L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Sand mafia makes hay while officials sleep
Loveleen Bains

Doraha, January 3
Much against the directions of the Irrigation Department and with a view to get more profit, sand is being regularly taken out of the Sirhind River between Buani and Rara Sahib villages. This has increased the risk of floods.

It has been learnt that under the very nose of the Department, contractors direct farmers to deploy their tractor-trolleys for the purpose of taking sand out who in turn use an agricultural implement (otherwise prohibited) for the purpose.

The sand so collected is deposited by the roadside and the operation continues for days together. These tractor-trolleys are lowered into the canal in a rash manner and all safety measures are thrown to the winds.

The nearly villagers complain that this has become a matter of routine. "The contractors are least bothered about the safety of the villagers. The farmers who lower their trolleys-break the edges of the river to an extent that it becomes a permanent pathway, not only for the trolleys but for the strong tide too that can not only flood fields but also sound a death knell for us," rue the villagers.

"The Irrigation Department too seems to overlook the entire issue. We are sure that with the existing state of affairs, once the water level in the canal rises, the risk of the nearby fields and villages getting drowned is not too far.”

The authorities are entirely oblivious of the fast that it lead to a tremendous loss of life and property," they added.

Mr Harbans Singh, SDO, Irrigation Department, refuted all such charges and said if any farmer was found guilty of breaking the safety norms, he was asked to deposit the security of the same.

"Moreover," he said," We have been taking the help of the police too in this matter only recently, a case was registered on our complaint at Dehlon police station against an uncomplying farmer."

"We on our part ensure that the farmers through contractors do not resort to such measures as they have been strictly directed to collect sand only with the help of buckets, as the law permits. And a check is definitely imposed from time to time," Mr Harbans Singh added.

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Parties working on permutations, combinations
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, January 3
While the SAD has announced its candidates for six out of 12 Vidhan Sabha seats of this district, the Congress is yet to make its decision about its candidates.

The Congress high command has sought applications from aspirants till January 5.

The SAD has given the ticket for Ludhiana West to Harish Rai Dhanda, a local advocate, but controversy on the same continues.

The BJP had staked its claim to the seat on the plea that the party had won the seat in the past.

It was only in 1997 that the seat was given to the SAD for the first time on the insistence of Gurcharan Singh Tohra, who had fielded Maheshinder Singh Grewal, his confidant. The SAD won the seat then.

In the earlier elections, the Congress and the Jan Sangh (now the BJP) had been winning the seat alternately.

In the 2002 Vidhan Sabha elections, the seat went to the SAD in the seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP.

This is the only urban seat in the city that has a sizeable chunk of Sikh voters and thus the SAD has its claim. But the BJP is staking its claim too because of its past performance.

Although Mr Dhanda had started his election campaign even before the official announcement was made by Parkash Singh Badal, he is facing an uphill task to win over SAD leaders of the segment.

No doubt, SAD secretary G.S. Cheema visited Ludhiana on Tuesday and held a meeting with former member of the Punjab Public Service Commission Amarjit Singh Chawla and effected conciliation between Mr Chawla and Mr Dhanda.

Mr Chawla has been made in-charge of the election office of Mr Dhanda. Mr Chawla was a hot contender for the seat.

Another aspirant for the SAD ticket is Maheshinder Singh Grewal, who has been staking his claim based on the his performance in 1997.

He also has a sizeable support base among the urban Sikhs and the Hindu population of the constituency. But he is being pushed to the Payal segment.

SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar was also a contender for the seat but since he was made SGPC chief, he was asked to stay away.

Mr Makkar was opposed by Mr Dhanda in 2002 as an Independent candidate. The Makkar group is yet to reconcile with the latest situation.

Mr Makkar is currently busy organising the SAD campaign for elections to the general house of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.

But the urban Sikhs are divided on the grant of ticket to Mr Dhanda.

Mr Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh will have to work hard to persuade the local Sikhs to support Mr Dhanda.

The SAD leadership will also have to bring BJP leadership around in support of Mr Dhanda.

The BJP is still in search of a candidate for Ludhiana North seat from where Congress minister Rakesh Pandey is sure to get the ticket.

The BJP leadership is in dilemma on whom to field against Mr Pandey, as the latter has been elected from this segment thrice.

Satpaul Gosain is certain to get BJP ticket from the Ludhiana East constituency from where he has won twice and lost once.

