L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Day 2
Dalits hold protests
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

The police deployed in strength in Ludhiana on Wednesday.
The police deployed in strength in Ludhiana on Wednesday. — Tribune photographs

Ludhiana, August 29
Caste tension in Gohana continued to have repercussions in the city with various Dalits organisations staging demonstrations and burning effigies of the Haryana government here today.

The protests remained peaceful with the police keeping a watch on the demonstrators. The anti-riot squad was deployed at various places. The Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj, Bhavadhas, organised a meeting-cum-demonstration at Jawahar Nagar camp, seeking sacking of the Hooda government. They also staged a protest at the mini secretariat.

The Aadhi Dharm Samaaj, Aadhs Bharat, held a separate demonstration outside the DC’s office in protest against the murder of a Dalit in Gohana.

In Amarpura, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Naujwan Sabha organised a meeting condemning the alleged police failure to nab the killers of Dalit youth Rakesh Lara. They also threatened to intensify the agitation if Haryana failed to ensure their safety. Meanwhile, the city police has booked 20 to 25 youths for damaging a bus of the Haryana Roadways, near Dholewal Chowk, yesterday. The youths were protesting against the killing of a Dalit youth in Gohana.

The police said the accused booked under various sections of the IPC on the complaint of Mahinder Singh, driver of the ill-fated bus, would be later booked by name once their identity was established.



More firms under IT scrutiny
Coloniser surrenders 1.3 cr concealed income
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 29
Even as the Income Tax department began the survey of five business premises of textile units and a couple of dyeing and processing units at Focal Point here this morning, city real estate developer R.K. Colonsiers has voluntarily surrendered a concealed income of Rs 1.3 crore.

The surrender is the outcome of the surveys conducted on at least six colonisers and real estate developers in the city last Friday and Saturday under joint commissioner Rajeshwar Yadav.

MGH Housing and Anshul Housing has already made a disclosure of Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 1 crore, respectively. In all, the IT surveys on realtors has yielded a total concealed income of Rs 3.8 crore so far.

Sources in the department told Ludhiana Tribune that teams of IT officials from Range I descended on the business premises of three units engaged in textile manufacturing, dyeing and processing at Focal Point area this morning.

Five separate teams, comprising 36 officials, were deployed for thorough inspection of books of accounts, computer data, bank records, figures pertaining to sale and purchase, stocks of raw material and finished goods. Partners, directors and other key functionaries of these firms were intensively questioned on financial transactions.

The survey operations were continuing till filing of this report. 



Sister gifts kidney on Rakhi
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 29
The festival of Rakhi was given a new meaning by 60-year-old Jaswant Kaur who donated a kidney to her brother Gurdeep Singh(54) at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here yesterday.

According to Dr B.S. Aulakh, professor and head of the transplant unit at DMCH, who led the team of doctors for the kidney transplant, Gurdeep Singh was diagnosed to be suffering from chronic renal failure.

Jaswant Kaur volunteered to donate her kidney to save the life of her brother.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Aman, daughter of Gurdeep Singh, said the bond between her father and his sister had always been strong. 



SSP orders probe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 29
The city SSP today ordered a high level probe into the alleged biased treatment toward under-trials at the Bakshi Khanna at district courts following a Tribune report that a political leader was given preferential treatment.

SSP R.K. Jaiswal said many heads would roll following the inquiry as the photographs spoke for themselves.

However, he said as per the procedure the accused policemen would be given a chance to explain the circumstances under which under-trial Kuldeep Singh Khalsa was given a separate room from the other under-trials.

SP, headquarters, Snehdeep Sharma has been asked to conduct the inquiry and submit report at the earliest.

Photographs with The Tribune show Khalsa sitting in a room adjoining the Bakshi Khanna. He is facing trial in an attempt to murder case.

Unlike the other under trials, seen in an over crowded room, he was kept in far better room. The room was actually meant for the cops on security duty at the Bakshi Khana.

The glaring violation of rules came to light in a chance photograph clicked after a clash between policemen and an under-trial Tarlochan Singh.



Speaking Out
Petrol Rate Hike
It will further burden aam aadmi

The hike in petrol and diesel rates has left city residents unhappy. Petroleum dealers, too, are a dismayed lot. They say the measure would have a negative impact in the long run on the state's economy, writes Shveta Pathak

The decision will hit the common man with rise in inflation. Residents, who are already paying heavy taxes, will suffer further. Already the rates are the highest in Punjab. When we go to other states, our effort is to get petrol filled from there.

