L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


70 pc turn out for civic poll
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
Enthused voters queued up at polling booths giving impetus to elections in 25 zila parishads and 12 panchayats in the district.

Senior citizens, women as well as young voters, thronged the polling booths in various villages, including Jhande, Badhowal, Daad, Ayali and Jhamat villages.

District public relation office in its statement confirmed 70 per cent polling in the district.

The returning officer also claimed a peaceful polling at all stations irrespective of some reports of brawls at some sensitive booths.

Ayali village falling under Dakha constituency has a track record of highest polling percentage in past elections and the polling officers were hopeful of having maximum votes from the list of 2,300 voters.

Supporters of SAD candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali, Congress candidate Dalbir Singh, BJP candidate Major Singh Detwal and Lok Bhalai Party DS Barewal contesting for zila parishad were completely at ease with each other.

Daljit Kaur, accompanied by a group of women voters, said: "I have been an active voter for the past 15 years and so is every other woman in the village as each one of us feels that electing our representatives is the only way to bring a positive change in the society". 


At the age of 107 years, Gurdial Kaur of Baddowal was the oldest voter in the whole zone. Supported by two young villagers, the woman exercised her right to vote confirming: "I have never missed any poll ever since India became independent and will carry on doing so till my last breath."
The papers of Lok Bhalai Party man Gagandeep contesting from Baddowal village were rejected on the pretext of missing signatures. Party vice-president Manjit Singh Nangla said the forms were rejected despite the signature of the agent on Gagandeep's form.
The situation became tense at Lakhanpur village after the polling was over when a polling party of 41 A polling booth took the ballet boxes into their car in place of government vehicle. Activists of Congress informed the ASI, who followed the car up to Govt School, Khamano.



Bus runs over teenaged girl
Enraged, mob sets vehicle on fire
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
An irate mob set a private bus on fire minutes after it had crushed to death 16-year-old Nancy near Ansal Plaza at 10. 15 am. The driver, Surjit Singh, fled but later surrendered to the police in the evening.

" It was sheer public outrage. But we will not have anybody taking the law into their hands," said a police official. In the recent past, the city has seen ugly brawls and shootouts following incidents of road rage. In one case a truck driver was done to death by a couple of drunkards.

Nancy, daughter of a labourer, was on the pillion of a Hero Honda motor cycle driven by her brother, Munish. Her sister Nandini was also with them.

As Munish negotiated a turn, his bike was hit by a scooter from the rear. Munish fell and so did Nandini. Nancy lay sprawled in the middle of the road.

A Bathinda-bound bus (PB 31 D, 7225) ran over her before screetching to a halt. The driver and conductor fled, abandoning the shocked passengers.

Narrating the sequence of events, Munish, who lives in Civil City near Chander Nagar, said: “ People came from all directions and smashed the bus windows. Some youths set the seats on fire.”

Nancy had just appeared for Class IX examinations. Munish is employed in a hosiery unit.

The accident could have been prevented if the traffic police and the municipal corporation had cared to install a bollard at the intersection.



Names of 150 voters missing at Baddowal
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
Omission of names of 150 persons from the voter’s list in panchayat samiti elections in Badhowal village had the villagers alleging that the district administration had extended “indirect support” to SAD candidate.

A group of deprived voters, claiming to be supporters of Congress candidate Amarjit Singh, said the anomaly in the voters’ list couldn't be ignored as a coincident.

In what could be termed as complete paradox, the lists available at SAD and Congress booths outside polling stations had 1197 voters while the officials on duty inside the polling stations had a list of 1047 voters.

Bhupinder Singh accused SAD leaders of having influenced officials on the election duty, stating that, "The names of all 21 members of my family are missing from the voters’ list which will be a big loss to Amarjit Singh, the Congress candidate."

Bakhshish Inder Mehta, Sat Paul and Balwinder Singh were some other voters who despite carrying their voters I-cards were refrained from casting votes. Retaliating against qualms recounted by the staff on election duty, the voters stood firm on the validity of their voter I-cards.

Nevertheless, SAD candidate Baljit Singh said, “Voting is every voter's right, irrespective of their party allegiance. We too have asked the returning officer to look into the matter.”

