mr Ateeq-Ur-Rehman, President, Indian Muslim Council.

More than 50 ‘jathas’ of school children and different social and religious organisations in addition to devotees from surrounding villages in nearly 200 tractor-trollies participated in the nagar kirtan.

The entire route was decorated and had 'langars', snacks, fruits, ice cream and cold drinks for the devotees. Groups of small children in traditional khalsa attire, a large number of female devotees in kesari and blue dupattas, a number of gatka parties and band groups turned out to be the special attractions of the procession.

Prominent among others present at the occasion were Mr Pritpal Singh, President of Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran and Mr Avtar Singh, General Secretary.



Survey finds most people prefer the male child
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Despite the undisputed opinion among the rural and urban people that girls are more loving and caring who bring good luck to the family, most people in Ludhiana district have been found to be still preferring the male child.

This is being mainly attributed to tradition, religion and epics where the son is glorified and a woman is wished to bear a male child.

According to a survey conducted by Ajinder Walia of the Department of Human Development, College of Home Sciences, under the guidance of Dr Harnek Singh recently, there is a uniform preference for the male child among the people belonging to various socio-economic backgrounds.

This is despite a massive awareness campaign launched against the foeticide by various government and non-government organisations. However, the survey is silent over the incidence of female foeticide or sex determination.

The present study was conducted in six villages of Ludhiana district on more than 100 respondents. A majority of respondents were middle aged, literate and belonged to a particular religion. The average family size was of five members. On the basis of different variables, son was preferred for continuation of family lineage.

In addition to this, son was required in farming due to gender specific agricultural operations and to carry on the business of the family. The study also revealed that birth of the son enhanced the status of mother in the family

The son was expected to provide care, affection, comfort and security to his parents in old age.

Ajinder Walia said that daughters were preferred for doing household tasks only. Kitchen work was considered to be female domain. According to a respondent in the study," daughters could be given as daan or gift during the ceremony of kanyadaan.

She could be a good source of company for her mother. She represented lakshmi, who helped to bring up other children in the family. But, inspite of all this, son is still preferred over the daughter".

The study concluded that gender bias was so deep-rooted in ancient culture that it will take a long time to have equal preference for son and daughter.



Serve humanity selflessly, exhorts Nishkam chairman
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 22
The Nishkam Sewa Ashram celebrated its 31st Annual Day here last evening at the Nehru Sidhant Kender.

Mr Sarwan Kumar, chairman of the ashram, said people should selflessly serve their parents and humanity. The primary aim of the Nishkam Sewa Ashram was to serve humanity selflessly.

Enumerating the services of the ashram, he said not only they were running an old-age home successfully, but also managing an orphanage and were the only authorised orphanage to give away children for adoption.

The ashram had many centres which taught stitching, computers etc and the only hospice for cancer patients. All the activities of ashram were shown through a video film, he added.

The function started with Saraswati Vandana and was followed by presentation of skits, songs and qawalies. The mentally challanged performed a skit which impressed the audience. The programme was followed by a ‘priti bhoj’.



Sidhwan canal catches IHRO attention
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) has decided to take up the issue of rising pollution in Sidhwan canal passing through Ludhiana, which had become a garbage dumping yard for pollutants around the city like the Budda Nullah.

On being highlighted in a Tribune report a few days ago, the issue caught the attention of the IHRO, which has decided to take up the matter with the local administration and the departments concerned to keep the canal clean forming a team of principal investigators.

The IHRO Chairperson, Mr D.S Gill, and its secretary-general Mohinder Singh Grewal, in a statement here yesterday said the project 'Keep Sidhwan Canal Clean" would comprise three lawyers- Mr Anmol Singh Grewal as project coordinator and Mr Bhupinder Singh and Mr Shashi Kant Verma as members. While Mr Sukhdev Singh Ramgarh Sibian, advocate, executive coordinator of the IHRO, would guide and supervise the project associates, they added.

They further said the project executives would also look into the mushrooming of slums along the canal, besides fixing the responsibility of public servants who have failed to keep the canal clean.

Local citizens, including the committee of experts constituted by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) on the Budda Nullah, had also desired that the IHRO should take up the matter of the Sidhwan canal too like Budda Nullah, the NGO activists added.



Mini-bus owners discuss problems
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Mini-bus owners highlighted the problems being faced by them at their general meeting held here today.

Mr Sehbar Singh, president of the Jagraon Mini Bus Union, said that students travelling in mini buses in the Jagraon area were creating problems for them as they tried to travel free in mini buses. He asserted that an action needed to be taken in the direction to resolve this problem.

The owners also said that seven seater tempo with added space for passengers were causing losses to mini buses as by adding seats their capacity became almost equal to that of a mini bus. They alleged that even after having been apprised of the situation, the local District Transport Office had not taken any action.