— Satish Gupta

After each rise in petrol rates, manufacturers and traders instantly increase rates of essential commodities. For the middle, it becomes tough to sustain within their budget. The measure will mean more hardship for the aam aadmi

— Sarika Sharma

The government's contention that the hike will lead to a rise in revenue holds little weight. The petrol rate is already high in Punjab. It will now have an adverse effect on trade in the state as demand would shift to neighbouring states

— Ashok Sachdeva



State of Rural Education
Badal wants religious heads to chip in
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Jagraon (Ludhiana), August 29
Virtually admitting the failure of the state to provide quality education to rural students, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today rued the state of education in rural areas and appealed to religious organisations and their heads to step forward to fill the gap.

He said the standard of education in rural areas was deteriorating and rural students were being deprived of equal opportunity to compete with others.

The Chief Minister was addressing a religious congregation organised to observe the 64th death anniversary of Sant Baba Nand Singh at Nanaksar Kaleran here today. Thousands of followers of the saint from all parts of the state participated in the function.

Expressing concern over the deterioration in the standard of education in rural areas, he said a large number of youth were being deprived of the opportunity of quality education to compete with the youth educated from urban public schools.

He said in the absence of a congenial environment for quality education, youths were succumbing to drugs and intoxicants, which ultimately ruined their lives.

The Chief Minister said heads of religious “sampradas” (he avoided the word dera) in rural areas were commanding substantial influence and respect in the hearts of the people.

He called upon the organisations and their heads to come forward to set up quality educational institutions in rural areas.

Badal said priority was being accorded to ensure free education to intelligent poor students under Adarsh School Scheme. He said three senior secondary schools in each assembly constituency were being provided with latest techniques to impart vocational training to rural students to enable them to get jobs in the industry or start their own ventures.

Paying tributes to Sant Baba Nand Singh, Badal said he was a great saint who preached Gurbani and motivated a large number of Sikhs to get baptised and serve humanity.

He said the followers of the saint were serving the needy people and spreading the mission of the Gurus all over the world.

Among others present on the occasion were Badal’s wife Surinder Kaur Badal, Mahesh Inder Singh, Gurdeep Singh Bhaini, local MLA, Bhag Singh Malha, former MLA, Sant Baba Lakha Singh, Sant Baba Harbhajan Singh, Sant Baba Gurcharan Singh, Sant Baba Ghala Singh, Harsurinder Singh Gill, Satpal Singh, Gurcharan Singh, president, Sikh Students Federation, and Gurcharan Singh Galib, former MP.



Unfair (Punjab) Trade (Centre) Practices
Hosts marriage parties, forgets industrial events
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 29
The Punjab Trade Centre, located at Millarganj, was set up to host industrial events and activities related to industrial development. However, it is actually being utilised as just another marriage palace.

The centre has being hosting social functions like wedding parties and this misuse of the premises has caused a lot of resentment among the industrial circles for the traders have to arrange other places to hold their events. The industry has also demanded an enquiry into the matter.

The centre’s foundation was laid nearly three decades ago and industrial meetings used to be held here. Under a scheme of the union government, the centre - spread over an area of nearly 14,000 sq feet - was given to the Apparel Exporters’ Association of Ludhiana (APPEAL) on a 10-year lease at Re 1 per sq foot for hosting industrial exhibitions and promotion of exports. A tripartite agreement was signed between the director of Industries and Commerce, the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) and the APPEAL.

For the last three years, however, the centre has not hosted too many functions catering to the industry.

“It is shocking that they are renting out the place for holding marriage parties and other social events. While they are paying Rs 13,875 on an annual basis, the place is being let out at a much higher rate for these functions. What is worse is that even the members of the industry have to pay a higher price for conducting an event here,” claimed president, Ludhiana Electroplaters’ Association, Joginder Kumar.

He also alleged that the APPEAL has sub-let the centre to a private party, which is against rules. They said if they are to host their seminar, the private party asks for Rs 5,000 per event. Last week, director of Industries V.K. Janjuah visited the centre to look into the matter.

Currently, Rs 13,000 is charged for the halls, while Rs 10,000 is taken for the outdoor space, per event. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, officials said the centre was not meant for such activities and the matter was being looked into.

President of APPEAL, Sanjeev Gupta termed the allegations as baseless. “There is no violation of the agreement. We do let out the premises for industrial activities, and when it is free, for social events also. Letting out is essential as we need revenue for the maintenance of the building.”



