L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Power to polluting unit cut
A common man wins fight
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 24
With the administration's order to cut the electricity connection of a cycle handle polish unit at Dashmesh Nagar, residents have heaved a sigh of relief. The unit was reportedly generating poisonous gases for the past several years.

The credit of closing down the unit goes to Rama Shanker Gupta and his wife who had been trying very hard to get the unit closed.

Workers at the unit would use the skin of pigs for polishing. They allegedly burnt the skin along with other chemicals which emitted a foul smell and thick smoke throughout the day.

Rama Shanker had been told by his doctor to change the house as he was suffering from prolonged cough.

He took his case at the sangat darshan programme organised by the deputy commissioner. The case was first heard on April 17 and the administration after consulting the pollution control board, today ordered that the power connection of the unit should be cut.

The story of the polluting unit was carried by Ludhiana Tribune on May 1, 2007. Rama Shanker said it was not easy as he had to follow up the case even in Patiala. “I had faith that I will get justice at last. I did not miss a single sangat darshan in the past three months. The owner of the unit used to grease palms of officials who came for inquiries. But truth prevailed. I feel that I have won a great battle today,” he said.

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Police came, saw and left
Body lay on road for over 12 hrs
Jupinderjit Singh
TNS

Ludhiana, July 24
An unidentified person lay dead on the roadside near the Durga temple, Sarabha Nagar, throughout last night, exposing the callous attitude of the Ludhiana police.

The police left the body so that the man could be identified by shopkeepers or persons visiting the market in the morning — S.S. Dhindsa (DSP)

The body of the man, around 50-year-old, kept lying uncovered on the ground and no effort was made to shift it to the morgue. His bicycle and tools lay beside him. He was found dead by some shopkeepers in the market at around 10.30 pm. The body was taken away only after 11 am, more than 12 hours after it was spotted.

The shopkeepers informed the police and a team reached the spot around midnight. However, the body continued to lie unguarded amid stray dogs. Later employees of a PSEB complaint centre sat near the body at night.

The police believed the man was a carpenter as he was carrying his tools in a box. The box had “Mandeep Singh” etched on it, suggesting that it could be his name.

Residents of the area said the callousness of the police was shocking. It had not even bothered to cover the body. “What if the body was mauled by stray dogs? The body kept lying on the road and the police did not care. It is shameful,” a resident said. 

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PAU about-turn
Post of dean to be advertised again
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
The board of management of the PAU has not approved the selection of Dr Neelam Kaur Grewal as dean, College of Home Sciences. The board, which met in Mohali today, has decided to advertise the post again “without any prejudice towards the merit of any of the candidates who had applied”.

It, however, approved all other appointments, including that of Dr S.K. Mann as dean postgraduate studies.

The meeting was presided over by the vice-chancellor, Dr Manjit Singh Kang. Some board members raised the issue of selection and wanted that the post be advertised again. This was despite the fact that the interview panel for the selection of deans comprised four vice-chancellors and a former director, research.

The board has also approved the intellectual property right policy of the university. Under the revised policy, university scientists and teachers can accept a maximum remuneration up to Rs 1 lakh per year for various projects. If the remuneration is more, they can submit the project to the board for approval. Earlier, the teachers could accept a maximum consultancy fee of only Rs 24,000 a year.

The board has also revised the scales of deans and directors. These would be implemented after some objections raised by the auditors are sorted out.

It also took up some appeals. These included that of Satish Kumar, a former secretary to the VC. Although the decision was taken, it has been withheld till formal orders are issued.

The board rejected an appeal by a former dean, College of Home Sciences, who had sought premature retirement for re-employment. The board deferred a decision on the appeals of S.K. Tiwari and Gurpeet Kaur. 

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Landscaping officer caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
A team of the vigilance bureau today caught a landscaping officer of the MC when he was allegedly taking bribe from an advertiser.

SSP Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu said Surinder Kumar had threatened the complainant Nirwair Singh, assistant manager with an advertising company, with cancelling the company contract if he was not paid Rs 35,000.

The complainant approached the vigilance against the officer, alleging that he was being forced to pay the money. The vigilance team laid a trap and caught him while taking a bribe of Rs 25,000.

The accused later claimed that he was innocent and had taken the money to plant saplings as per the contract of the company with the MC. As per the contract, the company took care of the green belt in the city, besides advertising.

