L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Admn cracks the whip on erring employees
Show-cause notices issued for shying away from poll duty
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
The issue of poll duty in forthcoming assembly elections has taken a serious turn with the District Administration issuing notices to about 200 employees for running away from national duty besides threatening to even take departmental or criminal action against the ‘erring’ employees.

These employees had not reported on poll rehearsal on January 31 and their presence was not marked in the registers. Talking to TNS, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, said that they had shot off show-cause notices to these employees.

He said that they have been issued a warning to be present at the tomorrow's rehearsals failing which they would be liable for disciplinary or criminal action. He added that they would have to show cause why they remained absent from the first day of rehearsals.

Interestingly, a number of employees are making a beeline of local doctors to get medical certificates on pretext of one problem or another. Suddenly, diseases of all sorts have infected the employees. According to applications, requesting cancellation of duty, received by the administration, most of the employees claim to be suffering from wide range of diseases.

Ludhiana has thus become the first district in the state where the administration has cracked the whip on the ‘‘erring’’ employees for refusing to discharge their official duties.

Mr Gupta further said that he would be dealing with such people very strictly. These people can even be dismissed from their offices as it was a very serious offence. They can be booked also for shying away from service in the interest of the nation.

He added that it was most unfortunate that they were letting the nation down at the time when they were required the most.

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SAD-Cong group clash averted
Mahesh Sharma

Bhikhi Khatra, February 4
It was a tension filled night at this village of Kila Raipur constituency segment that transformed it into a cantonment after police vehicles and activists of the SAD converged here after hearing reports about removal and tearing of banners, posters and flags favouring their candidate Jagdish Singh Garcha by Congress activists led by Jasbir Singh Jassi (Congress nominee) and his father Jagpal Singh Khangura.

Meanwhile, DSP, Payal, Kuldip Singh said the police taking cognisance of allegations levelled by both parties has taken preventive measures to maintain law and order in the area. However, action will be initiated after verifying the sequence of events leading to last night’s situation.

Munish Tiwari, member, AICC, claiming his party to be a law-abiding organisation, has urged the Election Commissioner to impress upon the authorities to ensure safety of life and property of the party nominee and his associates.

According to a complaint lodged at the Payal police station, trouble started at around 10.30 p.m. last night when a group of Congress activists allegedly removed and tore banners, poster and flags, favouring Garcha and assaulted some SAD activists.

“When I was just going to retire into my bed, I heard some noises from the Balmiki colony and when I came out I saw a group of 20 persons led by Jagpal and Jasvir Singh Khangura removing and tearing banners, posters and flags of SAD candidate. When I tried to stop them they assaulted me and my associates who had come to my rescue,” Gursewak Singh told the DSP.

“We have given you a grant of Rs 21,000 for getting votes and not for supporting our opponents,” Gursewak quoted Khangura, adding that they had threatened him of dire consequences in case they did not withdraw support to the SAD candidate.

Denying the charges, the Congress leaders retaliated, alleging that SAD activists led by Mann Singh Garcha had assaulted them while they (Congress activists led by Khangura) were canvassing at the village. “We had come to a house for canvassing. Mann Singh Garcha attacked our activists, injuring some persons, including Das Singh, a panch of Kilahans village,” said Mr Raghu Nandan Sharma, a close associate of Khangura.

However Mr Kewal Singh, a member of the family concerned, held that the trouble arose after some miscreants accompanying senior Congress leaders created nuisance by removing and tearing publicity material. “Though our family is a strong supporter of the SAD, we do not mind Congress leaders who come for canvassing. But they should not have brought irresponsible persons with them,” he said while talking to this reporter.

As a large number of SAD activists had reached the spot, situation remained sensitive the whole night. However, the police succeeded in dispersing the mob today after a written complaint of Gursewak Singh was received by the officials.

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Govt failed to serve the poor: Sukhbir
Akali Dal will probe ‘excesses’ on people
K. S. Chawla

Ludhiana, February 4
Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, General Secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal said today that there was strong wave in favour of the SAD-BJP combine in the state and the combine would win one hundred seats.

Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal was addressing a largely attended election rally in favour of Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, Akali Dal candidate from Payal at dana Mandi Payal. The crowd was very responsive with slogans of ‘Jo Bole sonihal and Sukhbir Singh Badal Zindabad’.

