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Youth shot dead at wedding function
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 13
Nine days after the gruesome murder of former president of the Jagraon Truck Union, a Class XII student was allegedly shot dead by his friend during a wedding function at a marriage place outside Sawadi village near Jagraon.

The deceased has been identified as 18-year-old Balwinder Singh, a resident of Sawadi Kalan village near Jagraon. Balwinder died on the spot after being shot by the accused.

The incident took place when a wedding was being solemnised at a marriage palace outside Sawadi Kalan village, about 7 kilometres from Jagraon. The police has arrested the accused youth, identified as Rajdeep Singh. The police has also seized the revolver used in the crime.

The incident took place when some youths were dancing to the tunes of Punjabi songs during the wedding celebrations. While dancing, there was a minor argument between the Balwinder Singh and Rajdeep Singh following which Rajdeep pulled out his father's licensed revolver he was carrying with him and allegedly fired a bullet at Balwinder Singh which hit his chest. He died on the spot.

Soon after the incident, a police team arrived at the crime scene and arrested the accused. Confirming the development, investigating officer ASI Janak Raj stated that the police was investigating the incident.

Heart-rendering scenes were witnessed at the residence of the deceased. The police has registered a case against the accused under Section 302 of IPC and the Arms Act. Meanwhile, the police has handed over the dead body to the family members after the post-mortem.

Just nine days ago, former president of the Jagraon Truck Union, Darshan Singh was allegedly shot dead by some unidentified assailants on the outskirts of his village while he was out for a morning walk. The Jagraon Sadar police had registered a case against three persons in this regard though the police have failed to arrest the accused so far.

Ban on carrying weapons

Though there has been a ban on carrying weapons in marriage palaces, the accused managed to enter the venue with the weapon. ASI Janak Raj said the police was investigating how the accused managed to enter the marriage palace with the weapon.


Same old story, students made to suffer
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Although the officials make tall claims of upgrading infrastructure at government schools, when it comes to providing facilities to students, they choose to look the other way.

As the National School Games are being organised next week, athletes have started arriving in the city.

The education department has asked about 30 government schools to vacate nine rooms to make space for the sportspersons.

About 125 to 150 students are expected to reach the city by December 18.

Paramjit Kaur, District Education Officer, said the students coming from other states were being provided with all the facilities. "We have told the school managements to ensure that the studies are not affected."

But students lamented that they were made to sit in the open. They added that the school authorities were forcing them to brave the chill.

Students are bound to suffer, but we can do little about it. As per the directions, we are making boarding arrangements for the students participating in the school games," said principal of a government school.

"The government can spend crores on the World Kabaddi Cup, but it can't arrange for the stay of sportspersons. They are being made to stay in government schools, affecting the studies," said a government schoolteacher.



Satguru’s death mourned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Industrialists and followers of Satguru Jagjit Singh have mourned his death. Harbhajan Singh from Oster Knit said: "Although all Namdharis are close to their Satguru, but the loss is even more as I have been in close company of the Satguru."

He said that Satguru Jagjit Singh contributed immensely to social service, uplift of the people, the poor and worked for the promotion of music as well, he said. "I had been given the responsibility for working for the Namdhari community and it is a terrible loss because Satguru has been a guide to many," he added.

Surinder Singh Namdhari, a city-based industrialist, said: "Satguru was for the humanity and worked for the promotion of peace and harmony," he said.



An irreparable loss, say followers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
The followers of Satguru Jajit Singh were seen crying inconsolably at SPS Apollo Hospital where the spiritual head of the Namdhari sect breathed his last today. More than 1,000 followers from different parts of the region had gathered at the hospital.

Braving the incessant rain and the December chill, the followers reached the hospital as soon as they heard the news of the Satguru's demise.

Avtar Singh, who is the third generation follower of the Satguru, said it was the saddest day of his life. "It's as if we have lost a family member. It's hard to come to terms with the loss," he said in a choked voice.

Another follower said the Satguru's demise was an irreparable loss. "He has been our spiritual guru who guided us through the most difficult times of our life. Listening to his teachings was not only spiritually uplifting, but it also helped us in our day-to-day life," said Hardyal Singh, the Satguru's follower from Moti Nagar in Ludhiana.

The followers kept turning up at the hospital even after the body was taken to Bhaini Sahib. Many followers were seen calling up their relatives and friends abroad to inform them of the Satguru's demise.

Meanwhile, while the body was being shifted from the hospital to Bhaini Sahib, the traffic was restricted and the roads were cleared to make way for the vehicles carrying the body and the mourning followers.



