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Demolition squad forced to return
Councillors stand up for violator
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
A seemingly ill-prepared team of the MC demolition squad beat a hasty retreat after partly razing a projection of a shopping-cum-residential building near Fountain Chowk late this afternoon.

The demolition team, led by an additional commissioner, had to return when two municipal councillors and spouses of two women councillors forced them to abandon the drive. The leaders belonged to the Congress and the BJP.

Mayor Hakkam Singh Giaspura had recently warned that councillors obstructing MC work may face action, including suspension. It was the third attempt to bring down the building in last few years.

The building is situated right next to Fountain Chowk where land prices as well as shop rents have skyrocketed. Building owner Seema Singla is allegedly using the upper storey of the residential plot for commercial purposes without permission for change of land use.

Councillor Bharat Bhushan Ashu said the MC had not given any prior notice to the building owner. He also claimed the owner had submitted an affidavit to the MC, stating the change of land use and offering to pay compounding charges and also to demolish on its own any construction unapproved under the building bylaws.

He, along with councillor Gurpreet Gogi , Tarun Jain, husband of councillor Ruchi Jain, and Balkar Singh, husband of councillor Sneh Lata, reached the site to question the demolition move.

Ashu alleged a MC official seemed to have some personal grudge against the building owner. MC sources said mere submission of affidavit was immaterial.

The MC demolition squad is becoming more of a non-demolition squad. Three days ago, it had buckled under pressure to postpone the demolition of another building in the city.

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Plea to name road after Lala Lajpat Rai
Our Correspondent
Ravi Bhushan, grand daughter-in-law of Lala Lajpat Rai offers floral tributes at the photographs of Kartar Singh Sarabha and Lala Lajpat Rai at Punjabi Bhawan in Ludhiana
Ravi Bhushan, grand daughter-in-law of Lala Lajpat Rai offers floral tributes at the photographs of Kartar Singh Sarabha and Lala Lajpat Rai at Punjabi Bhawan in Ludhiana on Friday. — Photo by I.V.

Ludhiana, November 16
Rich tributes were paid to martyrs Lala Lajpat Rai and Kartar Singh Sarabha on their martyrdom day at functions organised by the Desh Bhagat Yadgari Society at Punjabi Bhawan here today. Activists of the CPI assembled near the statue of Sarabha at Bhai Bala Chowk in the morning where floral tributes were offered to the martyr.

Family members of Lala Lajpat Rai were felicitated by the Desh Bhagat Yadgari Society. Jagdev Singh Jassowal, president, and Krishan Kumar Bawa, general secretary of the society, along with other functionaries presented mementos to the kin of Lala Lajpat Rai.

The memento for Nagar Panchayat Sarabha, a token of remembrance for Sarabha, was received by Jagpal Singh Khangoora and Master Sadhu Singh Grewal.

Through a resolution proposed by Jassowal at the function, it was demanded that the session of All- India Congress Committee being convened at Delhi on November 17 be dedicated to Lala Lajpat Rai, who happened to be the first Punjabi president of the AICC. The gathering asked the government to name the road between Ludhiana - Jagraon - Dhudike - Lahore after the name of the martyr as it linked his janmabhoomi (birthplace) and karma-bhoomi (area of operation).

The society also urged the government through another resolution to erect memorial pillars at Sarabha village in the names of martyrs.

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Drugs seized from chemist shops
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 16
Raids conducted by a team led by state drug controller Bhag Singh at a couple of chemist shops in Pindi Street here today yielded a rich haul of intoxicants.

The officials seized a stock of 2 lakh tablets, 1.90 lakh capsules of different formulations, besides 419 bottles of cough syrup, purportedly stocked to be sold to addicts.

The raiding team scrutinised records pertaining to purchase and sale and other documents required to be maintained under the relevant law. Certain incriminatory documents were seized from the shops.

According to district drug inspector Sanjeev Garg, the seized drugs would be produced in a city court tomorrow.

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Servant decamps with Rs 15 lakh
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
An old and trusted servant of a local businessman has allegedly duped him of Rs 15 lakh.

An FIR was registered at the Salem Tabri police station last night against Ramesh Kumar, who belongs to Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh, by Harjinder Singh. He said he had sent Ramesh to a place with the cash on November 7.

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200 FIRs fail to deter colonisers 
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
Illegal construction in hundreds of colonies in the district and adjoining areas continues unabated as the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) has no teeth to check it. The illegal activity continues despite registration of cases with the police authorities. The authorities are helpless and hundreds of common folk continue to make purchases.

