L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Drug peddler with narcotics worth Rs 1.25 cr arrested
First-of-its-kind case of drugs being couriered
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
In what could be a lead to a major international drug-trafficking nexus between drug peddlers and courier companies, the Ludhiana police late last evening arrested a drug trafficker with narcotics worth Rs 1.25 crore.

The accused Sandeep Kumar (34) had come to the city to send a consignment of cocaine worth Rs 1 crore and smack worth Rs 25 lakh to Mozambique in Africa and London (England) through a local courier company.

The accused had hidden cocaine in a laminated cardboard, while the seized cache of smack was hidden in small packets tucked inside the heels of women's footwear. Sandeep was carrying the narcotics in a plastic bag.

ACP (West) RK Jalhotra revealed that Sandeep was arrested at around 7.30 pm last evening from near Durga Mata Mandir during a naka set up by the police in the wake of the Kabaddi World Cup final held last evening at Guru Nanak Stadium.

On seeing the police, Sandeep, who was on foot, panicked and was about to turn back, when naka in charge Inspector Dharampal noticed him. The ACP was immediately informed, who rushed to the spot and ordered a search of the bag that the accused was carrying, following which Sandeep was arrested.

Sandeep, who originally belongs to Johl Bolina in Jalandhar, is presently residing in Uttam Nagar, New Delhi, and was a frequently visiting Ludhiana to courier drugs to various locations. He had, on at least 10-12 earlier occasions, couriered drugs from the same courier company in Ludhiana. Sandeep is physically challenged, his leg being polio-afflicted.

The ACP informed that the Central Narcotics Cell, New Delhi, had been on the lookout for the accused for quite a while. "Earlier, a drug consignment of 460 gm heroin was confiscated from Delhi by the CNC. The consignment was couriered by the accused through the city-based courier company. But the accused could not be arrested. However, a case of drug peddling was registered against Sandeep by CNC which was pending," said the ACP.

The ACP further revealed that Sandeep had gone to Delhi a year and a half ago with aspirations to go abroad where he came in contact with a travel agent, who allegedly led him into the drug trade.

"The officials of the courier company were informed about the case and were asked to be vigilant and help the CNC in catching hold of the accused," said Jalhotra.

The police has been unsuccessful in extracting further details about his links. "This could be a major nexus operating in international market and the kingpin apparently is someone else," the ACP went on to add.

A case under Sections 21, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act was registered at the Civil Lines police station.

ACP Jalhotra said this was the first time that a case of drugs being couriered to overseas locations had come to their notice. "The modus operandi of hiding the drugs in women's footwear and laminated cardboard, too, used by the accused is innovative." 

Some unanswered questions

l The accused used to come from Delhi to Ludhiana to courier the drugs. Why did he choose Ludhiana?

l The courier company people neither interrogated nor have been placed under the police scanner. Why is their role not being questioned by the police?

l Where did Sandeep courier drug consignments on earlier occasions? Why is the police not probing this from the courier company?

l How come the activities of the accused went unnoticed on the 10-12 occasions that he came to the city for the same purpose?



‘Drugs Control Act has outlived its purpose’
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
"Way back in 1980, when I was director of PGIMER, I had urged the Punjab government not to allow liquor vends to be set up in the state. I had envisioned the alcohol addiction, which subsequently leads to drug addiction, that today ravages the state, particularly those who are uneducated and jobless," said Dr Jaswant Singh Neki, a noted physician and poet who now lives in Delhi.

Neki was in the city today to lay the foundation stone of the Sayin Miyan Meer Book Bazar at Punjabi Bhawan.

Trained as a physician, Neki is a well-known psychiatrist and public health policy expert who served as head of the psychiatry department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. He was also an advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa.

Sharing his experience as a psychiatrist, Neki said a majority of alcoholics take to drugs after some years, as even excessive amounts of liquor do not give them a ‘high’. “They then switch over to psychotropic drugs and narcotics that are easily accessible in our setup”, he added.

He said the onus of the failure to check rising drug addiction in Punjab lay on the Drug & Cosmetics Control Act as it was “outmoded”.

