L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Excise notices to cable firms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
Panic gripped the local cable operators after many of them received notices from the Central Excise Department for not depositing service tax. The department has issued notices to nearly 14 cable operators and asked for details about the service tax deposited by them to date.

One of the cable operators said he recently received notice from the department for non-payment of service tax.

“The notice mentions I am required to pay service tax on the entire value of fee received from the subscribers. It further mentions the benefit of value-based exemption is not admissible to me as I am transmitting the signals received from M/S Fastway Citizen Cable Network (P) Ltd, who obtains TV programme signals from various TV channels and retransmit them to me for further distribution,” he said.

Another cable operator said he had received a notice for the non-payment of service tax. The department has asked him about the details of the tax deposited by him since 2009-10 to date. “I got myself registered with the department in 2012-13. I am confused why the department needs the tax details of the previous years,” he added.

Official sources said it was found that though many operators were registered with the department, they were not paying service tax. The department has issued notices to them, asking for details of the tax deposited to date along with the copies of their income tax returns. 

What is service tax

Service tax is levied on certain service transactions. But it is actually borne by customers. It is categorised under indirect taxes and came into existence in the Finance Act, 1994. It is charged from individual service providers on a cash basis and from companies on an accrual basis. This tax is not applicable in J&K.


Seizure puts question mark over ‘ghee’ quality
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
The illegal practice of mixing desi ghee with “dalda” and packaging the mixture in tins with “Verka” labels, which came to light after a raid of the Health Department yesterday, has put a huge question mark over the quality of branded products.

One buys the branded products to make sure he gets quality products. Yesterday’s seizure has sparked a debate over the quality of the reputed branded products in the city.

The Health Department yeaterday seized 320 kg of desi ghee, which was prepared by mixing “dalda” and the desi ghee of a local brand. The spurious ghee was being packaged in the tins with “Verka” labels.

“I always use ghee, butter and curd of reputed brands. But Wednesday’s incident has left me in a shock. One can never get to know if the product he or she is consuming is genuine. The only option left with me in case of buying Verka products is to buy them direct from the Verka milk plant,” said a worried city resident, Sukhjeet Kaur.

A senior citizen, Karminder Singh, said those found guilty of food adulteration should not be let off. The department should cancel their licences immediately, so they cannot play with the lives of people. “Imposing a fine is no solution to this menace. The cases of adulteration should be disposed of at the earliest and the general public should be made aware such illegal practices,” he said.

Ajmer Singh Bhagpur, chairman, Verka, Ludhiana, said earlier also they had received complaints about shopkeepers selling substandard ghee in “Verka” tins. “My only appeal to the people is they should buy Verka products from authorised dealers and also demand a bill. The tins of spurious desi ghee are different from the original ones but a layman cannot notice the difference easily,” he added.



Cops suspect foul play in youth’s suicide at Salem Tabri
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana October 10
The city police is about to solve the mystery shrouding the death of a youth, who reportedly committed suicide in the Salem Tabri area on October 8. During preliminary investigation, the police found that the victim, Govinda (25), was strangled before being hanged from a fan.

However, the police are waiting for the report of autopsy conducted by a panel of doctors of the Civil Hospital. According to police officials, the doctors will release the report tomorrow.

Maninder Bedi, Salem Tabari SHO, said they suspected someone strangled Govinda. His hands were found tied, which raised the suspicion. We have examined the footage of a CCTV camera installed on a nearby house. No one entered the house from outside during the time the victim committed suicide. The role of the members of the family in his death is suspected. The autopsy report will clear the cause of death. Hopefully, we will get it tomorrow.

Govinda allegedly committed suicide under mysterious circumstances at Fathegarh Mohalla in the Salem Tabri area on October 8. He was found hanging from the fan in a room at his home. The hands of the deceased were tied, which raised the police’s suspicion. Moreover, the parents didn’t want to get a post-mortem examination conducted on the body.



Protests seem to be mandatory to stir police into action
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
The dilly-delaying attitude of the city police in investigating crime cases has led to a new trend. Aggrieved families resort to pressure tactics, such as holding protests against police and blocking roads. Most families take out a candle march.

