Friday, February 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India

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Gen secy of Paswan’s party held
Former terrorist also arrested, 14 cars recovered
Ludhiana, February 14
In a sensational arrest by the CIA-I wing of the local police, a state general secretary of the Lok Jan Shakti Party, led by Mr Ram Bilas Paswan, has been caught along with a terrorist-turned-robber for stealing several cars from the city, out of which 14 have been recovered. This is the biggest recovery made by the Ludhiana police in the past several years.

Cops breathe easy as report confirms suicide
Ludhiana, February 14
In a reprieve for the district police, the post-mortem examination of the body of a criminal, who died in custody at the Division Number 6 police station yesterday, confirmed that the deceased had committed suicide by consuming seven proxycon tablets, which had caused his death. The report received today ruled out the possibility of the criminal’s death due to torture or police beating, as was being feared earlier.



Hearts beat in unison, feet tap in tandem
Ludhiana, February 14
Thousands of heartbeats echoed loudly to celebrate Valentine’s Day today. Despite threats by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Shiv Sena, several parties were organised in the city to celebrate the festival.

A couple shares sweet nothings in the busy Sarbha Nagar market, Ludhiana, on Thursday. IV

Activists of the Ludhiana Seva Sangh burn ‘obscene’ greeting cards and audio and video cassettes in Kundan Puri, Ludhiana, on Thursday. 
— Photo D. B. Chopra

Govt nod to 535-cr Ring Road project
Ludhiana, February 14
The state government has agreed in principle to a proposed ambitious project for a 60-km-long Ring Road around the city, to be constructed at a cost of Rs 535 crore. At a meeting of the senior officials of the Municipal Corporation with the Chief Secretary, Punjab, Mr N.K. Arora, held in the last week of January, the civic body was given a go ahead for a feasibility study and other preliminary work for the ‘self-financing project’.

Changes in BJP unit on cards
Ludhiana, February 14
The district unit of the BJP is all set for changes with the district president, Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, likely to be replaced by some new face. Mr Harish Bedi, Mr Suresh Verma, Mr Anil Sarin and Mr Sunil Mehra are learnt to be among the front runners. The central leadership is learnt to be contemplating massive changes in the party structure here after the completion of the electoral process in four states, including Punjab.


Heavy betting on poll outcome
Ludhiana, February 14
As the fate of candidates gets sealed in ballot boxes, heavy betting has started in the city over the possible outcome of poll results for the 12th Vidhan Sabha poll. As everyone waits for February 24 to see the outcome of yesterday’s polling, city gamblers have not let the opportunity to bid stakes pass by. The wide variation in polling per centage between constituencies like Samrala and Qila Raipur on the one hand and Ludhiana west and rural has given rise to a lot of speculation, notwithstanding the exit poll results.

Paramilitary personnel guard a room in the Government College for Boys, Ludhiana, where EVMs have been kept.

Impersonators shatter voters’ faith
Ludhiana, February 14
When Ms Sunita and her husband, both residents of Jamalpur Colony, Focal Point, reached their polling booth, number 99, at about 10 a.m. to exercise their right to vote they were shocked to learn that Sunita’s vote (number 266) had already been cast. However, her husband’s vote had been spared by “impersonators”. The experience shattered voter’s faith in the whole exercise

A creche which is a home away from home
Ludhiana, February 14
On March 1, 1997, due to the efforts of a doctor Betty Cowen, a creche came in to existence in the CMC residential area. Many of the workers of CMC were finding it difficult to leave their children at some good, neat, clean place and go to work peacefully as such a place was not available. Dr Cowen who has worked in CMC for 38 years as a Professor of medicine, finds it hard to sever her ties with the hospital. She returns every year from Scotland to take up a project for the welfare of the patients and the residents of the hospital.

Dr Betty Cowen, Sister Mathews and other helpers with children at a creche at CMC, in Ludhiana. — Photo Inderjeet Verma

Democracy rooted in history
ITH the elections over, the heat generated by electioneering is cooling down. With greased palms losing shine, false ego is cracking. The liquor consumed is going down the drains, bits of sense are returning. During campaigning all teach, few learn. The final count is awaited, though not so breathlessly. At surface things may mislead. The objective observer seldom misleads. Pre-poll survey has added a new dimension to the democracy.

Driven by ‘rasbhari’
Ludhiana, February 14
For young Ashok Kumar, who is a driver by profession, yesterday was definitely a different day. As instead of driving the car of his employer, he was driving vehicle for the Congress and transporting voters to the polling booths. Narrating his once-in-five years experience yesterday, he told this correspondent that since his family had been staunch supporters of the Congress all these years, his services were requisitioned by the area’s Congress candidate.



OBC to hold lok adalat tomorrow
Ludhiana, February 14
The Oriental Bank of Commerce will hold a second lok adalat on February 16 to take up pre litigation cases pending under the non performing assets category. The bank is holding this special lok adalat after getting tremendous response to the first lok adalat held on January 13 here.



Sunrise Ehsaas to comprise literary, cultural events
Ludhiana, February 14
Sunrise Ehsaas-2002, an inter-university cultural and literary function, will be held at the Punjab College of Technical Education campus on February 22. The festival will comprise 19 literary and cultural events, including mock press conference, jam, story-telling, choreography, quiz, sell it, portfolio management, dum charades, picto, flower arrangement, sketching, face painting, solo dance, duet song, western group dance, short skit, fashion show, turn coat, debate and so on.



Conference on gynaecology
Ludhiana, February 14
The department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital will organise the North Zone Conference of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society of North India, on February 16, in the Dumra Auditorium. Over 150 delegates from all over the north zone are expected to attend the event and to share their views on the various aspects of the topic, ‘Pregnancy in Rh-negative Mother’.

Strike by health dept employees
Ludhiana, February 14
Members of the district unit of the Punjab Health Department Subordinate Officers Clerical Association went on strike today to protest against the transfer of its district president Satwinder Singh to Patiala by department officials.



Steps initiated for maintenance of parks
Ludhiana, February 14
The Municipal Corporation has initiated several steps to bring in a qualitative improvement in the maintenance of more than 700 parks in different localities of the city. In addition to toning up the ‘Park Maintenance Committees’ comprising members of public, the MC would allocate more funds, both for the civil works and landscaping and more importantly, motivate the residents for their involvement in this task.

All work, no pay
Ludhiana, February 14
Around 65 government employees, who were kept as reserve staff for election duty, have so far not been given poll incentive. However, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S. K. Sandhu, said the issue would be taken after the completion of polling.

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