The Ludhiana police, at different police stations, has registered at least 200 FIRs in connection with illegal construction activity and reliable sources in GLADA said that at least 78 challans had already been issued. It has also been pointed out that the department has till date forwarded at least 397 cases to the police for registration of cases out of the approximately 800 cases of illegal construction in the area.

The periphery of the city and the main entry from Jalandhar, Chandigarh and Ambala are flooded with construction activity in a totally haphazard manner, which is a clear violation of the Punjab Apartment and Property regulation Act (PAPRA). Cases have been registered at police stations of Sahnewal, Khanna, Ludhiana sadar, Sarabha Nagar, Shimlapuri, Kadon and Haibowal, besides others.

Illegal constructions have been reported in Kohara, Payal, Jandiyali, Doraha, Barewal and a number of places along the Sidhwan canal. The FIRs mean nothing to the builders because the offence is bailable and a random survey reveals that the sale deeds continue to be executed rampantly because the case disposal is a "very long process".

The department has filed at least 81 cases in the courts against illegal colonisers. One of the biggest loopholes reported in the illegal construction activity is the inclusion of agricultural land in the area, which is being developed for housing.

"We have done our job of lodging the cases. The law is a little lopsided because we cannot do anything after filing the FIRs. There are reports of the construction still going on. However, we are not vested with any special powers to curb the construction activity. We cannot dismantle any constructions", a senior officer said.

"There have been certain cases in Jalandhar district where action has been taken against the defaulters. However, there has been no major decision in Ludhiana district. Till the time a couple of examples of strict administrative action can be shown, the illegal activity will continue unabated. GLADA needs to be given some teeth to take action against the defaulters", the officer added.

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Rishi dhaba murder solved
Employee was killed over minor tiff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
It was an argument over preparing ‘raita’ that allegedly led to the gruesome murder of Hari Chand, an employee at Rishi Dhaba in Deep Nagar, near Gill chowk, on the November 13 night.

Stating this at a press conference here today, SP City-I Sukhchain Singh said the murder accused was Vasu, another employee at the dhaba. He had a tiff with the deceased a few days ago over preparing ‘raita’. The deceased had allegedly slapped him.

The accused, enraged over the incident, allegedly slit the throat of the victim with a kitchen knife, when he was sleeping past November 13 midnight. Later, he tied his hands. “He could not cry but was moving his arms and legs a lot, writhing in pain,” revealed an unperturbed Vasu to medipersons when he was being produced in the court.

SP Sukhchain said the accused also wanted to show that Hari was killed by robbers who tied his hands.

He said that night Hari had some trouble in his ears. He went to bed early after one of his ears started bleeding.

At about 1:30 am, his brother Krishan went to his room on the second floor to enquire about his health.

Krishan said he was shocked to see a pool of blood on the floor. “ I thought, the ear trouble had worsened and there was too much bleeding. I lifted my brother to take him downstairs only to discover on the stairs where there was better light that his throat was cut,” he said fighting back tears.

SP Sukhchain said Krishan did not waste time and called the police. A team of policemen led by SHO Surinder Mohan summoned all the 45 employees of the dhaba and found that only Vasu was missing.

He was eventually found hiding in his room, waiting for an opportunity to slip away.

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Legal Services Day observed
Our Correpondent
Ludhiana, November 16

To create awareness on the concept of lok adalat and free legal services to the needy, a seminar was organised here today at the ESI Hospital by the District Legal Services Authority on the initiative of its secretary, civil judge (senior division) K.S. Cheema, on the occasion of Legal Services Day.

Cheema said free legal aid was being provided to various sections but they were not much aware of it. Any women, persons belonging to SC/ST category, industrial worker, person in police or judicial custody, physically disabled, children, mentally challenged(irrespective of their income group) and those belonging to weaker sections with an annual income less than Rs 50,000 were entitiled to free legal services.

The authority had constituted a panel of 15 lawyers for this free legal services and till date more than 3,000 persons had benefited.

D.S. Saini, member, DLSA, assistant district attorney Varinder Sandhu, Dr Deepak Saxena, Dr Gulati, Dr I.B.S. Chhabra and social workers Ruby Fernandiz and Pappu Abinash Singh were among those who attended the seminar. 

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CM gives Rs 25 lakh for Sarabha memorial
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 16
Moved by appeals of the residents of the area about the completion of the Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha memorial that had been announced nine years ago, Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, released a grant of Rs 25 lakh for the purpose and directed the deputy commissioner, Ludhiana, to get the work resumed immediately. He announced to give more grants as and when required.

