SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Every Wednesday and Friday

Harivallabh Pratiyogita yields precious gems
Jalandhar, December 23
The sammelan might start tomorrow, but Richa Aneja there’s a spirit to the Harivallabh Sangeet Pratiyogita itself, which makes you feel you have tread on sacred ground. Different flute, vocal, dilruba and santoor sounds converge to form a sound of their own. It’s difficult to talk even around rehearsing contestants, because sooner or later, the brilliance of some or the other performer gets you distracted.

Richa Aneja

A church that reminds one of Raj days
Jalandhar, December 23
St Lukes Church stands as a mute The historic St Lukes Church at Mall Road in Jalandhar Cantonment. testimony to its glorious past when British officers of Jalandhar Cantonment and their families gathered to pray and mingle with each other before 1947.

The historic St Lukes Church at Mall Road in Jalandhar Cantonment.Tribune photo: Malkiat Singh 




EARLIER EDITIONS



Absence of FDDI in city upsets manufacturers
All leather, no skills 

Jalandhar, December 23
The state could have emerged as one of the major contributors in the total national export volume of fabricated leather shoes, had the Central Government given a green signal to set up a sub-centre of the world reputed Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) in the state.

Civil Hospital doctors seek safety
Phagwara, December 23
Protesting against the undue pressure exerted by various political and social organisations for preparing a medico legal report in favour of their patients injured in mishaps or clashes, the doctors and paramedical staff of the local Civil Hospital asked for their safety and prevention of any manhandling of the hospital staff.

Calendar dedicated to Punjab comrades released in Canada
Jalandhar, December 23
Bir Singh Jhutti and Amardeep Kaur release the calendar in Canada A New Year calendar dedicated to Comrade Darshan Singh Canadian and several other communist leaders and workers, who were killed by pro-Khalistan militants in Punjab during 1970s and 1980s, was released on Sunday at the Strawberry Hill Library at Surrey in Canada.



Bir Singh Jhutti and Amardeep Kaur release the calendar in Canada

Yearender - Health
2010 saw outbreak of swine flu, dengue 

Jalandhar, December 23
Beginning with the deadly swine flu and ending with the two-month-long dengue outbreak, the year 2010 turned out to be a litmus test for the Health Department.

Woman attempts suicide, blames husband
Phagwara, December 23
A young woman, Neerja, mother of a son and a daughter, reportedly attempted to commit suicide and consumed some poisonous substance at her in-laws’ house at the local Guru Nanak Pura yesterday.

Young World 
Students in X’mas mood

Jalandhar, December 23
The students of Gandhian Study Centre of the local Kanya Maha Vidyalaya celebrated Christmas with the inmates of missionaries of charity. The students distributed blankets, sweets and toiletries among the inmates. Principal Dr Atima Sharma said all students should participate in such endeavours to help the destitute in the society.

Yearender - Sports
Manjit, Harbhajan do the city proud

Jalandhar, December 23
With one gold medal each in the Commonwealth Games (CWG), New Delhi, and Asian Games, Guangzhou, China, and a double century by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, the sports city of the state contributed its share in the sports arena of the country. The months of May and June saw a boom in the local football industry with domestic players making bulk orders for footballs during the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa during the period.

Bhagat Singh wrestling tourney from Feb 9
Jalandhar, December 23
The second Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Wrestling Tournament will be held at M.S. Bhullar Indoor Stadium, Punjab Armed Police Complex, from February 9 to 12.





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Harivallabh Pratiyogita yields precious gems
Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 23
The sammelan might start tomorrow, but there’s a spirit to the Harivallabh Sangeet Pratiyogita itself, which makes you feel you have tread on sacred ground.

Different flute, vocal, dilruba and santoor sounds converge to form a sound of their own. It’s difficult to talk even around rehearsing contestants, because sooner or later, the brilliance of some or the other performer gets you distracted.

In total, the three days saw a total of 101 participants at the Harivallabh Sangeet Pratiyogita.

