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Eight samples of khoya fail laboratory test
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 7
At least eight samples of “khoya” and sweets made from purportedly poor quality or synthetic raw material have failed the laboratory test.

Stating this here today, civil surgeon Dr Sat Pal Sharma said five samples taken from a consignment of seven quintal of “khoya”, which had arrived from Uttar Pradesh in different trains and intercepted on November 1 at delivery points in different parts of the city, had been found adulterated and unfit for human consumption in the Government Laboratory.

The sweet makers from whom these samples have been taken will face proceedings under the provisions of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.

The “khoya” samples that have failed the test were taken from Piara Sweets in Sunder Nagar, Kamal Sweets on Shingar Cinema Road, Bengali Sweets in Aggar Nagar, Lakshmi Sweets in Industrial Area and Janta Sweets in Dholewal Chowk.

The entire consignment of “khoya”, suspected to be made from synthetic milk, had been seized and produced in the court of judicial magistrate. The court had issued summons for appearance to the owners of the sweet shops concerned for November 8.

The civil surgeon added that three other samples of “khoya” taken from sweet shops by the field staff of the health department had also failed the chemical analysis test.

These samples were taken on October 31 from Chawla Sweets, Field Ganj Road, Naresh Sweets, Sufian Chowk and Dayal Sweets, Gill Road.

Proceedings against the defaulting halwais under the PFA Act are being initiated, he added.

Mandi Ahmdedgarh: A team led by Dr K.C. Goel, district health officer, Sangrur, inspected sweetmeat shops and dairies at Malerkotla, Dhuri, and Kup besides local town and sealed samples for further examination.

Owners of almost all dairies at the local town and surrounding villages have restricted preparation of milk products, including cheese and “khoya”. The trend followed widespread action by health department against the manufacturers of synthetic “khoya” and subsequent alleged harassment of suppliers of genuine products. 

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Evasion of customs duty worth Rs 7.5 cr
Four importers arrested
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, November 7
The directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) claims to have unearthed a scam pertaining to the evasion of customs duty worth Rs 7.5 crore, with the arrest of four persons.

Officials disclosed that all those who were nabbed were importers. They were arrested on the charges on evading customs duty by “under-valuation” of import of yarns and receiving payments through hawala transactions.

Those arrested include Ravinder Jain and his son Yogesh Jain of Gurdev Nagar, Ludhiana.

Both are stated to be owners of M/s Atam Fibres Pvt Limited and M/s R International situated at Beant Pura on the Chandigarh road.

They have been charged with evading duty worth Rs 5.5 crore.

As per the DRI, the accused had imported polyester yarn, nylon lurex yarn and nylon-blended yarn/feather from China. When a search was conducted on their premises, several incriminating documents were seized from their possession, which indicated the under-valuation and wrong declaration.

It was claimed that the differential payment of under-valued import of yarn had been received by them through hawala transactions.

The others who have been arrested are Ravi Kumar Jagota and his son Sumit, who are stated to have been running business under M/s Ravi Cotsyn Ltd and M/s KDS Hoseiry Pvt Limited, Ludhiana.

They have been arrested on the charges of evading duty worth Rs 2 crore while importing yarn from China.

Officials also claimed that a revolver made in Germany had also been seized from their house and the accused had failed to show any document regarding the import and possession of the weapon.

The accused were today produced before the court of the chief judicial magistrate, who remanded them in judicial custody till November 21.

The bail application moved by the accused would come up for hearing tomorrow.

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A night in jail transformed him
Industrialist turns do-gooder
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 7
One night of imprisonment was enough for a hosiery industrialist to donate blankets to thousands of inmates at the Central Jail here.

The industrialist returned at the onset of winter with 2,500 blankets, 2,500 sweaters, and 2,500 suits for women.

Parveen Aggarwal had to spend a night in jail after he was booked under Section 420, IPC, a few months ago. He was bailed out the next day, but the plight of the jail inmates left a mark on him.

Along with a friend and other industrialists, he handed over the items to the DGP (jails), Izhar Alam, to be given to the inmates.

He also donated Rs 2.5 lakh to a gaushala later in the day.

