L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mafia at work
Ad of politicians put up on forest dept hoarding
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

The advertisement (shown on page 1) was, meanwhile, found hanging upside down on the rear side of the same hoarding.
The advertisement was, meanwhile, found hanging upside down on the rear side of the same hoarding. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, April 12
A mafia of advertising agencies is enjoying the liberty of defying laws under the patronage of politicians, as is evident from an "illegal" advertisement of World Cup Kabaddi put up by Paras Mani Land Promoters Pvt Ltd on the hoarding of the forest department's land.

The forestland near Sidhwan Canal on the Ferozepur Road has a 120 by 15 feet hoarding which the forest department had erected to promote eco-friendly messages in public interest. The above advertisement has covered one-fourth of the hoarding with the advertisement of the Kabaddi World Cup final, scheduled for April 12.

Interestingly, the advertisement carries the photographs of Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Akali MLA Bikramjit Singh Majithia. But the address and the telephone numbers of the builder and developer are missing from the advertisement.

The other side of the hoarding has an "upside down" advertisement of the same event, which the forest officials said was put up in haste so as to avoid confrontation with the forest department.

Accusing the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) officials of conniving with the advertisement mafia in Ludhiana, a senior official from the forest department stated, "the fact that the construction company has dared to put up this advertisement without taking permission from the forest department points towards the political patronage that the company enjoys. The influence of the advertiser is evident from the photographs of the CM, Deputy CM and Akali MLA," the official went on to add.

The so-called advertising mafia, along with LMC employees, had recently damaged the advertisement put up by the forest department to promote "animal adoption scheme" at Chattbir Zoo and Tiger Safari in Ludhiana. The LMC officials had ordered an inquiry into the incident. 


Hanging by woman
Husband, in-laws booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Two days after a woman was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her residence in Kailash Nagar near Sherpur Chowk in Focal Point, the police today booked her husband and in- laws in a dowry death case.

The deceased, Simranjit Kaur, was married to Amandeep Rampal, who works as a travel agent in Jalandhar, six years ago and had two children out of the wedlock.

The incident took place on April 10, when the woman was spotted hanging by some neighbours following which the police was informed about the incident.

According to SI Baldev Singh, the case was registered after father of the deceased Amarjit Singh of Sangrur lodged a complaint.

Relatives of the accused alleged that the deceased had taken the extreme step due to social stigma, as the latter had eloped with Amandeep six years ago.

The couple had to face social boycott and even sought protection from the high court.

SI Baldev Singh, who is investigating the case, said the duo had recently shifted from Jalandhar to Ludhiana. 



Tribune Impact
Parents call for ban on junk food in school
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Parents of several students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, located on the Jalandhar bypass here, today gathered at the school to lodge a protest against school officials for allowing junk food to be sold in its canteen. The angry parents, later alleged they were not allowed to meet the school’s principal or its chairman.

The parents had come to meet the principal this morning following reports in the Ludhiana Tribune about various school canteens promoting the sale of junk food items among their students by permitting them to be sold in their canteens. A number of parents who had collected at the Green Land School said they wanted the canteen there to immediately stop selling junk food products as well as carbonated drinks to children. They said the latter’s health was at a grave risk due to regular consumption of fast foods like burgers, chips and colas.

A father of two students of the school said, "The school is a day boarding one and the students who stay back till evening usually bring their lunchboxes along. However, at times, due to time constraints, some parents are unable to provide their kids with the lunchboxes”.

“The school canteen was opened to provide food to such children. But we didn’t know that, instead of providing wholesome food, the canteen operator was selling junk food to our kids, that too on a regular basis,” he rued.

He added detailed inquiries from children revealed the eatables available at the school canteen were priced higher than in those in the market and were often even stale.

However, none of the parents wanted to be identified fearing a backlash from the school authorities. "They might harass our kids to settle scores," remarked a parent.