Malls give building bylaws the go-by
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 29
The shopping complexes located on Ferozepur Road are either not properly utilizing the basements, which are meant for parking, or are misusing them as banquet halls or for other commercial activities. This has led to an increase in traffic congestion on the four-lane road.

Photographic evidence available with The Tribune, which was acquired from police files, the basements, which are meant for parking as per the building bylaws, are being misused. For instance, the Vishal Mega Mart has not been using the basement in the parking space as the approach lift has been out of order for several months now.

Similarly, Khushi Ram and Sons has nonchalantly converted its basement into a banquet hall. The violation could be seen from the road in front of the complex itself.

Despite all this, the Municipal Corporation (MC) continues to be a mute spectator and the residents have to suffer the traffic chaos on the already busy Ferozepur Road.

What makes the matter worse is that both the complexes are using the area meant for service lane outside the buildings for parking purposes. As this area is insufficient keeping in view the number of vehicles, they are often parked on the main road.

Police officials say even though they have specially mentioned all the violations in a survey report, they are helpless in the matter. This, they add is because the MC issues the No-Objection Certificates and it is up to the civic body to take action.

Senior town planner Balkar Singh Brar was not available for comments. Joint commissioner Ashok Bajaj was also unavailable.

Talking on the condition of anonymity, a senior MC official said it was not only these two complexes that were violating the norms, but most of the buildings were known for not providing parking in the basement. He said Vishal Mega Mart had further encroached upon the service lane by setting up a food street on it. He said the MC had removed these kiosks, but they returned soon after.

“These complexes are not providing the parking space to their customers. That is why the Ferozepur Road, which is otherwise the widest road of the city, is fast becoming a traffic bottleneck. The condition is horrible on the weekends when the stretch witnesses traffic jams all the time,” he added. 



Two accused held 3 years after murder
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 29
Two of the five persons who were declared proclaimed offenders in a murder case registered at Sudhar police station three years ago were arrested by a police party two days ago.

The main accused, in connivance with the others, had reportedly murdered his wife at Akalgarh village on August 28, 2004. All the accused had been absconding since then and were declared PO by the trial court.

Anil Sahni (son of Jagdish Sahni) and Ranjit Sahni (son of Sohan Sahni of Dubghati village, Hajipur police station in Vaishali district of Bihar) were arrested from their native village by a police party, led by ASI Sukhbir Singh.

Ludhiana (Rural) SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said the arrested POs along with Babita Devi (sister of the main accused), Dinesh Sahney and Shatrugan had allegedly strangulated Ranju Devi at Akalgarh village three years ago. Before the police got information about the murder, Anil Sahney and the others fled from the area. All efforts to nab them proved futile.

Investigations revealed that the accused, after committing crime, had gone to their native state. Before the police could reach them, they shifted their workplace to Gonda and Chandigarh. However, police’s persistent efforts ultimately led to the arrest of two accused while other three are still at large.

Disharmony between the couple was reported to be the reason of the murder.



Majlis Ahrar condemns terrorism
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 29
The All India Majlis Ahrar has condemned the use of religion for terrorist activities. The president of the Majlis and the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, Ludhiana, Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi said the terrorists had no religion and they deserved no sympathy.

Condemning the recent blasts in Hyderabad, he said the guilty must be exposed and brought to the book.

He also sought the resignation of the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister for the failure of his government to safeguard the life of the people.

He said the persons who were behind these blasts apparently wanted to disturb the peace and communal harmony. He appealed the people to beware of such persons and not get provoked. 



40 wagons of fodder sent to Bihar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 29
Following directions from the Punjab government, one more goods train comprising 40 wagons loaded with wheat straw (toori) was dispatched from the Sahnewal railway station to the Lehria railway station in Darbhanga district of Bihar as fodder relief for the cattle of flood-affected people.

Sumer Singh Gurjer, deputy commissioner, informed that the directions were given by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

He said the wheat straw was contributed by farmers of Ludhiana, Ropar, Sangrur, Patiala, Amritsar, Barnala and Bathinda districts.



Book on legal practice in India, Germany released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana August 29
Harpreet Sandhu, a local lawyer and former additional advocate general of Punjab, has brought out a book, “Law Functioning in Germany and India: a comparative perspective”. The book was released in Germany recently by Gunter Hirsch, president of the Federal Court of Justice, Germany.

Sandhu told The Tribune, “The book has touched various aspects of the criminal appeals and courts’ functioning in Germany and India. It carries extensive interviews with the legal experts of the two countries to bring out comparative perspective of the two legal systems.

He said the book would provide to the reader a glimpse of “vibrant, constitutional legal working and multi-faceted relationship that can exist between Germany and India in the mutual interest of law”.

