L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Match brings city to a Halt
Thin attendance in offices Roads wear a deserted look
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
The city faced a near-total shutdown on Wednesday afternoon with all major streets and busy intersections wearing a deserted look soon after the start of the World Cup cricket semifinal match between India and Pakistani in Mohali. Streets that normally witness chaotic traffic during the day were seen near empty with negligible traffic.
Girls cheer for Team India at Government College for Women on Wednesday
Girls cheer for Team India at Government College for Women on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan 

The sporting clash between the two traditional South Asian rival nations brought the much needed respite for local traffic cops, who are forced to inhale smoke emitted by vehicles while managing the unruly traffic flow day in, day out.

“I’ve been managing traffic at Jagraon bridge for nearly a decade, barring those periods when a curfew was imposed, and I’ve never seen the street so empty before. It seems almost the city’s entire population has shifted base and migrated to some other place. All said and done, it has brought us a lot of respite,” said Kamaljit Singh, a traffic cop in charge deputed at the Jagraon bridge. Autorickshaws, the main cause of the traffic chaos, did not ply on the streets after the clock struck 2 pm.

“What’s the use of burning fuel when there’re no passengers around. When almost no one is travelling in the city then there’s no point in running the autos,” said Surinder Kumar, an autorickshaw driver in Simlapuri. Instead of ferrying passengers rickshaw pullers were seen making a beeline in front of stores selling TV sets.

A mad rush was witnessed during the morning when people jostled their way around to reach their respective destinations. Most city resident finished their work before the start of the all-important semifinal match.

Rohit Pabhreja, a hosiery manufacturer, said he visited a bank early in the morning and finished all his important work much before the match was to begin. Salesmen at malls and shopping centres across the city heaved a huge sigh of relief when no customers and window shoppers turned up once the match kicked off.

“Only a few landed at this showroom and made quick purchases while window shoppers did not turn up to harass us,” said a salesman at a leading mall.

Ferozepore Road, considered the city’s lifeline, received 20 per cent of the usual footfall on any given day. Normally the stretch between the Jagraon bridge to the West End mall remains chockablock during the day but today it witnessed a sharp dip after the clock struck 2 pm.

A strange calm prevailed at Bhadaur House which is abuzz with hectic activity on a weekday.

Meanwhile, cutting across the sectarian divide city residents joined hands in offering prayers for the India team’s victory in the match.

Gur Mandi breaks into cheers

As Indian batsman Virendra Sehwag hit five consecutive boundaries, people in the Gur Mandi market broke into a celebration jig and shopkeepers began dancing to the beat of a ‘dhol’ (drum). The latter had made special arrangements for watching the match on a specially installed 42-inch LED screen in the centre of the market. There were similar scenes of celebration in the Akalgarh market in Chaura Bazar and Caliber Plaza near Bhadaur House.

Jumbo cake

Satinder Singh, owner of the Hot Breads eatery, who was busy preparing a 100 kilo cake, said: “Of course India will win and my prayers are with the home team. The cake I’m making will be distributed among city residents if India scores a victory over Pakistan. 

Thin attendance in offices

With people preferring to watch the world cup semifinal between India and Pakistan, government offices in the city, including the offices of the Deputy Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, district Food, Civil Supplies Consumer Affairs and the Civil Surgeon wore a deserted look. For a change, babus were glued to their seats despite the fact that there was no public in the offices in the post-lunch session. The thin attendance at the offices gave the clerical staff a chance to skip offices for short intervals to watch an over or two of the Indian innings on television. Interestingly, the movement registers in all the offices were updated.



‘No disturbance’ for homemakers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Acting like teenagers or any other cricket lover, homemakers in the city are excited to see the match on the TV screen today. Some of them have made plans to see the crucial semifinal on big screens with families and friends at elite clubs, while others have preferred to enjoy the game at home.