Mr Sukhbir Singh lashed out Captain Amarinder Singh and said that his five years rule was marked by police raj and excesses were committed on the people. The Akali Dal would enquire into the excesses of the Amarinder Singh Government.

He further said that the Amarinder Singh government failed to serve the poor man and only bothered about the rich and indulged in corrupt practices. The Akali Dal on returning to power would look into all the scams of the congress government and punish the guilty.

Mr Sukhbir Singh also warned the rebels in the Akali Dal and declared that they would not be taken back in the Akali Dal now. They would be expelled from the party for the whole of life. He criticised the local rebel Jagjeewan Pal Singh for his anti-panthic activities and asked the people not to give him any quarter.

The general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal said that the Akali government would pay special attention to the problems of the youth of the state and also take steps for the industrial station of the Punjab. The small traders and industrialists would get their due.

The Akali government would take special steps for power generation increase to meet the power needs of the people and industry.

The rally was also addressed by Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, Mr Sharanjit Dhillon, MP and Mr Mann Singh Garcha and Santa Singh Umedpuri, District Akali Jatha. Sukhbir Singh later addressed rallies in Ludhiana town.

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Flag march taken out in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
In order to instill confidence among the masses for a fair and peaceful poll, a flag march consisting of contingents of local police, commando battalions and para-military forces was taken out in the old city and old GT road this morning.

Laced with arms and ammunition, the contingents passed through the Chaura Bazar, intricate lanes of the old city, Satish Nagar and adjoining areas, the area falling under the Division No. 2 police station area.

A senior police official said the flag march was necessary to boost the confidence of the masses that the poll would be violence free due to the presence of high number of police force.

As many as 40 companies of commando and para-military forces have been put on poll duty in the Ludhiana range. Most of the contingents have arrived. The flag march also enables them to understand the topography of the city.

The para-military forces have been specially posted this time amidst fear of violence in the polls, which has already been marred with ugly poster war, blood shed at Amritsar and Jalandhar besides minor skirmishes in Kila Raipur and rural areas of the district.

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Ludhiana Calling

Unlike earlier times when elections used to witness a lot of activity like campaigning on vehicles using loudspeakers, the scenario looks different this time. Many blame it on the media that misses no chance of pointing out a violation. Candidates have grown more careful as they might find a small violation highlighted by print and electronic, observed a resident.

Wait till the poll ends

With most newspapers focusing their attention on politics, activities in other spheres is relatively dormant. Be it industry or schools and colleges, who in routine used to conduct press conferences at the drop of a hat, all are lying low. As a leading entrepreneur pointed out: "We do not want to hold press conferences as we won’t get any media coverage. We will wait till elections are over."

Pseudo-pollsters

Come elections and quite a crowd of pseudo-pollsters start visiting election offices. Assuming an air of know-all attitude, they would start impressing journalists talking about the factors at play and which candidate stood a better chance. They are exposed only when they quietly give their passport photos, requesting: " See, if you can use the photo with some kind of write-up. You can write anything on my behalf."

Work shirkers

Apart from a "few" genuine complaints the Election Office gets from employees put on poll duty., most grouses are more of excuses. The discomfort of going to far-off villages, despite the fact that they would be reimbursed, makes a lot of people cook up excuses.. Interestingly, even those not put on duty are unhappy as they have to put in extra work. The Election Office certainly has a tough task at hand it seems.

(In) security?

The other day, a student of Khalsa College for Women, riding on her Bajaj Activa was followed by two policemen on their "police petrol" vehicle. The confused girl was not able to ask the purpose of this "chase". When she reached near old courts, she stopped her two-wheeler to ask what was the problem. These "securitymen on duty" simply smiled at her and said they were looking whether her number plate was properly written. The girl was so confused that she could not note down their vehicle number.

Campaigning —“Dhoom” style

More than 50 youths, riding on two-wheelers, carrying the flags of a particular party stopped at the middle of road connecting Domoria bridge and Kailash Chowk. Behaving like heroes of film “Dhoom”, the young political workers blocked the traffic till some people asked them to remove their vehicles as they were creating a traffic jam. Some of them asked the passers-by to vote for the particular party. Left with no other option, poor commuters "assured" them the same.

