24022018-LT-01.qxd 2/24/2018 12:36 AM Page 1 c m y b SATURDAY | 24 FEBRUARY 2018 | LUDHIANA LUDHIANA TRIBUNE Fitness freaks No-cheating pledge Sikh on a mission Over 500 residents pedal during 7th India Int’l Cycle, Fitness & Outdoor Sports Expo. P2 School students pledge to shun unfair means of cheating while appearing for board exams. P3 Racial attack victim says it’s important to apprise students of all faiths in schools. P4 PARTLY CLOUDY | MAX 24°C MIN 13°C | SUNSET SATURDAY 6: 21 PM SUNRISE SUNDAY 6: 58 AM FORECAST POLL NOTES …meanwhile, liquor flows to ‘buy’ votes Ludhiana: Though the district administration claimed to have made foolproof arrangements to hold ‘free and fair’ elections in the city, social media is abuzz with viral videos, wherein liquor and ration are being openly distributed to “purchase” votes. Just a day before MC polls, two videos of poll-code violation have gone viral. In the first video, a person, allegedly from the economically weaker section, is seen buying a liquor bottle from a vend in ~10. According to information, a candidate from ward 56 allegedly offered ~10 notes to voters to buy votes. Sources said liquor is openly being distributed in various wards. Questions are also being raised over the “arrangements” being made to keep a check on such violations. Meanwhile, another video has gone viral, in which supporters of a candidate are seen offering ration to voters in ward 44. SAD candidate from ward 44, Meetpal Singh Durgi alleged that a close aide of the Congress candidate from ward 44 is distributing sugar bags and other grocery items in Dugri to woo voters. “The Election Commission turned a blind eye as several norms are being violated,” he said. Congress MLA, Kuldeep Singh Vaid denied the allegations. “Akalis are levelling false allegations against Congressmen. In fact, Akali leaders and their supporters are distributing ration to purchase votes and it is wrong,” he said. HARSHRAJ SINGH PO caught campaigning, held Ludhiana: Husband of Lok Insaf Party candidate of ward 31, Bhupinder Singh, who was declared a proclaimed offender by the court, was on Friday arrested by the police. He was arrested after the opposition candidate from the ward found him campaigning in the area. He was wanted in the case registered against him under the Negotiable Instruments Act and Section 420 of the IPC. Sources said candidates from the opposite party saw him campaigning for his wife Mithlesh Singh, after which they complained to the police and he was arrested. CP suspends SHO Ludhiana: Police Commissioner RN Dhoke suspended Salem Tabri SHO Inspector Vijay Kumar on Friday. Police Commissioner had received a complaint against the SHO that he was taking the side of some political party. CP Dhoke said after receiving the complaint, DCP Crime had conducted inquiry and found the SHO guilty of misconduct, due to which he was put under suspension immediately. The CP said the SHO was not fairly dealing with the issues and was misusing his power, which was not tolerable. Village schools to remain open Ludhiana: Government schools in rural areas of the district will remain open on the election day, according to the letter issued by the State Election Commission. A holiday on February 24 would be observed in educational institutes falling under the jurisdiction of 95 wards of Ludhiana MC. While teachers have been called on poll duty, the functioning of these schools is likely to be hampered as they have outsourced teachers from other government schools. Factories closed today Ludhiana: To ensure that people working in factories and other organisations also exercise their adult franchise in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and Jagraon and Payal Municipal Council elections, February 24 has been declared as a closed day. In this regard, a notification issued by Principal Secretary of Labour Department Sanjay Kumar states that factories, shops and commercial establishments in all constituencies will remain closed on February 24 for employees working there. CICU members, however, said they kept waiting for the circular from Labour Secretary for the declaration of holiday. — TNS Police personnel being briefed; and (right) election material being distributed among the poll staff at the Khalsa College for Women on the eve of the Ludhiana MC elections. TRIBUNE PHOTOS: HIMANSHU MAHAJAN Big day for state’s biggest MC today Fate of 494 candidates to be sealed; voting in 2 wards of Payal, Jagraon civic bodies also today Tribune News Service Ludhiana, February 23 The administration is set to hold the elections for the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and bypolls for two wards in Payal and Jagraon Municipal Councils tomorrow. The EVM machines were handed over to the polling staff at nine collection centres in the city today. As many as 494 candidates of various political parties, including the Congress, SAD-BJP AAP-LIP CPI, BSP , , , Nationalist Congress Party and Independents are in the fray for 95 wards in the city. A triangular contest is likely to be witnessed in many wards as Congress, SAD-BJP and AAP-LIP alliance have fielded their candidates. Ahead of the MC elections, the Opposition parties, including SAD-BJP and AAP-LIP have been blaming , high-handedness by the Congress. However, the leaders of the ruling Congress party in the state have refuted these allegations. 10.50 lakh voters Around 10.50 lakh voters will exercise their franchise and elect representatives from 95 wards out of which 5.67 lakh are male, 4.82 lakh female and 23 belong to the third gender. A total of 1,153 polling stations (two auxiliary polling stations) have been set up, out of which 284 polling stations have been identified as sensitive, where videography would be conducted by the Election Commission. As many as nine strong rooms would be set up, where voting machines would be kept till the counting day (February 27) and CCTV cameras would be installed for round-the-clock supervision. These cameras would be WiFi enabled and any candidate Offices to remain close The Punjab Government has declared a holiday in all government offices, corporations, boards, and educational institutions on February 24 in all election areas. A paid holiday has been declared in all factories, shops and other commercial establishments on February 24 at all voting precincts concerned. This holiday has been declared under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, to enable people to exercise their franchise. Dry day today Dry day will be observed in Ludhiana, Jagraon, and Payal (where elections are being held) on Saturday and on the counting day — February 27. All liquor shops, bars will remain close. Hotels, restaurants and clubs serving liquor will have to comply with the order on these two days. can oversee the strong room by just entering a password, which would be issued by the returning officers. 