“The existing clauses in the act are weak, which give ample scope to the ‘drug mafia’ to operate freely in rural as well as urban areas of the state. At the same time, the Punjab health & family welfare department has failed to tackle noncompliance on the part of chemists who are openly selling ‘schedule H’ drugs in every nook and corner of the state, Neki observed.

He went on to add, “It’s rather strange the chemists are not taken to task for selling ‘schedule H’ drugs without prescription. They are prescribing medicines in villages in clear contravention of the Drugs & Cosmetics Control Act”.

Very few people in Punjab know about Neki in his capacity of an award-winning poet and a distinguished scholar with a substantial output in both English and Punjabi. Having been accredited with the Sahitya Akademi award in 1978 for his work ‘Karuna Di Chuh Ton Magron’, he has penned over a dozen poems including ‘Asle to Ohle Tak’ in 1955 and ‘Koi Naon Na Jane Mera’ in 2000.

“I’m here to share the pain of Punjabi laureates who love their language. Writers in this city who are associated with the Punjabi Sahitya Akademy are hopeful of renaissance, the only way to save this Land of Five Rivers from complete destruction," said Neki. 


Missing Land File Case 
Court orders LIT to maintain status quo
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 13
A local court has ordered the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) to maintain the status quo in respect of plot No 110, measuring 400 square yards, situated in the posh Rajguru Nagar here till April 24.

The court of Civil Judge (junior division) Karan Garg passed these orders in a case filed by Jagjit Kaur of Mumbai through her attorney HS Rana. The court has directed the LIT to file its reply on or before the next date of hearing.

The controversy had arisen after the file of this plot was stated to be missing. This happened after the execution of the sale deed in favour of legal heirs of the original allottee Avtar Singh on March 29, 2010.

Sharp differences came to light between the chairman of the LIT and its executive officer (EO), after the execution of the sale deed. The chairman claimed that he had ordered to put the file on hold unless legal opinion was obtained. But the sale deed was executed without otbaining his permission, as required by the law. The EO, however, maintained that the required formalities were duly complied with.

The chairman of the LIT had ordered that the file be traced within three days. The orders were sent to all branches. Despite the lapse of deadline, the chairman could not get the file.

Jagjit Kaur has claimed in its petition filed before the court that the plot was allotted to her husband Avtar Singh long ago for a sum of Rs 44,000. Her husaband had expired on April 16, 2005.

She then completed all formalities and the sale deed was executed by the LIT as per rules. But now they wanted to cancel the same illegally. She had prayed for restraining the trust from allotting the said plot to any other person and restraining the trust for causing any obstruction in the sanction of the mutation of the plot.



Probes into MC scams yet to be completed
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The questions raised and inquiries marked in various scams allegedly involving the municipal corporation in recent years are still to be resolved. Though commissioners and senior officials of the civic body have kept on changing no outcome has come from probes initiated in these scams.

Some of the files have been "dumped" in the department itself while one or two cases are pending with the Punjab government. MC officials as well as councillors of both the parties have expressed their "helplessness" in finding any solution.

In the ‘advertisement scam’ that took place in 2008, certain civic officials reportedly changed the facts in what was presented before the MC’s finance & contracts committee. After a Rs 8.25 crore agreement was signed between the civic body and an advertising agency there were allegations that the agency was associated with someone close to the state government and the MC had “gone out its way” to help the firm.

The then MC commissioner had to go through the documents before deciding the course of action to be taken on the "scam". However, nothing came out of the exercise. Later, another advertisement scam reportedly took place about five months back and senior MC functionaries raised objections over the matter at the general house meeting but to no avail.

In another scam, the MC spent about Rs 6 crore to install fancy lights on the city’s Ferozpur Road in order to “spruce it up,” even though the lights that already existed there were in perfect order. The senior deputy mayor stated the project was a sheer waste of money.

Despite several controversies, the installation of fancy lights was not halted and the stock taken off was dumped in stores. "Just to help a particular company a huge amount of money was wasted", said a Congress party councillor on condition of anonymity.