Having sent a request to the district administration to send a revised list with the names of missing voters, people hovered at 81, 82 and 83 number booths in Government School, Badhowal.

However, supervisor MP Singh, when approached by the voters with second list having their names refused to entertain them. "I am not empowered to entertain their request as there are no written or verbal instructions from the returning officer," he added.



60 pc polling in Ahmedgarh
Record number of women cast ballot
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 12
Contrary to expectations of large-scale rigging and violence by the SAD, the zila parishad and block samiti poll in this politically active region of Malwa passed off peacefully with no major incident reported till late in the evening.
A boy, with a banner on his cycle, approaches a booth at Kalakh village near Ahmedgarh
A boy, with a banner on his cycle, approaches a booth at Kalakh village near Ahmedgarh. — Photo by writer

Ironically, minor incidents were reported from 114 booths that had been declared sensitive by the administration.

Approximately 60 per cent people, including a record number of women, cast their ballot amid tight security arrangements though allegations of partiality by the polling staff in favour of the ruling party abounded.

An extensive tour through various blocks of Ludhiana and Sangrur districts revealed that despite best efforts by senior leaders of the SAD and the Congress, the traditional fervour and enthusiasm were conspicuous by their absence among the voters.

Supporters of both warring groups had to bring voters from their homes and work places. It was interesting to see the record turnout of women in the villages where a woman candidate was contesting. Braving the sun and dust, women voters could be seen waiting patiently to cast their ballot.

Contrary to common belief, local leaders of the SAD and the Congress did not object to minor discrepancies in the polling procedure. While the candidates had set up spacious pandals for their supporters near the polling stations, a majority of these were found vacant. However, at certain places, keen competition was observed due to the presence of a large number of supporters.

At Jandali Khurad, Chhanna, Nathumajra, Saharan Majra, Sihar, Majri, Kalakh, Jand , Jartoli, Dehlon, Latala, Barundi, Chhappar, Hargobindpura and Butahri, the scenario was friendlier.

Political experts opined that the supporters of candidates owing allegiance to the SAD and the Congress had tried to avoid any confrontation in view of the panchayat elections, scheduled to take place on May 26.

"Though we want that our candidate should win by more votes, we do not want to create problems for ourselves during the panchayat elections," argued Gurjit Singh of Brahmpur. 



Cancel elections, demand Congress MLAs
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 12
Three Congress legislators have sought the cancellation of zila parishad and block samiti elections in various places due to booth capturing, tampering with voters’ lists and the help of Akali candidates by government officials and cops.

Denying charges of interference in the election process, senior SAD leaders led by former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha counter-alleged that Congress leaders, apprehending defeat, were making false propaganda to conceal their frustration.

Terming the conduct of election as murder of democracy, Jasbir Singh Khangura, MLA, Kilaraipur, alleged that the administration had severely compromised with the integrity of the democratic process by opposing candidates supported by his party.

Khangura alleged that a large number of votes of Congress supporters had been deleted.

"Astonishingly voters’ lists issued by the administration before the commencement of the election process were different from operative lists provided to polling agents today," rued Khangura.

In separate letters addressed to A K Dubey, state election commissioner, Khangura has demanded re-polling at Mansooran village (booth 77 and 78), Pandher Kheri (4 / 67) and Mullanpur.

Panic had spread at Mansooran village when Om Parkash, a Congress sarpanch and his supporters were rounded up by the police. They had allegedly manhandled a woman, a SAD activist.

The legislator alleged that he had caught a returning officer at Mullanpur putting stamps on ballot papers. "However, we agreed to continue the process in an effort to maintain peace at the booth," said Khangura.

Harmohinder Singh Pardhan, MLA, Raikot, and Pal Balwinder Singh, president, block Congress, alleged that the authorities had failed to maintain law and order at a majority of the polling booths in the area. "While goons of SAD leaders captured booth at Bisrawan and tried to cast votes beyond scheduled hours at Talwandi Rai, they injured Tej Parkash Sharma of Lamme village in the presence of civil and police officials," alleged Pardhan and Pal Balwinder.

