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2 PSEB men meet uncanny death
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 31
In a tragic twist of fate, two employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board, who were returning from a hospital, where they had gone to hand over the body of their colleague after he died following a fall, were killed in an accident here last night.

Mahinder Singh (50), assistant lineman working at the power feeder at Talwandi, had died after he had a fall from an electricity pole while carrying out repairs.

PSEB’s assistant executive engineer, Adda Dakha, Nachhattar Singh (50) along with assistant lineman Kuldeep Singh (38) and some other employees brought his body to the local Civil Hospital late in the evening. There they were told that the post-mortem examination would be carried out tomorrow.

The two along with lineman Balbir Singh and Nirmal Singh, and assistant lineman Malkit Singh left for Dakha in a vehicle, being driven by Kuldeep Singh.

When they reached Chowkiman on the Jagraon-Ludhiana road, a Matiz car hit their vehicle, killing Nachhattar Singh and Kuldeep Singh, and injuring the three others.

Malkit Singh who was injured seriously was referred to the DMCH, Ludhiana.

The occupants of the other car, Amit Kapoor and Nandan, also sustained injuries and were referred to the DMCH.



MC Poll
SAD, BJP working at cross-purposes
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
In the race to grab the berth of mayor in the municipal corporation elections, friction between the SAD-BJP combine has come to the fore with candidates of both parties working against each other in different wards of the city.

A number of wards, where SAD and BJP candidates are pitted, more than their rivals, members of their combine are working against the official candidates, albeit not openly.

BJP leader of opposition in house Parvin Bansal, who is contesting from ward No. 41, is facing opposition from his rival as well as a candidate who was a contender for SAD ticket from this ward.

The ward No. 41 was decided in the favour of the BJP and some Akalis did not like the decision of the combine.

SAD contender Jarnail Singh has filed his nominations from this ward and is threatening the official candidate.

Similarly in ward No. 39, SAD official candidate Kulwant Singh Dukhiya is facing opposition from Gopal Sharma, a BJP leader who was wanted a ticket.

Now he is being supported by a senior party leader openly in a bid to cause a dent in the vote bank of Akali candidate.

BJP candidate Sunita Sharma is also being opposed by Maninder Kaur Ghuman of the SAD, who was denied ticket from this ward. Both are facing each other in ward No. 55 now.

Santosh Bakshi of the BJP is also facing an SAD rebel, Kashmir Kaur Sandhu, who was an aspirant for the SAD ticket from ward No. 10.

But due to the decision of the combine to field a BJP candidate, Sandhu is now an Independent but is being supported by some SAD leaders.

Similar are the cases of BJP candidate Parveen Sharma (ward No. 25) and SAD Inderjeet Kaur Gill who are being opposed by SAD leader Jaswinder Singh Shammi’s wife and Kashmir Singh Sheera, a former councillor, respectively.

“It is all a matter of mayor’s seat. Akalis want to grab it as much, as the BJP. Nobody is leaving any stone unturned to ensure that the seat went in their kitty even if they had to intensify activities against the combine partner,” said a political observer.



Door-to-door canvassing picks up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
Personal touch has taken precedence over party politics during the campaigning for municipal corporation elections, as candidates are preferring door-to-door canvassing to garner votes.

Although it is already believed that the elections are won on personal rapport rather than party manifestoes and promises, the way the political parties are conducting interviews for party tickets, it seems that the elections have also taken complete political colour.

But as the canvassing is intensifying, candidates are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that they meet every voter personally.

The candidates start as early as 6 am and go knocking at the doors of people asking for their support.

Hem Raj Aggarwal, a candidate from ward No. 27 says learning from his experiences of the past he is meeting people personally.

“I am holding meetings and going from door to door,” he says.

For Bharat Bhushan Ashu, another Congress candidate, a councillor always remains in touch with people of his ward.

“I am doing ‘nukkad’ meetings as well as campaigning from door to door. I have done my bit in the last five years and now it is time for public to react and elect their representative,” says Ashu, while rushing for campaign.

As the canvassing is picking up, former mayor and Akali leader Apinder Singh Grewal is also trusting his old method of reviving contacts by knocking at every door.

Young BJP candidate from ward No. 52 Ruchi Jain, a first-timer, is meeting her electorate with folded hands asking for their votes.

“If they elect me they will not repent. I will represent their area with sincerity,” she says.



