L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Woman charred to death
Husband had lit up a matchstick to smoke cigarette at home
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Unanswered questions

Though the victim’s father does not suspect any foul play in the incident, it has left many questions unanswered:

  • Ashok’s version could be concocted as he wasn’t present in the room when the incident occurred
  • Why did the victim’s husband flee the scene after the incident despite sustaining severe burn injuries?
  • Why didn’t the couple immediately exit the room to save themselves?
  • Could a solitary lit matchstick cause a fire big enough to result in a fatality?

Ludhiana, January 6
A 19-year-old woman was charred to death after the burning matchstick her husband had lit up to smoke a cigarette caused a fire in her one room accommodation in the EWS Colony near Jamalpur Road here today. Her husband, who fled the scene, also sustained severe burns.

Meanwhile the division no 7 police has launched a massive operation to locate the whereabouts of the woman’s husband. Teams were also dispatched to visit hospitals to search for him.

The victim, identified as Koshalya Devi from Arrara in Bihar, was married to Suman, a daily wage labourer, also from Bihar, six months ago. Though the police suspects it might be a case of immolation, the victim’s father, Ashok Kumar, has not complained of any foul play in the incident.

According to Ashok, Koshalya was dead against her husband’s habit of chain smoking. “Both of them used to quarrel over the issue but Suman never physically assaulted my daughter,” he stated.

The incident took pace today morning after Suman decided to stay at home due to the severely cold weather.

“Sitting idle he lit a matchstick to smoke a cigarette, but his wife snatched the burning matchstick from him and threw it on the floor. The couple was unaware it fell on a quilts on a bed and in no time the room caught fire. Koshalya tried to douse the flames but her clothes caught fire. After failing to put out the fire Suman went downstairs and screamed for help”, claimed Ashok.

Dimple Sharma, owner of the accommodation, stated Suman also suffered burn injuries.

Residents of the locality quickly rushed to the room with water buckets from their houses to save Koshalya and managed to douse the flames, but it was too late as the woman was charred to death. In the meantime a panic stricken Suman fled the scene.

The police officer investigating the incident, Hakam Singh, stated though the cops had recorded Ashok’s statement a probe would be conducted from all angles, adding the theory of immolation could not yet be ruled out. The police said the entire story behind the incident would be clear once Suman is apprehended. It is also investigating whether some inflammable liquid was poured on the victim to set her afire.

The victim’s body was later taken to the Civil Hospital for conducting an autopsy.


Power cuts on industry reimposed
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 6
With considerable increase in the demand for power during the past few days, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has reimposed power cuts on mixed feeders in urban areas (residential localities) while also slapping restrictions on power intensive industries with effect from today.

According to instructions issued by PSPCL headquarters, industries fed from category 2 feeders will observe one weekly day off (from 8 am to 9pm) and arc/induction furnace, rolling mills fed from category 2 and 3 feeders will have two weekly day offs (from 7 am to 9pm) with immediate effect.

Even though the scheduled power cut on mixed urban feeders remains at two hours daily on papers, practically three to four hour power cut in most of the city localities has become a routine for the past a few days. Power supply is cut off at least three to four times or even more for a period of 60 to 30 minutes without any prior information.

Sources in the PSPCL attribute the rise in demand to power intensive industries once again turning towards the state sector as the power being purchased by them till now under open access system from outside agencies has become costlier. Power generation from hydel projects has also decreased to some extent, and in the prevailing situation, some restraints on power supply were necessitated.

PSPCL officials said the state never had surplus power even when power cuts were completely relaxed. "The situation was comparatively comfortable only because the power intensive industries were purchasing power from other sources under open access system, which they have now stopped and gap between availability of power and demand has again increased."



Weekly-offs condemned
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, January 6
Industry has strongly condemned the move of the Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPC) to re-impose weekly-offs. One day weekly-off has been made compulsory for industries under category II, while two weekly-offs have been made mandatory for power intensive industries from today.