What mattered most during the festival were the underdogs. People with no real connections or lineage - who came from far-flung places, not for the limelight but because they were dedicated to music - wanting to have a taste of the esteemed festival.

Sushil Kumar from Ludhiana (vocal), a disciple of Ustad Iqbal Khan said he had performed two years back too but kept coming back since the festival had got him addicted.

Ajay Thakur, who accompanied him on the harmonium - sung his own bit during the breaks they took while practicing - filling the passage by the Shree Ram Hall with his dulcet voice.

Richa Aneja (vocal) from Ludhiana rendered a thumri in Raag Mishr Bhairavi. There wasn’t a single person who wasn’t moved by her performance. The intricacies and combinations she executed (especially on the higher notes) were both difficult and fresh.

The 20-year-old said she came to the Harivallabh festival for the music and hoped to do something worthwhile in music.

Lata Chnoriya (vocal), a local, stood out for her bold voice and maturity in handling intricacies. She has been participating in the pratiyogita for the past five years. A precious link in the Sham Chaurasi Gharana, she learnt music from her grandfather, father and Ustad Om Prakash Thapar.

Ramanpreet (santoor) who has been picking up santoor for the last four years from Pt. Ramakant and Dr. Kamaljit Kaur, is also adept at vocal music. Belonging to the Namdhari tradition, she also attributes her training to the musical environment she got from early on.

Atul Krishna (flute) a 10-year-old local kid, played his instrument with panache. A disciple of Ustad Gurdeep Singh, he contacted his guru first after watching a programme of his on TV.

Sargam (sitar) from Gidderbaha had also performed last year for both vocal and instrumental categories. Her most memorable performances are those with fingers cut badly owing to continuous practice on the sitar - “because they always come out good”. Her mentor Sumedha Wadhwa agrees.

Sumit Tiwari (sitar) from Haldwani, also a Delhi University graduate, came to the Harivallabh for the first time. He thanks his father (whom he learnt santoor from) and mother for his precious talim and says the upbringing in the hills also played a great role in his patience and understanding for music.

Satyan Sharma (tabla) from Chandigarh a disciple of Ustad Majid Khan was lauded since his childhood by eminent people like Ustad Madan Khan Meer and Ustad Allah Rakha. Ustads used to be astounded by his sam gyan even as he was a kid. He was picked up in his lap by Parvez Mehndi because he was emulating the taal so well.

A controversy surrounded the junior category classical vocal music contest results as one of the contestants asked for a re-evaluation of the results. The contestant’s mother Harjit Kaur alleged that Amardeep hadn’t been awarded a prize even while some undeserving candidates had been. Some of the members of the audience agreed. Following the commotion, the Harivallabh Committee roped in an independent judge - vocalist Kirpal Singh - from Ajmer. Speaking on the issue, general secretary Purnima Beri said, “As a rule, our contestants are allowed a re-evaluation by paying Rs 500. As far as the allegations of the contestant are concerned, that’s why we have called in the independent judge. We have ensured proper judges for the occasion but there are always people who disagree with the judges’ decisions.” 

Senior category results:

Classical vocal - Swaran Vij (1st), Harpreet Singh (2nd), Lata Chnoriya (3rd)

Thumri - Richa Aneja (1st), Swaran Vij (2nd), Taru Sugandha Mishra (3rd)

Non-percussion - Sumit Singh Padam (1st), Tausheen Raj and Sumit Tiwari (2nd), Satvinder Pal Singh (3rd) 

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A church that reminds one of Raj days
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 23
St Lukes Church stands as a mute testimony to its glorious past when British officers of Jalandhar Cantonment and their families gathered to pray and mingle with each other before 1947.

So much so that all the important events of the then Garrison were held in the church and any expedition or march to the battlefield was unthinkable without invoking the blessings of the Almighty here.

Belonging to the Anglican order, the church, built in 1856, on the Mall Road today presents a sombre sight. It is one of the oldest churches in Punjab under the Diocese of Amritsar.