The parents demanded that "a regulatory authority like a health department team or at least a parents' body should be set up to keep a check on the activities of various school canteens across the city."

Meanwhile, defending the school's move of selling junk food in the canteen, Rajesh Rudra, chairman of Green Land Chain of Schools, said, "Will it make much difference if we remove the junk food items from our canteen? Who will remove them from the markets?"

"Initially we had traditional food items on the canteen menu but the students preferred chips, burgers and noodles. And if we don't provide them with their favourite food items, they will not eat anything else. We can't starve our students, especially the day boarders. Moreover, children don't eat their food without cold drinks, so we have to make them available also in the canteen."



Kabaddi final keeps officials on their toes
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
The final of the Kabaddi World Cup, to be held at Guru Nanak Stadium here this evening, has kept personnel of the district administration, the municipal corporation (MC) and the police on their toes for the past one week to make it a success.

Lakhs have been spent by various departments on the maintenance and renovation of the stadium for this event. Services of additional workers and labourers have been utilised so that nobody points a finger either at the administration or the MC for arranging the show in an improper manner.

A senior MC official says they will rest once the concluding ceremony of the event takes place this evening. “The MC and the district administration have spent between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 20 lakh on the event. About Rs 5 lakh has been provided by the district administration for paint and floodlight repairs at the stadium. We have been given Rs 50,000 by the administration for the renovation of VVIP toilets. Political leaders are so involved in the tournament that officials are feeling scared. The success of the event has become a prestige issue for ruling party,” said the official.

For painting the stadium, Rs 80,000 was provided by the administration, but the MC had to shell out about Rs 1 lakh for completing the work. Lakhs were spent by the MC on carpeting the road to the stadium in two days.

According to information available, there were many hidden expenses as well. Lakhs were being spent by the MC to provide diesel for generators.

“What else we can do? There is no electricity for 10 hours. We have to switch on lights at the stadium,” said another MC official. Huge tents with hundreds of chairs, tables and mats were put up at the stadium. The MC had also hired at least 100 workers and sweepers.



Missing Land File Case
Demand for probe by Vigilance Bureau
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 12
As the mystery over the missing file of 400 square yards in the posh Rajguru Nagar developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) still remains unsolved even two weeks after the execution of conveyance deed in violation of the rules, a city-based NGO Public Cause has demanded a vigilance probe to unearth the truth so as to check the recurrence of such instances, which have become common and also to bring the culprits to book.

The sale deed of prime piece of land, valued around Rs 1 crore by conservative estimates, was allegedly executed on the written order of the executive officer of the LIT without obtaining the mandatory permission of the chairman, who later went on record to say that he had asked the file to be put on hold till legal opinion in the matter was obtained.

After the sale deed of the plot was registered on March 29 by the revenue authorities, the file of the plot went missing with the EO claiming that the chairman had cleared the file and he had committed no irregularity in forwarding the sale deed for execution. Interestingly, a leader of the youth wing of BJP, who was being questioned for taking an “undue interest” in the case, had also tried to steer clear of the controversy by claiming in a press conference that he had made a recommendation for registration of the sale deed to help a party colleague.

Even as LIT chairman Ashok Juneja has issued written orders to all branches concerned to trace the missing file and produce it within three days (the dead line is since over), Public Cause president AK Bhandari has called for a vigilance probe in the matter involving prime piece of land in the posh colony.

In a communication to the LIT chairman, the Public Cause maintained that mafia of certain property dealers and staff of the sales branch of the LIT had acquired notoriety for being deeply involved in gross irregularities in allotments, subsequent transfers and shady transactions of the residential plots in different colonies of the trust.

“The disappearance of files pertaining to such questionable deals is not uncommon,” reads the communication.

Bhandari observed that things improved after the incumbent chairman took over the reins, especially the work related to execution of sale deeds, which had been put on a fast track during the past six months.