Normal polling was resumed at these stations after Congress activists informed the higher authorities and threatened to boycott the election.

Tej Parkash Singh Kotli, MLA, Payal, and Gurkirat Singh Kotli accused the authorities of impressing upon voters to cast their franchise in favour of SAD candidates of their respective area.

"They even allowed senior SAD leaders, including a former minister, to address election meetings in violation of code of conduct till last evening. Though we had brought the matter in the notice of senior officers, no action was taken against anyone," said Gurkirat Singh, claiming that the complaint had been forwarded to state election commission.

Protest by Mazdoor Union

A large number of activists of the Lal Bhatha Mazdoor Union staged a protest at Mullanpur-Raekot road near Noorpura village after polling. The activists led by Daljit Singh Gora, vice-president of the state body, were demanding action against SHO Raekot who had felicitated goons of the ruling part leaders to cast fake votes.



Agitating residents cause frequent traffic jams
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
The traffic chaos and pollution from vehicles are plaguing the city increasingly with residents frequently blocking traffic to press for the acceptance of their various demands.

Two such incidents reported within the past 24 hours are the prime examples of how people are using the roads to raise demands.

In the first incident, relatives of a Jodhewal resident, Sandeep, who got killed in Delhi, came out on the road and blocked the traffic on the Jodhewal road for more than three hours. The relatives of the victim were protesting against police inaction.

The protest resulted in long queues of vehicles on either side of the road. The residents called off their protest only after they were given an assurance by authorities that the local police will probe the matter.

In the second incident, a bus was burnt to ashes on the Ferozepur road - outside Ansal Plaza - by a furious mob after a girl was run over here today.

The incident caused a huge traffic jam on the Ferozepur road which inconvenienced many commuters who were heading for their offices and business establishments.

Kamal Kant, a resident of Chaura Bazar, said, "If people are provided some liberties by the authorities, they will surely construct a house on the road."

He further said, "Jagrans and weddings on the streets are a common sight in the city. Residents of the area pay scant regard to the fact that it will hamper commuters."

Frequent traffic jams and haphazard parking are only not playing havoc in the congested localities of the old parts of the city, but the problem has also gripped the outer parts of the city especially with the arrival of malls.

The commuters are finding it increasingly difficult to move from one place to another within the city. Several areas like Mata Rani Chowk, Clock Tower Chowk, Chaura Bazar, Old Sabzi Mandi Chowk, Damoria Bridge road, Bhadaur House, Fountain Chowk, Mall Road, Ghumar Mandi, Feroze Gandhi Market and Sarabha Nagar market continue to remain a traffic nightmare for the commuters.

Unrestricted movement of thousands of autorickshaws, both authorised and unauthorised, along with haphazard parking of autorickshaws and mini buses at strategic places, particularly around busy intersections, further adds to the misery of the road users.

A cross-section of city residents are of the view that action is required at several levels to restore a semblance of order on the roads.

Niti Kapoor, a student, said, "People who cause traffic jams should take into account the fact that someone injured may be in need of urgent medical attention and a delay due to traffic jam can result in a tragedy."

He further said, "The traffic police should not be merely slapping challans on defaulters, but they should also be trained and equipped to enforce rules.”

The administration should provide ample parking spaces, remove encroachments and deal sternly with cases of misuse of parking space for any other purpose. " 



18-year-old cancer patient needs help
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
Samuel, an 18-year-old boy, was admitted to Christian Medical College and Hospital after he caught fever and vomited blood. He was brought to the hospital about 15 days back in a serious condition.

After a team of eminent doctors of CMCH conducted tests, it was found that Samuel had a cancerous growth in his duodenum. The growth was also blocking the flow of bile, causing him to contract jaundice.

Surgeons at CMCH operated on him and performed a Whipple's operation that involved removing the duodenum, the head of the pancreas, the gall bladder and part of the bile duct and reconstructing the entire area. Such cancers are very rare particularly in young people, observe the doctors.

