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World kabaddi Cup
Traffic snarls irk residents
Jams witnessed in all parts of the city; vehicles parked on roadsides towed away
Mohit Khanna
Triune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Residents were put to inconvenience as the police imposed traffic restrictions at some of the major routes due to the VIP visits for the third Kabaddi World Cup finals at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

Those coming from College Road and the PAU Gate No 4 area were in for a surprise when traffic regulations were imposed in the wake of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s visit at Punjab Agriculture University (PAU).Parents, who were visiting a school at Udham Singh Nagar to take their children home, had to face a lot of difficulty.

No one was allowed to park their vehicle on the roadside. Some of the vehicles were even towed away by the traffic police.

Residents who had parked their vehicles outside their house were chided by the police. They were told that either they park the cars inside the house or else it would be towed away. The police said that the road was being cleared due to security reasons.

“There was no prior information that the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister would travel through this route. Merely few minutes before the arrival of the VIPs we were told to clear the place, the policemen were rude and were telling us to clear the road quickly,” said Rohan Sharma, a city resident.

While serpentine queues were witnessed in the old city area, including the Clock Tower, Chaura Bazar and the Lakkar Bazar area, due to a procession in the wake of Christmas.

Similar scenes were witnessed at Bharat Nagar Chowk, as traffic diversions led to a traffic jam on the road. The residents visiting the Rani Jhansi Road were left stranded due to the preparation of the Jaggannath Rath Yatra.

The College Road also remained closed as the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister were visiting the house of their friend.

“Is this an industrial city or an organised prison? One could hardly commute here. Either there is a traffic restriction or a traffic chaos. While frequent religious processions are leading to traffic jam, the repeated VVIP visits are also throwing the traffic scene out of gear,” said Neha a homemaker.

Police station wore a deserted look

As security was beefed up cross the city for the smooth conduct of the World Kabaddi Cup finals, the police stations wore a deserted look. Except the police station “munshi” no one was present there. There were reports of land grabbing incidents from different parts of the city.

Tipsy school bus driver caught

A school bus driver was found drunk during a special checking of the vehicles at Bhai Bala Chowk. The police stopped the bus driver to check the documents. But the driver was found drunk on duty. After conducting a breath analysis test the police challaned the driver and impounded the bus.


Stadium jam-packed to have a glimpse of Katrina Kaif
Anil Datt/Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, December 15
It was well before 4.30 pm that Guru Nanak Stadium, venue of final matches in the third World Kabaddi Cup was full to its capacity.

Organisers announced that the final match in the women’s section will start at 5pm, which will be followed by cine star Katrina Kaif and her troupe’s performance, then, the summit clash (men) between arch rivals, India and Pakistan will follow.

But, leaving nothing to chance, sports lovers reached the venue to occupy vantage place to have a clear view of their favourite actor Katrina.

Talking to The Tribune, Amrit Saini from a nearby village said that she was a great fan of Katrina and had come to watch her performing live. Jatinder Singh, a local resident, who ‘managed’ to get a VIP pass said that when he came to know that Katrina Kaif would be performing in the city, he rescheduled his work to be present at Guru Nanak Stadium on Saturday evening.

“I had come to watch Katrina Kaif, but being able to witness the finals of the kabaddi cup where the best talent have come from all over the world was a bonus. I enjoyed the evening and it would be etched in my memory throughout life,” added Jatinder.

Women final began 15 minutes late

The women final played between India and Malaysia was slated to begin at 5 pm but the spectators had to wait a little as the action started 15 minutes behind schedule.

Indians players enter without tricolour

When the two teams entered the ground to take on each other, the players from overseas were carrying their national flag while hosts India did not carry the national flag. The crowd cheered the two teams.



Girls’ college wall demolished to make parking lot for general public
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The third World Kabaddi Cup will prove costly for Government College for Girls as the district administration demolished the wall of the college without any intimation to the college authorities. It is learnt that the wall was demolished to provide parking space for the general public on the college premises.

Moreover, the demolished boundary wall was situated on the side of Durga Mandir Road, where two gates already exist and vehicle of any type (heavy and light) can pass through both the gates easily.

According to the information, the wall was demolished at night and college authorities came to know about the development this morning.

The college authorities were shocked to see the debris of the demolished boundary wall. Gurminder Kaur, principal of the college, visited the spot and expressed her concern and said, "The administration should either take permission or inform us before demolishing the wall. It is a girls' college and security of girls studying in the college and residing in the hostels is always a matter of concern".

The college authorities said that more than 300 girls resided in the college hostel. It is not the first time when the administration has demolished the wall. The wall was demolished by the administration earlier too but the college authorities got it reconstructed.

"We want to know who will reconstruct the wall after the kabaddi cup, the administration should do the needful. We can not compromise with the security of the girls, residing in the college hostel. The administration should reconstruct the wall soon after the closing ceremony of the kabaddi cup", said a college lecturer.

All efforts to contact the higher officials from both the district administration and the police went futile as they were "too-busy" to answer on the issue. While one of the officials from the administration said that the parking of the vehicles was being taken care of by the police department, an official from the police department said that he had no idea about the wall of the college being demolished.



Performer veers off theme
Anil Datt/Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, December 15
A singer, performing during the finals of the third World Kabaddi Cup held at Guru Nanak Stadium here today put the organisers in a tight spot.

Where, the World Kabaddi Cup tournament is being organised with the theme “Say Yes to Kabaddi, No to Drugs” in order to motivate the youth of the state to take part in sports, keep a distance from drugs and avoid use of performance enhancing substance.

A singer performing after the final match in the women’s section, sang a Punjabi number on liquor consumption.

The singer sang “Desi Nit Daru Kadan da Chaska Yaran Nu” (youth yearn for home-made alcohol) in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal and chief organizer of the event.

The jam-packed stadium enjoyed the performance but the dignitaries present at the podium seemed to be in a piquant position.

Taking exception to this, Jagtar Singh, a spectator, said that the organisers should have taken measures to discourage such performances.

“On the one hand, an event of such a magnitude was organised to spread the message among the youth

not to use drugs and on the other, a singer of repute gave a performance that was contrast to the theme, particularly during the finals. This defeated the very motive of organising the event with a good message,” opined Singh.



Revised norms for post offices put residents in fix
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Residents, who have deposited money at post offices under saving schemes, are a harried lot.

They lamented that they were facing a great difficulty in withdrawing the money after the maturity of their deposits.

As per the revised norms under the Anti-money Laundering or Combating of Financing Terrorism guidelines, one will be able to withdraw money, only if he or she submits identity and residence proofs to the postal department. Pan card will also be needed for amounts exceeding Rs 50,000.

Those, who do not have the documents, cannot withdraw money.

Residents alleged that postal officials were harassing them in the name of these norms. They say demand for identity proofs was unfair. "When they did not ask for the documents at the time of opening the accounts, why are they asking for these now," asked Ram Krishan, a resident.

Jagmohan Kandhari, who has not been able to withdraw money, alleged that the post office officials were subjecting them to harassment. "I have been submitting a small amount every month for the past five years from my savings, and now I am being asked to bring documents, fill in the KYC forms, which is unfair," he says.

An official at the postal department admitted that it was becoming difficult to comply with the revised norms. "Everyday we have to convince customers. It is much easier for us to work than spending time convincing and pacifying indignant and belligerent customers not getting their money back. But our hands are tied and we have to follow the law," said the official. We also feel that the government should apply these regulations to the new accounts rather than the old ones for which no identity proofs were taken," he said. 



City witnesses a plethora of events
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The city remained abuzz with activity on December 15. While the preparations were at peak for the closing ceremony of the third World Kabaddi Cup, the entire Rani Jhansi Road was being tastefully decorated to welcome Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra that would be taken out tomorrow.

While the entire government machinery left no stone unturned to make the closing ceremony of the World Cup memorable, organisers of the yatra were seen setting up their own stages on the entire route from where the rath yatra would pass through.

One of the officials deployed on duty said, "I was not able to have lunch. It is a hectic day."

While another senior official on duty at the Halwara Air Force Station said earlier the plane of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal was to land at 1.40 pm, but the schedule was changed later.

"We have absolutely no idea when will he land or how many members are coming. The officials at the Air Force Station feel that in case the weather is bad, the Deputy CM may go to Chandigarh and then come from there," said the official.

