L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bittu kicks off campaign with roadshow
Congress candidate focuses on association with city, grandfather Beant Singh’s sacrifices
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

(1) Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu (garlanded) gets a rousing welcome, (2) Party supporters wait to shower flowers on his procession; and (3) Workers take part in a roadshow in Ludhiana on Saturday. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, March 29
Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu kicked off his Lok Sabha poll campaign with a roadshow in the city today. Former Chief Minister Beant Singh’s grandson got a rousing welcome from local party leaders and workers, who had gathered on Chandigarh Road.

Bittu’s cavalcade passed through Samrala Chowk, Shingar Cinema Road, Baba Than Singh Chowk, Division Number 3 Chowk, Chaura Bazaar and Clock Tower.

Addressing the workers, Bittu said his grandfather had sacrificed his life for brotherhood, peace and harmony in Punjab.

“My grandfather is still alive in the hearts of the people,” he said.

At Chaura Bazaar, Bittu struck an emotional chord with the old associates of his grandfather. The associates recalled how Beant Singh, as an MLA in 1969, used to come to the bazaar on a bicycle. Also, as the zila parishad chairman, he visited Chaura Bazaar frequently, they said.

Playing up his close association with the city, Ravneet Singh Bittu said he felt honoured to have an opportunity to serve the people of Ludhiana.

“Ludhiana is my home. I feel honoured to receive the blessings of veteran party workers who watched me grow. With their support, I’ll make sincere efforts to transform the city. I will not give anyone a reason to complain. I will fulfil my grandfather’s dream,” he said.

Later, Bittu paid homage to martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar at Jagraon Bridge. He vowed to initiate a crusade against social evils. Bittu also expressed his concern over drug addiction among youth.

Listing his priorities, Bittu said he would work towards building a multi-speciality hospital on the lines of the PGIMER in the city. He said revival of industry would be his main concern.

“I will make all efforts to revive 18,000 industrial units in Ludhiana, Gobindgarh and Batala that have either closed down or have shifted base to other states,” said the Congress candidate.

The five-hour roadshow culminated with visits to a mosque, a gurdwara and Durga Mata Mandir.

Those who were part of the roadshow included former minister Tej Prakash, Khanna MLA Gurkirat Singh Kotli, party’s district committee (urban) president Pawan Dewan, district panel (rural) chief Malkit Singh Dakha, MLAs Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Surinder Dawar and Rakesh Pandey, and senior Congress leaders Ashok Parashar Pappi, Gurmel Singh Pehalwan, KK Bawa, Amarjit Singh Tikka and Parminder Mehta besides head of the party’s mahila wing (urban) Leena Taparia.

Event planned meticulously

Political analysts said Bittu’s roadshow was planned meticulously. Using his age to his advantage, Bittu managed to position himself as a young leader carrying forward his grandfather’s legacy, they said.

“Bittu was seen touching feet of senior leaders. While making the poll pitch, he tried not to ruffle feathers in the faction-ridden district Congress. This approach is bound to pay dividends,” said an observer. 

Pickpockets have a field day

Pickpockets had a field day during the roadshow. Congress leader Parminder Meha said his wallet containing Rs 16,000 was stolen. At least five party workers complained that their wallets were stolen. There were also complaints of party workers’ mobile phones being stolen. Mehta said they had lodged a complaint at the Division No. 1 police station. A man, suspected to be involved in stealing the wallets, was rounded up by the police.


ludhiana votes 2014
Admn makes all efforts to woo voters 
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
“Apna faisla karo, vote pao, nahin ta shikayat karni band karo” and “vote today, save tomorrow” are the slogans which were put up on the walls at the Emergency Ward of Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. It sounds interesting that nowadays public places are a favorite haunt for district election officer to woo voters. To improve voting percentage, District Administration is leaving no stone unturned to motivate voters through slogans, SMS and announcements to exercise their right to franchise on April 30.

Recently, Rajat Aggarwal, District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, roped in all the public dealing departments and instructed the officers to motivate the people for casting their vote. Rajat Aggarwal said, “I have instructed Civil Surgeon, DEO, District Transport Officer and officers of Suvidha Centre to use the stamp- ‘Voting is our right and duty’ on all the receipts used by these departments. The Health Department has been asked to use the stamp on the OPD slips of patients.”

Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta said, “I have issued instructions to all the officers so that DEOs message reaches masses.”

Slogans related to voting can also be seen at other wards of the Civil Hospital, boundary walls of Rose Garden, PAU and offices of District Administration. Some of the slogans which are seen on these walls include ‘Na Bhay se na dar se, Na Pralobhan se, vote de apni samajh se, sabhi chune, sahi chune’, ‘Lok shahi takat ho jayegi kam, agar tu nahin dikhayega apni vote ka dum’.

Rajat Aggarwal said, “I am also tying up with Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) so that message to their customers could be conveyed along with electricity bills or through some other way.” 



Pending issues will be raised after NDA comes to power: CM 
Our Correspondent

Koom Kalan, March 29
The Congress had failed to fulfil the issue of transfer of Chandigarh and Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab after the NDA Government formation in the Centre. This was stated by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at a rally in favour of party candidate Kulwant Singh organised by Cabinet Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon at Koom Kalan today.

The CM said the issue was still alive but they would take it up after the elections. “This time all parties of NDA are fighting a decisive election to root out Congress from the Centre,” Badal said. Badal said several issues of Punjab were pending from long time but now it was not the right time to raise pending issues but was of the view that the issues would be raised after NDA comes to power.

The CM remained mum over the issue of waiving loans of farmers of the state. However, BKU President Ajmer Singh Lakhowal said the loans of famers would be waived after the formation of NDA Government at the Centre.

While lambasting at Congress he said the anti-people policies of Congress had ruined the country and now people had hopes of a better future after Narendra Modi comes to power. He attacked Rahul Gandhi and said that he has no experience of running any government on any position while he said that Narinder Modi had a great experience in this direction. He also termed the Congress responsible for the bad condition of farmers of the state and said that they were becoming debt-ridden due to wrong policies of the party.

Lakhowal appealed the voters to vote in favour of the Akali Dal-BJP candidates for a better future of the country.

A decisive election

"This time, all constituents of the NDA are fighting a decisive election to root out the Congress from the Centre. Several issues related to Punjab are pending since long. They will be raised after the NDA comes to power" — Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab 



Procession leads to traffic snarls
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Commuters were left stranded for nearly an hour on Jagraon Bridge and Chandigarh Road as Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu kicked off his campaign for the Lok Sabha elections with a roadshow here today. As Bittu got three hours late to reach Chandigarh Road, from where the roadshow started, commuters had to face traffic chaos throughout the day.

Efforts made by the police to divert traffic from Vardhman Chowk and Chandigarh Road to Sector 32 and Tajpur Road proved futile. People travelling from and to Chandigarh were the worst sufferers as they got stuck in traffic snarls on Chandigarh Road, Tajpur Road and Bypass Road. Also, those travelling towards Delhi had to follow a longer route as the traffic was diverted towards Moti Nagar.

A motorcyclist heading towards Samrala, reportedly, was hurt after he lost balance and fell, on brushing past a Congress worker.

In the evening, when the procession reached Jagraon Bridge, commuters got stuck in traffic for over 45 minutes.

Gurdeep Singh, a resident returning from Jalandhar, said, "I was expecting the roadshow to conclude before 1 pm. However, when I reached the elevated road to cross Jagraon Bridge, I got stuck in traffic for more than half an hour."

Another commuter, Ravi, said the Election Commission of India should not allow roadshows as these inconvenienced people.

The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Harjit Singh, said a huge number of personnel was deputed to ensure a free flow of traffic. He said supporters of political parties never cooperated with the administration.

Cavalcade stopped to make way for CM

Bittu’s procession, reportedly, was made to wait for over 45 minutes near Samrala to clear the route for Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s convoy. The Chief Minister was headed to Koom Kalan to address a rally when Bittu was on his way to Ludhiana for the roadshow.



NGO opposes provisional admission
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
A local NGO opposed the provisional admissions to Class XI in government senior secondary schools of the state. Office-bearers of Nav Chetna Bal Bhalai Committee alleged that the government senior secondary schools had been harassing the students on the name of provisional admission to Class XI.