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Dhanteras goes the vaastu way
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 7
Dhanteras is usually marked with traditional purchases of gold and silver ornaments, besides utensils. But now the purchases are being made as per the horoscope or as suggested by family astrologers.

A survey to some of the markets in the city revealed that most customers demanded things other than the regular items.

Savita, a homemaker, said she was looking for an idol of either Lord Ganesha or Goddess Saraswati. Asked what was the reason, she said she had been told by her astrologer to keep one of these idols in the north-west side of the house throughout the year.

“It will bring good luck and prosperity to the family,” she said while paying Rs 510 for a silver Ganesha idol.

Several shopkeepers had displayed crystal turtles and pyramids this time and people made a beeline to purchase such items.

Ajay Mehra, a shopkeeper at Ghumar Mandi, said people were making purchases according to vaastu this time. “They say they want these two items as one of the channels had told about the benefits of pyramids and turtles a few days ago. It is all in their mind. We do not know the reason but we have to keep the customers’ choice in mind,” he said.

Residents bought things worth lakhs of rupees today. The maximum items that were sold included silver coins of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha, gold guineas and steel utensils.

Nita Sharma, a customer, said, “I always bought steel utensils earlier, but now vaastu experts say that steel and plastic should be avoided this year, so I am buying silver coins.”

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Metro rail project commissioned

Ludhiana, November 7
The MC has finally commissioned the Metro rail project to a company. The Punjab government had recently awarded work for the preparation of the detailed project report for commissioning the Metro rail system for the city to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

A team of experts from the DMRC and the Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi, visited Ludhiana in this regard.

A meeting was also held with officers of the MC and a report regarding the multi model transport system prepared by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) was given to the team.

The project will help in decongesting roads. — TNS

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Principal secretary visits mills

Ludhiana, November 7
Principal Secretary P. Ram, who heads a committee for cleaning of Budda Nullah, visited the city today and took stock of the situation at sewerage treatment plant at Jamalpur, which has already jumped its deadline of completion.

P. Ram also visited Malwa Cotton Mills at Machhiwara and Hariya Paper Mill at Dhnansu village.

The committee had received a complaint against these mills that they were releasing polluted water into the nullah. He found that water was being treated by the cotton mill and later supplied to farmers for irrigation. The treatment work at the other mill had also started. — TNS

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Action
SI, ASI pocket money, suspended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 7
Reports that certain police personnel were siphoning off money recovered from gamblers got credence today with the suspension of a sub-inspector and an assistant sub-inspector on charges of pocketing the gambling money and letting of an accused.

The SSP, R.K. Jaiswal, told The Tribune that SI Tehal Singh and ASI Amarjit Singh, posted with the CIA wing-I, had been suspended for allegedly cheating the police department by showing less recovery amount that was seized from five gamblers during a raid on Model Town two days ago.

The SSP said it was also brought to his notice that the police officials had nabbed six persons, but named only five in the FIR.

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Crime
Missing boy’s body found
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 7
The body of Mintoo (15), a migrant boy who had left his house on a bicycle to pay Rs 3,000 to a grocer on Monday evening and who was missing since, was spotted by some passersby in a drain near Sarinh village today.

A complaint had been lodged by Dev Narayan, a resident Alamgir, that his son Mintoo had been killed by some persons for an amount of Rs 3,000 and the bicycle.

R.K. Jaiswal, SSP, Ludhiana, said the SHO, Sadar, had been directed to corroborate the information.

As the body did not bore external injury marks, it could not be deduced what kind of weapon was used in the crime.

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8,000 teachers yet to get salaries: Front
Tribune News Service

Khanna, November 7
The aided schools progressive front of Punjab has alleged that the state government was issuing false statements regarding the release of grants for the payment of salaries of more than 8000 teachers working in various aided schools across the state.

In a joint statement president of the organisation Upjit Singh Brar, chairman KK Sharma, press secretary Gurdish Singh, vice president Dharminder Singh and Jaswinder Singh Randhawa, president of the Patiala unit, said the DPI(s) had issued statements that the grants for aided school teachers had been released, which had not been the case.

