L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Dang, kin have votes in 2 places
If guilty, FIR will be registered against SAD candidate: Poll officer
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
In what might turn into a major embarrassment for the SAD, the votes of family members of a party councillor, Harbhajan Singh Dang, have been made in two different areas of Model Town Extension here. A total of eight votes, including that of Dang himself, have been made in Ambedkar Nagar and 230/2/BX, Model Town Extension area.

As per rules, no person can have more than one vote in any part of the country and if such a thing happens, an FIR can be registered against him/her.

Booth number 20 comprises the names of councillor Harbhajan Singh Dang (vote no. 118), his wife Surjit Kaur (vote no. 119), son Harpreet Singh (vote no. 121), daughter-in-law Amarjit Kaur (vote no. 123), son Davinder Singh (vote no. 124), daughter-in-law Pushpinder Kaur (vote no. 125), son Sarabjot Singh (vote no. 126) and daughter-in-law Gurinder Kaur (vote no. 127).

Here, their residential address is 30-B, Ambedkar Nagar, Model Town Extension (Ward No. 34); and the polling station is Swami Vivekanand Birdh Ashram, Model Town Extension.

Their votes also figure in booth number 29 as Harbhajan Singh Dang (vote no. 995), Surjit Kaur (vote no. 992), Harpreet Singh (vote no. 999), Amarjit Kaur (vote no. 998), Davinder Singh (vote no. 993), Pushpinder Kaur (vote no. 994), Sarabjot Singh (vote no. 996), and Gurinder Kaur (vote no. 997). Here, their residential address is 230/2/BX, Model Town Extension. The polling station is Guru Singh Sabha High School, Model Town.

When contacted, Harbhajan Dang said he used to live in Ambedkar Nagar earlier. “Now we live in Model Town Extension and got new votes made. At the time of getting new votes, we had informed the staff concerned to delete our votes in Ambedkar Nagar. But if those votes still exist, it’s their mistake and not mine. I am a responsible citizen and would not indulge in such things,” he claimed.

Simarjit Singh Bains, an Independent candidate from Atam Nagar, has submitted a complaint to the returning officer, saying that Dang had got votes made in two places with mala fide intentions. Bains alleged: “I have to inform you that Harbhajan Singh Dang is helping SAD candidate Hira Singh Gabria from the Atam Nagar constituency. Dang is leaving no stone unturned by using unfair means to make him win the elections”.


Printing press owner booked for violating EC guidelines
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
The police has registered a case against a printing press owner for violating the guidelines of the Election Commission (EC).

The owner of Patel Printing Press located in Miller Gunj was booked following the complaint of the returning officer (RO) of the Atam Nagar constituency here today. The RO was conducting a probe into a complaint that the name of the printer was missing from the posters and hoardings of Independent candidate Simarjit Singh Bains dotting the Atam Nagar constituency.

A team of the police and the RO raided the printing press and seized the posters. A case has been registered against the owner under Section 127 (A) of the Representation of People Act.

Sources said by targeting the printing press where the posters of Bains were developed, the police and the RO wanted to send out a strong message among printing press operators.

Controversy surrounds Simarjit Bains

Controversies seem to follow Simarjit Bains, the firebrand Independent candidate who faced a jail term for allegedly thrashing a tehsildar. He was thrown out of the SAD recently along with his brother Balwinder Bains for anti-party activities.



I-T dept seizes Rs 13 cr in one month
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
The income tax department has seen a sudden spurt in its revenue, courtesy the election code of conduct.

Sources in the department said nearly Rs 13 crore had been seized from Punjab after the imposition of the election code of conduct, with a major chunk being recovered from Ludhiana.

“We have observed a sudden increase in the revenue collection by the income tax department following the imposition of the election code of conduct. The revenue collection in a span of one month is triple the amount of revenue earned during normal days,” said a senior official.

Cases of those whose money has been seized will be followed thoroughly after.

Sources said the income tax department would be following these cases and all those whose money had been seized would be under the department’s scanner.

Even if a person has been given a clean chit after the seizure, the case will be scrutinised during the annual filing of the return.

