L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cong show makes traffic crawl
Sukhbir Singh Badal gets stuck in traffic jam on Ferozepur road
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Cavalcade carrying Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal got stuck in the traffic for over 10 minutes on the Ferozepur Road today afternoon, as Qila Raipur MLA Jassi Khangura along with Youth Congress workers was taking out a victory procession at the same time after the announcement of the Youth Congress results.

Sukhbir was returning to the city after inaugurating fountains installed at its entry point near the octroi post on the Ferozepur Road.

Confirming this, Jassi Khangura said he was returning from Dakha in a cavalcade of about 70 to 80 vehicles, when suddenly he saw the Deputy Chief Minister’s cavalcade. “As we were on the main road, there was huge traffic and that is why, Badal’s cavalcade remained stuck for over 10 minutes. Interestingly, not even a single cop on duty on the Ferozepur Road asked us to clear the road so that the Deputy Chief Minister could pass,” quipped Khangura, who has always been very vocal against the Badal’s.

A local Akali leader said it was just by chance that Khangura’s cavalcade came in front of the Deputy Chief Minister’s cavalcade. “Sukhbir’s cavalcade kept blowing hooters, but Khangura’s cavalcade didn’t move an inch. Its height of insensitivity. Sukhbir Singh Badal is Deputy Chief Minister as well as has Z plus security cover. Such incidents can be dangerous for his security, but we are astonished the way Jassi Khangura acted,” said the leader.


Empty chairs greet Deputy CM
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
The vote bank politics came to the fore when Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal decided to attend a function organised by the Christian community at a church in Sarabha Nagar here.

The event was part of the Deputy CM’s schedule today and was added to it at the last minute. But to everybody’s surprise, when Sukhbir reached the venue, he was greeted with empty chairs. This is the second such incident with the Deputy CM as earlier when Sukhbir Singh Badal had gone to meet SGPC member Amarjit Singh Chawla at his residence on December 4, the Deputy CM was greeted with a locked gate.

The Christian United Federation had organised a “Shobha Yatra” in the city and as Sukhbir Singh Badal was in the city, he decided to attend a function of the federation, which was to take place at a church in Sarabha Nagar. But when the Deputy CM, accompanied by Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria, reached the venue, he saw empty chairs at the venue. Immediately after alighting from his SUV, Sukhbir Singh Badal left the venue for the function.

Sources within the Akali Dal said following the incident, Sukhbir pulled up the party leaders as well as the district administration. “Whenever the Deputy CM visits any place, he is well informed by either the party leaders or by the district administration about a function,” said a senior Akali leader.

Albert Dua, president of Christian United Federation, said the incident occurred as the “Shobha Yatra” was delayed by over an hour. “But later, Sukhbir Singh Badal had sent Hira Singh Gabria to attend the function,” said Albert Dua.

Earlier on December 4, the Deputy CM, Youth Akali Dal president Bikram Singh Majithia and other Akali leaders had to face an embarrassing situation when they went to meet SGPC member from Anandpur Sahib, Amarjit Singh Chawla, at his house in Model Town Extension here.

When the leaders reached Chawla’s house, the gate was locked, as Chawla, along with his wife, was away to Amritsar. Later, Chawla clarified that no one informed him about the Deputy CM’s visit to his house.



Khandoor wins youth Cong poll
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Deepak Khandoor has won the Youth Congress election from the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency by defeating Rajiv Raja of the Dimple Rana (former District Youth Congress president) group. Khandoor managed to secure 288 votes, while Rajiv Raja got just 274 votes. Other candidates, Guriqbal Singh Vicky Sekhon got 262 votes, Amrinder Pal Singh Jawaddi 171 votes, Jaspreet Singh Ahluwalia 162 votes, while Parvinder Singh managed to secure 134 votes.

From the Ludhiana (West) constituency, Dharmeshwar Shah won by securing 80 votes, while Sukhwinder Singh Raja got 68 votes. In Ludhiana (North), Himanshu Walia won the elections by securing 149 votes, while Hardeep Singh Saabi Toor got 109 votes.

Similarly, Harjinder Singh Dhindsa won the Gill constituency by securing 134 votes. He defeated Iqbal Singh Grewal, who got 110 votes. Anurag Taparia won the Ludhiana (East) constituency by securing 54 votes, while Gurinder Singh got 28 votes.

Kamalpreet Singh Khangura won the Dakha constituency by securing 92 votes, while Ramandeep Singh got 55 votes. Rupinderpal Singh Sheela won the Atam Nagar constituency by securing 51 votes, while Gurjeet Singh got 35 votes.

