L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Poll duty hits bank work
Banks to remain shut on Jan 26, weekend and Jan 30
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
Customers were inconvenienced as some nationalised banks remained shut due to election duty today. The banks will also not be operational on January 26, the coming weekend and January 30, the day of polling. Even clearing in these bank branches has been put on hold as the entire staff has been put on election duty.

Badish Jindal, an industrialist, said it had become difficult for them with so many bank holidays in a row. “Firstly, cash limit has been imposed and now banks are closed as the staff is on election duty. How will our business survive? Money transaction is a daily requirement for us. It is affecting our business. The administration should have distributed election duties in a way that the work of banks was not affected,” he said.

Not only customers, but also bank officials are a harried lot as their work is being carried over. “Since we are on election duty, our official work is suffering. There is chaos as our work is getting piled up. It will be difficult for us to complete it once we are back on duty,” an official from Punjab National Bank said.

Another customer Manjinder Singh said he went to the bank to make a draft, but was disappointed to see the branch closed. “Since tomorrow is also a holiday, I will not be able to get the draft. Duties of the bank employees should have been worked out judiciously as banks involve direct public dealings,” he said.


Son sets house afire after tiff with father
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
In a freak incident, a 25-year-old frustrated youth tried to set his house on fire following a dispute with his father at Rajguru Nagar here today. The youth, identified as Ajay Kumar, collected household material from his father’s room and set it on fire this afternoon.

Neighbours spotted the flames and raised the alarm. Soon, the police and fire-fighters reached the spot and doused the fire.

Brij Mohan, SHO Sarabha Nagar, said Ajay had a heated argument with his father Ayodhya Prasad, an employee at the PAU soil department. In a fit of rage, he collected some material from his father’s room and set it on fire.

The police detained Ajay, but released him after his father refused to lodge a complaint against his son and requested the police to let him go.



Crackers go off as dream girl comes calling
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Bollywood actor Hema Malini is visibly upset at the continuous bursting of crackers during a rally in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, January 25
Crackers were being burst on the arrival of “dream girl” Hema Malini at Janakpuri here today. It seemed like Divali during the day. The glamour queen was in the city to campaign for the BJP candidate from Ludhiana Central, Sat Pal Gosain.

Clad in a beige suit with a pink dupatta and an embroidered shawl, Hema Malini looked elegant. She asked the crowd to vote for “sher-e-Punjab” Satpal Gosain.

She said: “I call Dharamji sher-e-Punjab, but in Ludhiana, Gosain deserves the title. Being a ‘bahu’ of Punjab, it is my right to seek favour from you all. You must cast your vote in support of Gosain. Last time also, I had asked you to vote for Gosain and he won.

“You should support him from the Central constituency as he has done some excellent development work in the area.”


  • Party workers urged BJP partymen to get up from their chairs and allow Akali workers and women BJP workers to occupy the seats
  • The organisers of the rally appealed to the public to provide space to mediapersons so that the rally could get good coverage
  • Shopkeepers, residents stood on rooftops to get a glimpse of Hema Malini
  • BJP workers surrounded Hema Malini, making it difficult for her to get off the stage due to a huge rush of fans and mediapersons

Mismanagement and chaos

  • There was chaos at the rally when residents, shopkeepers and the general public tried to get near the main stage to get a glimpse of Hema Malini by breaking barricades. BJP workers repeatedly requested people to clear the stage for VVIPs, but to no avail.

Workers told not to burst crackers

  • As soon as Hema Malini arrived on stage, a show of fireworks began. The continuous bursting of crackers was distracting and workers had to appeal to residents and shopkeepers not to burst crackers so that her speech was audible.



Padma Shree for poet Surjit Patar
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
City-based Punjabi poet Surjeet Patar has been selected for the Padam Shri award. Delighted over the announcement, Patar said whenever any award was announced for him, he felt it was for his mother tongue, Punjabi.

“I feel pleased to see art and poetry being a part of news. More and more youth are drawn to it. The younger generation loves glamour and if poetry is part of news, they will automatically get attracted to it,” he said.

“Punjabi should be introduced in schools from class I. The course should be made interesting and imaginative. The syllabus for Punjabi should be designed in such a manner that children want to read it. Writing for children is more difficult as one has to fabricate each and every word to regale them.”