Vigilance officials said the officer had no power to take money. He has been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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MC Poll
Candidates keep fingers crossed
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
With all major parties prolonging the process of finalising the list of contestants, candidates are keeping their fingers crossed.

The BJP is likely to finalise the list tomorrow in Chandigarh. The SAD has also not finalised the list so far. The selection panel of the Congress met here yesterday but the meeting remained inconclusive. Panel members were busy getting feedback from workers and leaders about prospective candidates. Most of them remained inaccessible to avoid ticket aspirants. However, due to the huge rush of ticket aspirants and their supporters, the meeting venue proved to be too small. As a result, the selection panel members decided to hold meetings at an undisclosed place.

One of the panel members admitted that it was going to be a tough task. There were serious contenders in quite a number of wards. “It is really a difficult choice to make,” the member No decision on candidates yet revealed, adding that “there are some applicants whose biodata is impressive.” But again, he pointed out, only one candidate could contest and the others would have to withdraw.

He said this was not the problem of the Congress alone. All mainstream parties were faced with a similar problem. He claimed that there would not be any rebels from the Congress as the applicants had pledged to go by the decision of the high command.

It was all quiet in the SAD and the BJP camps today. The SAD aspirants are busy lobbying with senior leaders. The SAD has a representative panel of several members, including legislators and leaders, headed by party general secretary Balwinder Singh Bhunder. The ultimate decision would be left with leaders, including the Chief Minister and the acting president Sukhbir Badal.

The BJP will hold a meeting tomorrow in Chandigarh. Although the preliminary list of candidates has been finalised, it is likely to be released formally from Chandigarh tomorrow. 

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'Indian economic problems are those of a developed nation'
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
The problems Indian economy is facing now are the ones faced by developed countries and not developing nations. Strengthening of the Rupee, followed by economic measures like increase in interest rates, has not had an impact that would last long.

Expressing these views chief commissioner of income tax, Ludhiana, Mandeep S. Rai, said while addressing a gathering at the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) here last evening that India would have to focus on developing its non-agricultural sources of income more if it was to tackle its ongoing problems.

Rai, who delivered a talk on 'India - On the Threshold to Take Off' asserted that to deal with problems, a focused approach was critical.

Among other issues, we need to give a thought as to whether the shadow of 'nihilism', which is lack of belief in values, is troubling us. “The problem has plagued the West. Luckily Indians are more religious and our religions teach us values like charity and honesty. However, at the same time the fact that many people have started debating these values is not a good sign. We do not have to emulate the West in what is definitely negative.”

Talking about Indian immigrants, he said, they would play a greater role in economic development across the globe in the coming years. Owing to a meagre 1.5 per cent population growth in Europe and low population growth in other nations, which would result in decline in number of people in these places, Indians, with high availability of skilled manpower would play a significant role, he added.

The economy, growing at a consistent 8-9 per cent, will become the third largest economy by year 2025, he said, adding that an equal focus on rural growth was required.

He also interacted with students of business studies. Responding to a query on the taxation system of India, he said it would ultimately encourage voluntary compliance. “The kind of technologies that are being adopted and the changes in attitude are bound to encourage voluntary compliance. The day is not far when people would not hesitate to interact with officials from this department,” he said.

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Rehab centre raided; 62 inmates rescued
Owner among five arrested
Tribune News Service

Khanna, July 24
The Khanna police here today raided a drug de-addiction centre being run illegally by some individuals in Bahomajra village.

During the raid, that started at 7 in the morning, a team of police officials and the health staff found that there were 62 inmates lodged in the centre and the conditions in the centre were appalling.

The police arrested the owner of the centre, along with four employees. It was learnt that the owner was charging Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 from the inmates in the name of rehabilitation.

It had been alleged that the centre was being run without seeking any permission from the competent authority. Besides, some of the inmates alleged that they had been kept in confinement and were subjected to inhuman treatment.

Those arrested included Sarabjit Singh, owner, Jagtar Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Ajay Pal and Yogesh Bhardwaj. The police stated that the four had been booked under various sections of the IPC and a case had been registered against them at the Sadar police station.

The raid was carried out by a team comprising SP, DSP and station house officers of the Sadar and the city police stations, along with the local senior medical officer.

