L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

IT raids on hosiery group
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 20
The investigation wing of the income tax department today conducted raids on couple of business and residential premises of a leading hosiery and knitwear manufacturer and exporter and some property brokers at different places in the city.

Even though officials of the investigation wing in the city and in Chandigarh refused to divulge any details, saying the search and seizures are still in progress, it is learnt that nearly 50 officials, along with supporting staff, descended on at least one dozen premises, which included the factory of the hosiery exporter on the GT Road and residential premises near Circuit House.

As the officials carried out the inspection of books of account, records of sale and purchase of raw material, as also the stocks of finished goods, the entry and exit from the factory was barred by the police accompanying the IT sleuths. Similarly, the residential premises of the hosiery exporter were searched and inventory of valuables, including cash and jewellery, were seized.

Some incriminating documents, pertaining to undervalued sale of prime property, were reportedly seized by the team from the hosiery manufacturer and the property broker.

When contacted, director-general of the investigation wing of the income tax department, Chandigarh, V.D.S. Balhara, said the operation was expected to continue till late in the night.



Vulgarity in Punjabi music
Artistes, litterateurs seek censor board
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 20
Leading musicians, singers, artistes and litterateurs today sought the constitution of a censor board to check growing vulgarity in Punjabi music.

A resolution was passed to this effect at a seminar organised by the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle at Punjabi Bhavan today. Minister for culture, jails, printing and stationery Hira Singh Gabria also expressed his dismay over the growing vulgarity.

Presiding over the seminar on “Punjabi Culture and Modern Singing”, Gabria asked composers to bring out clean songs and refrain from using suggestive lyrics.

He said raunchy and vulgar songs should have no place in the Punjabi pop. He impressed upon the Punjabi pop industry to bring forward the rich tradition and culture of the state so that the youth could learn from its glorious past.

The seminar was attended by over 70 personalities from the music world. Around 200 intellectuals, including principals and professors, also participated in it. Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle chief organiser Ram Singh reminded singers of their duties and said they were the real ambassadors of Punjab.

Circle chief secretary Dr Charan Kamal Singh impressed upon the industry to pay attention towards the presentation of women in music videos.

Sada Virsa Sada Gaurav editor Balwinder Pal Singh said cheap and vulgar songs had a short life and people still loved to listen to the music of yesteryear. Famous singer Dolly Guleria said she was proud to inherit the heritage of the state and would never encourage vulgarity. District education officer Manjit Kaur said corrective measures were needed to improve the content of songs.

A resolution to create a censor board was presented to the Punjab government.



Psychotropic drugs seized; one booked
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 20
A huge cache of psychotropic drugs was seized during a joint raid conducted by the police and the district drug authorities here this afternoon.

According to Gautam Cheema, SSP, Khanna, the drugs were seized during the raids in the town.

The raiding team, led by Dharam Pal, SHO, and Sanjiv Kumar Garg, district drug inspector, searched drug stores following complaints that the psychotropic drugs were being sold in the area without prescription. The authorities also suspected that certain supplies meant for public consumption had also been routed through private dealers.

Shiv Raj Singh of ward number 10, Ram Murti Marg, was booked under Sections 18-C and A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1944, for illegally possessing drugs and preparations in violation of rules. The seized drugs included 32,010 tablets of lomotil, momolit and microlit and 8,254 capsules of spesmo-proxyvon, parvonspam, provon, dexavan, nitron and provodex, 222 bottles of rex-cough and corex and 570 injections of avil, lavil and lupigesic. Investigations revealed that the accused was earlier booked under Sections 22, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. The shopkeeper could not produce purchase and sales record of the drug.

The authorities have written to the heath minister and the drug controller to take action against the chemists. While the raids were conducted simultaneously at many shops the recoveries from other establishments were yet to be confirmed.



4 held with opium

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 20
The Ludhana (rural) police claimed to have seized 15 kg of opium during a campaign launched by the anti-narcotic cell of the district.

Four persons of an interstate gang, arrested by the cell yesterday, have been sent to Joint Investigation Centre, Amritsar.

The gang members were arrested near Saddowal village in Ludhiana district. They are: Ajmer Singh, Amrit Ram, Ram Niwas and Khushhal Singh. — OC



Gang War
Assault victim’s father alleges police inaction

Ludhiana, July 20
A septuagenarian resident of Sekhewal village is running from pillar to post seeking the arrest of a group of youths who had allegedly tried to kill one of his three sons a month ago.

The attack on the youth was allegedly part of a gang war between two groups.

Even as the victim, Pawittar Singh, is still hospitalised, the Salem Tabri police has not been able to arrest any of the accused.

His father Nachattar Singh accused the police of inaction. He said his son had beaten up one of the assailants earlier and had paid the price for it. He claimed that his son was wrongfully booked in previous cases. — TNS



Potter bug bites city residents
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 20
Potter mania has gripped city residents too who are rushing to bookshops for booking the latest in the Harry Potter series in advance. As the “Deathly Hallows” hits city markets tomorrow, leading distributors are all set to open their shop doors at 6.30 am.

