L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Process for filing papers begins today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, has informed that the process for the filing of nomination papers for the elections to the 12 Vidhan Sabha constituencies in the district will start tomorrow.

Giving details about the election schedule, Mr Gupta said the nomination papers could be submitted in the office of the RO of each constituency on all working days from January 18 to January 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

He said the scrutiny of the papers would be carried out on January 27 and the candidatures could be withdrawn till January 29, and the election symbols to the candidates would be allotted on the same day. Regarding the venues for the submission of nomination papers, the Deputy Commissioner informed that nomination papers for the Jagraon constituency would be received in the SDM office, Jagraon, for the Raikot constituency in the office of SDM Raikot, for the Dakha constituency in the office of SDM Ludhiana (West), for Kila Raipur constituency in the office of SDM Ludhiana (East), for Ludhiana North in the office of ACA PUDA, for Ludhiana West constituency in the office of the DDLG, for the Ludhiana East constituency in the office of Joint Commissioner MC Ludhiana, for the Ludhiana Rural constituency in the office of District Transport Officer, Ludhiana, for Payal in the office of SDM Payal, for the Koom Kalan constituency in the office of the AETC Ludhiana-I, for the Samrala constituency in the office of SDM Samrala and for the Khanna constituency in the office of SDM Khanna.

He said the nomination papers are to be filled in form 2-B for the Assembly elections, which are available with the District Election Officer/Returning Officer.

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No ticket for Galib from Jagraon
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 17
Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, a two-time Member of Parliament from Ludhiana and an MLA from Jagraon, has been left out once again as he has been refused the party nomination from Jagraon Assembly segment yet again. The party has nominated Mr Gurdeep Singh Bhaini, a lesser known face, from here, thus trying to convey that it was not going to tolerate rebellion and sabotage in any case, even if the leader was as senior and influential as Mr Galib himself.

Mr Galib seems to be reaping the whirlwind of his own doing. Although a leader of great standing and enjoying a clean image, affable and accessible to everybody, Mr Galib earned the reputation of always working against the official party candidates whether in Parliament or Assembly elections.

Mr Galib was considered to be a strong contender for the Jagraon Assembly segment this time. Mr Gurdeep Bhaini, who has been allotted the ticket, cannot be compared with Mr Galib. However, it is understood that the senior Congress leader and AICC secretary, Mr Manish Tewari, played an important role in ensuring that Mr Galib was not allotted the party ticket this time.

Mr Galib had opposed Mr Tewari during the last parliamentary elections that was one of the main reasons for his (Mr Tewari's) defeat from Ludhiana. In fact Mr Galib had earlier opposed Ms Jaswant Kaur, wife of the late Beant Singh, a former Chief Minister of Punjab, who was assassinated by a suicide bomber, when she had contested against Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal of Shiromani Akali Dal.

Mr Galib could always have proved to be a better candidate than anybody else from Jagraon for the Congress. However, the party apparently wanted to convey a strong message that it was not going to tolerate rebellion and sabotage against own party candidates, past or present. The septuagenarian leader had last time also unsuccessfully tried for his son from Jagraon. But this time he was himself in the race, hoping mistakenly that he stood a good chance this time as the party did not have any potential candidate from Jagraon, who could match his stature.

Like in the past, he is likely to spoil the applecart of the official party candidate this time again. Because unlike in the past when he had so much at stake, the aging party veteran has nothing to lose. In the course he will make his importance felt in the party by ensuring that it lost the seat because of his opposition. And nobody can doubt his competence on that count. He has maintained a fairly good record in the past for doing that.

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Cong reposes faith in experience
From Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, January 17
The Congress high command has preferred proven candidates over new faces in the city by renominating three sitting MLAs in the urban seats of Ludhiana — West, East and North Assembly segments — today.

The much-awaited announcement has sounded the poll trumpet for the Congress and its candidates are due to hit the road as early as tomorrow, thus spicing the hitherto dull campaign, which has so far seen one-sided campaigning i.e. of the SAD-BJP alliance.

Celebrations broke out in the camps of Rakesh Pandey, Surinder Dawar and Harnam Dass Johar when the news of their candidature from North, East and West Assembly segments, respectively, reached the city.

Uncertainty had prevailed till the afternoon with all kind of rumours and claims about the seats floating around.

There was, however, no news about the candidate of Rural constituency represented by Malkiat Singh Birmi.

The mood at Mr Johar’s house was jubilant with his supporters dancing to the tunes of bhangra.