MC Poll
Electoral officer reviews arrangements
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The administration has made elaborate arrangements for the conduct of civic body elections in the city.

Officiating deputy commissioner-cum-district electoral officer Priyank Bharti took stock of the arrangements at a meeting of returning officers (ROs) here last evening.

The district electoral officer asked the ROs to strictly implement the directions of the election commission as prescribed under the model code of conduct.

He asked them to ensure that all political parties and candidates adhered to these directions during electioneering.

He said the election would be conducted through electronic voting machines (EVMs) and sufficient number of machines had been procured by the administration.

He said the duties of the polling staff required at all 974 polling booths had been assigned and to provide training to the staff two rehearsals would be conducted on August 2 and 5 by the ROs concerned. Election material would be distributed among the polling parties on August 7 by the ROs.

Giving RO-wise details of venues for rehearsals, Bharti said assistant commissioner grievances would hold rehearsals at Arya College for Boys, SDM (east) at Rotary Club, SDM (west) at BCM School, Shashtri Nagar, DDLG at Khalsa College for Women, AETC-II at Nehru Sidhan Kender, Sirhand canal circle SE at Guru Nanak Public School and district transport officer at Multipurpose Hall, Ludhiana.

Punjab labour commissioner N.K. Wadhawan and special secretary food and supplies Khushi Ram (both observers) also attended the meeting and asked the ROs to tell candidates to fill the expenditure registers on a daily basis. They also asked them to ensure that no candidate violated the model code of conduct.

Those who attended the meeting were AC grievances Neeru Katyal, SDM (W) Amrit Kaur Gill, SDM (E) Jagwinderjeet Singh, DDLG Mohinder Pal, district transport officer Chander Gaind, AETC-II M.S. Kundla and Sirhind canal circle SE Amarjit Singh.

Poll observers appointed

The state election commissioner has appointed four observers for the civic body elections. These observers will look after the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct during electioneering.

Officiating deputy commissioner-cum-district electoral officer Priyank Bharti said that labour commissioner N.K. Wadhawan would be observer for wards numbered 1-11 under assistant commissioner, grievances (RO). Wards numbered 12 and 15 and 17-22 will be under SDM (East) who would be available on phone number 2464910.

Director, rural development and panchayats, G.S. Sidhu, would be observer for wards numbered 13, 14 and 16 under SDM Ludhiana (east). Wards numbered 66-75 will be under district transport officer and wards numbered 61-65 will be under SE, Sirhind Canal Circle, whose phone is 2464909.

Special secretary (food and supplies) Khushi Ram (phone number: 2464908) would be the observer for wards numbered 56-60 under SE, Sirhind Canal Circle. Wards numbered 45-55 will be under AETC, Ludhiana-II and wards numbered 42, 43 and 44 will be under DDLG.

Director, state transport, Mandeep Singh (phone number: 2464911), will be observer for wards numbered 34-41 under DDLG and wards numbered 23-33 will be under SDM (West).



It’s much ado about nothing, says former UK Mayor
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Harbans Kanwal Ludhiana, July 31
“There is too much sound and fury involved with the municipal corporation elections in the city. The high-pitched campaign is seldom translated into action after the poll and most promises are usually forgotten, only to be reiterated in the next elections. And the process goes on and on,” said Harbans Kanwal, a former mayor of Hounslow, London.

Harbans Singh Grewal, popularly known as Harbans Kanwal and also mayor sahib, migrated to the UK in the sixties after doing his postgraduation in English from Panjab University, Chandigarh.

He got actively involved with politics there and became a member of the Labour Party. In 1982, he became councillor for the first time. He became the mayor of Hounslow, a borough in London, in 1986 and again in 1991. Borough is an administrative unit in London.

Kanwal said there was a “hell of difference” between the working of the municipal houses here and in London. He observed that although the powers and functions were more or less the same, but people here did not seem to assert themselves well.

Particularly about the post of mayor, he said: “It happens to be the most import post in the borough or the city. The mayor is the first citizen there and is held high in protocol. But here, I don’t know what mayor does and what he is supposed to do.”

He said he became twice the mayor of Hounslow, predominantly inhabited by the Britons. The Asians comprised of only about 25 per cent population. But people in the UK appreciate your work and contribution, he remarked, while adding he was also ranked one of the best mayors across the country. He is also known to be best dressed mayor in Britain who is never seen without his “trademark” hat.