‘This is my private vehicle’

With the Election Commission keeping an eye on number of vehicles used in the campaigning by different parties, the specially printed stickers, "Eh mera nizi vahan hai. (This is my private vehicle)" are selling like hot cakes. The vehicles are clearly used for campaigning as reflected by the posters of the candidates still the commission cannot take any action.

Election-related offence

The city police has been confiscating vehicles used in poll campaigning. But the vehicles owners are not being charged with election-related offence. Instead, the routine violation of traffic norms are implied. A cop revealed that this is done to avoid unnecessary burden, " For election-related offence, an FIR has to be lodged. It would become a burden as normally such offences are forgotten after the elections.

Poll duties patriotic

Election is a time of hectic activity for mediapersons too. Most of them remain on their toes throughout the period. While managing stress arisen out of over work, they have to overcome stress caused by friends and acquaintances, who want their poll duties cancelled. Sick of the phone calls in this regard, a mediaperson put it like this: "The nation needs them for two days in interest of democracy and they cannot contribute their bit.”

Bait for observers

The position of election observers in the city seems to be not so secure. In each elections, one or the other observer is taken for task by the Election Commission. If last year, an observer was suspended after he forced local police and administrative officers to fund his shopping spree, this time another has been suspended for visiting hill stations. An observer observed that the attraction of riches in the city was a strong bait for observers, most of whom come here from backward areas of the country.

Buying woes

Given the woes of credit card owners, it would not be wrong to say that they buy a lot of risk along with their card. Their woes seem unending with companies continuing to impose charges recklessly. A resident complained of getting heavily debited after making an online purchase. As such cases are not an exception, probably people should stay away from this form of plastic money.

Sham sales

Discount sales have become so common that many shops are offering such a sale almost throughout the year. What irks residents is that most of such sales are merely a gimmick to attract customers. To befool customers, an inflated price is tagged on a product and a customer is told he would get a discount on the same. No wonder, the response to such sales is also poor!

Sports become cruelty

The Qila Raipur rural olympics are once again in the thick of a controversy when excesses on participating animals were reported by the local press. The animal rights organisations has taken note of the cruelty meted to them. Though the matter is already in the court organisations say the reporting would help them to take their fight to a logical conclusion.

Tailpiece

In election season, even the SMS jokes have taken political colour. One such doing the round reads- A girl slapped a boy when he offered her a lotus flower. The shocked boy said:" I was presenting you the symbol of the BJP as a gift of love." Prompt came the reply, " I gave you back the Congress symbol."

(Contributed by Shveta Pathak, Jupinderjit Singh, Kanchan Vasdev and Shivani Bhakoo)

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COMMUNITY

Cong last-ditch bid to woo voters
Tribune News Service

Harnam Dass Johar

Rakesh Pandey

Malkiat Singh Birmi

Surinder Dawar

Ludhiana, February 4
With Congress stalwarts in fray in four Assembly segments in city, the political battle has evoked a lot of interests. People are watching with great interest the four constituencies- north, east, west and rural being represented by Congress heavyweights Mr Rakesh Pandey, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Mr Surinder Dawar, and Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, respectively.

Mr Pandey and Mr Johar are state ministers and Mr Dawar and Mr Birmi were parliamentary secretaries before the post was abolished. Their day-to-day performance is being rated by political observers, who claim that the results of these constituencies would be a pointer towards the overall political scenario in the state.

With this in mind, all four are making last-ditch efforts to woo voters.

Both Mr Johar and Mr Birmi are facing grave battle from their Akali counterparts, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda and Mr Hira Singh Gabria, respectively. The battlelines are drawn for Mr Pandey and Mr Dawar too with Mr Harish Bedi and Mr Satpal Gosain, both from BJP, sweating it out in their constituencies.

Mr Dawar and Mr Johar are harping on their development works but their rivals have levelled certain allegations against them. Mr Johar counts on a number of pockets like Abdullapur Basti, Dr Ambedkar Nagar, Jawahar camp, certain slums and constantly running a suvidha centre at his house while Mr Dawar proudly claims that he remained amidst people of his constituency throughout besides doing a lot of development in the area.

Mr Pandey and Mr Birmi are facing charges of inaccessibility as well as non-development of the area. They, however, rubbish the allegations and claim that people's mandate in their favour would prove their point.

Mr Pandey says he enjoys a clean image and people had faith in his family and he had a number of committed voters.