“However, the act by officials and staff of the sales branch, who had virtually challenged the authority of the chairman in getting the conveyance deed registered without proper authorisation, and later committing yet another crime by stealing the official record of the trust, needed to be curbed firmly so as to send a signal to the unscrupulous elements, including the LIT staff that they could not get away with such acts of violation of rules, criminal conspiracy and corruption,” he stated.



Wheat worth Rs 1.75 lakh gutted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Wheat spread over 6 acres of land was gutted in fire at Hawas village on the Rahon road here this morning.

As many as 200 villagers from nearby villages gathered to douse the flames which broke out at 11 am. The flames could be brought under control after two hours.

Dr HS Cheema, owner of the fields, said wheat worth Rs 1.75 lakh was destroyed in the fire. The fire was caused by a short-circuit in some electric wires that were passing through the fields.

Fire tenders were pressed into service, but before they could reach the spot, the villagers had brought the flames under control. Timely action by villagers saved wheat spread over 500 acres of another land. In another incident near Alamgir, wheat straw was gutted.



Rally by BSNL contract workers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
A rally was held by the BSNL Casual and Contract Workers Union (AITUC) near the BSNL office, Bharat Nagar Chowk, here today, in which at least 1,000 workers participated. More than 16 trade unions also participated in the rally to support BSNL workers.

Addressing the rally, Amarjeet Kaur, national secretary of the AITUC, extended support to the workers for their demands of legitimised wages, ESI coverage, social security measures and reinstatement.

She deplored the attitude of the managements of the public sector units in permitting labour law violations. She called upon unions of regular employees not to shirk their responsibility of standing by outsourced workers, but to become proactive.

DP Maur, general secretary of the Joint Council of Trade Unions, said the authorities here were not ensuring the implementation of directions of the corporate office of the BSNL in New Delhi.

He claimed that the Deputy General Manager of the BSNL was protecting contractors, which was in violation of directions of the head office in New Delhi. He demanded a probe by an independent agency and fixing of responsibility of erring officials.

The BSNL authorities said contract workers were not permanent. “We cannot make them permanent,” said a press note issued by the office of the General Manager.

As workers on contract were on leave, the main office of the BSNL wore a shabby look. The office premises were not clean while dry leaves were scattered in front of it.



Security agencies step up vigil
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 12
Security agencies have stepped up vigil to avoid any eventuality over the proposed unbundling of the PSEB following orders of the state government.

PSEB employee unions have warned the government of dire consequences if it does not abort its plans. There are reports of police raids at houses of union leaders.

Policemen in mufti and intelligence personnel have been instructed to monitor the situation and make arrests, if necessary.

The security of power grids has been transferred to paramilitary forces. Executive engineers have been issued orders to keep technical and non-technical teams ready.

Last week, the state authorities had sought a list of all prospective trouble-makers and a list of union leaders and their associates.



Passion for fashion knows no borders

City women's love for exquisite Pakistani designer wear was at its zenith during fashion exhibition 'The Woman-2010' held here recently. The creations of Heena Anjum, a fashion designer from Karachi, were instantly lapped up by women of all ages who crowded around the stall on all three days of the expo to pick designer salwar-kameez in their favourite shades, fabrics and styles. When they had their fill from the designerwear on display, they did not even hesitate to eye Heena's own wardrobe. During the expo at least four women managed to convince the designer and walk away with 'dupattas' and 'kurtis' from her personal collection, saying they had worn Heena’s creations on numerous occasions. "This is sheer love of the Indians for me and my creations. I’ve never been happier to part with my favourite dresses as I’m right now," smiled Heena.

Ever the ‘dutiful’ journalist

Stories - even at the time when they are sleeping and relaxing, keep on coming in the minds of reporters. As "dutiful" journalists they continue to get hold of more and more “sources” to get better story ideas. Even if they get any phone call they believe some "source" had called up to tell them about some event.