“Nobody carrying unaccounted money will be let off by the income tax department.

“All such cases of violation are being taken very seriously and every case will be marked to the assessing officer who will scrutinise it later at the time of the filing of the return,” he added.



1,200 vehicles deputed for D-day
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
On the polling day (January 30), about 1,200 vehicles will move in the district on poll duty. Vehicles are being hired from banks and LIC by the administration for the polling day to ensure fair and transparent elections in the district.

Since the code of conduct was imposed on December 25, about 400 vehicles have been on government duty, ferrying observers, sector officials, surveillance teams and videographers.

“It has become a tough task to arrange for so many vehicles as the number has doubled this time. About 100 vehicles are needed for the flying squads and surveillance teams of the police, which have been constituted for the first time. Besides, 50-60 vehicles are required by videographers who are recording the activities of major candidates during meetings, rallies and political get-together,” said an official on the condition of anonymity.

Apart from this, 201 sector officers (in charge of 15 booths each) in the district had to monitor each booth. “All of them need separate cars. Earlier, there used to be one model code of conduct team, but this time, the Dakha constituency alone has six teams,” he said.

On the day of the elections, 26,000 persons (police and civil) will be sent to the polling booths.

The district administration is busy arranging about 500-600 buses and mini buses for the purpose. Micro-observers will also be sent in separate vehicles. About 100 vehicles will be needed for them.



Notices issued to 800 employees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Nearly 800 government employees have been served notices by the district election officer after they failed to report at their respective polling stations on January 25. Sources in the administration stated that the circular in this regard was issued this evening by district election officer Rahul Tiwari.

They have been told to report on January 29 with the reason to justify their absence from duty. If the reason is found unsatisfactory, they could face legal action. As many as 14,000 government employees have been put on government duty for the ensuing Assembly election scheduled to be held on January 30. Hundreds of employees skipped poll duty on January 25.



Property dealer from Patiala shot at
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
A 40-year-old property dealer from Patiala sustained a bullet injury near Metro Road following a shooting incident here last night.

The reason of the shooting is not yet known. The police is investigating the matter.

According to the police, the shooting incident took place around 11.30 pm when the victim, who has been identified as Preetinder Singh, a resident of Nabha Gate in Patiala, was travelling in his SUV in the Focal Point area.

Sources said some assailants opened fire at Preetinder Singh. One of the bullets hit him in the hand.

The other bullet missed the target and broke the windshield of the SUV.

It was not immediately clear how Preetinder Singh was rushed to a multi-speciality hospital near Sherpur Chowk. The recovery of two empty bullet cartridges of 7.65mm calibre has further raised the concerns of the police department.

Preetinder Singh had been staying in a local hotel for nearly a fortnight.

The purpose of his visit to the city is not known yet. The Station House Officer (SHO) of Moti Nagar said Preetinder Singh was not in a condition to get his statement recorded.



Man charred to death in freak mishap
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
An unidentified man was charred to death after he fell over a bonfire in the Daresi area late last night. The incident took place around 11.30 pm.

The man, aged around 55 years, was sitting around a bonfire to keep himself warm.

According to residents, the victim, who was suspected to have been drunk, fell over the bonfire. His clothes caught fire and in no time, he turned into a fireball.

By the time people could come to his rescue, the victim had sustained serious burns. He was rushed to the Civil Hospital where he was declared brought dead.



Campaign trail : Ludhiana south
All eyes on heavyweights as tough battle ahead
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Now, no longer in SAD, Balwinder Bains, Independent candidate from the Ludhiana South constituency, is still fondly represented as jathedar (a common reference for a SAD worker) by residents of the Shimlapuri area.

It is 12:30pm in Lohara and Balwinder Bains is busy addressing a group of residents and telling them as to how he can shape up the future of the dusty constituency into a top residential destination of the industrial town.

“People here are devoid of basic amenities, like portable water, roads and storm sewerage system. This constituency has been ignored and residents of the area have been used as vote banks. But now the residents have resolved to bring a change in the system and elect a leader who can improve their standard of living,” says Balwinder Bains, on the sidelines of the public meeting in Lohara.

