L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


EC watchdogs to keep hawk eye on poll
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
The Election Commission of India has planned to keep a hawk eye on each polling booth on January 30. In its latest instructions to the election officers, it has directed that all polling booths and stations will be covered by one of the following watchdogs apart from the district, the police (paramilitary forces, state armed police, cameras or micro-observers (senior Central government employees, who observe the proceedings on the poll day and report directly to the observers in case any foul play).

As per these latest instructions, there had been complaints in the past that the district police, especially at the middle and the lower-level, remains “under pressure” of politicians and hence to ensure that there no favoritism by anyone on poll day, the ECI has contemplated this latest move.

A senior police official while commenting on the move, said, “This will ensure that an additional eye will watch all the polling booths on the poll day apart from the district police. To further ensure that the district police does its work fairly and without prejudice, the election commission has further directed the randomization of all the police staff, to be deployed on the poll day. The Election Commission has further directed that it should be ensured that no police official gets posted in his home, address or working constituency.”

There are 1,121 polling stations with 2,262 polling booths in the Ludhiana district alone. The district administration has decided to cover all 564 single booth locations with cameras (video or digital) and remaining 647 multi-booth locations with CPMF/SAP or micro-observers or both.

Meanwhile, the district police has sought at least 3,500 more cops for the Ludhiana elections. They have just got 200 and an SP has been specially sent to Chandigarh to meet the higher officials in this regard.


Ludhiana East
Sword of rebel(lion) hangs on Cong, SAD candidates
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 11
At least for once Gurmel Singh Pehalwan of the Congress and Ranjit Singh Dhillon of the SAD, who are contesting the Assembly elections from the Ludhiana East Assembly constituency, are in an equally disadvantageous position as both of them are facing rebellion from within the party to such an extent which could have a significant bearing on their prospects.

While former District Congress Committee (Urban) President Jagmohan Sharma filed his nomination papers as an Independent candidate from the segment, claiming to be the representative of the trade and industry, SAD rebel Daljit Singh Grewal, claiming support of two other party councillors, said he stand firmly against the official candidate of the party, and would file his nomination papers tomorrow, which is the last date for filing the nominations.

Even though senior Congress leaders had been trying to persuade the rebels- Jagmohan Sharma and former president of the District Youth Congress Dimple Rana-to fall in line, they met with no success in the case of the former. However, Dimple Rana seems to have mellowed down a bit, but he still refuses to actively join the election campaign of an official candidate. “ I will neither oppose nor work for the Congress nominee,” he said while talking to The Tribune today.

Sources in the SAD revealed that a few party functionaries had tried to rein in Daljit Singh Grewal, who has announced his candidature as an Independent against party nominee Ranjit Singh Dhillon without getting any positive response. Feelers were also sent to Gurpreet Singh Gora, another SAD councillor and Randhir Singh Sibia, husband of SAD councillor Ratanjit Kaur, who are openly supporting Grewal. But both of them are said to have rebuffed the move while taking a firm stand in support of Grewal.

Meanwhile, SAD nominee Ranjit Singh Dhillon filed his nomination papers today before Returning Officer Daljit Kaur. Congress candidate Gurmel Singh Pehalwan will file his papers tomorrow.



It’s all in the stars, feel politicians
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Suddenly, politicians are getting interested in number crunching and star gazing. With January 30, the date of the Punjab Assembly poll, drawing closer, politicians are making a beeline for astrologers and soothsayers.

Since the announcement of the election date, politicians have gone into an overdrive, says Rupinder Saggoo, astrologer and numerologist.

“Politicians, cutting across party lines, are visiting us. Usually, they have three questions, the probability of their win, the probability of the win of their party and whether they will get a post in the new government,” says Pawan Kumar Sharma, a local astrologer.

Right from the auspicious day for filing nomination papers to the astrologically right person to be their covering candidate, politicians seek consultation from ‘experts’. Astro-consultation has ‘neighbourly concerns’ too.

“Once consultations for oneself are done with, politicians switch over to ‘astrological charts’ of their friends. More often than not, these are not very friendly concerns. These have more to do with the apprehension that their colleagues in the party may do better than them,” says another astrologer.