Similarly, parents of Dr Supriya, a postgraduate student at the DMC, who had committed suicide on September 29, staged a protest against police inaction here today. They blocked the traffic at the crowded Clock Tower market for about half an hour.

Despite intervention of the National Minorities Commission, which sought the release of the inquiry report within 15 days, the police delayed the constitution of a special investigation team in the case. The police investigation is going on at a snail’s pace as into the Jamalpur fake encounter of two brothers. The police are still mum about the role of Manjinder Singh, dismissed SHO of the Machhiwara police station in the fake encounter.

Dr AK Maleri, from the Association for Democratic Rights, Punjab, stated: “The common man have no option than protest. The police, who are still following the British-era policing, work under political influence. The major reasons for the delay in the release of inquiry reports are influence of the ruling party and other influential people. In the Dr Supriya suicide case and the Jamalpur fake encounter, the police are again under pressure from influential people”.

Dr Balwinder Kumar, father of Dr Supriya, said: “The local police can’t conduct a fair inquiry into the case. We demand a probe by the CBI”.



City soaks in Karva Chauth spirit
Women throng markets to make last-minute purchases; henna artists make a killing
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
It was women’s day out today as they pampered themselves while doing last-minute shopping for Karva Chauth.

Hands with intricate henna design and husbands’ helping their better half relish ice-cream or chocolate was a common sight in the city markets today.

The whole city wore a festive look. Sweetmeat shops were decked up for the occasion and did brisk business. Henna artists were ubiquitous in the markets. Almost every nook and corner had a henna artist squatting and applying henna to palms of women. Making most of the festive occasion, the artists have also hiked their charges.

Women, who would be observing fast tomorrow for the long life of their husbands, thronged the markets in huge numbers. Every city market, be it Chaura Bazaar, Sarabha Nagar, Ghumar Mandi, Model Town or Mall Road, buzzed with activity, as women shopped for cosmetics, bangles, ethnic clothes, jewellery and decorated karvas and sieves.

“Traditionally decorated glass, sieve and thali are a must buy for the festival. Since it is my first Karva Chauth after marriage I am leaving no stone unturned to make it special. I have already fixed an appointment with a beautician and will be wearing a specially designed dress tomorrow,” said Smriti, a city resident.

“It is the best time of the year to earn quick bucks. I belong to Rajasthan and came to the city to make quick money,” said Arshad, a henna artist at Ghumar Mandi.



CPI, AITUC demand action against policemen at fault
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 10
The Communist Party of India (CPI) and the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) today held a joint rally outside the Raghunath Enclave Police Chowki at Barewal to protest against the attack on vendors, including women, near Barewal village last week.

The trade union leaders alleged that cops from the Raghunath police post had launched an unprovoked attack on the vendors, who were abused and beaten up and their property damaged.

“The police damaged the vends and carts and destroyed the goods. The poor vendors were not only humiliated but they also suffered financial loss. Ironically, the police did not have any order from the Municipal Corporation to act against these people,” they asserted.

DP Maur, general secretary, Joint Council of Trade Unions, said some unscrupulous elements, allegedly under the patronage of some political people, had been harassing these poor vendors and demanding ‘hafta’ (extortion money) from them.

He demanded immediate arrest of the cops responsible for the incident and an inquiry to find the cause of the unprovoked brutal action by the police.

Gurnam Singh Sidhu, assistant secretary of the CPI’s city unit, said the aggrieved persons had approached the in-charge of the police post and also the SHO of the police station concerned but failed to get any response.

He said the matter would be taken up with the human rights body and the women commission as well as with the police commissioner as the incident saw women vendors being abused and thrashed by male cops.



BKU bats for basmati farmers
Urges Centre to announce MSPs for basmati, paddy simultaneously
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 10
Maintaining that basmati producers were being fleeced and exploited in mandis as a part of deep-rooted conspiracy, the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) has urged the Centre to announce the minimum support price (MSP) of basmati simultaneously with those of paddy and other crops.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the state committee, BKU president Ajmer Singh Lakhowal said with arrival of paddy in grain markets being at its peak, there was a virtual flood of the crop while the speed of procurement had slowed down.