All of them cite their winning margin of the last term, stating that they had won with margin of thousands of votes. Mr Johar had defeated his Akali rival by a margin of 17,000 votes last time. Mr Dhanda, who had polled around 9,000 votes, had contested as an Independent when Mr Badal had refused him a ticket.

Mr Dawar had defeated his arch rival, Mr Gosain, by 14,000 votes and Mr Pandey had polled 23,000 more votes against Mr Pran Nath Bhatia of the BJP. Mr Birmi had won with a margin of 30,500 votes by defeating Mr Avtar Singh Makkar of SAD.

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Elections play spoilsport for love birds
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
With Assembly elections around the corner, youngsters have started making their purchases in advance to avoid last-minute inconvenience on February 13. They feel that because of elections there will be tight security in the city and they may not be allowed to move on “geri routes”. They say it will be better to purchase gifts for someone they love, well in advance.

Abhinav Wadhva, BCom I student of SCD Government College, said since it was his first Valentine’s Day in the college, he did not want to take any chances because of the elections. He said he had made plans to go to Chandigarh with his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. “I am so excited that I even got a pair of jeans and cards in advance.

Since we will not be allowed to go on “geri routes”, we will celebrate the day in Chandigarh,” he said.

Businessman Saurabh Gupta said he was funding many of his political friends and he had to be with them during canvassing and elections. But he said he was sincere towards his Valentine too. “I have purchased gifts for her. By February 14, we will be free and celebrate the day together,” he said.

meanwhile, shopkeepers are having a field day because of early Valentine purchases. One of the shopkeeper in Sarabha Nagar said youngsters had started buying things like soft-toys, perfumes, shirts, trousers, watches, accessories, etc. “Since it will be a public holiday on February 13, the shops might be closed. The Valentine purchases have started early this time,” he said.

Interestingly, most of the shopkeepers said the clientele this year comprised of school and college boys. “The boys seem to be more excited than girls.

They want something new and unique. Some of the boys have been visiting our shop several times just to find something exclusive,” said a shopkeeper in Ghumar Mandi.

A young son of a leading political leader on the condition of anonymity stated that his girlfriend was supporting him in her campaign for his father. “As far as gift is concerned, I have purchased a pendant for her. We plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day quietly at one of the cafeterias in the city,” he said.

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Poll: Women nominees make their presence felt
Kanchan Vasdev

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
Major political parties may have overlooked women power by not fielding them in the city for the Assembly elections but that does not mean women cannot stand up on their own.

Three women from north, east and rural constituencies are in the fray from Ludhiana to prove their might. It is altogether a different story whether they will be able to save their security from being forfeited or not.

Standing tallest among them is Sheela, a 40-year-old Dalit woman, a resident of Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Nagar near Dugri. Belonging to a poor family, which was not able to arrange for her security, her determination prompted her “samaj” to chip in for her. Living in a colony outside the municipal limits, reaching her house is an uphill task. Sheela campaigns from door to door, sweating it out in the biggest constituency of the state.

“I have no money to afford a vehicle. I have to go everywhere on foot,” she says, standing outside her single-room brick-lined house, which has no doors. Fending for two security guards, besides providing accommodation to them is a big problem for the family with three kids, who have to prepare for their exams.

“I will poll 50,000 votes. I am determined, she claims, though even the residents of her colony are not able to lead a visitor to her house.

“No candidate visits this area as it is difficult to drive a car here. I have promised to my electorate that I will provide them all basic amenities, including water, sewerage, roads and electricity.”

For Asha Rani Saggar of Pritam Nagar, contesting elections is a passion. Being supported by the Liberals Party, this 44-year-old is banking on her goodwill in the area.

Though realistic enough to admit that her security will be forfeited, Asha is contesting to keep women at the forefront. “I have worked in the area at the grassroots level against police atrocities and crimes against women. People swear by me here,” she says.

Her campaign is being managed by women only. “We go from door to door on week days and depend on vehicles on Sundays. People of my area provide me their cars on holidays. That’s how they keep my campaign going,” she adds.

Asha Rani plans to enter poster war after February 7. “When all the posters of other candidates will wear out, then I will be putting up mine as I cannot afford doing the whole thing for a second time,” she says.