Seeking second and even third opinion is quite common. “If any astrologer’s prediction does not seem comfortable, it is common to seek the opinion of another, who can offer a host of convincing remedies,” says the astrologer.

Quick-fix solutions are much in demand. “We are asked to suggest stones that can assure them of a win. The more elaborate the remedy, the more confidence it generates in our clients. Recitation of mantras and simple remedies cut no ice with our clients,” says an astrologer.

However, most of the candidates are reluctant to admit stargazing in public. “Actually, it is not the question of belief in astrology or numerology. I feel that if some ‘remedy’ can be beneficial to my friend’s political career, there is no reason why he should not take recourse to it,” says a supporter of a party candidate.



Traders in a fix over carrying cash in pvt vehicles
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Confusion prevails among businessmen over the limit fixed for carrying cash as the election code of conduct has been enforced due to the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections. The industrialists are still confused though the limit for carrying cash in hand has been fixed at Rs 2.5 lakh. Most of them want to know whether the limit will remain the same even if more than one person is travelling in a private vehicle.

Santosh Aggarwal, a businessman, who resides at Aggar Nagar, said, “I along with two of my friends go in a car to our office located at Focal Point due to the ongoing construction of a subway at Aggar Nagar. A police team stopped us at the Jagraon Bridge and found Rs 3 lakh in our car. Though we showed our ID card to the cops still they seized the money as it was above the permissible limit. Though the money belonged to two of us, but our pleas remained unheard,” he added.

Aggarwal added that he was not aware that two persons could not carry more than Rs 2.5 lakh in the same car.

Another businessman from the same area, Jeevan Gupta, said earlier he and his neighbour used to go together to their work places, but now they have stopped going due to the strictness. “It is not possible to carry our payments home as the permissible limit for carrying the cash is Rs 2.5 lakh. Now, we drive in different cars till elections,” he added.

President of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association, Badish K Jindal, said it wasn’t clear if the limit for carrying cash for a single person is Rs 2.5 lakh or it is the limit for carrying cash in a private vehicle.

“The trade and industry in the city is already passing through a rough phase and now this election code of conduct is weighing heavy on us. When the Income tax and sales tax departments are already keeping a vigil on our day-to-day transactions then there is no need for this.” he added.



Watchman’s murder: Three migrants arrested
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
The police claims to have solved the murder of Raju Sharma (22), a watchman, with the arrest of three accused, Baldev Singh and Sachin Kumar, natives of Bihar, presently residing in Islam Ganj as well as Bablu Dube, a native of Jharkhand presently residing in Moti Nagar.

The trio had allegedly killed Raju at a textile unit near the Cheema Chowk on January 5. Commissioner Police Ishwar Chander said the accused had confessed to having committed the heinous crime.

The accused confessed during interrogation that the owner of the factory had brought about Rs 2.5 lakh on the premises of the factory. Raju, the watchmen, had seen the owner keeping the cash in the safe. Raju told two other factory workers- Bablu and Baldev Singh- about his intention to steal the money from the cash. Baldev asked two of his friends-Sachin and Kishore-to accompany them.

They tried to steal the cash on the intervening night of January 4 and 5th, but could lay their hands on just Rs 42,000 instead of Rs 2.5 lakh. All of them blamed Raju for stealing the remaining money and entered into a heated argument. “Bablu, Sachin, Baldev and Kishore blamed Raju for stealing the remaining amount and strangulated him.

The police recovered Rs 8,800 and a mobile phone of Raju from Baldev, Rs 1,600 from Sachin and Rs 2,700 from Bablu. Kishore is absconding,” the Police Commissioner added. A case has been registered against the accused at the Division Number 6 police station on the basis of a complaint filed by Raju’s brother Jiwan Lal.



Assembly elections
77 candidates file nomination papers today
Shivani Bhakoo/ Jaswant Shetra/ Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
As many as 77 candidates belonging to various political parties filed their nomination papers from various constituencies here today.

Today was the fifth day of filing the papers. The process started on January 7 and will end tomorrow.

Election Officer Rahul Tewari said 77 nomination papers were filed in the district. The date of withdrawal of nominations is January 16 while the scrutiny of papers will be done on January 13.

Meanwhile Surinder Dawar, a Congress candidate, filed his papers from the Ludhiana central constituency in the presence of returning officer Jaswant Singh today. As per an affidavit filed by Surinder Dawar, he has Rs 1,45,000 in cash while his spouse has Rs 1,22,000 cash.