Mr Ranjit Singh Dhillon and Mr Rana Singh, owners from Mullanpur and Sudhar, respectively, said they had sent a memorandum to the Petroleum Minister regarding losses to this industry on account of high diesel rates. "High diesel rates are resulting in heavy losses," they said, adding, "even prices of tyres, despite fall in rates of their raw material, have not been reduced. They should be reduced accordingly."

The members reiterated their demand for a Mini Bus Policy and said that a member from the association be included in the advisory committee. "Even as an announcement was made in this regard, there has been no implementation so far," said Mr Kartar Singh, joint secretary of the association from Moga.

The association also demanded that "illegal operations" of auto rickshaws and four-wheelers, that are allowed to ferry only goods, and are instead carrying passengers as well, be stopped.

Mr Jasbinder Singh Grewal, district president, presided over the meeting.



Canara Bank takes possession of defaulter's property
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Officials of the Bharat Nagar branch of the Canara Bank took physical possession of the mortgaged property in the name of M/s Oriental Woollen Mills in Bajra village for alleged default on repayment of loan here today.

According to bank officials, the party, through its partners - Mr Vipon Goel, Ms Radhika Goel and Ms Padma Goel - availed of the ‘Open Cash Credit Facility’ from the bank’s Bharat Nagar branch, Ludhiana, and defaulted on repayment of dues to the tune of Rs 31.40 lakh as on December 23, 2005.

Even as the bank served a 60-day demand notice, the borrowers failed to respond following which bank officials took physical posession of property mortgaged in their account under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Assets Act.

The premises were duly locked and sealed in the presence of Mr K. R. Vadhyar, Assistant General Manager, and Mr P. Biswas, Manager. The entire procedure was carried out with the assistance of M/s GATS Financial Reconstructors Limited. The Authorised Officer warned the other defaulters of similar stringent action in case they failed to repay

their debts.



Cricket updates for mobile users

Ludhiana, November 22
Bharti Airtel yesterday announced the launch of India-South Africa series cricket pack for its postpaid and prepaid customers in Punjab. Customers subscribing to this pack can listen to ball-by-ball score updates for the entire series - five one day internationals (ODIs) and three test matches, said a press note.

Samsung: Samsung India yesterday announced the launch of its full HD LCD range, Mosel, in Indian markets. "Technological breakthroughs give this series a high dynamic contrast ratio, better sharpness and unmatched clarity even around edges of moving images," the company said in a press note. — TNS



Fall in mercury lifts up sagging hosiery
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Last-night drizzle and followed by showers early this morning brought cheers to the dejected hosiery industry that had been suffering on account of relatively mild winters.

The industry, which normally attains peak sales by this time of the year, witnessed a major decline in demand this year. The impact of sealing row in Delhi further aggravated the problem in terms of fewer orders and stuck payments.

But the chill in the weather today brought some hopes to this industry where business had declined to 50 per cent of what it was last year.

"By this time of the year, business touches a peak point. However, this year the situation remained quite grim mainly on account of mild winters as a result of which local demand was negligible. Rain this morning has brought us some hope though impact of it would be visible in the coming days only," said Mr Vinod Thapar, president, Knitwear Club.

Hosiery industry did not even received repeat orders from other states like Bihar and UP, which should have come by now. Adding to its problems, over 50 per cent of the business was affected on account of sealing in Delhi.

City's hosiery markets like Dal Bazaar, Chawal Bazaar, Hazori Market, that wore a deserted look till yesterday, witnessed some activity as local buyers too started coming.

"Till yesterday we were only waiting and we are happy that customers have at least started purchasing. Our only hope now is severe winters," said Subhash Kumar, a shopkeeper in Chaura Bazaar.

Business so far has not been so good for hosiery industry here which also witnessed a decline in production.

Mr Navin Sood, president, Ludhiana Hosiery Association, too said, "Production is normally at its peak by this time of the year but this time, it witnessed a sharp reduction."

Manufacturers said that a large proportion of mid and low quality stuff , which gets sold on roadside in Delhi, too got no takers this time. "Sealings ruined business in many ways. There are no fresh orders, nor are any takers for mid and low quality products. Besides, payments are also stuck as a result," said Mr Thapar.

Though stocks of last year were cleared at the beginning of this season, it is repeat orders which keep businesses going, coupled by demand generated from neighbouring states and local market. On account of absence of all these, even production has come to a halt.

According to businessmen, unless winters are severe in coming days, the impact of reduced sales would be evident from decline in revenue to the government.

"Last year, a revenue of almost Rs 100 crore was generated. If business does not improve, the steep decline would have a bearing on revenues too and it would be clear in the beginning of next year."

While traders and manufacturers are praying for severe winters, markets are already witnessing discount sales, which are likely to increase in coming days.

"It is better to start discount sales now to get customers because if we continue waiting till the end of the season, we will have to cut on our margins," said another trader.



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