The grant was handed over to Sumer Gurjar, deputy commissioner, Ludhiana, at the closing ceremony of the 60th annual Shaheed Kartar Singh Memorial Tournament organised at Sarabha village, near here.

“I will send more funds but make sure that the construction is completed by the next anniversary of the martyr,” said Badal.

On November 16, 1999, Badal, then Chief Minister, had announced that a memorial on the pattern of Jallianwala Bagh would be constructed at a cost of Rs 1.25 crore on a two-acre plot in the memory of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha at his native village.

The Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Memorial Committee had urged Jagdish Singh Garcha, former minister and MLA from the Kilaraipur constituency, to impress upon Badal to get the memorial completed before the next birth anniversary of the youngest martyr of the region.

A cousin of the martyr, Jagdish Kaur, died in June 2005 without seeing her dream come true. She had been agitating against the respective state governments demanding the completion of work on the memorial.

The work on the memorial was started by the Akali government in 2000 after a lot of agitation by Jagdish Kaur. A grant of Rs 1.01 crore was announced for the same and Rs 40 lakh were released in three instalments. Later, not even a single penny was released.

The archaeological department of Punjab had also declared the house of the martyr a protected monument in 1998, after which it remained abandoned for want of repair. When the idea for the memorial came up, the then government asked the relatives of the martyr to make available certain memorabilia for it.

The ancestral house of the martyr was also declared a national monument so that future generations could get inspiration from him.

The Tribune had carried stories about stagnation of construction work on the memorial. 

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Statewide strike by PSEB staff on Nov 21
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana,November 16
Responding to a call given by the joint forum of PSEB employees, the activists of city central division and the grid maintenance division of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) held a rally at the circle office on the G.T. Road here today to mobilise employees for the one-day statewide strike on November 21.

Trade union activists, including Ramesh Sharma, Pawan Kumar, Roshan Lal, Mehar Chand, Rachpal Singh, Arjun Singh, Balraj Singh Sekhon, Jagat Sharma, Lekh Raj, Joginder Singh and Nirmal Singh, addressed the rally and urged the PSEB workers to make it a big success so that the management could be jolted out of its slumber and their long pending demands were accepted. The speakers cautioned the authorities to intensify their struggle if the evasive and indifferent attitude towards their demands continued.

Reiterating their pending demands, trade union leaders asked the PSEB management to create new posts as per the norms and the workload, open fresh recruitment to fill up the vacant posts, provide employment to kin of deceased employees on compassionate grounds, reinstate suspended employees, implement all accepted demands and scrap the Electricity Act 2003.

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Trade Union Poll
Railway unions hold gate meeting to seek support
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 16
The Rail Mazdoor Union (RMU) and the Technical Employees Association of Railways (TEAR) today held a joint gate rally at the diesel shed to seek support of the cadres for the trade union elections to be held from November 26 to 28, 2007.

Among others, RMU zonal secretary S.C. Pandey and TEAR additional general secretaries Raj Agnihotri and Rajnish Tiwari addressed the workers.

The union leaders alleged that the two trade unions, recognised by the Railways, had ignored the interests of all categories of rail employees, and particularly over 12 lakh technical workers had been discriminated against by successive pay commissions in the absence of proper representation.

The RMU and TEAR activists sought support of the employees while making a commitment that if voted to power, the unions would provide a clean, transparent and corruption-free trade union to the railway employees.

Prominent among other speakers who addressed the rally were Sarbjit Singh, assistant general secretary, Rajesh Sharma, divisional president, Suba Lal Mahour, divisional secretary of RMU, Jumer Din, Jasbir Singh, zonal president, and Krishan Kumar, zonal secretary of TEAR.

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Letters
Clean railway station

Ludhiana railway station might be the one of the biggest revenue earners, both in terms of passenger and goods traffic in the entire region, but the lack of sanitation and cleanliness at the entry points, platforms and areas around the tracks need much to be desired.

The passengers waiting to board the trains at the platforms have to bear the brunt of heaps of garbage piled up here and there, stinking toilets, dirty benches, and at times pools of stagnant water at the entry points.

While the Railways claim to have achieved better financial health and railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav takes credit for turning the loss making enterprise into a profit- making one, it is rather unfair to cut corners and save money at the expense of the rail commuters.People deserve a better deal and the railway authorities will do well to deploy more staff to keep the station clean and make the passengers a little more comfortable.

Paras Bhatia, 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.