The grand total of Dawar's movable assets, including bank deposits, investment in bonds, etc is Rs 1,34,83, 428 while his wife has assets worth Rs 98, 10, 999.

He has immovable assets of Rs 11, 47, 33,000 while his wife has Rs 2,92,58,000.

Dawar was accompanied by Anil Malhotra, Pritpal Singh Ghayal, Hem Raj Aggarwal, Pawan Dewan and Raju Thapar.

Malkit Singh Dakha filed nomination papers from the Gill constituency.

He has movable assets of Rs 23,41,485 while the grand total of immovable assets is Rs 1.15 crore. Dakha has Rs 2.49 lakh in cash.

Balwinder Bains, an independent candidate, filed his nomination from the Ludhiana (south) constituency.

No incident of poll violation was reported at the time of filing of papers. Balwinder was accompanied by residents of the area at the office of Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner-cum-returning officer Harbir Singh at the time of filing of nomination.

Balwinder Bains has Rs 7,87,3060 cash in hand. He is facing cases under Sections 186, 353 and 506 of the IPC for obstructing a public servant from performing his duty. The case was registered in April 18, 2003 and is pending in the court.

Congress candidate Ashok Prashar, alias Pappi Shahpuria, today filed his nomination papers from the Ludhiana south constituency here.

The 47-year-old has been fielded against Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura of SAD-BJP and independent candidate Balwinder Bains, who was ousted from SAD-BJP a few days ago, along with his brother Simarjit Bains.

The candidature of Shahpuia was opposed by Congress activist Bhupinder Singh Sidhu, who was denied party ticket a few days ago.

No poll violation was reported at the time of the filing of papers.

Accompanied by his brother and other relatives, Prashar quickly filed his papers in the office of Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner-cum-returning officer Harbir Singh here.

As per an affidavit filed by Prashar, a high-school passout, has Rs 1.1 lakh in cash while his spouse has Rs 1.07 lakh.

Prashar has invested around Rs 30 lakh in interest business and Rs 4.5 lakh in his wife’s name.

The Congress candidate, who has often been seen travelling in swanky sport utility vehicles (SUVs), owns a scooter. Both Prashar and his wife own 70-tola gold worth Rs 30 lakh.

As per the income tax return (ITR) filed by Prashar during 2010-2011, he has an income of Rs 7,70,662 from commercial business. Prashar owns a 2362 sq-ft commercial building in Anand Nagar.

Jagraon: Three candidates, including that of ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Sanjha Morcha led by Manpreet Badal’s People’s Party of Punjab and a Congress rebel, filed their nominations to contest the upcoming Assembly elections from the Jagraon constituency.

All three candidates reached the office of Jagraon SDM-cum-returning officer Isha Kalia to file their nomination papers.

SAD-BJP combine candidate and former ADC Shiv Ram Kaler was the first to file his nomination.

He was accompanied by former Jagraon MLA and District Planning Board chairman Bhag Singh Mallha, former Member Parliament Gurcharan Singh Galib, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member Gurcharan Singh Grewal and former SGPC member Harsurinder Singh Gill.

Kaler reached the office of returning officer with a large number of Akali supporters, but the security forces stopped all supporters about 100m away from the office and allowed only five persons to enter the office.

Kaler was followed by Major Singh Lakha of People’s Party of Punjab, who was accompanied by PPP municipal councillor Kulwinder Singh Kala, CPI district general secretary Gurdeep Singh Moti and a few others.

Another candidate Rajeshinder Singh Sidhu, who was earlier seeking Congress ticket from the Jagraon constituency, also filed his nomination to contest as an independent candidate after he was denied ticket by the party.

Koom Kalan MLA Isher Singh Meharban, filed his nomination on January 9.

Khanna/Samrala: Akali Dal candidate from the Khanna constituency Ranjit Singh Talwandi today filed his nominations papers before SDM Inderjit Kaur Kang. His brother Jagjit Singh Talwandi also filed his papers as a covering candidate. Congress candidate Gurkirat Singh Kotli filed his papers yesterday. Akali Dal candidate Kirpal Singh Khirnia filed his nomination papers from the Samrala constituency in the office of Samrala SDM Jasbir Singh. His son and Akali Dal MLA Jagjivan Singh Khirnia filed his papers as a covering candidate. PPP candidate Jasmel Singh Bondli also filed his papers as the PPP candidate.

