L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Raids on premises of real estate developers
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Panic gripped the business community as the investigation wing of the income tax department, comprising teams from various places, conducted raids on official and residential premises of two real estate developers and dealers in Dugri and two industrial units in Focal Point here today.

Undisclosed income worth crores of rupees is expected to be detected in the raids, that were on till the filing of this report.

Sources said the department officials, accompanied by the police, raided more than 12 official and residential premises of Malhotra Land and Developers, real estate developers in Dugri, Sachdeva Property (Dugri), and Spelco Group and Suraj Industry, both in Focal Point.

The raids began around 8 am and were carried on by teams of officials from Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Sangrur.

Suspecting large amounts of undisclosed income and after going through the returns filed by the parties concerned, the department went ahead with the raids.

Sources said IT sleuths suspected heavy investment in property by these assessees during the property boom.

Despite property-related transactions, returns showed a relatively lower amount, which led to suspicion.

While account books, stock registers and property-related documents were seized, officials were investigating details pertaining to stock, cash, jewellery and bank accounts.

The raids, meanwhile, caused panic in the business community, particularly property dealers who fear similar action. “Most large assessees made heavy investments in property during the boom period. The raids have scared them,” an industrialist said.



MC hoodwinks HC on park upkeep
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

A park in the Industrial Area-B looks like a garbage dump.
A park in the Industrial Area-B looks like a garbage dump. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, September 11
Even as a number of parks in the city are gasping for breath, the MC has submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court that all parks are well maintained.

The MC claimed this in an affidavit submitted by joint commissioner B.K. Gupta during the hearing of a PIL filed by a city resident, S.S. Chana, praying for a direction to the MC that the park management committees should be given maintenance cost at the rate of Re 1 per sq yard.

This despite the fact that the district administration had done a survey of parks some time ago following a direction by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission.

As per the survey, out of 737 parks being maintained by the MC, 173 are being looked after by the Ludhiana improvement trust and 38 by PUDA. Most of these are in a shambles.

The case had come up for hearing yesterday. Showing the affidavit of the MC, an angry Chana said he was shocked at the false claims. He said officials tried to hoodwink the court even though he had submitted pictures of the parks to the MC.

Chana was asked by the HC to conduct a survey of the parks and prepare a detailed report about their state. In his report, Chana, after surveying 200 parks, had submitted that many parks were in dire straits. Those which were in good condition were being maintained by PMCs without any help from government agencies.

‘‘I had pointed out that many parks had been converted into garbage dumps and some were being used as dumps by certain commercial establishments running from near the parks,” he said.

Even the MC had encroached upon the park land in Sarabha Nagar and constructed houses of senior officials.

‘‘The MC has got another direction (regarding the payment at Re 1 per Sq yard) and commissioner Vikas Partap is saying that they would follow it as soon as they get a copy of the order,’’ he said.

As many as 128 PMCs had entered into an agreement with the MC to maintain 467 parks at the rate of Re 1 per sq metre. Later, during the Congress regime they were told that they would be paid 50 per cent of the gardener’s pay subject to a limit of Rs 1,000. Since the new terms were not acceptable, most PMCs abandoned the parks.

Only 40-50 PMCs continued to look after the parks by collecting funds from residents.



Rly cops beat 2 traders for ‘not paying bribe’
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 11
To protest against the alleged highhandedness of GRP cops, activists of various social, political and trade associations blocked railway traffic at the local railway station for more than one and a half hours today. The cops were accused of holding two local traders captive and thrashing them when they refused to pay a bribe for carrying goods in a train.

To impress upon the authorities to initiate action against the erring cops, shopkeepers and owners of other financial establishments observed a bandh after the incident.

However, the strike was called off when the circle officer, Malerkotla, intervened and got a case registered at the police post at the railway station in the afternoon.

Gobind Dhand and Rakesh Dhand were allegedly beaten up by GRP cops at the local railway station in the morning. While Rakesh was discharged after administering first-aid, Gobind was admitted to the civil hospital.

According to information received from Gurpreet Singh Walia, DSP Malerkotla, Rakesh Kumar Dhand had accused Amarjit Singh and his colleagues of manhandling him and his brother. They allegedly thrashed them later after holding them captive in a room at the station.

The incident occurred when Rakesh Kumar, who had brought certain goods in a train from Ludhiana, refused to pay Rs 200 as bribe to Amrit Pal Singh. "When I refused to pay the amount, he along with his associates started beating me. In the meantime, my brother Gobind reached the spot. The cops dragged him into the room and thrashed him."

The traders called off the strike after a case was registered against the erring cops at GRP post at the railway station.