In yet another fraudulent deal - the ‘diesel scam’ - an MC clerk was found guilty. Later, during a search conducted by the vigilance bureau, cash amounting to lakhs of rupees and documents pertaining to various real estate properties were found from his possession.

However, no stringent action was taken against the culprits in this case also. "The clerk was shielded by a former Congress party councillor who had joined the Akali Dal and was awarded with a coveted post", said an MC official.

Investigations into the ‘fake bill scam’, the latest scandal, have yet to be completed. Even Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia had said action would be taken after a thorough probe was conducted.

However, going by the pace in conducting “thorough inquiries” into these scams, it appears they will never be completed by senior officials in Chandigarh.

When contacted, MC commissioner AK Sinha said the inquiry into the fake bill scam was pending with the state government and nine officials had been suspended in the case. He added the probe into the ‘bitumen scam’ was still continuing. "We hope to get the report in 3 to 4 days. Only after that will we be able to establish whether someone was guilty or not. As far as other scams are concerned I cannot comment as they all took place before my term", Sinha stated.



Mahila Cong activists burn effigy of party leaders
Appointment of new district president
Our Correspondent
Ludhiana, April 13

The controversy over the appointment of Leena Taparia as the new president of the district unit of the Mahila Congress (women wing of the party) took a new turn when several activists, including former councillors and a former district president, held a demonstration at Clock Tower here and burnt an effigy of former chief parliamentary secretary Surinder Dawar and state president of the Mahila Congress Ratna.

Crying foul over the nomination which, they said, had been made by ignoring old, loyal and dedicated party workers, the Congresswomen stated that their protest would continue till the party leadership revoked its decision and a "deserving" party activist was nominated to the post.

Former district president of the Mahila Congress Usha Malhotra and other speakers, including two-time councillor Asha Garg and former councillor Amarjit Kaur, alleged that Dawar had manipulated the appointment of Leena, who was not from the cadres with little or no contribution to the party affairs.

The protesting members said they had apprised the party leadership of the brewing resentment against the appointment of the new district president.

"We have been in touch with former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who has invited us for a meeting at Chandigarh on Thursday over the appointment. The party activists will also meet Captain Amarinder Singh and other members of the party high command to seek justice," Usha Malhotra later said.

Among others, Shashi Sood, Kamlesh Gupta, Neelam Sharma, Paramjit Kaur, Sudesh Rani, Rajni, Amar Kaur and Sapna were also present on the occasion.



Vigilance team visits city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
A vigilance team of the Local Bodies Department from Chgandigarh comprising senior officials, including SE, XEN and SDO, visited the city to get details on the advertisements/hoardings installed throughout the city. The officials also held meeting and detailed discussions with the MC Commissioner AK Sinha and visited various spots for getting first-hand information.

According to sources, the visit was conducted following a "request" made by one of the local Akali leaders to the Minister of Local Bodies to get the details on advertising "scam". All the records were checked and details were taken by the visiting officials after meeting the Suprintendent Hartej Singh. A lot of hue and cry was raised by certain Councillors during meetings over undue "favours" being provided to companies, which were not there in the contract agreement.



Noted poet honoured
Stone laid for city’s first book bazaar
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Noted physician and poet Dr Jaswant Singh Neki today laid the foundation stone of the city’s first ever book bazaar, named after Sufi mystic Sain Mian Mir, at Punjabi Bhawan here. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) have contributed Rs 10 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, respectively, to Punjabi Sahit Akademi for construction of the book bazaar building.

While talking to The Tribune, Akademi president Dalip Kaur Tiwana stated: "The book bazaar is an effort on the part of Punjabi writers, poets, historians to save the language from erosion. The Punjabi youth is oblivious to the reflective, retrospective and rewarding aspects of the Punjabi language, which has been globally acknowledged. The anthology of books in this book bazaar will give the an opportunity to get acquainted with the language."

The bazaar will have six shops for Punjabi books and one each for Hindi, Urdu and English books.

