L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Five lockers of Malhotra Group sealed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
Income tax sleuths sealed five lockers of the Malhotra Group, real estate developers, during raids conducted by the investigation wing of the department here today.

The raids began yesterday and continued today. Raids are being conducted on official and residential premises of the Malhotra Group in Dugri, Model Town and several other places, and 12 others connected with them.

As many as 13 teams are conducting the raids. 

Rs 1 crore recovered

Ludhiana, September 12
Cash worth Rs 1.20 crore was recovered by the income tax department here today during the raids.

Sources revealed that so far Rs 1 crore had been recovered from Malhotra Land Developers while Rs 20 lakh had been recovered from other assessees. 

Photographer manhandled

Ludhiana, September 12
Vipin Kumar, a photographer with a leading Hindi daily, was allegedly manhandled by employees of Malhotra Land and Developers here.

He alleged that he was clicking pictures during the raid when they snatched his camera and took it inside the building.



Paying a price for love
Tribune News Service

Manuke (Jagraon), September 12
Boycotted by the panchayat for marrying against their parents’ wish, this couple is living under constant fear. The village had been awarded for creating awareness against AIDS. Once again it is in news, but this time for the wrong reasons. This time its panchayat has been accused of harassing and boycotting the couple, who preferred love over money.

The panchayat boycotted Jasbir Singh and Sandeep Kaur a few days ago when they got married in a court. The problem was that the boy belongs to a poor family while the girl comes from a rich family.

The Jagraon police had intervened in the matter and had directed the panchayat to ensure the safety of the couple, but all in vain. The village shops are closed for them and they had to install a separate water pump.

The police, acting on directions of the SSP (Ludhiana-rural) has warned leaders and the panchayat against the social boycott. The panchayat members could not be contacted despite efforts.

In an application to the SSP, the couple had apprehended threat to their lives.

The SSP had deputed the DSP (detective) to take action against the suspect within 10 days of the receipt of the application. The panchayat and other leaders, including parents of the girl, had reportedly assured that the couple would not be harassed any more.

“My parents considered it to be below their dignity to marry me in a poor family. They used every method to stop me from meeting Jasbir, who loves me a lot.” she said, alleging that last year they broke her limbs and gave her electric shock two months ago to force her to marry a man of their choice.

“Shopkeepers have stopped supplying articles to us and the water connection has been disconnected. We have installed a pump now,” Jasbir said, adding that they had stopped going out since they apprehended threat to their life.

The DSP (detective) said as the panchayat members had promised not to harass the couple no action had been taken against them.



Teachers court arrest
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 12
At least 21 teachers, including six women lecturers, from the colleges in the city, Hoshiarpur, Moga, Muktsar and Ferozpur, courted arrest today, as per the directions of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union.

Sukhwinder Singh from Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, Anil Singla and Kamal Kumar Sharma, both from A.S.College, Khanna, are among the 21 members, who courted arrest in the district. Office-bearers and teachers equal to the numbers of delegates from each unit from these districts took part in the agitation to boost the morale of those who courted arrest.

In order to press the government to fulfill their long-pending and genuine demands, these teachers held a huge agitation in front of the DPI (Colleges) at Chandigarh, today.

Most of the college teachers in Punjab and Chandigarh observed a strike after two-periods and staged dharnas. Also, as per the directions of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, the unit members of Doraha too observed a stay- in -strike after the second period, on the college premises, today.

The members pressed upon the government to fulfill their long-pending demands, including the restoration of full grants to the colleges, implementation of pension-cum- gratuity scheme, house rent allowance for the teachers of rural colleges, pay-parity for DPE’s and librarians etc.

The teachers of colleges affiliated to Panjab University, Punjabi University and Guru Nanak Dev University have been holding rallies for two-periods in front of principal’s office at regular intervals. Again on September and 26, teachers from various parts of the state shall court arrest in order to press upon the government to accept their genuine demands.

General secretary of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union Kuldip Singh said the union had succeeded to a great extent as the demands like 95 per cent restoration of grants to the colleges, lifting of ban on the posts, lecturer grade to DPE’s and librarians, house rent allowance to rural colleges and the release of arrears is being positively looked into by the government. “Also the possibility and the implementation of pension-cum-gratuity scheme in the near future have not been ruled out by the education minister”, he added. 