Kanwal said a mayor must have a vision as how to build up and develop his or her area. He pointed out that most of the development was carried out by the municipal corporation and the mayor is the head.

“Only thing needed is to assert yourself,” he observed, while adding “mayor is an elected official of a grass-root democratic institution”. He is more close to people than any other elected representative. He said he was quite impressed by the level of participation of people in these elections.

“But this needs to be translated into action,” he said. “Involvement of people is good, but this should continue even after one gets elected. People must hold their representatives accountable and draw their balance sheets.”

Besides, he suggested, people must have comparison and “live debates” between the prospective candidates of a particular ward.

And one thing that surprises, rather pains the mayor sahib, is the huge amount of money spent on the elections here.



Sangat Darshan
Plaintiffs caught unawares
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
Sangat darshan, a programme to redress the grievances of common man by the district administration on every Tuesday, was cancelled today due to the forthcoming municipal elections.

Several complainants were “harassed” in the absence of adequate information on the cancellation of the programme.

Coming from far-off villages, complainants, a majority of them from the poor section of society, felt they had wasted their money as well as time.

Though, the administration maintained that they had announced the cancellation at the last programme but complainants felt such information was not beneficial to new complainants or those who had left early the last time.

A disappointed septuagenarian, Gurnam Singh, had come from Seora village near here. He said he had spent Rs 100 to reach mini secretariat. “But here I have been told to come next Tuesday. I am a poor man and cannot afford to spend so much on each visit. Mine is a family dispute case and I need to represent my case to the higher officials,” he said.

The complainants felt that the administration should take the responsibility of informing general public about such cancellations as hundreds of new complaints came every week.

Rachpal Singh, a resident of Ghalib village, accompanied by a rape victim along with her four family members said they had set off at 7.30 am to reach here on time.

He said they were disappointed to know that there was no programme today. The family had visited last Tuesday but left early as they were given another date by the officials.

“We had to reach our village before sunset, so we left before the announcement was made. But they should do something for people like us who spend Rs 500 on each visit. We are already facing a tough time and such treatment adds to our misery,” said a disappointed Rachpal Singh.

People had come even from places like Faridkot and Ferozepore for getting their disputes redressed.

Kamaljit Kaur, a resident of Ferozepore, said her husband had left her with two children. “I have been making rounds to the police station for the past five months but nothing has been done thus far. I had thought of giving my representation to the deputy commissioner this time. But now I learn that there will be no sangat darshan today as well as next Tuesday. It seems I will never get justice,” she rued.

One of the district administration officials said nothing could really be done in such cases. At times, decisions on cancellation were made at the last moment. “It is not possible to tell this to public in advance,” he said.



Girl found dead

Ludhiana, July 31
Just three days after a girl was found raped and murdered in Rajugur Nagar, another four-year-old girl was found dead under mysterious circumstances on a street in block-E of BRS Nagar this afternoon.

SP (detective) Gurpreet Singh said medical examination of the body had ruled out the possibility of rape or strangulation. The girl seemed to have drowned, he added.

Area residents said she was often seen with a mentally-challenged woman, who roamed aimlessly in the streets. The woman was found later in the evening in a hysterical state and was unable to reveal much.

The police suspected that the girl died while the woman was giving her a bath somewhere. — TNS



Shaheed Udham Singh’s sacrifices remembered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 31
“This was my duty and I have done it. There is no sense of dying in old age. I like to die young,” said Udham Singh after shooting O’Dwyer. These words of Shaheed Udham Singh were remembered as Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Trust commemorated the 67th martyrdom of Shaheed-e-Azam Udham Singh a function held at pensioners’ bhawan, here today.

Minister for cultural affairs and jails Hira Singh Gabria was the chief guest. He paid rich tributes to Shaheed Udham Singh and said that he was truly secular as he had named himself Ram Mohammed Singh Azad.

President of Desh Bhagat Society, Jagdev Singh Jassowal, also lauded the actions of Udham Singh and said he saved the honour of the nation by shooting the perpetrator of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Francis O’Dwyer.

Chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda was also present.

A documentary film titled "Ankhila Yodha" produced by Dhadhi Jatha Jarnail Singh Toofan was also released on the occasion.



Welfare body memo to ward candidate
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 31
A meeting of the core committee of the Rishinagar F-Block Welfare Association was held here today. The office-bearers/executive members submitted a memorandum to Congress candidate from ward No. 55 Sneh Lata.