In order to avoid “inconvenience” of preparing dinner for the family, homemakers have advanced their schedule. “I am excited since the morning. The lunch and dinner are ready because I don't want any disturbance while watching the match. I am sure India will win the match, so I have prepared special dinner to mark the celebrations, which will be a surprise for the family,” said Anamika, a homemaker.

For Mala Dhanda, Reena Malhotra, Gagan Singh and Shalini, the moments will be simply great while watching match with their family and friends at the Sutlej Club here. "One or two friends will go around 5:45 pm to book the tables. Otherwise, there is going to be chaos as 1,500 members are expected in the club. Since kids are also accompanying us, we need to ensure proper seating to enjoy the mega game,” said Reena Malhotra.

Monika Maini, a schoolteacher, believes that watching the match with her two sons at home will be an "ideal" plan. "I don't know the technicalities of the game, but I have been asked by my sons to pray continuously for India's win,” said Monika.



Students leave exam hall early to watch match
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, March 30
When the big match is on who cares for examinations? With cricket fever at its peak, about 250 class 12 students wound up their computer science exam within 45 minutes and left the examination hall to watch the crucial World Cup Cricket semifinal match between India and Pakistan being played in Mohali on Wednesday.

All these students, including 25 hearing and speech challenged, left the exam centre in the Haibowal Kalan in order to be able to see the match. According to the centre’s deputy superintendent they gave a written request to the teacher to alert them at around 2:30 pm when the match would begin.

The paper started at 2 pm and the students insisted the teachers provide them with the match updates. Taking it casually the teachers ignored the request, but were surprised when most of the students began insisting completing all the formalities within a few minutes. Even the girls joined them.

Expressing his surprise, Tejinder Singh, deputy superintendent f the exam centre at the Yamuna Model school, Haibowal Kalan, said: "For the first time we faced the student's anger. The students prevailed over the teaching staff and were not ready to focus on their exam. The students virtually forced us to complete all the formalities of signatures within a few minutes. Within 45 minutes of the start of the paper the centre was empty”.

He said about 25 deaf and dumb students appearing in the computer science exam at the same center also gave the written request. "A student, Gurpreet Singh, wrote a note on his question paper requesting the teacher to inform him when the clock would strike 2.30 pm. He said he had to go home to watch the match. The other deaf and dumb students also joined him and left the exam hall, leaving the teachers alone,” he added.

A few students appearing in the board examinations at Government Senior Secondary Model School and the PAU exam centre also acted similarly and finished their papers within an hour.

Jagjeet Singh, a class 12 student, said: "The board should have cancelled today's paper. I don't think the students did well.

I attempted the answers only to secure passing marks. I was the last student in the class to leave within an hour”.

A teacher at the PAU school said she was shocked when at around 3 pm students began leaving the class one by one, giving the same reason. "It was around 3 pm when students started leaving claiming to have done the required paper. They were not attempting the whole paper in a fear to miss the cricket match”, the teacher added.

District education officer Harbhajan Ram, who was busy with state education minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan, who arrived in the city on Wednesday, expressed surprise over what he called the “callous behaviour” of the students towards examinations.

"I’m busy with the minister and couldn’t even get updates from the examination centres. The students behaved childishly by leaving the answer sheets half done only to watch the cricket match”, he added.


Drop in number of patients in OPDs
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
The mark of the "cricket mania" was visible in the health sector too, as there was a decline of 20-30 per cent in patients visiting the out patient departments (OPDs) at public and private hospitals in the city.

In comparison to the increase in the number of patients in the OPDs in the past two weeks, the number was less today. Reason: People preferred to stay indoors to watch the World Cup semifinal match between India and Pakistan. A senior doctor at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital said as compared to 50 to 75 patients visiting the OPD daily, only 15 patients visited today. " We are sure to get double the number of patients tomorrow," the doctor went on to add.

Dr Kanwal Massih, the medical superintendent at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), confirming 20 per cent decrease in the OPD stated that it was the hype attached to the match that had resulted in such a tremendous response. "The hospital has televisions in the lobbies, wards, private rooms and staff rooms, which will facilitate the patients, attendants and staff in viewing the match," said Massih.