The SAD leadership is also facing tough time selecting its candidate for Jagraon seat. Former MP Amrik Singh Aliwal is a strong contender against the sitting MLA Bhag Singh Malla.

Mr Badal had promised Mr Aliwal the seat when he fought the Congress nominee in 1997 and lost.

But in 2004 Lok Sabha poll, Sukhbir Singh Badal brought in Sharanjit Singh Dhillon as his nominee and thus Mr Aliwal was left in isolation.

As a matter of fact, Sukhbir Singh is still opposed to Mr Aliwal and the latter is depending on the support of senior Badal alone.

The Congress is also in dilemma over the allotment of ticket for the Jagraon seat, where Gurcharan Singh Galib is seeking ticket for himself or his son.

Mr Galib is currently the seniormost Congress leader of Punjab.

Mr Galib was elected to the Vidhan Sabha in 1967 and then to the Lok Sabha twice.

So far, Mr Badal has accommodated only one Tohra loyalist - Hira Singh Gabria from Ludhiana rural seat - and two are still waiting for his generosity. They are Maheshinder Singh Grewal and Bikramjit Singh Khalsa.

Mr Khalsa is seeking ticket from the Dakha seat and Maheshinder Singh is likely to get ticket from the Payal seat.

They are keeping their fingers crossed till the final announcement is made.

Inderiqbal Singh, son of sitting MLA Charanjit Singh Atwal, has been given the ticket from Kumkalan.

He is likely to face opposition from Congress nominee and former MLA Ishar Singh Meharban from this segment.

Mr Atwal is expected to have a tough time notwithstanding the support of his father.

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Birmi keeps the guessing game on
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 3
Sitting Congress legislator from Ludhiana Rural constituency, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, has kept everybody guessing about his future course of action.

Mr Birmi was reportedly planning to join the Bharatiya Janata Party, however, he denied any intention of deserting the Congress.

It is learnt that Mr Birmi had a few meetings with some senior BJP leaders in New Delhi. He had been unavailable for any comments for the past few days and his close aides informed that he was not in the town.

His supporters maintained that Mr Birmi was humiliated too much by the Congress. His unceremonious removal as the Chief Parliamentary Secretary following his criticism of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, virtually saw him out of the party. Although he attended a few functions of the party after that, yet he maintained a distance.

Mr Birmi is learnt to be negotiating his nomination from the Ludhiana North Assembly segment. He is believed to be trying to convince the BJP high command that so far the party has not been able to put up a formidable candidate who could challenge the Congress.

He is reportedly assuring the BJP that he will not only ensure that the party wrests the seat from the Congress, but will also support the alliance candidate, Mr Hira Singh Gabria of the Shiromani Akali Dal, in the neighbouring Ludhiana Rural Assembly segment. Mr Birmi is currently representing the rural segment.

Moreover, Mr Birmi is believed to be not too optimistic about getting renominated from the Ludhiana Rural Assembly segment this time as a Congress candidate obviously because of his acrimonious relationship with Mr Dullo.

Mr Dullo is propping up the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill. And if Mr Dullo is to be believed, Mr Gill is among the few shortlisted candidates from this segment.

Mr Gill, as the Mayor, has established firm roots in this segment. Particularly during the past one year, he worked there as if he were the local MLA.

A senior BJP leader, when contacted about the possible induction of Mr Birmi into the party, refused to give any specific answer but claimed there were several Congress leaders, including some sitting legislators, who were keen to join either the BJP or the Shiromani Akali Dal. However, he added, anybody was welcome to the party but without any preconditions.

Despite persistent efforts, Mr Birmi could not be contacted.

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Chawla to campaign for Dhanda
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 3
With Mr Amarjit Singh Chawla, an ex-member of the Punjab Public Service Commission, agreeing to campaign for him, the Ludhiana West candidate of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, has all the reasons to smile.

Mr Chawla was a strong contender for the SAD ticket from the Ludhiana West assembly segment. He was being supported by the powerful group within the party in Ludhiana, which included the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, local MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha.

Although Mr Chawla did not have much influence among the electorate, the group supporting him commands a lot of following. Moreover, he along with Mr Makkar, belongs to the urban Sikh community which counts much in this Assembly segment. While Mr Makkar and others were tactfully keeping quiet, Mr Chawla had expressed his displeasure to the party leadership over his nomination.

Mr Dhanda can heave a sigh of relief because he has managed to at least neutralise the opposition that could come from Mr Chawla and his supporters. It was the SAD secretary, Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema, who visited Mr Chawla at his residence to pacify and convince him to campaign for the party candidate.