Balwinder Bains is riding high after losing councillor Arjun Singh Cheema and the winning councillor Swarndeep Singh agreed to support him in the ensuing election.

“Have you ever seen both losing and winning councillors campaigning for the same candidate? This shows how frustrated they are with the present system and repeated ignorance of the area by the politicians of both the Congress and the SAD,” says Bains.

Before visiting Lohara, Bains had visited Fateh Singh Nagar and was planning to conduct a door-to-door meeting in Preet Nagar, where Congress candidate Ashok Prashar, alias Pappi, had campaigned in the morning.

In the mean time, his close aide Surinder Singh Naggi was updating him about the response of the door-to-door campaign by Ashok Prashar and the rally addressed by SAD supreme Sukhbir Badal to support SAD candidate Hakam Singh Giaspura.

Balwinder says he is no stranger to the residents of the constituency and starts canvassing at 6:30 in the morning.

The remark of Karpura Devi (55), a migrant from Bihar, who along with his husband and children is settled in the Focal Point area and sells tea on a roadside vend just stone throw away from Congress candidate Ashok Prashar’s election office, sum up the sentiment of the migrants in the area.

“The Mayor, who is fighting on the SAD ticket has done nothing in the area. The area has turned into a breeding ground of deadly diseases. The Bains brothers are notorious for thrashing government officials. The Congress candidate Ashok Prashar Pappi, has done some wrong work in the past, but he is a reformed man now. Further the Congress is a national party and we will vote for it,” says Karpura Devi, while washing utensils.

The Congress candidate, Ashok Prashar Pappi, has also arrived after his hectic door-to-door canvassing in the Preet Nagar area.

The persons accompanying the Congress candidate with trumpet fled the scene on seeing the media.

“I am campaigning since 7:30 in the morning and received a rousing response. Surely the residents of the constituency will vote for me. They are disillusioned with the constant fights of SAD candidate Hakam Singh Giaspura and Independent candidate Balwinder Bains,” said Pappi Prashar, while drinkinkig water and speaking to a group of residents of the Focal Point area.

Sumit Sharma, personal assistant of Prashar is busy jotting down the schedule for the next visit of Parashar. “Pappi, ji will be there with you in few minutes,” says Sharma.

Brother Rakesh Prashar, a councillor, and other relatives are also planning to visit different location of the constituency to campaign.

“Who could have thought there will be a public park for residents of Giaspura. We have made impossible possible. I assure that I will improve civic amenities if voted to power,” said Giaspura, who indicates his supporter to visit the colony near Surjit Cinema where he has to meet the residents.

SAD candidate too was on campaigning spree

SAD candidate Hakam Singh Giaspura was also busy in his door-to-door meetings. The veteran warhorse of SAD was given the ticket, after Balwinder Bains and Simarjit Bains were sacked from the SAD due to anti- party activity. Giaspura addressed residents near Surjit Cinema and later campaigned on the Daba road and Jain Da Theka and addressed the residents.



EC transfers headmistress of govt school
But she claims to have taken premature retirement
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Taking note of the complaints received against government employees indulging in poll campaigning, the Chief Electoral Officer Kusumjit Sidhu has transferred the head mistress of Government High School, Khandoor village (Ludhiana), Surinder Kaur Dyal, to Government High School, Gumti Kalan, Bathinda.

However, when contacted, Surinder Kaur Dyal said that she had already taken premature retirement from the job on January 7 and that these transfer orders could be a “mistake”.

Interestingly, Dyal, who claims to have taken premature retirement from the government job on January 7, has been the district president of the Istri Akali Dal for a long time. All these years, she had addressed several poll rallies in favour of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidates.

Sudesh Bajaj, District Education Officer (Secondary), Ludhiana, informed that she had received Dyal’s transfer orders from their head office. “And after I received them, she was transferred to Government High School, Gumti Kalan, Bathinda.”

While talking to The Tribune, Dyal said that it was on January 7 that she resigned from the government job, which she was into for past 32 years.

“There is a rule that we can give a 24-hour notice before taking a premature retirement. I have even deposited Rs 1.38 lakh as my three-month salary with the department. On January 9, I had sent my resignation through proper channel to DEO (secondary), Ludhiana as well as the secretary of the education department. I wonder why such “transfer” orders have been issued when I am no more a government employee,” claimed Dyal.

Few days back, even Surinder Singh Bindra, assistant town planner with the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation was transferred to Jalandhar for his alleged political activities.



Fresh instructions issued to election officials
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
All Deputy Commissioners, SSPs and Commissioners of Police attended a video-conference with the Chief Election Commissioner, Punjab, Kusumjit Sidhu.

The commissioner gave important instructions to all district heads regarding the elections.

He asked officials to ensure that at each constituency, apart from the voter of the particular constituency, no other person stayed after 5 pm tomorrow.

The district heads were asked to pass on the instructions to all returning officers to prepare a list (15 points regarding elections) and fax it to the election office by 5 pm on January 30.

“Presiding officers will have to message 14 types of different texts regarding the elections through an SMS-based system. For example, when polling begins, they will have to type and send a VS message. Besides, all medical dispensaries near the polling booths will remain open so that no inconvenience is caused to patients. “Flying squads and check posts will monitor each and every movement from tomorrow onwards,” said the official.


n Only area residents (particular constituency) will remain in the constituency after 5 pm tomorrow
n Returning officers will have to prepare a 15-point list (on elections) and fax it to the election office by 5 pm on January 30
n Presiding officers will have to send SMSes regarding the polling process
n Dispensaries near polling booths will remain open
n Check posts and flying squads will monitor the entire process



Candidates throng grain market to garner votes
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, January 27
Asia’s biggest grain market - Khanna has emerged as a favourable destination for all leading candidates of different political parties who are fighting the election from the Khanna constituency. There are about 250 commission agents, about 50 brokers in the grain market and the area commands over about 10,000 votes.

To woo the mandi people, Congress candidate Gurkirat Singh Kotli visited the grain market today with his supporters and appealed the commission agents to vote in favour of him for the betterment of the area. MP Sukhdev Singh Libra and ex-minister Tej Parkash Singh were leading the partymen during the visit. While two days ago, PPP candidate Gurpreet Singh Bhatti had also visited the grain market with his supporters, including some NRIs and claimed that several commission agents had welcomed him.

Meanwhile, Akali Dal candidate Ranjit Singh Talwandi also visited the grain market, including local Akali Dal leaders and claimed that they had the support of a majority of commission agents.

Some critics said that candidates were making a beeline to the grain market to get election funds as commission agents gave enough as funds.



Lost your ID card? contact booths on polling day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Rahul Tewari, District Election Officer, has said that in the 14 constituencies, level officers had visited door-to-door to provide voter slips to the voters. He said those having ID-cards or the voters whose names were there in the voters' lists could cast their vote on January 30. Besides, another copy of voter slips will be available outside the polling booths on January 30, in case any voter had lost their card or slip, he or she could get the voter slip from the booth and cast their vote.



poll buzz
Communities extend support to parties
Aggarwal community for Congress

Ludhiana: The Aggarwal Welfare Council, Punjab, has decided to support the Congress. Chairman of the council Pawan Garg said the council in a meeting held here today discussed the political situation and unanimously decided to lend its support to the Congress. The council, he added, was of the firm view that the AICC president, Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh had taken the state towards the path of progress

Poorvanchal Samaj stands by Gabria

Youth leader of the Poorvanchal Samaj and general secretary of the Labour Wing of Shiromani Akali Dal Rajesh Mishra has ridiculed the parties that have been trying to woo the migrant voters with false promises. He said only the SAD had made an effort to address the problems of the migrant population. He announced that as per the decision taken by the chairman of the Poorvanchal Samaj TR Mishra, the migrants would support the SAD-BJP candidates in all Assembly segments.

Traders come out in support of Dhillon

Traders have come out in support of SAD candidate Sharanjit Singh Dhillon. Representatives of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, Focal Point Industrial Sheds Association, Federation of Dyeing Factories Association, Focal Point Welfare Association and Focal Point Phase-VI Association have extended their support to Dhillon. — Tribune Reporters



Actor Samriti Irani fails to turn up at BJP meeting
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Small screen actor and national president of the BJP Mahila Morcha, Samriti Irani,who was invited to campaign for professor Rajinder Bhandari, a BJP candidate from Ludhiana West constituency, today failed to keep date with the public.

She was supposed to address a gathering at Rotary Bhawan at 11:30am. People from different walks of life reached well in time and kept waiting for her till 1 pm but she did not turn up.

Harminder Malik, PRO of Bhandari said,"Due to technical snag, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Modi’s aircraft made an emergency landing at Chandigarh airport. Smriti Irani was also in the same aircraft, so her Ludhiana and Fazilka visits have been cancelled and she will just go to Abohar now."



248 BTech students get degrees
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
The convocation and prize distribution function of the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (COAE&T), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), was held today in the Pal Auditorium. Dr BC Gupta, Secretary, department of food and public distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, was the chief guest. The event was presided over by PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon.

In his convocation address, Dr Gupta said that the growth of agriculture sector was vital for Indian economy as it led to faster growth rate in other sectors. Since a majority of business sectors were associated with agriculture, directly or indirectly, the growth and development of agri-business was of a great importance, and agricultural engineering had a crucial role to play in the field.

Highlighting that farm mechanisation was pivotal for the green revolution in the past, Dr Gupta said that the problems of small and marginal farmers in the post-green revolution era could only be solved by developing suitable technologies. He further said that climate change had bought additional burden on agricultural engineers who need to develop suitable technologies for precision agriculture.

Dr Gupta also highlighted the need to develop technologies for safe storage and processing of farm produce. Saying that the storage of grains, vegetables and fruits required massive investments and latest technologies, he emphasised that agricultural engineers were expected to contribute extensively in this area.

Earlier, Dr PPS Lubana, dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, welcomed the chief guest and other dignitaries. In his convocation report, Dr Lubana highlighted that the college had strengthened its professional tie-ups with leading industrial and educational institutes of the world. The College had signed MoU with New Holland Fiat India, Tractor and Farm Equipment (TAFE), CLAAS India, Mahindra & Mahindra, Moscow State University of Environment Engineering and Moscow State Agricultural Engineering University.

PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon awarded degrees to the students. A total of 248 degrees in B Tech (Agricultural Engineering), three gold medals, 72 merit certificates and 99 college merit colours including College Colour were awarded to the students. In addition, 11 Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) Sivasailam awards and 13 running trophies were given during the convocation.



Martyrs remembered on R-Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
A district-level function to mark the Republic Day was celebrated in the grounds of SCD Government College yesterday. Unfurling the tricolour on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said that martyrs of the country sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the nation and it was because of them that we were enjoying independence and celebrating the Republic Day. He appealed to the public to follow the path shown by the freedom fighters. A march-past was also held on the occasion.

ACP Ludhiana (West) Swapan Sharma led the march-past which included various divisions of the police department, NCC cadets, ex-servicemen etc. The Deputy Commissioner also honoured freedom fighters and commanders of different police divisions during the event. A cultural programme was presented by school children during the event. Sweets were distributed among everyone present.

Others present on the occasion included Police Commissioner Isher Chander, Additional Deputy Commissioner Rupanjali Kartik, ADC (Development) Pardeep Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashish Chaudhary etc.



Farm varsity congratulates Dr Chadha on Padma Shri
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
The announcement of Padma Shri award by the Government of India to Dr KLChadha, an eminent horticulturist and an alumnus of PAU, has added another feather to the cap of the university.

PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, while congratulating Dr Chadha, said that everyone in the university feels elevated. Dr Dhillon said that Padma Shri to two former faculty members of PAU, Dr Chadha and Dr Surjit Patar in 2012, was another achievement in the golden jubilee year of PAU. He said that Dr Chadha, by working at various eminent administrative positions in the country, had contributed tremendously in the promotion of horticulture in India.



from schools
Students celebrate Republic Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
SGN International School: A cultural event was organised by the SGN International School to celebrate the Republic Day. Brij Mohan Bhatt, president of the school, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Children came dressed as freedom fighters, and a colourful song and dance programme, along with a march-past, was held during the function. Speaking on the occasion, Chander Mohan Sharma informed the students about the importance of the day.

GMT Public School: Various competitions were held in GMT Public School on Jan 26 to mark the Republic Day. In the assembly, the students were informed about the significance of the day. The National Song was sung on the occasion by the students.

An inter-house bulletin board competition, poster-making and quiz were organised. The students of classes V-VIII participated in the quiz. Patel house stood first, Tagore house second, and Bhagat house secured the third place.

Green Land Senior Secondary Public School: Patriotic fervour marked the Republic Day celebrations at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar by-pass. The celebrations began with the ceremonial hoisting of the national flag by the chairman of the chain of Green Land Schools, Rajesh Rudhra, and principal Baldeep Pandher. This was followed by a march-past by NCC cadets of Green Land School under the 3rd Punjab Battalion. Students of the school presented cultural programmes to mark the occasion.

Green Land Convent School: The Republic Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm at the Green Land Convent School, Sector 32, Chandigarh Road, on January 26. The school ground was decorated with the tricolour and balloons to mark the occasion. The students presented dance performances on patriotic songs such as ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawano Ka’.

from colleges
Lecture on drugs

Ludhiana: The counselling and placement cell of Kamla Lohtia SD College, organised an extension lecture on ‘Drug De-addiction’ today, in the college premises under the stewardship of Prof Rajesh Marwaha, head, PG department of commerce, and Prof Sandeep Chanana, convener, counselling and placement cell.

Prof Ranjiv K Uppal, head, department of plastic surgery, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, apprised the students about the ill-effects of drug addiction. Prof Ranjiv Mahajan, department of psychiatry, DMCH, also spoke on the issue.

As many as 100 students attended the discussion. Dr Mahajan stressed that youngsters should stay away from drugs and said that delinquency and depression were affecting academic performance of students. It was also said that a high control treatment was needed for victims of drug addiction as there was a possibility of relapse.

Dental check-up camp

Central Students Association, NCC, and the department of home science of Ramgarhia Girls College, Miller Ganj, organised a dental check-up camp here today. Principal Dr Narinder Sandhu accorded a warm welcome to Dr Vikram Bali, MDS, and Dr Mukta Bali, BDS, of Bali Dental Clinic, at their arrival in the college campus. The doctors provided information to students on dental hygiene.

A vote of thanks was given to the doctors by the principal for sharing their precious experience and time with students.

Seminar on finance

“Informed investor is a protected investor,” said Renu Bhandari, senior manager, National Stock Exchange, during a seminar on ‘Financial Literacy’ at GGN Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT).

Bhandari initiated the session by explaining the terminology used in financial markets. Bhandari clarified the distinction between ‘savings’ and ‘investments’, and motivated the students to invest their surplus funds in diverse investment avenues. She said that every financial product had its own set of risks and returns profile and one should invest in diverse products, depending upon requirement, age and risk-bearing capacity. — TNS



Actor Raza Murad pitches in for Congress
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 27
Bollywood actor Raza Murad today made a fervent appeal to the minorities in general and the Muslim community in particular to cast their votes in favour of the Congress candidates as the Congress alone could safeguard the interests of the minorities.

Addressing an election rally in Sector 39 on the Chandigarh Road in favour of the Congress nominee from Ludhiana East segment Gurmail Singh Pehalwan, the film actor - better known for his husky voice like his father Murad, who had made his mark in character roles, asserted that the people of Punjab ought to vote for Congress candidates to strengthen the secular and democratic set up in the country.

"The communal and radical parties have done immense damage to the secular fibre of India and every Indian should take it upon himself or herself to rid the political system of such disruptive elements," Murad remarked while adding that it were the successive Congress governments that had installed several Muslims and one Sikh at the highest office of the country. "Even now, the country has a Sikh Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh led by the Congress.

Earlier, accompanied by Pehalwan and other party leaders, Murad offered evening "namaz" at the mosque in the Mayapuri locality.

Among others, the DCC president Pawan Diwan and president of the women wing of the party Leena Taparia were also present.