Rs 6 lakh, 1.8-gm gold recovered

Khanna: The police recovered Rs 6 lakh in cash and 1.8-gm gold worth Rs 45 lakh during nakas today. The police said it stopped an Indigo car.

On conducting a search, cash was recovered from the vehicle.

Owners of the car Daljit Singh is a resident of Bahora. The police said Daljit failed to show documents of the car. In another incident, a police party stopped a Punjab Roadways bus and recovered 1.8-gm gold from one Pardeep Kumar.



Cong rebels field Bagga as Independent
Takes U-Turn on resignation issue
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Against the candidature of Surinder Dawar, rebel Congress councillors, who had threatened to resign from their posts if Dawar’s ticket was not cancelled, have fielded Ashok Bagga as an Independent candidate from the Central constituency against Dawar and Gosain. On the issue of the resignation, they, however, took a U-turn saying the Congress was their party, why should they resign? While Ashok Bagga claimed that all rebel councillors will resign in his favour.

Talking to The Tribune, Ashok Bagga said with the support of the Congress councillors, (who were against Dawar’s candidature), he filed his nomination papers from the Central constituency as an Independent. On asking whether others had resigned from the party, Bagga claimed that the rebel councillors were with him and they would soon resign.

A senior Congress councillor quipped why should we resign from the party? “Congress is our party, why should we resign from it? We are against Dawar; our motive is to fight against him and not the party. We are supporting Bagga and will ensure that others too come in his favour. Though we had conveyed our sentiments to the party, but they seem to be reluctant to cancel Dawar’s ticket. In protest against the allotment of ticket to Dawar, we have fielded Ashok Bagga, who is more competent than others,” the councillor added.

During a recent press conference, convened by the rebel Congress Councillors, it was claimed that all would resign from the party. On asking whether they will resign, majority of them said they would take decision in this regard later on.



Poll keeps health officials on their toes
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
The Drug Controller of state today pulled up wholesale dealers of Pindi Street and directed them to submit the records of the habit-forming drugs within a week.

Ajay Singla, Drug Controller, said, “I have directed all wholesale dealers to submit the records of the past three months within a week to one week to the district drug inspector. I had issued this direction to them about a month-and-a-half ago. But, today, I once again issued same instructions to the wholesale dealers in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections.” The wholesale dealers have also been asked to file the record of the sale and purchase of such drugs in the first week of every month.

Meanwhile, District Drug Inspector Sanjeev Kumar along with Drug Inspectors Karuna Gupta, Sanjeev Kumar, Perneet Kaur and Rup Preet Kaur raided a chemist shop at Pindi Street and seized habit-forming drugs of worth Rs 90,000.



A home away from home
Nearly 4,000 to 5,000 Kashmiris come to city every winter to sell shawls
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
For some Kashmiris, Ludhiana has become a second home. They keep coming to the city every six months to sell their exclusive produce-shawls.

While some own shops in the city, others go door to door.

Nearly 4,000 to 5,000 Kashmiris come to the city every winter to sell shawls which they produce back home. They are not a part of the shawl industry being run in the city, but are indispensable.

Kharri Mohalla near Subhani building houses Kashmiris. They live in rented accommodations. Every morning they leave for the city and move from one area to another to sell shawls which they produced during a six-month stay in their hometown.

Sixty six year old Gulam Mahadin has been coming to the city for the past 15 years.

“My family, including my wife, son and my daughter-in-law, are engaged in the art of shawl making. They produce masterpieces and after every six years I come here to sell those. I own a shop in Kashmir,” he added.

Another Kashmiri Mohd Iklaq said they had regular clientèle from the city.

“We visit our clients, take orders and deliver the same to our clients during our next visit. Ludhianvis have a great taste and most of my clients go in for pure pashmina and kani shawls. They do not mind paying a fortune to own a masterpiece,” he said.

Abdul Qayam owns a shop at Jawahar Nagar camp. “I have a shop and in between my brothers also go from one area to another to sell shawls. Our shop remains open for six months while in summer it remains closed. We are doing a good business in the city. We also sell stoles and suits,” said Qayam.