President of the committee, Sukhdeer Singh Sekhon, said, "We have filed an RTI at the office of the Principal Secretary (School Education) to clear doubts about the fee structure of provisional admissions. The office responded that there was no provision of provisional admissions in government schools. We demand to stop this practice."



Expo marks onset of spring 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
An exhibition titled- Paris Street began at Hotel Maharaja Regency today. A new array of spring summer collection by the designers will be launched at the two-day expo. Products in fashion, jewellery and lifestyle were displayed. DeCosmopolitan presented the best of designer wear.

The exhibition witnessed a wide range of stalls ranging from designer clothes, designer real jewellery, semi-precious and fashion jewellery, home decor products, designer bed linen, kids room accessories, handbags, accessories, wellness products, astrologer, numerologist and tarot-card reader. The designers and brands at the exhibitions have come from various cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Ludhiana. 



Artistes give glimpses of social, political issues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Plays titled ‘Hashiya’ and ‘Puran Bhagat’ were staged at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College last evening.

‘Hashiya’ written by Dr Kanwal Nain Kapoor was a solo act. It was presented by Narender Ahuja from Rourkiee. It showcased the trials and tribulations of marginalised section, their dreams of reaching to the ‘Centre’. After all the struggle, a person tries to acquire wealth and squander it away in pleasure, but later repents for the life he lives, and finds emancipation by taking the refuge of the Almighty.

Ahuja said the play was also political as people who were at the marginalised section, had political dreams. “The person struggles his way, gives up ethics and values. He enjoys the life and acquires wealth and power, and even stars considering himself more powerful than God. But later realises the futility of it all,” he says.

Also, play- ‘Puran Bhagat’ by Punjab Lok Rahs from Pakistan showing the life of Puran Bhagat, who was the son of Raja Salwan of Sialkot, was staged. According to language activist Shafiq Butt the play was staged by the traditional artistes known as Mir Aalams or Rahsdharis.

Another play titled ‘Mawan De Dukhre Kaun Sune’ was staged at Balraj Sahni Open Air Theatre Punjabi Bhawan. It was adapted from the book of Gurpreet Toor Sambhlo Punjab, dealing with the issue of drug addiction. The play was staged by Aks Rangmanch Samrala. 



850 awarded degrees at GCG 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
An annual convocation was organised at the Government College for Girls here today. As many as 850 graduates and postgraduates were conferred degrees in the fields of arts, science and commerce, including honours degrees.

Prof Naval Kishore, Dean, College Development Council, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was the chief guest on the occasion. Principal Gurminder Kaur read out the annual report of the college for the session 2013-14 highlighting the achievements in academics, extra-curriculars and sports.

She said 100 per cent results have been achieved by the college in the final university examination bagging top university positions. One of the students, Arshdeep Kaur stood first in the All-India Inter-University Debate Competition and another student Kamalpreet Kaur bagged 15 gold medals in the swimming championship.

Prof Naval Kishore congratulated the graduates on the proud moment of their life. “Future belongs to the youth, Prof Kishore said. He also asked the students fight for injustice and crime against women. 



204 units of blood collected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
In memory of freedom fighters Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, PCTE Group of Institutes in association with Team Zindagi Live Foundation organised a voluntary blood donation camp on campus-II of Badowal.

204 units of blood were collected by the team of doctors, headed by Dr Victor, from CMCH. The camp was inaugurated by director, PCTE Group, Dr NS Kang, and principal, PCTE Institutes, Dr Swapan Chanana.



NOZIT-2014 enters Day 3
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
NOZIT-2014, the cultural extravaganza at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, entered its third day today.

Dean, Academics, Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina (chairperson, NOZIT committee), said be it the gaming zone or stage performances, the fest had all the ingredients to keep the students entertained.

The second day of NOZIT-2014 began with instrumental performances, which mixed different genres of instrumental music with pulsing dance rhythms and new age musical hooks.

An array of stage performances like spontaneous dance, solo dance, duet dance and group dance earned the students a lot of applause, cheers and whistles.