While these two are actually in the field, Usha Yadav remains confined to her house as her husband D.P. Yadav has taken upon himself the task of canvassing. In fact she was a covering candidate for her husband, who is a medical practitioner in Kishore Nagar, and the responsibility of contesting came on her shoulders when his papers were rejected.

Contesting on a BSP ticket, Usha says, “Dr Sahib knows about everything. I have no knowledge about poll promises and all,” she says when asked about her plans.

Having migrated from Bihar 18 years ago, this mother of three speaks Punjabi fluently when she says, “Sara Dr Sahib da hi partap hai, jinna ne lokan di aini sewa kiti. (It all goes to Dr Sahib’s credit, who has been serving the people of this area).”

She continues to look after her household chores when her husband campaigns throughout the day.

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Clarify stand on sanitation, parties told
K. S. Chawla

Ludhiana, February 4
The Federation of Pollution and Park Management Committees has posed some questions to the candidates of the ruling party and other parties pertaining to the problems of the city and sought their answers.

In an open letter to the candidates, Mr S S Channa, president of the federation, has expressed his concern over the deteriorating civic amenities in Ludhiana and the failure of the four ruling ministers from this city to take any steps for the improvement during their stint in the government.

Mr Channa has stated: ”The biggest and the wealthiest city of Punjab also carries the tag of being the dirtiest and the most polluted city of north India. It is a pity that none of the candidates has so far uttered a word on this issue which is affecting the living conditions and quality of life of more than 30 lakh citizens. A clear policy statement as to what these candidates propose to do in this regard for controlling air pollution, proper collection and processing of the municipal solid waste, checking contamination of drinking water, augmenting the sub soil and improvement in the sewer system is required from the candidates.”

He has further pointed out that increasing green cover in the concrete jungle and proper upkeep of the public parks and green belts are closely linked to reducing the pollution and water conservation. These issues are much more important to a common man than construction of malls, multiplexes and real estate, which benefit the rulers.

Mr Channa has expressed his concern over the deteriorating sanitation conditions in Ludhiana city and maintains that epidemics of gastro-enteritis cholera and dengue have become annual feature because of blocked sewers and dumps of garbage lying all over the city. The municipal corporation is still looking for a suitable model to process 850 metric tonnes of solid waste generated daily in the city even after the Mayor and the Commissioner undertook foreign tours for this purpose while southern states are generating power from these plants put up by indigenous expertise.

Mr Channa who has been fighting with the municipal corporation and the state government on the issue of maintenance of parks feels sorry and says:”it is a shame that enlightened citizens had to knock at the doors of the Punjab state human rights commission because of failure of the authorities to discharge their responsibilities. We even approached the popular and powerful ministers in this regard but to no avail and ultimately a PIL had to be filed in the Punjab and Haryana high court. 'Encroachments on public land, violation of building by-laws and use of residential buildings, even in the posh residential colonies are the other problems faced by the residents.

While reminding the Congress candidates, Mr Channa has stated that:”Corruption, transparency, accountability and responsive government were the poll plank of the Congress during the 2002 elections. But there has been little improvement in these during the past five years. The man in the street who has no approach to a politician or money power does not get any response to the representation he sends to the officer or the minister concerned.

He says that every candidate owes a moral responsibility to clarify his stand on these issues to enable the voter to make a proper choice.

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Pleasing deities, poll style
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, February 4
Whether it is the Chief Minister or seasoned ministers or the candidates standing for the first time, all believe in the heavenly power and to pamper the celestial beings undertake pooja and paths. There is hardly any candidate who does not invoke God's blessings.

Most of the candidates standing for elections started their election rally after performing a yajna be it stalwarts like Harnam Dass Johar or comparatively younger lot like Rakesh Pandey. The candidates feel that without pleasing and appeasing Gods , they would not be able to do anything.

Ludhiana Tribune spoke to a few astrologers and thing that became clear was that the candidates do not approach the astrologers but send their chief campaigners or the persons funding their election.

Mr Manoj Sharma, a city-based astrologer said:"We have to use 'mundane astrology 'when we are predicting the future of a candidate. This astrology is used as the political figures affect the lives of many a people. So the alignment of stars have to be taken into consideration. It is comprehensive study of many factors."

He further said that during the last Assembly elections, a majority of astrologers predicted a landslide win for former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee . They mostly studied the stars of Mr Vajpayee and did not take into consideration, the overall picture and hence they were proved wrong.