“I learnt the art from my grandfather and now my son is learning the same from me. We have permanently shifted our base from Kashmir to Ludhiana due to lucrative business opportunities in the city and regularly supply shawls to a city-based company,” Mahadin stated.



Teachers not paid salary for six months
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
On the one hand, the SAD-BJP government is boasting of establishing 21 new colleges while on the other teachers at these institutions have not received salary for the past six months.

These colleges were to get an amount of Rs 200 crore under the grant in-aid scheme. As only Rs 52 crore has been released so far, the former could not release the salary of teachers.

“Despite the fact that the finance minister himself is a principal of an aided college, the problem is not being solved. The Deputy CM’s tall claims of boosting Punjab's economy have fallen flat,” said Prof Vinay Sophat, finance secretary, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers' Union.

Prof VK Bhardwaj from Arya College said, “A number of teachers have not received salary for long. The Punjab government did not release the second instalment under the scheme.”

The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) condemned the government for its delaying tactics.



Research papers presented

Ludhiana: Scientists of the department of veterinary pathology, College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University attended the XXVIII Annual Conference of Indian Association of Veterinary Pathologists( IAVP) and National Symposium on “Innovative Research Approaches for Diagnostic Pathology” at Madras Veterinary College, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chennai. During the symposium, a research paper entitled “Molecular subtyping of canine mammary tumours and its prognostic significance” presented by Kuldip Gupta and co-authored by Naresh Kumar Sood and Amarjit Singh received

Prof (Dr) S Ramachandran Memorial Molecular Oncology Award. Another research paper entitled “Expression and significance of cancer stem cells in canine mammary tumour” authored by Dnyaneshwar Shivaji Gavhane, Amarjit Singh, Kuldip Gupta, Deepti Narang, Mirza Rizwan Baig, Ramneek Verma and Naresh Kumar Sood received Savithree Jibachch Sinha Best Poster Presentation Award. — TNS



Commissioner suspends cop for whiling away time
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Commissioner of Police Ishwar Chander suspended an Inspector, who was not found in his seat by him, yesterday morning. Inspector Raj Kuamr, deployed in the PC branch, was reportedly found sitting with head clerk Madan Mohan.

Sources said the Commissioner of Police spotted them and asked Raj Kumar to explain the reason behind leaving his seat. He was suspended and sent to police line after he failed to give a satisfactory reply.

The sources said Raj Kumar had been made a scapegoat for setting an example among others officers. The Commissioner of Police was annoyed with indiscipline prevailing in his office and was looking for an opportunity to teach shirkers a lesson. He was flooded with complaints against cops who remain missing from their seats.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) Sukhpal Singh Brar confirmed that Raj Kumar had been suspended.

No television

The Commissioner of Police gave orders to remove all television sets from the offices of police officials. He took this step following complaints that policemen remain glued to TV and were not performing their duties.



Tabla maestro enthrals music aficionados
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Abdul Sattar “Tari” Khan, the world-renowned tabla maestro, accompanied with Balbir Kaur, performed at the Gurdwara Gyan Prakash at Jawaddi. The prowess and pace at which his fingers were playing tabla were enough to announce to audience that they were listening to the performance of a maestro.

Appreciative smiles on the faces of music aficionados spoke volumes about the rapturous music they were listening to.

The nimbleness and astonishing quickness of his laggis and crisp, clear and loud thekas drew “wahs” and “jaikaras” from the audience. He gave voice to his taals intermittently during the performance with incredible volubility and drew admiration of all present, including students of Gurmat Missionary College. His face became animated with expressions and smiles in sync with the taals and performance.

It was for the second time that he visited the city and says it is immense love and affection of the people that brings him here. “I get emotional whenever I visit Punjab because of the overwhelming love and respect that I get,” he said.

Talking about music, he said it was all “bakshish” from the Almighty, guidance of the guru and good wishes of fans coupled with “riaz” that makes him a musician. The guru-shishya parampara has been the great tradition and he feels that it needs to be preserved. He said there were no boundaries in the hearts of the people of India and Pakistan. He has several albums to his credit. He said there was a need to preserve the tradition of classical music and promote and propagate this pure genre.