A journalist friend got a phone call yesterday and a sweet voice at the other end asked if she was talking to the “right person”. The friend replied "yes". The caller gave her the reference of some one “senior”. Without listening to what exactly the caller was trying to say, the journalist friend intervened: "I’m not the right person for this, as exhibitions are being looked after by so and so. I’ll give you the number of the right person whom you can contact for coverage". To this the caller politely said, "Actually I don’t want any coverage in the newspaper. I want you to see my stuff and bring your friends along. I’m sure you’ll like the stuff and accessories at the boutique". The poor friend had no answer but to say, "I’ll definitely drop in, dear".

Punjabi hospitality floors Pakistanis

"I feel completely at home," said Sazia, one of the women exhibitors from Pakistan during the fashion exhibition held recently in the city. She added, “It is only a line that divides the two countries, otherwise there’s no difference in language, costumes and the affection people of both countries have for each other. Last year also I came to Ludhiana to exhibit my collection and would love to come here again and again. I love to savor Punjabi dishes. Lip smacking ‘dal makhani’, ‘bhindi-do-piaza’ and butter chicken are my favourites, which I relish while in the city. On top of it ‘khoye wali kulfi’ is just out of this world. People here are also warm and soft spoken and I’m waiting for the next opportunity to visit this city”.

Queue jumping an ingrained habit

Thinking it to be their prerogative to jump queues, city residents do not hesitate to push, shove and nudge those standing in a line. Right from the queues outside cinema halls to places of worship, one comes across this specific “species” of people who just hate to wait for their turn. Call it impatience or impertinence, but waiting is just not their cup of tea. It came as a shock to a couple that had gone to a theatre to watch a movie when a teenager with a gold stud in his ear and a wristband, instead of joining the queue, jumped in front of them saying, ‘Excuse me”. The woman, unwilling to put up with the nuisance, retaliated and asked the boy to step back and wait for his turn. To which the boy brashly replied, "Ma’am I can buy tickets for the two of you but can’t wait in this stupid queue,” leaving the lady fuming.

For a politician almost anything is possible!

Quickly going through the newspapers before the morning meeting, I was shocked to read a report that that Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor planned to marry for the third time and was in the process of divorcing his second wife. I found an amazing similarity between him and the protagonists of most of the serials produced by Ekta Kapoor, in which the recurring theme was multiple marriages. In these serials the lead actors used to gradually become disillusioned with their wives who played a negative character and resorted to all kind of plotting.

I don’t know what is happening in Tharoor’s life, but one thing does amaze me. While handling such a prestigious post how does he find the time to fall in love with new damsels and discard existing matrimonial obligations?

Probably, after being divorced once he is experienced enough to handle such a situation or he might be thinking he would be proved to be third time lucky! I’m now looking forward to his controversial ‘tweets’ to find the right answer.

(Contributed by Charu Chhibber, Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander and Anshu Seth) 



Knitwear Club goes to polls after 10 years
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Elections to the post of Knitwear Club president will be held on April 16, with Vinod Thapar and Ajit Lakra vying for the chair. Thapar has been heading the club since 2000.

This is the second time elections are taking place after the formation of the club in 1984. The elections were last held in 1987.

Sanjay Kapoor and Narinder Miglani are contesting for the seat of general secretary. KK Goyal and Jaswant Thakkar will face off for the post of finance secretary.

The Lakra group has released its vision paper. Lakra said the base of the club would be broadened by initiating a membership drive to have more than 2,000 members in the first phase.

“All textile associations of Ludhiana will be approached to associate with us either through a federation or under one banner or umbrella, like the Textile Manufacturers Association of Ludhiana. This will create better coordinated working among 
different segments of the industry and attract larger volume of business like Tripura,” said Lakra.

He said training institutes would be set up with the help of government schemes, based on the public-private partnership model, to generate more trained manpower.

Thapar is seeking votes on the basis of its various achievements in the past. “We have been organising various trade fairs and meets at the international level, which had helped the textile industry in a big way,” he said.