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4 booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 16
Ranjit Singh of Bhaini Deera and three others have been booked by the Raikot police. According to information, the accused was trying to get themselves forcibly admitted to the civil hospital, Raikot. When Gurmail Singh of Heran, a hospital employee, objected to this they hit him with an iron rod. Gurmail Singh sustained injuries and was admitted to the civil hospital.

Theft

The Sidhwan Bet police on a complaint of Durgo Bai has booked Sito Bai and Pasho Bai, her husband Gaggi and Gura Singh of Kanian Hussaini on the charges of assault and theft. As per information, Hakam Singh had four daughters Durgo, Nanko, Taro and Sito. He had purchased 3 acres on the bank of the Satluj about 22 years ago. After the death of Hakam Singh the land was distributed among the four sisters. Durgo, Taro and Nanko had erected a temporary cottage in the land. According to Durgo Bai, her sister Sito along with Gaggi, Pasho Bai and Gura Singh entered into their field and assaulted her with sickle and stick. 

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Entry Tax: Industry to move court
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana,November 16
Local industry has decided to move court on the state government’s decision to implement the entry tax. The public notification by the excise and taxation department on implementation of the entry tax from November 20, that appeared today, despite a recent assurance by the Chief Minister to form a committee that would look into its details before being implemented, invited criticism from the industry.

A few industrial bodies held emergency meetings on the issue and stated that they “feel cheated as the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, despite giving an assurance, has not even cared to consult them before implementing the anti-industry tax.”

“We have decided to move court as industry would suffer if it is implemented. Today's notification has shocked us and industry cannot take it lying down," said Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

The industries that would suffer are sugar,dyeing and chemicals,yarn,fibre and iron and steel. Entry tax at the rate of 4 per cent would be implemented on goods that are imported from other states.

Industry rubbished the state government's claim that the entry tax would protect domestic industry and said it would rather increase input costs and make it uncompetitive.

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Tushar Gandhi honoured 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
The annual prize distribution function and a cultural programme, “Kya Yehi Hai Azadi”, were organised at the local Green Land Senior Secondary Public School yesterday in a novel way wherein Tushar A. Gandhi, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, was honoured by the chairman-cum director of the school, Rajesh Rudhra, and other members of the managing committee.

Tushar Gandhi said, "The life and works of Mahatma Gandhi as a subject should be kept out of the school syllabus as the philosophy is being treated as a question of 30 marks. The Gandhian philosophy should be studed voluntarily. "

The celebrations started with a prayer, followed by dances, gidda and bhangra. The annual report of the school was read by the principal, Baldeep Pandher. The highlight of the day was the staging of the play “Kya Yehi Hai Azadi” by students of the school through which the students asked questions on various social issues to Tushar Gandhi.

They questioned the ‘soul’ of Mahatma Gandhi if the growing corruption would ever let the children live a liberated life. They talked about corruption which was a hindrance in the growth of the children, both physically and mentally, because the monetary aid given for children was misused. This aid was not allowed to reach the right channels so that it could prove beneficial to them. They also questioned the rising adulteration of food which was poisoning them slowly.

Tushar Gandhi promised to give a voice to all the problems and rights of the children. He said he would start a nationwide movement to address the problems of the children. This movement, he said, would be started under the All-India Children's Welfare Manch.

Rudhra lauded the efforts of Tushar Gandhi and promised to lend his full support to the movement. He donated Rs 2 Lakh to the manch to boost this endeavour.

Sudesh Bajaj, district education officer, was the guest of honour. 

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From Schools
Annual fest at Ramgarhia School
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana,November 16
Ramgarhia Girls Senior Secondary School, Millerganj, organised an annual prize function here yesterday. Satpal Gosain, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Legislative Assembly was the chief guest. He distributed prizes among outstanding students of the city. Ranjodh Singh, president, Ramgarhia Educational Council, was also present on the occasion.

Quiz contest: A two-day long fierce battle among the four Houses of BCM School, Dugri, culminated yesterday. With spectacular talent and astounding confidence, students fiercely contested in collage making, creative writing, quiz, recitation, declamation, debate, “Aao Sunayein Tumhein ek Kahani”, extempore, “Bas ek Minute and Skit”. The event being divided into two categories: Category A (juniors) and Category B (seniors) with the imposition that no student should participate in more than two events, provided a huge platform to all students to showcase their talents.

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100 students donate blood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 16
The Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET) in association with the blood bank of the department of transfusion medicine, Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) organised a blood donation camp here today. About 100 students donated blood on the occasion.