He said there was some confusion about quantity of paddy to be filled in gunny bags, which had led to harassment of farmers at the hands of traders. “As per latest instructions from the Centre, a bag of paddy should weigh 37.5 kg whereas earlier, a bag used to contain 35 or 40 kg of the produce with appropriate marking,” he said, while demanding that the produce purchased till now should be accepted on the basis of actual quantity of paddy filled in bags.

Lakhowal accused the union government of bias against farmers which was evident from its reluctance in accepting the recommendations made by various committees and commissions regarding farmers and prices of agricultural produce.

“Whereas the recommendations made by respective Pay Commissions with regard to revision of pay-scales of government employees are accepted and implemented without any delay, the report of the Dr Swaminathan committee on support price of crops is gathering dust since 2006,” he said.

Having a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BKU chief said the PM had been lauding farmers at his political rallies but he took no step to implement the recommendations of the Dr Swaminathan committee aimed at improving the lot of farmers.

Lakhowal said the state committee meeting had urged the government to put a system in place to accord legal status to election manifestoes of various political parties so as to make them accountable after they assume power. The meeting further demanded appropriate steps to keep agriculture out of the ambit of the World Trade Organization, immediate action for purchase of cotton through Cotton Corporation of India and announcement of support price of sugar cane without any delay.



Power to conduct ultrasound, abortion should not lie in same hands: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
While the International Day of Girl Child will be celebrated tomorrow, the skewed sex ratio in the state warrants the authorities concerned to take steps to curb female foeticide and remove the deep-rooted gender bias.

Although rules and regulations have been made, the number of girls against boys in the agrarian state of Punjab only shows that efforts on the part of the authorities to implement them are not enough.

City experts say that one of the ways to curb the social evil is that only qualified radiologists should have the authority to carry out ultrasound scans during pregnancy, instead of other medical staff or gynaecologists.

Dr KS Soin, a city-based radiologist, said the problem of illegal abortions have also arisen from the fact that the tools for detection of sex and termination of foetus were in the same hands. “Resultantly, the likelihood of a person driven by greed writing anything in the report, which calls for abortion, increases,” he says, adding that only qualified radiologists should be given licence to conduct ultrasound scan, which could help curb the number of illegal abortions.

Dr Soin suggested, “As parents already having a girl child are more likely to indulge in female foeticide, the expectant females having one or two girls earlier should be called at 22-weeks of pregnancy to know the condition of the child. If they are not carrying the child any longer, the place where the scan and abortion was done should be checked. Too many instances of the scan and abortion having been done at the same centres would help nail the culprits carrying out illegal abortions.”



Newborn girl found abandoned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana October 10
A newborn girl was found abandoned in a vacant plot at Gurmail Nagar of the Daba area here on Thursday.

As per details available, Charan Singh, a resident, heard a baby crying at around 9 pm. He came out of his house and found the newborn lying abandoned in a plot. He took the baby and raised an alarm. Later, Charan Singh informed the police.

Paramjeet Singh, investigation officer at the Daba police station, said the baby appeared to be two or three day old.

The police officials got the girl medically examined at the Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital where doctors declared her normal and healthy.

Today, doctors handed her over to Ganga Nand Bhuriwale International Foundation, Dham Talwandi Khurd, an NGO. The NGO claimed to have completed the formalities before receiving the baby.



Four-day exhibition of printers gets going

Ludhiana, October 10
InterPrint Expo India, a four-day exhibition of printing machines and material, began here today.

The exhibition, supported by the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, is being organised in view of the constant demand for printers from over 60 cities of the region. The event aims at sharing information on technical innovations and advancements in the field of printing and to equip the region with the latest technology so as to meet the international quality.

