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Manakwal farmer murder
Daughter-in-law did it: Police
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
The August 31 murder of an 80-year-old rich farmer of Manakwal village has turned out to be the handiwork of his daughter-in-law, who had allegedly hired two contract killers for the job.

The woman, Pritam Kaur, allegedly wanted to usurp the property of the old man. She allegedly plotted the murder by paying Rs 10 lakh to the two contract killers, who killed Swaran Singh and threw his body in fields.

The contract killers identified as Hardeep and Sony have been arrested, police sources revealed. The FIR has now been amended to book the two besides the daughter-in-law.

Police sources said the woman was desperate to take hold of the a few acres of property owned by Swaran Singh.

The badly mutilated body of Swaran Singh was found from his fields on August 31. His son had in a complaint filed with the police had stated that the day murder took place his father was alone at home as all others had gone to attend a wedding.

The police sources said the accused had already planned to strike on the fateful day. The needle of suspicion moved towards the family members after the police learnt there were grumbling about the ownership or division of property.

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Parties get ready for Chhapar mela
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
The alleged political vendetta unleashed by the SAD-BJP government on its leaders in the state is going to be main focus of the Congress at the Chhapar mela. The concluding function, when political parties hold separate rallies there, would be held on September 27. The rally is also being dedicated to the memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh whose birth centenary falls the next day.

A meeting of the district Congress committee, Ludhiana (rural), was held here today under the chairmanship of its president Bhalinder Singh. Party leaders from all over the district attended it. Bhalinder Singh said it would be one of the biggest rallies of the party. Kila Raipur MLA Jassi Khangura has been made in charge of the rallly, he added.

Since it falls within the jurisdiction of the Kila Raipur assembly segment, represented by Khangura, it is likely to be a show of strength by the legislator. Particularly when he has strong rivals in Garchas, who are also trying to organise a rally to be addressed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Both Congress as well as the Akalis is leaving no stone unturned to ensure maximum participation of people in their respective conferences. Since after elections it would be the first show of strength between the two rivals of the Kila Raipur assembly segment they are not taking any chances.

The DCC president said the SAD-BJP government had nothing to claim as their six month rule had proved to be an “absolute failure”. He observed that the government was not even ashamed of claiming credit for the achievements of the previous government.

On the other hand, he alleged that the SAD-BJP government had on numerous occasions victimised Congress leaders and workers for no fault of theirs. He alleged that the Akalis had set a bad precedent by implicating Congress leaders, workers and those who held important offices in the previous regime.

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Four scooter thieves in the net
Lure for easy money made jobless youths take to stealing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
They are a bunch of educated unemployed youths. They live life on daily basis only by stealing scooters. The vehicle sold at peanuts to scrap dealers fetches them money enough for a day or at the most two.

Four members of a gang of educated unemployed youths, led by their leader Gurpreet Singh, alias Ginni, a resident of Bhai Himmat Singh Nagar, Model Town, who happens to be a graduate are finally cooling their heals in police custody after allegedly stealing at least 40 scooters in the past six weeks alone.

SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh said the gang members had over the period of time developed expertise in stealing scooters. He opined that the youths primarily got into the crime due to unemployment but then, they seemed to be avoiding hard work to make easy living by stealing scooters.

The youths used to sell the stolen vehicle for about Rs 1,500 to 2000 to a selected scrap dealer only. The police refused to disclose the identity of the dealer but announced that he would soon be arrested. It has also claimed to have identified six other associates of the gang. They were suspected to be involved in other crimes as well.

Apart from Ginni, others who have been arrested have been identified as Jagtar Singh, alias Laala of Kamla Nagar, Model Town, Harjeet Singh of the same colony and Harchand Singh of Vishwakarma colony.

In charge of the special operation group-II SI Gurbinder Singh and his team arrested the accused from an unoccupied PUDA quarters in Phase-3, Urban Estate, yesterday night. Their fifth accomplice Ravi, a resident of white quarters near Dhurri line managed to escape.

Among those arrested Jagtar happens to be a matriculate while others have passed senior secondary level. Ginni is the only graduate among them. They all belonged to lower middle class families.