"Sikh history is evidence of the multilingual approach that was adopted by the gurus, writers, historians and poets at large”, remarked Sukhdev Singh, general secretary of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi.

Sharing his enthusiasm, Prem Singh Bajaj, who has for years preserved the rare collection of Punjabi books in the Punjabi Bhawan library, termed the book bazaar as a “stepping stone for promoting the Punjabi language”.

“Moreover, the library will be shifted on the first floor of the new building where there will be more room for the books to be properly displayed. Also, the theses by intellectuals on rare subjects in Punjabi will enable students to get the best references," Bajaj added. See also P4



Youth Cong pays tributes to martyrs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 13
A large number of party workers, led by president of the District Youth Congress Dimple Rana today formed a human chain from the Congress Bhawan to the Jagraon bridge and paid floral tributes to martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev to mark the festival of Baisakhi.

The Youth Congress workers paid tributes to commoners who fell to the bullets of the Britishers at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar on April 13, 1919, while pledging to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country.

Addressing the party workers on the occasion, Rana called upon them to be vigilant against the disruptive forces who were raising their heads again in different parts of the country. "Terrorism is prevalent not only in India but in other countries as well and the recent attack on the CRPF personnel in West Bengal ought to be taken as warning in the multi-pronged fight against terrorists and other extremist elements.”

Emphasising that the violence had never achieved anything, whatever be the cause, he said the Punjabis especially needed to be vigilant against disruptive elements, out to destabilise the country because the people of this state had always remained in the forefront in the freedom struggle, and later defending the frontiers against foreign attacks and fighting a battle against terrorism within the country.

Paying rich tributes to the martyrs, the District Youth Congress president said prominent freedom fighters like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, along with numerous others had laid down their lives to achieve Independence. Following in the foot steps, thousands of brave sons of Punjab had fought wars with China and Pakistan while more recently the then Chief Minister Beant Singh had sacrificed his life in the war against militancy. "The real tribute to such great martyrs will be to follow the path shown by them and be prepared to make any sacrifice for the sake of the country."



Jagraon MLA warns against wheat rotting in open
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, April 13
“Thousands of tones of wheat is already rotting in the open plinths of Punjab and the wheat procured this season might meet the same fate’, said Gurdeep Singh Bhaini, Jagraon MLA, on his informal visit to the local grain market.

Terming the arrangement made by the Punjab government as insufficient, he said this year the maximum of the wheat procured would be stored in the open plinths of the state-owned godowns or on plinths hired from the private parties. In the country like India where more than half of its population is facing starvation, the inefficient management of food grain is absolutely a social crime.

Talking over the embezzlement of the subsidies released from the Central government by the Punjab government he said the so-called pro-farmer Punjab government is in fact their biggest enemy. Citing an example, he said recently the Central government had released Rs 800 crore for the farmers to compensate the extra cost incurred by using diesel to irrigate the paddy crop, the state government is planning to give the entire amount to PSEB to compensate the power purchased from the other states at a higher rate. The compensation sent by the Central government is calculated approximately Rs 54 per quintal of paddy produced.

Bhaini also raised his concern on printing of the National emblem on the bags meant for filling agriculture produces. 



Gabria disburses Rs 45 lakh among needy, institutes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 13
Minister for jails, tourism and cultural affairs in Punjab Hira Singh Gabria claimed today that the SAD-BJP government was committed to the overall development; specifically for the welfare of the weaker and under-privileged sections.

Speaking at a function after disbursing grants worth Rs 45 lakh from his discretionary funds among 24-needy persons, various educational institutions, sports clubs and charitable trusts at the labour colony here today, he said several schemes for the welfare of the poor were on cards. Gabria said at least 14 lakh economically-weaker families were regularly being given wheat flour at Rs 4 kg and pulses at Rs 20 per kg. Similarly, a large number of Scheduled Castes families had availed the benefit of the "shagun scheme" under which a wedding gift of Rs 15,000 was given on the marriage of girls from the Scheduled Caste families.

