07012018-TTC-01.qxd 1/7/2018 1:26 AM Page 1 123 established in 1881 vol. 2 no. 7 | sunday, january 7, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | 30 pages | ~5.00 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Lalu gets 3.5-yr jail in fodder scam case Read my lips Awarded 5-yr jail in first case, faces trial in 3 more Jitendra K Shrivastava Tribune News Service The wonder that books can be comes through these young readers’ expressions at the 26th New Delhi World Book Fair near Pragati Maidan. There are more than 1,500 stalls, including a children’s pavilion, with 800 publishers participating in the nine-day annual event that opened on Saturday. PTI Heroin worth ~4 crore I’m a genius, says seized from MC peon unflappable Trump Maken seeks rejection of AAP’s RS nominee Punjab farm loan waiver launch today Gurdaspur: Heroin worth ~4 crore was seized from Gurdaspur Municipal Committee (MC) peon Bharat Gill’s car on Friday night. The seizure was made when the car in which Bharat and his wife Anita Gill were travelling was checked at a check-post on the Bariar bypass. SSP Harcharan Singh Bhullar said the couple had been under scanner. Bharat told the police that his brother, Amit Gill, ran a smuggling racket from inside the Kapurthala jail and he was just a small player. PAGE 3 New Delhi: Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken on Saturday sought rejection of the nomination of AAP’s candidate for Rajya Sabha, ND Gupta, for allegedly holding an office of profit, even as the latter rejected the charges. In his objection filed with the returning officer, Maken claimed that Gupta is “currently holding the office of a trustee of the National Pension System Trust”. However, Returning Officer Nidhi Srivastava said that she would take decision in this regard on Monday. PTI Chandigarh: The Punjab government is all set to roll out its crop loan waiver scheme on Sunday. The average loan being waived for the 46,556 farmers is ~40,000, in the first phase. Beneficiary farmers, who have already been “named and thus shamed” with their names being displayed as those who could not repay loans, will be getting a certificate with the picture of a beaming CM, “their benefactor”. The government says the display of lists was a way of doing “social audit”. PAGE 2 Washington: Unfazed by criticism and fears over his “mental” health, US President Donald Trump on Saturday described himself as a “genius”. Identifying “mental stability” and being “really smart” as his two greatest assets, he tweeted that winning the presidential election in the first go qualified him as a genius. PAGE 19 11 bodies found from avalanche site in J&K Srinagar: Eleven bodies have been recovered from north Kashmir’s Kupwara district where a passenger vehicle was hit by an avalanche at Khooni Nallah near Sadhan Top on the Kupwara-Tangdhar road on Friday. PAGE 4 Ranchi, January 6 The special CBI court in Ranchi, which last month had convicted RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a second case related to the Rs 950-crore fodder scam, today sentenced him to three-anda-half years in jail and fined him Rs 10 lakh. The court of Shivpal Singh pronounced the punishment for Lalu Prasad and 15 others via video-conferencing. All convicts are lodged in Birsa Munda Central Jail, Ranchi. Lalu’s counsel said: “We will move the High Court for bail. We had pleaded for minimum punishment in view of my client’s ‘ill-health’ as he has already turned 69.” In the same case, the special CBI court had on December 23, 2017, acquitted six persons, including former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra. They had been accused of fraudulently withdrawing Rs 89.27 lakh from Jharkhand’s Deoghar treasury between 1994 and 1996. The Rs 950-crore fodder scam came to light in 1996 when Lalu Prasad was CM of undivided Bihar (Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000). In Jharkhand’s five cases, Lalu Prasad has been convicted in two. He faces trial in three more — for fraudulently withdrawing Rs 3.97 crore from the Dumka treasury, Rs 36 crore from the Chaibasa treasury and Rs 184 crore from the Doranda treasury. Besides, he is being tried for embezzle- Special CBI judge Shivpal Singh comes out of court after pronouncing the sentence to Lalu Prasad Yadav via video-conferencing in Ranchi. PTI NO ONE ABOVE THE LAW: BJP, JD(U) The BJP and ally JD(U) said no one was above the law, while the RJD claimed its leader fell prey to a ‘conspiracy’ by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the saffron party. Besides Lalu Yadav, former chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Jagdish Sharma was sentenced to a prison term of seven years and fined ~20 lakh, while former IAS officers Beck Julius, Phoolchand Singh and Mahesh Prasad were given a prison term of three-and-a-half years each and a fine of ~5 lakh. PTI ment in Bhagalpur, Bihar. In the first fodder scam case, Lalu Prasad has already been sentenced to five years. The sentences awarded in the two cases will run concurrently. The RJD leader has been to jail seven times. Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly and Lalu’s younger son Tejaswi Prasad held a party meeting in Patna today. As he was briefing the media in Patna, the court was pronouncing punishment for his father. More on page 7 Indian diplomats in UK defy gurdwara visit ban by radicals After Southall, set to visit another Sikh shrine in Midlands Ashis Ray PANDYA RESCUE ACT Hardik Pandya scored a strokeful 95-ball 93 to emerge as the highest run-getter for India as the visitors folded for 209 in reply to South Africa’s 286 in the first innings of the first Test in Cape Town. The hosts reached 65 for two in their second innings at stumps on Day 2. PAGE 20 London, January 6 The Indian High Commission in Britain today defied a pompous ban on Indian diplomats entering gurdwaras issued by the pro-Khalistan Sikh Federation UK (SFUK). A minister at the mission visited a gurdwara in Southall in west