These youths were not drug addicts. Their motive behind stealing of scooters was to make money for a day. They mainly spent it on food, mobile phones and sometime on clothes.

The gang was primarily active in the city but had stolen a few scooters from Khanna as well. The SP (Detective) said they had during interrogation admitted that they had stolen 40 scooters from Feroze Gandhi Market, Janta Nagar, Sabzi Mandi, Atam Public School, Nehru Sidhant Kendra, Arti cinema, marriage palaces, Pakhowal road and Sabzi Mandi.

The police has managed to recover four scooters and 26 stepneys from the accused.

Firm staff robbed of Rs 97,000
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 22
Three motor cycle-borne youths robbed Rs 97,000 from two employees of Doraha-based Vijay Sugar Company near Rara Sahib village this afternoon.

The two — Suresh and driver Jasvir — were going in a jeep (PB 10 BN 4140) to Doraha after collecting money from shopkeepers at Rara Sahib village around 1.45 pm.

They were stopped by three motor cycle-borne youths, one of them with a muffled face, at gunpoint. They took away the cash and fled the scene.

The two reported the matter to the police. The police is investigating the matter.

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Chemists take off before raid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
Locked shops of chemists stare in the faces of joint raiding teams of the police and health department, courtesy the fast brotherhood network among chemists and the suspected information leakage from either of the department about a prospective raid at the shops.

The raiding teams are perplexed on how the information is spread and the chemists succeed in locking their shops before the raiding teams arrive.

Ever since the police launched a special drive against the sale of intoxicants, the locked shops are proving a big hurdle.

Though the police has recovered a number of intoxicants, the recovery could have been much more if the information was not leaked. A similar thing happened at a joint raid yesterday when the police recovered nearly 3000 intoxicating tablets, capsules and syrups from three shops only near Dhuri line and in the Dugri area.

SP, Detective, said the intoxicants were seized from Bathala Medical Store, Bunti Medical Store and Jai Medical Hall. He said the teams returned empty-handed from a number of other shops which were found locked, surprisingly, during peak business hours.

He said the chemists seem to be having an excellent network about the raids. The police was working on a formula to prevent it.

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Power hike to hit common man the worst: Cong
Tribune Reporters

Some measures have to be taken for development of the state. The hike was justified and was within reasonable limits
Some measures have to be taken for development of the state. The hike was justified and was within reasonable limits
— Sukhbir Singh Bada
l

Ludhiana, September 22
Several Congress leaders today criticised the state government for increasing the electricity tariff in the state. They also flayed acting president of the ruling SAD Sukhbir Badal for justifying the hike, saying it will hit the common man the worst.

In a statement issued here today, Congress MLA from Kila Raipur Jassi Khangura said: “The comments made by Sukhbir Badal here yesterday that the recent electricity price hike was outside the control of the Punjab government indicated a major abdication of responsibility.” He observed that although the price rise may have been determined by Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC), but Badal could not escape from the fact that the government had done nothing to improve the efficiency of the PSEB.

Khangura said had the government been able to reduce the theft of electricity and improve the procurement process, the rise would not have been necessary. He said the price rise was entirely the responsibility of the Akali-BJP government.

In another statement, Congress leaders Amarjit Singh Tikka and Gurdev Singh Lapran said the hike was “absolutely unjustified” and it would hit both the common man and the industry alike.

They claimed that there was no need to increase the price of electricity in the state as everything was going on smoothly.

The leaders claimed that the SAD-BJP government was deliberately putting extra burden on the common man with such an exorbitant price hike. They said the electricity seems to be going beyond the reach of the common man now.

Mandi Gobindgarh: The seven to 12 per cent hike in power tariff for industrial, domestic and agriculture sectors has put an unnecessary burden on people of the state, said MLA and All-India Congress Committee member Sadhu Singh Dharamsot.

Talking to mediapersons after addressing a meeting of party workers here last evening, he sought an immediate withdrawal of the hike.

He expressed surprise over the silence of the BJP, which claims to represent the community of traders and industry. He said the BJP should have withdrawn its support to the state government and pressed the government to cut the losses incurred by the PSEB by curtailing unnecessary government expenses.