Belonging to a poor family, Samuel's expensive treatment has become a burden on his parents. According to Dr Ashwani Kumar, one of the attending doctors, "Samuel is the youngest of four siblings; others are living separately. His father is a daily-wage labourer, who has to toil to get his daily bread. The disease of the young son has come as a shock to the parents, who are already facing financial difficulty. We have removed the tumour and he has responded well to the treatment. If proper medication and post-operative care is given to Samuel, he will come out of it well. The total expenses of his treatment are Rs 75,000", said the doctor.

All those good samaritans interested in helping Samuel can contact the Medical Superintendent’s Office, Christian Medical College and Hospital. All donations should be made in favour of Christian Medical College and Hospital with "Treatment for Samuel" written on the back of the cheque/DD or in the covering letter.



Water Crisis

The city will face severe water scarcity in the coming days since canals and rivers of the state are drying up. Though people are aware of the depleting water table, the process of sowing waterborne crop like paddy continues unabated. And at some places, people have been forced to consume begrime water. The municipal corporation has failed to provide potable water to residents of a few localities so far. Contaminated water is being supplied to a few colonies because water pipes have been put under sewerage lines. Tube-well, submersible pumps and overhead tanks that supply water to various colonies have not been repaired and there is no check on the misuse of water. These can be seen overflowing. Effective steps should be taken to check its misuse on priority basis.

Ravi Chander Garg, 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.



Two-year-old poisoned by grandmother; two booked
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 12
The grandmother and uncle of a two years old boy, who died under mysterious circumstances, were booked by the Khanna police for administering poison to the boy.

The boy, Amanjot, died on January 2, due to “enmity” between his grandmother and mother allegedly over the issue of dowry.

Charanjit, mother of Amanjot, had complained to the police that her boy was poisoned by her grandmother due to the enmity. The viscera of the body was sent to the laboratory and after about two months, it was found that the boy died due to consumption of some poisonous substance. The police has booked the grandmother and the uncle of Amanjot in this connection. It has also taken the opinion of legal experts in this connection.

Charanjit was married to Tarsem Singh of Todarpur village around three years back. Police officials said the father of victim was not at home when the boy died.



Biz Word
Medallions bearing Gurus’ image launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
QuestNet India, the Indian arm of the Hong Kong-based Qi Group, has released a gold and silver medallion set paying tributes to the Sikh gurus. The 10 Sikh Gurus’ medallion set has been endorsed by the Foundation for the Social and Religious Integration, that depicts the gurus in the obverse while the QuestNet logo is depicted in the reverse.

Pushpam Appalanaidu, Managing Director of QuestNet in India, said the medallion bearing the image of Guru Nanak Dev was made of fine gold and weighs 1.24 gram. The nine silver medallions is made of half-an ounce silver each.



Teachers threaten to boycott civic polls
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
Government College teachers have threatened to boycott the coming Panchayat elections to be held on May 26, if the duties were not assigned as per their pay-scales, status and seniority. Teachers’ resented the move to put them on duties in the Zila Parishad elections under Class II employees today.

Government College Teachers’ Association (GCTA), Punjab, president Prof Jaipal Singh, said they performed the duties peacefully today.

“But we are not going to tolerate this in coming Panchayat elections. The district administration has violated the Election Commission of India instructions. We have been forced to work under juniors, who were serving as supervisors at numerous places. The administration should have assigned duties keeping in mind our status, pay scales and seniority”, Jaipal said, adding, they will boycott the Panchayat elections if duties were not assigned accordingly.

He further added that on May 14, examinations of a few classes of Panjab University, Chandigarh, will be held at various colleges. “This exam has already been postponed twice due to teachers’ boycott call and Zila parishad elections on April 8 and May 12, respectively. The students will feel frustrated if it’s postponed for the third consecutive time. A large number of teachers are required for performing poll duties on May 14”, he added.

Rajinder Singh, another lecturer, said,”We were told that no duty will be assigned to us after May 12 (today). But, we have been asked to come on May 13 for rehearsals and May 14 for counting. In addition, we have been called on May 18 for Panchayat election rehearsals. This is not part of our job”, he added. 