A large number of engineering and management students have volunteered to donate the blood. They were examined for the hemoglobin level, blood pressure and other details before declaring them eligible for donating blood in order to avoid any 
kind of troubles.

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Man gets life term for murdering couple
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 16
The sessions judge, G.K. Rai, has sentenced Gurpreet Singh of Fatehgarh Chhana village, Sangrur, to rigorous life imprisonment on the charges of killing Chhinder Kaur and her husband Jarnail Singh, residents of Khanna, in 2004.

Delivering the verdict, the judge held that the prosecution had proved the accusations levelled against the accused beyond any shadow of doubt. He also turned down the plea of leniency raised by the accused.

An FIR was registered against the accused under Section 302, IPC, at police station City Khanna, on August 25, 2004, following the statement of Pritam Singh, brother of deceased Chhinder Kaur.

The complainant had stated to the police that on the fateful day, he had gone to meet her sister. When he knocked at the door, no one responded. Then he called Kishan Singh, brother of deceased Jarnail Singh. Thereafter, they entered the house. He saw the bodies of the couple lying in a pool of blood.

According to the prosecution, the accused was the son of the sister of Jarnail Singh. Widow of son of Chhinder Kaur was re-married with the accused. The accused wanted to take back Neeraj Kumar, grandson of Chhinder Kaur. But the couple was not ready. Due to this reason, accused killed the couple with a sharp-edged weapon.

However, during the trial, the accused pleaded not guilty.

But finding convincing evidence against him and hearing the arguments advanced by district attorney Mitter Sen Goyal, the court found him guilty and sentenced accordingly. 

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500 people examined at eye camp 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon,November 16
The Lions Club,Jagraon, in collaboration with members of NRI groups of U.K, organised an eye check-up camp at the local civil hospital today. It was inaugurated by Bhag Singh Malla, former MLA. Dr Sukhjeevan Kakkar, eye surgeon, and his team examined 500 patients on the occasion. According to president of the club Harinder Sehgal, 120 patients will be operated upon and would be provided lens free of cost. Gurdip Singh Bhaini,MLA, Gurcharan Singh Grewal,president, Sikh Student Federation, were also present on the occasion.

Fertiliser shortage: Farmers of this area are in a state of shock as the fertilisers are not available in the market though the sowing season is approaching.Though the farmers have sown the wheat crop on time but the DAP fertiliser has vanished from the godowns of fertiliser dealers and societies. Rajinder Singh of Kothe Jeeva, a farmer,said he was unable to sow his wheat crop due to the non-availability of the DAP fertiliser from with local dealers as well as those in other cities.

The farmers have urged the administration to make arrangements for the smooth supply of fertilisers.

Competition: R.K. Senior Secondary School will organise an Inter-School Solo Song Competition to observe the martyrdom day of Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai on November 17. Students from a large number of schools will take part in it. Gurdeep Singh Bhaini,MLA,will preside over the function and Daya Chand Jain,president, All-India Digamber Jain Parishad,Punjab,will be the chief guest.

Ludhiana
lecture:
The postgraduate department of English, Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College, organised an extension lecture by Dr N.K.Ghosh from Agra College, Agra. He delivered a talk on Milton and Robert Frost.

counselling: D.D.Jain Memorial College for Women organised a career counselling workshop for students about prospective careers after graduation. Indu Jasrotia, career counsellor with Frankfinn, delivered lectures on prospective career in the aviation, hospital and travel sectors.

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Everest Public School enter super league
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana,November 16
Defending champions, Everest Public Senior Secondary School,Moti Nagar, Ludhiana, along with Dr Hari Singh Senior Secondary School,Kotkapura,UP Inter-College of Varanasi, St. Joseph High School of Kerala registered victories in their respective matches to enter the super league phase of the second edition of the National Schools Basketball League being held at A.S. Senior Secondary School,Khanna,near here today.

In their last league fixture, Everest Public School demolished St. Joseph High School, Kerala, 75-36 to record third victory in a row and topped the pool A. St. Joseph School with two wins and one loss finished second in the pool to advance into the super league.

UP Inter-College,Varanasi, defeated Mount Fort School,Delhi, 73-54 to top the pool B while Dr Hari Singh Senior Secondary School,Kotkapura,beat Ram Narinjan Junior College, Mumbai, 84-42 to follow the pool leaders and reach the super league.

In another league match of the pool A,Christ Junior College,Bangalore, outnumbered Summer School,Jodhpur, 57-35.

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