Another girl attacked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
After an acid attack on a Class XII girl student on Wednesday at Jalwana village in Ludhiana district, a 22-year-old girl was attacked with a sickle by two youths in broad daylight near Atam Nagar today.

Jaspreet, a resident of Chet Singh Nagar, Gill Road, here hired a rickshaw to go to her workplace at Jalandhar bypass. Two youths on a motorcycle reportedly attacked her on the head with a sickle and fled from the scene. The injured girl contacted her family members on telephone who came and took her to the Civil Hospital for treatment. The girl is undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital and her condition is said to be stable.

It is learnt that the same boy had snatched the purse of the girl a few days ago.

Though the incident took place at around 11 am at Atam Nagar, the police post failed to record the statement of the victim. On being asked at around 8 pm, police post in charge Paramjit singh said he was going to the hospital to record the statement of the girl.

Suicide bid

In another incident, a girl and a boy reportedly consumed some poisonous substance and were admitted to the Civil Hospital in the afternoon. Jyoti (18), a resident from Delhi, and Chetan (18), a resident of Tibba Road, consumed poisonous substance, but their condition is said to be stable. The chowki in charge, Tibba Road, said he had not got any information from the Civil Hospital.



rti act
Warrants against LIT official
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 13
The Punjab State Information Commission has issued bailable warrants against Avtar Singh Azad, the public information officer (PIO) and the executive officer of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust for his failure to provide information under the Right to Information Act to appellant Arvind Sharma and also for failure to appear before the commission.

Pronouncing the orders on December 5, 2012, State Information Commissioner Narinderjit Singh observed that at the last date of the hearing, the PIO (of Ludhiana Improvement Trust), was summoned to be present at the next date of hearing to explain reasons for delay in supply of the information, and also for his absence.

"The PIO is not present today and no intimation regarding his absence has been received. This commission is, therefore, constrained to issue bailable warrant of Shri Avtar Singh Azad, executive officer, Improvement Trust, Ludhiana, in exercise of powers conferred under Section 18(3) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, read with the relevant provisions of the Civil Procedure Code," the orders said.

The commission directed that the said officer shall produce the relevant record relating to the information demanded by the complainant in his application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 on the next date of hearing, which is fixed for January 16, 2012 in this Commission at Chandigarh at 11.00 AM.

Endorsing a copy of the orders to the Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana for execution of the warrants, the Commission issued directions to the Police to serve the bailable warrant on the said official to ensure his appearance before this Bench of the State Information Commission, Punjab when the complaints will come up for hearing on January 16, 2013.

According to complainant Arvind Sharma, he had submitted an application to the LIT on March 14, 2012 demanding information under the RTI Act about arrears against residential plots and commercial properties allotted or sold through public auction from January 2000 to December 2011 in various schemes of the Trust.

He had asked the LIT authorities to provide copies of letters/notices sent to the allottees of buyers during this period for recovery of outstanding amount as well as the officials who were responsible for making recoveries against sale/allotment of properties.

After the LIT failed to provide the required information within the time period stipulated in the RTI Act, the applicant preferred an appeal before the first appellate authority - The Deputy Director, Local Government, Punjab, and thereafter filed a complaint before the State Information Commission.



Unending wait for low-floor buses
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Even though the 30 low-floor non-AC buses have been readied by Tata company and Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd (LCBSL) has conducted the inspection, still the LCBSL has not been able to take delivery of the buses for one reason or the other.

The LCBSL had placed an order of 40 low-floor non-AC buses with Tata company under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) project, out of which 10 buses were delivered in December last year, while the delivery of remaining 30 is pending. Each bus will cost around Rs 48 lakh to the LCBSL.

Earlier, the lot of buses was expected to reach the city before August 31, but the delivery of the buses was delayed after the LCBSL officials told the Tata officials that as per the contract, they were to provide automatic rear view mirrors instead of manual ones, and the officials wanted that the company should conduct a random shower test.

“The shower test is conducted to make sure that the water does not enter the buses whenever it rains. This test was earlier conducted on the first batch of 10 Tata buses delivered in December last year and now, we wanted that the company should conduct the same test again. But the place where the buses are parked right now does not have this facility due to which the Tata officials have been asked to provide a set up where the test can be conducted,” said a senior LCBSL official.

He further said the Tata company officials were also told that they should replace the manual rear view mirrors with automatic ones. “We have sent it in writing that the mirrors that cost around Rs 35,000 per set should be replaced else we will subtract the amount from the total cost of the bus. The inspection was carried out in the first week of November, but we have not received any communiqué back from Tata company due to which the delivery of buses have been delayed,” informed the official.

While speaking to The Tribune, Baljit Singh, manager of the LCBSL, said that the buses were parked in Tata company’s regional sales office near Chandigarh. “We will get their delivery soon,” he assured.

At present, the LCBSL is successfully running a fleet of 20 low-floor non-AC buses in the city, out of which 10 are of Tata company and 10 of Ashok Leyland.



Officials ‘relieved’ as Pak delegation cancels visit
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Officials of the Municipal Corporation, district administration and police, heaved a sigh of relief as the visit of the Pakistani Punjab Chief Minister was cancelled. The senior officials confirmed the development.

The entire government machinery was busy making preparations to welcome the special guest from the neighbouring country. As soon as the news came that the Chief Minister was not coming for the closing ceremony of the world Kabaddi Cup, the officials looked relaxed.

On condition of anonymity, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) here said that the past few days had been very hectic. "Our routine work had taken a back seat as we had to go and attend a number of meetings for the kabaddi cup. Though many of us work till late in the evening, still during the official-hours, we failed to attend visitors. Secondly, all the work can not be left on the SHOs alone. Now that the Chief Minister (Pakistan, Punjab) is not coming, we are a bit relieved. But we can not be relaxed till the closing ceremony is over. The security has to be taken care of as many VIPs are coming", said the ACP.

Another official said that earlier, 35 delegations from Pakistan had to come and there was a lot of pressure on officials. "They are the VVIPs and guests, who need to be given the best treatment. So for making all the arrangements, we had to put in our best. But now, there is some respite for all of us and we can focus on other issues related to the closing ceremony", said the official.

Meanwhile, "instructions" have been issued to the bus operators to arrange buses to bring the crowd from other cities to witness the kabaddi match. A bus operator said that an employee of the District Transport Department (DTO) had asked him to arrange at least 20 buses. "But why should we do that? We are not puppets in the hands of the government. If we fail to provide them buses, they will adopt other measures to harass us. This is very disgusting as they don’t even pay us the expenses", said the operator.



Civic body staff pulled up for shabby paint work on roads
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Municipal Corporation (MC) officials from the Bridges and Roads branch were pulled up by Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria when he “caught” them not performing their duty properly.

The Mayor today conducted a surprise check near Aarti Chowk on Ferozepur Road where the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials were involved in beautification of road dividers.

In view of the Kabaddi World Cup finals, the MC is on the beautification mode and paint work on dividers and roundabouts on the city roads is going on in full swing. The MC staff was painting the dividers, when the Mayor suddenly conducted a check.

“I stopped by to see if the dividers were being painted properly. I am surprised to see that the work is being done in a shabby manner as the staff is applying the paint directly on the divider without even cleaning them. This will not only lead to wastage of paint but even the work will not be neat,” said the Mayor while speaking to The Tribune.

The mayor even checked whether the staff was using the right quantity of paint, he asked them not to compromise with the quality of work.



Flow of counterfeit goods goes unabated
Industrial sector loses 20% of revenue while top brands lose up to 30-40%
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Recently, where a factory owner from Focal Point was booked for manufacturing fake cycle parts of Hero Cycles has brought to the fore the grave issue of counterfeit goods being manufactured in the local market openly.

The counterfeit goods are produced not only within the country but also from outside the country and are making their way with "Made in India" stamp through sea ports and from Nepal, Bangladesh and Burma.

Sources said the industrial sector loses approximately 20 per cent of its revenue to the counterfeit goods while several top brands end up losing up to 30-40 per cent of their business.

"The goods that are seized are only a small portion of what is being sent to our country. These cloned versions are being sold as genuine products and are extremely fragile and come with no warranty," said Rajesh Singla, a cycle parts manufacturer.

Another cycle manufacturer, Aadesh Aggarwal, said they had been demanding that anti-dumping duty on cycle, cycle parts, auto components and softwares be imposed, now, so that it would help in checking the inflow of cloned goods.

In addition to this, "Custom authorities should be empowered and authorised to intersect, seize and confiscate goods found to be or suspected to be infringing intellectual property (IP) rights of Indian companies", he added.

The flow of counterfeit goods is going on unabated. The fake ones are making profits while the genuine producers are facing huge losses.

The paraphernalia of such companies indulging in manufacturing of fake goods is large and are making profits worth crores.

"Chinese products are of low quality and are cheap as compared to genuine Indian products. Situation has become so grim that the Chinese economy is eating up our branded products. The damage to industrial sector is immeasurable because the seized goods represent only a small portion of the counterfeit goods and lost sales are only one part of the equation," added an auto parts manufacturer.



Choked sewerage annoys traders
Say despite highlighting the issue a number of times, MC failed to solve problem
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Choked sewerage has become a bane of Dhandari Kalan. Industrialists lamented that the matter had been brought to the notice of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation a number of times, but it failed to solve the problem.

It was around six months ago that the MC laid a sewerage line on Guru Ram Dass Road in Dhandari Kalan. But even after six months, the MC officials have failed to connect it with the main line, causing problem to the city industrialists.

Industrialists are either dumping the sewage in the open or throwing it directly into drains.

"We don't want to add to the pollution, but the MC's operations and maintenance branch is forcing us to do so," said an industrialist.

Pawan Sood, who owns an auto parts unit in the area stated that there were around 25 factories in the area and the industrialists were suffering due to the lackadaisical approach of the MC.

"I had taken up the matter with MC Additional Commissioner (technical) of O&M branch Manjit Singh a month back, but all we got was false assurances. It's almost everyday that we speak to the MC officials, but they pay no heed to our problem," said Sood.

Manjit Singh said he had already spoken to his staff to connect the newly laid sewer line with the main line. "I admit that there was a delay, but now the problem will be solved soon," he claimed.



Advocates for promoting Punjabi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Advocates in the city have been demanding that students should be allowed to speak Punjabi in schools and its use must be made mandatory in the government sector, but nothing has been done in this direction so far.

So much so that some of the "elite" schools do not allow any other language to be spoken on the campus, except English.

But the fact that Telugu, the state language, has been made mandatory at schools in Andhra Pradesh, is finding an echo here as well.

Punjabi littérateurs feel that such a step should also be taken by the state government.

"The recent survey by the National Book Trust revealed that Punjabi was one of the less favoured reading languages," said Rohit, a teacher.

Karamjit Grewal, a Punjabi teacher, said speaking Punjabi in "elite" schools was considered a sign of backwardness. "Mother tongue should be given its respectable position and should rather be made mandatory. There must be a law to allow children to speak their mother tongue and use the language," he said.

Janmeja Singh Johl, a Punjabi writer, said, "The countries where native languages are preferred are the ones where education is free and compulsory," he said.



Pay advance tax by Dec 15
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
There is yet another opportunity for the assesses who have not yet paid the correct advance tax. They can rectify the mistake and pay the advance tax by December 15.

December 15 is an important day of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) as it is the date on which the third instalment of advance tax for corporates and the second instalment for all other assesses, including individuals, HUF, are due.

As per the figures released by the CBDT, in Assessment Year 2012-13, only 14,62,488 assesses (salaried persons, HUF, professionals, firms, companies and transporters and retainers) have filed their returns disclosing a taxable income of over Rs 1 million.

But according to the revenue secretary this is a gross under-statement and the government has urged all assesses to disclose their true income.

“There is no advantage in suppressing the true income or avoiding paying income tax that is due because, sooner or later, the information available with the Income Tax Department will lead the department to the doors of such persons,” said the CBDT officials.



Traders apprised of benefits of product certification
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
A one-day awareness programme on product certification was held for traders on Tuesday. Representatives of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacture Association and Sewing Machine and Auto Parts Association attended the programme.

SS Dhillon, director, MSME, in his speech said it was the need of the hour to upgrade the quality of the products.

He stated that it was mandatory to implement the standards of the products manufactured for the survival of the enterprise and be in the business. He felt that industries did not follow the standardised quality of the products.

BS Nagi, assistant director, MSME, motivated the industry to get the product certification as the government was making it mandatory.

He also highlighted other schemes launched by the Ministry of MSME and asked the members to avail the benefits. Ram Charan Das, assistant director, BIS, Chandigarh, delivered a speech on product certification.

Gurmeet Singh Kular, president, United Cycle and parts Manufacturers Association, said there was need to identify products through it quality technically. Pankaj Arora, president, Ludhiana Sewing Machine Dealer and Assembler Association, said the industry was lacking in quality products.




Winter carnival

Ludhiana: Kids Quest Preschool organised winter carnival. Children enjoyed winter games and crafts. Students danced around the bonfire.

