L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Woman, daughter brutally attacked
Domestic help injured too; condition of trio serious; assailants nabbed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Residents gathered outside the house. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, February 18
Three persons were seriously injured following a brutal attack by two armed assailants at Shivaji Nagar's Street No. 1 near Shinghar cinema, here today. The assailants were nabbed and have been identified as Laddi and Raman. The accused are painters and had come to whitewash the victim’s house six months a go. Deepika reportedly stated to the police that the assailants looked like the painters.

The incident took place just few yards away from the house of area councillor Ashok Bagga. The Shinghar Cinema Police Chowki is also located in the vicinity, but still the police took nearly 30 minutes to reach the spot.

The victims have been identified as Veena (45), wife of yarn broker Naresh Juneja, their daughter Deepika (22) and domestic help Chotu. The condition of the trio is stated to be serious. While Veena and Deepika sustained serious head injuries, Chotu has also sustained stab injuries on his head, face and other body parts.

The brutality of the assailants can be gauged from the fact that Chotu's little finger was chopped off by them. Deepika's little finger too was chopped off by the assailants.

Prima facie the police has not ruled out personal enmity or robbery to be the reason behind the murderous attack.

"Nothing has been robbed by the assailants. Two assailants entered the house. It was a friendly entry. While one assailant was wearing a cap and had grown a beard, the other one was cleaned shaven," said Brij Mohan, SHO, Division No. 3 police station.

The police is suspecting that the assailants entered the house around 3pm. At that time Veena and Chotu were in the house.

When the assailants were attacking them, Deepika returned home from tuition. When she reached the first floor of the house, the assailants attacked her as well and she sustained serious stab injuries.

She managed to free herself from the clutches of the attackers and reached the porch. She then raised the alarm. The assailants then fled the scene.

Satpal Singh, who runs a motor workshop in the street, was the first one to enter the house.

"The assailants ran towards Kashmir Nagar. When I entered the house, Deepika was bleeding profusely. While her mother Veena and Chotu were lying unconscious. There was blood all over the place”, said Satpal. "Since the ambulance did not arrive on time, we rushed the victims to the hospital on a auto-rickshaw," he added.

The investigating officer said that the assailants were aware that no male member would be at the house at that time and that Deepika would be away for tuition. They may have planned to kill Veena and Chotu and then commit the robbery, but Deepika’s entry in to the house foiled their plan.

Family in disarray

There was blood spattered on the floor at Naresh Juneja’s house. A forensic team was collecting fingerprints of the assailants. At the CMC Hospital, anxious relatives were rushing towards the Emergency to check the condition of the trio. Aman and Raman, Deepika’s brothers, were in disarray. Naresh was inconsolable.

Police Commissioner meets family

In the evening, Ishwar Singh, Commissioner of Police, reached the hospital and met the family members. The ADCP and ACP were conspicuous by their absence. A large crowd gathered outside the house. An old woman who lives near the house claimed to have seen the assailants and said that they were carrying sharp-edged weapons.

Street not cordoned off

The police did not cordon off the street, which led to a traffic jam. No CCTV camera was installed in the house. It is learnt that the CCTV camera installed in the street had developed snag recently and was removed. If the CCTV camera was working it could have helped the police in identifying the assailants.


Kipps Market
Civic body gets no reply from shopkeepers
Had sent notices to them for conversion of shop-cum-flats into shop-cum-offices
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

A view of the Sarabha Nagar main market in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 18
No shopkeeper of the Sarabha Nagar main market has filed his reply to the notices sent to them by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation’s Building Branch. After the shop-cum-flats (SCFs) were converted into shop-cum-offices (SCOs), the MC had sent notices to such shopkeepers in the Sarabha Nagar main market, also known as “Kipps Market”.

As per an internal communiqué of the building branch, the Municipal Town Planner has written to the MC Commissioner that in such cases, sealing proceedings be initiated against the violators.

With the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation looking the other way, a majority of the original SCFs in this particular market have slowly been converted into SCOs, which is against the rules and can be termed as illegal change of land use (CLU). This has led to a need for an additional parking space in the market and that is why people visiting the market, park their cars on nearby roads, leading to traffic congestion.