Big brands from printing and converting industries are showcasing their latest products at the exhibition. — TNS



Camps held in post offices

Ludhiana, October 10
On the second day of the National Postal Week, camps were held at 11 post offices to motivate officials and visitors to open saving bank accounts with the postal department.

SP Pahwa, senior postmaster at the Head Post Office, said there were more than 80,000 accounts with the Head Post Office and of these, the number of post office saving bank accounts was high. — TNS



PAU retirees’ assn holds general body meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
The general body meeting of the PAU Retirees’ Welfare Association was held at the Students’ Home on the varsity campus here today.

More than 150 pensioners attended the meeting. Various demands of pensioners were discussed.

President of the association Jila Ram Bansal said the pension for the month of September was paid on October 1 due to the best efforts of the association through Maheshinder Singh Grewal, adviser to Punjab CM. Apart from this he said 16 per cent difference of gratuity was paid to 29 pensioners.

Bansal added that they would soon meet Grewal for the release of Rs 20 crore from RDF, Mandi Board, relating to July-August-September so that the arrears of 10 per cent DA for seven months i.e. July 2013 to January 2014, LTA January, 2013 and July 2014 and pending old-age pension could be paid to the pensioners.

DP Maur, chairman, highlighted that medical allowance from Rs 500 to Rs 1,500, cashless treatment and an allowance to the tune of one month pension for the maintenance of house and a Pensioners Bhawan on the PAU campus were the main demands being taken up with the Punjab Government.

He said some demands were on the frontline for acceptance.

Satish Sood, general secretary, emphasised that the medicines for the chronic diseases be available in the PAU Hospital. He also demanded new testing machines so that the pensioners should not face any financial harassment on account of non-payment on the account. 



Principal secy to CM visits model schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
Ajay Sharma, principal secretary to Chief Minister, today visited various models schools in the district. The main aim behind visit was to check their curriculum and syllabus plus the way of working so that it can be induced in the government schools in the same manner.

Aashish Kumar, deputy district education officer, said the principal secretary was impressed with the model school at Dhandra which would be affiliated with CBSE board soon. “Also, the style of working at Rashtriya Sanskrit Model Senior Secondary School was based on the lines on which government schools can be formed,” Kumar added.

Ajay Sharma also visited the School for Meritorious Students and took a stock of the situation and facilities. 



Zonal youth fest kicks off amid fanfare
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
Three-day long Zonal Youth Festival of the Punjab Technical University kicked off today at the Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town.

Teams from various colleges affiliated to Punjab Technical University from four districts, including Ludhiana, Moga, Kapurthala and Hoshiaprur are participating in the fest.

Dr SM Kant, advisor youth and cultural affairs of PTU, inaugurated the festival. In his inaugural address, he emphasized that youth festivals go a long way for the overall development of the students, enhancing personality of the students, their communication skills and raises the confidence level to face the audience. He urged the students to take part in all the events and give their best.

The main attractions on the first day were group song (shabad/bhajan), group song Indian, mimicry, one act play, light vocal Indian, punjabi folk song, vaar singing, creative writing (Essay, short story, poem), rangoli making, clay modelling, on the spot painting, collage making, still photography, mehandi, poster making, cartooning and quiz. Dr Suresh Tandon, registrar, PIT (IIT Pattern Institutes) being established by PTU and Punjab Government in Ludhiana and presently Controller of Exams of PTU, was the chief guest for the prize distribution function.


Group song (shabad/bhajan): First- GNIMT, Second- Ramgarhia Institute of Engineering and Technology, Phagwara; Group song Indian: First- Ramgarhia Institute of Engineering and Technology, Phagwara, Second- GNNIMT, Ludhiana; Creative writing (a) Essay: First- GNIMT, Ludhiana, Second- Ramgarhia Institute of Engineering and Technology, Phagwara; (b) Short story: First- Rayat and Bahra College of Engineering and Technology, Second- AS Group of Institutions; (c) Poem: First- Gulzar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Second- AS Group of Institutions, Khanna; Rangoli: First- AS Group of Institutions, Khanna, Second- GGNIMT, Ludhiana; Clay modelling: First- Ramgarhia Institute of Engineering and Technology, Phagwara, Second- Gulzar College of Engineering and Technology; Quiz: First- Gulzar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Second- Ramgarhia Institute of Engineering and Technology, Phagwara; On the spot painting: First: PIT, Hoshiarpur, Second- GNA-IMT, Phagwara; Light vocal Indian solo: First: GNIMT, Ludhiana, Second: Ramgarhia Institute of Engineering and Technology, Phagwara; Vaar singing: First- Ramgarhia Institute of Engineering and Technology, Phagwara.

