13082017-TTC-01.qxd 8/13/2017 1:24 AM Page 1 123 established in 1881 vol. 137 no. 223 late city | sunday, august 13, 2017 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | 44 pages | ~5.00 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Principal quits, UP says death of 30 kids ‘routine’ Open society Gorakhpur college head denies lack of oxygen to blame Shahira Naim Tribune News Service It’s a scene common to almost every corner of India. Here, it seems ironical as a man urinates on a wall in front of a poster of “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” in Hyderabad. The film is based on a true-life tale of a man’s battle to build toilets in his village. AFP JCO, woman killed in Pak firing at LoC Shyam Sood SHOPIAN ENCOUNTER: 2 JAWANS DIE, 3 HURT Rajouri, August 12 A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and a woman were killed while a soldier was critically injured when snipers of the Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked firing at the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district today. In the afternoon, Pakistani snipers deployed at forward posts targeted Indian soldiers in the Barasingha area manned by Mahar Regiment. Sunday Specials ■ Two Army jawans were killed and three others were injured in a fierce gunfight in Shopian district of south Kashmir. There are reports that Hizb top commanders are trapped in the area ■ The gunfight erupted when an anti-militancy operation was launched at Awneera village, 70 km from Srinagar, on Saturday evening after an input that top Hizb militants were holding a meeting inside a mosque (WITH PTI INPUTS) Naib Subedar Jagram Singh Tomar, 42, from a village in Morena district in Madhya Pradesh was killed while Sepoy Mohit was injured and shifted to a nearby Army med- ical centre, sources said. An Army statement released in Jammu said the Pakistani army initiated unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts in the Krishna Ghati sector around 5 JD-U ousts Sharad as leader in RS, Shah invites Nitish to NDA Tribune News Service Wah Taj! An open-ended restoration work of the magnificent marvel is on. The Taj Mahal is being given scientific and traditional treatment to keep its lofty character. IMPRESSIONS P12 Op Iron Fist in Kashmir The arrest of separatists go far beyond managing security. The hints are clear: the Centre won’t concede any political ground to hardliners INDEPTH P13 pm, in which Naib Subedar Tomar was grievously injured and later succumbed to his injuries. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. Naib Subedar Tomar is the 11th soldier of the Indian Army to have been killed while manning the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts during the past three months. The deceased woman was identified as Ruqia Bibi, a resident of Bakakot area of Mendhar sector in Poonch, the police said. New Delhi, August 12 The fight within Janata DalUnited following Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to align with the BJP came out in the open today with the party deciding to remove Sharad Yadav as its leader in the Rajya Sabha and appointing RCP Singh in his place. Seven Rajya Sabha members of the party met House Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu today and handed him a letter declaring that Singh had been made their leader in the Upper House. Singh is widely perceived as a trusted lieutenant of Nitish. Of the party’s 10 members in the Rajya Sabha, three (Sharad Yadav, Veerendra Sharad Yadav Kumar and Ali Anwar Ansari) had openly criticised Nitish’s decision to dump the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) with the RJD and the Congress. Ali Anwar was yesterday suspended from the parliamentary party for attending a meeting of Opposition parties convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Anwar maintained: “I am not bothered what the saffron JD-U does to me. I am with the janata (people) and Sharadji has rightly said we are the Janata Dal of janata (people), that believes in mass movement and collective leadership.” Yadav maintained he still considered himself to be part of the grand alliance. The JDU was not just Nitish’s party, but also his, he said. Meanwhile, BJP chief Amit Shah has invited Nitish Kumar to join the ruling NDA. “I met JD-U president Nitish Kumar yesterday. I invited the JD-U to join the NDA,” Shah said in a tweet. The Bihar-based party is expected to endorse joining the NDA at its national executive meeting on August 19. Lucknow, August 12 The principal of Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College, Rajiv Mishra, has been suspended with immediate effect for “irresponsible behaviour” in not being prompt with making payments to the company supplying oxygen to the hospital. Uttar Pradesh’s Minister for Medical Education Ashutosh Tandon made this announcement at a press conference after a lengthy review meeting with doctors and officials concerned. Soon after being suspended, Misra announced his resignation. He categorically denied that 30 persons, including 17 newborns, had died in the past few days owing to disruption in oxygen supply. Hospital sources said there had been 60 deaths since August 7, including that of 34 newborns and 12 suffering from acute encephalitis syndrome (AES). The minister announced a probe committee under the Chief Secretary to fix responsibility as to why the supplier — Pushpa Sales Private Ltd — was not paid till August 11 when money had been released by the government on August 5 following the supplier’s letter dated August 1. “The offices of the supplier in Lucknow are being raided. The authorities are contemplating punitive action against the company for stopping the supply of something as essential as oxygen,” said Tandon. However, Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh reiter- Patkar ends fast Bhopal: Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar on Saturday ended her 17-day-old fast at a jail in Dhar district where she has been lodged. Patkar had undertaken fast for proper rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar dam oustees in Madhya Pradesh. PAGE 20 5 die in Assam floods Guwahati: A fresh wave of floods in Assam has left five persons dead besides rendering nearly 11 lakh homeless. The situation is grave in Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Majuli districts. PAGE 20 40 volumes on Punjab history procured from Pak Manpreet Badal’s persistance pays off on treasure trove of 1935-1947 documents Ruchika M. Khanna Tribune News Service Chandigarh, August 12 It has taken years of persuasion and even some ‘track 2’ diplomacy to get hold of 40 valuable volumes from Pakistan on Punjab’s political, social and economic history from 1935 to 1947. Thanks to the efforts of Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, the incumbency list of the Punjab Provincial Assembly from 1935 to 1947 and transcripts of all debates in the Assembly during those 12 years are finally here. The papers mention not just the names of the members of the Assembly, but also the unique problems of each of the 175 constituen- Manpreet Singh Badal with the 1935-1947 documents. cies — from Multan to Gurgaon, and the language spoken in each part. The 40 thick volumes will soon adorn the libraries of both the Punjab and Haryana Vidhan Sabhas. The transcripts of the debates are in English, with detailed information on the members. The papers also contain historical anecdotes about the ruling parties of the time — Congress, Muslim League, Unionist Party, Akali Dal and Khalsa National Board, Hindu Election Board and Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam. For the past five years, Manpreet Badal, an ardent student of British Indian history, had been fervently pursuing with the Government of Pakistan Punjab to get copies of transcripts. “I have a keen interest in history, especially events relating to the Partition of India. These documents reveal so much about the developments and any research is incomplete without getting access to these. Thus, I pursued it relentlessly,” he said. When officially the copies were denied to him, he didn’t waste much time in initiating ‘track 2’ diplomacy. A close relative of a key functionary of the Pakistan Punjab legislature, based in London, was roped in to help get these important historical documents. When the copies were ready, the next big challenge was getting these documents across the border. Manpreet Badal says “friends” on both sides helped in transferring the documents from Lahore to Amritsar, with a small dis- Today’s issue consists of 44 pages, including eight-page Spectrum, six-page Chandigarh Tribune and six-page Life+Style. tance being traversed each day to avoid any suspicion. Though these documents adorn a corner in his personal library now, Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana KP , who got wind of these documents being in possession of Badal, approached him. “I learnt that this important slice of Punjab’s political history is finally available. I met Badal a few days ago, and he has agreed to donate copies to the Vidhan Sabha library,” the Punjab Speaker said. Manpreet Badal says that he will also be donating copies of these 40 volumes to Haryana, besides Panjab University and the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration (MGSIPA). A woman sitting with a child on her lap in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur on Saturday. PTI OPPOSITION ASKS YOGI TO STEP DOWN ■ The BSP on Saturday asked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to step down. Its leader Sudhindra Bhadouria accused the CM of neglecting the health sector completely ■ Former CM Akhilesh Yadav said the govt was “hiding facts”. He said a Samajwadi Party delegation would visit Gorakhpur. He sought Rs 20 lakh each for the bereaved families. ■ Describing the deaths as an act of cold-blooded murder, Congress leaders said CM Adityanath was focusing on “other matters” rather than governance. . ❝ The probe headed by Chief Secretary will look into the role of oxygen vendor (Pushpa Sales) and submit a report in a week. Prima facie the college principal is responsible for the deaths... I want to know why it took so long to pay arrears to the oxygen vendor❞ Yogi Adiyanath, CM ated that the deaths were routine and not owing to shortage of oxygen. “After reviewing the previous years’ data on AES cases at the BRD Medical College in the month of August, it appears that the 23 deaths reported on August 11 were not out of the ordinary,” he maintained. To substantiate his point, he quoted casualty figures for the month of August in the last three years. “In 2014, at least 567 children died, which is 19 deaths a day. In 2015, the toll was 668, an average of 22 deaths per day. In 2016, the toll was 587, which comes to 19.5 children per day,” he said. “Though the state government does not wish to undermine the enormity of the problem, it would not be correct to correlate the recent deaths with oxygen disruption,” he held. Claiming that backup cylinders were immediately put to use and there were enough in stock, he pointed out that the 950bed hospital catered not only to Gorakhpur, but adjoining districts and neighbouring Bihar and Nepal too. “As Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs) are not equipped to handle such cases, patients approach the BRD Hospital when in advanced stages of illness. Hence, the mortality rate is high,” Singh reasoned. Meanwhile, terming his resignation as pre-decided, the suspended principal claimed that payments were duly made to the oxygen suppliers.“The deaths were due to encephalitis, not lack of oxygen,” he claimed. more reports page 7
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
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