The MC Building Branch has been sleeping over the issue till a resident complained about it to the Principal Secretary of the Local Bodies Department. The MC Building Branch issued notices to such shopkeepers on January 31 and asked them to file their reply within a week.

As per the internal communiqué of the building branch, a copy of which is in possession of The Tribune, clearly states that no shopkeeper filed his reply with the MC. “Upon checking the official record on January 8, it was found that none of them (shopkeepers) had submitted their replies. This clearly shows that the shopkeepers have nothing to say about the violations on their premises and that they have no documents to support their side of the story. Now, that one week has passed, it is advised that sealing proceedings be started in the market,” read the official communiqué sent to the MC Commissioner on February 8.

When the market was originally developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, they were sold as SCFs, but over the years, a majority of them were converted into SCOs, which is illegal. Even multi-national companies have set up their shops in these illegal shops.

When contacted, MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma said that he was looking into the matter.



MC cracks down on rickshaw-pullers, ‘rehriwalas’
Goes easy on ‘rich’ shopkeepers, residents at Bharat Nagar Chowk
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

A restaurant owner was given ample time by the MC tehbazaari Wing to shift his tables kept on the portion of a service lane near Bharat Nagar Chowk in Ludhiana on Monday.

Ludhiana, February 18
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today carried out a “selective” anti -encroachment drive at Bharat Nagar Chowk. Here, the “rich” shopkeepers were given ample time to pick up their goods from the service lane, whereas “rehri” venders were not even allowed to move their fruits and eatables. They were confiscated. Similarly, time was given to the residents to move their motorcycles parked on the service lane to an adjoining road, the rickshaws were loaded within no time.

Later in the day, the tehbazaari wing also removed encroachments from outside Hotel Park Plaza, Ansal Plaza, Khushi Ram and Sons, Silver Arc Hotel and other such places on the service lane on Ferozepur Road.

Today was the second day of the MC anti -encroachment drive on the service lane along the Ferozepur Road, which is used more as a parking space. It obstructs vehicular traffic leading to traffic jams most of the day.

The drive started from Bharat Nagar Chowk this morning. The tehbazaari wing officials reached the spot along with police officials and took some time to start the drive. In the meantime, the area shopkeepers got ample of time to remove the encroachments from the pavements.

“Rehri vendors” too were not given any time and their goods were confiscated.

Rickshaws were impounded the moment Tehbazaari Wing officials saw them. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

It was seen that the tehbazaari officials were adopting a “pick-and-choose policy” at some places, but when it came to poor rickshaw-pullers and “rehri” and “farhi” vendors, they were not spared. Their goods and rickshaws were consfiscated. A large number of bikes were parked on the service lane near Bharat Nagar Chowk when the tehbazaari officials reached the spot, but within minutes, the vehicles were shifted to an adjoining road in front of their eyes. However, the MC officials just focused on the service lane and did not bother to lift those bikes, which were also parked on a road.

When contacted, Tehbazaari superintendent Naveen Malhotra claimed that they had not adopted any pick-and-choose policy. “We have confiscated 52 two -wheelers, six cars and more than 20 challans were issued near Bharat Nagar Chowk alone. Now if any person sees us and starts moving his goods inside his shop, what can we do?”, claimed Malhotra. But as soon as the tehbazaari wing left the spot, the encroachments were back once again.

Malhotra said that as a follow up plan, the Tehbazaari wing also removed encroachments from outside Hotel Park Plaza, Silver Arc shopping mall-cum-multiplex, Ansal Plaza, Khushi Ram and Sons, besides other such commercial establishments located on the service lane of Ferozepur Road, here.

“The drive will continue in the coming days as well,” said Malhotra.



Student found unconscious on vacant plot
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
A 20-year-old student of dairy technology at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University was allegedly kidnapped and thrown on a vacant plot at Daad village after chopping off his hair.