The move has been taken due to the increase in power demand from the past few days.

Badish K Jindal, chairman of The Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India, Punjab, said the problem was that PSPCL was not aware of the consumption.

"Yesterday, in one of the letters issued by the corporation it was mentioned that they have surplus power supply and overnight there is shortage in power supply," said Jindal.

"On one hand corporation is implementing power cuts, while on the other hand Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission has sent a proposal to hike power tariff. When they can’t provide us enough power then they don’t any right to increase the tariff. Industry is already facing several problems and weekly-offs has only worsened the situation,” said Rajeev Jain, general secretary of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

Ajit Aggarwal, an induction furnace owner, said if this was the situation in winters, they wonder what would happen in summers. "Our industry always suffers due to power crisis. Every summer two days weekly-offs is imposed on us and this time it has been started in winters also," he added.

Another industrialist Vinay Kansal, a hosiery manufacturer added that industry was already reeling under numerous problems and to top it all weekly-offs have only added to their woes.

“How will industry survive in such a situation? We will be left with no other option, either to shut down or move out from here,” he said.



I-T raids on vegetable wholesalers
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
As part of the nationwide raids on vegetable wholesalers, the Income Tax Department sleuths swooped on godowns of the city's two main vegetable wholesalers at Salem Tabri here this evening.

Raids were conducted keeping in view the escalating prices of vegetables that has led to the hoarding of commodities by dealers, who were making a fast buck while the common man was suffering.

A team of officials headed by RK Goyal, Director, Income Tax (investigation wing), raided two vegetables dealers, namely Jagdish Rai Avinash Chander and Chaudhary Ram Chaman Lal, and another concern Subhash Chander and Company.

Paramjit Singh, Assistant Director of the Income Tax (investigation wing), giving information, said they conducted raids on three cold stores and two shops of these wholesalers. "We are checking the account books of these wholesalers and there is a possibility of finding some discrepancies in the same. However, the exact details would be worked out later," he said.

Adding further, he said the raids were conducted as there were reports that such dealers were hoarding vegetables, especially onions whose prices had spiralled in the recent past. This was further leading to price rise. "These wholesalers were taking undue benefits. They were storing the vegetables which was leading to price rise and were also evading taxes," added Paramjit.

In Ludhiana, raids were conducted at the two wholesalers, as the department was suspicious about them. Raids started at about 5 pm and were being carried out till the filing of this report.



Kids unsafe in city schools
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

"My child studies in one of the well-guarded schools of the city. One day, my son, who is a student of Class II, came home and told me that an “uncle” had come to pick him up from the school. Apparently, the man told my son that I had sent him to pick him up. The child was about to go with the man when suddenly he realised that I had strictly told him to wait in the school if I get late. I don’t know who that man was but had the child left with him, God knows what would have happened. What was security guards doing when that unidentified man tried to lure my child? Next day, I informed school authorities about the incident but to no avail. The security arrangements are still the same. — A mother

Ludhiana, January 6
City’s children are not safe in their schools. Reason: Lack of proper security arrangements within and outside the campuses. Following a number of complaints from anxious parents, Ludhiana Tribune decided to do a reality check and came out with frightening facts as well.

A team of The Tribune visited a few elite city schools located in Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar, Model Town, Civil Lines, Humbran Road and Dugri and found that none of these have foolproof security measures in place. It is very easy to gain entry into almost any institution. Gaining entry on the school premises is all more easier during the opening and closing time and also, during events like seminars, fetes, inter-school competitions and other functions.

Shockingly, the Tribune team roamed on the campuses of a number of schools during working hours without inviting any attention from the school authorities and security guards. From the office to play grounds, nursery sections, school cafeteria, and even washrooms; all areas are easily accessible.

On being questioned or stopped, a simple reply that one is on an official visit to meet the principal suffices. Thereafter, no one bothers about your presence on the school premises.

