18032017-TTC-01.qxd 3/18/2017 1:11 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 saturday, march 18, 2017 chandigarh | gurgaon | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 137 no. 75 | 32 pages | ~5.00 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd MUST GIVE MODI CREDIT: PRANAB He (Narendra Modi) has his own way of dealing with things and I must give him credit for how quickly he picked up. Every other PM from Charan Singh to Chandra Shekhar, all had a profound experience in Parliament. But a man coming straight from a provincial government and acquiring mastery over foreign relations, complicated external economy... speaks volumes of him. ❝ Pranab Mukherjee, PRESIDENT /thetribunechd ‘SON OF INDIA, NO OTHER LIKE IT’ I am living in India for the past 58 years and hence, I am a son of India. In the field of secularism, there is no other country like India. Whatever I am today is due to the Nalanda school of thoughts. Good education would help develop tolerance among mankind and inculcate the habit of forgiveness. Today’s system of education is making us consumers. ❝ MAN FACES JAIL FOR KILLING BUTTERFLY London: A British man has been convicted of capturing and killing two of Britain’s rarest butterflies, the endangered Large Blues, which have been a prized collector’s item since the Victorian era. Judges in Bristol have found 57-year-old Philip Cullen guilty of killing the Large Blues, which have protected status, and he faces a possible prison sentence — “a unique case,” according to the prosecutor. First discovered in Britain in 1795, Large Blues disappeared from the country by 1979. They were re-introduced from Sweden in 1983. A black market for mounted Large Blues puts the price of each up to $371. AFP Dalai Lama, TIBETAN SPIRITUAL LEADER 6,000 Punjab cops to be Debt waiver on agenda as sent back to field duty state Cabinet meets today DGP Dhillon heads panel to downsize security to VIPs Committee of experts to assess total Punjab farm loan Jupinderjit Singh BULLET-PROOF VEHICLES FOR JASSI, 2 OTHERS Ruchika M Khanna Chandigarh, March 17 The newly-formed Congress government is all set to prune the security provided to VIPs, with 6,000 policemen attached with politicians and police officers likely to be sent back to field duty by next week. Also, the 60 police escort vehicles will now be used for general policing. A state-level review committee under DGP (Law & Order) Hardeep Singh Dhillon was today constituted after Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Suresh Arora told Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh that Punjab had the best policepublic ratio in the country, yet there were not enough Security to Harminder Singh Jassi, Congress candidate who lost from Maur, has been upgraded to ‘Z plus’. A relative of Dera Sacha Sauda chief, he escaped two blasts on February 1. He has been given a bullet-proof Scorpio, a mobile jammer and an escort vehicle. Patiala’s Pawan Gupta, chief of Hindustan Shiv Sena, and Panchanad Giriraj Maharaj, head priest of Kali Mata Temple, too have been given a bullet-proof vehicle each. TNS Chandigarh, March 17 The Punjab Cabinet, that meets here tomorrow under Capt Amarinder Singh for the first time, will look into the issue of agriculture loans. Having won the elections on the promise of a debt waiver, it will be setting up a committee comprising experts to assess the total loan that the government proposes to waive off. Sources said the committee would be asked to assess the extent of rural indebtedness and submit a report within three months. Based on its recommendations, the government would decide on enacting laws to allow for a loan debt swap from the farmers to the government. Gilgit merger with Pakistan ‘unacceptable’: Separatists Haryana Jats deny govt pact, say Monday ‘Parliament gherao’ on Srinagar, March 17 In a rare denouncement of Pakistan, the separatist camp in Kashmir today said Islamabad’s proposal to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth province is “unacceptable”, saying it will have a “damaging impact” on the state’s “disputed status”. “Any proposal to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as (the) fifth state of Pakistan is unacceptable,” Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik said in a joint statement here. The separatists said the people in Jammu and Kashmir have “always accepted the role of Pakistan as a party to the issue; however, any step which may hamper the disputed status of Kashmir is unacceptable”. The rare denouncement of Islamabad comes days after reports that a committee headed by Pakistan PM’s adviser