The victim identified as Harpartik Singh was rushed to the hospital where his condition was stated to be serious. The assailants took away his mobile phone and motorcycle. Harpartik is a resident of Sunrise Colony on Pakhowal road.

The victim's father said that like always their son left the house for college. Later during the day when he did not reach home they started looking for him. In the meantime, they received a call from a resident of Daad village, who told them that their son was lying unconscious on a vacant plot.

The victim’s father said that he rushed his son to the hospital. He further told the police that three men travelling in a car intercepted his son and overpowered him, while the third one put the sedative-laced cloth on his face. His son then fell unconscious and his body had wound marks. He said that he was badly beaten up by the assailants.

The police has started the investigation. The police is suspecting it to be a case of personal enmity.



Man held for sodomising boy
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
The city police nabbed a man for sodomy and kidnapping of a five-year-old boy from the South City area last evening. The accused identified as Dharmu (24), was arrested by the police last evening and the child was rescued. Initially, it was suspected that Dharmu had kidnapped the child for money, but later the child complained that the man tired to sodomise him.

He was rushed to the hospital and the police was informed about the incident. The boy's father, who is working as a labourer at an under construction site in South City, said that Dharmu had taken the boy on the pretext of buying him sweets, while he was playing with his friends. The accused was nabbed few meters away from the place where the boy was kidnapped. Dharmu was in an inebriated condition when he was caught.

"Initially, it was suspected that Dharmu had kidnapped the boy for money, but later on the victim complained that he tried to sodomise him. The boy was then taken to the civil hospital for a medical examination and the report is awaited," Amarjit Singh, SHO, Haibowal, said.



Woman booked for paramour’s suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
A 35-year-old woman was booked after her 24-year-old paramour committed suicide after consuming poison. The victim identified as Parminder Singh left a suicide note holding the woman responsible for his death.The police has registered an abetment to suicide case against accused Sunita who is a mother of five and begun the probe. Parminder Singh, who used to live in Nanakser Colony, was in a living relationship with Sunita of Jujhar Nagar for the past six years.

Parminder Singh was working as an electrician, while Sunita was living with him following a divorce with her husband Mahinder Singh.

Recently, the relationship between the couple turned sour as Parminder allegedly began showing interest in Sunita’s elder daughter, who is 15-year-old.He expressed his intention to marry Sunita’s daughter. This rattled Sunita and she reported the matter to the Daba police.Both of them reached a compromise at police station and agreed to live separately.On February 15, soon after returning from the police station Parminder consumed poison.



Knitwear industry on decline
High taxation, power tariff leading to closure of several units
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

A knitwear unit in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, February 18
Owing to the apathy of the state government, the knitwear industry in the city is on a decline. Ludhiana, known for its hosiery and knitwear industry, is witnessing closure of units due to heavy taxation and unfavorable conditions.

At present there are around 12,000 knitwear units operating in the city that provide direct and indirect employment to over 4 lakh people. Three years ago, the number of units stood at 13,000. Increase in the rate of taxation and power charges are cited as the main reasons by the industry.

"Two years ago, VAT was imposed on yarn and finished garments at the rate of 4 per cent. Today, it is 6.5 percent. In addition to this the hike in power charges has also led to the downfall of the knitwear industry. The power rates have been raised arbitrarily and the small units had failed to bear the burden, leading to their closure," said Vinod Thapar, chairman of the Knitwear Club.

Lalit Jain, a garment manufacturer, said, "Not only the power rates are high; there is also the problem of unavailability of electricity. In its absence we are forced to work on generator sets after shelling out a huge amount of money.”

The industry is also facing a shortage of labour. "Due to the Central Government's schemes like MGNREGA migrants have moved back. The government should open skill training centres, so that local youth can be trained for the industry," said Dharampal Sabharwal, another small manufacturer.

"The industry is declining rapidly due to the anti-people policies of the state government. Inflation and taxes has reduced the purchasing power of people, affected the industry," said Randeep Jain, a manufacturer from Bahadurke Road.

"We are working very hard to sustain in this industry but are not given any facilities from the government, while the industry in Karnataka is growing at a faster rate. Many small manufacturers are switching over to other professions," said Inderjit Singh, another knitwear manufacturer.



From schools
Milk activity at Springdale

A student dressed up as a milkman distributes milk at Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School in Ludhiana. A Tribune Photograph

An activity was organised at Spring Dale Senior Secondary School here to encourage the habit of drinking milk among students.

The students enjoyed milk products like cheese, butter, curd, cream etc and were provided milk from the school as a treat so that they can develop a routine practice of drinking milk. They were told about the importance of milk and its benefits for a healthy body.

A poem "old Macdonald had a farm" was recited by the students of Pre Nursery, LKG and UKG. They also sang a song "Milk Man Milk Man Have You Any Milk" which was enjoyed by all. Dressed up as cows, milkmen, buffaloes, goats etc, the young ones were attracting everyone's attention at the event.

To give a real feel and make the activity more interesting, a cow, along with a milkman, was also brought to the school.

KVM observes mass ‘surya namaskar’

As a part of the observance of Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary, Kundan Vidya Mandir in association with Swami Vivekananda Saghr Shati (150 years) Samaroh Smiti, Punjab, has observed mass Surya Namaskar.

As many as 60 students participated in the event. Kishore Kant, a member of the samaroh smiti, explained the physical and spiritual importance of Surya Namaskar. He said they want to spread Swamiji's message of health and spiritual awareness on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

It was an educative opportunity for the students when they performed 12 Surya Namaskars en mass. Principal Navita Puri said we must salute, revere and follow Swami Vivekananda who carried light of the Vedas overseas.

Farewell to students

The GRD Academy, Humbran Road, organised a function to bid farewell to students of Class XII here on Monday. The function was started by the lamp lighting ceremony by chief guest Wng Cdr JS Bhalla, director of the school.

Later, students presented a cultural programme. A ramp show was also held and students played several games. The students of Class XII showed nostalgic emotions through music. School principal Meena Jain was welcomed by Ujjwal Mitra and Abhimanyu of Class XI. A contest for the titles Mr and Miss GRDians was held and Shubham Sharma and Harsimran Oberoi were the winners.

Annual sports meet

Bhartiya Vidya Mandir organized an annual sports meet on Monday. Students participated in events such as frog race, butterfly race, three leg race, sack race, balloon bursting etc. BVM Trust secretary MM Vyas encouraged the students and gave medals to the winners.

Cagers shine

Doraha: Basketball players of Doraha Public School (DOPS) lived the moments of their lifetime when they found that their names and photographs were published in one of the best selling sports magazines of the world ‘Sports Illustrated’.

Sports photographer of the magazine Bob Martin, who has covered 15 summer and winter Olympics, and Pete Thamel, a senior writer for the magazine, came here to cover a special story on basketball players from rural Punjab. They selected DOPS basketball coaching centre for its performance in the field.

Punjab Basketball Association secretary Teja Singh Dhaliwal and senior basketball coach Harjinder Singh from the Sports Authority of India accompanied the USA-based journalists.

The school runs a basketball coaching centre under the guidance of Davinder Singh, a coach known for producing national level players. The centre provides free coaching and other facilities to school players and poor village children.

It was amazing to see young children, especially from rural areas, getting expert coaching in a game like basketball, which was perceived to be a sport of urban people in western countries, said Pete during his interaction. He appreciated the passion of the players and coaching staff for making basketball popular among children, especially in rural areas.

Movement to curb cheating

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Students and staff of Government Senior Secondary School, Butahri village, vowed to support a movement launched by the Punjab School Education Board against the menace of copying during the forthcoming examinations.

Students took an oath to not to use any unfair means of practice during examination. A path of Guru Granth Sahib was organised on this accident. State Bank of India manager Sher Singh was the guest of honour.

— Tribune Reporters



Ludhiana scan
PAU Pensioners' Mela on March 2

A woman admires a dress from the JJ Valaya’s collection at an exhibition in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

The PAU Pensioners' Mela will be held on March 2. Addressing the general body meeting at the Students' Home, former president of the PAU Employees' Union Rup Singh Roopa appealed to employees and retired employees of PAU and GADVASU to attend the mela. During the mela, a play "Chandni Chowk To Sirhind" by Dr Sahib Singh and other cultural programmes will be presented.