The other small private hospitals, nursing homes and clinics also witnessed 50 per cent less patients as compared to normal days.

Projector screen

Students of Dayanad Medical College (DMC) enjoyed the match on a projector screen at Dumra auditorium. However, doctors, paramedical, nursing and office staff were not allowed in the auditorium.

Unusual camaraderie

An unusual camaraderie was witnessed among patients, attendants and hospital staff at leading private hospitals, which had charged environs. Patientsadmitted in private rooms treated themselves to the India- Pakistan match on small screens, while attendants of patients in the general wards gave themselves a break to sit in the lobbies before the big screen. The paramedical and nursing staff took turns to get a glimpse of the first innings in between their rounds to the rooms and wards.



Industry fears Rs 250 cr loss from worker absenteeism
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
The city’s industry expects to incur a huge financial loss, estimated by some at Rs 250 crore, due to workers not showing up at factories in order to watch Wednesday’s India-Pakistan World Cup cricket semifinal match on TV. Factory workers in large numbers, especially those from the migrant population, have expressed their "inability" to sign up for duty to factories because of "bad health".

The cricket fever has also gripped industrialists, who have made elaborate arrangements to watch the game in the evening with families and friends. At the same time, many businessmen maintain if India wins over Pakistan the losses will not matter much.

Talking to The Tribune, Ludhiana Hand Tools Association president SC Ralhan said it had become difficult to make the workers understand that it was just a game of cricket between two countries.

"They want a half holiday. Manufacturing output will be badly affected today due to thin attendance of factory employees. Though workers have been asking us to install TV sets at the workplaces we feel that isn’t a good idea. We can’t allow something to go wrong if workers’ attention is diverted towards the match", said Ralhan.

“Wednesday’s match will cost local industry dear with losses up to Rs 250 crore likely. In many factories most workers had no plans to return after lunch”, he added.

To avoid any confrontation with workers many industrial units had put up a notice saying "holiday after 2 pm" on boards outside the factory premises. Said Kishan Yadav, an industrial worker: "Cricket remains the favourite game for both the rich and the poor. It will not be fair that the well-off see the crucial match on projector screens while the less fortunate toil in factories. My fellow workers in factories that will continue to operate in the afternoon have made up their mind not to return for work after lunch hour".

Meanwhile, shopkeepers in Ghumar Mandi, Mall Road, Dandi Swami, Model Town and other localities in the city felt it will be a "curfew like” situation in the evening. Kartar Singh Patna, chairman of Akalgarh, the city’s biggest wholesale garment market, said: "We’ve arranged two big screens for shopkeepers and employees. One screen will be put up in the basement near the bank while another projector screen will be installed at Nigar Mandi near the parking lot. Besides, stalls of tea and snacks have also been put up to celebrate the event. Shopkeepers are going to have great fun".


* Shopkeepers expect "curfew -like” situation in markets after lunch hours

* Tutorials, tuitions were either advanced or cancelled on students' demand

* PAU hostellers hope to watch the match on projector screen in hostel no. 4

* In various markets, including Kitchlu Nagar and Akalgarh, shopkeepers have installed large screens



Fans throng theatres, multiplexes 
Mohit Khanna/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
After a long lull, residents again thronged theatres and multiplexes on Wednesday to watch the World Cup cricket semifinal match between India and Pakistan on the big screen. The usually deserted cinemas saw a record rush of spectators, with people making a beeline outside theaters an hour before the start of the match.

Looking at the big crowd a manager of a cinema theatre said: “It reminds me of the Bollywood movie ‘Hum Apke Hain Kaun’. A Similar rush was witnessed when that film was screened. In the age of multiplexes and LED screens who turns up at cinema theatres?”

The deputy commissioner had given his nod to cinema theatre and multiplex owners to show the match on large screens nearly five days ago and, within no time, all cinema tickets were sold. It is learnt a soft drink brand purchased 250 tickets of a multiplex for Rs 1 lakh.

“I came to the theatre nearly half an hour before the match was schedule to begin. It’s a different experience to watch a match on the big screen,” said Lalit Kumar, a resident of he Haibowal locality.

Officials at the city’s multiplexes said the telecasting of the match has brought them a major respite as they were facing heavy losses because of fewer customers who preferred to watch the ongoing World Cup cricket matches.

“No big budget film has been released ever since the World Cup series started, due to which we’ve been incurring heavy losses. Telecasting the semifinal match has enabled us to pay our employees’ wages,” said the manager of a multiplex.

Celebration turns into anger

All spectators watching the match in a cinema theatre were seen jumping with joy after Indian batsman Sehwag hit five boundaries in an over to Pakistani bowler Umar Gul. However, the celebration was short lived and India was soon tottering at 191 for the loss of five wickets. With Sachin, Sehwag, Ghambhir, Kohli and Yuvraj back in the pavilion the fuming residents vent out their anger on the seats installed in the cinema hall. Fearing a threat to their property, the cinema’s security staff led the mischievous elements out of the hall.



It’s a double bonanza for boozers!
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
It was a double delight for the city’s tipplers as the closing of the financial year coincided with the World Cup cricket semifinal match between India and Pakistan in Mohali on Wednesday. With the fiscal ending on March 31 liquor stores offered huge discounts on remaining stocks, bringing cheer to boozers many of whom were seen enjoying a ‘Patiala peg’ while watching the match on TV.

“What a treat - liquor prices have been slashed due to the end of the financial year and the most exciting sports encounter between the two rival nations (India and Pakistan) will be under way. What else can you want for entertainment?” asked Jagdish Malhotra while lifting a toast.

Liquor flowed in the leading hotels, restaurants and clubs across the city after the match began in the afternoon. Restaurant launched attractive “happy hour” and other offers to draw in tipplers. Some even named cocktails after popular cricketers to attract customers.

Panic buying began at liquor stores on Tuesday night as residents were eager to stash alcohol being offered at throwaway prices.

“It’s party time. Liquor at low prices and cricket’s most anticipated encounter of the year in progress is true entertainment. I recently purchased a large screen LCD TV keeping in mind the World Cup matches. My friends are coming over to my home in the evening and we’ll watch the match together and enjoy drinks,” said Rishabh Shegal, a local.

According to sources close to the excise & taxation department, liquor sales skyrocketed like never before due to the match coinciding with the closing of the financial year.

Said a liquor vend owner: “Normally our stocks get cleared on the last day of the fiscal but this time the panic buying began two days earlier due to the India-Pakistan clash. City residents and hotels found the perfect opportunity to celebrate the occasion”.



A case of dog eat dog
Riot victims usurp flats allotted to others 
of their kind
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 30
Even as victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots are still sulking over the denial of justice, compensation and rehabilitation package, which remain partly or completely elusive, steps taken by the government and other agencies toward providing relief to the riot-affected families have, in many cases, not reached the intended and eligible beneficiaries. And for this, no one else but factions of riot victims are to be blamed.

The dividing wall of two LIG flats pulled down by ‘unlawful’ occupants to make the LIG flat a bigger house; and (right) an illegal alteration has been made to convert a flat into a shop on the Dugri-Dhandra road at the GLADA Colony in Ludhiana
The dividing wall of two LIG flats pulled down by ‘unlawful’ occupants to make the LIG flat a bigger house; and (right) an illegal alteration has been made to convert a flat into a shop on the Dugri-Dhandra road at the GLADA Colony in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

In what could be described as brazen arrogance and defiance of the law of the land, certain groups of riot victims, reportedly enjoying political patronage and proximity to leaders of a riot victims’ body, have unlawfully occupied LIG and MIG flats in the CRPF Colony, and Greater Ludhiana Area development Authority (GLADA) housing complexes in Dugri, Phase-I, and on Dugri-Dhandra Road, Phase-II, in the city. While the aggressive groups of people, including women, claiming to be riot victims, have been taking forcible possessions of government flats in broad daylight amidst violent protests and clashes with those to whom these flats were allotted after following due procedure as per the policy laid down by the state government, the police and senior district and GLADA officials, even though present at the spot on most occasions, could do little to prevent the unruly mob from having their way.

At least one-dozen bonafide allottees of LIG flats from among the riot victims, in a representation made to the GLADA and district administration, have alleged that the flats allotted to them were under unlawful possession of some people who were also making alterations and additions in the flats in an unlawful manner. “We possess the allotment letters from GLADA for LIG flats on Dugri-Dhandra Road, Phase II, and have made payment of initial deposit, but still the possession of flats is being denied to us as these are under unlawful possession of some other persons," rues Jatinder Singh, a riot victim.

Attempts were on by unlawful occupants to convert one LIG flat (unit no 4020) into a shop while some others have pulled down the wall between two flats (nos 4001-02) to make it a bigger dwelling, the complaint said.

Similarly, some other groups of riot-affected families have taken possession of LIG flats in the CRPF Colony, which also stand allotted to riot-victims, and no visible attempts have so far been made by the authorities to evict the illegal occupants and restore possession to bonafide allottees. GLADA estate officer Jeet Ram told the matter had been referred to the district authorities for taking appropriate action against those unlawfully occupying government flats and restoration of possession to genuine allottees.



South African delegates visit PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
A five-member delegation from South Africa led by the Member Executive Council (State Minister) of Agriculture of the Province of Limpopo, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba visited Punjab Agricultural University yesterday.

Other members of the delegation included Prof (Dr) Xikombiso Mbhenyane, deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Venda in Limpopo; Mortimer Mannya, general manager, department of agriculture, Limpopo Province; Morwamoche, Ntwampe, international relations, University of Limpopo, and Dr Monicca Moc-Hadi, manager, department of agriculture, Limpopo Province.

They met PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang and discussed various agricultural issues. She said the aim of the visit was to establish direct contact with PAU and to investigate possible areas of closure club cooperation, as there exists vast potential for cooperation and exchange of know-how.

In the Sutton House of PAU, the group interacted with Minister of Agriculture, Punjab, Sucha Singh Langah. During a brief meeting, the South African and Punjab ministers of agriculture discussed the concerns of contemporary agriculture.

Letsatsi Duba highlighted PAU for its well integrated teaching, research and extension education programmes and said there was possibility of inviting PAU scientists to South Africa to help with their expertise in the area of irrigated agriculture and capacity building in research, technology transfer and rural development.

She said PAU had endeavoured a great deal for the cause of national food security and through the cooperation model and regular follow up of the issues, a worth while tie-up between PAU and South African universities could be developed.



Parking in no-parking zone
Vehicles toed, challaned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
In order to check the haphazard parking in the busy Feroze Gandhi Market, the Tehbazaari staff of the Zone D Municipal Corporation (MC) lifted around a dozen two wheelers and issued challans to vehicle parked in the no-parking zone.

Team of Zone D led by Tehbazaari Superintendent Amardeep Singh Gill launched a major drive to check the violations by residents and shopkeepers by parking their vehicles on the roads marked as the no -parking zone so that the fire safety vehicle could move easily.

During the drive, the MC staff lifted around a dozen two-wheelers and issued equal number of challans to vehicles, including car and two- wheelers parked haphazardly. Meanwhile, the contingent of the MC police force accompanied the staff of the civic body to avoid any sort of untoward incident.



Rs 16 lakh disbursed amongst villagers

Ludhiana, March 30
The chairman, Punjab Agro Industry, Sharnjit Singh Dhillon, disbursed cheques worth Rs 16 lakh to the villagers of Sekhewal and Kalewal here on Sunday. Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari was also present on this occasion.