Dr Cheema told The Tribune that Mr Chawla had pledged his sincere support to Mr Dhanda. In fact, Dr Cheema added, Mr Chawla would virtually be in charge of Mr Dhanda's election campaign. He asserted that this would remove all the confusion and misunderstandings prevailing in certain quarters. He said the party was working as a united force with the sole purpose of defeating the Congress and providing a clean and responsive government.

Mr Dhanda on his part maintained that he was contesting as a humble and disciplined soldier of the party. He said he was keen to take everyone along. He claimed that the rank and file of the party had assured him full support and he was sure that it would be translated into a landslide victory under the leadership of the party president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. He pointed out that every party worker whether in the electoral fray or not was working for Mr Badal’s success.

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Cong leaders set to join SAD: Sukhbir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary, Mr Sukhbir Badal, today claimed that at least 10 senior Congress leaders, including some sitting and ex-legislators, were in line to join the Shiromani Akali Dal.

He said their induction into the party was being negotiated.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Badal said most of these leaders and legislators were most likely to join the party in the next few days.

He said the final list of the candidates would be out by January 10 talks for seat-sharing with the BJP were in the final stage.

Earlier, addressing a public rally in Daresi ground, he said his party would provide a clean, efficient and transparent government.

Mr Badal appealed to the people to judge them from their past performance and compare the same with that of the Congress regime during the past five years. Some local leaders earlier claiming allegiance to the Congress also joined the party on the occasion. Mr Badal alleged that the Congress government was neck deep in corruption. He said the Congress had already admitted defeat and most of its leaders were trying to find some excuse not to contest the elections.

He claimed that the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party alliance was all set to storm to power with a landslide majority.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were the Ludhiana MP, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, the district SAD president, Mr Hira Singh Gabria, Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, Mr Mann Singh Garcha, Mr Jeevan Dhawan, Mr Sunil Mehra and others.

Mr Badal later held a meeting with local industrialists which was organised by the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings led by Mr Inderjeet Singh Pradhan, where he assured them of suitable action to strengthen industry in Punjab. He alleged that the Congress government had ignored the industry and helped a select few with obvious motives and interests. 

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Zail Singh's daughter joins Congress
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 3
Dr Manjit Kaur, daughter of former President of India, Giani Zail Singh, has resigned from the government service to join the Congress.

She is staking her claim to contest from the Ludhiana Rural assembly segment as a Congress candidate.

Dr Kaur confirmed her resignation and said she wanted to serve the people of the area.

She said her father had served the people of the state and the country and she wanted to follow in his footsteps. 

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Loan waiver gives relief to Congress in Punjab
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, January 3
The decision of the Union Cabinet to waive Punjab’s loan of Rs 3727 crore which was outstanding for the past many years has come as a big relief to the Congress government in Punjab headed by Captain Amarinder Singh with the Vidhan Sabha poll less than two months.

It was in April 1994 that the late Prime Minister, Mr PV Narasimha Rao, had visited Ludhiana after the spell of militancy in Punjab on an invitation from the late Mr Beant Singh, Chief Minister.

Mr Narasimha Rao addressed a massive gathering at Guru Nanak Stadium and Mr Beant Singh while welcoming him had sought the waiving of the loan of Rs 8400 crore which the Centre had extended to Punjab to fight militancy. Incidentally, Punjab had to fight militancy for more than 10 years and the state had to pass through a period of great turmoil. The loan money was spent entirely on meeting the expenses of the paramilitary forces in Punjab. The state leadership was justified in seeking the waiver because the people of Punjab had suffered to preserve the unity and integrity of the nation. But the Central Government had been dilly-dallying on the issue. Responding to the welcome address of Mr Beant Singh, the late Prime Minister promised in full public view that the loan would be waived and he would take steps in this regard on his return to Delhi.

Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, then member of Parliament, took up the matter in the Lok Sabha taking a cue from the announcement of Mr Narasimha Rao in Ludhiana. But he did not get a satisfactory reply and the matter remained where it was.

In 1997, there was a change in regime in Punjab and the SAD-BJP combine formed the government under the leadership of Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Mr Badal had good relations with Mr Inder Kumar Gujral and a letter was written to then Prime Minister of the country. Mr Badal approached him with a request to waive the Central loan. He finally 'succeeded' in getting the waiver from Mr Gujral.

The Shiromani Akali Dal chief and Chief Minister in his bid to return the gesture of Mr Gujral organised a 'thanksgiving' rally at the PAP grounds at Jalandhar and expressed his gratitude for the loan waiver.

Mr Badal also announced a number of decisions to further thank Mr Gujral and announced the naming of science city as 'Pushpa Gujral Science City", at Jalandhar for the act ‘kindness’ of Mr Gujral towards Punjab. He also made some more announcements for the benefit of Jalandhar town since Mr Gujral hailed from Jalandhar.

But alas, the loan was never waived and only a few instalments were postponed.

This reporter had exposed the hollowness of the decisions regarding the waiving of the loan then.

The Akali Dal supremo probably in his enthusiasm to greet and thank Mr Gujral for his participation in the Moga rally on December 8 to celebrate the birthday of Mr Badal reiterated that Mr Gujral had waived the loan of Rs 8400 crore contrary to facts.

Punjabis will feel happy only when the decision of the Union Cabinet is actually implemented in black and white and Captain Amarinder Singh then can claim credit for the same.

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Nod to clusters bodes well for industry
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
With the approval of industrial clusters by the Ministry of Small Scale Industries of the Central Government, industries like hosiery and fastener manufacturers have started to look up.

Development of clusters is expected to give a major boost to these industries that have better infrastructure and support system.

The ministry recently approved six clusters in the region, including hosiery, fastener and steel re-rolling.

While hosiery industry is planning to procure land in Sahnewal for the purpose, fastener manufacturers are also expected to get land on the outskirts of Ludhiana soon.

“The approval of cluster for our industry is certainly a good news. A cluster would mean common infrastructure and access to facilities like research and development. For small and medium enterprises, it is a big boost, as they are not able to combat global competition on account of individual limitations. As part of a cluster, they will be able to access these facilities and also cater to larger orders collectively,” said president of the Fastener Manufacturers Association of India Narinder Bhamra.

He said almost 70 members from the industry have already given their approval and the industry would soon chalk out a plan of action to ensure that the cluster was operational at the earliest.

The hosiery cluster, said industry representatives, was expected to be operational in a year’s time.

“The budget for the first phase is around Rs 120 crore. Apart from common infrastructure like information centres being available to small and medium enterprises in this industry, the cluster will also generate employment for 40,000 to 50,000 persons,” said Knitwear Club president Vinod Thapar.

He said the target to get the hosiery cluster operational was by this year itself.

For industry in this region, which had been suffering on account of poor infrastructure, clusters are expected to bring major positive changes and help industry meet global competition.

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Placement cell of PAU in the offing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 3
In a meeting with students of the College of Home Science and College of Agricultural Engineering at the Wheat Auditorium today, the Dean, Postgradaute Studies, Dr S.S. Chahal, disclosed that a proposal to set up an independent placement cell, under the direct control of the Vice- Chancellor, was under active consideration.

The proposed placement cell will provide better employment opportunities for the University students. The Director of Research, Dr B.S. Dhillon, as well as the Deans of constituent colleges were also present in the meeting.

Dr Chahal said the merger of the three departments - Food Science and Technology; Processing and Food Engineering; and Foods and Nutrition- into Food Science & Engineering was recommended by the ICAR's Peer Review Committee.

The Research Review Committee of the university too recommended the merger which was duly approved by the Academic Council.

Dr Chahal clarified that there would not be any disturbance to the academic programmes as a result of this merger.

He also said the merger would not affect in any manner the job prospects of those students who were pursuing their studies now or those who would be enrolled in future.

He clarified that students would be awarded degrees in their respective disciplines and there was no change in the nomenclature of their degrees.

Dr Dhillon impressed upon the students that the merger of the three departments had been made to strength the research work in these disciplines.

“This merger will focus on research in these areas and will also help in avoiding duplicacy” he said.

Justifying the merger, Dr Dhillon remarked change was a must to grow. He appealed the students to call off their strike and resume their studies.

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NGOs pour city’s woes out before Chief Justice Jain 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Issues of ever-increasing pollution in the city, poor garbage disposal, violation of building bylaws, polluted Budda nullah, open slaughtering of animals and illegal plying of autorickshaws took centre stage once again today with the Chief Justice (CJ) of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Justice Vijendra Jain, expressing his dismay on the sorry state of affairs after meeting representatives of various NGOs.

Mr Jain asked local officials to redress the problems and provide greener and cleaner environment to the residents.

Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor of the Punjab Agricultural University, who had recently reviewed the conditions at Budda Nullah, discussed the issue with the CJ.

Mr S.S. Chana, president of the Federation of Park Management Committees, while speaking during the meeting at the PAU Vice-Chancellor's Committee Room, said Ludhiana was getting polluted by every passing day. Not much attention was being given to the parks and green belts although he (Mr Chana) had fought on various platforms to keep the lungs of the city in good condition.

He said the civic body of the city had failed to address the garbage problem, adding that everyday 800-900 metric tons of solid waste was generated but it was not being treated as per the government’s directions. There were no garbage-bins in some areas and the collected garbage was being transported in open containers, which were littering it on roads everyday. He advocated door-to-door collection of garbage on the lines of developed countries.

Mr Pavan Sood, another officer-bearer of the Park Management Committee, highlighted the issue of illegal plying of autorickshaws. He said around 70,000 autos plied on city roads ejecting toxic fumes. There was no check on the problem. While the DTO was not present in the meeting, Mr Priyank Bharti, ADC, said he would convey the problem to the DTO.

Mr Sandeep Jain of CAPE India listed the problem of open slaughter houses. He said that he had even knocked at the doors of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission as the practice was hurting sentiments of some people, besides posing a health risk to consumers. But despite the Commission's directions, the practice was continuing.

Ms Pappu Abnash, another representative of a NGO, took up the issue of violations of building bylaws. She said almost all buildings were violating the laws but nobody cared about it.

Mr Vikas Partap, Commissioner, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, said being an old city, Ludhiana had no master plan. So haphazard constructions could not be checked.

Countering the Commissioner, Mr Chana said some localities like Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar, and others were recently planned colonies but the violation was continuing in these colonies also. Mr Sher Singh Aulakh, another resident, rued that the afforestation had taken a severe beating as the Forest department had stopped giving plants to the residents. 

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Female foeticide: Awareness must to avert tragedy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 3
The Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Vijender Jain, expressed deep concern over the evil of female foeticide and skewed sex ratio in the state. Speaking at the annual function of local lawyers today, he appealed to all sections of society to come up against the evil.

''We can't have a society, if we stop birth of a girl child. Have we ever realised that in the absence of woman, we would not have been sitting here?'' added Mr Jain.

He said, particularly in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, the ratio of girls was declining drastically. If awareness was not created among the masses, then we all will be in trouble in the times to come.

We should make efforts for creating awareness among the masses to avert this social tragedy. No enforcement agency or strict laws can stop the process of female foeticide unless we all take it as a challenge. Even if we do not succeed completely in eradicating this social evil, we can definitely reduce the percentage of female foeticide,'' further added Mr Jain.

While adressing a function organised by the District Bar Asscociation to celebrate New Year, Chief Justice Mr Jain stressed upon the need to have a cordial relationship between the Bench and Bar.

Mr Justice Viney Mittal, a judge of Punjab and Haryana HighCourt, said when he had taken over as an Administrative Judge of Ludhiana on May 1, 2006, the pendency of cases in the local courts was more than 92,000. Corrective measures were taken, even deadlines were fixed in different types of cases and with the co-operation of judicial officers and lawyers, we had been successful in reducing the pendency.

Mr Balwinder Goel, a member of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, thanked Justice Viney Mittal for helping the legal fraternity in shifting of the Consumer Forum to the new Judicial Complex, shifting of malkhana, which was an impediment in the construction of Lawyers Chambers Complex for young lawyers and in other matters also.

Earlier, the Chief Justice Mr Jain was given a warm welcome on his arrival at the court complex by the District and Sessions Judge, Mr Harbans Lal, Additional Sessions Judges, Mr H.P.S. Mahal, Mr Sanjeev Berry, Mr Satvinder Singh, Mr Gurbir Singh and Mr A.K. Mehta, fast track Court Judges, Mr Roshan Lal Ahuja, Mr Jagroop Singh and many others. A cultural programme was also organised by lawyers. Ms Geeta Sharma highlighted the social evils. The Secretary of the DBA, Mr Ravinder Garewal, Mr Rajan Chand, Joint Secretary presented bouquets to guests. 

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Thousands of devotees participate in Nagar Kirtan
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 3
Thousands of devotees from the town and surrounding villages participated in a Nagar Kirtan organised by Sikh religious organisations here today.

The ‘kirtan’ was organised under the aegis of the Kalgidhar Federation and Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee, Singh Sabha, to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, which falls on January 5.