IDPD conference concludes

The ninth national conference of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) concluded on Monday with a resolve to continue struggle to eliminate all kinds violence and to bring about conceptual changes in the health policy so as to achieve the goal of comprehensive healthcare to all. A citizens’ charter for this will be prepared soon.

Last day’s session was marked by talks on peaceful coexistence in South Asia by Maj Gen (Retd) Vinod Saighal, who emphasised on the need for people’s movements in the countries of South Asia so as to impress upon the governments to continue dialogue to ease tension in the region and put an end to arms race.

Prof Arjun Dev, former head of the department of Social Sciences NCERT, expressed concern at the trends of increasing intolerance in society particularly against the marginalised sections.

Municipal Workers’ Union holds protest

Members of the Municipal Workers’ Union held a protest against the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation here on Monday.

Municipal Workers Union president Bhagirath Paliwal said they had been raising issues related to the problems of workers for the past many years, but the MC is not paying any heed to them. "We have submitted several memorandums to the officers concerned and it seems that they are not concerned about our problems. If the MC doesn't redress our problems, we would be forced to intensify our protest," he said.

Paediatrics conference

The IAP Intensive Care Chapter Punjab (state branch), in association with the Society of Trauma and Emergency Paediatrics, has organised the fifth national assembly on paediatric emergency medicine (NAPEM 2013) in Ludhiana from February 15 to 17 at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan.

International speakers from different countries like Dr J Surpure, Dr Shiva Kalidindi from the US, Dr Mohit Singla from Canada and Dr Chong Shulin from Singapore delivered lectures on various aspects of pediatric emergencies.

The aim of the conference was to strengthen the pediatric emergency services in the state.

Valaya collection showcased

A fashion collection of designer JJ Valaya was displayed at Park Plaza on Monday. Socialites Kitty Bector and Prarthana Beri hosted the exhibition of the selected pieces from the collection of JJ Valaya. Mother of pearl inlay, Iznik ceramics, Turkish miniatures, exotic birds and dramatic weaves of the Sultan's robes have been included in the designs. — TNS



Ishmeet Academy to press for release of Rs 5-crore corpus fund
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
The Rs 5-crore corpus fund to be released by the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) for streamlining the functioning of the Ishmeet Academy, embroiled in controversies lately, has not yet been released. Demanding its release will be on top of the agenda during the meeting of the governing body, which is headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

This was decided during a meeting of the academy’s management committee under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari here. The meeting was attended by Ishmeet Singh's father Gurpinder Singh, who wants the academy to be well-recognised in the memory of his late son, a budding singer who drowned in a swimming pool.

An official, who attended the meeting, said it was good to see Gurpinder Singh taking keen interest in the working of the academy. "Now we have to decide how his services can be utilised. He has dedicated his entire life to music. The recent controversies, including complaints made by certain students, will now come to an end with Ishmeet's father getting involved in the day-to-day activities of the academy,” said the official.

The management committee is keen on organising a meeting of the governing body shortly, so that all the points could be discussed and approved. Besides, the land on which the academy is situated is under the cultural affairs department. It has to be shifted in the name of the trust that is running the academy.

The GLADA also has to be asked to complete the construction of the recording room and the studio to generate income by renting them out. It was decided, during the meeting that the academy will remain open from 9 am to 5 pm all all days except Sunday.

Other issues on priority include affiliation by universities for providing diplomas and degrees, and implementing the contractual service rules for employees.



Rice millers urge govt to catch burglars
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 18
The office-bearers and members of the Jagraon Rice Millers’ Association today complained they had been suffering huge financial losses due to burglaries at their godowns.

The association members said several burglars are active in the area and often steal foodgrains from their godowns and trucks. "Burglars regularly steal foodgrains from our godowns as well as trucks carrying foodgrains from various state-owned agencies like the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Warehouse and Markfed. We have to pay the compensation for the stolen foodgrains from our own pocket, as a result of which we have been facing huge financial losses," complained association president Hari Om Mittal, after presiding over a meeting of rice millers here today.