According to an official release, during the detonation drive three-months back, the villagers had to leave their villages temporarily. But the government had made elaborative arrangements for their stay and necessary items were distributed which included woolens etc. — TNS



Sub-committees formed to revamp education
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Sewa Singh Sekhwan, minister for education, Punjab, said about 1,800 elementary teacher training (ETT) students, who have not been able to take their examinations, were responsible for their fate, as though the government had stopped their admissions, private colleges enrolled them.

Sekhwan further added since the state government had filed a petition against the private colleges, who had flouted the norms, any decision on the fate of the students would be taken by the court.

Sekhwan further added that to revamp education in the state, different sub-committees with educationists as members have been constituted.

One such committee will formulate the education policy within six months, which will implement education rules till 2025. Another committee has been asked to revamp syllabus from elementary up to senior secondary level. The third committee will study in detail on early implementation of the Right to Education Act (RTE). On the implementation of the RTE Act, Sekhwan said the act would be implemented in the state by 2013.

He was in the city at the convocation functions of the Government College for Women (GCW) and Mata Tara Singh Memorial College. A total of 91 postgraduates and 800 graduates were conferred degrees at GCW, whereas 600 students were conferred degrees at Mata Tara Singh Memorial College.



Nicotine takers prone to hernia, says expert
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
Dr HS Jolly, chief laparoscopic surgeon at RG Stone Urology and Super-Speciality Hospital, here dwelt upon hernia, its main causes and new techniques used for the treatment of this condition at an interactive session at the hospital here on Monday.

According to Jolly, any bulge in the stomach that comes out while lifting heavy items, coughing or while standing and goes inside while lying down or by simply pushing it inside, can be hernia. Among the obese people, the problem occurs often after an open surgery. He also explained that hernia is caused due to weakening of the muscles of stomach. "It can be congenital, but some factors are contributed by patients themselves such as smoking or other use of tobacco. The nicotine found in cigarette adversely effects muscle protein."

Citing example of a patient who was treated with the use of laparoscopic technique, Jolly stated "A patient, 53-year-old Deepak (name changed), was suffering with acute pain in the lower abdomen (left side). When brought to the hospital, he was diagnosed with inguinal hernia after examination. Doctors operated upon him with laparoscopic technique that required only three-keyhole incision in the body. A mesh was also placed for support of the internal organs. As per the case history, Deepak was a regular smoker for the past 25 years."

Giving more details of the treatment of hernia with laparoscopy, he observed that unlike open surgery, which requires incision between five to eight inches, the laparoscopy technique needs only three keyhole incisions.

"In an open surgery the patient is required to stay in the hospital for up to seven days while in laparoscopic surgery, the maximum hospital stay of the patient is just about 48 hours. Other advantages with laparoscopic surgery are that there is no need of blood transfusion, thereby no risk of infection. Moreover, the patient gets back to work in a few days. For those suffering from high-blood pressure also, the laparoscopy technique is very safe. Since the hospital stay is minimal, this technique ultimately stands cheap as the patient can go back to work within a few days," Jolly pointed out.

Advising the people to go for simple and light exercises to keep the body fit and avoid problems such as hernia, the doctor said those who had had operation done for some problem in the stomach should use hernia belt and avoid lifting heavy items.



Lok adalat reunites couples
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, March 30
The mega lok adalat held here recently succeeded in bringing back smiles on the faces of several couples, fighting a legal battle for years, by reuniting them.

In one such case, the lok adalat bench headed by Additional Sessions Judge Paramjit Singh was able to persuade Kuljeet Kaur of Jagraon to go back to her husband Gurjinder Singh.

When the efforts were on to patch up the matter, Justice MM Kumar of the High Court reached there and heard the grievances of the parties. The woman was adamant not to go back to her husband and levelled serious allegations against him.

However, the husband was willing to live with her. When the High Court judge noticed this, he asked the parties to not to spoil the life of their eight-year-old son, who was also present there.