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Letters
Enforce parking rules

The increase in number of vehicles in Ludhiana has not been accompanied by an increase in the length of roads here. This, along with lack of parking etiquette, often leads to roads getting extremely congested. The traders and shopkeepers also contribute to this by parking their own vehicles in front of their establishments and encouraging their customers to do so too.

The traffic police and the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation should penalise such violators of parking rules. These violators lead to traffic jams causing wastage of fuel and time. This is criminal negligence and nobody, much less the administration, seems to be bothered about it. We need corrective measures at the earliest.

Gurdeep Singh, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.

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Granthi abducted woman: Cops
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 24
A granthi of Gurdwara Wairoanna at Ghuman Village in the district, who, along with his 'wife' and children was injured during an attack by unidentified miscreants on the night of July 12, turned out to be a Dalit agricultural labourer of Boparia village in Kapurthala district who had allegedly abducted his employer’s wife about 13 years ago.

Meanwhile, Sudhar police, following death of the granthi’s wife, Jaspreet Kaur, now identified as Paramvir Kaur Pammi, has incorporated Section 302 in an FIR registered under Sections 459, 148 and 149 of IPC. Paramvir Kaur succumbed to her injuries at Dyanand Hospital at Ludhiana yesterday evening.

A similar incident had happened at the house of in-laws of granthi's sister Kulwinder, who also had a marital dispute with her husband and used to live at Ghuman village. The police is now working on the theory that personal enmity and not robbery was the cause of the attack.

According to SSP, Ludhiana (Rural), Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, a Dalit of Boparai village in Kapurthala district, Balvir Singh Bira, who had been living as granthi at Gurdwara Wairoanna at Ghuman village for a long time and was injured seriously by a group of miscreants on the night of July 12, had abducted his employer’s wife at Sidhwan village about 13 years ago.

Referring to information received from DSP Raikot, Narinder Singh Ruby, Bhullar said the investigating team had become suspicious after the victims gave contradictory statements.

“Ultimately the granthi's niece, Amandeep Kaur, disclosed that his real name was Balbir Singh and not Surinder Singh as said earlier. When he was working as agricultural labourer with a farmer of Sidhwan village he developed illicit relations with his employer’s wife Paramvir Kaur. Later he abducted her and started living as a granthi at religious places in Majha and Malwa,” said Bhullar adding the in-laws took no action against them as Paramvir was issueless and they wanted to get rid of her.

The police does not rule out involvement of the legitimate in-laws of Paramvir as a piece of land measuring 4 acres had been transferred in her name according to extant rules. Though Paramvir's husband had got married to a girl later and the couple was happily settled abroad, he had not divorced his first wife.

While the police was yet to establish facts, it was reported that a similar incident had occurred at the residence of in-laws of the deceased the next day.

The police had earlier booked unknown persons for robbing a gurdwara at Ghuman village after assaulting four persons including the granthi and his wife on the night of July 12. Condition of the granthi and his 'wife' was stated to be serious and she later succumbed to her injuries.

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Man booked for killing cat
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 24
Inderjit Singh of Galib Khurd allegedly shot dead the pet cat of Sukhminder Kaur of his village with a .12 bore rifle. Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under sections 429, 201 IPC at the instance of Sukhminder Kaur. No arrest has been made so far.

One hurt in mishap

Manjit Singh of Kanian Hussaini was injured near Sidhwan Bet when his scooter bearing registration number PB-25-C-1658 was hit by motorcycle bearing registration number PB-25-3237 driven by Gurjit Singh of Giddarbindi. Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case against the Gurjit Singh. The injured man has been admitted in the local civil hospital. No arrest has been made so far.

2 booked for theft

Raikot police has booked two men on the charge of committing theft. According to information, Amarjit Sharma alias Babbu and Manveer Singh alias Manna of Jhorran allegedly stole identity card and photos from Tehsil Court Campus, Raikot, and tried to use these for getting mobile connections.

However, these were found to have been fabricated and forged. No arrest has been made so far.