Stress on processing of honey before marketing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Processing of honey plays a vital role in maintaining its quality, which further depends on the type of honey as well as the machinery used. To maintain the natural quality and to prevent spoilage, it is necessary to process the honey before marketing.

Expressing these views, experts of the department of processing and food engineering, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), disclosed that the university had designed a fully mechanised low-cost honey heating-cum-filtration system under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on the post harvest technology scheme.

Experts, namely Dr MS Alam, DK Sharma and VK Sehgal, highlighted that the honey filtered through this system had high-grade quality equivalent to the honey processed through commercial processing plants. This system being simple in working and having the optimum capacity of 50 kg per batch will help both entrepreneurs and beekeepers, said the experts.

Referring to the filtration section, Dr Sehgal told it consisted of stainless steel cylinder having lid of four layered muslin cloth. “The operator is comfortable while working and one person is required for its operation,” he said. The cost of honey heating-cum-filtration system was Rs 45,000, which can process huge quantity of honey per day.



Comedian Kapil rattles Hindu body
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Though, comedian Kapil Sharma has won many a heart with his spontaneous jokes, but it has also rattled activists of a Hindu organisation. It has demanded police action against the comedian for mocking at Hindu sages.

Parveen Dang, a spokesperson of the organisation, has demanded strict action against Kapil Sharma for hurting the religious sentiments of the group. 



Tribune impact
Health dept cancels licence of medical store owner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
The health department has cancelled the licence of Naveen Medicos, as columns of the Tribune published a report regarding the sale of psychotropic drugs at Naveen Medicos near the city bus stand.

Ajay Singla, drug inspector, stated, “After The Tribune highlighted that banned drugs were being sold at Naveen Medicos, we marked an inquiry and took a strict action against the medical store owner. We had suspended his licence twice also in 2010. The health department has issued him a show-cause notice a few days ago. His reply was not satisfactory. So, the health department cancelled his licence today,” he said.



From schools
Class X students bring laurels to school
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Class-X students of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir (BVM) School, Udham Singh Nagar, brought laurels to the school by achieving 100 per cent result. A total of 174 students appeared in the first semester examination. Thirty-five students got 90 per cent marks and above, 85 students were placed between 80 per cent and 89 per cent, 45 students between 70 per cent and 79 per cent and six students between 60 per cent and 69 per cent. Principal Bandana Sethi congratulated the students, their parents and teachers.

Awareness march

Students of SDM High School, Shimlapuri, carried out a drug awareness march here on Wednesday. Volunteers of the Civil Society Against Drugs (CAD), Punjab, told the students about the ill effects of drugs and urged them to pledge to root out the drug menace during the ensuing Assembly elections in the state. Principal Manjit Kaur and school director Rajinder Singh stated that such moves would have a positive effect, as children are the best change agents. Student leaders Mangaldeep Singh and Sangeeta Rani led the march.

Lohri celebrated

Lohri was celebrated amidst joy, enthusiasm and fun at Green Land Public School, Jalandhar bypass. Students were dressed in traditional attire. They performed bhangra and giddha around the bonfire as it gave them an opportunity to break free from their busy schedule and share each others’ company. They relished chirwa, meva, til, gur, rewri and gachak.

Everest school

Lohri was celebrated with great pomp and show at Everest Play Way and Nursery School. Principal Poonam Sharma while addressing students highlighted the importance of the day. They also sang “Sunder Mundreiye”. They danced to the beats of dhol. “Kite flying has been a passion for me since my childhood and it is the best fun activity for boys,” said Madhur Miglani, a student.

Doraha students shine

Doraha: Students of Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha, brought laurels to the school by excelling in class X first semester examinations held by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB). Amandeep Kaur excelled with 96.5 per cent marks, while Jotkamal Kaur secured 96 per cent marks. Around 20 students scored above 90 per cent and 32 obtained above 80 per cent marks. The overall result of the school is 100 per cent. School president Roop Brar, vice-president Harpartap Singh Brar, director Jaswant Singh Gill, manager Tarlok Singh Jaggi and principal DP Thakur congratulated the students and inspired them to achieve more in the future.



