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Manpreet keeps his options open
Goniana Mandi (Bathinda), December 24
Former Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal addresses a public meeting as part of his Jago Former Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal today tried to keep his cards close to his chest saying that he will seek the support of every citizen of Punjab.

Former Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal addresses a public meeting as part of his Jago Punjab Yatra at Goniana Mandi in Bathinda district on Friday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Gang of under-age burglars busted in Mansa
Mansa, December 24
The Mansa police today claimed to have busted a gang of seven burglars including five juveniles, who were not only committing thefts but were also pasting posters at the site of the crime challenging the police to catch them if they can.


EARLIER STORIES

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS


Protest held against rising prices
Bathinda, December 24
Protesting against the rising prices, members and activists of the General Samaj Party, led by founder of the party Suresh Goyal, today burnt the effigy of the Union Government and held demonstration near Shaheed Bhagat Singh Market here.


Merry Christmas

The Methodist Church was brightly illuminated on the eve of Christmas. The church is located at the Railway Colony in Bathinda. Special prayers will mark Xmas celebrations along with the singing of customary carols
The Methodist Church was brightly illuminated on the eve of Christmas. The church is located at the Railway Colony in Bathinda. Special prayers will mark Xmas celebrations along with the singing of customary carols. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Five-month-old dies, family baffled
Bathinda, December 24
After the death of her five-month old son Sukhjot Singh, Gurpreet Kaur, a school teacher from Ludhiana, was seen wailing at the Women and Children’s Hospital here on Friday.

Probe sought into foeticide
Bathinda: Sadhu Ram Kusla, Project Officer (under suspension), PNDT Cell, Bathinda, on Friday wrote a letter to the chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, New Delhi, to get the investigations done about the circumstances in which 75,000 foetuses had been eliminated from January 2010 to October 2010 in various districts of Punjab. He also demanded action against officils concerned. — TNS

Panel set up to examine controversial ‘granth’
Chandigarh, December 24
The state of Punjab has constituted a committee to examine the controversial “Bhav Sagar Samunder Amarbani Granth” penned by Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara. The decision to constitute the committee, in compliance with the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions, was communicated to the Full Bench headed by Justice MM Kumar.

SSD girl selected for international Red Cross meet
Bathinda, December 24
Harleen Kaur, a student of local SSD Girls' College, has been selected as the only delegate from India for the Asia Pacific Red Cross Red Crescent Youth Leaders' forum 2010, which is going to be held at Hong Kong from 24-28 December this year.


A horse, with woollens draped around it to protect against the biting chill, is transported in a
A horse, with woollens draped around it to protect against the biting chill, is transported in a pick-up vehicle from Bathinda on Friday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Nine more jaundice cases reported
Bathinda, December 24
As many as nine new patients were tested suffering from jaundice at the Civil Hospital here today while private doctors sent the report of four new jaundice cases to the district health authorities. Thus the total number of jaundice cases today rose to 219 in the Bathinda city.

Tribune Impact
Extortionist cop still at large, raids on to nab him
Moga, December 24
Police have registered a criminal case of corruption, extortion, illegal detention and torture against inspector Satnam Singh, former in-charge of the CIA-Staff (Moga) and raided his residence here, this morning. However, he reportedly fled just a few minutes before the police raided his house.

Minor sodomised
Parents, school in war of words
Ferozepur, December 24
The ongoing controversy regarding the case of alleged sodomy of a minor child studying in a local convent school by his seniors seems to have snowballed into a major issue with the parents demanding stringent action against the school students involved.

Elders’ Day
Retired police officials honoured
Ferozepur, December 24
Elders’ Day was celebrated at the local Police Lines here during which the police officials led by SSP Dr Kaustubh Sharma listened to the grievances of the retired police officials.

Fog takes its first toll
Abohar, December 24
The dense fog took its first toll here recently. Rajinder Singh of Seed Farm colony sustained serious injuries as a privately owned bus hit him on the railway overbridge on the Malout road. He was rushed to the civil hospital but the doctors referred him to the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College Hospital (Faridkot). He died on the way, sources said.

Dr Harsha Bhola is PCMS chief
Ferozepur, December 24
Dr Harsha Bhola was unanimously elected as the president of the Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association, Ferozepur Branch, during the elections for the same held here at the local civil hospital.