Snatching

Dharminder Singh and Davinder Singh of Kurar, Gaganpreet Singh of Sanghera, Harjinder Singh of Mehlan Khurd, Shinda of Kaire, Inderjit Singh and Balbir Singh of

Mehal Kalan and Lachhman Singh of Barnala forcibly snatched Rs 12,600 in cash and a gold ring from Bahal Singh of Kurar in the Barnala Chowk area of Raikot. Raikot police has registered a case under sections 382, 148, 149, 506 IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

2 booked for gambling

The local police has arrested Rajesh Kumar of Agwar Gujjran on the charge of gambling and the police recovered Rs 1,610 from him. Police also arrested Mandeep Singh of the village from the Sherpur Fatak area of Agwar Gujjran. They recovered Rs 810 from him. They were allegedly luring people to gamble. Cases under the Gambling Act have been registered.

Assaulted

Harbans Singh, Gurvel Singh and Sheep of Lakha allegedly assaulted Jaswinder Singh of their village with iron rod and sticks. The local police has registered a case under sections 341, 323, 294, 506, 34 IPC. The injured man has been admitted in the local civil hospital. Some dispute over right of way is said to be the cause. No arrest has been made so far. 

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Biz World
Hunt for young space tourist
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
UTV, along with Malaysia-based media company Astro Measat, has announced the launch of Brand Bindass, India's first leisure and entertainment brand.

To celebrate the launch of the brand, Bindass has also announced the launch of “Bindass Space Yatra”- a nationwide hunt for the 1st young Indian space tourist on RocketPlane XP. The lucky winner of the hunt will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel as a passenger on board RocketPlane XP, a commercial flight into space. 

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City investors making most of bullish market
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Investor community in the city is making the most of the bullish share market. Even as investment advisers continue to caution people, those involved in the market continue trading actively.

Ever since the BSE Sensex crossed the 12,000 mark, markets have been rife with speculation. However, as the market has scaled new heights, investors are expecting the trend to continue in the coming days.

"I find no reason to exit at this point of time and am focusing on buying good shares. Sensex, I feel, would not take very long to touch 18,000, which means that even if one makes investments now, the returns would be high," said Surjit Singh, an investor.

The journey from the 12,000 mark to 14,000 witnessed several ups and downs. “Earlier people were quite sceptical and feared that a downward move may take place. However, ever since share market touched 15,000 points, the overall mood is bullish and it looks like it would stay so for a long time to come,” said Gurpreet Singh, a bank employee.

Brokers said business had recorded a high ever since the bullish trend showed sustainability. “Fundamentals of economy are strong. Even strengthening of rupee vis-a-vis dollar did not hit the economy. Besides, most of the companies are showing good results that has made investors happy and business is also better,” said Sachin Kumar, a sub-broker.

Many investors said they were booking heavy profits. “The previous fluctuations had left me disappointed and I wasted no time in booking profits. However, I am still retaining a few blue chip shares as I am expecting them to rise further," another investor said.

Investment advisers, however, said people should not invest thoughtlessly. "In share market, it is long term investments that pay off. Investors should focus on buying good shares and must study the company that they are investing in. Relying on friends' advise or word of mouth is a wrong way to invest," said Ashwani Sharma, an investment adviser.

They said a correction, when the market had been continually rising, could not be ruled out and people must be careful about it.

Experts said that those who are unable to follow trends and study the market, should opt for other investment options like fixed deposits and mutual funds.

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Global realty firm to enter market
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
AIIR Middle East, organisers of Cityscape, a business-to-business real estate event brand, brings “Cityscape India” to India this November. The debut will take place from November 19-21, 2007.

Rohan Marwaha, group director for Cityscape, said, "The year has been a year of global expansion for the Cityscape brand".

He said India's FDI had climbed to a record-breaking $11.2 billion in 2006, a 155 per cent year-on-year increase. Reformed real estate investment regulations for NRIs and, more significantly, foreign investors have provided the impetus to drive the value of the Indian real estate market towards $50 billion by 2010.

"With the right economic environment now in place and the almost insatiable demand, there cannot be a better time for overseas investors and developers to enter the Indian real estate market and an ideal opportunity for us to launch Cityscape India".

Cityscape will provide a platform to enhance residential, retail and commercial property growth to an international audience, highlighting revolutionary development and unparalleled investment opportunities.

The firm will bring together regional and international investors, real estate developers, architects and designers, governmental authorities and senior professionals involved in the design and construction of public and private real estate 
developments.

In addition, the Cityscape India conference will address issues pertinent to the Indian real estate community and allow professionals to share the best practices.

The Cityscape India Real Estate Awards will also be launched to honour both existing and future projects within India.

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