From colleges
Folk songs mark Lohri celebrations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Lohri, depicting seasonal change, was celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm at the Government College for Women (GCW), Ludhiana, here on Wednesday.

Principal Gurminder Kaur graced the occasion with her presence. Student council in charge, Prof Parmjeet Kaur, from the department of Punjabi highlighted the significance of Lohri and encouraged the students to celebrate the festival in a traditional manner.

The festival began with the traditional folk songs and dance performances by the students. The students also presented a cultural programme to mark the celebrations.

The students also danced to the tunes of dholak around the bonfire. Vice-principal Sudarshan Mahta presented a vote of thanks. The principal distributed gifts to the Class IV employees for their services.

Road safety week

The Indian Society of Technical Education (ISTE), students’ chapter, and NSS wing of the Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), Gujarkhan campus, Model Town, Ludhiana, organised a contest to mark the road safety week. Paper reading and slogan-writing competitions were organised pertaining to the road safety rules and how to prevent any causality in the matter of raod accident.

Director Dr (Col) HS Singha, deputy director; Dr Sandhya Mehta, and faculty members were present on the occasion. The topics of paper-reading contest were “Usage of cell phone while driving”, “What if there were no traffic rules?” and “Wearing helmet: A style statement”. Roma Gupta of BCA-VI bagged the first position in paper reading, followed by Ivneet Kaur (MBA-II) and Simran (MBA-II) standing second, whereas third position was jointly bagged by Veer Dhiman (BBA-IV) and Sheenam of MBA-IV.



Constituency Watch: Raikot
Bad roads, drug mafia plaguing region
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Eid-Maseet Road in a pitiable condition at Raikot
Eid-Maseet Road in a pitiable condition at Raikot. photo: inderjeet verma

Ludhiana, January 11
The newly reserved constituency of Raikot has been merged with 73 villages. Voters of this constituency have a number of civic problems like bad condition of roads, poor health infrastructure and the area is under the influence of the drug mafia as many youths are addicted to drugs.

The constituency does not have any higher educational institution.

The voters in the area are mostly Jat Sikhs.

The area has been reserved, as the Dalit community contributes to more than 36 per cent of the votes.

The area also has Hindu and Muslim voters. Agriculture is the main occupation in the area.

SAD (B) is fielding Bikramjeet Singh Khasla as its candidate, where as the Congress is fielding Gurcharan Singh Boparai from here. Earlier, the Talwandi family had a strong hold on this constituency.

Even Congress sitting MLA Harmohinder Singh Pradhan was influential in the area but recently Raikot has been declared as a reserved constituency post delimitation and so the Congress had to field another candidate from here.



Youngsters involved in drugs, police cases

Youths want the region free from drugs
Youths want the region free from drugs; while (right) girls want higher educational institute in the region. photos: Inderjeet Verma

The area is poorly developed and youths here are addicted to drugs. Psychotropic drugs are being sold openly in the area. The drug mafia’s has strong influence in the region and during election days they make brisk business from country-made whisky, poppy husk, and opium. Youngsters in the area also face problems as there is no college for higher education.

“Political parties use youths to serve their own purpose. A large number of youths from villages are involved in police cases. Small gangs are active in villages and they often quarrel with each other” Sukhjinder Singh, a student said.

Maninder Kaur, a student of MA, Punjabi, from Jorran village said, Education is not on the priority list of the governments in the state. A government college should be constructed in Raikot. Private colleges are very costly and every one can’t afford to study in these colleges.

Gurpreet Singh, a young poet said, “Politicians have been spoiling our youths. There are number of youngsters who were good players in the school college time. But since they are hooked on to drugs their future is bleak”.

Manpreet Kaur, a college going girl form Haridaspur village, said, “A government college should be constructed in the Raikot area. The youths here are not able to rise in the academic field, as they no opportunity.

Ramandeep Kaur from Jattpura village said, “Corruption is eating into in our system”.



Poll Buzz
Sonia pacifies disappointed Pawan Dewan

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has assured District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (urban), president Pawan Dewan a suitable position once the Congress forms the government in the state.

According to a press note issued here last evening, Sonia told Dewan that she had read the representation he had made to her after being denied the party ticket from Ludhiana West.

Dewan assured the party president that he would work for the party in Ludhiana district and extend his full support to the six candidates falling under Ludhiana (Urban).



Khadi selling like hot cakes as elections draw close
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
With the Assembly polls drawing near, the demand for khadi kurta-pyjama is picking up. Political leaders and workers of different political parties prefer to wear this outfit that has become a style statement.

Khadi shop owner Harminder Singh Happy, who is also contesting as an independent candidate from Ludhiana East, said, "I have been stitching khadi kurta-pyjama from 1997 at my Basti Jodhewal-based shop. During elections, I get a lot of orders for this dress. Already, I have stitched 30-40 khadi kurta-pyjamas for candidates from different parties. The demand is increasing day by day. In fact, now I have stopped taking fresh orders for stitching. I tell the customers to buy the khadi dress material and get it stitched elsewhere."

The demand for khadi jackets too is soaring. The jackets cost around Rs 2500 per piece.

Gopal Krishan, manager of Satluj Khadi Bhandar, Chaura Bazaar, said, "The demand for khadi dress material has gone up."

Ashok Kumar, a salesman at Nokodar Khadi Bhandar, said, "The sale of khadi dress material has picked up due to the elections as well as due to the rebate that is being offered these days." The rebate on khadi products starts in the month of October. There are also several local leaders who wear khadi bought from Connaught Place, Delhi. Rakesh Kumar Pandey who is contesting as Congress candidate from Ludhiana North, said, "Earlier I used to buy the khadi dress material from Ludhiana. But with the passage of time, I saw that the khadi sold here was not as fine as the one that we got in Delhi."



Thieves decamp with 12-tola gold

Ludhiana, January 11
In the latest incident of theft, thieves struck at a temple and decamped with 12 tolas of gold jewellery and cash worth Rs 2 lakh.

The temple is located adjacent to the Dharmapura police post falling under the division No. 3 police station.

The theft came to light here yesterday when devotees came to the temple and were shocked to find the gold ornaments missing and donation box broken. Witnessing clamour, the police rushed to the spot. — TNS



Two killed in road accidents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
Two youths died in separate road mishaps that occurred in the city in the last 24 hours.

As per information, Prince (22), a resident of Basti Jodhewal, was going with his friend Kamal when a bus hit them. Prince died on the spot while Kamal was admitted to a private hospital.

In another road incident that happened, Mangal, an 18-year-old boy, died when a tractor-trailer hit his motorcycle. Mangal died on the spot.



Baseball Meet 
Double delight for Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Punjab baseball teams cornered glory in the 26th edition of the National Baseball Championship clinching gold medals in the men as well as women’s sections held at Indore in Madhya Pradesh from January 5 to 9.

As many as 26 squads competed in the men’s category, while Punjab came out triumphant to lift the title. In the final, Punjab faced a stiff challenge from Goa whom they managed to sneak past with a narrow margin (4-3).

However, the final played in the women’s category between Punjab and Madhya Pradesh turned out to be a mismatch, as the former wrapped it without facing much resistance. The Punjab eves romped home 9-0.

Ramesh Kumar of Punjab was named the best hitter of the tournament in addition to the best pitcher award, while Sukhjeet Kaur was adjudged the best catcher and Amanjeet Kaur was declared the best hitter in the women’s category.

The office-bearers of the Punjab State Baseball Association appreciated the players and congratulated their coaches, Sukhdev Singh and Harbir Singh Gill.



Harjeet strikes silver in boxing meet
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 11
Harjeet Singh, a 17-year-old budding pugilist and a trainee of Sher-e-Punjab Sports Academy, Chakar near Jagraon, brought laurels to the village and Ludhiana district by striking a silver medal at the 57th Junior National Boxing Championship held at New Delhi recently.

Dr Balwant Sandhu, president of Sher-e-Punjab Sports Academy, told Harjeet Singh won a silver medal in the under-17 50-52 kg category of the championship.

“It was the second time that Harjeet Singh represented Punjab in the national championship. He defeated boxers from Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh and Manipur before losing to a boxer of New Delhi in the final of the championship,” said Sandhu.

Elated over his achievement, Harjeet said he aimed to represent the country in the Olympics and to win a medal. “I am working hard to achieve my target. Though I lost the final, my performance in the junior national championship has given me confidence, which would keep me inspiring to do better in the future,” said Harjeet Singh.



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