Sanjha Morcha candidate Maur holds rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
CPI candidate of Sanjha Morcha from Ludhiana West Dharam Pal Maur addressed several rallies yesterday starting from Haibowal, Ashok Nagar etc.

His rallies were also addressed by Amarjeet Kaur- national secretary of CPI. Addressing these rallies she said that the agenda in the election was to defeat the Congress and to oust the present ruling Akali-BJP alliance, who had successively ruined the state.

She said that the agenda of the Sanjha Morcha is to establish rule of law and to take Punjab out of serious debt of Rs. 1,38,000 crore as a result of wrong policies of the alternate Congress and Akali-BJP governments.



Disability no bar
Mahabir pockets gold medal in triple jump
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Mahabir Singh won two medals in the recently held Second International Open Athletics Meet in Kuwait. Mahabir won a gold medal in triple jump and a silver medal in long jump.

Physically challenged athletes from 24 countries participated in the meet. Mahabir said he had qualified for the Para Olympics-2012 that would be held in London.

Nineteen-year-old Mahabir said it was a great achievement for him.

Mahabir said, “I lost my right arm 10 years ago. But that did not deter me from taking part in the games.”

“For the past four years, I have been practising under the supervision of SS Pannu. I have also won a number of national and international athletics events,” he added.

Mahabir had to spend Rs 70,000 in Kuwait as he did not receive any financial support from the sports authorities.

He said he had a tough time arranging the amount.



national games
Bhumika strikes bronze medals
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 27
Bhumika Thakur of Ludhiana bagged two bronze medals in the recently held School National Games at the Guru Nanak Dev Stadium.

She won the medals in the U-19 girls category.

Bhumika said her family was happy with her performance.

She said she aimed at representing the country in the international athletics competition.

She has also won a gold medal in the Punjab State Women Games held in 2011. She said her hard work had paid off.

Seventeen-year-old Bhumika said she practised every day.

Bhumika’s coach Sukhdev Singh Pannu said he wanted her to win a gold medal.



Sports kits given to 115 SAI trainees
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 27
As many as 115 trainees of the local Sports Authority of India (SAI) Training Centre being run at the Guru Nanak Sports Complex were given sport kits today.

Each kit contained a track suit, T-shirts, shoes, one bag and two playing kits. Harbans Singh, in charge of the SAI Training Centre, Ludhiana, said stipend of Rs 6,000 per annum and medical insurance were also provided to the trainees.

Athletics coaches SS Pannu and Sita Kapila, basketball coach Davidner Pal Singh Dhindsa, judo coaches Rakesh Kumar and Sonia Kumari, volleyball coaches Neelam Rani and Parminder Singh and handball coach APS Dhillon were present on the occasion.



Chess meet on anvil
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 27
The Ludhiana District Chess Association (LDCA) will be organising the North India Open One-Day Lightning Chess Championship at Sita Mata Mandir Dharamshala near Daresi Ground here on February 5.

Players from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Chandigarh will participate in the championship.

Lightning chess is also known as “Blitz” chess or fast chess. Each game will be of maximum 15 minutes. A total of 10 rounds will be played and FIDE

(World Chess Federation) Blitz rules will be followed during the championship.

Top players of North India, including the present and former Punjab state chess champions, president, LDCA, Vikas Sharma and general secretary of the association Arvinder Preet Singh will also participate in the championship.

Dr Vipnesh Bhardwaj, an international arbiter from Chandigarh, will be the chief arbiter. A cash prize of Rs 20,000 will be given to winners. The first prize will be of Rs 5,100. Top three players in the U-17, U-13 and women categories will be given trophies and prizes.

Best two Punjab players will represent the state in the National Blitz Chess Championship scheduled to be held in Rajasthan in April. Interested players may confirm their entries by February 2 with any of the Ludhiana District Chess Association office-bearer.

Asha declared best athlete

Ludhiana: Asha was declared the best athlete in the annual athletics meet of Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women, Kidwai Nagar. Krishna was named the best player.

A large number of students competed in various sports events and fun games. Kiran Jain and Kedar Nath Jain were the chief guests on the opening ceremony.



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