Meanwhile, the devotees of Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra were seen decorating the roads with lights, flowers, flags and posters of Lord Jagannath. Everyone in the city looked too busy. Bal Kishan, a devotee, and a shopkeeper at Ghumar Mandi, said since Durga Mata Temple road, from where the yatra would start tomorrow, had been blocked, most of the arrangements would be made late at night after the World Kabaddi Cup.

"But we have started decorating the Rani Jhansi Road, Ghumar Mandi, and Aarti Chowk area. It is all messed up today. There is so much security, we are not allowed to move freely near Durga Mata Temple. But the city is looking like a bride all decked up,"said Bal Kishan.



Fund shortage delays installation of jammers in jails
Mohit Khanna
Triune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The paucity of funds is proving to be a hindrance for the installation of jammers in the jails across the state. The fact came to light during the visit of ADGP RP Meena to the Central Jail today.

The ADGP (Jails) was here to organise a course for inmates. While interacting with mediapersons, he said "We have installed jammers at the High security Nabha Jail and Sangrur district jail. These will also be installed in the other jails of the state, but the project has not been taken forward because of the paucity of funds."

On being asked about the suicide of a convict, Lakhbir Singh, in the jail on Friday, Meena said a magisterial inquiry would be conducted into the case and the action would be taken as per the report.

He said soon a special helpline would be floated which would help jail inmates check the status of their parole and other leave requirements.

Encouraging petty criminals to shun the world of crime, he extorted them to share the information about drug peddling and use of mobile phones in the jail.

He added that other changes for the improvement in the security of jails were also under way. "Scanners have been installed at the Amritsar and the Faridkot jails," he stated. 



Red Ribbon Express to reach city tomorrow
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
For creating awareness about HIV-AIDS, the Red Ribbon Express is scheduled to reach the city on December 17. Flagged off from New Delhi on January 12, the train will culminate its journey at Amritsar on January 1, after covering 162 railway stations in the country.

Nodal officer for Red Ribbon Express Dr US Sooch said, "The Red Ribbon Express will cover eight stations in the state. Today it reached Nangal Dam. It will also go to Ropar, Hoshiarpur, Faridkot, Tarn Taran, Jalandhar and Fazilka stations.”

The train has six coaches. The first coach carries information on various causes of the fatal disease and precautions that need to be taken. The second coach will have all details about what needs to be done if a person tests HIV positive.

The third coach will convey the message that the HIV affected persons should not be discriminated with, while the fourth one will apprise the visitors of various schemes being run by the National Rural Health Mission.

The fifth coach has an auditorium where experts will brief the audience about AIDS, and will answer queries. The last coach has facilities for general health check-up and for conducting some free tests.

Dr Sooch said that the district health department will open 10 different stalls at the station for spreading awareness about communicable diseases. During the train’s stay in the city, Rajindra Medical College, Patiala, has arranged a blood transfusion van at the station, where donors can donate their blood, he further said.

The train will remain stationed in the city for three days. Residents can visit it between 9.30 am and 5 pm.



5 youths allege police torture 
Tribune Reporters

Jagraon, December 15
Five youths, including four students of Government Senior Secondary School, Hambran, have alleged police torture.

The youths showed injuries inflicted on their bodies. They have been identified as Gurmail Singh and Gurdeep Singh of Ranike village, Balwinder Singh and Jivan Singh of Kote Mana village and Jaspreet Singh of Bhatha Dhua village near Sidhwan Bet. They are undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital.

Narrating their ordeal, the youths stated that they were going to attend a class on two motorcycles. When they reached near the Sidhwan Bet police station, some police officials stopped them and took them to the police station where they were allegedly tortured by the officials.

"The policemen challaned one of the motorcycles and took us to the police station," alleged the youths.

Jagraon SSP Ashish Chaudhry stated that the police had received several eve-teasing complaints from the area, following which a police team had laid a naka to check such incidents.

"When the police signalled the youths to stop, they tried to flee, following which the police gave them a chase and nabbed them. They were taken to the police station for questioning and were released later on. The officials issued them a warning," stated Chaudhry.

Refuting the allegations, Chaudhry claimed, "We have received no complaint in this regard so far. If a complaint is filed, we will conduct an inquiry and take action against the guilty."

2 killed in mishap

Mandi Gobindgarh: Two persons were killed when the car they were travelling in collided with a truck on Amloh-Khanna road yesterday.

The injured, identified as Surjit Singh and his son Jagpal Singh, residents of Sounti village, were rushed to a hospital, where they were declared brought dead. The truck driver managed to flee.

A case has been registered in this connection. 



Mother, sons booked for fraud

Mandi Gobindgarh, December 15
The police has booked three persons in a fraud case on the complaint of State Bank of India manager Vinay Chetli.

The accused include Vanita Goel and her sons Sorav Goel and Vanish Goel of Sector 5-B. They have been booked under the Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC.

Investigating officer Dalbir Singh said the accused had got sanctioned a loan of Rs 6.25 crore from the bank. They purchased a plot with the loan amount, and later sold the same. They, however, failed to repay the loan amount.

The police is still investigating the matter and no arrests have been made. — OC



Police succumbed to political pressure, allege residents
Triune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
High drama was witnessed outside the GRP police station after residents of the Barewal area complained against police inaction in the recent eloping incident.

They complained that the policemen succumbed to political pressure and let the girl elope with her paramour from the railway station on December 12.

The police, meanwhile, said that both the girl and the youth were major. They had got married and sought police protection from the court, the railway police officials claimed.

The girl's father said: "The boy is a chronic drug addict. I am concerned about the well being of my daughter. I know that she is an adult and can make her own decisions, but her disappearance is worrying me."

Mohd Yonus, who was leading the residents, claimed that a SAD MLA had called the SHO of Government Railway Police Station and told him not to take any action in the case.

The residents said the police had failed to show any proof that could substantiate that the girl has got married. They further complained that despite a lapse of four days, the police has not registered a kidnapping case against the accused.

The girl had eloped from the Ludhiana railway station, while her father was purchasing tickets for a train to Uttar Pradesh.



Rs 20,000 burgled from shop
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, December 15
A general store was reportedly burgled in Barrapind village last night.

The shop belonged to one Kuldip Singh of the same village.

The burglars managed to enter the shop after breaking the locks. They decamped with Rs 20,000. The Goraya police has registered a case.



Man booked for dumping body
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
A resident of Daad village and some unidentified persons have been booked for dumping the body of a man three years ago.

The victim, Charanjit Singh, had a property dispute with accused Mohan Singh. Mohan Singh had sold a land for which Charanjit had already paid a token amount.

The incident reportedly drove the victim into depression and he committed suicide at a tubewell located in the village.

Before, the victim’s family could reach there; Charanjit and his accomplices dumped his body, the police said.



Relief for developers, brick-kiln owners
HC gives a go-ahead to auction of mines in 5 districts
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
In a major relief for those, who had stopped construction work due to the non-availability of sand, the High Court has ordered to start the auction of mines in Jalandhar, Ropar, Mohali, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr.

The go-ahead given by the Punjab and Haryana High Court has come as a respite to builders, brick-kiln owners and those dealing in sand and gravel.

Sarabjit Singh Dhillon, general secretary of the Ludhiana Brick-Kiln Association said, the price of sand had reached an all-time high. From Rs 1,000 per 100 cubic feet, it had increased to Rs 2,500 per 100 cubic feet.

He added that now not only sand would be easily available, but rates would also come down.

Gurnam Singh, a contractor, said in the past five to six months, the construction work had virtually stopped in the region due to ever-soaring prices of sand and bricks.

"But now people can restart their projects," he said.

Meanwhile, president of the Ludhiana Brick-Kiln Association, DS Jawanda said the price of bricks was between Rs 5,700 and Rs 6,200 per 1,000 bricks, depending on their size and quality. "As there was no production (due to ban on earth mining) in the kilns, the price of bricks had increased manifold. On the next hearing of the case in the High Court, the brick-kiln owners are hopeful of getting respite as far as the issue of environmental clearance is concerned. By March, bricks at cheaper rates may be available in the market," Jawanda added. 



Lok adalat settles claims worth Rs 50 cr
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
As many as 22,357 cases involving an amount of around Rs 50 crore were settled during a mega lok adalat at district court complex here today.

The District Legal Services Authority organised the lok adalat under the supervision of its chairman Gobinder Singh, Sessions Judge, Ludhiana.

The Sessions Judge had especially deputed Additional District and Sessions Judge Shavinder Singh Mann for handling motor accident claim cases.

Mann held a number of pre lok adalats involving the claimants and officials of insurance companies. In these pre lok adalats, litigants were persuaded to enter into a compromise to get speedy and less expensive justice.

This bench ended up settling claims worth crores of rupees.

A lok adalat bench of Chief Judicial Magistrate Muneesh Arora and Judicial Magistrate Sachal Babbar alone settled the cases involving an amount of over Rs 1 crore. This bench settled 3,814 cases out 3,842 cases placed before it for disposal.

Meanwhile, 1,974 traffic challans and 1,798 shop act challans were also disposed of by this bench giving much relief to the litigants. The bench, reportedly, charged very meager amount of fine for various violations.

Punjab Legal Services Authority secretary KK Singla (CJM) said that till today 411 lok adalats have been held in the district.

This alternative dispute resolution system has disposed of over two lakh cases, settling claims amounting to over Rs 377 crore, he further said.

Additional Sessions Judges Sunil Arora, Paramjit Singh, Kamaljit Lamba, Mandeep Pannu, AS Virk, HS Grewal, RK Jain, VK Goel, SS Panesar, Civil Judge Senior Division Dr B K Sharma and Judicial Magistrate Amarinder Pal Singh also headed different benches.



World Cup finale a gala affair
Anil Datt/ Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, December 15
A blend of Punjabi culture and performance by cine star Katrina Kaif and her troupe aptly summed up the finale of the third edition of the World Kabaddi Cup that concluded at Guru Nanak Stadium this evening.

The show started with DJ Nitin warming up the overflowing audience at the stadium. The unique fire and pyrotechnics dance performed by 23 dancers virtually set the stage on fire and the spectators were surprised to see the one of its own kind spectacle.

The whole stadium roared with the sound of bullet motorcycles as youths entered riding the motorcycles from different sides of the stadium performing daredevilry act on stage that made everyone sit on the edge of their seats. The show peaked with famous Bollywood Singer Sukhwinder and Punjabi Singer Diljit Singh Dosanjh, regaling the audience with their famous Punjabi numbers.

As eminent Punjabi poet Dr Surjit Patar read his famous song "Keva Sutlej Da Pani", the big screen showcased the Punjab Province of British India, inherent link between India and Pakistan. The poem focused on the importance of peace between India and Pakistan, besides highlighting the common thread between the two nations.

The rare show "Punjabian Di Shaan Vakhri" showcased the testimonial film of Bollywood celebrities with audio-visual as 223 dancers dressed in colourful costumes underlined the contribution of Punjabis to the Bollywood.


Bikram Singh Majithia, Punjab Cabinet Minister, and brother-in-law of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, did not turn up for the ceremony. It was learnt that Majhithia felt ignored during the opening ceremony of the World Kabaddi Cup held at Bathinda on December 1.

Hira Singh Gabria, who was a Cabinet Minister, and was seen seated next to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal during the last edition of the World Kabaddi Cup, was today seen occupying a seat in the VIP enclosure.

It started raining in the afternoon, forcing the organisers to remain indoors. An anxious, Sikander Singh Maluka, president of the Punjab Kabaddi Association, was seen running here and there, giving instructions to volunteers. The organisers had some anxious moments as it drizzled for more than 20 minutes. The playground was immediately covered with tarpaulins.

The enclosure reserved for Olympians remained partially full till 7 pm and when it seemed almost sure that there would not be as many "takers", organisers allowed the pass holders to occupy the seats.

Organisers remained busy throughout the day, grappling with the demand of VVIPs and VIPs pass seekers.

Long queues of sports lovers were witnessed at the entry gates of Guru Nanak Stadium.

Spectators had a double delight as both the matches (men and women) were played in Ludhiana. Earlier, the final in the women's section between India and Malaysia was scheduled to be held in Jalandhar on December 13. But the rain played a spoilsport, forcing the organisers to postpone the same.

by Anil Datt/ Charanjit Singh Teja

Health teams formed

For the smooth conduct of the World Kabaddi Cup, officials of the health department remained on toes. Ludhiana Assistant Civil Surgeon Dr Kaushal Saini said three health teams were deployed inside the Guru Nanak Stadium. Three ambulances were stationed outside the stadium. Two teams were put on duty with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. Food safety officers of five districts, including Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Sangrur, Moga and Ludhiana, had come to collect food samples.



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