The club had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Fashion Technology Park, developed by the Business School of Fashion, in Mumbai and forged a tie-up for providing international experts to the industry.

He also took credit for training programmes. “We will also take care of problems being faced by the industry,” he said. The club had 429 members, of which 24 were not entitled to vote.



Protest by PSEB staff
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, April 12
The PSEB Employees Federation and the Technical Service Union took out a protest march here today and submitted a memorandum to the executive magistrate.

They raised slogans against the PSEB authorities and the Punjab government. At least 100 employees joined the protest against the decision on unbundling the PSEB.

They were worried about job security, promotion and seniority. Executive magistrate Bhupinder Singh agreed to forward the memorandum to the authorities concerned.



New Civil Surgeon promises to streamline health institutions
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
"The violation of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 1994 (PC & PNDT Act) will be dealt with sternly," said Dr Satwant Bhalla who took over as the new Civil Surgeon of Ludhiana today.

Dr Bhalla has succeeded Dr Maninderjit Singh, who retired on March 31.

Having worked as Civil Surgeon Sangrur and Fatehgarh Sahib, Dr Bhalla is all set to take up the challenge of streamlining the working in the health institutions falling under her jurisdiction.

"I will personally look into the sanitation conditions and staff presence in all health institutions, including Civil Hospitals (CHs), Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs)," she said.

"This city of 40 lakh population with its track record of gastroenteritis, dengue, malaria outbreaks is a challenge for me but the support of efficient doctors and paramedical staff will enable me to tackle these successfully."

The department will create awareness among people on vector and water-borne diseases, which will include dissemination of education through pamphlets and group meetings in residential areas.

Dr Bhalla appealed to the chemists of Ludhiana to refrain from selling scheduled "H" drugs without prescription, adding that the responsibility of saving the youth from the tentacles of drug addiction lies with the medical fraternity more than any other section of the society. Together we can fight against this evil and save young boys and girls.



Baisakhi celebrations with old-age home inmates
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
New Hope, an NGO, celebrated Baisakhi at Swami Vivekananda Vridh Ashram here today.NS Nanda, president of the NGO, presided over the function, while Ram Prakash Bharti, chairman of the trust, was the guest of honour on the occasion.

Nanda highlighted the importance of Baisakhi festival. He said like true Indians, the festivals should be celebrated with joy and happiness. He said in 1699, Shri Guru Gobind Singh had formed Khalsa Panth. He also urged the inmates of Ashram not to feel dejected and abandoned and enjoy their life to the maximum.

Five elderly couples in the ashram were honoured by the NGO, while women inmates were given cotton suits.

A cultural programme was also presented by artistes.



From School
Baisakhi celebrated with gaiety

Ludhiana, April 12
Bal Bharati Public School, Dugri, celebrated Baisakhi with fervour here today.The celebrations started with giddha performed by pre-primary kids. The festival of Baisakhi instills a pure sense of joy and enthusiasm in the northern parts of India, particularly Punjab.

It is marked as a thanks giving day, where farmers thank God for bountiful crop and pray for good times ahead. Priyanka of Class VII apprised audience about the customs and traditions associated with Baisakhi. Jubilant calls of “Jatta Aayi Baisakhi” enlivened the entire atmosphere when students of middle classes presented lively folk dance of Punjab Sammi to express their joys, reflecting the festive spirit of Baisakhi. Their performance enthralled audience.

Principal Punam Dogra congratulated everyone present and enlightened students about the tri-pod existence of God in the form of “Atma, Parmatma and Prakriti”. — TNS



Unattended bag creates panic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Panic gripped Bhai Bala Chowk after some commuters spotted a bag on the roadside.The incident took place at 10 am, when some commuters found a black bag lying unattended and raised an alarm.

The traffic police sprung into action and further informed the PCR.