"The government had chalked out comprehensive development plans for the rural areas also. Work had already been taken in hand for providing basic amenities comparable to urban areas and supply of safe drinking water to rural population. Roads in rural and urban areas are being widened, educational facilities are being expanded and better irrigation facilities are being provided to the farmers," the minister stated.

Cheques for Rs 2 lakh each were presented to the Naujawan Ekta Club in Guru Nanak Colony, Swami Vivekanand Ashram, Teja Singh Memorial Public School, Rs 1 lakh each to the Government College for Boys, Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Arya College, Model Town Extension Residents Welfare Society (for development of a park), Radhey Krishan Gau Dham, Mata Gujri Charitable Trust while grants of Rs 50,000 each were given to te Dashmesh Sports Club, Jaspal Bangar and Dashmesh Public School, Kakowal on this occasion.

Kanwalinder Singh Thekedar, SGPC member, Harbhajan Singh Dang, councillor, Raja Singh Khullar, Sohan Singh Goga, Jagdev Singh Gohalwaria, Harpreet Singh Bedi, Ravinder Verma, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Manjit Singh, sarpanch Jaspal Bangar, Balwinder Singh, Jagir Singh and Bharpur Singh were also present at the function.



Cross-border wedding grips visitors from Pakistan
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Having already made headlines in the media, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza’s wedding with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik has now become a hot topic for discussion at the ‘Baisakhi Bazaar’, an exhibition being organised at the city’s Hotel Maharaja Regency. At least 12 women exhibitors have come from across the border to display their exquisite hand embroidery, jewellery and shoes.

Sazia Fahed from Meer Designer, Lahore, was all smiles over the marriage of the two sports personalities.

“We have seen these kind of love stories only in movies, but now we are witnessing those in real life,” she said.

“Both of them have gone through a lot of ups and downs in their lives and I am very happy that they have finally got married.” she added with a smile. Sazia said people in Pakistan were crazy about Bollywood films. “Even I love to see Hindi movies and ‘Veer-Zaara’ is my all-time favourite. Both Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta have given a performance par excellence in the movie,” she added.

Sara Mudassir, another exhibitor from Pakistan, said, “People of both countries have always been on good terms and it was only the political barriers that came in between.”

Referring to the Sania-Shoaib wedding, she remarked: “This cross-border love story will finally culminated in a marriage. People on both sides of the border are very happy over their liaison.”

Naureen, yet another exhibitor from Pakistan, said, “Cupid can strike you anywhere. He does not bother about the place or a country. Both are in love and have now got married. People from both sides of the border wish them a happy and prosperous married life.”



Shopkeepers resist anti-encroachment drive
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Officials of the municipal corporation’s ‘tehbazari’ wing (LMC) had to once again face the wrath of shopkeepers when their team went to remove illegal encroachments in a city market. The shopowners not only raised slogans against the civic body but also stopped the team from removing the ‘ferris’ and ‘rehris’ outside their shops in Akalgarh market.

Earlier, members of the local shopkeepers association had raised a lot of hue and cry when the MC team had gone to the area a few days ago to raze unauthorised structures.

A delegation of the association met MC commissioner AK Sinha and accused the civic body of adopting a "pick and choose" policy in the anti-encroachment drive. The association’s president alleged the MC staff had “spared influential shopkeepers” whose goods remained lying outside their shops on encroached land. Sinha had assured the delegation that no one violating the regulations would be spared.

Area councillor Parminder Mehta said there were over 700 shops in the small area of the market and buyers had to face a tough time as stalls of eatables, garments, footwear, etc, had been put up outside these shops on MC land.

“Apart from 700 shops 500 ‘rehris’ and ‘ferries’ were put up on encroached land. Each time when the MC team visited the area the shopkeepers protested and raised objections,” he added.

It may be mentioned here though the team had given the shopkeepers a deadline to remove their belongings from MC land, the shopkeepers and ‘ferri’ owners ignored the warnings. "Today we have told them these encroachments would not be allowed outside shops and have to be removed at any cost. It will be for their benefit if they understand and heed our pleas", said a member of the ‘tehbazari’ wing. 