Mr Sharma said that most of the candidates send their emissaries to not only one astrologer but to many. He said many start the yajnas at their homes. Some perform pooja at Bagula Mukhi in Kangra near Chintpurni Temple. The yajna performed at this temple is very effective against the bad intentions of one's foes and yajna performed at the temple offers a blanket of security. Many candidates perform yajnas at their homes as bhairav yajna can be performed any where and offers strength to the one performing it."

Another astrologer on the condition of anonymity said: "It is very natural that the candidates want to know the results and will not leave any stone unturned to win the elections. Big rewards will involve big efforts and the candidates do not mind sending their family members to different places to appease the stars not in their favour. As the elections near, the race to astrologers will hot up . Till the results are out , the candidates will think they are the winners for hope is eternal.”

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Eyes and ears of Election Commission
Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
All para-military force (PMF) jawans posted for polling duty during the elections have been given more powers this time. The Election Commission of India has authorised them to check silent rigging, activities of the polling agents, certain actions of the polling officer besides other activities.

Expanding their area of operation, the jawans would virtually be the eyes and ears of the Election Commission and keep a watch on the polling agents and officers too.

Earlier, they were just supposed to provide security at the polling booths, counting centres or to regulate the voters, but now they have been authorised to check and report malpractices to their Commanding Officer for necessary action. They would no longer wait for orders but can actually prevent any violation at the spot.

A copy of the order no 19688-787 of the Additional Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, sent to the Punjab Police Headquarters states that the PMF jawans would not allow any unauthorised person to be present inside the polling station at any time. They would ensure that the polling party of the polling agents do not attempt to cast any vote when no voter is present inside the polling booth, no officer accompanies any voter to the voting compartment or no voter is threatened and no silent rigging takes place.

Reliable sources attached to the poll work said earlier, the duties of the jawans were not specifically circulated to the district police heads. But this time, owing to the new work, guidelines have been sent.

Sources said the jawans have been specially empowered to check chances of rigging and poll practices by the poll officers itself. The officers are traditionally responsible for checking all the malpractices. Sources feared that this can prove counter-productive too as it may cause confusion and chaos.

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Bawa predicts win for Cong
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 4
Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president, All-India Bairagi Maha Mandal, has expressed confidence that the Congress will score a resounding win in the coming Assembly elections and the people of Punjab will not be misled by false and misleading propaganda of communal and divisive forces. He was accompanied by other functionaries of the state unit of the mandal, including Mr Jiwan Das Bawa and Mr Buta Singh Bairagi.

In a statement issued here today, he said he had addressed a series of meetings in support of the Congress candidates in Joga, Sardulgarh, Budhlada, Pakka Kalan, Dhanaula and Barnala Assembly segments.

He claimed that the ruling party had made inroads into the rural areas with its pro-farmer policies. “Cotton production has touched a record level, procurement of agricultural produce has been smooth and unprecedented development works have been undertaken in the rural areas,” he added.

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Personal life of deceased under scanner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
The hair-raising murder of four members of a family may come out to be a case of carnal crime with the police learning intimate details about the personal life of the deceased man and woman.

Highly placed police sources have revealed that the deceased man was leading a colourful life despite having no known or established source of income. Police has got evident details that the couple’s source of income was not ‘normal’ due to which they could have become victims of the alleged ‘profession’.

The investigating officials were also shocked at the response of some close relative of the couple. The relatives have told the police that they were not much effected by the incident. They have also stated that they were actually not bothered about the crime or who the murderers were.

Sources revealed that the couple were not on good terms with their respective parents and parents-in-law. Their neighbours too have not expressed many kind words about the deceased man.

The police was awaiting certain post-cremation rituals to be completed starting stringent questioning of the suspects.

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R.N. Luthra passes away
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, February 4
President of the local National College for Women Rabinder Nath Luthra breathed his last early today after a prolonged illness.

He was 78.

Apart from Luthra’s major contribution in the establishment of the only college in the town, he had been the sarpanch of Machhiwara and Noorpur villages. Known for his honesty and quick decision making, Mr Luthra had served many other social organisations.

He was cremated at the local cremation ground this afternoon.

His funeral procession was attended by a large number of persons, including Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha, Charanjit Singh Atwal. 

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