The team even tried to engage a few students in conversation during working hours and did not face much difficulty.

However, the most shocking incident came to light during the closing time of an elite convent school.

The team, that was standing outside the main gate of the school since long, decided to walk into the campus where parents had gathered to pick their wards up. The team spent more than 30 minutes at the main gate in the presence of the security guard without being questioned.

Those who had come to pick up their wards, were neither being questioned nor asked to produce any proof or ID card before taking the child home from the school.

The situation was same in all schools. Despite their presence outside and even on the campuses, the Tribune team was not questioned by the security staff.

When brought to the notice of parents, the latter condemned the inadequate security arrangements in schools. ‘‘It is shocking. We send our children to schools thinking they would return home safe. But we really don’t know whether they would return home safely,’’ said Sukhjeet Kaur, a parent.



No trace yet of over 100 kids missing in city
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
Even as the body of five-year-old Khushpreet, who was kidnapped in Chandigarh on December 21, was eventually recovered, there are over a hundred children like him who were reported missing in the city but whose whereabouts remains a mystery. While the parents of these kids, many of them presumed to having been abducted, are going through constant trauma, the local police continues to grope in the dark.

Pawan Kumar, a resident of the city’s Puranan Bazar locality, whose 12-year-old son Gaurav went missing on the morning of October 28, 2007, has met a dead end as, despite his best efforts, he has failed to locate his son. The boy was reportedly playing outside his home when he was reportedly kidnapped.

With no hope in sight to be reunited with Gaurav, Pawan expressed his grouse against the cops and complained they did not help him in tracing his mentally challenged son.

Pawan is not the only one who nurses a grudge against the police. The hopes of parents and relatives of as many as 103 missing children to recover their loved ones is gradually fading even as they continue to be concerned about the well being of their kids.

In some the cases, the parents have even levelled kidnapping allegation against their acquaintances for abducting their children. However, filing an FIR has also not yielded any result as in majority of the case the accused could not be traced of came out innocent during the course of investigation.

Pawan expressed his apprehension that as his child was mentally retarded, he could have been used either for beggary or his vital organs might have been sold. The very thought of such incidents prompted him , to file an application under the Right to Information Act, seeking details regarding missing and kidnapped children in Ludhiana.

Pawan has the valid reason fear as the city has been witness the killing and dreaded sexual assault on children near Old Jail some years ago, the memory of which continue to haut the city residents.

"I’ve been searching for my son Gaurav for the past three years but, despite all my efforts, I’ve always met a dead end. Gaurav was the only bother of two sisters who are in a state of shock ever since he left home. Probably the criminals who abducted him would be using them to generate money by odd ends or probably their organs is being sold or I am afraid that they would not have met with the same fait as the women and children of Nithari did" said Pawan.

Deputy police commissioner Yurinder Singh said: "The police under the commissionerate system is laying special emphasis on the cases of missing people. The additional deputy commissioner of police (crime) has been handed over the task of looking into cases of missing children from a fresh angle."



Cops rope in ‘Gabbar’ to create traffic awareness
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Schools jump onto the bandwagon

After KVM School received accolades for setting up “help groups” dedicated to spreading awareness about traffic rules, other city schools have begun joining the league. Currently 30 schools have extended their support to traffic police for teaching their teacher a lesson in traffic awareness. The local police also plans to conduct a poster making competition on traffic awareness. The winner will receive an attractive prize and the police will also prepare a hoarding of the award winning poster and install it at various street intersections.

Catch ’em young!

“Catching them young” appears to be the ‘mantra’ of the city’s traffic cops. While elders care two hoots about following traffic rules, the police is targeting children to make them aware about the hazards traffic violations. "If children can force their parents to buy cars, they can also persuade them to obey rules," observed traffic inspector Pardeep Sandhu.

Ludhiana, January 6
The Bollywood archvillain of yore, ‘Gabbar Singh’, is all set to give nightmares to traffic violators. In a pioneering move, said to be the brainchild of police commissioner Ishwar Singh, the dialogues in the 1970s Hindi blockbuster ‘Sholay will be used to instill awareness among commuters on traffic rules.

For this purpose the well-known Gabbar dialogue ‘Ooo Sambha’ has been dubbed by mimicry artistes in order to inculcate traffic discipline. The police has put up public announcement systems at some of the major city intersections that remain chockablock throughout the day.

However, getting the whole work done was not a joyride for the police, which is reeling under a severe funds crunch.

"For us the primary task was to get hold of a good mimicry artiste who could verbalize the dialogue in a similar tone. Fortunately we found some good artistes and they agreed to work with us voluntarily for a noble cause. After several grilling session of recordings, we managed to compile a series of well-known dialogues that were mimicked for traffic awareness," said additional deputy police commissioner Sajjan Singh Cheema. Sources said the police was already making announcements at some of the major street intersections. However it did not catch the attention of commuters largely due to the fact that of shabby and ordinary voice quality of the announcer.

The sources added even the police commissioner had expressed disappointment over the method of conveying the message of traffic discipline. However, refusing to take the credit of bringing a change in the age-old policing setup, Ishwar said: "It was a team effort. I appreciate the work of officers who are working hard to improve the traffic scenario in the city. Without the selfless dedication of my subordinates we wouldn’t have been able to bring about changes”.



RTE Act yet to be implemented in city’s private schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
Though the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act has come into force, private schools of the city and the Punjab State Education Advisory Boards established by the state government have failed to implement the Act.

AS per the provisions in the Act says only a four-year-old child can seek admission to nursery. But, schools have been found to be giving admission to children as young as 2.6 years.

The Act also bars the schools from conducting written tests and interviews of the children and their parents for admission to the nursery class. But most of the schools, barring a few, have been taking interviews of the tiny tots and their parents. Some have even taken written tests of the kids.

All schools, too, are flouting the RTE’s direction on school bags. According to the Act, schools have been directed to do away with school bags for those studying in classes I and II.

Majority of the schools are also found to be overlooking the RTE directive on giving preference to students’ siblings during the admission process. At least 18 complaints in this regard were reported from a school during the ongoing admission process. Many similar complaints were reported from other schools as well.

Many school heads denied defying the Act on these grounds. Numerous others expressed ignorance about the Act.

However, majority of them accepted that the direction on 25 per cent reservation in schools for the students from economically weaker section was not being followed. They reasoned that due to the lack of awareness, members of the economically weaker section were not coming forward to seek admission for their wards in private schools, even though there was provision in their schools.

A few school heads even argued that the implementation of the directive is not possible unless the government comes forward to provide assistance.

“The government should provide us with a list of EWS students,” remarked Paramjit Kaur, principal, BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School.

Another principal said a few kids of those belonging to EWS were studying the school. “How many more seats should we give to them” she asked?

However, parents had a different tale to narrate.

“I have received many complaints from parents of EWS students that schools have denied admission to their wards. But when we approached the schools, the authorities negated the parents’ claim,” said Rakesh Jain, vice-president, CBSE Parents’ Association for Educational Reforms, Punjab.

“Allegations and counter-allegations cannot solve this situation. The government needs to come up with a concrete plan in case it wants to ensure proper implementation of the RTE,” Jain remarked.

“We have been telling parents to come to us in case of any defiance of the RTE come to their notice but unfortunately, parents fear for their wards’ future and choose to keep mum, lest their children face trouble at the school,” Jain remarked.



Roads in bad shape
Social activists observe protest week
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 6
Activists of a few social organisations have decided to observe the “Road Safety Week” as a protest week. Upset over the apathetic attitude of Public Works Department (Bridge and Roads) officials towards the construction and repair of roads, members of a few social, constitutional and religious organisations lit candles on potholed roads.

The members said the safety week was of no significance for them till the roads in the town were in bad shape.

They said condition of the Pohir, Jagera, Dhulkot roads, Dehlon-Sahnewal, Dehlon-Pakhowal and Chhapar roads was pitiable.

“Potholes on these roads are bigger than the tyres of heavy vehicles,” they added. Commuters have to take alternative routes to reach their respective destinations. The route through Rachhin, Brahampur and Lohatbaddi is used to reach Sandaur.

The diversion of heavy vehicles coming from neighbouring states has aggravated the problem. The drivers prefer tough terrain to avoid tax authorities and check barriers. The increase in the number of private vehicles and school buses has further put burden on these roads. “The deteriorating condition of roads causes huge monetary loss by way of extra fuel expenses and maintenance charges,” said the members.

Tarsem Garg, patron, City Welfare Society, SP Sofat, president, Rotary Club, Dr Ravinder Sharma, former president, Bimal Kumar Sharma, councillor, Balwinder Verma and Jagjit Singh Jajjie, patrons, Shree Kalgidhar Foundation, said the protest had been organised after the higher authorities, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Transport Minister Master Mohan Lal, failed to impress upon the officials to take remedial steps.



Pvt college teachers without salary for eight months
Threaten to launch agitation
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 6
To protest against the “apathetic attitude” of the state government towards their “demands”, activists of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) have decided to launch an agitation.

Activists rued that they had not received salaries for the past eight months.

Office-bearers of the organisation led by Vinay Sofat, finance secretary of the state body, said employees of 136 private aided colleges of the state would launch an agitation to protest against the apathetic attitude of authorities concerned in implementing recommendations of various statutory bodies of the Union governments.

Referring to a decision taken at a meeting of office-bearers of the union, Sofat said the office-bearers had drafted a movement that would not affect studies. However, the agitation would be intensified if their demands were not met, he added.

Other demands of the union included implementation of Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) for DPE’S and librarians, extension of refresher courses and lifting of ban on recruitment of teachers.

Without salaries for the past eight months, employees of private colleges of the region are a harried lot. Even grocery shop owners refuse to give ration on credit. Teachers have to borrow money to pay power, water and sewerage bills.

Activists regretted the SAD-BJP alliance, which had promised to pay pension, gratuity and leave encashment to the staff, had failed to meet its salary obligations.

While the Union government led by Dr Manmohan Singh focused on improvement of higher education.



Schools flay govt move on water, sewage charges
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
Accusing the Punjab government of according them “stepmotherly treatment”, schools affiliated with the Punjab State Education Board have strongly condemned the former’s proposal to levy commercial tariffs for water supply and sewage on them.

"The government's move to impose commercial tariffs for sewage and water supply on schools affiliated with PSEB is condemnable, more so when government run and aided schools in the state are enjoying domestic tariffs. Affiliated schools don’t get any grant or aid from the government and are serving the country independently," said Rajinder Sharma, president of the Association of Punjab School Education Board Affiliated Schools, Punjab.

"Charges for sewage and water supply to PSEB affiliated schools should be treated in the domestic category, since these schools are striving hard to serve society and eliminate illiteracy," said association members.

Sharma stated a delegation of the association had met state local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia in this regard.

"We told him how PSEB affiliated schools have played a prominent role in development in the state. We also requested the minister to help us," said NK Bangia, the association’s chief patron.

Kali reportedly assured members of the association delegation their problem related to commercial sewage and water tariffs would be resolved at the earliest.

Also present at the meeting were, besides Bangia, association senior vice-president MD Sabbarwal, Jalandhar district president Lovel Kalia, school principals Subhash Chander and Gurjeet Singh Shembi along with other representatives from various districts of the state.



Emphasis on reaching out to elderly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
"Joint family system is good, but unfortunately the gap between the East and the West is narrowing,” said Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) while inaugurating a seminar on “Senior Citizens: Health and Financial Security,” here today.

The seminar was organised by the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association, Ludhiana, (SCWAL) in collaboration with the department of human development, College of Home Science PAU and Federation of Senior Citizens’ Associations (FEDSEN), Punjab, under the aegis of HelpAge India.

Dr Kang emphasised upon the need to create awareness about health, financial and socio-psychological problems of the elderly. Lauding the efforts of the association, he said taking effective and positive steps at all levels to help the senior citizens in overcoming the problems of isolation, poverty and declining health was a necessity.

Dr IJS Jaiswal, head, human development, PAU, said people must respect the elderly.

Bhavneshwar Sharma, head of HelpAge India, Punjab, said there were 85 million old people in the country and the number would go up to 177 million by 2025.

He also said 90 per cent people from the unorganised sector were facing problems of economic insecurity, no gratuity and no pension.

Besides, there were problems of health, emotional neglect, isolation and abuse faced by the elderly.

DS Grewal, executive president of the FEDSEN, highlighted the achievements of the association and said it was important to address the issues of health and financial security, which were crucial for the peace of mind and happiness in the modern age.

Dr LS Chawla, former Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences, chaired the technical session on healthcare.

Earlier, president of SCWAL SP Karkara welcomed the chief guest.

On the release of the first issue of the newsletter “Blissful Years” by Dr Kang, Karkara said it would be published quarterly and the news and views about issues concerning the elderly would be carried in the newsletter.



‘Include greens in diet for health security’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
A state-level monthly meeting of the PAU Kisan Club was held in the Dr Borlaug Wheat auditorium at the PAU wherein a large number of farmers and farm women members of the club participated.

Experts of the PAU provided technical information on new technologies for crops and allied agricultural ventures. Addressing the meeting, Dr JK Brar of the PAU’s department of foods and nutrition said women and children suffer from anaemia. She said we must include green leafy vegetables in our diet. A daily consumption of 300-400 gm of these has been recommended. She said vegetables were protective foods, as these supplied nutrients, vitamins, minerals and roughage which were essential ingredients of a healthy diet. She suggested that farmers should develop a kitchen garden for the production of vegetables, fruits etc for domestic use.

Dr Brar said milk and milk products’ consumption had increased in recent times. She asked the participants to do physical work to get a good health. Dr RK Sharma said dairy farming could supplement farmers' income. He provided tips to protect young calves from severe cold.

Dr CJS Pannu, coordinator research (engineering), provided the knowhow about the recent farm machinery developed by the PAU.



Philanthropists felicitated at govt school
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 6
Philanthropists, extending financial help to improve education standard in government institutes, were felicitated at a function organised at Government Senior Secondary School, Kalakh, yesterday.

Principal Hari Krishan Mayer presided over and Rajvinder Singh Raju was guest of honour.

Acknowledging the contribution made by village residents and NRIs to improve the standard of education in the institute, Mayer claimed that students and school staff had responded by putting in more labour.

Besides improvement in facilities, a corresponding progress in academic results and achievement in extracurricular activities was also observed.

Organisers felicitated Raju, who besides donating Rs 1 lakh for construction of lavatories, announced to give award worth Rs 5,100 to toppers of all board examinations every year.

Manjit Singh USA, Harpreet Singh, Babbu Bursha, Sardool Singh, Vicky (Canada) and Kamal (Canada) were also felicitated.



Warning to fertilizer distributors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
Chief agriculture officer Dr Rajinder Singh Pandher yesterday issued a warning to distributors in the district who were forcibly selling other farm items with fertilizers to farmers.

Pandher said some distributors were fooling the farming community by selling additional products with fertilizers. He said those found guilty would be taken to the task.

Other co-operatives, including Markfed, Kribhco, IFFCO and Punjab Agro, could also not sell additional products to farmers. He asked farmers to complain immediately against those violating orders.



Woollens, blankets distributed
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 6
The local unit of the Rotary Club celebrated New Year in a unique manner by distributing blankets to the poor and beggars. Dr Bhupinder Singh Bedi, former president, was instrumental in organising the event.

Instead of wasting resources on organising functions to distribute woollens and blankets, a group of Rotarians visited public places, including railway station, bus stand and dharamsala and distributed blankets to the poor and beggars.



Man kills wife, commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 6
A man committed suicide after killing his wife at Kartar Nagar here. Their younger son had gone to the school and their daughter was at house. Eldest son of the couple had gone to meet some relative.

At around 1pm, Hardial Singh (45) took out a wooden stick and hit it on wife’s head in a fit of raze. Lakhwinder Kaur (43), wife of Hardial Singh, died on the spot. Hardial Singh rushed out of the house and consumed some poisonous substance.

He, too, died within seconds. Their daughter told the neighbours about the incident, who in turn informed the police. The police is enquiring into the matter.



Bikers’ gang busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
With the arrest of two persons, the Sudhar police has claimed to have busted a gang of vehicle lifters, who had spread panic in the area with their repeated strikes. The police has recovered a stolen bike and two stolen scooters from their possession.

The arrested persons have been identified as Lakhbir Singh (19), a resident of Waraich village and Jagtar Singh, alias Soni (28), a resident of Hans Kalan village.

The police informed that both arrested persons were drug addicts and committed these crimes for this purpose only.

Ludhiana (Rural) SSP Gursharan Singh Sandhu said the duo had stolen a bike (number PB-48A-0335) from a rural festival at Heran village, near Jagraon, on January 1.

Gagandeep Singh Ghuman, SHO of the Sudhar police station, said the duo was arrested following a tip-off.



Drug peddler nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
The Sudhar Police has arrested one person and recovered 1,700 tablets used as drugs from his possession. The accused, identified as Sukhcharan Singh, alias Charna, a resident of Heran village, used to sell these tablets to spread drug addiction in the area.

Inspector Gagandeep Singh Ghuman, SHO of Sudhar Police Station said Charna was arrested from near Jassowal Kular village yesterday from a police post and 1,700 tablets were recovered from his possession.

Meanwhile, a case under Sections 22, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered against Sukhcharan Singh, alias Charna.

He was produced in the court on Thursday and presently he is in police remand.



National throwball meet begins
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 6
The stage is set for the 33rd edition of the National Throwball Championship slated to be held here at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) campus from January 7 to 9.

AK Sharma, president of the Punjab Throwball Association (PTA), said as many as 22 teams in mens’ section, while 19 outfits in womens’ category would be vying for top honours in the mega event.

More than 600 players, accompanied by officials, would be in the city for the championship.

“All arrangements for the smooth conduct of the event have been completed and participants have started arriving here.

Helpline counters have been put up at the local railway station and the inter-state bus terminal,” said Sharma.

A total of 30 matches have been scheduled for the opening day, Sharma added.

In the last edition of the championship, held at Sriperumpudur in Tamil Nadu, Punjab men and women finished at fourth place, while Delhi men won the title and hosts Tamil Nadu romped home in womens’ section.

Manish Tewari, MP from Ludhiana, will inaugurate the championship tomorrow.

Rajan Gupta, DGP, Punjab, will be the chief guest.

A meeting of the Throwball Federation of India will be held here on January 8 in which presidents and general secretaries of all the affiliated state associations will take part.

President of the national federation, sitting MLA and former minister, Madhya Pradesh, Bala Bachan would chair the meeting, Sharma said.



Table soccer: CS school students bring laurels
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 6
Students of CS International School brought laurels to the school by clinching gold and silver medals in the Indo-Nepal International Table Soccer championship held in Nepal.

Sagar Saini (VII) won silver medal and was declared International Table soccer champion. Jagman (VIII) and Tejpal (VIII) won gold medals, Jagri (VII), Nikhil (V), Jaskaran (VII) also won silver medals.

School management and principal Gagandeep Katoch felicitated the students today for their performance.



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