Several rice mill owners and representatives of the local truck union attended the meeting. The association members said if this problem was not resolved, they will be forced to close their mills.

The association members said some of the burglars were hardcore criminals who kept sharp-edged weapons. "When our employees try to stop them, burglars threaten them. These burglars have even attacked and injured some of our employees during the past months," alleged Narinder Kumar, secretary of the association.

The rice millers said despite taking up the issue with the local police several times, nothing had been done to curb the menace.

Now the association members have approached senior police officials to get the problem resolved. After lodging a written complaint with the local police, copies of it have been forwarded to Director General of Police, Punjab, Sumedh Singh Saini; Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Rahul Tiwari and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. The association members have urged the state government and police department to take strict action against burglars.



PAU workshop
Kashmiri farmers come calling
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
As many as 33 Kashmiri farmers are in the city to attend a farmers’ training workshop organised by the Directorate of Extension Education at Punjab Agricultural University. The five-day workshop is all about latest farming practices in the sphere of flowers, horticulture and vegetable cultivation.

Elated to have visited Punjab, most of the farmers have come to the state for the first time. They say that they have come not only to learn the farming techniques, but also to see Punjab more closely.

Landing in the city last evening, they attended the first day of the training today.

"Most of the farmers who have come here grow flowers in Kashmir. Tulip grown in Kashmir is considered as one of the best in the world," said Farooq Ahmed Mir, a farmer.

"There are climactic differences in the states. Farmers here sow seeds by October, it is time for us to harvest them back in Kashmir. But we hope to learn about the techniques and marketing strategies from the training here,” he said.

"We will visit local markets and buy souvenirs and other local items," said Mohammed Yousuf, another farmer. "After the completion of the five-day training, we expect to go to the Golden Temple and visit Wagah Border and the famous places around," said another farmer.

Not happy with accommodation

They liked the hospitality of the state, but not the accommodation they have been provided at Kairon Kisan Ghar at the university. They complained of the hygiene problems. “Rooms are not clean and the beddings are also dirty,” one of the farmers said.

Tejinder Singh Riar, an associate professor at the Directorate of Extension Education, said “The farmers were demanding accommodation at Parker House, with facilities like geyser and all. Providing accommodation at Parker House is a costly affair for the organisers so they are given accommodation at Kairon Kisan Ghar.”



Experts dwell on energy efficiency and conservation methods at conference
Tribune News Service

Energy efficiency products on display at a conference in Ludhiana on Monday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 18
The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) organised a conference on energy efficiency in the city today. The conference 'energy efficiency - moving towards greener future' saw participation of architects and experts from other fields engaged in energy saving.

Senior manager Balkar Singh talked about the energy initiatives in the state. Dr Mandeep Singh from Thapar Universty discussed about the energy efficiency through electrical utilities, while using pumps and compressors.

Vijay Uppal, from BSI talked about energy saving through implementation of a new energy management system in the form of 'ISO: 50001'. A presentation on new building materials for saving energy in the upcoming buildings was presented by architect Sanjay Goel. He talked about using fly ash, modern paints that emit lesser carbon, alternatives to wood and timber like PVC, UPVC, modern use of innovative glass to maximise light and minimise heat in the buildings.

The latest energy measuring star standards on electronic products were discussed by Ashish Saraswat from Bureau of Energy Efficiency, while Akshay Gupta spoke about energy efficiency in the spheres of (HVAC) heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

The application and the benefits of using LED lights were discussed by Praveen K Sood, an expert on LED lighting. Bhupinder Singh from a solar energy firm explained the role of solar water heating systems in energy conservation.



Aam Aadmi Party holds protest against imposition of property tax
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
The newly-formed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced itself in the city today by protesting against the imposition of property tax. In the past few days, the party has been distributing pamphlets, spelling out its ‘dream’ of a political revolution. The pamphlet that calls upon the people to join the party, promises to root out corruption, inflation and dynastic rule. It also promises to make India the country martyrs had dreamt of, besides assuring the establishment of a true democracy. To connect with the Net-savvy generation, the pamphlet mentions the party’s Facebook page and e-mail id, apart from the contact numbers for acquiring the party membership.

