L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

IT raids on 7 units
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The state excise and taxation department conducted raids on seven industrial units here today.

Teams from Patiala, Bathinda, Jalandhar, Chandigarh and Ludhiana conducted the raids.

According to sources, the raids were conducted on Ravneet Packing and General Mills, Hambran, Honda Plywood, Hambran, Perfect Agro, Hambran, Anuj Enterprises on Gill Road, Supreme Agro Food Private Limited at Focal Point, Pure Milk Products, and Sham Steels in Industrial Area-A.

Tax sleuths seized account books and documentary records of the companies. The raids were conducted following instructions by the director of the excise and taxation department.

Sources said more raids would be conducted in the coming days. Due to the ongoing festive season, high incidence of tax evasion is usually recorded. The department has increased its revenue targets by 30 per cent for 2007-08. So far it has not met with much success on the front. 



Under-billing to cost hosiery traders dear
Shveta Pathak/TNS

Ludhiana, November 5
Now on, under-billing will cost hosiery traders dear.The sales tax department has fixed a minimum billing amount of Rs 18,000 per box and Rs 30,000 per sack for hosiery consignments to other places.

Department officials said after consultations with industrialists, they had found that the amount fixed was the average minimum value of goods sent out by traders.

"We have decided not to accept any bill below the fixed amount. If a trader furnishes a bill below Rs 18,000 for a box and below Rs 30,000 for a sack, he would have to explain.

The department would be firm and will take action against traders who attempt to evade tax by under-billing," said A.S. Sadhrao, assistant director of the mobile wing of the state excise and taxation department. Following a rise in incidences of misuse of tax identification numbers (TIN), the department has asked traders to inform them of such misuse.

Cases of wrong TIN numbers are frequent and details from information collection centres (ICCs) have revealed a rise in the cases.

In most cases, the person whose TIN is mentioned wrongly has to suffer.

The victimised party has to give explanation regarding sales and furnish documentary evidence.

The department said it would be firm with those indulging in the malpractice. “Traders should cooperate and must inform us if they learn of any party misusing their identification number.”



Halwai defies DC’s order; reopens shop
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The acting deputy commissioner had, at a sangat darshan, ordered the closure of a sweet shop for using diesel-fired bhattis, but it was opened by the owner two days later.

Residents face a fire threat as the shop owner, Ramesh Kumar, continues to use diesel-fired “bhattis” in Sukhram Nagar, a thickly populated residential area.

Following a complaint by the residents, the acting DC, K.P. Brar, had ordered the closure of the shop on October 25.

“Diesel is transported throughout the day and it is stored on the road itself in huge drums. If a mishap takes place, it would result in a massive fire as the area is thickly populated. Another Khud mohalla is waiting to happen,” said Meera Dhir, a resident.

She said the MC authorities had claimed in front of the acting DC that they were cancelling the license of the shop, but at the same time the MC had told her that the halwai had not been issued any license.

This statement had come in writing under the RTI Act. The assistant public information officer had stated that the MC had not issued license to the shop owner to prepare sweets in that area. 



Halt in Pension
Reconsider, say grim PAU staff

Ludhiana, November 5
The decision of the state government not to help the PAU get out of the financial crunch, resulting in the denial of pension from December, has come as a jolt to all concerned.

The faculty members, non-teaching employees, retired employees and even students feel that it is an unfortunate decision. They said the university had done a lot for bringing green revolution in the state and now when it needed help, there was none.

Dr D.S.Malhi, director extension, said there were more than 2,500 pensioners. “If those who have served the university for decades will not get pension, they will agitate against the authorities as well as the state government.

“The government must cooperate, only then can things improve. The university needs to be taken care of by state policy makers,” he said.

Additional director, communication, Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, said the university was running in losses worth crores. “Though we are getting a grant by the government, it is not sufficient enough to cater to the pensioners. At least a sum of Rs 30-35 crore is needed to clear the backlog. The recruitment is less but the retirement rate is high,” he said.

Joginder Sharma, a retired PAU employee, said the university could not be blamed for the financial crunch. — TNS



Woman acquitted in gangrape case
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, November 5
A fast-track court has acquitted Charanjit Kaur of Kabir Nagar, Shimlapuri, of the charges of being part of a conspiracy pertaining to the gangrape of a girl. The court termed the testimony of the prosecutrix as doubtful.

Delivering the verdict, judge R.L. Ahuja held that the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt and the testimony of the prosecutrix did not inspire confidence.

The interesting aspect of the case was that the proescutrix had alleged that two persons had raped her, but she failed to even describe the accused. The un-indentified accused could not be arrested.

The accused was booked on the statement of Sonal (name changed), resident of Manochahal village, Amritsar, in 2004.

The complainant had stated to the police that she was staying in Ludhiana with her aunt and arranged flowers for marriages.

