12082017-TTC-01.qxd 8/12/2017 1:19 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 saturday,august 12, 2017 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 1 no. 117 | 26 pages | ~5.00 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd 7.5% growth is difficult, survey for rate cuts New Delhi: Across-theboard deceleration in economic activity has made it difficult to get to the 7.5 per cent GDP growth as projected earlier for the current fiscal, the Economic Survey said on Friday as it called for more interest rate cuts and use of all policy tools to revive momentum. Tabled in Parliament, the Economic Survey, which is the second part of the one brought out in January-end and carries the mid-year review, warned of fiscal slippages as “a series of deflationary impulses are weighing on an economy yet to gather its full momentum”. reports Page 18 /thetribunechd CM:370 Article of faith, won’t be fiddled with Happy tidings Ravi S Singh Tribune News Service Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu has a hearty laugh with Prime Minister Narendra Modi by his side as they leave Rashtrapati Bhavan after the swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi on Friday. Naidu is India’s 13th Vice-President. AP/PTI REPORTS PAGE 9 ‘No oxygen’ 30 die in 36 hrs in Gorakhpur , 17 newborns among fatalities in UP CM’s constituency; magisterial probe on Lucknow, August 11 Thirty patients, including 17 newborns, have died at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur in the past 36 hours allegedly due to the drying up of oxygen. Gorakhpur District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela has ordered a magisterial inquiry which will within 24 hours ascertain if oxygen supply had been disrupted and if the deaths were directly related to it. He said the hospital management and doctors were categorically denying that the lack of oxygen was the cause of death. He did admit that there had been some problem with the piped supply but doctors assured him that there was a stock of 50 cylinders and another 100 were on their way. It now appears that the deaths had been successfully covered up by the nexus of senior officials and doctors and hospital management during Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s two-day visit to his constituency, which concluded on Thursday. While admitting 30 deaths, the DM refused to accept short supply of oxygen as the cause of the 17 deaths in the neonatal department or the 13 Japanese Encephalitis (JE) deaths in the ICU. Sources, however, point out that the private company supplying liquid oxygen to the Nehru Hospital attached to the BRD Medical College had warned of snapping off supplies due to arrears piling up to the tune of Rs 60 lakh, while the agreement was for arrears only up to Rs 10 lakh. A liquid oxygen plant had been installed at the college two years ago. Through this plant, oxygen was being sup- plied to the special JE wards, ICUs and around 300 beds. After the warning of the suppliers, the hospital management had arranged for oxygen cylinders, which were clearly inadequate. Around 7 am on Friday, oxygen reportedly ran out, after which the deaths started occurring. Ironically, Minister for Medical Education Ashutosh Tandon was not aware of the deaths. —TNS New Delhi, August 11 Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given “100 per cent” assurance that he would back the PDP-BJP government’s ‘Agenda of Alliance’, which says that the status of Article 370 can’t be “fiddled with”. She, however, evaded a direct reply on whether the PM had given an assurance on safeguarding the constitutional status quo for the state. A worried Mehbooba had yesterday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in view of the flared-up sentiments in the Valley over a pending PIL in the Supreme Court seeking that Article 35A be struck down. The provision grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir. It vests the Assembly with special powers to define “permanent residents” and determine their rights and privileges. While the state government contested the petition, the Centre recently expressed its reservations. Home Ministry officials yesterday said its law officers would be presenting legal ❝ People of J&K are feeling uneasy on the possibility of their collective identity being in danger. The state has been accorded special status... the idea of India has to accommodate the idea of J&K❞ Mehbooba Mufti, CM aspects related to Article 35A only and would refrain from joining the case, even as state BJP’s Virendra Gupta demanded that Articles 370 and 35A, that created a “separatist psyche”, be abrogated. Talking to mediapersons, Mehbooba said she had told the PM that status quo on Article 370 and special status to J&K formed the core of the agreement between the PDP and the BJP She point. ed out that although a Muslim-majority state, J&K had preferred to stay with India. “Unfortunately, when it’s returning to normalcy, controversial issues are being raked, which could push it back into turmoil,” she warned. Edit: Opening can of worms Prasoon Joshi Nihalani out, Prasoon Joshi is CBFC chief Mumbai, August 11 Pahlaj Nihalani, whose decisions as the CBFC chief repeatedly angered the film fraternity, was today replaced by noted lyricist and ad guru Prasoon Joshi, drawing widespread applause. Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, who has been appointed a member of the censor board, spoke about the structural changes in the government-appointed body which oversees all movies before they are released in India. Agnihotri said Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani was looking at the Central Board of Film Certification with a fresh perspective. “With Prasoon Joshi heading it, it was tempting for me to come on board.” Joshi is known for his contribution to films like “Black”, “Taare Zameen Par”, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, “Rang De Basanti”, “Delhi-6” and “Neerja” and for successful ad campaigns. Honoured with Padma Shri, the national award winner penned the theme song for PM Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and other campaigns. — IANS Buxar DM commits suicide Doklam: Talks stuck, alert along LAC Jitendra K Shrivastava Tribune News Service Nitish: Sharad is free to do as he pleases New Delhi, August 11 Even as Bihar CM Nitish Kumar today virtually shut the door on any reconciliation with rebel leader Sharad Yadav, saying he was free to take any decision as the alliance with the BJP had the entire party’s nod, the JD(U) suspended its Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar Ansari from the parliamentary party for attending a meeting of Opposition parties convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. “He (Yadav) is free to take a decision. As far as the party is concerned, it has already taken a decision. The decision was not mine alone. It was taken with the consent of the party. If he has a different opinion, then he is free to do so,” Nitish told the media after meeting the Prime Minister. It was his first visit to the capital after he dumped the grand alliance partners — the RJD and the Congress — and sealed a deal with the BJP This is his first direct . response to the open rebellion by Yadav. — Agencies Patna, August 11 A 2012-batch IAS officer of the Bihar cadre, Buxar District Magistrate (DM) Mukesh Pandey, whose body was found on the rail track at Kotgaon, 1 km from the Ghaziabad railway station in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, is believed to have committed suicide. A note recovered from the site, police officials claimed, reads: “I am Mukesh Pandey IAS 2012 batch Bihar cadre presently posted as DM Buxar. I am committing sui- Mukesh Pandey cide of my own volition and after my death please inform my relatives about my suicide. I am residing in room 742 of Leela Palace, Delhi. Detailed suicide note is in my bag”. Pandey had joined as DM, Buxar, on August 4. Prior to that he was Deputy Development Commissioner, Katihar. Sources said he had messaged some of his near and dear ones, informing them where he was staying and that he planned to end his life at the Janakpuri District Centre on Thursday evening. There was shock and grief at Pandey’s native village Sanjha in Saran district. “Mukesh married a girl from Patna in 2012. The couple was blessed with a child recently,” said Mukesh’s uncle Anil Pandey. Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service New Delhi, August 11 In a setback, talks between two high-ranking military officers of India and China today remained inconclusive at the Doklam Plateau where a military standoff has ensued between the two nuclear-armed neighbours since June 16. A Major General rank officer led the Indian team and was matched by an equal rank officer from the People Liberation Army of China. From here on, the level of the meeting could be escalated to the level of MORE FORCE AT VULNERABLE POINTS ■ The operational alert issued by the Army along the LAC entails high-altitude acclimatisation, adding force at vulnerable points, repair of roads and readiness of all military platforms ■ During talks between Major General rank officers, India asked China to end its road construction activity and China asked India to withdraw from what it calls its territory. Now, the level of the meeting may escalate to the level of Lieutenant Generals Lieutenant Generals. Even as the talks are on, the Army has issued an ‘operational alert’ along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC). This alert entails high-altitude acclimatisation, adding force at vulnerable points, repair of roads and readiness of all military platforms. The talks termed as “flag meeting” in military parlance were today held at Nathu La, the designated border meeting point in the Himalayas in Eastern Sikkim. The two sides stuck to their stand. India asked China to end its road construction activity and China asked India to withdraw from what it calls its territory. India fears that Beijing is aiming to make a road to cross east of the torsa nullah and reach the Jampheri ridge from where it gets a clear view of the Siliguri corridor, the narrow sliver of land which links NorthEast with mainland India. After today’s meeting, both sides have agreed to report back the position to their respective headquarters and get back with an answer. Resolve itpeacefully: Bhutanp22 First chronicler of Partition aims to ‘fix responsibility ’ On the job since 1954, Prof Kirpal Singh, 93, prepares his final works on the 1947 human tragedy Vishav Bharti Tribune News Service Prof Kirpal Singh with his seminal work on Partition. TRIBUNE PHOTO: MANOJ MAHAJAN Chandigarh, August 11 The first chronicler of the Partition of 1947, who started building an archive in 1954, says not one of the key figures he interviewed during the process was ready to take responsibility for the monumental human tragedy that unfolded 70 years ago. Now 93, Prof Kirpal Singh says he aims to “fix the responsibility” for the tragedy in his final work. His journey in Partition’s historiography started in 1953 as a young lecturer at Khalsa College, Amritsar. Bhai Veer Singh called him, he recalls, and said that what happened in 1947 was unique. “It has never happened before, it will never happen again. I want to work on Partition but I am too old to do that. You write Partition’s history” — Bhai Veer Singh’s words still resonate for Prof Kirpal Singh, himself a victim of the tragedy. His assistant started visiting the refugee camps to document the stories of victims and Prof Singh himself started doing the rounds of offices in Shimla and Delhi to fish out records. This continued for two years. The turning point came in 1962, when then Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon offered to send him to the United Kingdom to collect papers related to Punjab. Over six months, Prof Kirpal Singh got a chance to interview the leading figures connected with Partition — from Punjab Boundary Commission chairman Cyril John Radcliffe to Governor of West Punjab Sir Francis Mudie, to Prime Minister Clement Attlee to Mountbatten’s Chief of Staff Hastings Ismay. Prof Singh met almost each architect of Partition while compiling his seminal work “Select Documents on Partition of Punjab”. After each interview, he said, he would jot down the excerpts in longhand. These documents are now part of the Punjabi Uni- Today’s issue consists of 26 pages, including four-page The Tribune Trends. versity library in Patiala. Prof Singh says Sir Francis Mudie, the Governor of West Punjab during Partition, was open to answer every question and allowed him to see his correspondence with Mountbatten, especially a letter written on July 25, 1962, in which the last Viceroy claimed that the number of deaths was exaggerated to defame him. On the migration of people of Punjab, Mudie told him how Akali leader Giani Kartar Singh met him at Lyallpur and said that they (Sikhs) had decided to leave Pakistan. In one interview, the then Chief Justice of India, Patrick Spens, accepted that Partition was a job done in a hurry by a man (Radcliffe) “who didn’t know the language of the people”. Neither did he have any knowledge of geography, nor did he have any clue about the people. “Nowhere in the entire British Empire the boundaries were drawn like that,” Spens told him. More than six decades after meeting them, Prof Singh still regrets that none of the men “behind the Partition tragedy” were ready to take responsibility and conveniently put the blame on others. “There was a design behind the idea of Partition. You won’t find that in documents, but I found about it during the interviews,” he says. “Now I have analysed all those interviews and am going to put together the entire analysis in a book,” he adds. Titled “Who is Responsible for Punjab Tragedy”, it would answer many unanswered questions of Partition, he says, adding that he has not spared “anybody”. Amid the despair of Partition, he says the stories of hope are yet to be told. “People saved girls, collected dowry, also married them off. They sheltered them for years and later united them with families. Both sides saw such stories. The second part ‘Silver Lines in Dark Clouds’ comprises those stories.”
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