L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Emigration Racket
NRI in police net for Rs 3 cr fraud
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
Over two years after a group of swindlers duped 134 city residents of Rs 3 crore in the name of providing them "sure-shot" jobs in London, the police and an investigation group formed by the victims have hunted down main accused and UK citizen Rakesh Patel in Anand town of Gujarat.

While the victims were struggling to come back to life after dishing out lakhs of rupees to the swindlers, the accused Rakesh Patel was making a mutli-storeyed shopping complex in Anand.

It was largely the efforts of an organisation, Anti-Foreign Placement Fraud Society, that traced down the accused living in Gujarat. The society had in December last year found another accused, Rafique Ahmed.

Inspector Mandeep Singh said on the basis of information provided by the victims, the police got the arrest warrant of the accused and trapped him in Anand with the help of the Gujarat police.

With his arrest, four accused have been nabbed in the case so far. The fifth accused Raj Kumar was still absconding. The accused arrested were Kishore Kumar, Jagmohan Lal and Rafique Ahmed. All of them formed the managment group of the company.

Like Patel, they were living a lavish life in Jaipur and Khairtal town (Alwar district) of Rajasthan.

The accused ran an emigration company, Euro International Group, from near Samrala Chowk here. It had closed office overnight in July, 2005, after taking more than Rs 2.50 lakh from each of the 134 victims.

Kulwant Singh and Vinod Kumar, president and secretary of the Anti- Foreign Placement Fraud Society, said the group had offered assured emigration to the UK in advertisements issued in vernacular papers last year.

The company officials allegedly took Rs 1.70 to Rs 2 lakh from each of the 134 applicants and gave them fictitious work permit issued by the Home Office, London. They then told the applicants to dish out Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 more and submit passports for finalising the emigration process.

Victims and their relatives were stunned to find only some women staff members in the office in July, 2005. The staff too were were not paid their salary. Later, the victims learnt that the company officials and the staff had not paid the rent and instalment of the office furniture too.



0001 fetches Rs 2,71,000
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
Hundreds attended bidding for fancy numbers of vehicles organised by the transport department at Circuit House here today.

The auction of VIP numbers was held in the city after more than six months. People took a keen interest in getting special numbers for the series PB-10 CB, CC and CD. The numbers included those in single digit, two digits and four digits.

Though no application was received for 0001 (in both CB and CC), PB-10 CD 0001 went for Rs 2, 71,000 against the reserved price of Rs 50,000. The number was taken by Shiva Fab.

The department earned the most in the auction for the PB-10 CD series. Earlier, not too popular number 0006 (CD series) was taken at a price of Rs 92,000. Other single-digit numbers in all three series were auctioned for lakhs of rupees.

In all the series, 0005 fetched the maximum price of Rs 43,000 (CB), Rs 65,000 (CC) and Rs 72,000 (CD series). According to sources, more than 800 fancy numbers are to be auctioned in the bidding process.

"It will take another two days to complete the bidding," said a clerk with the department.

It is learnt the department will earn approximately Rs 35 lakh from the auction of special numbers. One of the department officials said the response to the auction was tremendous.

The officers present at the auction were Karamjit Singh, additional state transport commissioner, Chander Gaind, district transport officer, and B.S.Rana, additional district transport officer.



Biker killed in collision with school bus
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 28
One person was killed and another injured when the motorcycle there were riding collided with a school bus near Jhamat village near here today morning. Poor visibility was told to be reason behind the mishap.

The Sihar police registered a report under Section 174 of Cr P C and handed over body of deceased after getting post mortem conducted at Malaudh civil hospital.

Jagdev Singh, a farmer of Lehal village, was killed when the motorcycle he was driving collided head on with a school bus owned by a public school of Pohir village. Mohinder Singh, the pillion rider was injured seriously.

Sources at police chowki, Sihar, revealed that the accident had occurred due to poor visibility due to dense fog in the morning. He was shifted to a hospital here.

As the kin of the deceased had submitted that they did not want action against the driver, the Sihar police handed over body after getting post-mortem conducted at Malaudh.



Mob forces IT team to abandon raid
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
An irate mob of more than 500 people prevented the excise and taxation department from carrying out a raid on a hosiery unit in Gandhi Nagar here this afternoon. It is learnt the department is contemplating an FIR against the miscreants.

The team, including ETOs Sohan Singh, G.S. Bal and J.P. Singh, were unable to conduct investigations on Charu Collection with the mob snatching seized documents.

It was only after additional police force reached the spot that the officials could manage to come out of the unit premises. They had to return within an hour due to the protest.

At 2.30 pm the team, suspecting evasion of VAT, went to raid the premises of Charu Collection in Gandhi Nagar. The officials were accompanied by more than 10 security personnel. On reaching the venue, they faced stiff resistance from those working in the unit. "They seized certain documents but within minutes the owner of the unit gathered some people there who gheraoed the officials and prevented them from doing their duty," said AETC H.P.S. Ghotra, who was present at Noorwala Road premises of the same company in connection with the raid at the time of the incident.

Officials said hundreds of people, including traders, gathered at the venue and raised slogans against the government for imposing tax on industry and also against the excise department. They also raised slogans in favour of their hosiery association.



Gang of transformer thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
The city police has finally busted a gang of thieves, who were experts in stealing transformers. As many as 14 transformers have been recovered from them.

SP City Sukhchain Singh said at a press conference here today that the four arrested members of the gang had a notorious history of stealing transformers. They had just been released from the jail where they were lodged for stealing several transformers last year also.