The serene ambience of the church, built using neo-gothic architecture, reminds one of the bygone era of the Raj in India. Right from its entrance to the altar, all that meets the eye is the magnificent architecture and the glorious British military history with its war plaques and commemorative insignias belonging to the kith and kin of soldiers won in various battles.

During the British rule, the church was known as St Lukes Garrison Church in accordance with the tradition of the British Empire around the world in the 19 and 20 century that wherever they went they built churches for the spiritual solace of their forces.

Another notable feature of the church is its panelling, which was designed and carried out in a splendid manner. The old colours of Dogra Regiment enjoy a place of prominence in the church.

According to old timers, the memorial service of Dogra Regiment on Sunday, March 30, 1947, was held at the church and the dirge played by the pipers was a significant event. The church was full for the parade service on this occasion.

Rev (Deacon) Sunil Kumar, priest-in charge of the church, said during the expansion of the British Empire in India the church was especially built for the Army officers and soldiers.

“St Lukes Church is also one of them built up by the British Government at Jalandhar Cantonment. The church became the repository of the Dogra Colours in July, 1938, by 17th Dogra Regiment, which received new colours in the church during a grand ceremony by Christian British officers,” he added.

The Father also spoke about the number of war plaques and said those spoke volumes of the Christian beliefs of the British soldiers. He said the unveiling and dedication of a memorial tablet of Second-Lieutenant Oliver Chiles Wade Bellany from 1st Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment (Prince of Wales own), who was killed in action at Sirdar Algad Waziristan on October 5, 1937, with the last post took place at this church.

Recently, the last dedication services were performed in St Lukes Church on September 25, 2007, by Father Sunil Kumar in memory of the brave soldiers of Vajra Corps, who gave their lives for the sake of country in different wars.

The gift of inscription was presented by the then Corps Commander of Vajra Corps, Lt-Gen Noble Thamburaj. The ceremony was attended by Army officers, jawans, church congregation and number of other people.

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Absence of FDDI in city upsets manufacturers
All leather, no skills 
Amaninder Pal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 23
The state could have emerged as one of the major contributors in the total national export volume of fabricated leather shoes, had the Central Government given a green signal to set up a sub-centre of the world reputed Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) in the state.

Besides the main branch of the institute at Noida, around five sub-centres of FDDI have been set up in the country and are being sponsored by the central Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The institute is known globally for developing splendid footwear designs and serves as a consultant for numerous footwear manufacturing firms across the globe.

Although the demand to set up FDDI’s sub-centre had been highlighted by the leather industrialists of Punjab for the past over 13 years, the central government, surprisingly, decided to establish the Institute at Rohtak, Haryana, last year.

Once it comes up, the institute, besides high-end designing and manufacturing technology, would provide value addition in the footwear manufacturing industry of the state, by producing skilled manpower, as it would run various diploma and degree courses in the manufacture of footwear.

The estimated cost to establish the institute was Rs 96 crore.

“We have been pursuing the demand since the days when IK Gujral was the Prime Minister. The state’s only leather complex was developed in Jalandhar, with an aim to simultaneously develop raw leather processing units (leather tanneries) and the leather fabrication industry,” said Lt-Col JS Paul (retd), President, Punjab Leather Federation.

However, the second dimension, which envisaged the development of the leather products’ manufacturing industry, lost its relevance as in the absence of such a world class institute, industrialists hardly find skilled labour and managers and advanced technologies for shoe manufacturing units.

“Technically, the large amount of processed leather is of no use for the existing leather industry and we have to sell it out to the footwear manufacturing companies. Otherwise, if labour and technique would be available, industrialists, by using locally processed leather, can manufacture footwear at par with first rate world renowned brands”, added Paul.