On March 23, the accused came to the house of her aunt and said they wanted her to work on a marriage party in Phillaur.

She was taken in an Indica car, in which three girls were sitting, besides the accused.

When they reached near the Satluj bridge, she saw a Sikh man and a clean-shaven person sitting near a car parked there. The accused asked her to shift in that car due to shortage of space, which she did.

When they reached Goraya, the person driving the car took the car to a village and raped her. They said Charanjit Kaur had charged them Rs 2,000 for sending her with them.

The next day she was brought to Ludhiana and she lodged a complaint with the police. The court noted that the prosecutrix had told the police that the accused had inflicted injuries on her but she did not utter a single word regarding the accused when she deposed in the court.

Moreover, the doctor who examined her had not mentioned such injuries in 
the MLR.

The accused woman had claimed that she had been falsely implicated due to enmity. The court also observed that the prosecutrix had failed to even disclose the spot of the crime to the investigating officer. 



Avneet makes it to Olympics
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, November 5
Ace shooter Avneet Kaur Sidhu, who is the sixth Indian shooter to qualify for the 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing, is dejected at the attitude of the state government towards this sport.

She is the first Punjabi woman shooter to be selected for Olympics and was in the city to promote Ethos, a watch boutique, that had felicitated her.

This air rifle shooter from Bathinda has not been felicitated by the government despite her winning two gold medals in the Commonwealth Games and a gold in the Asian Games.

Avneet says Anjali Vedpathak Bhagwat is her role model and cherishes the moment when she outclassed Anjali in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and equalised the record of 400 out of 400 in the women’s air rifle selection trial last year.

Avneet has been shooting since seven years. She has won 21 national and inter- national medals. She gives credit to her father. “He encouraged me to take this sports and my first rifle was gifted by him,” she says.

At present, she is training under a Hungarian coach. “I was quite an underdog during the Commonwealth Games, but after some consistent performances, I have been able to improve my performance,” she added.



Govt employees to observe ‘black’ Diwali
Holding Back of DA
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 5
Irked over the “callous” attitude of the government towards their demands, state government employees, under the banner of the Punjab state ministerial services union, will hold protest rallies at all district headquarters on November 7.

The employees will wear black badges in offices on November 7 and 8 and observe a “black” Diwali.

In a statement here today, the state president of the union, Sukhwinder Singh, said there was resentment over the failure of the government to fix the terms of reference of the 6th pay commission which was to submit its recommendations in January 2008.

Charging the SAD-BJP government with betraying the employees, he said the ruling coalition had reneged on its poll promises. “The government is sitting over the crucial issue of releasing another instalment of dearness allowance on the pattern of the union government,” he said.

The governments in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Himachal, as also Chandigarh, had released the DA instalment, he said.

The agitation would continue until the government accepted their demands, he added




Minister distributes cheques
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, chief parliamentary secretary, technical education and industrial training, Punjab, said the state government was spending Rs 3035 crore on the inter-city transit projects comprising a network of four and six lane expressways in Punjab. He was addressing a rural gathering organised to distribute cheques of grants for development projects at Naraingarh village, Khanna sub-division.

Khalsa said the government had also arranged funds of Rs 2433 crore under different schemes sponsored by centre for the state during the current financial year, as compared to Rs 1359 crore sanctioned for these schemes during 2006-07. The CPS also said the Punjab government was spending Rs 7000 crore on the execution of big infrastructure project in the state.



10 more sweet shops raided
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 5
The health department continued its drive against the adulteration of food items, particularly sweets, with two teams conducting raids on 10 more sweet shops here today.

Civil surgeon Sat Pal Sharma said samples of khoya and sweets had been taken and sent to a government laboratory for chemical analysis.

The sweet shops under the scanner are Khushi Ram and Sons, Parkash Sweets, Bhaiye Di Hatti and Jhallian Di Hatti (Daulat Sweets) in Chaura Bazar; Ram Ditta Mal in Karimpura Chowk; Arora Sweets, Super Lovely Sweets and Jagdish Sweets in Lakkar Bazar; and Khalsa Sweets in Chowk Division No 3.

The health staff inspected workshops of the shops and examined workers for cleanliness and personal hygiene.

Last week, the drive had led to the busting of suspected synthetic khoya making units in the city.



Chivalry dead

Chivalry is long dead. One would come to this conclusion at least while travelling in a bus in any part of the state.

Small children, pregnant women and elderly women are seen standing in the bus for want of a seat but none of the men offer them a seat.

Healthy and well-built men are often seen sitting even as these women in distress keep on suffering while standing in the buses to reach their destinations. Gone are the days when men would sacrifice their seat to make women comfortable.

At least, this can be done in case of pregnant and elderly women if not for all.

Akshit Jain, Ludhiana

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