CIA-II in charge Dilpreet Singh had arrested the accused, identified as Rajinder Kumar, Kanshi Ram, Shiv Dayal and Balwinder Singh.

The accused had created quite a nuisance in the Sahnewal area by striking there regularly. The modus operandi of the accused was to identify a transformer installed in an isolated place. After disconnecting the jumper, the accused brought down the transformer. They removed its oil and stole the brass machinery in it.



‘Hong Kong’ owner gets six months for adulterated food
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 28
The chief judicial magistrate Rajinder Aggarwal has convicted Fangjenn Chiu, owner of Hong Kong Restaurant, Sarabha Nagar, for selling adulterated chilly cheese. He has been sentenced to undergo imprisonment for six months. Besides this, the court ordered him to pay fine of Rs 1,000.

The orders were pronounced by the court while deciding the complaint filed by food inspector Manoj Khosla under Section 16 of the Food Adulteration Act. It was submitted by the complainant that he, along with district health officer Dr R C Garg had visited the restaurant. They purchased two plates of cheese chilly.

Then one plate of snack was sealed and one sample was sent to the Public Analyst Chandigarh. When the report was recieved by the health department, it was found that the cheese chilly was adulterated. Hence the complaint was filed.

On the other hand, the restaurant owner claimed false implication. On his request the sample was sent to the Central Food Laboratory but the report was against him. After appreciating the evidence on record and convinced with the arguments of additional public prosecutor Sukhchain Singh, the court found the accused guilty and sentenced him.

In another case, the same court convicted a Jalandhar-based sharbat manufacturer Anoop Kumar, owner of Dr Chowdhary & Sons on the charges of selling misbranded sharbat. He was ordered to undergo imprisonment for six months. Fine of Rs 1,000 was also imposed upon the accused.

The court found that on the bottle sealed by the food inspector, the manufacturer had not mentioned that the sharbat was containing permitted synthetic colour, which was in contravention with rule 24 and 32 of the Food Adulteration Act.

However, the court acquitted Sardari Lal, owner of Sharma Provision Store, Khanna, from whose shop the sample was taken. The court observed that there was no fault of the shopkeeper.



MC razes illegal structures
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
A demolition team of the municipal corporation today demolished a number of illegal structures, including staircase of a popular jewellery shop near Fountain Chowk today late afternoon.

Assistant town planner Kamaljit Kaur told Ludhiana Tribune that owners of various shops and offices near the chowk were served notices asking them to remove illegal extensions of the buildings.

She said one of the jewellers had neither replied to the notices nor removed them. The MC demolition squad removed the staircase this afternoon.




Lane encroachment

Residents of New Maya Nagar are upset over an encroached lane. The laying of sewerage in this part is going on and the lane encroachments have compounded their difficulty.

Dr K.K. Sharma, president of the area, along with other residents opened the closed gates of the encroached lane for public use. The alleged purchaser of lane came with the police constable of Haibowal Kalan and rebuked Dr K.K. Sharma for opening of gates. He locked the gates and left. Now, the residents are requesting the area councillor Hemraj Aggarwal and the municipal commissioner to remove the encroachment immediately. Is there any one who will help these residents?

K.K. Sharma

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.



Man held for raping minor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
The Model Town police has arrested an alleged rapist, Suraj Prasad, alias Gunja , one month after he had allegedly raped a 10-year-old daughter of a migrant labourer and left her to bleed to death in a park in Model Town.

SHO Warryam Singh said the Atam Park police post in charge SI Harjinder Singh had arrested the rapist, who sold scrap for a living, this evening. He said the accused collected scrap like waste clothes or discraded household products from garbage heaps.

On October 28, he allegedly lured the girl by offering her sweets and took her in an abandoned park. The girl had to be hospitalised for over two weeks for treatment.



Bus driven away at gunpoint
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
In a relatively unheard of crime in the state, a group of persons allegedly took away a mini bus at gunpoint from near Noorpur village on November 22.

The incident came to light when the owner of the mini bus (PB-10 BF 7107), Sukhpal Singh, reported the matter to the Laddowal police here today.

On his allegation, the police has booked Hardeep Singh, Beant Singh and Hardeep Singh and other unidentified persons on the charge of driving away with the bus.

SHO Devinder Kumar said investigations revealed that the group of accused were not robbers but former employees who had a financial dispute with the owner.

One of the accused is a former driver of the owner.



Entry tax affects hosieries more
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
Condeming entry tax, the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry here said the tax would have an adverse impact on the hosiery industry.

"Ludhiana is known for its hosiery and textile industry. Many industrial units from Delhi and around send their yarn to Punjab for conversion into fabrics. There is no VAT on fabrics. Entry tax of 4 per cent is a direct burden on units which do job work of converting yarn into fabrics. Units outside the state will not send their yarn for conversion and this will be a direct and huge loss to Punjab's industry," said P.D. Sharma, president of the chamber.

He said the Punjab government levied such an entry tax in 2003 which remained for till the VAT came into being. "The government should impose this tax only if there is a significant rise in revenues. If there is no increase or only marginal increase in the revenue then the tax is totally irrelevant."

The chamber added that in many cases funds were likely to be blocked and getting refunds from government offices was a tedious task as had been experienced in the past.

An arbitrary rise in raw material cost would also occur which would have a harmful effect on the industry, he said, adding that the government needed to relook into the matter.



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