Face painting - 1 Jasgun (DMC, Ludhiana), 2 Gurjot (DMC)

Rangoli - 1 DMC, 2 PIMS, Jalandhar

Instrumental - 1 Angad/Rajpal (Adesh, Bhatinda), 2 Ramandeep (DMC)

Spontaneous dances - 1 Neha (Dental College), 2 Eshaan (DMC), 3 Priyanka (Adesh, Bathinda)

Solo dances - 1 Ishant (DMC), 2 Deepak (GMC, Patiala), 3 Dalisha (DMC)

Duet dances - 1 Nancy and Aditi (PIMS), 2 Ishant and Nimisha (DMC), 3 Shilpi Jain and Pallavi (Adesh, Ludhiana)

Sports results

Football matches:

SGRD, Amritsar v/s Adesh, Bhatinda (3-1)

DMC v/s GMC, Chandigarh (2-1)

In the semi-final cricket match, DMC Ludhiana won by 3 wickets against Adesh, Bhatinda. Sahil Sardana— Man of the Match.



Fire at hosiery unit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Goods worth lakhs of rupees were gutted in a fire at a hosiery unit in Sunder Nagar this morning. Fire Brigade officials suspect the fire started due to a short circuit on the ground floor of the three-storey building.

Seven fire tenders from all fire stations in the city rushed to Vijay Vallabh Hosiery after the incident was reported around 8 am. The fire was brought under control in around two hours.

Fire Safety Officer RK Sharma said as the work had not started at the hosiery unit, very few people were present in the building.

“When they saw fire on the ground floor, they raised the alarm. We reached in time to stop the fire from spreading further to the first floor," said Sharma.

The officer said yarn stored on the ground floor was reduced to ashes.



Business news

Power load connections for industrialists

Ludhiana: More than 1,200 connections will be released to industrialists falling in ‘Mixed Land Used Areas’ and new connection will be issued under VDS Scheme in these areas. UCPMA’s president Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma and spokesman Manjit Singh Khalsa has informed that the scheme was launched with the efforts of Manpreet Singh Ayali in which CLU was waived off and this would provide a big relief to the 563 industrialists, who applied during 2011 in Shimla Puri and New Janta Nagar. “The withhold connection will be released soon,” they said. The scheme is going on successfully and will continue till May 31, 2014. Despite this more than 364 new connection application has been filled in these areas and more than 291 industrialists have applied for the extension of their power load under VDS scheme, in which government has provided 20 per cent concession and has ordered to release connections at the time of application filled. — TNS




City lacks walking space

Though hundreds of parks come under the supervision of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation yet only some are in a satisfactory condition. A number of residents visit PAU and pay just for a walk. It has been witnessed that the government and the MC are selling public property but are paying no attention towards construction of a leisure valley. There is only one such valley at Sarabha Nagar adjoining Sidhwan Canal. Senior citizens, who are advised by doctors to walk, are at much disadvantage. According to me, the government or the MC should built wider roads with footpaths for walkers to have a stroll along with the maintenance of parks in a better way.

Sher Singh, Ludhiana

Keep Ludhiana clean and green

The so-called religious people celebrating festivals somehow forget that it is also their pious duty to maintain the cleanliness of the city. Just out of too much bigotry, the donors start distributing sweets such as purees, kheer, halwa served in white plates, disposable glasses and spoons that are dumped in the middle of the roads. Even the oft repeated roadside slogans ‘Make Ludhiana clean and green’ are gullibly ignored. I wonder, if the Administration, including the deputy commissioner, civic authorities and sanitation staff concerned with hygiene and health of the city residents are listening or not?

Prof Vijay Sheel Jain, Neem Chowk



Ludhiana scan

Cultural function

Himachali Parivar Sangathan will organise Himachal Cultural Annual Function at International Public School, Civil City, Chander Nagar, from 11 am onwards on Sunday. Former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Shanta Kumar, will be the chief guest on the occasion while Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha president Anurag Thakur, and several Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders will be present during the function.


Many devotees will participate in Begampura Vasao Sammelan to be held at the Grain Market near Jalandhar Bypass, here on Sunday. This Sammelan is being organised to commemorate the 637th Parkash Utsav of Sri Guru Ravidas Ji. Devotees from across the state will take part in this sammelan.

Exams postponed

Panjab University has postponed the compartment examinations of two subjects, of BA part-II, just a few minutes before the examination was to be conducted. The students, who came to appear for the examination, were irked with the decision of university. According to the university officials, the examination of History-B and Political Science-B had been postponed due to the clash of dates. Now the examinations will be conducted on April 1.