on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, has proposed giving the status of a province to Gilgit-Baltistan. Made up of seven districts, it is the northern-most territory of the erstwhile monarchical state of J&K as it existed prior to 1947. The separatists said the proposal “will have a damaging impact on the disputed status of the state... unless and until the people are provided an opportunity to decide the future course through a referendum, no division, alteration and changes are acceptable”. — TNS Tribune News Service Tribune News Service policemen on the streets to check crime. The committee will submit its report to the DGP with category-wise rec, ommendations, by March 24. Its other members are ADGPs (Intelligence) Dinkar Gupta, ADGP (Security) BK Bawa, who is member secretary, and IGP (Special Protection Unit) Pramod Ban. The Bureau of Police Research and Development had in 2014 pointed out that Pradeep Sharma Chandigarh, March 17 A day after a Haryana ministerial panel reportedly reached an agreement with the Jat community, the proquota leadership today said their march to New Delhi and gherao of Parliament on March 20 was “very much on”. All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti chief Yashpal Malik charged the Manohar Lal Khattar government with “misleading the people” and announced their “plan to gherao Parliament remained unchanged”. Hitting back at Malik, Chief Minister Khattar said “some of the protesters did not like 5,811 cops were guarding VIPs in Punjab (the highest in the country). This number later swelled to 12,000. Facing flak, the SAD-BJP government pulled back 4,000 security guards during two drives — in 2016 and just before the 2017 Assembly elections. Sources, pointing out that having guards had become a status symbol, said some SPrank officials had more than 25 policemen serving them. peace and they appeared to be either politically motivated or had vested interests”. “I am always prepared to negotiate with an open mind to resolve the issue. The Jat leaders can hold talks with me wherever they desire,” said Khattar. The ministerial committee, headed by Ram Bilas Sharma and Krishan Bedi and Kamal Gupta (Chief Parliamentary Secretary) among its members, held talks with the Malik faction yesterday and had reportedly decided to announce the end of the impasse today. The Chief Minister said the protesters had decided to call off their stir after the “agree- Tribune News Service ment” with the panel. One of the “agreement points” was that once the Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict on reservation was out, a provision for quota would be included in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution. The government was also to reinvestigate various Jat stir-related cases. The next of kin of those killed during the protests last year or those who sustained permanent disability (or their next of kin) were to be given regular government jobs within 60 days. “The samiti’s seven-point agenda was discussed in detail with Malik and other members. Almost everything has been decided,” Ram Bilas had claimed yesterday. Rural indebtedness in Punjab is estimated at Rs 80,000 crore, of which Rs 70,000 crore is the loan taken by farmers from banks. However, loan specifically for agricultural purposes (excluding short-term loans) is to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore. Sources say while loans availed by farmers from cooperative banks (Rs 9,484 crore as on December 2016) can be easily swapped/ taken over by the government, the real challenge will be dealing with loans taken from nationalised banks (almost 86 per cent of the farm loan amount). The NPA (non-performing assets) in the agriculture loan sector is Rs 5,150 crore. The Cabinet is expected to take almost 150-odd Samjhauta: 13 Pak witnesses summoned New Delhi: A special NIA court on Friday summoned 13 Pakistani witnesses to depose before it in connection with the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case in which 68 people were killed. The NIA spokesperson said the Pakistani witnesses were required to attend the trial court at Panchkula in Haryana from July 4 onwards. PTI Lt Col ends life New Delhi: A 46-year-old Lieutenant Colonel of the Corps of Engineers allegedly committed suicide outside his house in Dwarka area on Friday morning. His family told the police that he was stressed that he might be court-martialled soon. A case of misappropriation of funds was going on against him in Siliguri, Assam. TNS Dr Jagat Ram appointed PGI Director PM-led Cabinet committee reverses search panel’s order of merit Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service New Delhi, March 17 The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today appointed Dr Jagat Ram, the seniormost professor of PGI, Chandigarh, as the institute’s new Director. Dr Ram will serve for five years from the date of assuming charge or until he attains 65 years of age, whichever is earlier. Jagat Ram, 61, heads PGI’s Ophthalmology Department and is an inter- Dr Jagat Ram nationally acclaimed expert with 24 awards to his credit, 11 of these global. With Dr Ram’s appointment, the ACC has allayed serious concerns of impropriety that marked the selection process of the new PGI Director. The process began on October 6 with the Health Ministry constituting a search and selection committee under Health Secretary CK Mishra to find the Director and invite applications. Concerns stemmed from the committee placing Dr Ram at the bottom of the shortlist of three finalists drawn up after interviewing 26 candidates on October 20. It was ratified by the PGI Institute Body on November 3 Today’s issue consists of 32 pages, including four-page The Tribune Trends and four-page Real Estate. and referred to the ACC for final appointment. But it raised a storm with The Tribune on December 5 publishing a report on the process of selection and the questions it raised. It highlighted how Dr Anil Bhansali, Head of Department, Endocrinology, PGI, was placed as the top finalist despite being 27th on PGI’s seniority list. Dr Meenu Singh was placed second while being 57th in institutional seniority, continued on page 11 decisions, including issuing a White Paper on the state of economy and the systematic loot of state resources (minor minerals such as sand and aggregate) allotted to cartels with political links. The Cabinet is also likely to review the trimming of the government size, closing down about 100 defunct government undertakings. Other key decisions would be on ministers and officials shunning the red beacon, doing away with the practice of stones carrying names of ministers, de-politicising the police force and abolishing the halqa in-charge system. Also, the Punjab Government is likely to order a third-party audit of the power utilities. Trivendra Rawat tobeU’khandCM RSS ex-pracharak takes oath today Neena Sharma Tribune News Service Dehradun, March 17 Trivendra Singh Rawat was today unanimously elected the BJP Legislature Party leader after which he met the Governor to stake claim to form the next government in Uttarakhand. He will be sworn in as Chief Minister along with seven ministers tomorrow. The ceremony will be attended by PM Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, said sources. A former RSS pracharak, Trivendra has been a minister in the BJP-led government in 2007-2012. He is known for his administrative and organisational skills. Earlier, the BJP MLAs met at a hotel in the presence of two observers— Union Minister Narender Tomar and general secretary Saroj Pandey. Trivendra’s name as the Legislature Party leader was proposed by BJP leaders Satpal Maharaj and Prakash Pant. Both are believed to have been contenders for the post. The proposal was seconded by senior leaders Madan Kaushik, Ritu Khanduri, Yashpal Arya and Dr Prem Singh Rana. All this while, Trivendra’s supporters, who had gathered outside the hotel in large numbers, kept chanting his name. The meeting ended peacefully unlike in 2007 when STEADY RISE ■ CM-designate has been rewarded for his loyalty to the BJP and RSS ■ Rawat, 57, wrested the Doiwala seat from Congress by 24,869 votes ■ His organisational skills were put to test in Jharkhand where he came out triumphant ■ He was minister in the BJP governments led by BC Khanduri and RP Nishank ■ Born in 1960 into a family of servicemen, he studied in his village school (Khairasain) in Pauri Garhwal ■ He joined RSS at 19 and six years later was made RSS pracharak for Dehradun unhappy party workers backing BC Koshiyari had run amok after BC Khanduri was announced the CM-designate. Trivendra said his top priority would be a corruption-free Uttarakhand. “We have to meet the expectations of the people. I will ensure that my government is transparent and honest,” he said. NEW UP CM TAKES OATH TOMORROW Lucknow: The suspense in Uttar Pradesh is likely to be over on Saturday when the BJP Legislature Party meets at 5 pm to elect the Chief Minister, who will be sworn in at 5 pm on March 19. BJP national chief Amit Shah has tasked state president Keshav Maurya with facilitating the selection of the next CM. This virtually eliminates Maurya from the race. TNS
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