Farmers panic, rush for combine harvesters
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana/Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 13
Cloudy weather and intermittent showers have caused panic among farmers in the area, who are now rushing to hire combine harvesters for reaping their wheat crop.

Despite a ban on the use of combine harvesters at night, some of them decided to take a risk. They were repenting their decision to harvest the crop manually. A majority of farmers rushed to hire combine harvesters shortly after the weather turned inclement yesterday morning.

Farmers who harvested their crop on Sunday could face difficulty in getting their yield procured and lifted by government agencies as it might not meet moisture standards.

“The weather changed so abruptly that we were left with no choice but to get the crops harvested as soon as possible. We had to pay extra rent for hiring a combine harvester at the last moment,” said Gurdial Singh Sekhon of Chhappar.

Those who had started reaping crop manually were seen collecting heaps of reaped wheat at safe places. Others deployed more workers to reap as soon as possible.

“As we have started manual reaping, we are left with no choice but to expedite the process. Besides deploying more workers, we have called our friends and relatives to help us,” said Bir Singh of Rachhin.

Similar activity was observed in fields at Chhanna, Momnabad, Nathu Majra, Latala, Barundi, Jagera, Pohir, Dehlon, Sihar, Jhammatt, Kalarh, Bhikhi, Karamsar and Baurhai.



Wheat on 7 acres gutted
Our Correspondent

Amloh, April 13
Wheat crop on 7 acres was gutted at Bhagwanpura village today. It was caused in the fields of farmer Lakhbir Singh.

The fire also damaged sugarcane crop of farmers Pargat Singh and Randhir Singh. SDM Poonamdeep Kaur and MLA Sadhu Singh Dharamsot reached the spot. A fire engine from Mandi Gobindgarh was pressed into service and the fire was brought under control.

According to Lakhbir Singh, a transformer in the field had sparking, which led to the fire. The MLA assured the farmers that relief would be provided by the government.



Test flight fails to take off
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 13
Ludhianvis, it seems, will have to wait for some more time to have air connectivity with New Delhi as the Ludhiana-Delhi test flight, scheduled to take off from the city today, has been put off for a few days for some reasons.

Even as officials at the Sahnewal airport maintain that all facilities and infrastructure for a commercial flight are available and regular flights can be started from the city at any time, the delay in submission of the feasibility report by a joint team of officials from Air India and the Airport Authority of India, which carried out an inspection at the airport last week, is being cited to be the reason for postponement of the test flight.

Manish Tewari, who had set the process for commencement of a flight between Ludhiana and New Delhi, in motion by taking up the matter with the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and top brass of Air India, has also indicated that the national air carrier would commence a regular flight from the city for Delhi with a 48 seater aircraft perhaps in the beginning of May 2010.

The commercial flights from the Sahnewal airport has been a story of "now on, and now off" almost at regular intervals. Scores of private airlines had put the industrial hub of the state on the air map, but for various reasons, the flights could not be sustained. Comfortable and relatively cheaper rail travel between Ludhiana-Delhi, coupled with the members of business and industrial community preferring to travel by their own cars, has been a major factor in the way of viability of the commercial flight.

In any case, the city population, especially the frequent air travellers to Delhi and other metro cities in the country, were in for a disappointment at the last minute postponement of the test flight which was being seen as a launching pad for the regular air connectivity of the city.



Fire at hosiery unit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Fire broke out at a hosiery unit at Street Number 3, Preet Nagar Basti Jodhewal, here in the afternoon.

Fire brigade was sent immediately on the spot by the department, which controlled the fire.

Ravinder Kumar, an official with the department, said a lot of cloth was gutted in the fire, which broke out during the lunch hour. "The person on duty had gone for lunch and there was sudden sparking, which led to cloth catching fire. But major losses were prevented as fire was controlled timely," he said.



From Schools
Baisakhi celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Founder's Day and Baisakhi were celebrated with fervour at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School. Staff and students welcomed the school’s founder Rajesh Rudra. The celebrations started with a shabad highlighting the importance of Baisakhi. This was followed by song and dance programmes. Principal Baldeep Pandher exhorted the students to spread the message of love and brotherhood everywhere.