However, it was with the politics of protest that the party started its Ludhiana-centric programme today. Members of the Party staged a dharna outside the Municipal Corporation office and met the Municipal Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma to protest against the levying of property tax. The party announced that its members would take to streets if within five days if the decision to levy property tax is not revoked in the district.

On a slightly less strident note, the party spokesman Dr SS Butter, while talking about “Mission Awareness” of the party in the city, said “The party volunteers will organise camps to create awareness about property tax among public. An extensive signature campaign will be started from tomorrow onwards.”



Significant rise in detection of service tax, central excise evasion cases
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Hotels, clubs and restaurants, franchises, recovery agents, cable operators and commercial construction businesses evaded the maximum service tax last year. Giving details, Central Excise and Service Tax Commissioner Rajiv Bhatia said the major service tax cases booked by the anti-evasion wing of the commissionerate pertained to the Punjab Technical University, Indian Reserve Battalion, Hotel Park Plaza, Rohan and Rajdeep Infrastructures Pvt Ltd and Secret Agency.

While the central excise evasion cases included availing of Cenvat credit fraudulently, non-accountable finished goods, availing of SSI exemption wrongly, clandestine removal of the finished goods as well as the inputs on which Cenvat credit was taken.

Rail Coach Factory, Chadda Sugar, Donar Foods and GG Steel Rolling Mills were booked for the evasion of the central excise, said Bhatia.

"Surveys with respect to various services were undertaken this year which resulted in the recovery of service tax and bringing more service providers under the tax net. More such drills will be undertaken by the department in the near future," said Bhatia.

Revenue realisation by the commissionerate during the period from April 2012 to January 2013 has seen a significant growth.

"We have seen a 1,300 per cent increase in the detection of service tax evasion cases, and 550 per cent increase in the on-the-spot recovery of the tax. With regard to the central excise, the detection has increased by more than 600 percent," said Bhatia.



Fraud case: Head constable, wife still at large, cops clueless
Our Correspondent

Samrala, February 18
A Samrala police head constable, who was booked in a fraud case along with his wife, is still at large and the police is trying to locate them. As per the information from SHO Samrala the police had raided some places but failed to trace them.

Deepak Kumar, a resident of Samrala, in an application to the DIG, Ludhiana, has alleged that head constable Baldev Singh and his wife Palwinder Kaur had reached a sales agreement of a house with him at the cost of Rs 32 lakh. He had given Rs 24 lakh to them.

Later, Deepak came to know that there was a loan of about Rs 8 lakh on the home. So he repaid the loan amount as well.

On the date of registry, Baldev Singh had denied to register the home in Deepak’s name and refused to return the money to him. The police, after verification, had registered a case against the duo under relevant sections.

SHO assured that the police would arrest the head constable and his wife soon. Baldev was posted at the Samrala Police Station where he was performing his duty at a highway patrolling vehicle.

“I am examining the case and an appropriate action will be taken against the head constable as per the law,” SSP Jatinder Singh Aulkh said.



Pak traders happy with city’s response
Want Indian Government to reduce customs duty on their goods
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
The Indo-Pak Expo concluded today with traders from across the border happy with the response they got from the city residents. They, however, said the government should reduce the customs duty.

Shehnaaz, a trader from Pakistan, said she felt like at home in India. "Both countries share same culture, and people on both sides of the border want friendly relations between the countries," he said.

Another trader, Malik Ahmed, complained about the excessive customs duty. "The articles we bring invite a huge customs duty, which results in high prices. The customs duty should be reduced," he said.

Mohd Khushrid, another trader from the neighbouring nation, said, "It felt as if we met our long-lost friends during these four days. Not only trade ties but mutual ties will also get stronger with the help of such events," he said.