Sweets were offered to visitors and his supporters gathered in large numbers to greet their candidate.

Campaign managers and family members however looked pensive as they are looked ahead at a long and tense political battle.

A woman relative was finalising the campaign schedule and asking everyone to take stock of the preparations.

The candidates have reportedly told their supporters to remain in place tomorrow as they would start their campaign.

Supporters of Mr Dawar who had gathered since morning at his house-cum-political office broke into revelry when the news of his renomination trickled down.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said he was confident of fulfilling the expectations of the party high command.

Amloh

After clearance of renomination by the Congress high command of sitting MLA and Parliamentary Secretary Sadhu Singh Dharamsot from the Amloh reserved Assembly constituency, residents of the town gave a rousing reception to the leader on his return to the town from Delhi today.

He was taken out in a procession through the main bazar amid sloganeering. Sweets were distributed at various places.

Addressing a gathering, Mr Dharamsot said: “It is the result of faith reposed by the people of his constituency that I won the last election with a margin of over 18,000 votes. The high command had no hitch in declaring me as its candidates again.”

The Congress government under the leadership of Amarinder Singh had worked towards improving the economy of the state, he added.

Dr Swatantar Karkara, state secretary, claimed the Congress would win the seat with a margin of over 20,000 votes.

Among others, Amloh council chief Lal Chand Garg, DCC chief Lakhvir Singh Rai, Arhtiya Association chief Jiwan Kumar Puri, DCC general secretary Budh Raj, Market Committee chief Partap Singh and councillors were present.

On the occasion, SAD activists Amrik Singh and Pritam Singh joined the Congress.

Block Samiti members, Block Congress chief Sangara Singh, panches and sarpanches took part in the procession.

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Rs 5 lakh sought for elevated road mishap victim
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Activists of the Bhartiya Jan Shakti (Punjab) today staged a demonstration outside the Municipal Corporation office at Mata Rani Chowk in protest against the death of a youth, after he fell, along with two others, off the elvated road allegedly due to slippery surface and absence of railing two days ago.

Pawan Sharma and Pardeep Jindal, president and senior vice-president of the party, respectively, stated in a press note that Mayor Nahar Singh Gill and municipal officials should admit the responsibility for the accident caused by the faulty construction of the elevated road.

They demanded registration of a case against the guilty officials besides providing a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the aggrieved family.

They also urged the Governor to order an inquiry into the faulty design and construction of the road.

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Shun voting their mantra
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Election fever may have begun to grip the city but a section of workers have decided to generate awareness among the voters on the futility of casting ballot.

These workers, comprising mainly labourers, will hold awareness rallies asking workers to unitedly fight for their rights instead of relying on promises by political parties.

“Our experience has so far proved that whatever party comes to power, they have their own agenda. The system of voting, thus, does not appeal to us, which is why we will tell workers that they should not get carried away by tall claims of political parties,” said Harjinder Singh, president, Moulder and Steel Workers Union.

The associations will also join workers’ awareness rallies, meetings and torch marches. These organisations include the Lok Ekta Sangathan, the Moulder and Steel Workers Union, the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Mazdoor Sangathan and the Hosiery Workers Union.

They will hold a rally on January 21. He said events related to their campaign would continue.

Basic issues concerning workers like police excesses, denial of rights like minimum wages have not been addressed to the satisfaction of the working class, they said while citing the reason for disillusionment.

“Bureaucrats and industrial leaders never change. Change of political parties has failed to improve things for us. Instead of relying on promises, we have to unite and fight.” The unions, through the march, will carry the message asking workers to leave the path of casting ballot and fight for their rights.

“Our slogan is ‘Loko chhadd do rah vote di, pae jao sangharsh te’ (Folks, leave the path of votes and join that of struggle),” he said adding “while it remains an individual right with every person to cast his ballot, our endeavour is to show them the reality”.

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Campaigning picks up as tickets finalised
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 17
With the Congress high command having confirmed tickets for almost all Assembly segments of this belt of Malwa, supporters of nominees accelerated their campaigning activities. Though none of the rejected aspirants showed resentment publicly, yet the candidates will have to spend significant energy to bring these leaders into the mainstream of their campaign.

Receiving Payal and Jallandhar seat for Tej Parkash Singh Kotli and Ms Gurkanwal Kaur (son and daughter of former CM Beant Singh) the Kotli family has registered its mettle in the field by defeating the much talked about criterion of one family one ticket.