He said the Central Government was indifferent even after the two demi-official (DO) letters written by the present Chief Minister to the concerned officials in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Ajay Sharma, leading leather manufacturer from Jalandhar, said even the allocation of FDDI to Rohtak sounds irrational, as despite Jalandhar being a major leather processing nucleus of North India, the Central Government decided to set up the institute in Haryana, where the number of processing units is far less than that in Punjab, generally, and in Jalandhar, particularly. 

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Civil Hospital doctors seek safety
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 23
Protesting against the undue pressure exerted by various political and social organisations for preparing a medico legal report in favour of their patients injured in mishaps or clashes, the doctors and paramedical staff of the local Civil Hospital asked for their safety and prevention of any manhandling of the hospital staff.

They sat on a dharna in support of their demands. A protest rally was also organised on dharna site.

A Defensive Joint Action Committee was also announced during the dharna which would be headed by Chairman Dr Kamaljit Singh, President Dr Harvilas, Vice-President Gurjit Kaur, General Secretary J.S. Bhinder and Cashier Sucha Ram. Harshdeep will work as press secretary of the Action Committee. The protesters urged the administration to provide security to the hospital staff. Meanwhile, Phagwara SDM Amarjit Paul when contacted told The Tribune here today that Health Department was engaging private security agencies for the security and safety of the hospital buildings and staff.

It may be recalled that tension prevailed in the local Civil Hospital due to a scuffle and altercation between hospital staff and Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Surakasha Samiti Punjab Affairs in charge Deepak Bhardwaj who along with his supporters went to the hospital to enquire the health of an ailing BJYM leader admitted in the hospital on December 20. Protesters sat on a dharna in the hospital premises and raised slogans against the hospital staff. They warned to intensify the stir.

Meanwhile, some police employees, who went to the hospital to record the statements of injured in different cases, remained silent spectators, which provoked the protesters. When contacted, Senior Medical Officer Dr Rajiv Gupta said the duty doctor was harassed by some persons without a reason.

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Calendar dedicated to Punjab comrades released in Canada
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 23
A New Year calendar dedicated to Comrade Darshan Singh Canadian and several other communist leaders and workers, who were killed by pro-Khalistan militants in Punjab during 1970s and 1980s, was released on Sunday at the Strawberry Hill Library at Surrey in Canada.

At a function organised by the Indo-Canadian Workers Association (ICWA) in partnership with Radio India, a veteran communist leader, Bir Singh Jhutti and Amardeep Kaur, daughter of Darshan Singh Canadian, who was killed in Punjab 25 years ago near Garhshankar, released the calendar.

Canadian and other victims of terrorist violence were remembered on this occasion. A two-minute silence was observed in the memory of the Canadian, who was killed because he was opposition to fundamentalism.

Canadian was also in the forefront of the struggles against racism and imperialism while he was in Canada for 10 years. He had participated in a campaign for right to vote that was launched after the Indians were disfranchised in 1907. He returned to India in 1947 and was elected as MLA for Punjab Assembly.

Federal Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, who was attacked by the extremists in Canada for his moderate views, said all the progressive forces should unite to challenge religious fundamentalism. He emphasised that the Canadian had not only opposed extremism but also racism and discrimination in Canada.

“It was because of his participation in the struggle for right to vote that people like me are elected to the Canadian parliament,” said Dosanjh.

ICWA president Surinder Sangha said, “It was the moral responsibility of the left to oppose religious extremism. It was a shame that the ultra leftists have continued to support theocratic movements.”

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Yearender - Health
2010 saw outbreak of swine flu, dengue 
Amaninder Pal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 23
Beginning with the deadly swine flu and ending with the two-month-long dengue outbreak, the year 2010 turned out to be a litmus test for the Health Department.

Here are some of the major happenings of the year.

Swine flu

Although the killer swine flu virus had lost its severity, the disease still haunted the entire state. It put the health authorities on tenterhooks with short-term outbreaks in the months of January to March. The state witnessed largest number of deaths.

Dengue

The dengue outbreak shook the city and made thousands of the residents cry in months of September to November. Thousands of patients, who were diagnosed with the decreased platelet count and high grade fever, poured into the government hospitals and private clinics. Out of 10,000 suspected patients, 500 patients tested positive.