The bag was spotted just a few hours before the scheduled visit of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The PCR officials did not wait for an anti-sabotage cell.

They opened the bag which contained clothes.

The officials said the bag might belong to a daily wage.



Snatchers attack, rob 3 students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Five unidentified youths attacked three students, injuring one of them seriously, and snatched mobile phones and cash from them at the Kitchlu Nagar market last evening. The injured student was identified as Ankit Bansal (17), a resident of Tagore Nagar. He sustained a serious head injury and was admitted to the DMC hospital.

The incident took place around 8:30 pm when twin brothers Ankit and Akshit and their cousin Ankur were visiting the Kitchlu Nagar market. While Ankur was driving the car, Akshit was sitting beside him and Ankit was sitting in the rear. Narrating the incident, Ankit said they were heading home after visiting the market when three youths came on a motorcycle and waylaid them.

“In no time, two more youths joined them and tried to open the car door. We tried to speed away, but they got hold of Akshit and started thrashing him. I immediately alighted from the car to save my brother. The snatchers, who were in possession of sharp-edged weapons, attacked me and snatched my mobile phone and cash. When I resisted the snatchers, one of them hit me on the head with a brick. When I opened my eyes, I was on a hospital bed,” said Ankit.

Ankit had recently appeared in the Class XII examination and was scheduled to leave for Chandigarh as he was preparing for a five-year law course. The injury left him bedridden and his future was uncertain, rued his family members.

Though the action continued for five minutes, neither the police, nor any eyewitness came forward to help the victims. After robbing them off their money and mobile phones, the accused fled.

Ankit was immediately rushed to hospital. According to doctors, he lost a lot of blood due to the injury. More than 10 stitches were applied on his head to control bleeding. His condition was stated to be out of danger.

The police registered a case and started an investigation. On the other hand, residents of Kitchlu Nagar complained against the police for inaction. The Kitchlu Nagar police post was just a few metres away from the spot. Had the police taken prompt action, the accused might have been nabbed red-handed.

This was not the first incident of snatching here. Such incidents had become common in this area. Two incidents were reported from Block B at Kitchlu Nagar recently. Snatchers had been having a field day as the cops were reportedly doing little to nab them.



Woman, jailbird commit suicide
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, April 12
Sandeep Kaur reportedly committed suicide by setting herself on fire after sprinkling kerosene on her clothes at Baharsinghpura village, near here, last night.

A quarrel with her husband, Surinder Singh, was said to be the reason behind her suicide. A habitual drinker, he was reportedly torturing her to give him more money.

She was admitted in the Civil Hospital here with 75 per cent burns and was later sent to a Ludhiana hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries. The police registered a case on the charges of abetment to suicide against the husband of the deceased, who was still at large.

In another incident, Inderjit Singh of Virk village, near here, a jail inmate released on parole, reportedly committed suicide by jumping over before a train on Phillaur-Phagwara section last night. He reportedly took this step in a state of depression. The GRP sent the body to the Civil Hospital for post-mortem examination.



4 of family booked under dowry Act
Our Correspondent

Nakodar, April 12
Jasbir Kaur has accused her husband Harpreet Singh of Punia village, near here, his elder brother Harjit Singh, mother Surinder Kaur and Harjit’s wife Kuljit Kaur of torturing her physically and mentally to bring more dowry.

In her complaint to the police, she has stated that they got married in 2005 and she brought Rs 25,000 from her parents, residing at Saleena village, near Moga.

She alleged that after her husband left for Abu Dhabi, her in-laws had been torturing her and demanding Rs 50,000.

According to the complaint, the torture continued even after she delivered a baby girl and she was expelled from her-in-laws’ house on November 9 last.

The police registered a case against the four family members under the dowry Act. No member of the family turned up to join the police investigation as they were at large.