Declining to comment on factionalism in the party, Mr Gurkirat Singh Kotli showed gratitude to the party high command for recognising the sacrifice of his grandfather by allotting tickets to both candidates.

As senior Kotli was still at New Delhi the campaign would be started after paying obeisance at Gurdwara Katana Sahib tomorrow. Mr Amrik Singh Rauni and Mr B.S. Jalha did not respond to call made by the media but it was reported that they had been camping at Delhi till this afternoon.

Allocation of ticket to Ms Razia Sultana, MLA, Malerkotla, frustrated those who had distributed sweets earlier by saying that she had been denied the ticket. It was the turn of her supporters to celebrate. Activists of the Congress led by Mr Jatinder Bhola, president, Municipal Council, and Mr Ravinder Kumar, president, city Congress Committee, expressed their happiness by marching through various markets and distributing sweets. Though there was insignificant factionalism among the Congress leaders of the constituency, Ms Nustrat Parveen was reported to have maintained pressure till the last phase of selection.

Though the situation in Kilaraipur constituency was very clear from the beginning, supporters of Khangura family celebrated allocation of ticket to Mr Jassi Khangura, who had purposely surrendered his British citizenship. The Junior Khangura broke the news of his candidature by sending SMS messages to his friends and a section of the media. However, he preferred to pay obeisance at Sri Darbar Sahib before convening a meeting at his native village Latala in the evening.

Mr Harmohinder Singh Pardhan, though had started his campaign about a week ago, was also formally nominated party candidate today. However, his supporters led by Sudarshan Joshi, president, Municipal Council, Mr Abjinder Singh Sibia, chairman, Market Committee, Raikot, Ram Kumar Chhabra, president, city Congress Committee, and Pal Balwinder Singh, president, Block Congress, marched through bazaars and streets of the Raikot town and surrounding villages to make the allotment public. 

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‘Badal exploiting in the name of Panth’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 17
Former Akal Takht chief, Prof Darshan Singh, today cautioned the people of the state, particularly the Sikh community against the Shiromani Akali Dal and its leader, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. He alleged that Mr Badal was exploiting the name of the Panth for his personal and vested interests without caring for the panthic maryada.

Addressing a press conference along with the Khalsa Panchayat leader, Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, Prof Darshan Singh claimed, he was not supporting anyone nor opposing anyone. "But I want to caution people that the Sikh Panth was at the crossroad and those who had exploited the name of the Panth must be rejected", he said, while adding, this was necessary to safeguard the panthic maryada.

He squarely blamed Mr Badal and his "handpicked" Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) president, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, for erosion in values. He claimed, people, particularly the younger generation was moving away from religion and the cause of this alienation was Mr Badal and his ilk.

He also questioned the panthic credentials of Ms Surinder Kaur Badal for visiting Ashutosh Maharaj and seeking blessings from him. He said, while every religion and faith should be respected, but a true Sikh cannot subscribe to multiple faiths like Ms Badal was doing.

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Left-out contenders ready to support party
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
With the Congress announcing its candidates for all Assembly constituencies falling in Ludhiana, the contenders who were left out at the last minute were a dejected lot yet they were putting up a brave front.

After camping in New Delhi for a fortnight, they had come back disappointed, yet they were putting up a brave front and were coming in support of the candidate the party had chosen.

‘‘We had applied for the candidature only after getting feelers from our senior leaders. Had they not considered our candidature we would have never applied for it. But we are committed to the party's decision ’’, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, a Congress leader, said. He and his wife, Ms Jasvinder Kaur, were the contenders for West constituency.

There were around 20 contenders for Ludhiana West constituency, five for Ludhiana East, 5 for North, and three for Ludhiana (rural).

Mr K.K. Bawa, Chairman, Housefed, and a Congress leader, who was also a contender said he had come back from Delhi. He added that he was taking the rejection in his stride. ‘‘There is only one ticket for one constituency. There has to be rejections. But we are working with a feeling that if the Congress comes to power, then we all will benefit ’’ he said.

Like him, Mr B.K. Rampal and his wife, Ms Amrit Varsha Rampal, also said they would work for the party and its candidate. ‘‘Rejection certainly leaves one disillusioned. But we are committed to the party as we began our political career from this platform only. So we accept the decision, ’’ said Mr Rampal.

He however said the party should have fielded a woman candidate from the city. ‘‘There are women from other districts. Ludhiana should also have one, ’’ he added.