In the Ludhiana (South) constituency, Satnam Singh Dhillon won the elections by securing 97 votes, while Vijay Agnihotri got 87 votes. Gursimran Singh won the Jagraon constituency by securing 39 votes, while Manjinder Singh managed to get 16 votes.

The result of the Ludhiana (East) constituency was withheld after a few candidates objected during the counting.



Shatabdi-Car mishap
DRM marks inquiry, gateman suspended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Vishvesh Chaube has marked an inquiry into the Shatabdi-Car accident that took place near the Gyaspura level crossing on December 15. The Railway authorities have suspended Ram Aadhar, the gateman, on duty at the level crossing.

Talking to The Tribune, Chaube said three officials-Divisional Traffic Manager, Assistant Engineer and Divisional Signal and Telecommunication Engineer- would probe into the matter and submit the report within 10 days.

A local family had a narrow escape at the Gyaspura level crossing when their car got stuck between the railway crossing gates. The incident took place at around 8:30 pm on December 15 when the Shatabdi Express was on its way to Amritsar from Delhi.

The car belonged to college lecturer Davinder Singh, who along with his wife and two-year-old son was on their way to meet a few friends at Gyaspura. They got trapped between the gates of the level crossing. Though the driver of Shatabdi spotted the car but by the time he applied the emergency brakes, the car got smashed. But, the family had already come out safe. Eyewitnesses said the train dragged the car for about 50 meters before stopping and the car got smashed.



NGO adopts 30 thalassaemic children
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Zindagi Live Foundation, an NGO, has come forward to get 30 poor thalassaemic children, suffering from Hepatitis C, treated. Disclosing this, general secretary of the NGO, Yogesh Gupta, said: “No one paid heed to these kids. Thus, we have adopted these children to get them treated.”

Ashok Marwha, Chairman of the NGO, who presided over its launch, said, “Rs 2.5 lakh will be spent on the treatment of each of these kids. Each one of them will be administered 24 injections in the span of six months. Roche Products India Ltd has offered its services by donating us injections for the 15 kids. Surinder Kumar, regional manager of the company, said, “ The treatment of first batch of 15 children began today.”

The foundation would also sponsor the transfusion and medicine of thalassaemic kids. It will also hold blood donation camps to meet the demand of these kids. First such camp will be organised at Rajkarni Mahashakti Senior Secondary School, Gandhi Nagar, on December 20. Top faculty members of the DMCH have pledged to support the cause. 


VS Jindal from Nikhil Singhal Noble Trust, Ludhiana; Sanjeev Rai from Vijay Paul Charitable Trust, Ludhiana; and Komal Aggarwal from Punjab Thalassaemic Welfare Society, Ludhiana, have pledged to support the NGO monetarily.


Approximately Rs 40 lakh will be spent on treatment of these children. He urged people to donate generously for the cause. One can contact Rajesh Kapoor at
98141-44544 and Vimal Kapoor at 94630-74745.



Child helpline
1098 fails to check atrocities
Child welfare panel just paper tiger
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
Though the women and child welfare department has provided telephone No. 1098 for the child helpline, still those attached with the cause feel that not much is being done for their welfare in the city. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC), which is supposed to meet every week to discuss cases about child labour or “atrocities” against children, hardly gets time to meet and discuss issues related to them. “It is more on papers than in spirits” is the observation of an NGO attached with the helpline.

Talking to The Tribune, Arvind Kumar Singh from Swami Ganga Nang Bhuriwale (an NGO) said, “ We can’t do much even if we receive complaints about child labour or poor children being harassed by employers. If the cases are related to the child labour, we have to get orders from the Child Welfare Committee. The labour department is also supposed to take notice of the child labour, but everything remains on paper here,” he added.

He further added that they received just five to six calls every month on the child helpline. “But in reality child labour is rampant in city. Our NGO conducted a survey in Aggar Nagar and visited about 12 dhabas. Children below 14 years were found working in these. We brought it to the notice of the Labour Department as it comes under the Child Labour Act, but nothing was done. The children are still working there. There is no use of initiating the child helpline unless we take it seriously,” said Arvind.

According to members of the Child Welfare Committee, there is hardly any benefit in conducting three to four meeting in a month as the government hardly provides any benefit to them. “Unless the government involves all its departments, conducts regular meetings, gets feedbacks, we cannot bring reforms or do something for the welfare of poor and needy children,” the NGO members added. 