MC Scam
Where did Rs 93.73 lakh go?
Bhushan Sood

Officials to pay up

Notices have been issued to all persons named in the letter to deposit the amount within a week

Mandi Gobindgarh, September 11
The additional director, local government, Punjab, has allegedly found irregularities to the tune of Rs 93.73 lakh in the setting up of a truck stand. In a letter dated September 6, he has directed the recovery of the amount from the officials concerned within a week.

Former executive officers Lachhman Singh Saini (now in Rajpura) and Jagir Singh Dhind (now in Mohali), municipal engineer Suneel Khosla, assistant engineer (retd) Rajinder Singh, SO Surinder Setia and SO Gurjant Singh have been asked to refund the amount.

The contractors, SK Builders, Gurjot Singh, Jagmohan Singh, Dharamveer and Shiv Kumar have been asked to refund Rs 51.87 lakh, Rs 14.96 lakh, Rs 9.51 lakh, Rs 5.08 lakh and Rs 1.14 lakh, respectively.

When contacted on the phone, EO Vinod Kumar Mehta said on September 7 notices had been issued to all persons named in the letter to deposit the amount within a week, failing which legal action would be taken.

Jagmeet Singh Sahota, MC president, refused to comment as he was not the president at that time. However, he said a complaint was presented to the Chief Minister by some persons on April 22 at the time of his visit to the town.

A contractor had questioned the authenticity of a one-sided inquiry conducted in their absence, moreover in a project of Rs 1.25 crore how was an embezzlement of Rs 94 lakh possible, he asked.



Burglary at IPS officer’s house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Burglars struck at the parental house of an under-training IPS officer Daljit Singh in Dugri, Phase-III, last night when his family was away to attend a function at the house of his brother, Paramjit Singh, a bank manager.

The burglars decamped with cash and jewellery worth nearly Rs 2 lakhs. The Model Town police has lodged a FIR. Finger print experts found some important clues from the crime site.



No fresh tax on people, says Badal
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 11
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, while addressing a press conference at Rampur village, has said that no fresh taxes, in any form, shall be levied on the people of the state.

“It has been felt that the Congress govt had literally tried to plunder the people by overburdening them to such an extent that they were forced to bring back the Akali government to power. We have kept our policies pro-public right from the beginning,” he asserted.

Parkash Singh Badal said that agriculture has greatly suffered in Punjab during the Congress regime and it is now upon the SAD (B) to restore the prosperity that was sadly denied to it in the past years.

He said, ”Our government, as in the past, shall give prime importance to the development of agriculture. It would be our first and foremost duty to give a large amount of bonus and fix good prices for the farmers produce so that they may get every opportunity to rise from the state of penury into which they had been cruelly driven during the previous rule.”

Asked if their would be an increase in electricity rates, he said that, if at all there is, it would be strictly according to the instructions of the regulatory committee and no arbitrary decision of the party shall be forced upon the people.

He further said that the Akali government shall come up to the expectations of the people and no poll promise shall remain a mere poll propaganda. “It shall be fulfilled at all costs, so that the people may get every chance to boast over the right decision of voting the Akalis to power,” he added.

Commenting upon the rise in price of diesel and petrol, Badal said that there has been virtually no increase in the rates. ”It is only the over-relaxation provided from our side that we had tried to re-balance.”

He further said that a thorough investigation shall be done regarding the embezzlements done by the Congress in the mega-projects undertaken by them during their regime and those found guilty would be punished. He, however, refused to comment upon the recent arrest of DGP Virk.

Badal had paid a special visit to the village to express his condolences over the recent demise of jathedar Tejindar Singh Rampur, a senior Akali activist.



MC employees give memo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Activists of the Municipal Karamchari Dal today submitted a memorandum of demands to the MC commissioner here today.

Led by Vir Laxman Dravid, president of the dal, and Ashwini Sahota, chief adviser, activists demanded that their demands should be accepted immediately.

They said many cases of employment on compassionate grounds were pending with the MC for some time. Many families of employees who had died in harness were waiting for adjustment of their children on compassionate grounds but their matter was being delayed.

They also said safai sewaks were awaiting promotions. Salaries of many safai sewaks had not been given for the past several months.



Major Bhupinder Singh remembered

Ludhiana, September 11
Cavalry Regiment, 4 Horse, today remembered heroes of the regiment who had displayed exemplary courage in wars, especially 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak conflicts, by conducting a wreath- laying ceremony at the memorial of Major Bhupinder Singh, MVC, here this morning.

The regiment is also celebrating its raising day. A cycle expedition which was flagged off from the regiment on September 6, also reached Ludhiana to attend the ceremony.

Col Hardeep Singh, commandant, said this week also marked the 42nd anniversary of the battle of Phillora, an epic tank battle during the 1965 war. — TNS



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