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No major surprises
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Except from Khanna, the Congress has fielded all sitting candidates in Ludhiana district for the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state. From Khanna, the party has nominated the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) President, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, a potential contender for the Chief Minister's post in case party comes to power. His wife, Ms Harbans Kaur Dullo, was the sitting MLA from here.

Mr Milkiat Singh Dakha, Mr Tej Parkash, Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, all sitting MLAs, have been renominated from Dakha, Payal and Samrala Assembly segments. The party has nominated Mr Jassi Khangura from Kila Raipur, while from Jagraon Mr Gurdeep Singh Bhaini, from Koom Kalan Mr Ishwar Singh Meharban and from Raikot Mr Harmohinder Singh Pradhan have been nominated.

In the last elections, Mr Jassi Khangura's mother, Ms Gurdial Kaur Khangura, had contested on the party ticket from Kila Raipur whereas Mr Meharban and Mr Pradhan had contested from Koom Kalan and Raikot, respectively, in 2002 also.

It in only in Jagraon that the party has fielded Mr Bhaini, a relatively new face. Otherwise, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, an ex-MP and ex-MLA was considered to be a hot favourite.

Although Mr Jassi Khangura is contesting for the first time from Kila Raipur, he has mostly stayed in the constituency. Thus, his nomination from the constituency was quite expected. Moreover, there was no strong contender for the party ticket from here this time.

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Martyr’s kin to support SAD nominee from Kila Raipur
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 17
SAD nominee from Kila Raipur constituency received a shot in the arm today when Ms Jasbir Kaur Khangura, a sister of martyr Capt Ravinder Singh, having felt offended by the alleged disrespect shown to the statue of the martyr at Latala village by the authorities and senior Congress leaders, announced to support SAD in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, MLA Kilaraipur and SAD nominee, promised to look in to the maintenance of the statue and get the sacrifice of the family recognised.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune at Lohgarh village near here, Ms Jasbir Kaur alleged that the authorities and certain Congress leaders had shown disrespect to the statue of the martyr by not observing his anniversary on September 9, 2006, though they had announced to do so at a function organised by the family last year. "What to talk of arranging an elaborate function on the occasion of martyrdom anniversary of our brother, they did not even bother to garland the statue or say a few words to pay tributes at the school that had been christened in his memory," Ms Khangura.

She further said her mother, Ms Surinder Kaur, had to shuttle between the administrative and defence offices in Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Delhi to get the statue unveiled by officers of his regiment five years ago. "Though the statue was unveiled by officers, the promises made by various political and social leaders and concerned authorities were not fulfilled as all of them stopped paying floral tributes to the martyr after we stopped sponsoring the event on their suggestion. It is pity that the statue did not invite attention of the CM, Capt Amarinder Singh, when he came to the place three years ago," rued Ms Khangura.

She affirmed that the family would support SAD nominee at Kila Raipur wholeheartedly.

Interestingly, the statue of the martyr, who laid down his life in the 1965 Indo-Pak war, is crying for a whitewash and a fresh coat of paint days after the Ludhiana Tribune published a story about the apathy of local leaders.

Dejected by the treatment meted to her son’s statue, Surinder Kaur, the ailing mother of the martyr, has shifted to her daughter's house in Delhi.

Mr Harjinder Singh Bobby Garcha SVP, SAD (Youth Wing), and Mr Ranjodh Singh Samra, General Secretary, were present on the occasion.

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Jandu to contest as Independent
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 17
Barjinder Singh Jandu will contest the forthcoming Assembly election as Independent candidate from the Payal constituency. He is being supported by the local Youth Forum, of which he is a member.

Mr Jandu, also a social worker, elaborating on his manifesto said his objective would be to safeguard the interest of the common man and work for their welfare with dedication and clear conscience.

He rued that local issues had been ignored by successive governments in the past.

He said crores of rupees were being spent on propaganda carried out through advertisements in both electronic and print media.

He alleged that after seizing power, ruling parties protected their interest and grabbed money to fill their own coffers.

“None is concerned about the common man. Burning issues like corruption, female foeticide, dowry, nepotism, red tape, unemployment, rising prices, etc. are being overlooked,” he said.

Mr Jandu also condemned the role of the Left, especially in West Bengal where farmers were being rendered landless by handing these over to the big industrial houses.

Mr Jandu said if voted to power, he would make all-out effort to work for the development of the area.