At the directions of the judge, the parties were made to sit in the retiring room of the court. After some time, members of the lok adalt also joined them and succeeded in persuading them.

The judge also directed to note down their cell phone numbers as he intended to talk to them after some time.

In another case, a lok adalat bench headed by Additional Sessions Judge Harveen Bhardwaj managed to reunite 23-year-old Parminder Kaur of Tibba Road with her husband Inderpal Singh of Baba Than Singh Chowk. She went along with her husband with smiling face.



Shopkeepers rake in moolah 
Rent out LCDs for Rs 15,000-20,000
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, March 30
Punjabis love for togetherness be it festivals, family occasions or even cricket matches is well known so the residents were seen flocking to shopkeepers who give LCD screens on rent, as they wanted to watch the semifinal match between India and Pakistan. There was a demand for it from residents who wanted to enjoy the mega event together.

The passion for cricket matches in the city could be felt on Wednesday, as residents and shopkeepers collectively tried innovative ways to enjoy the match. LCDs were installed at shop complexes. The shopkeepers had pooled in money for installing the big screens in their complexes so as to enjoy the fun of cricket collectively.

Shopkeepers in groups were seen glued to these LCD screens during which they cheered the Indian cricket team on every good shot. Likewise, to add zing to their enjoyment eatables and drinks were arranged. Then there were group discussions on various trends in the match and various shot played by a player.

Areas like Gur Mandi, Butey Shah Mandi, which are the hubs of commercial activities in the city was quiet as every one inside the shops and complexes was busy seeing the match on LCD screens. Though every shopkeeper has his own TV sets in their shop yet to enjoy the match with fellow businessmen, they all got together and got LCDs installed to enjoy the match.

However, it was a hey day for shopkeepers who rented out LCDs on rent as they minted money by charging price between Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000. Such was the demand of LCDs that the shopkeepers had a tough time meeting the target. Prakash Chand, shopkeeper, who runs a business of renting out LCDs near Nau Lakha Cinema said that the demand was very high due to which they faced some problem in meeting the demands.However, he asserted that they had been trying their best to meet the demand. 



Two nabbed with poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 30
In two separate incidents, the Ludhiana police (rural) has arrested two persons, including a woman, and recovered 175 kg of poppy husk from their possession. The accused have been identified as Jagroop Singh and Jasmail Kaur, both of Galib Kalan village near Jagraon.

Giving details during a press conference here today, DSP Jagraon Joginder Singh said a team from the Jagraon Sadar police station led by ASI Sawran Singh raided a house in Galib Kalan village following a tip off and arrested Jagroop Singh yesterday.

The police also recovered 105 kg of poppy husk from his possession. The police has registered a case against the accused under the NDPS Act at the Jagraon Sadar police station and the investigation is on.

In a separate incident, a police party from the Sadar police station raided another house in Galib Kalan village and arrested a woman, Jasmail Kaur. The police also recovered 70 kg of poppy husk from her possession. The police has registered a case against Jasmail Kaur under the NDPC Act.



One held with psychotropic drugs

Jagraon, March 30
The Ludhiana police (rural) has arrested one person and recovered huge quantity of intoxicating drugs from his possession. The accused has been identified as Ranjit Singh, alias Jeeta, of Majri village near Jagraon. 

As per information, a police party from the anti-narcotics cell, Jagraon, led by Inspector Gagandeep Singh arrested the accused from Gujarwall village this morning following a tip off. The police also recovered 6,000 tablets of intoxicating drugs from his possession. Besides, 43 bottles of cough syrup were also recovered from him.

Giving details, Inspector Gagandeep said when the police asked the accused to show the licence or bill of the medicines, he failed to do so. Following which the police arrested him.

A case under the NDPS Act has been registered at the Jodhan police station and investigation is on. The police produced the accused before a local court this evening and the accused got a two-day remand, he added. — OC



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