Fulbright award

The Assistant Director (TV) of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Dr Anil Sharma, has been conferred with the Fulbright Alumni Award 2013-14 by the United States India Educational Foundation (USIEF). Dr Sharma got this award for the research project titled, ‘Conservation of Natural Resources for Sustainable Agriculture -Through Traditional Media’. Additional Director, Communication, Dr Baldev Singh Sohal, said, “According to the executive director of the USIEF, Adam J Grotsky, Dr Sharma is amongst the four scientists of the country to have received this award.” He said under this research project, street plays and exhibitions would be organised in different parts of Punjab with the support of Krishi Vigyan Kendras of PAU. — TNS



Illegal lottery: Gang busted, kingpin on the run
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
With the arrest of nine persons, the Ludhiana police today claimed to have busted a gang involved in illegal interstate lottery trade. The police said the gang operated an illegal lottery website through which it was duping the state government and the people registered with it of lakhs of rupees.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Harsh Bansal, said acting on a tip-off, a CIA team headed by Ashok Kumar raided a house at Friends Colony in Salem Tabri and arrested the accused.

Kingpin of the gang Narinderjit Singh, alias Sonu, a resident of Friends Colony, is absconding, said the police.

The arrested persons include Avtar Singh, alias Vicky, of Friends Colony; Inderjeet Singh, alias Inder, of Sanjay Gandhi Colony; Sajan Kumar, alias Gaurav, of Basant Nagar; Vivek Singh, alias Chhotu, of Gurnam Nagar; Kartik Malhotra, alias Kanal, of Tilak Nagar; Jaspinder Singh, alias Billa, of Tajpur Road; Sanjeev Kumar, alias Babbu, of Patiala; Surinder Kumar, alias Sanju, of Bahadurke; and Rahul Gumber of Tilak Nagar.

The DCP said the gang was operating a website, www.satyam.win.com, without any licence for past two to three years.

"Several people hailing from Ludhiana, Malerkotla, Phagwara, Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur were registered with this website. The members were asked to place bets on random numbers,” said Bansal.

The accused have been booked under Sections 120-B, 294-A and 420 of the IPC besides Sections 8 and 9 of the Lottery Regulation Act at the Salem Tabri police station. The police recovered four computers, a laptop, 36 mobile phones, 22 mobile chargers, eight calculators and some other goods from their possession.



Ex-constable held for fraud
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
The Basti Jodhewal police have arrested a former constable for duping a woman of Rs 30 lakh on the pretext of selling her a piece of land.

The accused, Karnail Singh (52), is a resident of Baldev Nagar. He had turned into a property dealer after being sacked from the police job in 2007.

His other accomplices— Neelam Rani and Suresh Kumar of Hargobind Nagar and Raj Kumar of Mayapuri—are absconding.

In her complaint to the police, Mayapuri-resident Jasvir Kaur stated that she paid Rs 30 lakh to the accused for buying a plot. She alleged despite making full payment, the accused failed to get the property transferred in her name.

Inspector Harvinder Singh, station house officer, Basti Jodhewal, said Karnail Singh and his accomplices were booked for fraud on March 17, following an inquiry. Karnail Singh was arrested from the Basti Jodhewal area last evening and search was on to nab other accused, he said.

Was sacked due to illegal activities

In 2006, while serving the Police Department, Karnail Singh allegedly helped an undertrial flee from police custody. He was allegedly also involved in several other cases of crime related to theft, drug peddling and forgery. 



1 held with smack
Our Correspondent

Samrala, March 29
The Samrala police claimed to have arrested a youth and recovered 100gm smack from his possession. The SHO of Samrala police station said ASI Nachhatar Singh along with his team was on patrol duty when they reached Baghour village and spotted a youth under suspicion.

On seeing the police party, the youth tried to run away but was overpowered by the team. During his search, 100 gm smack was recovered. He was identified as Harpreet Singh (23), a resident of Barma village.

A case under the NDPS Act was registered in this regard at the Samrala police station. Harpreet was presented in a court at Samrala from where he was sent to Ludhiana Jail for 14 days.

SHO Pawanjit said another case related to the NDPS Act was already pending against him. 



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