“Making cartoons and children’s films in Punjabi can be another step in promoting the language. Punjabi should not be presented as a rough language,” he remarked. Over the years, Patar has observed that only a few students in the batch are interested in poetry. “Even when I was in college, only five-six students were interested in poetry. Poetry is not everybody’s cup of tea. Only a few are in love with this form of literature,” he said.

“Over the years, the situation has remained the same. Our state lacks libraries. The government should open libraries so that the younger generation is inclined towards reading,” he added.

Impressive repertoire

Surjeet Patar started writing poetry in the mid-60s. Among his works are Hawa Vich Likhe Harf, Birkh Arz Kare, Hanere Vich Sulagdi Varnmala, Lafzaan Di Dargah, Patjhar Di Pazeb and Surzameen. He has translated into Punjabi three tragedies of Federico García Lorca; the play Nag Mandala of Girish Karnad; and poems of Bertolt Brecht and Pablo Neruda. He has also adapted plays from Jean Giradoux, Euripides and Racine, besides writing tele-scripts on Punjabi poets like Sheikh Farid and Shiv Kumar Batalvi.



Maintain record, cyber cafe owners told
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
To keep a check on the misuse of cyber cafes by anti-social elements, the Additional District Magistrate, Rupanjali Kartik, has issued orders under Section 144 to cyber cafe owners not to allow any stranger to operate from the cafes.

She said a register should be maintained for keeping the record of visitors to the cafe. The visitor’s name, address, telephone number and identity proof would be taken along with signatures in the register.

She said users of cyber cafes should be identified on the basis of the identity card, voter identity card, ration card, driver’s licence, passport or PAN card. The activit server log would be kept safe in the main server and its record would be kept at least for six months.

If the owner of a cyber cafe had doubts about the activities of the user, he must inform the nearest police station and keep the computer record safe. The instructions would remain in effect in the district till March 23.



Campaign trail: Raikot constituency
Candidates promise the moon At meetings
Mahesh Sharma

Gurcharan Singh Boparai, Congress candidate from the Raikot constituency, with his supporters at the Pakhowal block.
Gurcharan Singh Boparai, Congress candidate from the Raikot constituency, with his supporters at the Pakhowal block. A tribune photograph

Bikram Jit Singh Khalsa, SAD candidate from the Raikot constituency, addresses a meeting at Pakhowal. A Tribune photograph

Raikot, January 25
In the newly reserved Assembly segment of Raikot, one-time SAD legislator from the Khanna constituency, Bikram Jit Singh Khalsa, faces comparatively older but first timer Congress candidate Gurcharan Singh Boparai.

To streamline campaigning Bikram jit has established zonal election offices at Pakhowal and Sudhar villages and main office at Grain Market in the town.

It is 9am when he reaches Pakhowal office and listens to the problems faced by activists and leaders of his party. He assures a group of women that their yellow cards will be prepared immediately after the constitution of new government.

SOI president Manpreet Singh Talwandi, who had coordinated with office-bearers of some youth organisations and sports clubs, make him leave the office and the cavalcade leaves for Shahpur village.

On similar lines he conducts at least 15 meetings at Bhaini Arora, Barmi, Buraj Hari Singh Buraj Hakiman, Dhalian, Hissowal, Jand, Kailay, Leelan, Toose, Rajgarh, Nangal Khurad, Norpura and Shahbazpura villages before his election managers advise him to come back to the town before 6 pm.

Time after dusk has been fixed for meetings with office-bearers of various social and religious organisations of the town. Individual meetings are held with activists and office -bearers who might have been offended due to varied reasons.

Khalsa does not have time to have lunch nor does he feel the need for meals during the day as a majority of organisers force him to take tea and snacks when he meets them.

Market Committee chairman Dharampal Singh Andloo, Block Samiti chairman Inderjit Singh Goindwal, Municipal Council president Amandeep Singh Gill, BJP leader Vijay Jain, rural wing leaders Sukhjit Singh and Jaskaran Singh Buttar coordinated his meetings at various places.

However, Congress nominee Gurcharan Singh Boparai seems to be in no hurry as he starts his day a little early. To rejuvenate, he exercises in the indoor gym of his house after getting up at 5.30 am and performs prayer before convening a family meeting during breakfast.