Challenging the claims made by the DPI(s), the front leaders said in case the department had released any grants for the salary of the teachers since April 1, 2007, then the DPI(s) should produce the grant copies before the media. The leaders of the front said the ground reality remained that not even a single school in the state has received any grant copies nor any salaries till October 31.

These leaders said it was the duty of the DPI and the DEO’s to submit the claims of grants in time. The leaders said though the previous government had issued instructions for introducing a new system of online salaries, but the department till date has not implemented it. They said the front was planning to invoke the right to information act to find out about the grants that the government was claiming have been released for the aided school teachers in the state.

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State-level lok adalat on November 17
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 7
The District and Sessions Judge G K Rai said a state level lok-adalat would be held at district courts complex on November 17. The lok-adalat would be presided over by the chairman of the state legal services authority, Justice Mehtab Singh Gill, Punjab and Haryana High Court.

He said in order to settle maximum number of cases; judicial officers have started doing spade work. They have started organising pre-lok adalats for persuading the litigants to resolve their disputes through lok-adalats.

He appealed to masses to resolve their disputes by way of amicable settlement, as it puts an end to their dispute forever and helps in reducing bitterness among the parties.

He further apprised that different benches would be constituted to settle different nature of cases. Each bench would be headed by a judicial officer and assisted by one lawyer and social worker.

Cases involving matrimonial disputes, civil disputes, workmen compensation cases, civil appeals, cheque bounce cases, traffic challans etc. would be taken up in the adalat.

Meanwhile, a pre-lok adalat was organised, which was headed by Additional District and Sessions Judge A K Mehta. The cases pertaining to the motor accident claims, involving New India Assurance Company, were taken up. 

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Rusticated schoolchildren approach sangat darshan

Ludhiana, November 7
Issue involving the absence of two brothers from their school reached such a proportion that the matter came up during the sangat darshan here yesterday but nobody seemed to care about the future of the schoolchildren. Additional deputy commissioner ordered an inquiry into the case without asking the authorities and parents to make them join the school.

Students of Guru Gobind Singh Academy on Chandigarh road, Manmeet Singh and Namneet Singh, were thrown out of the school by authorities on the pretext that they remained absent from school while their parents claimed that they had fallen sick as the school had allegedly made them work like a labour as a building was being constructed. “They were not allowed to sit in exams. They were asked to go back only because they did not go to school, when construction was being done,’’ said their mother, Gurmeet Kaur.

Allegations and counter allegations flowed freely as there was nobody to control them.

The ADC ordered district coordinator of the education department, Baldeep Singh, to look into the matter and give a report during the next sangat darshan. — TNS

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Genuine milk producers feel the heat
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 7
Feeling humiliated by the alleged offensive attitude of health authorities, manufacturers of genuine milk products are hesitant to supply their product to sweetmeat makers of big cities.

However, to maintain their relations with the buyers, they have agreed to supply milk and prepare “khoya” and cheese on their doorstep.

While cheese is in great demand for preparing certain sweetmeats and domestic consumption, a minimum quantity of “khoya” is required for decoration of already prepared stuff.

Observations by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that a majority of suppliers of “khoya” and paneer had restricted their supplies to other cities.

In spite of their claims about genuineness of their product, they wanted to avoid humiliation and harassment due to complexity of procedure of getting their stocks after their quality was approved by the laboratories.

“Now when we know that anybody can humiliate us on the pretext of checking for synthetic ‘khoya’ why should we put ourselves in trouble. But keeping in view problems of our valuable customers we have offered to supply milk and get ‘khoya’ and paneer prepared by our workers at their places,” said Deepak owner of a dairy.

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Exercise caution for a cracking Diwali
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 7
The lighting of firecrackers is quintessential to Diwali, but it poses grave health risk to revellers, especially children. A little bit of caution and awareness can reduce the number of accidents.

Dr Vijay Obed, professor and head of plastic surgery and burns at Christian Medical College and Hospital, feels it is extremely important to know the difference between a legal consumer firework and a dangerous explosive device.

The firecrackers, if lighted carelessly, can cause severe injury or even death. “Stay away from anything that is not clearly labelled bearing the name of the product, the name of the manufacturer and instructions for use.”

Besides health risk, firecrackers also enhance noise and air pollution levels. The harmful chemicals emitted are known to cause asthma, allergic rhinitis, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. Moreover, the noise and dazzling light can cause optical as well as ENT-related problems.

Dr Manish Munjal, professor in the department of ENT at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, says air-bursting shells and zooming rockets are a sight to watch but hazardous to nature, animals and human beings.

The noise of fireworks and shower of metals and chemicals from the exploding crackers can be hazardous.

He feels that senior citizens, children, infants and asthmatics are the vulnerable group.

Every year after Diwali, people visit ENT specialists with markedly reduced hearing due to the damaged “human amplifiers” (perforated eardrums) and fractured delicate bones of the ear, which require expensive micro-surgery of the ear.

Moreover, there is damage to nerve cells accompanied by unsteadiness and ringing or buzzing sounds in ears.

Giving safety tips to avoid burn injuries and safe bursting of crackers, Dr Sanjeev Uppal, professor of plastic surgery at DMCH and president of Burns Association of India, says crackers must be burst in open spaces while wearing tight-fitting cotton clothes. He strongly suggests that children must be allowed to burst crackers only in the presence of elders.

“In case of fire, douse the fire with water and if alone lie down on ground and roll to put off the fire. Later, pour water on the burnt surface till burning sensation is over.”

Do’s

  • Use fireworks in open spaces
  • Buy fireworks of authorised make
  • Light one cracker at a time
  • Keep fireworks at a safe place
  • Organise community display of fireworks
  • Use long candle/sparkler for igniting crackers
  • Keep two buckets of water handy

Don’ts

  • Ignite fireworks while holding in hand
  • Bend over while igniting cracker
  • Light crackers in a container
  • Approach immediately to misfired cracker
  • Tamper with misfired fireworks
  • Attempt to make fireworks at home
  • Allow children to handle fireworks
  • Throw or point fireworks at others
  • Store firecrackers near source of fire
  • Wear synthetic clothing
  • Wear loosely-hanging clothes

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Spare a thought for environment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 7
Spare a thought before you burst firecrackers this Diwali for the data collected over the years by the Punjab Pollution Control Board suggests that the ambient air has been the biggest casualty during the festival every year.

On October 21 (Diwali) last year, the suspended particulate matter (SPM) measured by the board in commercial area was between 572 and 1167 microgram (mcg), residential area between 478 and 802 mcg and sensitive area between 375 and 612 mcg.

The levels of SPM were alarming as its permissible limits in industrial, domestic and sensitive areas were 500, 200 and 100 mcg, respectively.

It was four times the permissible limit in the domestic area and six times in sensitive areas like hospitals.

The air quality was the worst hit as the Ludhianvis burst crackers till wee hours in the morning last Diwali.

Similarly, the concentration of SO2 on that day was 35 to 51, 32 to 59 and 30 to 58 in commercial, residential and sensitive areas, respectively.

The concentration of NOX was between 54 and 58, 50 and 80 and 44 and 66 on that day. The city was once again declared “most polluted” by the board compared to other cities like Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mandi Gobindgarh and others.

As all this goes unabated, the number of residents visiting doctors with respiratory disorders has seen a rise.

Asthma cases are on the rise as even young children have been complaining of the problem.

The aftereffects of these festivals can be felt till many days after, as the SPM level remains quite high for many days.

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Cops made to empty pockets before raid
New mantra for clean image
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 7
When it comes to busting den of gamblers with perfection, even raiding policemen cannot escape scrutiny.

In one such raid, a posse of Kotwali police aided by force from other police stations had to surrender their mobile phones, wallets and empty their pockets at the Kotwali police station before raiding the Bhadaur house market late last evening.

Police sources said the aim was to remove the popular perception that policemen pocketed most of the money recovered from gamblers.

In order to achieve this, the raiding team members, over 50 in number, were not told till the last minute the purpose of the raid.

They were asked to deposit their mobile phones, wallets and directed to return with empty pockets.

Not content with this, team leader SHO Sandeep Wadhera videotaped the raid. The alleged gamblers caught in the raid were told to sit in a queue, place the money in a handkerchief and write the amount on a piece of paper.

Sources said it was common for the accused gamblers to claim later that the police had pocketed large chunk of the recovered money and showed far less amount in the records.

In the raid, 13 persons were nabbed with over Rs 1.03 lakh recovered from them.

Those arrested were Mukesh, Sanjay Kesar, Sanjay Kumar, Rajesh Kumar, Naveen Dahwan, Naresh Kumar, Ravi Nand, Mukesh Kumar, Rajesh Kumar, Anoop Kumar, Vikram Kumar, Sunil Kumar and Sunil Kumar.

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Vishwakarma function

Ludhiana, November 7
A state-level function to celebrate the Parkash Utsav of Baba Vishwakarma, founder of art and architecture, will be organised on November 10 at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal would be the chief guest and minister for local bodies, industries and commerce Manoranjan Kalia would preside over the function. — TNS

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Film screened on drug addiction
Our Correspondent

Doraha, November 7
Actor, director and producer Mangal Dhillon screened his documentary film "Sarvnash" in the college library of the Mata Ganga Khalsa College for Girls, Kottan, today.

The film is based on the menace of drugs and the destruction it causes to the family and society where it spreads.

Dhillon exhorted the students to shun the ever-growing menace of drugs, which he said is eating into the very vitals of our entire social set up. He said the youth energies instead of being channelised toward individual and national reconstruction, are being and wasted in fruitless endeavour and directed toward destructive ends.

Harmit Kaur, principal, Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana too asked the students to become god-fearing and develop their moral and intellectual capabilities.

Principal Manjinder Kaur congratulated and lauded the efforts of Mangal Dhillon in the field of social film-making and requested the entire Sikh community to walk on the noble path of righteousness shown by the ten gurus.

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Letters
Adulterated khoya

Last week, all the city newspapers yelled out loud the shocking news of seizure of adulterated milk products being blatantly prepared by the city halwais who have no qualms about putting the common man’s life at risk by using synthetic khoya. It speaks volumes about the food situation in Ludhiana in particular and India in general. These days, right from rehdiwallas to restaurants serving ‘hormone fortified’ milk and pesticide-laden foodstuff, everyone is minting money by selling adulterated, unhygienic low quality foodstuffs. So if we fall sick after consuming those tempting sweets of Diwali, the only rescue are the Indian medicines.

Gagan Sohal, 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.

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Students booked for cheating
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahhmedgarh, November 7
Investigations into an incident of an alleged attack by the students and members of bhangra team of GHG Khalsa College, Sudhar, on the official judges during zonal youth festival at GNG Khalsa College, Narangwal, a week ago might expose malpractice of hiring professional artists.

The Dehlon police and the authorities at Punjab University, Chandigarh, have to initiate examination of facts and sequence of events leading to registration of a case against the suspects for allegedly damaging property of GNG Khalsa College and assaulting and threatening the judges.

Principal and management committee of the GHG Khalsa College, Sudhar, the parent institute of the suspects had however called upon the authorities to take view of the fault of the students whose carrier was at stake now.

Accusing the students and members of the bhangra team of Sudhar College Hardil Jit Singh Gosal, principal,said it was not possible for him to withdraw the complaint lodged with the police and the university authorities.

Gosal further alleged that in charge of the said team had also misguided the organisers by making hired artistes on behalf of the institute.

S M Kant director, youth welfare, PU, said the authorities were yet to initiate probe into the matter.

Reiterating appeal of leniency for the erring students Surinder Pal Kaur, principal, admitted that they (students) had lost their nerves as the teachers sent by the college were busy in handling other teams. Refuting allegations of hiring artiste for the team Surinder Pal Kaur claimed that a committee comprising senior lecturers had been constituted to look into the matter at college level and decide.

Members of bhangra team of Sudhar College had allegedly attacked Sukhdev Singh Randhawa, Ajit Singh and Jagbir Singh (judges for bhangra competition) on October 31. The principal of the host college had lodged complaints with the Dehlon police and the university authorities. Though an FIR had been registered and evidence about the sequence of events had reached the university authorities, they were yet to initiate the process in this connection. Interestingly it was yet to be established if the booked persons were all students of the college or not. 

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