Dental camp at Ryan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
A dental check-up camp was organised at Ryan International School, Dugri. Dentists gave several useful suggestions to students like brushing teeth twice a day, using quality and branded toothbrushes and tooth pastes. Students were told to have a balanced diet.

Annual sports day

Bal Bharati Public School held its annual sports day. Around 600 students participated in various events. Principal Punam Dogra welcomed guests and parents. She briefed them about the achievements of the school in the field of sports. Chief guest Dr DJ Singh spoke on the importance of sports in life. He inspired them by saying that winning was not every thing.

He emphasised on the importance of team work, cooperation, sharing and responsibility. Students of primary classes presented a dance “The Panch Tatvas-Jal, Dharti, Vaayu, Agni and Aakash”. A drill with umbrellas, dancing dragon were presented by students. Pre-primary students, dressed as fruits, butterflies, boats and caterpillars, participated in a race.

They also participated in fun races like hop scotch, obstacle race and arrange the birthday party. Other activities included drill with sticks, relay race, karate presentation and run-for-fun race.



Fire breaks out in shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
A fire broke out at a shop in Block C of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar this evening. Tilak Raj, sub-fire officer, fire brigade department, said the fire broke out at the first floor of Ranbeer Fancy Dress Shop and the reason behind the inferno was yet to be ascertained.

Two fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames. Harcharan Singh, brother of Daljeet Singh, owner of the shop, said, the store was reduced to ashes.



Transporters in a fix
SAD seeks 400 mini buses for today’s rally
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
For making the rally of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) at Moga a hit, the party leaders have asked private bus operators of the district to provide 400 mini buses and 100 full sized buses. Transporters said SAD workers had even asked various educational institutions of the district to provide buses for the rally, which is scheduled for Sunday (December 18).

Ever since the date of the rally was announced, the local Akali leaders have been holding meetings in all parts of the district.

“We have been asked to bring as much people as we can, as this will be the biggest rally of Akali Dal, which is why, we are continuously in touch with our workers so that all of them can join us on Sunday,” said a Youth Akali Dal leader from the city.

Meanwhile, the local Akali leaders have been asked to bring a large number of supporters to the venue for the event. Another Akali leader said the police department had been asked to keep a close tab on the number of buses brought to the rally by all leaders.

“The police officials will be counting the number of buses taken by every leader to Moga so that later on no one can boast of taking a large number of people to the venue,” said another Akali leader.

A leading transporter of the city said, “Whenever a political rally takes place, private bus operators are made to suffer. When Badals themselves own a fleet of buses, they should not harass private bus operators like this. If they want to use our buses, they should make payment to us. Or they should at least pay for diesel. But maybe there is no one to listen and we continue to get harassed,” said the transporter. Meanwhile, Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal will be in the city tomorrow and he is expected to hold a series of meetings regarding the rally with the Akali leaders of the district.



SAD+rally=chaos everywhere
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 17
With the officials busy making arrangements for the rally to be taken out by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) at Killi Chahlan village near Ajitwal on Sunday, residents of the town have been facing a harrowing time for the past three days.

Residents said they had to return without getting their work done as the officials were busy making the arrangements.

There is no one to listen to their grievances. All government offices are wearing a deserted look and the common man is bearing the brunt.

“I lost my mobile phone three days ago. As I needed to report the matter to the police to get a new SIM issued, I visited the police station the next day to lodge a complaint in this regard. But the officials there asked me to come the next day saying there was no one to attend to my complaint,” said Iqbal Singh, a shopkeeper.

“Since then, I have been visiting the police station time and again, but every time, I had to return empty handed as there was no one to register my complaint,” he added.

As the police personnel have been deployed near the venue for the rally, there has been no police patrolling in the town for the past three days. It is not only the police stations, where the routine work has been halted due to the SAD rally, but the situation is no different in other other government offices as well.

Moreover, the deployment of a large number of cops near the venue for rally and on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway has baffled the police personnel too.

Jagraon DSP Harpal Singh said, “We have been instructed by the higher authorities to beef up the security in the area as a number of VVIPs are scheduled to take part in the rally and we cannot take any risk.”

Though he claimed that this had not affected the functioning of police stations as there were enough officials present at the police stations to address the problems of the residents.



Aromatic delight for devotees at gurdwara
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 17
An aromatic delight welcomes devotees at Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib as around 105 varieties of chrysanthemum have been put on display at the entrance to the Gurdwara complex.