The result of rest of the items will be declared every day. 



Youth and Heritage Festival concludes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 10
The Youth and Heritage Festival concluded at the Bhutta College of Education at Bhutta village near here today. About 300 students from various colleges of Zone B of Panjab University, Chandigarh, took part in the fest.

Addressing the gathering, Rajat Aggarwal, Deputy Commisioner, Ludhiana, called upon residents of the rural areas to ensure higher education for their wards and encouraged them to participate in extra-curricular activities. He claimed that the rich cultural heritage of the state could be preserved and perpetuated through students as they would be able to transmit elements of culture to the next generation in a better manner.

Folk arts, including vaar, kali, kavishri, giddha, bhangra and regional crafts bagh, phulkari, dasuti and cross stitch remained the centre of attraction for spectators, including those from urban areas.

Dr Nirmal Jaura, director, Youth Welfare, Panjab University, said the festival provided a platform to budding artists.

Former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha and principal Sonu Grewal passed a vote of thanks.


Kavishri: 1- Malwa Central College of Education, Ludhiana, 2- SDS College of Education, Lopon, 3- GHG College of Education, Gurusar Sadhar; Kali: 1- SDS College of Education, Lopon, 2- GHG Harparkash College of Education for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, 3- GHG College of Education, Gurusar Sadhar; Vaar: 1- Malwa Central College
of Education, Ludhiana; 2- SDS College of Education, Lopon, 3- GHG Harparkash College of Education for Women, Sidhwan Khurd. 



PAU notes

Five-day EDP concludes

The five-day long entrepreneurship development programme for mushroom cultivation concluded at Punjab Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute (PAMETI) on Friday. As many as 25 members of Watershed Development Team (WDT) from Pathankot district under the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) participated in the event. Experts from the Department of Microbiology, PAU, held practical sessions where the participants were given hand on training to make compost, casing and other production techniques. In addition, the participants were also told about the various value-addition methods which can be adopted to maximise their profit. Dr HS Dhaliwal, director PAMETI, shed light on the importance of direct marketing and value added products.

CIPHET director nominated to PAU board of mgmt

Dr RK Gupta, director, Central Institute of Post-harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), has been nominated for the Board of Management of the PAU, Ludhiana. Dr Gupta will be representative of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in the board. A communication was received from Dr S Ayyapan, secretary and director general of ICAR. — TNS



From schools
(From left) Girls apply henna on the hands of their teachers during the Karva Chauth celebrations at MGM Public School; students of BCM Arya School clean the Sutlej at a bridge; and children present a cultural item during the Grandparents Day celebrations at GMT Public School in Ludhiana on Friday. Tribune photographs
(From left) Girls apply henna on the hands of their teachers during the Karva Chauth celebrations at MGM Public School; students of BCM Arya School clean the Sutlej at a bridge; and children present a cultural item during the Grandparents Day celebrations at GMT Public School in Ludhiana on Friday. Tribune photographs

Clean India Campaign

Ludhiana: The ‘Clean India’ campaign is being carried out at Blossoms Convent School in which students planted a variety of trees, including medicinal trees. Principal Amarjit Kaur Naaz made the students aware of the importance of planting trees in purifying and saving the environment. Besides, they also gained information on saving water which is the collective responsibility of all.

Inter-house henna competition

As part of the Karwa Chauth celebrations, a henna applying competition was organized at MGM Public School where students applied mehandi on the hands of their teachers and fellow students. Winners were selected by a panel of judges. These were as follow: Sonika (Class XII) Vatican House, Puneet (Class XII) Hemkunt House and Charanjit Kaur (Class X) Vatican House. Principal Poonam Sharma felicitated the winners and motivated all the students to preserve their heritage by participating in such competitions.

Karva Chauth celebrated

As part of Karva Chauth celebrations, a mehandi competition was organised on the premises of Everest Public Senior Secondary School, Moti Nagar. Students of different classes celebrated it with great pomp and show. The tiny tots presented a colourful programme of songs and dance. Shashi Sharma in charge, cultural programmes, motivated the infants to participate in such cultural activities. Principal Asha Sharma distributed sweets and prizes among the students. She encouraged the children and told them about the ancient Indian culture.

BCM students clean Sutlej

BCM Aryans took up a community level social project today. Named as ‘Swachh Bharat, Swachh Nadiya, Swachh Samunder’ project to clean up Sutlej river at Sutlej Bridge (near Phillaur). The project is undertaken under International Coastal Clean-up, Ocean Conservancy, Washington DC. Eight leading city schools took part in the project under the aegis of BCM Arya, including GMT International, BBPS Ludhiana, Spring Dale Public School, GNIPS, Drishti Public School, Kundan Vidya Mandir, BCM Basant City and BCM, Dugri. RBS Roots, a registered NGO working in the field of saving environment, is also collaborating in the programme. Besides picking up garbage and cleaning, the students participated in poster display, slogan writing and face painting activities as well. Placards disseminating information on clean water were also displayed on the venue. All the students checked and recorded the type of trash seen on the banks of the river and filled the data cards. The report will be used for further action on the clean-up project. The young enthusiastic students were also seen exhorting the passersby to not to pollute the river waters by throwing garbage in it.

Grandparents Day

GMT Public School celebrated Grandparents Day. It was a special day for all those who attended the programme as it gave students a chance to interact with the people of the age group that is most often overlooked. Grandparents of the students were invited to the school. The function started with shabad by students of Class VIII. Principal Manjeet Kaur was invited to speak on the importance of grandparents in lives. This was followed by a welcome dance and Shiv Vandana. Then the students of Pre-Primary wing danced on the tune of ‘Naani teri morni’, ‘Daadi amma daadi amma’ and ‘Meri zohra zabin’.

Cleanliness rally

In accordance with the directions of CBSE, Swachh Bharat- Swachh Vidyalya Campaign got underway at DAV Public School, BRS Nagar. Under the campaign, around 100 students of Class Xl of commerce stream of the school participated in the cleanliness rally. Principal JK Sidhu flagged off the rally from the school premises. The principal along with five teachers joined the students and undertook to clean-up drive in the areas around the school. They swept the area, picked up stones and disposed off the garbage. The students carried placards displaying slogans on cleanliness. According to the principal, the rally will go a long way in making the dream of Gandhiji’s Clean India come true. The youngsters are also learning that the moral values of charity and cleanliness go hand in hand with education. The message went out loud to all the residents around the school who vowed to join the cleanliness campaign.

World Postal Day

World Postal Day was observed at Ryan International School, Dugri. The day was observed to create awareness of the role of the postal sector in peoples’ lives as well as its contribution to the social and economic development of countries. Students of Montessori class visited post office and observed the method of stamping and dispatching them. Students of classes I and II made collages of various stamps from old era to new era. Meanwhile, students of classes III-V made artificial post box made up of cardboard. — TNS




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Asiad bronze winner honoured
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 10
Indian middle-distance runner Orchatteri P Jaisha, who won a bronze medal in the Asian Games held recently was felicitated here today.

Jaisha, who hails from Kerala, was honoured at a function organised jointly by the District Athletics Association and the District Sports Department at Guru Nanak Stadium. The athlete, who finished third in the 1500-m race by clocking 4:13.46, was awarded a cash prize of Rs 11,000 and a memento.

YAD vice-president Meet Pal Singh Dugri and Raja Kang, a sports promoter, were the guests of honour. District sports officer Mohinder Singh was present.



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