01012022-ATR-01.qxd 12/31/2021 11:53 PM Page 1 c m y b Amritsar TRIBUNE GOODBYE 2021, HELLO 2022: MISSING FERVOUR IN CITY With most clubs in holy city calling off live shows party revellers celebrated New Year in a restricted manner. FORECAST PARTLY CLOUDY INBRIEF TEACHERS’ RALLY IN BATHINDA Amritsar: Fed up with the nonserious attitude of Punjab Government towards their demands, PCCTU and PFUCTO units from the district will join state units to hold a rally at Bathinda on January 4. Informing about the rally, Dr BB Yadav, area in charge, GNDU, said the teachers had decided to hold a grand rally in Bathinda and gherao Finance Minister Manpreet Badal's residence. "We have been on strike for a month now. The education system has completely crumbled. The future of the students is at stake. Nevertheless, the Punjab Government is not able to find a solution to our demands on implementation of 7th Pay Commission and delinking issue. We will intensify our struggle as we cannot let our future and future of higher education in the state go down," said BB Yadav. District President, PFUCTO, Dr Gurdas Singh Sekhon said the delegation of teachers had met Navjot Sidhu, PPSC president, and asked for intervention. "Teachers have been sitting on streets out in cold and examinations have been delayed due to the high-headed attitude of government. . The decision to implement the 7th Pay Commission wages is not a complicated matter as it is being already followed in all other states. The government is denying us our rights and trying to silence us by ignoring us. Any kind of excuse for this cannot be tolerated.” TNS MAN LOSES ~7,500 TO MISCREANTS Amritsar: Three unidentified robbers looted a local resident of Rs 7,500 cash in broad daylight, on gunpoint on Thursday. Victim Banti Singh of the local Guru-Ka-Khooh, locality in his complaint to the local city police, said he was on way to Plasaur village on his motorcycle. Three motor cycled-born armed robbers suddenly appeared on the spot at link road at Plasaur link road from the back.They robbed him of cash worth Rs 7,500. They later fled from the spot after committing crime. The police have registered a case under Sections 379-B IPC and Sections 25,27,54,59 of the Arms Act. TNS PAGE 2 DIPIKA KAKAR, SHOAIB IBRAHIM SHARE THEIR TRIP GLIMPSES PAGE 2 Television couple Shoaib Ibrahim and Dipika Kakar recently went to the former's hometown Maudaha in UP. MAX 19°C | MIN 5°C | YESTERDAY MAX 19°C | MIN 5°C SUNSET SATURDAY 5:38 PM LEARNING ON THE JOB: ANJUM TO HOST ZEE RISHTEY AWARDS PAGE 4 It’s the first time I am hosting a show. I am not very sure how it’s going to be like as I am a little nervous. SUNRISE SUNDAY 7:30 AM SATURDAY | 1 JANUARY 2022 | AMRITSAR Traders upbeat over GST hike postponement Prayers for a prosperous year ahead Tribune News Service Devotees offer prayers at the Golden Temple on the eve of New Year in Amritsar on Friday. The holy city will witness subdued New Year celebrations due to the rising cases of Covid-19. SUNIL KUMAR Shortage of medicines ails OOAT centres in Tarn Taran Patients at receiving end | Block the Khemkaran-Harike highway Gurbaxpuri Tarn Taran, December 31 The shortage of medicines meant for drug-addict patients visiting the OOAT centres in the district has raised criticism from all quarters. Under the programme launched by the state government, the OOAT clinics and all de-addiction centres were to provide medicines to be taken at home for two weeks to the registered patients. It was launched to deal with the problem of drug abuse, but the recent shortage of medicines at these centres has raised doubt about the viability of the programme and seemed to have left the patients at the mercy of fate. According to the information collected from the district health department, there were as many as 18,000 registered patients who had been taking medicines from different government OOAT centres based at Tharu, Sarhali, Tarn Taran, Patti, Leaders of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee discuss the issue of shortage of medicines with a health expert. Kairon, Bhagupur, Harike, Sursingh, Khemkaran, Khadoor Sahib, etc. Officials said the supply of buprenorphine tablets had been erratic for the last one month across different centres of the district. Patients complained that their medicines had already been reduced regardless of their condition and requirement. For the last one month, even that has not been provided properly. For the last few days, medicines have been stopped or the amount of doses halved at various centres. Patients alleged that the medicines, which were in short supply at the OOAT centres, were freely available at higher costs at all private centres, but being from poor families they cannot afford it. Perturbed over not getting medicines, patients blocked the Khemkaran-Harike state highway on Thursday, disrupting traffic for hours. The administration and the police had to pacify the patients by assuring them that they would resolve the problem soon. Leaders of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Punjab, met the district-level medical officer, Dr Aisha Dhawan (psychiatrist), at the local Civil Hospital and brought the problem to the notice of the authorities concerned. Salwinder Singh Jeobala, leader of the committee, said at present the patients were given medicines just for one day and the patients had to wait almost all day for their turn. He said most of the patients were daily wagers and could not go to work as a result of which they could not make ends meet. Despite police complaint, no action against coloniser Tribune News Service Amritsar, December 31 Even two months after the Municipal Corporation Commissioner wrote to the Commissioner of Police (CP) to register an FIR against the coloniser who developed an illegal colony and commercial units on the Chheharta bypass road, no action has been taken against him so far. The Commissioner had written to the police that the coloniser had developed the illegal colony near Max City at Ghanupur here. It is a clear violation of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regularisation Act, 2014. There is a provision in the Act that if somebody sells plots or develops a colony without getting the licence from the authorities, one should be booked under Section 36 of the Act. Aam Aadmi Party leader Suresh Kumar Sharma stated that he had exposed the illegal colony being developed near the Chheharta bypass four months ago and had lodged a complaint with then MC commissioner Mal- The former MC Commissioner had written to the Commissioner of Police about illegal colony winder Singh Jaggi and demanded action. The MC Commissioner wrote to the police commissioner on October 4 to register an FIR against the coloniser. The MC authorities had also written to Punjab Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to not allow the power connection to the illegal colony in October. The AAP leader alleged that MC officials do not send letters to the departments concerned to avoid action and only do a formality that they have written to the police and PSPCL. He cautioned the general public not to waste their hard-earned money by purchasing plots in the illegal colony. Amritsar, December 31 Local textile manufacturers and traders are happy after the GST Council postponed its proposed move to increase tax on clothes, garments and footwear from five per cent to 12 per cent. Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal (PPBM) president Piara Lal Seth welcomed the decision of the government for postponing the decision, taken by the GST Council in its 46th meeting, for an indefinite period. He demanded that instead of postponement the government must do away with the hike in tax. After agriculture, the business of textiles and garments provides the most employment in the country, in such a situation, the increase in seven percent of the GST rate even on these commodities costing less than one thousand, would spoil the mathematics of business. Relief on low-value footwear will also check the rise in inflation. The above hike has now been postponed and not withdrawn by the GST Council. So traders demanded that this hike should be completely withdrawn. On the other hand, the government’s revenue collection from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was increasing every month yet it was taking risk by increasing the GST rates. Instead of increasing the burden of the tax on the traders and the general public, it must make conducive environment for increasing the expenditure power of the latter (general public). It will be a win-win situation for all stakeholders, manufacturers, traders and government. Surendra Dugal, president of the local unit of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal said the government took the decision after the protests of the traders across the country. The district too, against this hike, held protests. ECHS scam: 6 sent to judicial Gunshots fired at Extortion case: Gajinderjit custody in Pathankot case late Akal Takht worked near victim’s factory PK Jaiswar Tribune News Service Amritsar, December 31 A Special Investigation Team (SIT) team constituted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for probing ECHS (Exservicemen Contributory Health Scheme) scam has also started investigations in the Amritsar case registered with Cantonment police station in October last year. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered to probe the two ECHS scams simultaneously — one reported in Amritsar and the other in Pathankot. The police had booked as many as 25 persons, including doctors and ex-servicemen, in the case. The FIR was registered following a probe conducted by Army authorities. The complaint was lodged with the local police by the Station Commander, Amritsar Cantonment. Earlier, the case was being investigated by then additional deputy com- missioner of police. It was alleged that some of the accused, including doctors, were given a clean chit in the case in the absence of ‘solid proofs’, which has raised a question mark. Some of doctors absolved were owners of the hospitals or working there which were dis-empanelled by the Union Ministry of Defence in June this year for their alleged involvement in the scam. The MoD had dis-empanelled seven hospitals, including a scan centre and lab. Among those dis-empanelled are Verma Hospital, Neelkanth Hospital, Life Kare Hospital, Gupta Multispecialty, Akashdeep Neuro Trauma and Multispecialty Hospital, Madaan Hospital and Nijjar Scan and Diagnostic Centre. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detective) Jugraj Singh having the additional charge of ADCP City-2 said the file pertaining to the case was handed over to the SIT following its formation by the high court. In December, the high court had ordered to form a SIT headed by Special DGP Prabodh Kumar to examine the Pathankot case considering the seriousness and magnitude of the scam in which signatures of Army officials were forged with fake stamps and seals on fabricated prescription slips and documents. Besides, the high court also directed him to investigate the Amritsar’s FIR. On December 23, SIT members raided the Amandeep hospital here and its Pathankot branch. It seized computers and files regarding treatment of ex-servicemen. Dr Avtar Singh, Dr Amandeep Kaur and Dr Shehbaz Singh were among the six persons booked and arrested by the SIT team in the Pathankot case. They were produced in the Pathankot court on Friday which sent them to judicial custody in Gurdaspur. jathedar’s house Tribune News Service Amritsar, December 31 Two unidentified persons fired at the house of former Akal Takht jathedar Partap Singh on Sultanwind Road area here on Thursday night. The police found around 12 empty shells from the street outside his residence. The police have registered a case in this regard while further investigation was launched to identify the suspects who had covered their faces while firing. The complainant, Gurpreet Singh, told the police that he, along with his family members, were sleeping in the house when they heard firing. He said unidentified persons kicked their drawing room door that opened into the street. He said when the accused fled away, they came c m y b out and saw gunshot marks on the door and windows. There were empty shells on the ground. He said unidentified persons had fired gunshots to kill them as they used to sit in the drawing room after dinner. Talwinder Singh, SHO, Division B police station, said a case under Sections 307, 427 and 34 of the IPC and Sections 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act was registered against unidentified persons and efforts were on to identify them. He said some personal enmity is apparently the reason behind the incident though the family members had denied this. Giani Partap Singh, a noted Sikh preacher and Punjabi writer, remained Akal Takht acting jathedar from 1938 to 1948 and later as jathedar from 1952 to 1955. Tribune News Service Amritsar, December 31 Gajinderjit Singh, alias Rajbir, one of the suspects arrested by the city police on the charge of extortion on Thursday, used to work in a factory near the victim’s aluminium factory at the Focal Point here. Gajinderjit and his maternal uncle Charanjit Singh, aka Chan, a resident of Kharar in Mohali, were brought on fourday police remand for further interrogation. According to an official privy to investigation, the police were identifying the insider who tipped off the accused that the victims had procured new cars worth Rs 2 crore recently. They demanded an extortion of Rs 5 crore from Rohit Sabharwal, owner of the aluminium factory. One of the suspects had a criminal case registered against him and as per preliminary investigations they did not have any links with notorious criminals Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Jugraj Singh (second from right) addresses mediapersons about the extortion racket. though further investigation was underway. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detective) Jugraj Singh said more arrests were likely to be made during the further course of investigations. He said an initial probe revealed that they had been secretly keeping an eye on the victim for the last 15 days before they called the victim and demanded ‘protection money’. As per the details, Rohit Sabharwal who had gone to Panchkula to meet his relative two weeks ago got a call from unidentified persons who demanded money while threatening him of dire consequences if he failed to meet their demand. He immediately informed Panchkula police about this. Two days ago, they again got a call from unidentified persons for the same. This is the second such case that has come to light in the past two months indicating that the extortion rackets run by notorious criminals allegedly being sheltered by their political bosses are running with impunity.
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