From Schools
NCC cadets take part in drawing competition
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
A drawing competition was organised for NCC cadets on the premises of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar, here today. They made beautiful drawings on the theme “save water.” Priya Verma of Class VIII-A bagged the Ist prize, Ena Dhir of Class VIII-A got second prize and Esha of Class X-D secured the IIIrd prize.

Diksha Sharma of Class VIII-A was given the consolation prize. School principal Sunil Arora distributed trophies among the winners and encouraged them.

Modeling contest

Tiny tots of Chanda Mama Play School organised a modeling contest on the theme of fruits. A basketful of summers and winters fruits like mango, papaya, watermelon, melon, peach, cherry, strawberry, pomegranate, pine apple, litchi, apple, banana, orange and grapes were placed before the kids.

Chairman nominated

Sukhdev Raj Jain has been nominated as chairman of the S.S.Jain Girls School Committee (Regd), Ludhiana, at a meeting organised on the premises of Devki Devi Jain College here today.Jain has been instrumental for the overall development of these institutions.

Maths week

Maths week was organised by the primary wing of Bal Bharati Public School. The week- long camp culminated today. The motive behind organising such a week was to develop precision, reasoning, quick responsiveness, creativity among students.

Annual prize distribution

Annual prize distribution function was organised at Saraswati Modern School, Partap Singh Wala. Mukesh Sharma, registrar, cooperative societies, was the chief guest. The function began with the lightning of a ceremonial lamp by the chief guest. A fusion of classical and modern dance form was appreciated by the guests. After the prayer, senior students staged a play. Principal Neelambra Sharma read out the annual report of the school.



Seminar on career prospects in UK
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 12
Representatives from Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom, will organise a seminar for aspiring students and their parents tomorrow. The prospects of higher education will be highlighted on this occasion.

Member of university’s international office Sally Green said today that higher education complimented the excellent programmes that Indian institutions currently offered. She said the university, located in Oxford, was the best among modern universities in the United Kingdom.

Sally further added that information on opportunities available for Indian students to gain an international qualification and aid their future careers would be provided in tomorrow’s seminar. The students would be given information about the opportunities of studying at Oxford, difference between Indian and the educational system in the UK, industry link-ups and work placements after the completion of course. 



M.L. Markan trophy
Cricket panel shortlists 24 probables
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 12
Twenty four probables have been shortlisted by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association after analysing their performance at a coaching-cum-training camp and in the practice matches conducted during the past one month.

Initially,52 boys were selected after 81 aspirants turned up for the trials conducted on March 30 for the forthcoming Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament (u-16) for M. L. Markan Trophy slated to be held at various venues in the state from May 15 onwards.

The Ludhiana team will be shortlisted for taking part in the upcoming tournament after the medical examination of these probables is over as per the guidelines set by the parent body, Punjab Cricket Association.

The names of the selected probables are: Abhijit Randhawa, Sunny Pandey, Abhishek Talwar, Vivek Kumar, Abhinav Bhatia, Paras Mehndiratta, Sahil Sood, Sandeep Singh, Harjit Singh, Davinderjit Singh, Himanshu, Darshpreet Singh, Gaurav Sharma, Sukhbir Singh, Nitish Malhotra, Ajay Mehra, Subodh Mishra, Mrinal Partap Singh, Kunal Partap, Lovish Saini, Arjun Adhikari, Karan Arora, Yuvraj Singh and Durgesh. Charanjit Channi has been appointed as the team’s coach.

Ludhiana, start their campaign with first league fixture against Amritsar on May 15 and 16 at Amritsar. In the second match, they will take on Ropar Zone B on May 18 and 19 at Ropar and then play their last league match with Chandigarh on May 21 and 22 at Chandigarh.



Softball championship from May 17
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 12
The Ludhiana District Softball Association (LDSA) will organise the 7th edition of the Junior Punjab Softball Championship for boys as well as girls at Ramgarhia Educational Complex, Miller Ganj, from May 17 to 19.

According to a press note issued here today by LDSA honorary secretary P.N.Passi, roster forms in duplicate along with age proof certificates and copy of the passport-size photograph must reach him at Ludhiana a day before the commencement of the tournament.

Players born on or after January 1, 1994, are eligible to take part in this championship.



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