Kabaddi final: Govt machinery used to gather crowd
Rakesh Gupta

Mullanpur Dakha, April 12
The spirit of kabaddi was missing as the crowd was gathered forcibly at Guru Nanak Stadium, venue of the Kabaddi World Cup final, here today.The event was being promoted as the first-ever initiative of the Punjab government to promote the sport, with the Chief Minister and his deputy taking all credit for it.

The government machinery was told to gather a record-breaking crowd. Those in charge of constituencies in the district were told to bring as many supporters as possible.

Those in charge of Assembly constituencies took the event as an opportunity to showcase the support they had in their respective constituencies.

The target set for them was over 1.5 lakh. Ranjit Singh Ralwandi released a press note yesterday that he would lead a ‘jatha’ of his supporters from Raikot.

More than 110 of the 125 Punjab Roadways buses were deputed with various leaders since this morning. Only buses plying on the main long routes were operational.

Though the final was scheduled for the evening, buses were deputed since the morning. The vehicles were queued up at Mullanpur, Raikot, Jagraon, Machhiwara and Khanna.

CPI leaders Sukhwinder Singh and Kartar Singh said losses worth crores were caused to the exchequer and commuters were left at the mercy of private buses, most of which were owned by the Badals.



Canadians bowled over by hospitality
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana, April 12
Losing their position in the Kabaddi World Cup has evoked no regret from organisers and players of the Canadian team. Led by Kulwinder Singh, they are happy for having attracted the maximum attention of sports lovers from their respective native villages for the past few days.

“Though we have been participating and bagging prizes in Canada for the past 10 years, we were never accorded such a warm reception anywhere before. The organisers deserve admiration for arranging such a mega-event, enabling us to gauge our position,” say members of the team.

Recognising the competence of the Indian and Pakistani players, managers of the Canadian team argue that Canada’s choice for selection is restricted. “We had to select our team from about 20 active players while India and Pakistan have thousands of active players to choose from,” opine Darshan Singh Gill and Gurdeep Singh Dhillon.

Harbans Singh Jandali, an NRI from Jandali village and chairman of the Ontario Sikh Gurdwara Council, accompanying the team, says the event has revived the hope of introduction of kabaddi at the Olympics. “This journey of kabaddi from rural playgrounds to stadiums of metros has laid the foundation of a movement that will certainly bring the ages-old game on the map of the Olympics,” he says.



Final a starry affair
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
A galaxy of Bollywood stars converged on the city during the final match of the World Kabaddi Cup.

Punjabi singers Sukhwinder Suki, Amarinder Gill, Jasbir Jassi and comedian Bhagwant Singh came all the way to the city to enthral audience on the last day of the mega sports event.

Apart from seeing kabaddi players in action, there were some, who had just come to listen to their favourite singers. Those, who could not manage to go inside the stadium, were seen listening and getting a glimpse of their favourite stars while sitting on the walls of the stadium.

Amarinder Gill said kabaddi was an ancient game of Punjab and the government’s initiative of promoting the game on such a large scale, was indeed encouraging.

Telling about his next venture, Gill said he would be seen in Punjabi movie “Ek Kudi Punjab Di”. “These days I am busy with live shows. So movies and albums have taken a backseat for the time being,” he said.

“Dil lae gayee kudi Gujarat di” fame singer Jasbir Jassi was all excited about the Kabaddi Cup. “I am excited, as people in large numbers have come to boost the morale of the players. Also, I believe that a performer enjoys giving a performance only when he receives an encouraging response from his audience,” he said.

Jassi has said a big “No” to reality shows. “I participated in a reality show on NDTV and walked out in the middle of the show. These reality shows are scripted and there is no reality factor in them,” he added.

Gurbir Singh Dhillon said he had come all the way from Raikot to see the final match of the World Kabaddi Cup.

Performances by stars were an added attraction to the event. “Amarinder Gill is my favourite singer, therefore, I could not afford to miss the event. His song “Mael karade rabba” is one of my favourites,” he quips. 



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