The association is demanding the transfer of Rishinagar from the Improvement Trust, Ludhiana, to the municipal corporation, Ludhiana; construction of an approach road from Rishinagar to the Ferozepore road via Udhamsingh Nagar; development of parks of Rishinagar Nagar F-block; and setting up of a of green belt.

Sneh Lata assured the members of fulfilling the demands once coming to power.



Tricycles given to five
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 31
Speaking at a function organised under the Sarab Sikha Abhyan (SSA) here yesterday, district education officer (elementary) Roshan Lal Sood said the government has launched various schemes under SSA to educate physically-challenged children to make them self-sufficient. The chief guest distributed 5 tricycles, 5 wheel chairs and 11 hearing aids to physically-challenged children.

District resource person Boota Singh spoke on various schemes launched under SSA by the government in the schools to upgrade the education system in the state.



Discipline MP, MLAs

It is worth appreciating that Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee is serious about establishing discipline among Members of Parliament. It is a good move. He was in the Opposition himself till recently and had many a time obstructed proceedings of the House, but in a disciplined manner.

Over the passage of time, we have lost the glory of the most important institutions of democracy due to falling standard of representatives being elected to these.

To counter this, a training of at least six months should be imparted to all elected representatives. And for this, an institution must be established on the lines of those for professional courses in the country.

Those who misbehave in the House must be made to rejoin the classes and obtain a qualification certificate. It is time to restore the lost glory and the Speaker aims at achieving it. How far he succeeds is for everybody to see.

S.R. Mittal, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



2 city cops held for theft
Tribune News Service

Morinda, July 31
Two policemen posted with escort motorcade of SSP (vigilance) Ludhiana, Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu, allegedly stole Rs 3.5 lakh from a Shimla-based businessman at Morinda on Monday night.

Businessmen Bhanu Verma, Rajan Aggarwal and Pankaj from Sanjoli in Shimla, were going in their Maruti car from Shimla to Ludhiana, when they met three policemen at Lucky Dhaba, three kms from Morinda. The businessmen were carrying Rs 3.5 lakh in cash to make some purchases in Ludhiana.

"The policemen said their vehicle had broken down on way to Ludhiana and they needed a lift. Though we told them that there is no room for three more people, they forced their way into our car. We dropped them at Clock Tower Chownk in Ludhiana at around 12:30 am. When we reached our relative's place at Haibowal, we discovered that the cash was missing," said Bhanu Verma.

The trio then remembered that the policemen had said that their Gypsy, which broke down, was at Lucky Dhaba. They returned to Morinda and from there traced the policemen. The aforesaid cops turned out to be Harmesh Lal, Harpal Singh and constable Riaz Masih. All three are posted with the escort motorcade of SSP (vigilance) Ludhiana.

The Morinda police booked the three policemen and arrested Harmesh Lal and Harpal Singh. DSP Morinda, Manminder Singh said, "Riaz Masih was not aware that the other two have stolen the money and hence no action has been taken against him."

Meanwhile, police have arrested Harmesh and Harpal and recovered Rs 3.20 lakh from them.



Pedestrian killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 31
Mohamad Shukal (16), a resident of Balua Nawan Tulli (Bihar), was killed when a motor cycle (PB 25 C 8680) hit him while he was walking down the road yesterday. He was killed on the spot. A case has been registered under Sections 279 and 304-A, IPC, against the unknown rider.

His body was taken to the local Civil Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Body found

The body of a man was found from a pond, near a bridge canal, at Dalla yesterday. The man was later identified as Surinder Pal Singh of Hans Kalan. A post-mortem examination at the local Civil Hospital confirmed death by drowning around five days ago.

One booked

The local police has booked Jasmail Singh of Kothe Sher Jangh for allegedly helping Lakhwinder Singh, alias Lakha, a proclaimed offender, of the village.

A case has been registered under Sections 212 and 216, IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

Assault case

Major Singh, his sons Jagroop Singh and Gurdip Singh of Mallah, Bodh Singh of Chhiniwal Khurd, Jasmail Kaur and Virpal Kaur of Mallah have been booked for allegedly trespassing the property of Nachhittar Singh of the village and assaulting the complainant.

The local police has registered a case under Sections 452, 323, 506, 148 and 149, IPC. No arrest has been made so far.



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