L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rail passengers hit hard by farmers’ protest
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Nitika, a resident of Indore, along with her son, stranded at Phillaur on Saturday.
Nitika, a resident of Indore, along with her son, stranded at Phillaur on Saturday. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Phillaur, October 29
Protests by various farmers’ organisations came heavy on commuters, who were left with no option but to wait for the protesters to lift their dharna.

A group of 600 odd people from Kanpur even tried to convince the protesters to lift their dharna as they had another train to catch at Delhi. But the protesters remained adamant and blocked the tracks till 4 pm.

People travelling in Jammu Tawi Express to Indore and Malwa Superfast train were the worst sufferers, as the train came to a halt just a few hundred metres from the dharna spot.

A group of 600 odd people from Kanpur was returning in the same train after paying obeisance at the Vaishno Devi shrine.

“We got onto this train at the Jammu Tawi railway station at 9 25 pm today. But when we reached Phillaur, the train came to a halt. Earlier, we thought that it must be a brief halt, but when we got off the train, we were shocked to see that hundreds of people were sitting on the tracks,” said Siya Ram Divedi, a government official from Kanpur.

“We have to catch Shram Shakti Express from Delhi at 12 midnight. If the blockade is not lifted, we might get late and then we would have to purchase fresh tickets. Most of people accompanying me have spent most of their money at Vaishno Devi shrine and would not be able to purchase fresh tickets. This is not the right way of protest and if the railway officials knew about this protest, they should have informed us in advance so that we could make alternative arrangements. Or they should have diverted the train,” said Bhadauria.


3 trains delayed, 1 cancelled
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
The statewide protest by farmers’ organisations delayed three trains and resulted in the cancellation of one.

RK Sharma, Station Superintendent, Ludhiana, said the 5LL/8LL Ludhiana-Lohian Khas Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) had to be cancelled due to the protest by farmers at Phillaur. “The train leaves Ludhiana Railway Station at 3.15 pm,” he informed.

The Jammu Tawi to Indore Malwa Superfast train was delayed by more than two hours as the train was stopped by the protesters at Phillaur in Jalandhar district.

“The Dadar to Amritsar, Dadar Express, was regulated at Ludhiana Railway Station for 10 minutes, while the 4674 Amritsar to Jayanagar, Flying Mail, was regulated at Phagwara Railway Station,” informed Sharma.

Meanwhile, due to the derailment of three coaches of 12312 Kalka-Howrah Mail yesterday morning, the Amritsar to Katihar, Amarpali Express was delayed by two and half hours, Delhi to Amritsar, Swaran Shatabdi express by seven hours, Jammu Tawi to Bandra Terminus, 2471 Swaraj Express by one hour, Indore to Jammu Tawi, Malwa Superfast by one hour and Hazrat Nizammudin to Amritsar, Shan-e-Punjab train was delayed by six hours.



32-yr-old man done to death
Was opposing liquor consumption in front of his house
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
A 32-year-old daily wager lost his life after he objected to some youths consuming liquor outside his house at Alamgir village near here last night.

The assailants trespassed into Balbir’s house during mid-night and attacked him with sharp edged weapons.

Besides, the stacking on the head and abdomen the accused even stabbed on the vital organs of the victim. The accused was rushed to the civil hospital where he was declared brought dead. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Following the incident, the police has registered a murder cases against six youths namely Kala, Varun Sharda aka Vinu, Gogga, Virpal, Vicky, Sunny and some unidentified persons.

The killing of the man snowballed into a political issue and triggered an angry protest here today. Politicians including Congress leader Malkit Singh Dakha, BSP leader Parkash Jandiali and Gurmail Sangowal along with the residents of Alamgir village laid siege to Dehlon Chowk for nearly three hours and demanded registration of murder case against a SAD leader and SGPC member Charanjit Singh Alamgir.

Jassi, brother of the victim, Balbir Singh, complained that the accused used to sit in front of Balbir’s house and consume liquor till midnight.

Balbir had a spat with the accused on the afternoon of October 28. The spat took place while the accused were assembling at the tube well located right in front Balbir's house to consume liquor.

The matter reached the Dehlon police station. But both the parties were sent back following the intervention of Charanjit Singh Alamgir, alleged Jassi.

But soon after returning from the police station the accused regrouped and attacked Balbir.

“All are chronic drug addicts and Balbir was at loggerheads with them. I came to know that the victim had a monitory issue with them as well,” said the SHO, Dehlon Maninder Bedi.