On the last day of the exposition, traders from Pakistan went for shopping to Mall Road, Chaura Bazaar and Sarabha Nagar to take back souvenirs for their friends and family.



Goat farmers form association
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
The Progressive Goat Farmers’ Association has been formed at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU). PS Gill (retd colonel) was elected as the association president, while Gurbachan Singh was selected as the secretary of the association.

The initiative to form the association was taken during a five-day training programme on goat farming conducted by the university for the farmers of Punjab.

Course director Dr HK Verma said a total of 37 farmers from across the state attended the training programme. Dr RS Sahota, Director Extension Education, GADVASU, was the chief guest on the last day of the function.

Verma said the main objective of the varsity was to transfer the scientific knowledge of livestock farming to the end-users and for it, the department organised tailor-made training programmes as per the demands of the organisations/NGOs/institutes.

Dr MP Gupta, course coordinator, said information on the scope of goat farming, shed and feeding management was provided to trainees by various experts.



Govt committed to promote dairy farming: Minister
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 18
Punjab Cabinet Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Sarwan Singh Phillaur said the state government was committed to promote dairy farming in the state.

Phillaur was speaking during the prize distribution ceremony of 7th International Dairy and Agriculture Exposition organised by Progressive Dairy Farmers' Association here today.

He said dairy farming had proved to be a viable alternative to agriculture, which has already reached a saturation point in Punjab. "Punjab with only 2 per cent population of dairy animals has emerged as a leader in the dairy farming sector in India by producing 9 percent milk of the country’s total production," said the minister.

Cabinet Minister for Revenue, Public Relations and NRI Affairs Bikram Singh Majithia, in his address, lauded the dairy farmers for their contribution to the development of the state's

Majithia assured the dairy farmers that the price of milk will be increased in the coming months to benefit them.

More than 135 multination dairy farming companies displayed their latest technologies and equipments during the exhibition.



Power corporation
Engineers slam delay in revision of workload norms
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 18
Engineers of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) today criticised the delay in rationalisation of workload norms and span control of engineers.

In a meeting of the Ludhiana Region unit of the PSEB Engineers Association held here, they lamented the delay in revision of norms was affecting the supervisory control of engineers and performance of the power corporation, thus affecting consumer services adversely.

"The association has been highlighting this issue to the PSPCL management time and again but the management, instead of solving the problem, has taken strange decision to refer the issue to the Punjab government," the association members said.

The PSPCL engineers hit out at the laidback approach of the PSPCL management in executing the 1,320 MW Mukerian Thermal Project.

The meeting noted that the PSPCL management continued to ignore workload norms of engineers. "We are highly overloaded with work, fatigued and demoralised," they said.

They also criticised the large number of disciplinary cases initiated against them on flimsy grounds.



Athlete loses belongings, police help sought
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 18
The management of Government Senior Secondary School, Dehlon, has sought help of the Railway Police for searching a bag belonging to Balwinder Kaur, a national athlete of the school.

While returning from National School Games, she had recently lost her bag during a journey between Ambala and Ludhiana. Besides other belongings, the bag contains a coupon for bicycle presented as a prize to the athlete, a citation and an identity card.

Meanwhile, the school management has initiated a process for the issue of a duplicate certificate from the organisers. 



Woman commits suicide

Ludhiana: A 28-year-old woman committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her house in Kali Sarak on Monday. The deceased, identified as Pratima, took the extreme step when her children had gone outside to play. The matter came to light when her husband reached home and spotted her hanging from the ceiling fan. The police said the woman took her life because of financial problems.

Bootlegger nabbed

The city police nabbed notorious bootlegger Kirpal Singh, alias Kala, of New Shakti Nagar at a check point in Jodhewal Basti. While two boxes of liquor were recovered on the spot, the police recovered eight boxes of liquor from his house.

One held with contraband

The Dehlon police has nabbed a person and seized a huge quantity of pharmaceutical drugs from his possession. The accused, identified as Dildar Khan, resident of Upla village, Samrala, was nabbed last evening from a police check point near Tiba Canal Bridge. On checking his bag, the police found a huge quantity of psychotropic drugs. — TNS



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