Excise dept hints at more raids
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
Dissatisfied with the revenue collection so far, the Excise and Taxation Department has decided to work with renewed vigour to attain collection targets this year.

A state-level meeting of the Confederation of Officers and Officials of the Excise and Taxation Department, Punjab, was held here today in which the officials discussed their performance and ways to improve it.

The revenue collection target for 2007-08, pegged at Rs 6,99 crore, is an increase of nearly 30 per cent over the last year. Participants at the meeting said that performance has not been satisfactory due to factors like insufficient infrastructure, staff shortage and non-core activities like election duties assigned to department officials.

Resolving to work with "a renewed vigour", they urged the government to fulfil their demands of supplying quality manpower, vehicles and a conducive work environment.

The confederation assured the government that it would bring tax evaders to book.

Among those who attended the meeting were J.S. Bassi, additional excise and taxation commissioner, Jarnail Singh, deputy excise and taxation commissioner, Ludhiana division, K.V.S. Sidhu, director operations, Punjab, M.S. Kundlas, AETC, Amrit Kaur Gill, AETC, and others.



Man gets life term for killing boy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 12
Additional sessions judge M.S. Virdi has sentenced Bimal Kumar, a resident of Preet Nagar, to life imprisonment for killing a 10-year-old boy, Mintu Kumar of Ajeet Nagar. A fine of Rs 10,000 was also imposed on the accused.

Delivering the verdict, the judge held that the prosecution had proved the guilt of the accused beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt.

Keeping in view the gravity of the offence, he said the accused did not deserve any leniency.

It was a blind murder case that was registered on the complaint of Subash Parshad, father of the boy.

The complainant had submitted to the police that his son was studying in class IV. Due to Basant Panchami, it was a holiday in the school and his son went with his mother at Punjab Textiles situated at Guru Hargobind Singh Nagar, where she was employed.

He started flying kites on the terrace of the factory. At about, 3 pm he left the place but did not return home.

Late in the night, his body was found wrapped in a plastic bag near Budha Nullah at Kashmir Nagar.

The police cracked the murder case in December 2003. The police said the accused used to work in the factory along with the mother of the victim and had an evil eye on her. But when she resented it, he thought of teaching her a lesson.

On the fateful day, he took the boy with him on the pretext of providing him with kites. He purchased the kites and gave them to him. In the evening, he took him to his house and strangled him.



Green award for power plant
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
The high-rate biomethanation power plant, which has been set up at Habowal Dairy Complex in Ludhiana by the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), has been awarded the "Best Green Power Plant in Asia " by Asian Power magazine.

According to T.P.S. Sidhu, chief executive, PEDA, this project was set up as a demonstration project with 50 per cent grant from the Ministry of New and Renewable Sources of Energy (MNRE), Government of India under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the balance project cost was borne by PEDA.

This project is the first of its kind in the country and based on state-of-the-art technology provided by Austria.

The project, based on cattle dung, was commissioned in November 2004 and since then has been operating successfully. The power generated from this project is being fed into the PSEB grid and the nutrient rich bio-manure produced is sold to farmers.

The award was received on behalf of PEDA by Balour Singh, joint director and M.P. Singh, senior manager (projects) in Bangkok at a special award-giving ceremony organised by the magazine.

According to Sidhu, PEDA has future plans to set up similar environment projects in the state and is also actively involved in setting up of micro hydro and biomass based plants along with co-generation and solar power projects in the state.

PEDA, he said, is also encouraging active private participation by private developers in the New and Renewable Sources of Energy (NRSE) sector by providing attractive power purchase tariffs and other fiscal incentives as per the state NRSE policy.



Ram Setu
VHP men block railway traffic
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 12
A large number of VHP workers, including former president of municipal council Baldev Krishan and president of the BJP local unit Rajinder Sharma under the leadership of Ram Setu Raksha Manch president Harvinder Bansal on Wednesday blocked the Jagraon-Ludhiana railway track from 7.50 a.m. to 8.35 a.m.

VHP workers did not allow the Ferozpur-Ludhiana bound train to move. When the train reached the Jagraon railway station, the workers blocked the rail traffic by sitting over the track thereby causing great hardship to the passengers.

The police present on the spot did not intervene. After 45 minutes, the workers withdrew the blockade and dispersed. 



Bhagat Singh’s birth centenary celebrations
Ensure foolproof security: DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
The deputy commissioner, Sumer Singh Gurjar, has directed the officers of concerned departments to ensure foolproof arrangements for the function being organised in the district, in connection with the celebrations of birth centenary of ‘Shaheed-e-Azam,’ Bhagat Singh, on September 27.

Youth club to stage play

Doraha, September 12
The Youth Club of Doraha will celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh from September 26 to 30.

Members of the club, who met under the presidentship of Joginder Singh Kirti, at K.K. Kaushal Memorial Bhawan, today decided to chalk out an elaborate programme on the occasion.

Elaborating on the programme, Barjinder Singh Jandu, a club member said that on September 27, Bhagat Singh’s statue would be decorated and garlanded. Residents shall also be asked to put decorative lights on their houses on that sacred day.

A ‘natak-mela’ on the martyr will be organised in the open theatre of Guru Nanak National College. — OC

Presiding over the meeting of officers at Bachat Bhawan here on Monday, the DC said as per the decision of the state level committee, the groups of 100 youth, wearing dresses in the style of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, holding ‘mashals’ in hands, would start from the places related to the martyrs in each district on September 27 and meet at Jalianwala Bagh, Amritsar, in the afternoon.

He said, in Ludhiana district, three such places have been selected i.e. ancestral house of Shaheed Sukhdev in Naughara ( Chaura Bazar), Sarabha ( native village of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha) and Bhaini Sahib. He said that at these three places, local level functions would be organised in the morning on September 27 involving all the political parties, freedom fighters and school children. Patriotic songs would be sung by the students in these functions.

After the functions, groups of 30 youth holding mashals would start from these places and reach the statues of the martys at the Jagroan Bridge, Ludhiana, from where the group of 100 youth would march for the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, via Humbran, Bet Sidhwan, Kishanpur, Makkhu, Harikey Pattan and Tarn Taran.

The DC directed the BDPOs and executive officers of the MCs to install hoardings, banners and welcome arcs at all the villages falling on the route. He said in each village, school students and people would accord warm welcome to the procession. He appealed the people to illuminate their houses on the nights of September 27 and 28. 



one-way traffic
Shopkeepers protest as customers stay away
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
While city residents and the traffic police had heaved a sigh of relief after the enforcement of one-way traffic in Ghumar Mandi, shopkeepers of National Road today downed their shutters in protest stating that their businesses had suffered losses as customers could not reach them.

Led by Harbhajan Singh, president of National Road Shopkeepers Association, as many as 150 shopkeepers closed their shops and opened them only after an assurance by Rupinder Singh, SP, Traffic, that he would provide them with some solution.

Satish Gupta, a shopkeeper, said that they were happy that the traffic scenario had improved in Ghumar Mandi. But their happiness was short lived as they noticed that not many customers reached their shops.

“There is no parking space on National Road. If anybody parked his vehicle, he was told by cops to take his car away. We are sitting idle,” rued Gupta.

The shopkeepers said that SP Traffic had assured them that they would provide a parking lot in the area.

The city police had recently enforced one-way traffic in Ghumar Mandi.



Mayor lists priorities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
The newly elected city mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura yesterday made it clear that the House would not spare any official dilly-dallying with public works in the city.

While listing his priorities after taking over office, Gyaspura said that the new House would not have to face funds crunch as the local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia and deputy speaker, Vidhan Sabha, Satpal Gosain had assured him that the local body would get funds for development.

“We are going to be accountable this time. The officials will take every complaint seriously and all public works would be cleared on first-come-first-serve basis,” he said.

The mayor said that they would wage a war against illegal hoardings and encroachments.

He assured to pay special attention to 32 wards falling in the rural assembly segment. He said all parts would get a sewer line and a road network.

All four zonal offices of the city would be computerised and interconnected.



High time to fight pollution: Expert

Ludhiana, September 12
The increasing level of environmental and water pollution is spoiling the health of the people. It is a pity that despite numerous legislations and enforcement agencies, the pollution level has assumed alarming levels. There is not a single system of human physiology that can be considered unaffected by its bad effects.

These observations were made in an extension lecture on "Environment and health", delivered by noted ayurveda scholar and physician Dr R. Vatsyayan at Government College for Boys here yesterday. — OC



Reckless driving

I want to draw the attention of concerned officials regarding reckless speed of four wheelers on the city roads.There is no speed limit, neither any speed sign put up on the road side. People look for the presence of traffic police on signals rather than watching traffic lights. Depending on the presence of traffic cops, one drives as per his or her will without caring for two wheelers and pedestrians. The traffic chaos gets more complex with speeding VIP vehicles, carrying red or blue lights atop them. Drivers of these vehicles never bother for any rules and regulations on the roads or convenience of public. For ordinary drivers, traversing through a congested road is virtually a nightmare. Slow moving vehicles like hand carts, mule carts on busy roads during peak hours further add to the woes of other road users. Will the administration do something to bring some order on the roads ?

Garish Gupta, 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.



Former home guard arrested
Tribune Reporters

Jagraon, September 12
The local police arrested a former home guard who raided the shops of the chemist in Kular village by impersonating himself as a cop and collected thousands of rupees. According to information, he used to come by bus to the village and had an eye on the medical stores and later started sending his friends to buy drugs from these medical stores. Once he visited a chemist shop and accused the chemist of selling drugs. He collected some medicines and threatened to take him to police station. The chemist requested for compromise and he collected thousands of rupees. Later, this became a routine affair. When he again reached the same medical store, the friends of the chemist suspected foul and informed the police at Chowkimaan.

Stolen vehicle recovered: The local police recovered a Tata-207 (No. PB-10BU-2739) allegedly snatched from Baljit Singh of Barewal Awana on August 24 this year. According to information, two unknown persons hired the vehicle and agreed to pay Rs 500 for going to Chak Kalan for fetching a machine. One of them instructed the driver to take the vehicle to Bhatha Dhuan as the workshop was locked and on the way back from Chak Kalan they fled with the vehicle leaving the driver behind. The Humbran police registered a case under Sections 379 and 420 of the IPC. Satnam Singh and Avtar Singh of Bhundri were later identified to be the accused. Satnam Singh was arrested last week who disclosed that along with his brother Avtar Singh, he had sold the vehicle to Shinder Singh of Bhagta Bhaika for Rs 80,000. The police recovered the stolen vehicle, however Shinder Singh managed to escape.

Electricity theft: Amar Singh of Jaladiwal allegedly interfered in the working of senior Karajkari engineer of Punjab State Electricity Board when he was found stealing electricity by using ‘kundi’. The Raikot police has registered a case under Section 186, 341, 353, 506 and 379 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far. 



Industrialists unhappy with excise dept

Ludhiana, September 12
Local industrialists are unhappy with the excise and taxation department for suspecting it for tax evasion. President of the knitwear Club said, “Hosiery units are detained at entry and exit points on the pretext of checking the goods. Such actions will lead to exodus of industry to other states.”

Industrialists who face problems at barriers said, “Goods supplied to chain stores at ex-factory prices having MRP tax are detained at different barriers and hosiery units are harassed by officials on the pretext that the goods are undervalued.”

They said the department needs to take action against “peti mafia” who indulge in tax pilferage “in connivance with the department”. “When enquired as to why an action was not taken against those engaged in such pilferage no satisfactory reasons were found”, Thapar said. They also demanded that the process of disposing off pending export refunds be speeded up. — TNS



Quality award for Swan Enterprises
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 12
New Swan Enterprises was given quality and productivity award by minister for heavy industries and public enterprises, Santosh Mohan Dev, at the annual session of the 47th Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India.

The company in a press note stated that the award was given to it for achieving a declining trend in number of customer complaints. In house rejections also got reduced by more than 50 per cent, the company added.

Selection of awards was done by a panel headed by Maruti Udyog MD Jagdish Khattar. 



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