Although the doctors, especially those posted in the blood banks, did an excellent job, which also proved to be a face saver for the department, the underlying cause for such a massive outbreak remained a mystery.

Even though Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla and senior officials of the department announced that research would be conducted by the government medical colleges and PGI, Chandigarh, to ascertain the causative agent behind the outbreak, results of any such research are yet to come out.

Cholera and gastroenteritis

Diagnosis of cholera cases in the peripheral villages of the city and deaths caused by the deadly disease came as a fly on the face of the health authorities. However, the health authorities hurriedly passed the buck to the Local Bodies authorities concerned by citing poor sanitary conditions as the reason behind the cholera outbreak.

Surveillance

Regular surveillance of diseases like malaria and gastroenteritis was hit badly during the peak summer as large number of health supervisors were posted on the election and census duties. The issue staff scarcity was remained in the news during this period.

Oral Substitute Therapy centre

On the development front, Oral Substitute Therapy (OST) centre in the local Civil Hospital can be rated as a major development, as far as fight against HIV and drug addiction is concerned. In the centre, the groups of Intravenous Drug Users (IDU), who share a needle to inject drug into their body, will be identified in the city and counselled to take oral substitute of drugs instead of injectible ones, thus minimise the chances of HIV spread through needles among IDUs.

PIMS

With the services started at the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in the city, this year, it rekindled the hope to provide tertiary healthcare services not only to the city residents but even to patients from Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

After remaining in the eye of political storm for over the last few year, around one-and-a-half decade old PIMS project were practically taken off in the mid of this year with starting of OPD services in June. Manned with the superspecialists doctors from within the country and abroad and with the high-end diagnostic and surgical equipments, the institute is expected to deliver both secondary and tertiary level healthcare in the coming months.

Other achievements

1. 50-bedded ayurvedic hospital in the city. The hospital is expected to start functioning by the end of April next year.

2. Upgrdation of Primary Health Centre (PHC), Adampur, into Community Health Centre.

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Woman attempts suicide, blames husband
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 23
A young woman, Neerja, mother of a son and a daughter, reportedly attempted to commit suicide and consumed some poisonous substance at her in-laws’ house at the local Guru Nanak Pura yesterday.

A suicide note was also found, in which she alleged that torture by her husband Rajesh forced her to take the extreme step. In the note, she also wrote that her husband should be punished and her children should be sent to an orphanage.

Neerja was first admitted to the local civil hospital, but was sent to the Ludhiana Hospital due to her serious condition. Her condition in the Ludhiana Hospital is still said to be critical. Police is investigating the case.

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Young World 
Students in X’mas mood
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 23
The students of Gandhian Study Centre of the local Kanya Maha Vidyalaya celebrated Christmas with the inmates of missionaries of charity. The students distributed blankets, sweets and toiletries among the inmates. Principal Dr Atima Sharma said all students should participate in such endeavours to help the destitute in the society.

Workshop

The local St Soldier Law College today organised a workshop on electoral reforms. Issues pertaining to amending the Representation of People Act, 1951, Rules for Conduct of Elections, 1961, and Constitution of India were discussed at large.

As many as 34 legal experts, including law teachers, practicing lawyers, researchers and men from the political field participated at the event. College principal Dr Subhash Sharma highlighted the need to increase the punishment for electoral offences, revising the expenditure of poll expenses and permanently debarring criminals from contesting elections. The students were also told about Election Commission of India and its role in conducting free and fair polls in the country.

Fancy dress competition

Phagwara: Three-year-old Parul Ohri bagged first prize in a fancy dress competition at Little Flowers School, Phagwara, today. Parul dressed as a vegetable seller. Another student Harishta Sondhi was declared second and Ishika Sharma third in the competition. 

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Yearender - Sports
Manjit, Harbhajan do the city proud
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 23
With one gold medal each in the Commonwealth Games (CWG), New Delhi, and Asian Games, Guangzhou, China, and a double century by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, the sports city of the state contributed its share in the sports arena of the country. The months of May and June saw a boom in the local football industry with domestic players making bulk orders for footballs during the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa during the period.

Manjit Kaur wins a gold medal in Commonwealth Games, New Delhi: It was a golden moments for the country, especially for Jalandhar, when athlete Manjit Kaur won a gold medal in 4X400 metres’ relay in track and field in the Commonwealth Games.

The quartet of Manjit Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Chidananda Akkunji and Mandeep Kaur finished the race in 3:27:77 seconds. India had won a gold after a vacuum of 52 years in the Commonwealth Games history, as it was Flying Sikh Milkha Singh who had earlier won a individual gold medal in 400 metres’ run in track events.

It was after her victory in the Commonwealth Games that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had announced to promote Manjit Kaur as DSP. At present she is serving as an Inspector with the Punjab Armed Police.

Manjit Kaur wins a gold medal in Asian Games, Guangzhou, China: A month after winning a gold in the Commonwealth Games, Manjit Kaur again created a history by winning a gold in the 4X400 metres’ relay in track and field event in the Asian Games at Guangzhou.

India’s victorious women’s 4X400 relay quartet team, including Manjit Kaur, Sini Jose, A.C. Ashwini and Mandeep, ended the relay in 3 minutes and 29.02 seconds and won a gold for the country. Manjit was accorded a hero’s welcome by the PAP authorities when she reached home after winning the gold.

Bhajji’s double century: It was a record of sorts when off-spinner Harbhajan Singh made his first-ever double century in the India-New Zealand Test series at Nagpur. Bhajji was awarded “Man of the series award”. He also took 10 wickets in the Test series.

City residents, especially the Jalandhar District Cricket Academy (JDCA) members, along with its budding cricket players joined in the celebrations of Bhajji’s victory.

Queen’s Baton reaches Jalandhar: The city had come to a halt when Queen’s Baton Relay and Shera - the official mascot of XIX Commonwealth Games, New Delhi, reached Jalandhar. The torch relay received a thumping response as Olympians and international stars along with the city residents jostled to have a pose with the torch.

The torch was first handed over to paralympics powerlifters Rajinder Singh Rahelu and Rajdeep Kaur, who received the torch on their wheelchairs and flagged off the relay in the city. Special impressive band arrangements were made by the headquarters of all the security forces in the city.

FIFA bulk football orders: The FIFA World Cup brought a boom for the Jalandhar football industry as it witnessed a brisk business. Being an organised domestic and foreign market, it got huge orders not only from the international, but also domestic customers.

Almost all major football-manufacturing units started receiving huge orders from October, 2009, which continued till May end this year. Another new feature during this FIFA World Cup was that the Jalandhar football industry switched over to machine-stitched footballs. Earlier, the soccer industry was totally dependent on the hand-stitched footballs.

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Bhagat Singh wrestling tourney from Feb 9
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 23
The second Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Wrestling Tournament will be held at M.S. Bhullar Indoor Stadium, Punjab Armed Police Complex, from February 9 to 12.

President of the Punjab Wrestling Association Kartar Singh said this time the tournament would see a greater participation of 300 men and women wrestlers and around 100 officials from about 20 countries. Addressing a press conference, he said last year teams from 10 countries had participated. This year countries like Iran, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Belarus and Japan, known for their wrestling powers, would send their teams.

Four wrestling teams from India would take part in the tournament.

“Last year five teams of men and women had taken part in the tournament. This time four teams, comprising national and international wrestlers, would participate in the tournament,” he added. “An important aspect of this tournament is that the International Governing Body of Wrestling FILA has already included this event in its annual calendar”, he added.

Kartar highlighted that wrestlers, both men and women, securing first, second and third positions would be given cash award of $2,000, $1,000 and $500 respectively. While teams securing first, second and third positions would be given an additional special cash award.

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