Prize distribution

Atam Public School, Atam Nagar, organised its annual prize distribution function. Students highlighted social problems through various performances. Unity in diversity was depicted through a dance "Spectrum- fusion of cultural colours". "Hip-Hop" compelled the audience to dance. Prizes were given to meritorious students.

Tennis meet

Students of Guru Gobind Singh Public School performed well during the 58th National Soft Tennis Championship held at Dewas in Madhya Pradesh. Around 250 players participated in the championship. Six students of Guru Gobind Singh Public School made it to the soft tennis camp which will be organised by the School Games Federation of India.

Founder's Day

Everest Public School celebrated its Founder's Day. An inter-school declamation contest was held. Students spoke on topics such as "Paraya Dhan Nhi Betiyan", "Put Banke Kamyun Ghar Tere", "Mera Ude Doria", "Fast Food Sehat Ke Liye Zehar Hai" and "Asaflata Hi Saflata Ki Sidi Hai".

Students bag medals

Three shooters of Kundan Vidya Mandir, Ludhiana, participated in the 58th All-India School Games Shooting Championship held at Pune from December 3 to December 7. Manik Sood of Class XII, Rishab Kapoor of Class VIII and Tanish Galhotra of Class VII won laurels for the institution. Tanish Galhotra won a gold medal in peep sight air rifle event in the U-14 category, Saransh Kapoor won a bronze medal in the open sight air rifle event in the U-14 category while Manik Sood claimed a silver medal in the open sight air rifle event. To instill reading habits in students, an English paper-reading contest was organised for students of classes I and II in Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines. — TNS



Youth killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 13
A youth was killed when a vehicle hit his motorcycle on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway near Sherpur Chowk last night. The deceased was identified as Harmit Singh, a resident of Sheikhdault village near Jagraon.

As per information, Harmit Singh was on his way to his village. As he reached Sherpur Chowk and attempted to cross the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway, the vehicle hit his bike.

The youth sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the Civil Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. The body was handed over to the family after an autopsy.

A case has been registered in this connection.



27-year-old youth arrested with 40 gm of heroin
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
The anti-narcotic staff has arrested a 27-year-old youth with 40 grams of heroin. The accused has been identified as Sukhbir Singh, alias Gagan. The value of the seized contraband has been estimated at Rs 20 lakh in the international market.

Sub-inspector Harbans Singh said following a tip-off a special checkpoint was set up at the railway crossing near Lodhi Club yesterday. The accused got suspicious and tried to flee from the spot. However, the policemen managed to nab him. He was riding a black-coloured motorcycle (PB-10 CV 1538). When the police party searched him, a packet containing 20 grams of heroin was recovered.

We have registered a case under Section 22, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act at the Sarabha Nagar police station. The accused said he was working with an agency as a loan recovery agent. The heroin was procured from a person named Charanjit Singh, said Harbans Singh.



Kabaddi cup: Preparations on in full swing at Guru Nanak Stadium
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Preparations for the closing ceremony of the World Kabaddi Cup on December 15 are on in full swing at Guru Nanak Stadium. The stage has been set and the lighting for the event has been installed. Light towers have already been set up, cleaning is being done, fencing has been placed and barricades have been set up at the stadium.

Teams from Wizcraft, the event management company, were at the ground planning the event. Sushil Kumar, from another organising firm, said, bikers by the name of "Gabhru" were going to stage stunt shows. A team from Delhi would perform a dance with lanterns said an official.

Gatka would also be performed on the occasion, said an official. Apart from Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif, a number of singers would also perform on the occasion, he said.



All arrangements have been made: DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Ahead of the final match of the World Kabaddi Cup, the Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner of Police held a meeting with officials of various departments. Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari instructed all the officials to pull up their socks to discharge their duties assigned to them.

"We have made all the necessary arrangements to meet the uncertain weather conditions. A large number of dignitaries will be there to watch the final match and the closing ceremony. Elaborate arrangements have been chalked out to avoid any untoward incident in the stadia as well as around the venue," said the DC.

There will be some restrictions in force to regulate the vehicular traffic in the city on Saturday. This will be done in a way so that the general public and the commuters will not feel the pinch on that day, he added.

The main attraction of the closing function will the live performance by cine star Katrina Kaif and her troupe besides firework display, informed Tiwari.

Weather may play spoilsport

The weather may play the spoilsport as the pedestal erected for the visiting artistes are sans a roof. Arrangements for hotline connection and uninterrupted power supply during the final match have been made but during the trial run, the arrangements were not found to be up to the mark.



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