It is 8.30 am when a group of party activists led by former president Sudarshan Joshi and Ramesh Kaura meets him and gives tips on aspirations and mood of local residents, including women. Boparai leaves for his election office near the bus stand after briefing his family members about the schedule of meetings with local women and youth organisations.

He reaches Hissowal village at about 9.30 am and addresses three meetings at different places. Corruption, victimisation of congress activists and underdevelopment are various issues placed before him. Diplomatically he acknowledges grievances of the residents and assures them that he would stand by them in the times to come.

Boparai addresses about 15 meetings at Budhel, Ghuman, Waraich, Rattowal, Halwara, Toose and Jalaldiwal villages in a sequence later in the day after which he returns to Raikot to address meetings fixed by local leaders.

Underdevelopment, poor infrastructure, education and health, besides critical condition of focal points are brought to his notice by the office-bearers and activists of various organisations here.

During his campaign Boparai continues interacting with his supporters and visits election offices at Sudhar, Pakhowal and Nathowal villages. He remains in touch with conveners of these offices Dr Harpal Singh, Dr Kewal Singh and Kamal Amar Singh.

While occasional jokes are welcomed, he keeps fruits in the car that are a substitute for lunch and it helps save time. The campaign continues till late night.



Poster war leads to tension at Tibba Road
Argument broke out over pasting of rival candidate’s poster near Badal Jr's venue
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Tension broke out between supporters of Independent candidate Daljit Grewal and SAD candidate Ranjit Dhillon at Tibba Road in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, January 25
High-drama was witnessed at Tibba road when the supporters of independent candidate Daljit Grewal and SAD candidate Ranjit Dhillon went up in arms few hours before SAD Supremeo Sukhbir Badal was to address a rally on a vacant plot in Tibba Road here today.

The incident took place when Kulwinder Singh, who is said to be a close aide of independent candidate Daljit Grewal, was putting hoardings and posters on a wall of a house located near the venue where Badal junior was to address a rally.

It is learnt that supporters of Ranjit Dhillon got rattled over the pasting of posters near the venue. One of Dhillon's aides even tore the poster of Grewal. This led to a heated argument and both the groups started hurling abuses at each other. Kulwinder Singh alleged that Dhillon’s aide entered into a scuffle with him.

Soon Ranjit Dhillon and Daljit Grewal also reached the spot started making allegations and counter allegations at each other.

Sensing trouble, the election officer and nearly 20 policemen reached the spot and separated both the groups. Later they removed all the poster of both candidates from the wall to end the dispute.

Poster war is common

The police in Jodhewal Basti, Division No 7, and Daba police station said that the poster war had become a routine affair and several fights had broken out recently. The police fears that the constant fights might take an ugly turn on the voting day.



He dedicates his songs to the electoral process
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Karamjeet Grewal
Karamjeet Grewal

Ludhiana, January 25
Lyricists write songs on different subjects but very rarely they write on electoral process of their country. Here is a Punjabi teacher Karamjeet Grewal posted at Government High School, Kheri Jhameri (Ludhiana district), who has recently written three songs dedicated to the electoral process of India.

State award winner of 2009 Grewal said,”I have written three songs related to the electoral process. Two of these have also been incorporated in a play “Loktantar da thham” which was staged by employees of different departments on the instructions of Tehsildar (west) Balwinder Pal Singh. The CD of this play was also prepared to show to the polling staff during rehersals. The first song in this is to inspire the voters for casting their vote, i.e. “chal sarkar banaiye votan pa ke, button daba ke, nehre de vich aaiye deep jaga ke, raah rashna ke”. While the second song reflects the power of a voter, i.e. “Jis din voter apni shakti nu pehchanega , ose din ton desh baharan manega” . Both songs are in this play.”

However, his third song is dedicated to the polling staff who always remain ready to do the duties assigned by the Election Commission of India is “jad hukam jhatt tur paina, rakhi kar ke sada tayari, kuj garjan lai kuj farjan lai, asin saari umar guzari”



Fight for unipoles between rivals intensifies
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
As the state Assembly elections are less than a week away the poster war among candidates in the Atam Nagar constituency seem to have begun full throttle. This “mad race” has reached to such an extent that in some places, the candidates have installed their hoardings right next to each other’s.