BJP leader takes party workers to task
Sriganganagar, December 24
BJP workers came under bashing during the two-day visit of the region by the state president Arun Chaturvedi. While advising them to learn lessons from the Congress workers, he was quoted having asked his party men, “Have you ever heard the Congress workers indulging in loose talk over the role of senior leaders of 125 years old party. Some of you had been airing your grievances against the senior party (BJP) functionaries, he reportedly resented during a meeting at Sriganganagar.” Chaturvedi advised the workers to bring forward grievances, if any, during the closed-door meetings and avoid discussing the same outside.

Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para games 
Sriganganagar/Abohar, December 24
Arjuna Awardee athlete Jagseer Singh, who emerged as the only Indian gold medal winner in the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para games and silver medal winner Sandeep Singh Mann were accorded a warm welcome in their home district Hanumangarh today.

Medical camps to mark freedom fighter’s death anniversary
Fazilka, December 24
Lala Sunam Rai Veteran freedom fighter and versatile personality Lala Sunam Rai of Fazilka despite being born with a silver spoon in his mouth jumped into freedom movement. Lala Sunam Rai was the first postgraduate (MA in English) in then united district Ferozepur. He turned down the British government's offer to join the prestigious Indian Civil Services (ICS) (Now Indian Administrative Services) (IAS) on their condition to leave the freedom struggle.
Lala Sunam Rai





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Manpreet keeps his options open
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Goniana Mandi (Bathinda), December 24
Former Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal today tried to keep his cards close to his chest saying that he will seek the support of every citizen of Punjab that will support his agenda, relating to political, social, agricultural, economic and environmental reforms, in the elections. He was dweling on the issue of an alliance with political parties during the ensuing Assembly elections with his proposed party.

Manpreet also said that his fight was not against any person or party as it was a fight in the larger interests of Punjab. He said every Punjabi was worried nowadays about the fiscal condition of the state as Punjab had come down to 26th position from first place.

Manpreet was talking to TNS after the culmination of his public meeting, held on the premises of the Grain Market here today as part of his Jago Punjab Yatra. In this meeting, a large number of persons took part. During his speech, there was almost pin-drop silence and people were seen listening to him patiently. However, occasional applause punctured his speech to hail the points he made in his speech. On his arrival at the venue, his supporters garlanded him with enthusiasm and raised slogans hailing him.

Manpreet also said that his message was reaching every home which was worrying the political parties in the state. He said there should be worry in the minds of "political pundits" as people were coming to hear him in large numbers at his public meetings.

Earlier, Manpreet also appealed to the gathering saying that the next Assembly elections in the state would be held after 14 months, for which he had come here to seek their support for the creation of a 'new Punjab.' He said if the people of Punjab gave him a chance in the elections, then he would eradicate corruption from the state, which was spreading like cancer now.

Manpreet also said he knew that the people were being stopped from attending his meetings in the villages and from reaching the venues of his meetings, so that a new party could not be formed by him. He asked the people not to be afraid of such tactics, being adopted by the vested interests.

The former FM also asked the people to extend their support to him for the bright future of their children and to restore the glory of Punjab. He said the people of Punjab would have to become prosperous and debt-free, if they really wanted to live with pride.

Manpreet also called upon the people to participate in his conference in large numbers, to be held on the occasion of Maghi Mela at Muktsar on January 14. He asked the people that he would wait for them at the conference.

Manpreet also addressed public meetings at Nathana and Bhucho Mandi in the district today.

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Gang of under-age burglars busted in Mansa
Rajay Deep/TNS

Mansa, December 24
The Mansa police today claimed to have busted a gang of seven burglars including five juveniles, who were not only committing thefts but were also pasting posters at the site of the crime challenging the police to catch them if they can.

Among the identified seven, police arrested six boys and recovered a number of stolen goods from their possession.

Five of them (falling in the age-group of 11-13) have been sent to the Juvenile Home, Faridkot while the one who was a major has been sent to the Central Jail, Bathinda.

The development cracked the mystery that had been keeping the city residents on tenterhook for some days now as the modus operandi of the gang (pasting posters after committing thefts) was quite sensational.

As per details available, Manoj Kumar of ward number 1 of the city lodged a complaint with the police that some unidentified persons committed a theft in his shop and stole mobile recharge coupons worth Rs one lakh on the intervening night of December 11-12.

Meanwhile, one Gora Lal also lodged a complaint with the police that breaking open his shop the same night, some unidentified persons stole his Hero Majestic moped parked there.

Acting upon the statements of the complainants, Mansa city police registered a case under sections 457 and 380 of the IPC and initiated a probe into the matter.

During the investigation, police got a tip-off about some children flaunting mobile recharge coupons in plenty. Following the information, police rounded them up for interrogation, which led the police to expose the gang of thieves, who had committed a dozen thefts.

The accused were identified as Deepak Kumar, who was a major. Others were identified as Anand Kumar, Shivraj, Vijay Kumar, Jaswinder Singh, Sukhwinder Singh and Rohit Kumar.

Confirming the facts, Mansa Senior Superintendent of Police HS Mann said their arrest had come as a relief to the city residents as they were so notorious that after committing burglaries, they used to stick posters at the place where the crime had occurred. The posters used abusive language and challenged the police to nab them, he informed.

Speaking further, the Mansa SSP said all the accused belonged to poor families and four of them were schoolgoing children.

Lying to their parents that they were going to attend some religious congregation (Jagran), they would committ the crime, police informed.

The police has recovered recharge coupons worth Rs 31,650, a moped and some other articles from their possession.

Meanwhile, police is hopeful of recovering more articles with the arrest of Rohit Kumar, who is still at large.

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Protest held against rising prices
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 24
Protesting against the rising prices, members and activists of the General Samaj Party, led by founder of the party Suresh Goyal, today burnt the effigy of the Union Government and held demonstration near Shaheed Bhagat Singh Market here.

The protesters also demanded resignation of the UPA government on the issue.

On the occasion, among others who were present included organising secretary of the party Parkash Singh Sahota, district president Surjit Singh, Jarnail Singh, Sukhmander Singh and Rani Kaur.

A deputation of the party also submitted a memorandum to the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) to forward the same to the President of India for asking the Union Government to initiate steps to control the rising prices and lessen the burden of the common man.

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Five-month-old dies, family baffled
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 24
After the death of her five-month old son Sukhjot Singh, Gurpreet Kaur, a school teacher from Ludhiana, was seen wailing at the Women and Children’s Hospital here on Friday.

She was also seen asking her parents to get the matter reported to the police. However, her parents took her to their home here along with the body of the deceased boy.

Sat Pal Singh, the father of Gurpreet Kaur, said she had come here to meet them.

Her son had been vomiting, due to which they brought the boy to the hospital in the morning where a doctor prescribed some medicines.

After that they went to home where they administered medicine to the boy who after some time started having difficulty in breathing. So they decided to take him to the hospital again, he added.

On the other hand, the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) of the Women and Children’s Hospital Dr BS Gill, when contacted, said that as per the version of the child specialist, who examined and diagnosed the child, the boy had died due to aspiration and had been brought dead to the hospital. 

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Probe sought into foeticide

Bathinda: Sadhu Ram Kusla, Project Officer (under suspension), PNDT Cell, Bathinda, on Friday wrote a letter to the chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, New Delhi, to get the investigations done about the circumstances in which 75,000 foetuses had been eliminated from January 2010 to October 2010 in various districts of Punjab. He also demanded action against officils concerned. — TNS

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Panel set up to examine controversial ‘granth’

Chandigarh, December 24
The state of Punjab has constituted a committee to examine the controversial “Bhav Sagar Samunder Amarbani Granth” penned by Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara. The decision to constitute the committee, in compliance with the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions, was communicated to the Full Bench headed by Justice MM Kumar.

The five-member committee comprises Prof Balwant Singh Dhillon of GND University, Amritsar, Jodh Singh of Punjabi University, Naresh Saini, Thakur Das Ranjan of Ludhiana and Darshan Singh of the Ram Darbar area in Chandigarh. The committee will carry out a thorough study of the controversial “granth” and submit a report by March 31.

The three-judge Bench had earlier elaborated that the committee should comprise two experts on Sikhism and two on Hinduism. — TNS

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SSD girl selected for international Red Cross meet

Bathinda, December 24
Harleen Kaur, a student of local SSD Girls' College, has been selected as the only delegate from India for the Asia Pacific Red Cross Red Crescent Youth Leaders' forum 2010, which is going to be held at Hong Kong from 24-28 December this year.

Being an international youth leaders' forum, it will be a platform of the Red Cross/Red Crescent youth leaders to share and exchange their experiences and views in a wide array of humanitarian and movement issues like climate change, disaster risk reduction, HIV/AIDS, strategy 2020, youth leadership, etc.

The SSD Sabha president Parmod Mittal, college president, Nand Lal Garg and college secretary PK Gupta congratulated her on the achievement.

Youth Red Cross counsellor Monika Kapoor and the college principal Parminder Kaur also hailed her success saying that she had made the college management and faculty proud of her achievement. — TNS

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Nine more jaundice cases reported

Bathinda, December 24
As many as nine new patients were tested suffering from jaundice at the Civil Hospital here today while private doctors sent the report of four new jaundice cases to the district health authorities. Thus the total number of jaundice cases today rose to 219 in the Bathinda city.

However, the blood samples of jaundice patients, sent by local district health authorities some days ago to the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, for testing could not be tested till today as the Medical College authorities do not have testing kit which is yet to be received from Delhi, according to district family welfare officer Dr Dharampal Singh Sekhon here.

Sekhon said all the 11 water samples, sent by the district health authorities to the State Public Health Laboratory, had passed the test.

However, the results of eight water samples, collected from the city on Wednesday, were still awaited. — TNS

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Tribune Impact
Extortionist cop still at large, raids on to nab him
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, December 24
Police have registered a criminal case of corruption, extortion, illegal detention and torture against inspector Satnam Singh, former in-charge of the CIA-Staff (Moga) and raided his residence here, this morning. However, he reportedly fled just a few minutes before the police raided his house.

The FIR was registered against him under sections 323, 342, 385 of the IPC and section 13 (2) of Prevention of Corruption Act- 1988 at the police station (City-I) of Moga, late last night.

On Friday in the morning at about 5.45 am, as many as 20 policemen raided his house situated here. The raids were also conducted on a couple of locations at Faridkot and one of his possible hideouts but he could not be arrested till the filing of this news report.

The SSP of Moga Sneh Deep Sharma revealed to The Tribune, “We have lodged the FIR against Satnam Singh and are in the process of conducting investigation into the allegations against him.” It may be mentioned that Justice Zora Singh of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana directed the SSP to register an FIR against him last week. In a judicial inquiry conducted by the Chief Judicial Magistrate Karunesh Kumar Kakkar, he was found guilty of illegally detaining and torturing a local chemist Apaar Singh at a local police station. The CJM opined in his report, “I am of the opinion that prima facie, Apaar Singh was found to be in illegal custody of inspector Satnam Singh, in-charge, CIA staff (Moga).”

Earlier, The Tribune in its news report, ‘A cop or an extortionist’, published on the front page of the newspaper on February 5 had exposed the nefarious design of the police to extort money from the local chemists by threatening them to slap cases against them under the NDPS Act.

After this news report, Satnam Singh was suspended from the service and a departmental inquiry was initiated against him, which was still in progress. He was presently under suspension and posted at the police lines at Faridkot. A warrant officer of the High Court rescued Apaar Singh, alias Bittu, who was allegedly tortured by this cop from the clutches of the local police on September 23, last year. Apaar Singh was detained by the CIA Staff when he went there on September 21, last year, to enquire about his brothers, running a drug store, who were picked up by the police for allegedly possessing psychotropic drugs without valid papers. Family members of the three brothers filed a habeas corpus writ petition in the High Court, in which, it was alleged that the police had demanded Rs 50,000 from them to release the three persons. The High Court ordered a judicial probe in the incident.

On the other hand, the local chemists had also alleged against this cop that he devised the method of ‘recovery of mysterious powder’ to register criminal cases against them. Interestingly, in a couple of chemical reports of the powder conducted by the state forensic laboratory, nothing serious was found except the composition of chemicals used in manufactured drugs, which were normally sold to patients on the prescription of doctors.

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Minor sodomised
Parents, school in war of words
Our Correspondent

Ferozepur, December 24
The ongoing controversy regarding the case of alleged sodomy of a minor child studying in a local convent school by his seniors seems to have snowballed into a major issue with the parents demanding stringent action against the school students involved.

While talking to the media here, Aman Sharma, the child’s father, accused the school authorities of not being serious towards their grievance not withstanding the registration of an FIR.

Sharma said earlier they had reached a compromise keeping in mind the future of the children. However, since the school authorities failed to take action as promised by them in the agreement, they had no choice but to take up the matter once again, he said.

The Organisation for Children Education and Development, an NGO working in the field of education, has also taken up the issue with the district authorities. The school authorities said the school has been doing everything possible to resolve the matter. However, now the matter was sub-judice and is being investigated by the police.

About the action against the students named in the FIR, the school authorities said the students have been placed under permanent suspension until they are proved innocent.

Sister Vandana, principal, said the child’s parents reached a compromise with the parents of those students whose name appeared in the FIR twice, but backed out later both the times. The school has carried out all the necessary investigation at its own level to trace out any child or group of students involved in such activity. Nothing discriminating has come to the fore against any student as yet, she said.

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Elders’ Day
Retired police officials honoured
Our Correspondent

Ferozepur, December 24
Elders’ Day was celebrated at the local Police Lines here during which the police officials led by SSP Dr Kaustubh Sharma listened to the grievances of the retired police officials.

On the occasion, Surjit Singh (SP) Headquarters besides other senior police officials were also present.

Harbans Lal Sharma, chairman, Retired Policemen Association, said they have demanded that a regular doctor should be posted at the Police Lines dispensary besides dependant of the policemen, who died during service, should be absorbed within the department.

The SSP assured the pensioners and retired policemen that their genuine demands would be looked into and they would be invited for official functions as well. On the occasion, some retired police officials were honoured and two minutes silence was also observed in the memory of those, who died while fighting the subversive forces.

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Fog takes its first toll
Our Correspondent

Abohar, December 24
The dense fog took its first toll here recently. Rajinder Singh of Seed Farm colony sustained serious injuries as a privately owned bus hit him on the railway overbridge on the Malout road. He was rushed to the civil hospital but the doctors referred him to the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College Hospital (Faridkot). He died on the way, sources said.

Meanwhile, one Rajinder, a washing soap supplier, had stopped at the RoB to help some persons, who were hurt in a mishap. Since visibility was poor due to fog, he was hit by a bus during the rescue operation, sources said.

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Dr Harsha Bhola is PCMS chief

Ferozepur, December 24
Dr Harsha Bhola was unanimously elected as the president of the Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association, Ferozepur Branch, during the elections for the same held here at the local civil hospital.

Other office-bearers, who were also unanimously elected included Dr Rajinder Manchanda and Dr Rohit Singhal, both as vice-presidents, Dr Kamal Arora as general secretary, Dr Gurmej Goraya as finance secretary, Dr Pardeep Aggarwal and Dr Vanita Bhullar as press secretary.

Later, in the representation to Dr Kanwaljit Singh Kakkar, Civil Surgeon (Ferozepur) the newly elected president Dr Harsha Bhola highlighted the problems being encountered by the doctors in the local civil hospital and other government hospitals in the surrounding areas.

Bhola said the Association urged Kakkar to get more EMOs posted at the local civil hospital to ensure smooth functioning and facilitate the patients. He assured that the issue pertaining to deficiency of the doctors would be taken up with the authorities concerned soon. — OC

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BJP leader takes party workers to task

Sriganganagar, December 24
BJP workers came under bashing during the two-day visit of the region by the state president Arun Chaturvedi. While advising them to learn lessons from the Congress workers, he was quoted having asked his party men, “Have you ever heard the Congress workers indulging in loose talk over the role of senior leaders of 125 years old party. Some of you had been airing your grievances against the senior party (BJP) functionaries, he reportedly resented during a meeting at Sriganganagar.” Chaturvedi advised the workers to bring forward grievances, if any, during the closed-door meetings and avoid discussing the same outside.

The state president was received at Hanumangarh by the Lok Sabha member Arjun Ram Meghwal, former MP Nihal Chand, district president Kanshi Ram Godara, Panchayat Samiti president Hardeep Singh and Surjit Kaur chairperson of the local Municipal Council. Speaking at the party workers meeting, he dubbed the two-year rule of Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan as ‘total failure on all fronts’, even as the government praised itself on the eve of completing two years in the office. —OC

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Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para games 
Jagseer Singh clinches gold
Our Correspondent

Sriganganagar/Abohar, December 24
Arjuna Awardee athlete Jagseer Singh, who emerged as the only Indian gold medal winner in the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para games and silver medal winner Sandeep Singh Mann were accorded a warm welcome in their home district Hanumangarh today.

However, people in Abohar sub-division felt dismayed as Sanjeev Kumar of village Telupura located near Khuyiansarwar could not enter even the quarter final in badminton this time.

He had earlier excelled in some global events but in Guangzhou Sanjeev Kumar finished with 0-1-3 only playing against Truong Nqoc Binh of Vietnam in Men’s singles BMW3 category in 16th round/ 6th match that was held at Tianhe Gymnasium court-4 on December 13.

Binh trounced Sanjeev Kumar with 2-21-21. On returning home, Sanjeev Kumar explained to his fans that there was some technical problem in the wheelchair that he used during the match.

Notably, Jagseer Singh had won gold in Men’s triple jump (F46) and bagged silver medal in high jump.

He has qualified for participation in the World Athletics championship to be held in January in New Zealand. He has become the first para athlete from India for participation in the 2012 Para Olympics as well. Another athlete from Hanumangarh Sandeep Singh Mann bagged silver medal in Men's 400 meter race.

Sharing their experience, Jagseer Singh and Sandeep Singh told their teachers/coaches and officials of the Rajasthan State Employees Federation that out of 102 entries from India, there were only 15 women.

The highest number of entries 42 was in athletics followed by 13 in badminton. Jagseer Singh was the only gold winner from India besides silver while another silver medal was added to the total tally of 14 medals by Sandeep Singh Mann.

India had nine bronze medals in its basket, two of which were bagged by women. Pakistan ranked ahead of India with two gold medals and silver and bronze one each. The Pakistan's contingent had no woman player. 

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Medical camps to mark freedom fighter’s death anniversary
Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, December 24
Veteran freedom fighter and versatile personality Lala Sunam Rai of Fazilka despite being born with a silver spoon in his mouth jumped into freedom movement. Lala Sunam Rai was the first postgraduate (MA in English) in then united district Ferozepur. He turned down the British government's offer to join the prestigious Indian Civil Services (ICS) (Now Indian Administrative Services) (IAS) on their condition to leave the freedom struggle.

Born on November 23, 1896, Lala Sunam Raihe passed out his degree in MA from Mission College Lahore in 1918. At the age of 23 years, he chose to actively participate in Non-Cooperation Movement of 1919. He was for the first time jailed on this account. Thereafter, he participated in all the agitation launched by the Congress during the freedom struggle. He was incarcerated in the Central Jail Multan (Now in Pakistan) continuously for three years for participating in the Quit India Movement of 1942. Due to constant torture and low quality food in jail, he developed Asthma.

Due to his diligence, he remained editor of Daily 'Vande Matram' newspaper of Lala Lajpat Rai and was associated as translator of famous vernacular 'Harijan' newspaper of Mahatma Gandhi. He was also special correspondent of The Tribune while it was being published from Lahore in the pre-partition days till his demise on December 25, 1959.

Lala Ji was a close associate of Dr Sat Pal, the acclaimed hero of Jallianwala Bagh massacre and first speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. He had close links with Ajit Singh, paternal uncle of martyr Bhagat Singh and his family members.

Being a strong supporter of 'Swadeshi Movement', a huge 'holi' of imported clothes was burnt under his leadership in Fazilka for the first time. As Sunam Rai was persistently involved in the welfare of harijans, he was boycotted by the upper class for pretty long time.

As staunch supporter of the high ideas of simple living and high thinking, he was actively associated with the Indian National Congress and remained as executive member of All India Congress Committee. He also played a big role in eradicating social evils and in field of education. He was the founder principal of Sain Dass Anglo Sanskrit High School (Jalandhar), Mahatma Hans Raj High School (Bathinda), DAV High School (Sriganganagar), DAV High School (Sirsa), Rama Mandi (Jaito) and Rampura Phul. He donated a major part of his salary for the development of the institution, in which, he worked as a founder head.

Lala Ji was the co-founder of Vidhwa Hiteshi Sabha of Jalandhar along with freedom fighter Pt Mool Raj Sharma popularly known as 'Gandhi of Doaba'. The duo strived for the uplift of the young widows in those good old days when being a widow was considered as a social curse.

Lala Ji never believed in getting any benefit on account of his being a freedom fighter in the post independence era. Likewise, his family members followed the same ideas and did not get any such benefit. A municipal Family Planning Health Centre was opened in his memory in 1960, which was later converted into Lala Sunam Rai MA Memorial Welfare Centre, which is being run by a leading NGO Social Welfare Society. A free cutting tailoring centre is being run in the slum locality of the town. The Social Welfare Society has decided to hold a free Sugar check-up camp to commemorate his death anniversary on December 25.

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