Hundreds of flower, kept in small mounts, have been arranged as rings of colour at the entrance. The flowers are in full bloom.

“Various varieties of the flower such as snowball, sonar bangla, kassa, grada, anmol, Mother Teresa, spider have been catching the fancy of devotees at the gurdwara for quite sometime now. These flowers will be displayed till December 31,” said Mahinder Pal Singh, under whose leadership these flowers were developed.

“Initially we brought some varieties from the PAU, but now a nursery has been created at Bhai Gurdas Gurmat Missionary College, where flowers are developed especially for the gurdwara,” said Pritpal Singh, president of the Gurdwara Management Committee. “There are about 150 varieties of plants and flowers that are being developed about 1,500 sq yards from the college and more than 2,500 flower have been placed there,” said Avtar Singh, member of the management committee.

“Jathedar Pripal Singh, wanted real flowers for the gurdwara not the artificial ones,” said Mahinder Pal Singh, a devotee. “When he visited my home, he appreciated the flowers. He once asked me to plant a few saplings at the gurdwara as well.”

Mahinder Pal Singh, a businessman, said he learnt the art from a gardener of Guru Nanak Public School, Duryodhan.

“This is a good initiative by the gurdwara as these not only look beautiful, but are also good for the environment,” said Neeraj Kumar, a resident of Prem Nagar. “Some of the visitors to the gurdwara got the pictures clicked on their mobile phones with the flowers in the backdrop,” said Gurinder Singh, another visitor.

“These flowers will be kept on display till December 31. As the winter season proceeds further, these flowers tend to lose their beauty because of the excessive cold and dew,” said Avtar Singh.



Books given to needy students

Ludhiana/Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 17
Continuing their mission under the organisation’s Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, officials of the State Bank of India gave stationery and books to needy students of various schools.

NK Charee, chief general manager, Chandigarh, presided over the function. Braille books were distributed among visually challenged students of Training Centre for Blind and differently abled at Kitchlu Nagar. An amount of Rs 50,000 was donated for the welfare of students of the institute.

Reiterating bank’s commitment towards welfare of weaker sections of society and students from special categories, Charee advised deputy general manager Dr G P ray and assistant general manager Anuradha Narayanan that staff of all branches working under their jurisdiction should be actively involved in welfare of members of special classes of their respective areas. — OC



Local lads to take on Patiala in handball final
Anil Datt

Jarkhar (Ludhiana), December 17
After Ludhiana girls emerged champions in handball yesterday, it was the turn of city lads to corner glory. They warded off the stiff resistance from Mohali 33-23 to secure a berth in the title clash on the penultimate day of the 26th Coca-Cola Annual Sports Festival being organised by the Mata Sahib Kaur Sports Club at Jarkhar village on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road.

In the final slated for tomorrow, Ludhiana boys will take on Patiala.

In basketball, the Ludhiana Basketball Academy trainees continued their dominance. The academy cagers proved too good for Ludhiana Club players whom they routed easily (52-25). In the second match, Patiala district defeated Sangrur district 48-31.

In the girls’ section (basketball), Ludhiana and Sangrur district outfits won their respective matches. Ludhiana beat Patiala 32-24, while Sangrur defeated Khalsa College, Ludhiana 40-20. In another match, Patiala drubbed Khalsa College, Ludhiana 48-18.

In volleyball (boys), Satish Chander Dhawan Government College, Ludhiana, had mixed fortunes as they won one match while lost the second one.

In the first encounter, Government College, Ludhiana, overpowered SAI Hostel, Ludhiana, 25-23, 25-14 and 25-18. However, in the second outing, they went down against Kurukshetra University 20-25, 14-25 and 17-25.

The third match was played between Ramgarh and SAI Hostel, Ludhiana, in which the later after trailing 16-25 and 22-25, conceded the tie.

In six-a-side hockey (girls), Haryana XI drew 3-all with Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Government Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Ludhiana, while Kairon Wing beat Khalsa College, Ludhiana, 4-0.

In kabaddi (national style), Punjab Police, Jalandhar, beat Khalsa College, Amritsar, 28-14; Khanpur beat Ranian 45-42; Khalsa College, Amritsar, beat Manawala 30-13; Punjab police, Jalandhar beat Takhanpur 22-11 and Ranian beat Rnawala 34-13.

In kabaddi (circle style-one village), Khilchian beat Dhode; Gujjarwal beat Jassar; Jhaner beat Dehlon; Jodhan beat Ghaloti; Churchak beat Sidhwan and Jawaddi Kalan beat Khandoor.



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