This constituency is witnessing a triangular contest between Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Malkit Singh Birmi of Congress and Simarjit Singh Bains, a rebel Akali and now an independent candidate.

Sources within the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation informed that most of the candidates prefer tendered unipoles for placing their hoardings.

“Even as the candidates have installed hoardings on private buildings in some parts of the constituency, but still they prefer unipoles because they are better placed on the road,” said a senior MC official.

Interestingly, on Dugri Road (opposite former Congress minister Harnam Das Johar’s house), two adjoining unipoles have been booked by Simarjit Singh Bains and Hira Singh Gabria. An area shopkeeper quipped, “We all know that both Gabria and Bains are arch rivals and have been indulging in mudslinging on several occasions, but at this place, their hoardings are placed right next to each other.”

Whenever a candidate hires a unipole for installing his posters, the rent paid by the candidate to the contractor is added to the candidate’s expenditure. However, if they install such hoardings without taking requisite permissions, the Election Commission takes a strong note of it and can take strict action against the candidate, in addition to fine.



From colleges
Student wins bronze medal

Ludhiana: Simranjit Singh, BA first year student of Guru Teg Bahadur National College Dakha stood third in the inter-college Panjab University competition in 85-kg category and won the bronze medal.

Seminar on Ramayana

The GGN Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT) organised a seminar on "findings of international research on Ramayana" here on Wednesday. Ashok Kumar Kainth, an international researcher, was the guest speaker. Kainth initiated the session by explaining to the students that Ramayana was an ancient Sanskrit epic that explored human values and the concept of “dharma”.

National Voter’s Day

To spread awareness among students, National Voter’s Day was celebrated at the Government College for Women. Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari was the chief guest on the occasion. He explained anomalies around us, like littered polythene bags, defaced walls, dirty streets, encroachments by shopkeepers, unruly traffic, baggers, congested parking area and fiddle with the electric meters. Recorded address of Chief Election Commissioner was shown to the audience. Poster-making competitions, declamation contest and essay writing competitions were also organised. The winners of various competitions were honoured. Gurpreet Kaur, Poonamdeep and Daljeet Kaur for were first, second and third respectively in the poster-making competition and Santosh Kumari, Geetika and Veerinder Kaur were winners of the essay writing competition. — TNS



From schools
Schools adorned with Tricolour

Ludhiana: Spring Dale School organised a patriotic programme. Students of the junior section danced to the tune of “Nanha Munna Rahi Hun”. A group dance was presented by students of Class I. Students participated in collage making. Prizes were given to participants.

BCM, Everest school

Republic Day was celebrated at BCM School, Basant city. Students presented a march past. Students sang patriotic songs and delivered speeches. Meanwhile the day was celebrated at the junior wing of Everest Public School, Moti Nagar. Children were dressed as freedom fighters.

MGM school

At MGM Public School, an inter-house patriotic song competition was held to fill the simmering colours of patriotism in everybody's heart and mind. School principal Poonam Sharma declared the results of all competitions and gave away prizes to the deserving candidates.

GNPS school

At GNPS Model School, Model Town Extension, the tricolour adorned the campus reflecting the patriotic fervour and fellow feeling. The students enthusiastically involved themselves in colouring worksheets related to national symbols.

GN International school

Students of GN International Public School, Model Town, celebrated Republic Day with great fervour and gaiety. The pre-primary wing was decorated with tricoloured balloons and small flags. An inter-house declamation contest on “Vidyarthi aur Raajneeti”, “Vidyarthi aur Fashion”, “Quami Ekta & Bhrastachar”.

Cherry Lane

At Cherry Lane Playschool, children came dressed as national leaders. Teachers sang patriotic songs. Bal Bharati Public School organised a special programme on Republic Day. It was celebrated with full enthusiasm and patriotic fervour. “Dance Symphony” highlighted unity in diversity as different religions.

Training session

A training session on “Career as a pilot” was conducted at BCM School, Basant city. The event was conducted by Ravi Virdi, vice-president of Aero Academy London, Ontario. He encouraged students to be a pilot in future. An interactive session was also held.