The SAD-BJP alliance had assured people before assembly elections of adopting policies to improve the health of the industry and bring an end to the “inspector raj”. However, they had failed to keep the promise after coming to power.

Dharamsot made a reference to SAD leader Sukhbir Singh Badal’s statement in Moga before elections of relieving traders of maintaining details of sales and providing farmers with free electricity. He regretted that none of the assurances had been realised.

PPCC secretary Harinder Singh Bhambri, Youth Congress district chief Sandeep Singh Ball, MC chief Jagmeet Singh Sahota, block Congress chief Narinder Singh Sekhon, Amloh block Congress chief Shingara Singh Salana, district Congress general secretary Shiv Kumar Shahi and zila parishad member Surjit Singh Baronga were among those present.

Meanwhile, SAD acting president Sukhbir Badal had yesterday justified the hike in power tariff and the increase in the prices of land in the state.

“Some measures have to be taken for development of the state.” The hike, he said, was justified and was within reasonable limits.

Talking to mediapersons, Badal claimed that the eight per cent hike was never too big.

On the increase in prices of land in the state, he claimed that these were still far lower than the actual land prices.

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Dollar sinks, so do exporters’ profits
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
Manufacturing activity here has been badly hit as several exporters, instead of supplying Indian goods to other countries, are engaged in importing goods from countries like China and exporting them direcly from there to counter the affect of a weakened dollar.

Industrial sources say there is “no real rise” in exports from India, as a large portion of goods these days is the one imported from China.

After an Indian buyer makes purchases in China and procures bill of lading, the shipment is directly sent from China to the other country. However, as the payment from export is received in India, it is counted as export from here, explains an exporter.

“That exports are rising is totally false. Exporters are engaged in third-country export — the product never comes to India. It is Chinese goods that people are importing and exporting to other countries. Supply of goods manufactured in India to other countries has become counter-productive as dollar is weakening and decline of even a single paisa is hitting exporters hard. They are no longer equipped to tolerate these losses further,” says a representative of a leading industry association.

Worse hit are textile and cycle spares industries. In the past 10 months, appreciation of rupee has resulted in a decline of exports from the state.

According to estimates, a fall of at least Rs 2,000 crore has been seen during this period. Import from China gives two benefits: one pertaining to currency and the other of low cost.

Exporters say as deals are fixed in dollars, continual fluctuations in currency translate into losses as they get fewer rupees for their supplies. “We are already facing trouble due to increase in raw material costs and in ocean freights. Weakening of dollar has made it near impossible to Dollar sinks, so do exporters’ profits continue with the trade,” says a textile exporter.

Of the total export from the state, a decline of at least 15 per cent to 20 per cent has been seen within the past nine to 10 months.

Be it hosiery, fasteners, auto spares, hand tools or cycle spares manufacturers, the impact has percolated to one and all. Experts warn that if the situation remains volatile for some more time, it may cause massive unemployment.

Exporters are unhappy with the government for not taking enough measures to control the situation. “China is the biggest competitor. However, their government does not let currency rise by more than 3 per cent but the Indian government does not appear to be concerned about exporters. Exports have suffered for the past 10 months and no concrete measures have been taken in this direction,” says S.C. Ralhan, regional chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC).

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Beware, weather is changing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
The changing weather can complicate the problems of people with asthma, allergies or other ear, nose and throat (ENT) related problems. According to Dr Naresh Malhotra, former professor and head, ENT department, Christian Medical College and Hospital, if precautions were not taken in advance the problems might complicate and the patients could land up in the hospital.

Dr Malhotra also warned that special care must be taken about the children in this season. Since the temperature was varying too much, it could lead to ENT infections that might need prolonged treatment if not taken due care at the right time.

He said if care was taken about small things, this helped in preventing major problems.

He advised that the patients who had history must start medication according to their prescriptions or consult the doctors. In certain cases the patients might even need hospitalisation if due care was not taken.

He said the air conditioners must be switched off at the earliest.

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RPF sensitising coolies to keep criminals at bay
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) here has hit upon a novel idea of protecting passengers from the infamous “jehar-khurani” gang, which drugs and loot people on board trains. With the local railway station listed as one of the main centres of these criminals, the RPF has started sensitizing the coolies, vendors and the hawkers to alert the passengers as well the cops about the suspects.

RPF in charge Kulwant Singh is holding special meetings to make them aware of the ways in which the passengers are looted. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune he said coolies and vendors are the one who come in direct contact with passengers and can easily spot the suspected criminals.

The police believes that these people would prove to be of great help to keep a check on such incidents. They have been briefed on how to inform the police and how to alert the passengers without entering into direct conflict with the criminals.

Though the cops had managed to bring the number of incidents down after launching special awareness programme about the suspects, the railway journey would prove to be safer if there was zero tolerance of such criminals. 

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15 years gone, bridge still awaits repair
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 22
If you happen to pass through Chowkiman falling on the Ludhiana - Moga G.T.Road, a signboard on one side of the canal bridge has been warning passers by “saabdhan, agge pul kamjor hai” (beware, weak bridge ahead) for the past more than 15 years. It has been alerting vehicle drivers to slow down before one passes over it. Though the widening of the G.T. Road is going on, this bridge for the past 15 years has neither been strengthened nor widened. Surprisingly, highway authorities, who continue to ignore the bridge, have laid 1 inch high humps on both sides of the bridge only a few days ago to keep a check the speed of vehicles. The authorities have only bothered to add “agge hump hai” after “saabdhan agge pul kamjor hai.” 

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Nuclear deal unsafe, uneconomical: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana September 22
Nuclear energy is not a sustainable form of resource to generate electricity as it is neither safe nor economical and is fraught with serious danger to human health. This was stated by Achin Vanaik, convener, Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace, while delivering a talk at a seminar on Energy Security and the Indo-US Nuclear Deal organised by the Citizens Action Front in coordination with the Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha here today.

There is need to utilise renewable energy resources which will give several times more electricity than 20,000 mega watts being projected through this deal, he said.

The radically boosted nuclear power programme, following as a consequence of this deal, would throttle investments for developing environmentally benign renewable sources of energy, including wind, solar, etc having grave impacts on the prospects of India's long-term energy security. There was furthermore no fail-safe method for disposal of nuclear waste and outlived plants. Nor has the public been properly informed as to why popular pressure and the government wisdom throughout most of Europe had led these countries to completely abandon the path of nuclear energy and to phase out their existing plants.

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Organic tea tasting at Fab India
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
With a view to generating awareness on the benefits of consuming organic food products, Fab India held an organic tea tasting session here today.

The company's outlets, apart from selling fashion wear, are offering organic food items like ready-to-eat products, jams, sweeteners, herbs and spices, tea and cereals.

"It is our endeavour to make people aware of organic products. Such efforts help us make them know that organic foods are not just good for health, they taste well too," said Surbhi S. Ahuja, store manager, Fab India.

She added that the company launched its organic food range around three-years ago. "Our foray into organic food evolved as an extension of our collaboration with artisans and craftsmen across rural India. In many ways, it was a consequence of our commitment to support these rural communities, many of whom farm their land organically, that prompted us to go ahead with our organic food business. Add to this, was the need to fill the gap between the growing demand for organic food in India and the limited supply in the market place."

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150 units of blood donated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
A voluntary blood donation camp was organised by the Department of Transfusion Medicine, Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, with the help of "The Life Helper Society, Kapurthala", here yesterday. As many as 150 units of blood were collected.

The organiser complimented the DC for his enthusiastic approach to increase voluntary blood donation programmes in the entire region and he himself was the first blood donor. All present pledged to make blood donation a way of life and ensured the organisers for regular participation in this noble cause.

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Vishwakarma is chief of cycle parts panel
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
Charanjit S. Vishwakarma was elected president of the united cycle parts association at an election held here yesterday.

The election to this industrial body, that has over 2,000 members, was much-publicised as a few politicians had extended their support to various groups.

The Vishwakarma group won all eight seats. He defeated D.S. Chawla by a margin of 114 votes. He secured 777 votes whereas Chawla got 663 votes. Manmohan Singh Ubhi defeated Sudarshan Gosain by 199 votes for the post of vice-president whereas Inderjit Singh Bavyug was declared senior vice-president after he defeated his nearest rival by a margin of 656 votes.

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