London and met members of the Sikh community. Another visit to a gurdwara in the Midlands is planned for tomorrow. Deputy High Commissioner Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik declared: “A gurdwara is a place of worship, it should not be politicised.” The seniormost Indian origin MP in Britain, a former minister and Chair of the powerful Home Affairs select committee, Keith Vaz, condemned the SFUK announcement, stating, “This is an extraordinary decision and one that is deeply concerning. I hope those who made it will reflect on what they have done and review it immediately. All places of worship in the UK should be open to all.” The International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), which has effectively evolved into SFUK, was proscribed by the British Government in 2001 under the UK’s Terrorism Act. This restraint was lifted in 2016 when Theresa May, now PM, was Home Secretary. The reason given in the House of Commons for lifting the proscription was: “There is now not sufficient evidence to support a reasonable belief that the ISYF is currently concerned in terrorism as defined by Section 3(5) of the Terrorism Act 2000.” However, in 2012, Sikh extremists tried to assassinate Lt Gen KS Brar (retd) and his wife. In 1984, the officer had commanded Operation Bluestar to flush out terrorists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Up to 20 per cent British Sikhs are estimated to have fissiparous tendencies, as reflected by their refusal to identify themselves as ‘ethnically Indians’ in the last UK census. continued on page 19 People carry the coffin containing the body of Constable Ghulam Nabi during his funeral in Sopore on Saturday. REUTERS Raise retirement age of Colonels, says AFT 4 cops die in Sopore market blast Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service New Delhi, January 6 The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has asked the Army to correct anomalies in the retirement age of Colonels and bring them on a par with similar ranks in the Air Force and the Navy. The AFT Principal Bench, comprising Justice VK Shali and Lt Gen SK Singh (retd), said the anomalies needed to be removed. “We strongly feel the anomalies in the retirement age of Colonels in the Army in relation to their counterparts in the Air Force and the Navy, which have got created due to recent judg- ❝ The anomalies in retirement age of Colonels in relation to their counterparts in the Air Force and the Navy, which have got created due to recent judgments, need to be removed at the earliest by passing a comprehensive order increasing the age of retirement of Army Colonels. Armed Forces Tribunal ments, need to be removed at the earliest by passing a comprehensive order increasing the age of retirement of Army Colonels,” the order said. Col Karunesh Kumar had moved the AFT to seek parity with IAF and Navy, where officers in the ranks of Group Captain and Captain (both equivalent to Colonel) serve till 56 years for age and not 54, as is the case with the Army. If the government does not come up with a policy on its own, it could open floodgates of litigation apart from making a particular level of officials in the Army perennially dissatisfied. “Neither such dissatisfied officers would give their best, nor would respon- dents be able to extract optimum. Such a situation in the force that protects the nation and its sovereignty and integrity can be ill afforded,” the Bench observed. It directed the respondents (Union of India) to increase the retirement age by two years for Colonels to 56 years to bring them on a par with their counterparts in the other two services. The Navy issued a letter dated October 14, 2015, to correct the anomaly. “The Colonels who retired during pendency of their petitions be given consequential benefits,” the Bench said, adding that the direction be enforced before April 30. First IED explosion in Kashmir since 2015; we carried it out, claims Jaish Majid Jahangir Tribune News Service Srinagar, January 6 Four policemen on patrol duty were killed in a blast — the first improvised explosive device (IED) attack in Kashmir since 2015 — at Sopore, 50 km from Srinagar, today. Jaish-e-Mohammad’s Afzal Guru Squad claimed responsibility for the explosion that occurred in Sopore’s Gole Market where policemen from the 3rd Battalion of the Indian Reserve Police were on duty. The town was observing a bandh to mark the 25th Today’s issue is of 30 pages, including eight-page Spectrum. anniversary of the 1993 killings when 50 persons were shot dead by the forces. Deputy Inspector General of Police (North Kashmir) Vidhi Kumar Birdi said: “There was commotion in a nearby lane. As the policemen on duty moved closer, a blast occurred, killing Assistant Sub-Inspector Irshad Ahmad of Doda and Constables Ghulam Nabi of Rohama Rafiabad, Parvaiz Ahmad of Handwara and Mohammad Amin of Sogam, Kupwara.” The explosion created a huge crater. Several shops were damaged beyond repair. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah expressed grief at the deaths. Additional DGP Munir Khan claimed, “Post-2015, there were no IED blasts. We will now have to put our heads together to chalk out ways to prevent these.” The IED was placed beneath the entrance of a shop, he added. He was in Sopore for the wreath-laying ceremony. The JeM has stepped up activities in the Valley. Jaish militants had on New Year Eve killed five CRPF person- nel, storming a camp at Lethpora in south Kashmir. The battle lasted 36 hours. ASI Irshad Ahmad is survived by his elderly mother, wife, two sons and two daughters, while Constable Mohammad Amin leaves behind an aged mother, wife and a four-year-old son. Constable Parvaiz Ahmad is survived by his father, wife, and a three-year-old son, while Constable Ghulam Nabi is survived by his parents, a pregnant wife and a four-year-old daughter. More on page 4
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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