Ram Lal Bhasin

The festival was celebrated in a traditional manner at Ram Lal Bhasin Public School. The festivities began with a dance competition for tiny tots. Kids dressed as "gabrus" and "mutiyars" looked marvelous. The students from Classes I to VIII presented bhangra and giddha. The dances left the audience mesmerised and was heartly applauded. The students and teachers were dressed in orange dresses depicting the true essence of the festival. Headmistress gave away the prizes to the winners. Results: Punjabi Gabru/ Mutiyaar Competition (Nursery - Montessori II): 1 Rose, Nursery; 2. Jasmine, Mont II; 3. Gursimran Singh, Mont I; Consolation: Prabhnoor, Mont I. Punjabi Gabru/ Mutiyaar Competition (Classes I - III): 1. Gurvir, Class I; 2. Anmol, Class II. Dance/ Giddha Competition: 1. Shivam Dhawan, Class VI; 2. Mansi Ahuj, Class VIII; 3. Shine, Class V.

GMT Public

The festival of Baisakhi was also celebrated on the premises of GMT Public School. The function started with a "shabad" remembering the "Panj Piyare" and Guru Gobind Singh for laying the foundation of Sikhism. Speeches about the importance of Baisakhi and why it is celebrated were delivered by the students. Students of K.G. block presented a fashion show. Giddha, bhangra by senior students were also performed to mark Baisakhi. Folk songs were also sung. Bhagat House bagged the first position in board decoration followed by Subhash House and Patel house.

Guru Nanak Model

Baisakhi was celebrated at Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha. Students tapped their feet on the beats of the ‘dhol’ while teachers distributed ‘jalebies’ among them.

Lovely Lotus

Standing under the shade of mango tree and dressed like rural folks, tiny tots of Lovely Lotus and Chanda Mama Schools enjoyed ‘jalebies’ to celebrate Baisakhi. The school premises wore the look of rural India in order to give the kids its feel. The students danced to bhangra tunes and enjoyed swings. They went home singing "Jatta Aye Baisakhi" and "Aye Baisakhi".

Small Wonders

Tiny tots of Small Wonders Pre-Nursery and Nursery School, Sangat Road, celebrated Baisakhi. Kids dressed in colourful dresses sang and danced to the latest Punjabi songs. Sweets and biscuits were distributed among the children.

Spring Dale

Baisakhi was celebrated with fervor at Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School here today. Students dressed in colourful dresses and traditional jewellery sang and danced to mark this day. Shabads and various contests were also organised on the occasion. 



1 dead, 2 hurt in accident
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 13
A man died in an accident that took place between a motorcycle and a tempo trax yesterday evening. Two others also sustained serious injuries in the accident.

The accident took place on the Sidhwan Bet road near Bhaini Ararian village when the motor cycle (PB 10 CF 2396) driven by Charanjit Singh (45) of Bhundri village rammed into the tempo trax (PB 10 BX 0508) being driven by Jaspal Singh of Shimla Puri, Ludhiana.

Charanjit Singh died on the spot due to head injuries while his son Amritpal Singh sustained fractures in the leg. The tempo went out of control and rammed into a wall in which Jaspal Singh also sustained injuries. He was admitted to a hospital at Ludhiana while Amritpal Singh was admitted to a hospital at Jagraon. Condition of both is stated to be stable. The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case against Jaspal Singh on the statement of Balbir Singh of Bhundri village and impounded the vehicles. 



After kabaddi, it’s Hockey Cup 
Excited, organisers fix Rs 50 lakh as prize money
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 13
Terming organisation of the World Cup Kabaddi as a landmark in the history of sports, the organisers of the events have announced that Hockey Cup would also be organised on the similar pattern.

With the intent to perpetuate the event irrespective of political party in power in the state government, the organisers have urged the Union government to constitute a Central Board and rationalise the grants for regional games of all states.

In an exclusive interview with The Tribune, after conclusion of the first World Cup Kabaddi, Sikandar Singh Malooka, vice-chairman of the organising committee, announced that the Hockey Cup would soon be organised on similar pattern. Prize money for hockey is expected to be Rs 50 lakh.

Appreciating the overwhelming response of the Punjabis towards the mega event, Malooka acknowledged that none, including political rivals, had opposed the government’s decision to pay tribute to rural game of Punjab that had remained ignored for decades.

Maintaining that the Kabaddi had survived in its native state due to generous contributions by NRIs, Malooka regretted that despite wastage of huge amounts on organisation of rural sports the game could not accorded its due respect for all these years.

“As a major portion of funds was spent on non-productive items like advertisement and entertainment the players and managers of participating teams usually went disappointed. Now, when we have succeeded in creating a craze for Kabaddi among the masses, sports lovers should come forward to keep the movement alive in future,” said Malooka hoping that the movement will curb social evils like drug addiction. He claimed that some countries like China had conquered menace of drug addiction through sports.

Malooka reported some interesting facts reflecting exceptional response for watching final matches of the Cup on Monday.

Interesting Facts

l  More than 3000 TV channel connections telecasting the event live were sold in Canada only.

l  Enthusiasts had forced the civic body authorities to stop work on the sewage project at Rampura Phool as it could damage the cables of the TV channel telecasting the event.

l  To enable them watch final matches on TV while harvesting their crop, a large number of farmers had installed TV dishes in their fields.

l  Malooka, like many other leaders kept on receiving call from people of his area, that power cuts should be rescheduled according to timings of final matches.



Boxing: Chakar eves bag four gold 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 13
Displaying their exemplary expertise learnt from the coaches of the Sher-e-Punjab Sports Academy at Chakar villages, four of its girls managed to bag four medals in the first Sub-Junior Punjab State boxing Championship.

It was held from April 9 till April 11 at Seechewal village is an maiden effort of Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, an environmentalist, to promote boxing among the junior boxers. The team from this academy giving a tough competition, secured second position in the championship. Balwant Singh Sandhu, chief coordinator of the academy, while talking to The Tribune said the team bagged three gold, one silver and two bronze medals. In the event of 28-30 kg category Harpinder Kaur defeated Jagjit Kaur of Gurdaspur, in the category of 32-34 kg, Pooja defeated Laxmi of Gurdaspur and in the event of 38-40 kg category, Paramjit Kaur defeated Naveeninder Kaur of Fatehgarh Sahib. Similarly, Harpreet Kaur bagged a silver while Jaskaran Kaur and Navneet Kaur bagged bronze medals in the championship.

In the 5th Junior Punjab State Boxing Championship held concurrently along with the sub junior championship, Shavinder Kaur of Chakar academy bagged a gold by defeating Manjotpal Kaur of Gurdaspur in the 50 kg category championship. Balbir Kaur of the academy got a silver by defeating Sonali of Amritsar in 46 kg category. In the Junior Championship, eves of Chakar secured a second position in the championship. 



Cricket trials 22 probables selected
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April, 13
At least 22 probables were selected by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) for the coaching-cum- training camp to be held at MGM Public School,Dugri, from April 26 onwards.

Sixty-one aspriants turned up for the trials and the four member selection panel headed by Chaman Lal Malhotra shortlised 22 players. The final team will be selected at the conclusion of the camp. It will take part in the upcoming Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Championship (u-22) to be held in May.

The selected players are- Varun Chitkara, Deepak Bansal, Bharat Malhotra, Geetansh Khera, Akhil Aggarwal, Baltej Singh, Sanchit Gosain, Jashanpreet Sidhu, Ashish Kumar, Amit Verma, Gagandeep Singh, Amrit Pal Singh, Jayant Batra, Lalit Malhotra, Rahul Singla, Ravi Kumar, Harjit Singh, Sunny Pandey, Charanpreet Singh, Shehzada, Amritpal and Balbir Singh.

The boys have advised to report to coach, Charanjit Singh at MGM Public School on April 26 at 3.30 pm.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |