L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Residents go powerless for 6 hrs
Truck hits electricity pole, damages power cables, 11kV transformer 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 4
Residents of more than half-a-dozen localities in Civil Lines, Cemetery Road, Kitchlu Nagar and alongside Humbran Road had to go without power for more than six hours in extremely hot and humid weather conditions.

Reason: The 11kV transformer feeding the area was damaged after a truck rammed into an electricity pole near the Humbran Road-Kitchlu Nagar crossing early this morning. The pressure of cables attached to the pole tilted three other poles thereby damaging the 11kV transformer.

The move by officials of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to shift the load of the affected localities to alternative feeders from the 66kV GT Road substation also backfired. The cable joint box was damaged due to overloading.

There was no power supply in the affected areas from 11 am to 5 pm. The residents of these localities did not get water supply in the afternoon which added to their misery.

“We were not aware of the damage to the transformer. After waiting more than an hour, we made several calls to the customer care centre of the PSPCL. The officials at the customer care centre were unable to give the reason for disruption and the time for the restoration of power supply,” said Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Civil Lines.

Residents of the affected localities complained of low water pressure in the morning and the taps remained dry in the afternoon due to power failure. "Many residents had to fetch water in the buckets from the neighbourhood. Due to extended power failure, the inverters also failed and we had to undergo a nightmarish experience all through the day due to unbearable hot and humid weather," said Rama Jain, a resident of Bindraban Road.

Officials of the PSPCL claimed that the power supply was restored to the Civil Lines and Cemetery Road feeders from alternative source, but a technical snag which developed later in the day due to overloading created problems.

"The technical staff of the PSPCL has been working on a war footing at the Kitchlu Nagar and GT Road substations since morning and the power supply was partly restored to some areas at 3.30 pm. In remaining localities also, the supply was restored by 5 pm,” claimed officials. 

Problem of Overloading

Officials of the PSPCL claimed that the power supply was restored to the Civil Lines and Cemetery Road feeders from alternative source, but a technical snag due to overloading created problems. The technical staff of the PSPCL was working on a war footing at the Kitchlu Nagar and GT Road substations and the power supply was partly restored to some areas at 3.30 pm. In remaining localities, the supply was restored by 5 pm, claimed officials.


Teacher ‘thrashes’ Class X boy 
Student flees from home, sends SMS from Delhi rly station 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
A Class X student of RS Model Senior Secondary School, who was allegedly subjected to corporal punishment, fled from his house and reached the Delhi railway station.

The incident came to light in the wee hours of Thursday when 16-year-old Tarun Arora, a resident of Jagdeep Nagar near Pakhowal Road, sent an SMS to his father Charanjit Arora, an FCI employee.
The inconsolable mother of Tarun (inset) in Ludhiana on Thursday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma
The inconsolable mother of Tarun (inset) in Ludhiana on Thursday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma 

His SMS read: “Mere pas jo bhi paise thay sab khatam ho gaye hai, main kahan jau (I have exhausted all the money I had. Where should I go?), said Charanjit Singh, Tarun's father. He said Tarun switched off his cellphone after sending the SMS.

Tarun's brother Rahul, who also studies in the same class, told his parents that Tarun was allegedly beaten up by a maths teacher. Rahul said the maths teacher had given Tarun 40 problems to solve on Monday, out of which he could attempt 35.

Tarun's uncle Munich Munjal alleged that the maths teacher slapped Tarun in front of the class. The teacher then allegedly made him stand by raising his hands.

"Tarun was meted the same treatment yesterday as well. He returned from school, changed his uniform and left the house," alleged Munish Munjal.

Tarun’s mother Kailash Arora was inconsolable.

Sources said the maths teacher fainted when Tarun’s parents and relatives gathered on the school premises and started accusing him.

Later in the evening, Tarun's father received another message in which Tarun had stated that he was on Platform No 14 at the Old Delhi railway station.

Shamsher Singh, in-charge, Kochar Market Chowki, said: “The boy may have boarded a train to reach Delhi.”

ACP (West) Gurpreet Kaur Purewal said a police team had been sent to Delhi. The local police was also in constant touch with the Delhi Police to trace Tarun. 

Principal denies allegation

School principal ML Kalra said: “The maths teacher chided Tarun for not completing his homework. He was not subjected to corporal punishment. The allegation levelled by the parents against the maths teacher is baseless.” 



Parched passengers fume as taps run dry at city railway station 
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 4
Taps at the Ludhiana railway station have again gone dry. The authorities also failed to make alternative arrangements for water at the railway station.

The passengers who alighted from a train at Platform Number 1 were seen rushing towards the taps to fill their bottles, but they had to return disappointed as the overhead water tanks had gone empty. Authorities said the water tanks could not be filled due to long power cuts.

During a visit to the railway station at 3.20 pm on Thursday, it was found that some of the passengers were buying bottled water. But who could not afford the bottled water got their bottles filled from the water stall set up by an NGO.

Hardeep Singh, who had to board a train to Rajpura, said: "I have been at the station for the past one hour. Most of the taps on Platform Number 1 had gone dry. I went to fetch water from a water cooler, but it was not functional. Finally, I went to the stall set up by an NGO to quench my thirst."

Rahul, a student, said: "I prefer to buy mineral water as the authorities have failed to provide cold drinking water to passengers at the railway station. Taps running dry is a regular feature here."

"I have only Rs 30 in my pocket and cannot afford bottled water," said Ram Khilawan, another passenger.

Station superintendent Ravinder Sharma said: "I am not aware of the 
water scarcity at the railway station."

When contacted, senior section engineer (Works) Subhash Chander said: "There was a power shutdown which could have led to water scarcity. However, we did not receive any complaint regarding the water problem at the railway station."



Lack of water supply irks patients at Civil Hospital
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 4
Patients and their attendants in the local Civil Hospital had to spend over 24 hours without water. Some of the attendants alleged that there was no water even in toilets. A visit of the hospital revealed the depth of the situation when some patients and their attendants alleged that they had to purchase packaged drinking water.

Some attendants said only one water cooler was available in the hospital which is out of order for the past over 24 hours. They alleged that the attendants have to come down from the second floor of the building to get water from a water tanker provided by the authorities.

Baljit Singh of Bhamaddi village, near here, who came to visit his relative at the hospital, said in such a hot and humid weather it was difficult to survive without water.

SMO, Khanna, NK Singla, said water was not available in the hospital because the pump was out of order for the past over 24 hours. The SMO said they had arranged one water tanker for the hospital.

He said because the purchasing of the new pump was beyond his financial power so he sent one of his staff to the office of the Civil Surgeon at Ludhiana to seek the permission for purchasing of the new pump.

He, however, said there was no shortage of drinking water as they had made proper arrangements at the hospital.



Now, NRHM schemes under direct scrutiny
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
To monitor and provide support to districts and improve the system seven state-level teams have been constituted which will be visiting a primary health centre, a community health centre, and a district hospital at least twice in a week. The action initiated by the State Programme Manager of NHRM has brought the different activities and schemes running under the National Rural Health Mission under direct scrutiny.

Each team has been issued three districts and these teams may also attend the District Health Mission and District Health Society meetings. According to the instructions issued by the State Programme Manager of the NRHM, “After every visit, a meeting will be held with the Civil Surgeon, the District Family Welfare Officer, the District Welfare Officer and the District Programme Management unit to discuss the objectives. The teams are eligible to give suggestions and highlight the innovations and positive aspects, which may be replicated in other districts”.



Humidity goes up this year
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
The first week of July has been witnessing more humid weather this year. The relative humidity during both the morning and evening hours has been recorded as 10 per cent more than that last year.

Disclosing this, the assistant agrometeorologist at Punjab Agricultural University, Dr KK Gill, said: "This year the relative humidity in the first four days of July is above normal. It is over 72 per cent as compared to the normal relative humidity of 64 per cent."

The maximum temperature, however, has decreased in the first week of July. The normal maximum temperature is 39 degree Celsius. The city temperature has been hovering between 34 and 35 degree Celsius. Nonetheless, the minimum temperature has increased. It has been recorded between 28 and 30 degree Celsius, a few notches above the normal minimum temperature of 26 degree Celsius.

As per the prediction of agrometeorology department, weather will remain partly cloudy in the next 24 hours and the rainfall is expected on July 6 and 7. The month of June received 296.4 mm rainfall this year. Last year it stood at only 3.5 mm.



Vidhan Sabha panel unhappy over poor progress, missed deadlines
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 4
Members of the Estimates Committee of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha made their displeasure known in no uncertain terms over poor progress and missed deadlines of several ongoing or stalled development projects in the mega city.

Five members of the committee, led by SAD-B legislator from Mansa Prem Mittal, who are on a 2-day visit to the city, held day-long meetings with senior officials of the Municipal Corporation, Punjab Sewerage and Water Supply Board (PWSSB) and Ludhiana Improvement Trust to review the work done (or not done) on several projects since the last visit of the committee members in August 2012.

Mittal, along with Balwinder Singh Bains, Ranjit Singh Dhillon, both SAD-B legislators, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Congress MLA from the city and Iqbal Singh Jheonda, MLA from Dhuri reviewed the status of the railway overbridge being constructed in place of erstwhile Lakkar Pul, Indoor Stadium on Pakhowal Road, project for covering open drain from Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran to Kidwai Nagar, disposal plants at Balloke and Bhattian and laying of storm water sewerage in several parts of the city.

The members of the committee were sore at the tardy progress on the storm water sewerage project and disposal plants while noting that virtually no progress had been made since the last visit of the committee to the city.

The plea of resource crunch taken by MC officials for poor progress on most of the major development projects did not go well with the Vidhan Sabha panel. The civic officials were pointedly asked to explain the reason for several missed deadlines on the ROB in place of Lakkar Pul which was supposed to be completed by March 2012, and again by end of the last year. The MC officials held the railway officials responsible for the delay as the portion of the bridge over the rail tracks was being constructed by a private agency under the supervision of the construction wing of Northern Railway.

The issue of a commercial complex worth around Rs 200 crore, constructed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust on Maharani Jhansi Road also came under discussion and the members of the committee wondered at the failure of the LIT officials to sell the complex even after several tears of its completion.

Mittal said, the members of the panel would inspect the development projects tomorrow along with the officials concerned of the MC, PWSSB and LIT to finalise their report which would be placed before the Punjab Assembly.



Attack on AIG
Accused gets VIP treatment
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Facing allegations of receiving VIP treatment at Rajindra Hospital in Patiala, Maninder Singh Johar, alias Sunny Goodwill, who was in jail for assaulting Assistant Inspector General of Police SS Mand, was again spotted enjoying police hospitality during the hearing of his case at District Court Complex here today.

Sunny was spotted sitting in a police chowki at the complex. Sources said Johar ate home-cooked food, along with his supporters, at the police post.

Sources said that when Station House Officer, Division No. 5, Nirmal Singh came to know about it, he rushed there and asked the accused and his supporters to vacate the police post.

"The munshi deputed at the police post got worried on seeing Sunny and his supporters standing outside the court complex. He told them to sit inside. As soon as I came to know about the matter, I rushed to the spot and told Sunny and his supporters leave the pole post. No food was offered to Sunny by the police personnel," said Nirmal Singh.

It was on the intervening night of December 24 and 25 that Sunny and his aides including, Aman, Rishi Banda and Nitin Jethi, had attacked senior police officer SS Mand and his NRI friend Paramjit Singh.

Mand had sustained fracture in his leg. The incident had caused embarrassment to SAD as Sunny was the senior vice-president of the youth wing of the party.



14 judges join duty in city courts
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 4
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has appointed 14 new judges in the Ludhiana district. They joined duty after completing their one-year training.

The judicial magistrate-cum-civil judges (junior division) who joined duty in city courts include Sachal Babbar, Harpreet Kaur Nafra, Supreet Kaur, Mehak Sabharwal, Shagun, Karandeep Kaur, Bikramdeep Singh, Tejinder Preet Kaur, Nirmala Devi, Harjinder Singh and Mandeep Singh.

Two judicial magistrates, Geeta Rani and Jublee, have joined duty at Khanna, and Supreet Kaur at Jagraon.



Panchayat elections leave ruling SAD happy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Candidates backed by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) won most of the seats in the panchayat elections in all 12 blocks of Ludhiana.

Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer Rahul Tewari said results of 927 sarpanches from 928 gram panchayats had been declared. The result of one panchayat from the Samrala block is yet to be declared. He said 170 sarpanches were elected unopposed. He said in 928 panchayats, 6,074 panches were elected, while 2,176 panches were elected unopposed. A total of 8,556 candidates were in the fray.

Ludhiana I and Ludhiana II

The semi-urban development block Ludhiana-I witnessed the lowest turnout in the district (79.80 per cent). The Ludhiana-II block recorded 82 per cent polling. In the Ludhiana-I block, a total of 311 candidates were in the fray for 96 seats of sarpanches. Nine sarpanches were elected unopposed. In Ludhiana-II, 113 sarpanches were elected in 158 panchayats. A total of 45 candidates were elected unopposed. Nobody filed nominations from Noorwala Enclave and elections were cancelled in Mand Chauta. About 83 per cent votes were cast in this block. Candidates backed by SAD won a majority of the seats in Ludhiana-I and Ludhiana-II.


In the Doraha block, Akalis managed to win the majority vote, but the Congress also fared well in some pockets. In 56 gram panchayats of the block, 109 candidates contested for 50 seats of sarpanches out of which six were elected unopposed. A total of 280 panches were elected and. A total of 102 panches were elected unopposed. The block recorded 86.14 per cent polling. The SAD-backed candidates were elected sarpanches in Ajnaud, Palampur, Afjullapur, Barmalipur, Buani, Bhatthal, Bhadewal, Chankoian Khurd, Daburjee, Ghaloti, Ghudani Khurd, Gobindpura, Jahangir, Jallah, Jandiali, Jargari, Kartarpur, Majri, Nizampur, Rampur, Sultanpur, Sirthala and Julamgarh. The candidates backed by the Congress won elections in Shahpur, Chankoian Kalan, Gurditpura, Rajgarh, Kaddon, Malhipur, Ariachan, Lasara Lakhowas, Lasara Polewal, Madnipur, Dhamot Khurd, Ghudani Kalan, Rara Sahib, Khangas, Lapran Bilaspur, Landa, Deep Nagar, Raul, Maksoodra, Gidri, Katahri, Bishanpura and Mangewal.

At Dugri, an independent candidate won the election. Candidates backed by the SAD were elected unopposed in Rano, Begowal and Katani Kalan, while a Congress candidate was elected unopposed at Kotla Afgana.

Khanna, Samrala and Machhiwara

In the Khanna, Samrala and Machhiwara blocks, SAD supported candidates were elected in a majority of the villages. In the Samrala block, 124 candidates contested for 49 seats of sarpanches and 12 were elected unopposed. The result of one panchayat is yet to be declared. A total of 222 panches were elected and 168 won unopposed. The block recorded 88.76 per cent polling.

In the Khanna block, 148 candidates were in the fray for 64 seats of sarpanches of which 18 were elected unopposed. A total of 308 panches were elected of which 212 were elected unopposed. The block recorded 87 per cent polling.

A total of 200 candidates were in the fray in the Machhiwara block. Thirty-five sarpanches were election unopposed. As many as 655 candidates were in the fray for the posts of panches. The block recorded 86.44 per polling.

Pakhowal, Raikot  and Dehlon

A total of 104 candidates were in the fray for the posts of sarpanches in the Pakhowal block. A total of 247 panches were elected and 62 won unopposed. The block recorded 83.95 per cent polling. In the Dehlon block, a total of 173 panches were elected unopposed. The block recorded 79.90 per cent polling.

In the Raikot block, 88 candidates contested for 37 seats of sarpanches and five won unopposed. A total of 216 panches were elected and 94 won unopposed. The block recorded 82 per cent polling.

Though a majority of the posts of sarpanches and panches were won by the candidates supported by the SAD, Congress leaders had a reason to celebrate as besides winning substantial number of seats, they succeeded in promoting factionalism among the SAD leaders. Congress leadership led by former minister Tej Parkash Singh Kotli and Lakhvir Singh Lakha emerged stronger in district unit of the party after 45 out of 105 posts of sarpanches were bagged by the candidates supported by them.

The figure is in addition to the SAD-supported candidates who emerged victorious with the help of the Congress. The situation could not be termed encouraging for the SAD in Pakhowal too. Contrary to the trend in other blocks, only one post of sarpanch was decided unanimously and there were 104 candidates for the 38 posts of sarpanches. At least 15 candidates supported by the Congress were reported to have won here. In Raikot, a majority of the 42 panchayats got SAD-supported sarpanch.

Jagraon, Sudhar  and Sidhwan Bet

Except for a few villages, candidates belonging to the SAD managed to register victories in most of the villages falling in the Jagraon, Sidhwan Bet and Gurusar Sudhar blocks. Despite three factions of the ruling party fielding their separate candidates in most of the villages, the SAD gave best performance in the Jagraon block as compared to Gurusar Sudhar and Sidhwan Bet blocks. In the villages falling under the Jagraon block, more than 70 per cent of panchayat members and sarpanchs elected during the elections belonged to the ruling party while the remaining panchayat members and sarpanchs were either from the Congress or independents. Among prominent leaders who managed to win included Manjit Kaur, daughter-in-law of former Congress MLA from Jagraon Gurdeep Singh Bhaini. Manjit Kaur was elected the sarpanch from Bhaini Arayian village. On the other hand, the ruling party faced some major setbacks in the Sidhwan Bet and Mullanpur Dakha blocks where some prominent party leaders, including SGPC members Surinderpal Singh Baddowal and Jaswant Singh Purain lost the elections. In the Jagraon block, 181 candidates were in the fray for 79 posts of sarpanches. A total of 12 candidates were elected unopposed. A total of 332 panches were elected and 233 won unopposed. The block recorded 85 per cent polling.

In the Sudhar block, 116 candidates contested for 43 seats of sarpanches and six won unopposed. A total of 260 panches were elected and 141 won unopposed. The block recorded 83.04 per cent polling. In the Sidhwan Bet block, 130 candidates were in the fray for 46 seats of sarpanches and 13 won unopposed. A total of 228 panches were elected out of which 129 were elected unopposed. The block recorded 87 per cent polling. 



Parties defy rules of mathematics
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

July 4, Ludhiana
Politics is the art of managing the improbable and these panchayat polls showcase this aptly. Even as the winning numbers were clearly in favour of the SAD, the number game went on.

As the Akali Dal leaders announced their win, the Congress leaders too staked their claim to victory. In many cases, the claims failed to add up. Akali Dal leader Jagjivan Singh Khirnia claimed that in Machiwara Block, out of a total of 116 village panchayats, the SAD-supported sarpanches have been elected in 100 villages, while the Congress leaders claimed that at least 34 villages have Congress-supported sarpanches. In Samrala block, the Akali Dal claims to have won in 50 out of 62 village panchayats, while the Congress has claimed its win in around 30 villages. "Either the political parties have forgotten the basic rules of Mathematics or there are dual political affiliations," says an octogenarian from Khirnia village. A political observer says in many villages, the Congress had extended its support to one of the many Akali Dal candidates contesting against each other. This could be a reason for claims and counter claims that belie the rules of maths.



Akalis fare well in Doraha
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 4
“The public does not go after allurement. They have to be rather convinced by works which a party has to practically undertake to win their favour,” said Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Panjab Vidhan Sabha, after his party won more than 50 per cent seats from Doraha Block in the panchayat elections.

Clean sweep for BJP

Sahnewal: It has been a clean sweep for the Bharatiya Janta Party at Bhairomunna village. Ruldu Ram was elected sarpanch.



Controversies, agitations mar results 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 4
Even as the administration managed to conduct the panchayat elections in a peaceful manner and no violent incident was witnessed in any village falling in Jagraon and Sidhwan Bet Blocks during the elections held yesterday, yet the results of the panchayat elections were marred by the controversies following the allegations of massive irregularities and tampering of results.

After the results of the panchayat elections were declared, several candidates who contested the elections in various villages, but lost to their rival candidates alleged massive irregularities in counting of votes. Accusing the administration of tampering with the results to benefit their rival candidates, the losing candidates of many villages claimed that they lost the elections only due to the massive irregularities by the authorities on behest of certain leaders of the ruling party. Interestingly, many candidates who belong to the ruling party and lost the elections also leveLled the similar kind of allegations against the administration and the ruling party.

SAD versus SAD

It was a contest between SAD versus SAD in most of the villages of the Jagraon area. In fact, different factions of the local unit of the ruling SAD had fielded their own supporters as the candidates in the panchayat elections. In most of the villages, two or even more candidates belonging to different fractions of the ruling party had been contesting the elections thus turning the panchayat elections SAD versus SAD instead of SAD versus the Congress.

Losing candidates protest

After losing the elections, the candidates and their supporters from at least four villages in Jagraon and Sidhwan Bet Blocks held protests outside Jagraon SDM Office as well as the residence of Jagraon MLA SR Kaler and blamed the administration for their defeat. Among those who were present during the protest included candidates from Kothe Fatehdeen, Kaunke Kalan, Kothe Rahlan and Gagra villages. The protestors, including many supporters and workers of the ruling party raised slogans against the administration and their own party leadership. Later on, the protestors also handed over a memorandum to Jagraon SDM Gurmit Singh demanding recounting of the votes.

Confusion over winning candidate

Meanwhile, there was a lot of confusion among the residents of Kauenke Kalan village when the name of the winner candidate was changed twice. In fact, three candidates, including Dharminder Kumar, Boota Singh and Narinder Singh were contesting election of the member panchayat from Ward Number 2. According to sources, first of all, Dharminder Kumar was declared as the winner following which his supporters broke into celebration. "Their celebrations were cut short when his rival candidate Boota Singh was declared the winner. When the supporters of Boota Singh were distributing sweets, they were shocked to learn that it was the third candidate, Nirmal Singh, who had emerged victorious", added the sources. Dharminder Kumar and Boota Singh, who were also present during the protest outside the local SDM Office today, have demanded recounting of votes.

Counting of votes completely fair: SDM

SDM, Jagraon, Gurmit Singh termed the allegations of irregularities and tampering of results as completely baseless and said that the counting of votes was done fairly. "The candidates who lost elections have been levelling such kind of allegations out of frustration or these allegations are politically motivated", added he.

MLA SR Kaler said he did not indulge in the politics of factions and the protest outside his residence was politically motivated. "I spoke to the protestors gathered outside my residence and convinced them that I had not intervened in the elections at any point of time. Before entering politics, I worked as an officer. I am not that kind of a person who would press the officials to go out of the book to benefit any political outfit or an individual politician", added Kaler.



Unpredictable results in Malwa
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 4
Results of the panchayat elections in this part of Malwa have left the leaders of both the ruling parties and the opposition embarrassed.

While some villages known as stronghold of the Akalis got the Congress supported candidates as chiefs, others known for electing Congress candidates brought the Akalis to power.

Congress candidates led by Kanwaljit Singh Sihar proved to be the strongest in the region by winning all nine seats of panch and chieftain with a wide margin. Braving pressures from all sides, the Congress activists proved that real democracy still survived in the village.

Situation was similar in Latala and Barundi villages where SAD supported candidates were defeated by the candidate launched jointly by the Congress and other leftist outfits. The Congress leaders harnessed the factionalism among the Akalis and ruled the roost.

Results were mixed in the Gill constituency too. While Congress leader Paramjit Singh Ghawadi, known for his proximity to former Chief Minister Punjab Rajinder Kaur Bhathal lost to Jagdeep Singh Kala supported by the SAD; former chairman market committee Kilaraipur Captain Harbans Singh Sayan faced disappointment after SAD supported candidates at Sayan Kalan and Sayan Khurad villages lost to their Congress supported rivals.

Ranjit Mangat, a close associate of former congress MLA Jasbir Singh Khangura proved his mettle by facilitating victory for Kessar Singh who defeated SAD-backed candidate Bhupinder Singh Bhindi. Situation at Dehlon remained awkward for senior leaders as the cadre of the party was visibly divided into two factions. However, Balwinder Kaur, kept the esteem of the party alive by keeping the chieftainship in the family once led by her late husband Surinder Singh.

Defeat of former SAD sarpanch Gurjit Singh at Lehra village by opposition -supported Nirmal Singh also disappointed Akali leadership of the Ludhiana district. 



Akali Dal wins 63 out of 67 seats in Khanna block
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, July 4
The Akali Dal claimed to have swept the panchayat election in Khanna block by winning 63 out of 67 panchayat elections that were held on Wednesday.

Forrmer MLA Ranjit Singh Talwandi, today held a function at Khanna in which the elected sarpanchas and panches were facilitated and honoured . He claimed that although Khanna Block was termed as the Congress stronghold, but in panchayat elections the Congress had been rooted out of the area. Talwandi gave the credit of the thumping victory to the workers and the pro-public policies of the state government. Hs also said that before, the Akali Dal was the winner in the block samiti and zila parishad elections in the block but this win was more strong. A big turnout of sarpanches and panches was witnessed at the function site and most of them were curious to tell their victory stories to Halka Incharge, Talwandi.

On the other hand, when Congress MLA, Khanna, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, said in this regard that the Congress was winner in about 10 villages and he also recounted some names of the villages, including Ghungrali, Mandiala Kalan, Bhamadi, Ikolaha and said that the win of Akali Dal was due to pressure tactics.



Poor arrangements irk teachers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Sore over the way the teachers were put on election duties here yesterday, the master cadre has said they would not adhere to orders if they had to face such harassment at the hands of officials.

The teachers rued that they were put on duties far from their homes and they had to travel 50-60 km away to be at the duty centre.

The teachers rued that for Khanna and the surrounding areas there was no arrangement of vehicles for them, besides they were not given any refreshment.

The teachers alleged that till late, both male and female staff was made to sit at the polling booths and the officials did not bother to listen to their grievances.

Apart from this, one of the teachers rued that he had to take an exam at Chandigarh but the Returning Officer concerned refused to relieve him saying he could not be spared. The teacher left everything and went to take the exam.

Parveen Kumar from the Government School Teachers Union said that it was pathetic state of affairs in Khanna block. He said a delegation of teachers would meet the Additional District Election Officer tomorrow and brief him about the problems faced by the teachers.



Rom-com star cast comes calling 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Star cast of the Punjabi movie ‘Fer Mamla Gadbad Gadbad’ was in the city today. Actors, including singer Roshan Prince, Japji Khaira, Bhanushree and Karamjit, visited a city multiplex.

Later in the evening, the actors visited another mall for a live event.

Slated to be released on July 12, the movie is a romantic comedy.

It is the first movie being made by the PTC production house.

Most of the movie has been shot in and around Chandigarh.

Prince said he was playing a different from his previous roles in Punjabi movies.

Japji Khaira, who plays the female lead, said it was felt great to be in the city, as the people here loved Punjabi movies.

Bhanushree, who has earlier acted in Southern movies, said it was her debut in Punjabi cinema.



Ludhiana scan


Indian Dental Association, Ludhiana, in collaboration with the International College of Continuing Dental Education is organising a mega joint scientific workshop under the aegis of Asia Pacific Dental Federation. The workshop, to be conducted at Hotel Friends Regency on July 6 and 7, will be attended by delegates from Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Gujarat.


The administration has started a helpline for seeking information about people missing in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand. The helpline number is 0161-2433100. Residents should submit written information about relatives or friends who have not returned from Uttarakhand. It can be submitted at Room No 130, Deputy Commissioner office, from 10 am to 4 pm on July 8.

Minimum wages criticised

State president of the National Front of Indian Trade Unions KR Tripathi and general secretary Dr Shiv Gupta has criticised the state government for notifying the minimum wages of Rs 5,695. They said the amount was inadequate in the view of rising prices of essential commodities.

Training programme

The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings conducted a training programme on statistical process control for industry professionals on July 3 and 4 at CICU Complex, Focal Point. Avtar Singh, general secretary, CICU, said that MSMEs have to cope with the changing times by adopting quality assurance and statistical process control techniques. Upkar Singh, joint secretary, CICU, said persons trained in SPC become the driving force in their organisations.

Retail exposition

Corporation Bank organised a retail exposition at Rotary Bhawan, Sarabha Nagar, during its ongoing Monsoon Bumper Offer. Renowned vehicle dealers and builders of the city took part in the expo. The expo was inaugurated by VS Kartikeyan, general manager, retail lending division. UC Nayak, zonal head, Ludhiana, was also present on the occasion. He informed the customers about attractive offers of the bank in the housing and vehicle loan segment.

Meeting of plywood industry

Punjab Plywood Manufacturers’ Association in a meeting on Thursday asked the state government to declare the plywood and ply board manufacturing industry as agro-based industry. Representatives of the association said the industry uses 80 per cent poplar and safeda agro-wood for processing and manufacturing plywood and ply board and adds value to the agricultural produce. It, therefore, comes within the definition of agro-based industry as defined in the Industrial Policy, 2009, of the state, they said.

Decision hailed

Kanwaljit Singh Sidhu, president, Punjab Farmers Association, has welcomed the decision of the state government for bringing fisheries, piggeries, dairy and goat farming on a par with agriculture. He said with the move, people engaged in these professions will be benefited and it will also help in diversification.

Dance show

A dance show was organised at Bollywood Dreams Dance Academy under the programme ABCD (Any Body Can Dance). Abhinav Sarna from the academy said both Indian and international dance forms were performed during the event. — TNS



55 booked for attacking cops in Latala
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 4
The police remained on its toes after declaration of results on Wednesday evening.

Even after incidents of minor violence and scuffles were not brought on record, at least 55 persons were booked under Section 307 of the IPC for allegedly attempting murderous attack on police at Latala in which three policemen, including Circle Officer at Mullanpur Dakha and SHO Jodhan were injured.

Though the situation at Latala had remained tense throughout the day, it became out of control when polling staff allegedly staggered announcement of result without citing any reason. Supporters of Congress supported candidates Kuldeep Singh Patwari who was declared victorious later in the morning alleged the Returning Officer was acting under pressure of SAD leaders and wanted to forcibly declare the SAD-supported candidate the winner.

Having not been able to digest the defeat, the SAD activists and leaders kept the staff and the police on toes as they wanted the recounting done in the presence of the candidates only. However, the recounting was done in presence of polling agents.

Situation turned ugly when the police resorted to cane charge to disperse some supporters of winning candidate and they in return pelted stones on the police. Jagpal Singh Khangura, a senior Congress functionary, who had come to intervene, was made to leave the booth by the administration.