He disclosed there was a growing interest about India world over, particularly the West, and the book was an attempt to bridge the legal gap and make people aware there about the legal system in India in comparison to theirs.



Society elects office-bearers

Ludhiana, August 29
The elections for the office-bearers of the Basant Avenue Residents Welfare Society, Ludhiana were held here on Wednesday at the Shivji Park under the supervision of Narinder Kumar Sharma.

Gurdip Singh Dua was elected unopposed as the president along with his team. Karnail Singh as the senior vice president, M L Bajaj as the vice president, Bahadur Singh Thind as the general secretary,AM Mohi as the secretary and Kapil Jindal as the joint secretary.

J S Bhamber was elected as the cashier with overwhelming majority of votes.

Gurdip Singh Dua, elected president, thanked all the voters for their support and congratulated them for peaceful and orderly conduct of the elections. — OC




Check traffic violators

A majority of the showrooms located in prime commercial areas like Mall Road, Malhar Road, Dugri Road, Old G.T. Road, Cinema Road and Ferozepur Road have gobbled up parking space in the city. There are traffic bottlenecks everywhere in the city. Owners of showrooms do not seem to bothered about the rules and regulations.

Even officials entrusted with the task of keeping a check on such violations appear to be least bothered.

The situation gets worse particularly during peak hours one has to wait for a long time to move across busy roads and intersections. People, on their part, have little or no traffic sense and park their vehicles in front of showrooms or malls without caring for the convenience of other road users. Teeangers are the biggest offenders.

Law should be equal for all citizens. If the municipal staff can remove rehris and articles of roadside vendors for alleged encroachment, the same treatment should be meted out to traffic violators.

Manjit Singh Mehram, 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.



33 buffaloes killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 29
At least 33 buffaloes were killed and 30 others injured in a road accident in the wee hours today when the driver of the truck they were being transported in, allegedly for slaughter, took a steep turn on the Gurthali bridge near Doraha.

The incident occurred when Rashid of Saharanpur, the driver of the truck (HR 38 M 9825), who was taking these buffaloes from Faridabad to Saharanpur, took a steep turn at the Gurthali bridge as a result of which he lost control and the “suffocatingly stuffed” buffaloes got tossed around. Most of the buffaloes were stifled to death. Two of them reportedly drowned.

The number of buffaloes in the truck was six times than its capacity.

A team of veterinary doctors, comprising Y.P. Singh, Gagandeep Kaushal, G.S.Mand and R.K.Verma, who reached the spot, said six of the injured buffaloes had been permanently disabled.

Doraha police post in charge Amar Nath, along with a police party, reached the spot and arrested the driver and the other person with him and booked them under Sections 279 and 429 of the IPC and Sections 3 and 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.



Man booked for cheating court
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 29
Evading appearance in a court on the basis of an alleged fake medical certificate proved costly for a resident of Barrewal here, who was booked on the directions of the judge for cheating the court.

JMIC Sanjiv Jossan told the police to book Surinder of Pushpa Vihar, Barrewal, for showing a fake medical certificate to avoid appearing in the court regarding a case.



Power cuts cripple over 700 industrial units
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 29
Over 700 units in Industrial Estate and Industrial Area B, being supplied power from 66 KVA sub station of Dholewal, are suffering due to unscheduled power cuts. Industrialists in these areas maintain that undeclared cuts ranging between 30 minutes and four hours are imposed several times in a day resulting in loss of production and wastage.

“This sub-station is managed by the BBMB. We have been repeatedly requesting the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to take up the issue and resolve our problem but nothing has been done in this regard,” said Joginder Kumar of Ludhiana Electroplaters Association.

According to industrialists unscheduled cuts in these areas are imposed in addition to the weekly off. Of the eight hours that a unit works, three to four hours are wasted due to cuts, they said.

Even as power supply has not been a problem issue this year in most other areas, industrialists say that hundreds of units in Industrial Estate and Industrial Area B had to suffer despite good supply in other parts of the city.

“We have to incur expenses like labour and other fixed costs. A cut that is not scheduled results in major losses to industry and renders it uncompetitive.” Units in these areas are from various industries like cycle parts, auto parts, fasteners and forging.

Industrialists also said despite heavy concentration of industrial units, the feeder was not declared as industrial which was also a cause of problem.

PSEB officials, said the problem was not as severe as was being projected. “In case of emergency only BBMB resorts to a cut. Power supply has been more or less regular this time. There is no major problem,” an official said.



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