“Quite a large number of people have placed bookings in advance. We have placed orders in advance and given the kind of response that is being generated, shortage is quite likely,” said Sunny Mohindra, proprietor of a shop in Ghumar Mandi.

In spite of the fact that booksellers rue that city residents are not avid readers, J.K. Rowling’s book seems to have brought a large number of people, including children and elderly, to reading.

Bookshops here have not just geared up to receive the latest release at 6 am on Saturday morning, they are offering discounts to lure more customers.

Rowling’s last book, “The Half Blood Prince”, was quite a success, but this one is being expected to double the sales volume, said bookshop owners.

“My 14-year-old son likes the Potter series. But this time even I am eagerly awaiting the release of the new book. The buildup seems to have further increased people’s craze for the book. A lot of people have made bookings in advance to flaunt these in their drawing rooms. People just seem to want to posess it,” said Anita Sharma, a resident. The price of Rs 975 is no deterrent to cash-rich Ludhianavis, she added.

Harry Potter banners can be seen outside most bookshops in the city these days. Not only the book, Harry Potter trump cards are also recording heavy sales.

“As soon as the book is released, stationery bearing pictures of various characters from the book is also expected to be introduced in the market. The entire city appears to be gripped by Potter mania.”

While Penguin Group, in its communication to distributors, had clarified that no copy was to be sold before 6.30 am, shopkeepers said they were expecting Potter lovers to turn up way before that.



Villagers educated on self-employment schemes
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 20
The fourth awareness camp of self-employment in Fatehgarh Sahib district was organised here today.

The camp was sponsored by the State Bank of Patiala. Such camps are helpful for the youth to opt any scheme of self-employment, said Alak Nanda Dayal, deputy commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib. She was the chief guest at the function. Earlier, three such camps were held in Sirhind, Khamano and Bassi Pathana. The last district-level camp would be held at the Khera block headquarters on July 24, she said.

Additional deputy commissioner Balwant Singh Shergill said timely guidance would be provided to the entrepreneur by the administration whenever required.



MC: Race for ticket picks up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 20
With the Election Commission notifying the date for municipal corporation elections in the state, political activity has picked up in the city with all major parties intensifying their efforts to win it.

The parties have started meeting ticket seekers as the nominations will be filed between July 27 and July 31.

The process for finalising the candidates has started as the Congress, SAD and the BJP have already invited applications from the contenders. The Congress has received at least 400 applications for 75 seats. President of the district Congress committee (urban) Jagmohan Sharma said candidates would be finalised within a day or two after holding meeting the aspirants.

The BJP has also received 300 to 400 applications so far.



Bus drivers block traffic
Our Correspondent

Samrala, July 20
Punjab Roadways drivers blocked the traffic in front of the local police station today. Traffic in charge ASI Balwinder Singh of the police station had challaned a driver of a roadways bus (PB 10 BX 5436) for misbehaving with cops, using pressure horn and for stopping it in the middle of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana highway. Convey of VVIPs and ministers usually ply on this highway resulting in heavy flow of the traffic.

It was due to the timely intervention of an SHO, a DSP, a few bus drivers, conductors and passengers that the guilty driver realized his mistake and the traffic was restored.

The DSP said “No private or roadways bus will be allowed to stop for more than 4 to 5 minutes. I have already written the Nagar Council chief for installing lights on the main chowk and directed traffic police to challan those who don’t stop their vehicles inside the bus stand.



‘Sangat darshan at Jama Masjid every month
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 20
Chief parliamentary secretary Harish Dhanda announced today that sangat darshan would be organised at the historic Jama Masjid to address the grievances of minorities on the monthly basis. All officers of the district administration will be present during the sangat darshan for the on-the-spot redressal of the grievances, he added.

Addressing the weekly Friday congregation at Jama Masjid, Dhanda said he would ensure that the next Id prayers were offered at the Idgah itself.

Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman thanked Dhanda for showing concern about the problems faced by the minorities, especially Muslims.



Gang of thieves busted
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 20
The local police today claimed to have busted a gang of thieves with the arrest of five persons. They were involved in the theft of wire from transformers.

According to SSP (rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, a police party comprising Kaunke Kalan police post in charge Rajinderpal Singh and other officials set up a checkpoint near a bridge drain on the Kaunke Kalan road.



Youth’s body found
Our Correspondent

Khamano, July 20
The body of an unidentified youth was found from a canal, near here, this morning.

According to the police, the youth was apparently between 25 and 30 years of age and wore a pair of pants and shirt.

A tattoo of a scorpio was found on the left arm and “Veenu” inscribed on the right shoulder of the youth.

The body, which was trapped under a bridge near Garcha colony, was noticed by a passerby, who informed the police.



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