The procession started from the Guru Teg Bahadur Chowk and passed through various parts of the town, including Railway Road, Main Bazar, Bhagat Singh Chowk, Bazar Bazazan, Bhagat Ravidass Gurdwara, Gandhi Chowk and Mahavir Marg.

A large number of vehicles and tractor trailers carrying devotees moved through the town. Panj Pyaras, gatka artistes, Bhangra artistes and a couple of school bands accompanied the devotees.

A beautifully decorated palanquin, carrying the holy Guru Granth Sahib, followed the Panj Pyaras. The devotees sang Gurbani and performed ‘kirtan’. Gurdwaras in various localities and social organisations organised tea and langar for the devotees.

Members of various organisations, including Sukhmani Seva Society, Vishawkarma Mandir Committee, Baba Budha Gurmat Parchar Trust, Gurdwara Bhagat Ravi Dass, Jandali Road, and Gurdwara Namdev showered flowers and sprinkled perfumed water all the way.

‘Paath’ of Guru Granth Sahib was held at a gurdwara and a bhog will be performed on January 5.

Students from Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Anand Isher Senior Secondary School, MGMN Senior Secondary School, GHG Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Guru Nanak Kanya Mahvidyalya, Government Elementary School, Amarpura, and DAV High School participated and presented martial arts during the Nagar Kirtan.

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4 booked for assault

Khanna, January 3
The Samrala police has registered a case of trespassing and assault against a group of persons.

According to the complainant, Harpreet Singh of Jaspalon, he was watching television on New Year’s eve along with his family members when around 11.30 pm he received a call from Kulwinder Singh of his village, who threatened him with dire consequences.

He hung up the phone only to find Harpreet, Nishan, Kulwinder, Mintu and Sonu enter his house by scaling the boundary wall. The intruders carried unsheathed swords.

The complainant ran out of the house along with his brother Jaswinder Singh and cousins Jatinder Pal Singh and Devinder Singh.

“We were attacked by the intruders, which resulted in injuries to us. In the attack, Jaswinder fell unconscious. To save ourselves, we ran for some distance, only to be chased down by Bikar, Sonu and some other persons wielding sticks. We somehow escaped by running toward the fields under the cover of darkness,” he added.

Thereafter, the attackers fled the scene in a car.

All four injured were taken to a private hospital. As per the complainant, old enmity was the motive behind the attack.

A case has been registered against the accused under Sections 452, 324, 326, 506, 148, and 149 of the IPC. TNS

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Car-crazy Ludhianvis wait for new  models
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
The year 2007 promises to be a year of stylish and luxurious cars. Most of the car manufacturers in the country are believed to be bringing in different models suited to the public purse and taste.

And for the style-crazy people in Ludhiana, there could be no better news.That also explains the reason the slump in the sales at the end of the year as people are waiting for the new models.

It is learnt that over 20 new models of Maruti, Hundai, Lancer, Skoda, Honda, Toyota etc are coming in the market in 2007. Majority of the new models will be launched before April.

Even the companies, who have no plans to launch new models, are upgrading their existing models to lure the customers.

Mr Harkirat Singh Gulzar, CEO, Gulzar Motors, said city residents were eagerly waiting for the launch of Swift Diesel, which was expected to arrive by end of January or early February.

"The car is expected to be priced below Rs 5 lakh. Maruti is also upgrading its Baleno model, which is expected to come in the market by March. It would be anywhere between Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.

“Other than these, Zen Estello has already been launched and we have started its booking and selling. Its price is between Rs 3.25 lakh to Rs 4 lakh,” he said.

“We are daily getting the enquiries which show that people are waiting the new models to be launched soon," added Mr Harkirat Singh.

It is learnt that Skoda is also coming with its new model Fabia but the company dealers have not yet confirmed about its formal launch. With a price tag between Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh, the new model is expected to be seen on roads after April.

Though Toyota has no plans to launch its new model in 2007 but the company’s sales executives confirmed that one limited addition of Innova would be arriving by next week for Rs 8.21 lakh.

Mr Rajat Jain, an ardent fan of luxury cars, said he was waiting for Mitsubishi's Outlinder and Grandis models, the two new models, expected to be launched after April.

He said that company people here had confirmed about the launch but the price was yet to be finalised. "I am surely getting one of these two models", he said.

Meanwhile, Hundai people said the company had no plans to launch any new model this year. "But you never know when they decide to do the same. We can just wait and watch," said one of the company's dealer.

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