Ashish Chaudhary, Senior Superintendent of Police at Ludhiana ( Rural) said at least 55 persons were booked for alleged murderous attack on the police led by Navreet Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dakha, and Jasmel Singh, SHO, Jodhan. Navreet Singh, his gunman and SHO Jasmel Singh were injured in the incident. Five youths identified as Harpreet Singh, Malkit Singh, Jarnail Singh, Harjinder Singh and Rachhpal Singh were arrested by the police while rest of the suspects had fled from the scene.Accusing the police of acting on instance of SAD leaders, Congress activists, office-bearers and activists of other leftists organisations demanded inquiry into the incidents leading to the unexplained delay in announcement of result at Latala.

In a communiqué addressed to senior functionaries, including the Governor, Punjab, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Inspector General of Police Ludhiana, Amarjit Singh Mattoo, secretary of district unit of CPI ( M) had demanded probe into the incident and appealed the authorities that innocent persons should not be involved only to please politicians. Baldev Singh, a Congress supported candidate at Pandher Kheri alleged that SAD activists had beaten him and torn his clothes at the polling booth. Singh had opposed alleged attempt of polling agents of SAD supported candidates to cast vote of elderly persons in favour of their candidates on pretext of helping the elderly voters.



Crime Briefs


Valmiki community opposes religious leader’s comments : Members of the Valmiki community met the Members of the Valmiki community come out of the Police Commissioner’s office in Ludhiana on Thursday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma Commissioner of Police PS Gill and lodged their protest against spiritual guru Giani Jaswant Singh. Arun Bhatti alleged that Giani Jaswant Singh had used derogatory language while referring to Lord Valmiki during one of his discourses on a private television channel. He said that Jaswant Singh had hurt the sentiments of the community. The members of the Valmiki Community would take legal action against the spiritual guru.
Members of the Valmiki community come out of the Police Commissioner’s office in Ludhiana on Thursday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Cops launch helpline for bonded labour: Commissioner of Police PS Gill launched a special helpdesk to tackle complaints related to bonded labour. In a communique Gill stated that the helpdesk would function round-the-clock to provide immediate help to bonded labour. He stated that the affected could dial 100 to report their complaint on the helpdesk.

Body of 12-year-old found: The body of a 12-year-old boy, who was suspected to have been drowned, was found by Sidhwan Canal near the Raghunath Enclave area here today. The body could not been identified. A passerby spotted the body of the deceased this morning and informed the police about the incident. The police has sounded alert in the city to find out whether any boy had gone missing a few days ago.

Man commits suicide: A 30-year- old man committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in the New Shimlapuri area here today. The deceased has been identified as Sarabjit Singh, alias Kuku, (30). The incident came to light when a neighbour arrived at Sarabjit's house and was shocked to find him hanging from a ceiling fan. The police said that Sarabjit was living alone in the house while his family was staying in England. The police took the body of Kuku to the Civil Hospital.

50-year-old man killed in road accident: A 50-year-old man died in a road accident near the Jodhewal Basti area here last night. The deceased has been identified as Ajit Kumar, a resident of New Subash Nagar. He was returning home on his bicycle after finishing work at a factory unit. The police said that some unidentified vehicle hit Ajit and he sustained serious injuries. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Two nabbed with drugs: The city police nabbed two persons and seized huge quantity of pharmaceutical drugs from their possession here yesterday. The accused have been identified as Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Lohara Colony, and Rakesh Kumar of New Shimlapuri.The accused were nabbed from Gill at a police checkpoint. On spotting the police at the checkpoint the accused took an autorickshaw and tried to flee the scene. The police found their activities suspicious and nabbed them. During the search of their belonging the police seized a huge quantity of psychotropic drugs, including, injections, cough syrups and tablets.

Miscreants snatch purse: In another incident, two motorcycle-borne youths snatched the purse of a woman yesterday. The victim has been identified as Ritu Gupta, a resident of Chaura Bazar. The incident took place last evening. The victim said that she had gone to pay a visit to her parents’ house situated at BRS Nagar yesterday and went to a jeweller's shop along with her sister. When she stepped out from the showroom, two youths riding on a motorcycle came and snatched her purse.

Minor girl kidnapped: The Focal Point police has booked an unidentified person for kidnapping a 13-year-old girl. The incident took place on July 2. The girl's father, a resident of Giaspura, said that his daughter was missing since Tuesday morning. He kept looking for her the whole day and later in the evening, he informed the police. The police has recorded the statement of the victim and started the investigation.



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