Office-bearers and members of the forum, including Jandeep Kaushal, Mudit Mohindra, Joginder Kirti, Hardeep Boparai, Prem Singh, Ashok Kumar, Sunil Komal, Kaushal Joggi, Angrez Pal, Santokh Singh, have offered support to his candidature.

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Left parties urged to unite
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 17
The Joint Common Front, constituting the CPI (ML) Liberation, the CPM (Punjab), the Forward Bloc and the Revolutionary Socialist Party, has called upon leaders of various Left parties to join hands to save the social and constitutional structure of the state from the clutches of the Congress, the BJP and the SAD.

Addressing a meeting of activists of the constituent parties of the front, former MLA and CPM (ML) state secretariat member Tarsem Jodhan accused the Congress, the BJP and the SAD of destabilising the economy of the state and the nation during their respective regimes.

Calling upon leaders of various Left parties to join hands to save the interest of the masses, Mr Jodhan said the cumulative deterioration by successive governments had pushed the nation in general and state in particular to the edge of desolation.

“Defective policies of these parties, including those favouring globalisation and liberalisation, have impacted all service avenues, including education, health and provision of basic amenities. Only a concerted effort by secular and rational organisations can save the situation from further deterioration,” held Mr Jodhan.

He appealed office-bearers of social organisations to gather support for front candidates at Raikot and Kila Raipur Assembly constituencies during the forthcoming elections.

Alleging that leaders of the SAD and the Congress had been plundering government treasuries in Punjab, Mr Jodhan urged people to beware of false promises of leaders of these parties and support candidates of the third front to save the state from being bankrupted further.

“As the majority of top leaders of the Congress and the SAD have been found involved in corruption during their respective regimes, people of the state should not fall prey to their fake assurances,” said Mr Jodhan.

The leaders said Mr Jodhan and Shinder Singh Jawaddi had been fielded as candidates from Raikot and Kila Raipur constituencies, respectively.

Jasbir Kaur, Ujjagar Singh and Rachhpal Singh were present on the occasion.

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PPCC Legal Cell hails Johar's candidature
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 17
The Legal Cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has hailed the nomination of Mr Harnam Dass Johar, sitting MLA and cabinet minister, as Congress canditate for the Ludhiana West segment.

The Chairman of the Legal Cell, Mr Dharamjit Singh Khera, Convener, Mr Ashok Bhakri, thanked the party President Sonia Gandhi, Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo for alloting the ticket to Mr Johar. 
These leaders pledged to ensure the victory of 
Mr Johar.

Meanwhile, Mr Hemant Kalia, President of the District Bar Association, Mr Balwinder Goel, former Bar President and member Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, Mr Rajneesh Gupta, former Bar Secretary, have also welcomed the decision.

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Rejected, dejected they are back home
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
They spent the chilling January nights in different parts of the Union capital to rise early to end up at 24, Akbar Road, New Delhi, the headquarters of the All-India Congress Committee, as early as possible in the hope of meeting someone they knew, who could lobby for them or at least put in a word in their support for the party nomination. Everything led to a naught today when the party decided to field mostly the sitting candidates. These ticket aspirants, who were camping in New Delhi for the past several days, returned home today ‘tired and torn, rejected and dejected’ as one of them remarked.

A senior Congress leader and a ticket aspirant from Ludhiana West, remarked on his return," It was like participating in Maha Kumbh...those who could afford and those who could not, everybody wished to take a dip". Some leaders wanted to be away to ensure that they were not seen around in their hometown or constituencies lest they be considered too insignificant not worth the party nomination, he added.

Another senior leader and an aspirant from Ludhiana Rural was more cynical. "It was too humiliating to run after the senior leaders begging for their support," he regretted while adding that during the last one week he had tried in vain to contact many leaders for support. "Everybody tried to avoid us as they knew what we expected of them...this has happened with each and every aspirant who had gone to Delhi," he added.

With the party taking such a long time to announce the candidates, the aspirants had to spend about a fortnight in Delhi. "But we had no other option," confided another ticket aspirant. "While the action was taking place in New Delhi, how could we stay away?" he asked admitting that their presence there made hardly any difference.

And the stay near the scene of action came with an exorbitant price tag as well. Not every aspirant could afford to be closer to the action scene as it cost thousands of rupees every day. "Everyone tried his luck there knowing well that only a few would be lucky," remarked another leader.

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Bhagat Singh kin’s eyes donated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Dr Amarjeet Kaur, wife of Prof Jagmohan Singh, a nephew of martyr Bhagat Singh, died here yesterday. Her eyes and body were donated as per her wish.