4,500 cops, 5,400 employees on duty The administration claimed that elaborate security arrangements have been made for the elections, in which more than 4,500 cops have been deployed. Not only this, around 5,400 employees of the civil administration have also been engaged in the election process. District Electoral Officercum-Deputy Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agrawal exhorted each voter to exercise his or her franchise fearlessly and asked them to show enthusiasm for voting. He said criminal proceedings would be initiated against those found indulging in corrupt and illegal practices. “If anybody would be found issuing threats or warnings to voters for casting votes in their favour, a case will be registered against the guilty,” he said. Additional force for sensitive areas Nikhil Bhardwaj Tribune News Service Ludhiana February 23 Suspecting that the law and order situation may go out of control in certain sensitive areas in the city, the Ludhiana Police Commissionerate has deployed additional security. Senior police officials, including Police Commissioner RN Dhoke, are paying surprise visits to sensitive areas to oversee security arrangements. On the basis of ground report by returning officers and police officials, as many as 1,153 polling stations (two auxiliary polling stations) have been set up for holding MC elections, out of which 284 polling stations have been identified as sensitive, where videography would be conducted by the State Election Commission. As per the earlier plan of security arrangements, around 4,000 police personnel were deployed in the field to hold elections peacefully and keep a tab over antisocial elements, who can create tension during the poll. Now, the police commisionerate has called a squad of 500 more cops and they would be deployed at sensitive areas for patrolling and at nakas. Police Commissioner RN Dhoke said foolproof security arrangements were already in place. Still, as a precautionary measure, additional force comprising 500 cops has also reached the city, he said. “In sensitive areas such as Atam Nagar and South among others, apart from the force, more senior officials of ADCP and ACP rank have been deployed to keep law and order situation under control,” he said. Harshraj Singh Cong accused of attacking SAD candidate, kin Tribune News Service Nikhil Bhardwaj Ludhiana, February 23 The staff on polling duty, who was handed over the EVMs for the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation polls, was a harried lot today. Reason: Poor arrangement at various collection centres. The polling staff at the collection centre setup by the administration at Khalsa College for Women was visibly upset while checking EVMs, as chairs were unavailable and they were forced to sit on the ground. The staff blamed the officials for not making proper seating arrangements. It was a harrowing experience for those government employees, who were suffering from knee problem, as they could not even sit on the ground. Not only this, they complained that no adequate arrangement of drinking water was made. Tribune News Service Poor arrangements rile polling staff Say made to sit on ground at KCW; struggle to quench thirst and arrange food at KVM (Left) Polling staff sit on the ground and inspect EVMs; and an employee drinks water from a ‘cycle tube’ attached with a water tanker at the KCW, Ludhiana. TRIBUNE PHOTOS: HIMANSHU MAHAJAN The polling staff struggled to quench their thirst but managed to get a water tanker stationed at the college ground. Interestingly, the water was supplied through a ‘cycle tube’ connected with the water tanker. An employee working with the Education Department said: “We reached at 9 am, but nobody offered us water till 12:30 pm. When a few female teachers asked an official about the arrangement of toilets and water, he responded in a very cold manner and suggested that we drink water from the water tanker.” A female teacher on poll duty at KCW collection centre said: “If the government releases funds to conduct elections, they should make proper seating arrangements as well. We have never refused to perform the poll duty. Lunch was provided but that, too, on a small table.” A government employee at c m y b the collection centre setup at KVM said: “I came in the morning, but no lunch was provided till 2:45 pm. It is the responsibility of the administration to arrange lunch for the polling staff on time. As I was feeling hungry, I went outside and had some continued on page 2 Ludhiana February 23 SAD candidate from ward 48, Gurjit Singh Chabra, accused the Congress men of attacking him and his kin while campaigning in Street No 3 of Dhakka Colony today. Chabra’s brother-in-law Lucky Singh sustained serious head injuries in the attack, while his brother Gurpreet Singh sustained minor injuries. Chabra also escaped with minor injuries. His vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner, was also damaged in the attack allegedly by Congress candidate Parvinder Singh Lapran, his father Gurdev Lapran, president of District Congress Committee rural, and his supporters. Injured Lucky was admitted to a private hospital for treatment. Gurjit Chabra told The Tribune that he, Gurpreet, Lucky and a few sup- Cong denies charge Gurpreet Singh, brother of SAD candidate from Ward No. 48, shows his injuries after he was ‘attacked’ in Dhakka Colony on Friday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: HIMANSHU MAHAJAN porters were taking the round of the area, when they were cornered by opponent from the Congress Parvinder Singh Lapran, his father Gurdev Lapran, and over a dozen other supporters. “They attacked us with sharp-edged When contacted, Parvinder Lapra categorically denied the allegations and said: “This incident occurred in Street No. 3, but I was present in Street No. 9 at the times of attack. Neither I nor my father was there. Still, SAD people levelled allegations on us. What I came to know is that SAD candidate Gurjit and his supporters were distributing money, liquor and some household items to voters in Dhakka Colony and by chance, my supporters noticed them. They asked them to stop the practice. It was they who attacked my supporters after which my supporters ran for their lives. The SAD candidate is clearly seeing his debacle, due to which he is levelling false allegations.” weapons. My brother-in-law sustained serious head injury and assailants almost left Lucky dead. He is critical. We, continued on page 2
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