Voter’s Day

“Voter’s Day” was celebrated by the NSS unit of Everest Public School, Moti Nagar. Rajinder Sharma, president, Association of the PSEB Affiliated Schools, spoke on the importance of the day.

Workshop on banking

A workshop on “Basic concepts of Banking” was held at Khalsa Girls School, Civil Lines, for the students of classes XI and XII. Hundred students participated in the workshop. The event was managed by 22 students of teaching of commerce, Malwa Central College of Education, Ludhiana. A visit to Punjab and Sindh Bank, KCW, Ludhiana, was organised.

GK quiz

A GK quiz was conducted at GNPS, Model Town Extension. About 32 students participated in the event.

Prize distribution function

An annual prize distribution function was held at Sacred Heart School, BRS Nagar.

Cultural programme

Doraha: National Flag was unfurled by the chief guest, Amarjit Singh, member of the managing committee at Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School on Wednesday. A cultural programme was presented by students. They recited an English poem. Rakhi read out an article while Gaganpreet Kaur and Ishtpreet Kaur spoke on “Indian Constitution”. Students of classes IV, VIII and IX presented a dance. Manjushaw Vinayak, principal of the school, welcomed guest. She highlighted the significance of Republic Day. — Tribune Reporters



Poll buzz
Muslims hold road show for Pehalwan
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 25
A large number of members of the Muslim community on Wednesday took out a road show in Ludhiana East Assembly segment in support of Congress candidate Gurmail Singh Pehalwan.

Led by Almuddin Saifi, the road show took off from GT Road bypass and passed through Tibba Road, Kabir Nagar, Gurmel Park before concluding at Gopal Nagar. The area residents and shopkeepers accorded a warm welcome to the road show on its entire route.

Addressing the participants of the road show, Pehalwan expressed his gratitude to the Muslim community for expressing solidarity with the Congress.

He said the next government in Punjab which would be formed by the Congress would address the pending issues of the Muslim community on priority.

Pandey bats for unauthorised colonies

Rakesh Pandey, the Congress candidate from Ludhiana North Assembly segment, on Wednesday assured the residents of unauthorised colonies on the periphery of the mega city that once the Congress government took over the reins in the state, he would strive for regularisation of these colonies and their inclusion within the city limits. During his campaigning in Basti Jodhewal, Sekhewal, Gill Colony, Bharti Colony, Civil City, Chander Nagar, Pritam Nagar, Anand Vihar, Sun City and New Tagore Nagar colonies, he said most of these colonies were devoid of proper roads as well as water supply and sewerage network. "If voted to power, the Congress government will take all possible steps to ensure proper delivery of civic services and creation of adequate urban infrastructure. — Kuldip Bhatia



Man held for stealing truck
5 tonnes of iron seized from vehicle
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
The police has arrested a snatcher identified as Lakhwinder Singh, alias Sunny, a resident of LIG Flats, Jamalpur, who along with four others, fled away with a truck loaded with 5 tonnes of iron from Focal Point.

Harjinder Singh, ADCP, said Lakhwinder Singh, Damandeep, alias Goldy, Iqbal Singh Chota, Harman Kumar and Karamjit Singh took away the truck from Focal Point on January 22.

“A truck loaded with 16 tonnes of iron had come from Mandi Gobindgarh. The iron had to be unloaded at a factory in Focal Point area. About 11 tonnes of iron was unloaded while 5 tonnes was still left in the truck when the driver went to have a grub. The accused fled away with the truck. We got the information and nabbed the truck from Focal Point last night. Lakhwinder Singh was arrested while others managed to flee,” added Harjinder Singh.

One Ashok Kumar was arrested from his house at Rose Enclave for selling intoxicating drugs yesterday. On receiving a tip-off, the police raided the house of Ashok Kumar and arrested him with 51,270 tablets, 740 capsules and 219 bottles. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered against Ashok Kumar.



236 bottles of liquor seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
The excise and taxation department today seized 236 bottles of liquor from Subhash Nagar. A team lead by ETO Paramjeet Singh, HS Brar, Urvashi Goel and Anita seized 213 bottles of country liquor and 10 bottles of Indian made foreign liquor. Bottles were confiscated from Bhupinder Singh and Rana and they were fined Rs 20,000 for the same.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |