L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Dislocation allowance for farmers: CM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Chief Minister, Prakash Singh Badal has said in future for acquiring any land, a committee headed by the concerned deputy commissioner would calculate the market rate and payment to the farmers would be given at the market rate to their satisfaction along with a 30 per cent dislocation allowance.

He was talking to media persons at a function after inaugurating a polio surgery camp organised by Bhagwan Mahavir Sewa Sansthan and Bharat Vikas Parishad at Rishi Nagar Ludhiana today.

Badal said private buyers were welcome to buy wheat from mandis at prices higher than the MSP and elaborate arrangements had been made for smooth procurement of wheat beginning tomorrow.

Answering a question on quality education, Badal said government had decided to set up an Adarsh Public School in each block, where quality education would be provided to students belonging to the poor families.

He said two such schools at Khatkal kallan village in Nawanshahar and Tohra village in Patiala will be set up soon.

Badal expressed pain at widespread poverty and deprivation in the country. He said he wanted every citizen to be self sufficient. Badal exhorted voluntary organisations to come forward to assist government in providing medical facilities to the poor.

He said Lord Mahavir was a great saint and scholar who propounded human values and equality in the society. Badal said his government would extend all kind of assistance to the NGOs working for service to the suffering humanity.

Badal appreciated the contribution of Bharat Vikas Parishad in providing artificial limbs to the disabled persons and medical facilities to the poor. He announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the Parishad and Bhagwan Mahavir Sewa Sansthan.

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Pak spy was getting money via Dubai
Role of several local politicians under scrutiny
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
The alleged Pakistan Spy, Abdul Hanan Rashid, alias Rajveer Ranwat, caught by the city police last week was receiving money from Dubai for his anti-India activities. The police investigation has found out that the spy was conveniently receiving payments every month till his arrest. The money originated from Pakistan and was routed through Dubai.

He had two driving licences!

As if one driving licence recovered from the accused Pak spy was not enough trouble for the District Transport Office, the city police has recovered another driving licence issued in his name. Both the licences were issued from the local transport office.

The police has stepped up the questioning of the staff to fix the responsibility.

Meanwhile, the accused had after gaining closeness to political parties, also smelled the power of the media too, it seems. The police has recovered the identity card of a vernacular newspaper from his possession. The police may quiz the newspaper officials in this regard.

The exposure was an apt reflection on how easy it was to fund such activity in the country. The mystery of the mode or route of payment to the accused was not only a subject of immense curiosity for the media but also for the intelligence agencies and the DRI.

Krishan Kumar, a property dealer from Haibowal, who seemed to be unknowing of the identity of the spy, was instrumental in receiving money as well providing him house on rent and the base to make identity documents. He has been arrested. The payments were made through a popular Money Transfer company.

Highly placed police sources have revealed that the spy received over Rs 68,000 from a person from Dubai in December 2005 only days after he had landed in the city. The alleged spy had arranged the money to be sent in the name of the accused property dealer.

The spy did not have a bank account during the initial months of his stay and had cleverly used the dealer's account. Sources said several thousand rupees were sent every month to the spy's family in Pakistan also.

With the police not relaxing investigation, more and more people were coming into the police net. SSP R K Jaiswal and SP - Detective Gurpreet Singh said the spy was getting close to political parties.

A councillor of the BJP had attested his forms for obtaining a ration card. Another councillor from the SAD had given a recommendation letter to the spy, which helped him in obtaining a driving licence.

The spy had managed to obtain a driving license, ration card, a bank account , an ATM card under his assumed name, Rajveer Ranawat, where as the common man has to pass through many harassing channels for obtaining the same documents, despite having genuine claims.

Police investigations was in process to find out how he got prepared all the other documents. Police sources said so far only the employees of the State Bank of India (SBI) have been found to have followed proper procedure while opening the bank account of the accused.

The Haibowal police had caught Abdul Rashid last Saturday on the charges of collecting vital information about the security of the country and about important installations. The accused was an MBA.

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Short of income, Council to sell garbage land
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 31
Failing to achieve targeted income in all avenues except excise duty where, realisation was double than the budgeted figure in the last financial year, the local Municipal Council is planning to sell off garbage land which, is likely to fetch Rs 100 lakh.

Exemption in water and sewerage bills for owner of plots measuring less than 2.5 biswas and abolition of octroi seemed to have upset the budget of the council.

Persual of copy of budget draft approved by the Council on Friday revealed that the council would spend Rs 510.60, expected to be earned from various sources, on routine items and a meager amount of Rs 15 lakh will be saved like last year.

While Rs 213.30 will be disbursed as salaries and wages to the staff, Rs 238.10 (48 per cent of the total budget) will be spent on development of the town.

After realising Rs 99.36 lakh as income from excise duty, against budget figure of Rs 50 lakh, the expected income during the ensuing year has been at 60 lakh. The council has proposed to dispose off the garbage land for Rs 100 lakh. Garbage dumping has been stopped at the plot.

Though the government had abolished octroi last year the, import of diesel and petrol and electricity will add Rs 8 lakh and Rs 20 lakh respectively, to the income. This will be in addition to Rs 243 lakh to be received from state government as a grant. House tax, rent and water supply are expected to bring Rs 28 lakh, Rs 70 thousand and 15 lakh respectively.

Investigations revealed that, in almost all items except excise duty, income could not be realised according to the budget approved last year.

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Vigilance plea to extend police remand declined
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, March 31
Duty Magistrate Shatin Goyal today declined the request of Vigilance Bureau for extending the police remand of two persons arrested in multi crore City Centre Scam.

The Judge observed that the accused had undergone sufficient police remand. Police had already got enough time to interrogate the accused. Hence, there was no necessity to remand them further in police remand.

It may be recalled that the accused persons Amit Sardana, Director of Infrastructure Professionals Enterprises Private Ltd. (IPE), Delhi, and Kamal Kumar Verma, Director Special Project, were arrested in this case by the Vigilance Bureau on March 23. Except them the Vigilance Bureau had failed in arresting any of the accused in this high profile case.

On the very next day, they were produced in the court. Then they were remanded to police remand for four days. Thereafter, their police remand was extended for two days and one day.

The Special Public Proesecutor- Ashwani Bedi today again stressed for extending the police remand. He submitted that the accused not cooperating in the investigation. They had not so far disclosed that where they had kept the amount of Rs 5 lakh received in this case.

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Tree plantation drive launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Minister for wild life, medical education, labour, employment and parliamentary affairs Tikshan Sood stated that a comprehensive tree plantation programme was being launched to cover all the government lands, i.e. sides of roads, government buildings, canal sides etc, on scope of enhancing forestry in private irrigated lands.

While addressing mediapersons at the Circuit House, he said, “Punjab has only 6 per cent area under forest cover against the national average of 13 per cent. Stress will be laid to create tourism spots in the forest areas to provide good environment to the tourists involving voluntary NGOs and eco clubs.”

Regarding the Labour and Employment Department, Sood said main attention was being made to improve the working environment in the industries by improving the employee-employer relations. Advisory committees were also being set up at various levels in the Labour Department to improve the working environment.

He also informed that wages of the labour would also be revised in full consultation with the representatives of the industry and the labour. The government would exercise strictness to get the fixed norms fulfilled at the medical institutions in the state and special checking teams would be constituted to identify the irregularities committed in the institutions.

“In order to check the decreasing number of teaching staff in medical colleges, the government has decided to enhance the retired age of medical teachers from 58 to 60 years,” he informed.

Earlier addressing the party workers, the minister said the SAD- BJP government would fulfill all the promises made with the people during the elections and assured that full respect would be given to the workers.

Deputy Speaker Sat Pal Gosian said the workers were the backbone of the party and the party candidates had won only because of the untiring work and commitment of the workers.

He also asserted that the corruption deeds of the Congress leaders committed during the last five years would be unearthed before the public at the earliest.

Sumer Singh Gurjar, DC, R.K. Jaiswal, SSP, Harish Bedi, MLA, Jagdish Loomba, Anil Sarin, Dr Subhash Verma, district president, BJP, Sanjay Kapoor, BJYM, Kamal Jaitely, Rajinder Bhandari, Amarjit Singh Bhatia, Charanjit Singh Saluja were also present on the occasion.

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Aamir Khan honours Pankhuri
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Pankhuri Srivastava, an eighth class student of Kundan Vidya Mandir, had never imagined that one day she would get an award from her favourite bollywood actor Aamir Khan. She was on the top of the world when the actor not only presented the ‘Innova Nacho, Jhumo Gao’ award but also appreciated her dancing skills.

She secured second position in Punjab and Haryana and won a cash prize of Rs 75,000 besides many other gift vouchers. The contest was held on March 23 at Mohali.

Talking about her achievement, Pankhuri said that she owes her success to the almighty, her dance teacher Shubhniti Saini, her grandparents, parents, and loved ones.

Belonging to a family of singers, writers and poets, Pankhuri said though she wanted to be a newsreader, dancing was her passion. She said, “Constant encouragement by my parents in addition to the perfect coaching by my teacher helped me to emerge as a winner in the contest. When Aamir praised my talent, I felt as if I am dreaming.”

Almost 4000 students from five cities of Haryana and Punjab had come for the auditions. Pankhuri was one amongst the 25 short-listed candidates.

“Out of these 25, five children were selected for the final round in Chandigarh. Three winners were then chosen by Aamir Khan and two other choreographers from Bollywood. She got the second prize as she had performed really well on ‘Dhai sham rok le’, a song from film Devdaas,” said Prof Shakuntala Srivastava, her grandmother.

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SAD (A) flays Badal for ‘betraying’ Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Senior vice president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Daljit Singh has condemned the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for "betraying the interest" of Panjab by not moving a legislation in the Vidhan Sabba session to strike off Section 5 of Panjab Termination of Agreement Act 2004 as promised in his party's election manifesto. He has caled on Badal to clarify his stand over the issue.

In a statement here today, he reminded Badal of his solemn promise to the people of Panjab that if he is returned to power his first act will be to strike out this clause and stop the flow of water to Haryana and Rajasthan.

During his electioneering he stated this repeatedly and even after assuming charge, he pledged at the holy Shri Anandpur Sahib on the eve of Holla Mohalla that he would stand by his promise, said Daljit Singh.

“Badal has not only backtracked from his promise but his attorney in the Supreme Court has also submitted on oath that Badal never promised to scrap the said controversial clause,” alleged Daljit Singh. He even denied of making any statement to the press on the subject, he added.

He alleged that it can be assumed that Badal was well aware beforehand and even consented to the induction of this clause in the Bill presented by the previous Congress government. Badal, he said, is saying that he did not act because the matter is before the court of law. “This is merely an excuse because the court of law, at no stage, has stopped Badal from performing his constitutional and legislative duties,” alleged Daljit Singh.

This confusion is making people of Panjab feel that the Badal government was out to harm their interests.

Therefore, Badal should clarify his stand on the issue and come out with an action plan to safeguard the interest of the state, he added.

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CPI deplores police failure

Jagraon, March 31
Communist Party of India (CPI) Jagraon block expressed its concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in the area and lashed at the failure of the police in nabbing criminals responsible for committing seven to eight murders on the same pattern in the town here today.

In each murder incident the victim had been killed using sharp edged weapons causing injury on the back of his neck and his trouser was also removed. The party demanded immediate deployment of the police force to arrest the responsible killer.

The party reprsentatives, include Ram Ji Dass, Baldev Kohli, Gurdev Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Gurdip Singh Moti, Sadhu Singh, Kirpal Singh Kalsi and Avtar Singh Gill. — OC

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Navratan, polki remain favourite
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
“Polki and navratan stones, including sapphire, emerald, ruby, moonstone, coral, uncut diamond, cats eye, gomed and pearls remain favourite among city women. We have got customers from all over the country but women here prefer something traditional yet trendy," says Seema Raniwala of Vaibhav Collections, who put up an exhibition of designer jewellery here today.

Talking about her brand, Seema said hers was a Rajasthan based Jewellery company specialising in ethnic jewellery, mainly for bridal wear.

"We have an in-house manufacturing base at Udaipur in Rajasthan and the royal families in Rajasthan are our proud customers. The team of artisans (karigars) and designers create designs, which are translated into jewellery using modern techniques thus ensuring superlative quality combined with a low cost,” said Mukesh Raniwala, a manufacturer.

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“Peace, tolerence need  of the hour”
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 31
Terming regional peace and tolerance as the need of the hour, Rai Azizullah, a member of the Pakistan National Assembly, whose father Rai Faqirullah Khan had taken Ganga Sagar, a sacred urn bestowed on the Rai family by Guru Gobind Singh at time of partition, called upon both governments to utilise all chances to foster fraternity among its citizens.

Leading a delegation comprising 52 persons, Azizullah visited many places in the area, including the kothi of the erstwhile Nawabs of Raikot, his ancestral house, Gurdwara Tahliana Sahib, and other places in Ludhiana district today.

Referring to inference drawn during his visit to Punjab, he claimed that citizens of the two 'enemy' countries were desirous of permanent peace in the region and wanted that politicians of both sides should shun narrow mindedness to make dream of peace lovers come true.

"Like the majority of other Pakistani statesmen, I believe in universal brotherhood. I will impress upon policy makers in my country and in India to make use of every chance to foster fraternity among Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims of the two nations," he said but warned that even an occasional mistake of leaders of both countries might prove fatal for peace.

Azizullah stressed that modernisation and sophistication of war weapons had necessitated peace efforts as outcome of any battle would be more disastrous than first and second world wars. He suggested that governments of the two nations should arrange educational and social tours across the border.

"Students of one nation when allowed to interact with their counterpart in other nation will not only feel friendly among themselves, they will spread the message of brotherhood in among members of three generations," argued Mr Azizullah.

Referring to feelings of residents of Raikot, his ancestral town Azizullah claimed that people had shown great interest in Ganga Sagar, sacred urn that was once presented to Rai Kallah about three neturies ago. The urn that was brought to Punjab in December 2004 has now been preserved in a safe vault in a bank in England.

"But I will feel honoured in bringing it back to Punjab on some religious occasion in future, provided the government owns responsibility of its safety. I understand that love and affection showered by Punjabis in general and Sikhs is due to this sacred symbol of tolerance and sacrifice," said the Pak National Assembly member.

He paid special thanks to office bearers of Baba Bulla Shah Foundation and other social organisations which had arranged many seminars and functions for interaction of delegation with local associations.

Ramesh Kaura, general secretary, J D Kaura, Gurcharan Singh president Baba Bulla Shah Foundation Ludhiana and Sudarshan Joshi president Municipal Council Raikot felicitated Azizullah and other members of the Pak delegation.

Rai Azizullah is a descendent of Rai Kallah, who had received the sacred gift from Guru Gobind Singh in 1705. He visited the kothi of the erstwhile Nawabs of Raikot which is situated in the old town, also known as the fortified part.

The ancestors of Tejinder Singh present owner of the kothi had migrated to the town from Multan in Pakistan. Even though they were allotted the kothi, they took care not to change its facade or tampered with the architectural grandeur. The family of Rai Azizullah visited the kothi several times in the past and he along with other members of delegation visited the area before leaving Ludhiana for Amritsar to return to their native country tomorrow. 

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SSF against separate gurdwara committee in Haryana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
The Sikh Students Federation today warned the Haryana government against constituting a separate gurdwara managing committee in that state. Addressing a press conference here today, president of the federation Grucharan Singh Grewal and others said this was aimed at undermining the authority of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, the apex body of the Sikhs.

Grewal said the federation activists will hold rallies and dharnas all over the state to resist this move. He warned the Congress government of Haryana led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda against interfering into the internal matters of the Sikhs. He said this would prove counter productive to the interests of the state. He appealed the government over there to see reason and cancel the idea of setting up a separate gurdwara committee for Haryana. 

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Garcha lays foundation stones

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 31
Former SAD minister Jagdish Singh Garcha laid 12 foundation stones for development projects at various villages in the area.

Congress MLA Jasbir Singh Khangura has said he will make sure that the Kilaraipur segment stands ahead in development. – OC 

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Chamber flays CRR, repo rate hike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Government's move to check inflation by affecting an increase in Cash Reserve Ratio and Repo Rate has failed to find favour with the local industry represented by the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which feels the decision would hit the small scale industrialists as credit could become costlier.

"The step would adversely affect small scale industry, which is already suffering due to a severe liquidity crunch. Interest rate would go up while large units can avail of borrowing facilities from international markets, it is the small sector that could suffer the most," said P.D. Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Sharma added that such measures are ineffective in controlling inflation in our country where a significant share of the population does not have access to banks.

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Competition a sensitive nerve of business: experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 31
Punjab College of Technical Education (PCTE) conducted its 6th International Conference on Convergence and Competition and Global Trends in IT here today. Dr Arun Sahay, Head, Strategic Management Department, MDI, Gurgaon, inaugurated the conference and Anil Sharma, Executive Director, Shreyans Paper Mill, Mandi Ahmedgarh, was the chief guest.

During the conference, 40 papers on "Convergence and competition" and 43 papers on "Global Trends in IT" were presented. Speakers from all over the country besides Pakistan and Malaysia participated. The contributions from other neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were also received. Eight foreign delegates presented papers.

While presenting the theme, Dr. K.N.S.Kang, Director (PCTE), said, "The world is rapidly changing and the pace of growth is exponential. Darwin theory is again reviving itself. Mergers and acquisition are used strategically in today's world. This is possible due to the revolution shaped by the technology and competition."

During his address, Dr. Arun Sahay said, "Competition is a sensitive nerve of any business. To maintain a healthy competition, one should keep his brains and nerves in control as the unfair competition always leads to disaster. For competition the industry, business units and associations should go for perseverance and cooperation with each other", he said.

Dr Sahay further said the journey to be the best had taken shape of a fight. The battle grounds were drawn between business houses to win the war. The growth in IT had added the punch and was acting as the fuel to the fire. Hence, to maintain a healthy competition, convergence on social, business and technology aspect had to be incorporated to make competition a better tool for a change.

Mr Anil Kumar, Chief Guest, said, "Convergence denotes the approach towards a definite value. Today it is all about media convergence which states that in this era of technology there is a need to acquire and disseminate information as fast as 
possible".

Wg Cdr H.S.Gill, chairman, PCTE, thanked the delegates and remarked that the conference was organised to explore the challenges due to convergence and competition.

The conference consisted of four technical sessions and various contributions were made on ‘Role of technology in insurance sector’, ‘IT applications in India’, automobile industry, e-governance, web technologies, IT in rural India, quality management, customer relationship management, impact of technology on societal living etc. 

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