She breathed her last in the local DMC hospital yesterday morning. As she had pledged her eyes before her death, she provided light to two visually challenged persons.

Besides, she also pledged her body for medicare research to the doctors of the institute.

Following the news of her death, people from different walks of life expressed their condolences with the bereaved family.

Representatives of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Vichar Manch, the Jamhoori Adhikar Sabha, the Democratic Teachers Front, the Taraksheel Society and other organisations also mourned her death. 

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3-year-old needs financial help
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 17
Sumit, a three-year-old child, admitted to CMCH unit NoC-7039747, is suffering from a disease known as ‘bilateral vesicoureteric reflux grade v’, which is a severe renal problem. He is the youngest child of his parents Prakash and Urmila. His father Prakash is a paraplegic and is unable to walk and the family is run by Urmila, who is a rag picker.

The child urgently needed to undergo surgery, which was estimated to cost around Rs 60, 000.

“I am the only bread earner of the family, my husband can’t work and I pick up rags from the streets and earn hardly between Rs 20 and 30 a day. I want my son Sumit to play like other children of his age, but because of this disease, he is not able to lead a normal life”, said the sobbing mother.

Urmila has made an appeal to the people of the region, clubs, voluntary organisations and NGO’s for financial help.

Those who wish to help Sumit, may get in touch with the office of the Medical Superintendent at CMCH, Ludhiana. All donations should be made in favour of CMCH and ‘treatment for Sumit” written on the other side of the cheque, bank draft or on the covering letter.

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Prostitution should not be legalised: study

Ludhiana January 17
Final year students of the Sociology Department of Khalsa College for Women conducted a survey on 'Should prostitution be legalised?' recently and found that most of the people were not in the favour of legalising prostitution in the country. The study revealed that if it was legalised then there would be no importance of marriage in society.

The survey conducted under the guidance of Ms Harveen Kaur, Head, Department of Sociology, found that 62 per cent of respondents felt that prostitution should not be legalised, whereas 33 per cent felt that it should be. Remaining 5 per cent were undecided. Those who disapproved felt that marriage as an institution would get a jolt and there would be decline in moral and social values in society.

The respondents, from all age groups stressed that in order to curb this practice, the government needed to provide employment to women engaged in prostitution.

The study found that women coming from upper strata of society were into the profession because of their own will. Survey also found that major factors luring them (rich women) towards the trade were movies so that they could lead a luxurious life. — TNS

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1 held, 101 stolen phones recovered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
The city police has arrested a person who along with his accomplices had stolen mobile phones from a shop, Ahuja Electronics, on the intervening night of January 12 and 13.

The police has recovered 101 phones out of the 163 stolen from the shop.

SP City-I Rakesh Aggarwal stated in a press conference here that the youth, Vinod Kumar, was arrested on a tip-off.

One of his accomplices was still at large.

He said the two were planning to strike again in the city.

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Electroplating industry upbeat on cluster formation
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Electroplating industry today said the formation of an electroplating cluster would double its turnover. The industry is in the process of identifying land for the cluster, which was recently approved by the Government of India.

“Almost 600 small and micro units are expected to form part of the cluster. With its formation, the turnover is likely to double as bottlenecks for this industry in infrastructure, etc. will be taken care of,” said Ludhiana Electroplaters Association president Joginder Kumar.

Small Industries Service Institute Director R.C. Chopra said the process of formation of six clusters approved for industry here was expected to begin within the next six months.

“Formation of clusters would give a major boost to the industry. Most of them are in the process of identifying land.”

While clusters would give a fillip to this industry, Joginder Kumar said issues like nickel theft and unscheduled power cuts had become major problems that needed to be addressed on priority.

Alleging that the local police was making tall claims of recoveries and had failed to pass on any of the recovered material to industrialists, he said: “In the past two years, almost 50 units in the city have faced nickel theft. The police made tall claims of having caught the thieves. However, none of the industrialists has ever been given the material back.”

Demanding that the police should either hand over the recovered nickel to industrialists or issue them a “no recovery certificate”, the association said: “Industrialists have to incur heavy losses if they cannot show that there has been no recovery.”

The association said industry in the state was suffering on account of multiple issues ranging from nickel theft to unscheduled power cut.

“These cuts have become quite frequent, which have reduced production in electroplating industry by 20 per cent to 30 per cent. Shortage of power has become a major problem for the industry.”

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