The leaders alleged that the callous attitude of police had led to the incident. Had the police taken an appropriate action the tragedy could have been avoided. But the police after the intervention of politicians, sent both the groups back after which the accused murdered him.

“Charanjit Singh Alamgir had called us and assured that he would resolve the issue. We conducted a thorough investigation and Alamgir was not found involved in the murder. Unfortunately, the matter was given political colour,” said SHO Maninder Bedi.



Boy drowns during idol immersion
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 29
Lakshmi Puja festivities for a family came to a tragic end when their 19-year-old son drowned while immersing an idol of goddess Lakshmi in the Sirhind Canal at Doraha last evening.

The victim, Neeraj Kumar, son of Ganeshwar Paswan, was residing at a labour colony in Jugiana village, 3 km from Sahnewal. Neeraj was the elder son of the family and unmarried. He had gone to the “ghat” along with his family members and other migrants to immerse an idol of goddess Lakshmi.

Ganeshwar, who was in deep sorrow, said he had never expected such a thing could happen to Neeraj. “The irony of the situation is that when Neeraj drowned, nobody came to know of it immediately.It was only when he was found missing from amongst us that we realised that he had drowned. Had it been at the time of the accident, we would have tried our best to save him. I now curse the fateful day when I took my son along for the idol immersion and lost him in the process”.

“I have informed the police and am helplessly watching for the recovery of the body so that I may have a last look at my son,” said the upset father. Sukhdev Singh, SHO, Doraha, said the body of the boy had not been traced yet. “We have been keeping a watch at the places from where bodies are generally traced. It may take another two-three days to recover the body,” he said.



Blast in new laptop causes fire in house
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 29
A newly purchased laptop by a Punjab State Power Corporation (PowerCom) employee proved costly for him when his house caught fire following an explosion in the laptop last evening.

Due to the explosion, the room where the laptop was lying caught fire and an air-conditioner, bed and some valuables of Atamjit Singh got destroyed in the incident.

The incident took place at the local Power Colony.

Atamjit Singh and his family were not present in the house when the incident took place. The incident came to light when Jagga, a neighbour of Atamjit Singh, heard a sound of blast. Jagga said initially he thought the sound he had heard was of some cracker, but when he went out of his house, he saw flames and smoke coming out from a room in the house of Atamjit Singh.

After this, he along with some neighbours, broke the door of the house of Atamjit Singh and put out the fire. It took them about 15 minutes to douse the flames. In the meantime, one of the neighbours called Atamjit Singh on his mobile phone and informed him about the incident.

According to Atamjit Singh, when he reached the house, he found that the air-conditioner installed in his room, the bed and some other valuables had been badly damaged. Such was the impact of the blast that the glasses of the windows of the room where the laptop was lying had completely broken.

Giving details of the incident, Atamjit Singh said he had purchased the laptop of Samsung company at a cost of Rs 25,000 on Diwali. “I had used the laptop only once, that too for only a few minutes. After that I packed the laptop in the bag and kept it in the room before leaving for market along with my family for some work on Friday evening.

After half an hour one of my neighbours called me and informed that my house had caught fire. I immediately rushed back home and when I reached there, I found the air-conditioner, bed, some other valuables and some of officials documents completely destroyed,” said Atamjit Singh.

Following the incident, the company officials visited Atamjit’s house and took stock of the situation. The company officials assured him of paying the amount of the whole damage.

Atamjit said, he had suffered a loss of about Rs 1 lakh due to the incident. He further informed that the company officials, who had visited his home yesterday to take account of the situation, had told him that they would call him on Saturday to inform him about the amount of the damage. “But I have received no call from the company since today evening. Now I have been calling them, but they are not picking up my phone,” said Atamjit.

Samsung Factory Service Centre manager Gurmit Singh, who also visited the incident spot yesterday, said, “We will for sure provide the damage cost to the person who has suffered the loss. We have got a survey done of the damage caused by the incident, but the whole process of paying the damage cost may take three to four days.”

Asked about the reason behind the explosion in the laptop, he said such kinds of incidents are very rare. “The explosion might have been caused due to some fault in the battery of the laptop,” he added.



Snatchers target 71-yr-old woman
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
In yet another incident, two motorcycle-borne youths snatched ornaments from a 71-year-old woman at the Banjamin road in Division No 3 this morning.

The victim, identified as Vimla Rani, said she was returning home from a temple when two youths on a motorcycle came to her.

“They told me that some snatchers had taken away gold ornaments of an old woman in the nearby street and gave me a polythene bag to safeguard my ornaments in it. I thought they were offering help. I put my ornaments to avoid a similar incident. As I put my gold chain, earrings and rings in the bag the youths snatched it and fled from the scene,” said Vimla. The police has registered a case and started the investigation.



Vendors have a field day
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, October 29
Vendors selling eatables appeared to have a field day at the spot where the rail traffic was disrupted by the farmer organisations today. They were able to sell entire eatables within an hour.

“I was having 20 packets of popcorn with me. People started buying them as soon as the train came to a halt. Within minutes, all my packets were sold. I had to rush to my room to fetch more packets. I was able to sell most of those,” said Munna Lal, a vendor.

The train had been halted a few hundred meters away from Phillaur Railway Station. Thus, vendors, instead of waiting at the railway station, rushed to the spot and started selling their eatables.

Ravinder Singh, a Delhi-based doctor, who was returning after attending a function in Amritsar, said, “ If railway authorities were aware of the protest, they should have halted the train at the railway station. At least people could have filled water for drinking. The train was stopped in the middle of nowhere and we forced to eat poor quality eatables sold by vendors and the water from a hand pump. Overall, it’s a sad state of affairs.”

A few passengers even blamed the vendors for overcharging. “They are selling a packet of popcorns for Rs 30, which is too much. Maybe they (vendors) know that people don’t have any other option,” said Jitendra Singh, a resident of Karnal.

Speaking Out

his is not a good way of protest. The farmers should know that thousands of people would be affected if the railway tracks are blocked for three hours
— Parveen Kumar, a resident of Delhi

I have to catch Tamil Nadu Express from Delhi Railway Station at 10.30 pm tonight. But if the protest does not stop, I might miss the train.
— Jagmohan Sharma, a resident of Jalandhar

I am going to Ludhiana and now that the train has been brought to a halt, I would board a bus from Phillaur.
— Malkit Singh a resident of Lohian

Most of the people don’t even know why the protest is held. If the farmers have any demands, they should hold protest in front of houses of politicians. Why are they harassing public?
— Geeta, a resident of Kanpur

I wonder why in our country, the police or district administration does not do something about such protests. People are the sufferers as they don’t have any other option, but to wait for the Dharna to be lifted.
— Onkar Singh, a resident of Sultanpur

Dwe are planning to board a bus from phillaur bus stand, which is few hundred meters away from the spot where train has come to a halt. We might take a bus till Ludhiana. We can either board a bus or a train for delhi from ludhiana 
— Arun Khullar, a resident of Jalandhar



Technical snag infuriates cinema-goers
400 were watching “Force”, property damaged, staff manhandled 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 29
More than 400 people, who were watching John Abrahm movie “Force” at Lal Palace here yesterday evening, got infuriated after the film got disrupted for about 2 minutes due to some technical snag.

This incident took place during 1pm to 4pm show. The disruption in the film 15 minutes after the interval angered the viewers. The situation worsened after cinema hall authorities failed to resume the movie after 2 minutes. People broke chairs and damaged other properties belonging to the theater.

According to sources, families, including women and children, were badly shocked by the incident and left the cinema hall in a huff. Kulwinder Singh, who had gone to watch the movie along with his wife and a daughter, said it was a harrowing experience for them. They were able to come out of the cinema hall with great difficulty. There wasn’t any security guard present in the cinema hall to deal with such a situation.

However, the situation worsened after the cinema hall’s manager stopped the screening of the movie midway and called the police. This infuriated the spectators further. They broke chairs and even manhandled a few cinema hall employees.

Lala Palace Cinema manager, Sukhwinder Singh, the movie got interrupted for 2 minutes due to the technical snag. This infuriated the viewers. They broke 30 chairs of the cinema hall. He along with other employees tried to pacify the viewers, but they refused to listen to them and kept on damaging the property. They also manhandled a few cinema hall employees, he added. Sensing trouble, the manager called the police.

The entire cinema hall was vacated to control the situation. No case has been registered in this regard so far. 



School admissions to go online
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
In an era when virtual world has reduced distance and time, many city schools have started online with the admission processes. An official from Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, said the system has been done to streamline the process of admissions. The school has started offering online registration for the kindergarten.

Sources said a photo of applicant and that of his/her family is to be uploaded online while filling of the form online. The applicant must also have a valid e-mail address.

BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar, also plans offering the option for online admission forms in addition to conventional admission procedure. "It will save much time if all the schools make it convenient," says a businessman. “Admissions of children are no less than competitive examinations. In competitive examinations only the grown-ups appear for the interview, but here in school admissions, even the parents are interviewed,” he laughs.

Renu Chhiber, a resident, said it is convenient as during the admission of her son, it was difficult to buy the forms first. “Although it will not make any major changes in the admission procedure, but directions and ease of filling the form online would at least save the time for the first round of the school to take the form.”

The rest of the procedures for admission would remain the same, said sources.



Students felicitated at cultural programme

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 29
A cultural heritage programme was held at Shanti Tara College, Akbarpur Chhanna village. Students of the college portrayed elements of folk art during the annual cultural function organised on Friday. Many people were felicitated during the occasion.

Arvind Malhotra, organising secretary, presided over the function while Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain was the chief guest. Professor Rajinder Bhandari, vice-chairman Planning Commission Punjab, and Amarjit Singh, chief advisor of the Trust, distributed the prizes to the students.

Dr Harjinder Pal Singh Walia, director of the IAS and Allied Services Training Centre at Punjabi University, Patiala, Raghbir Singh Saharanmajra member SGPC, Amrik Singh Jandali, chairman, market committeewere felicitated on the occasion. — OC



4 youths loot Rs 70,000 from petrol station
Our Correspondent

Khamano, October 29
Four armed youths struck at a petrol station located at Pohlo Majra village and decamped with Rs 70,000 cash at pistolpoint.

According to the police, Ajay Kumar, an employee of Gagan Petrol Station, along with two other workers had gone to sleep after closing the station at around 10.30pm last night. A youth knocked the door of the room where they were sleeping at around 2.35am.

The youth took out a pistol and gestured them to open the lock of an office where the cash was kept. Meanwhile, two more youths forcibly entered the room. They, too, were brandishing pistols.

This frightened the workers. They handed over the cash to the youths. According to Ajay, the youths also took away their mobiles and a CPU attached to a CCTV camera and fled in a Swift car.

Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Ranvir Singh Khattra and SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh visited the site. Dog squads and finger print teams were pressed into service. A case has been registered under the Arms Act and manhunt launched to nab the accused. 



35 cases resolved in Lok Adalat
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 29
Thirty-five cases were resolved on the spot during monthly Lok Adalat held at the Jagraon Judicial Court Complex today. An amount of more than Rs 29.57 lakh was recovered from different parties on the occasion.

About 65 cases were pending in the court of Additional Civil Judge Jagraon Madam Girish. Out of these, 23 cases were resolved on the spot. Besides this, Rs 24.77 lakh was recovered on the occasion.

There were 33 cases pending in the court of Civil Judge (Junior Division), Jagraon, Ashish Bansal. Out of these, 12 cases were resolved on the spot and Rs 4.80 lakh was recovered on the spot. 



City paddlers steal limelight
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 29
Paddlers from Ludhiana wrapped up their respective matches to prove the class on the second day of the Open Punjab State Ranking Table Tennis Championship being held at Shastri Hall near Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

In the sub-junior section, Harnoor Singh scripted an easy victory (11-7, 8-11, 119 and 11-7) over Karanveer Singh of Patiala to clinch the title while in the sub-junior girl’s category, Neha of Jalandhar stamped her superiority over Saima of Ropar in three sets 11-8, 11-5 and 11-6 to lift the title.

In the semifinal (junior girls), Yashi survived many anxious moments against her sister, Dhriti before romping home victorious. Yashi lost the first game 8-11, but bounced back to win the next set 11-5 to level the score one-all.

Dhriti again surged ahead, gained lead as she won the third set 11-7. However, Yashi kept her composure to overcome Dhriti in the fourth set 11-9 to read it two-all. In the deciding set, Yashi, after initial hiccups, managed to pip her sister 12-10 which also fetched her the match.

The second semifinal played between Ropar girls- Saima and Mamta- too witnessed a keen tussle in which the former eventually came out triumphant in four sets 11-7, 11-8, 8-11 and 11-9.

Earlier in the junior girl’s group semifinal, Neha from Jalandhar proved too good for Adhiya from Amritsar whom she beat in straight sets 11-9, 119 and 11-7 and Saima of Ropar got the better of Mamta 11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-4 and 11-8 to advance into the title clash match.

In the semifinals (sub-junior boys), local lad Harnoor Singh defeated Jashandeep Singh 11-8, 11-7 and 11-9 and Karanveer of Patiala outnumbered Ankush (Amritsar) 11-9, 11-6 and 11-9 to settle for the summit clash.

Harmohan Singh, ADCP, special branch, Punjab Police, Ludhiana, inaugurated the championship in which over 250 boys and girls from across the state are taking part.



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