19022018-TTC-01.qxd 2/19/2018 1:21 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 monday, february 19, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 2 no. 49 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd All 65 on board feared dead in Iran plane crash 78%turnoutinTripura,14%dip Tehran, February 18 All 65 persons on board an Iranian passenger plane were feared dead today after it crashed into the country’s Zagros mountains, with emergency services struggling to locate the wreckage in blizzard conditions. Aseman Airlines flight EP3704 left Tehran for the city of Yasuj, some 500 km to the south, the airlines public relations chief Mohammad Tabatabai said. The ATR-72 twin-engine plane, in service since 1993, disappeared from radar around 45 minutes after takeoff from the capital’s Mehrabad airport. The plane was carrying 60 passengers, including one child, as well as six crew members, Tabatabai said inititally, but it was later confirmed that one passenger had missed the flight. Emergency services were yet to find the precise location of the crash as emergency teams battled severe weather. President Hassan Rouhani ordered the transport ministry to set up a crisis group to investigate the crash and Agartala/New Delhi, Feb 18 Around 78 per cent of over 25.73 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the singlephase Tripura Assembly polls today, 14 per cent lower than the previous state elections. The BJP is trying to dislodge the Left Front after an unbroken 25-year stint in power. The votes will be counted on March 3. A total of 292 candidates, including 23 women, are in the fray. The polling for 59 seats of the 60-member Assembly was peaceful with thousands of Central paramilitary forces fanning across the north-eastern state.The voter turnout till 9 pm was 78.56 per cent, said Tripura Election Commissioner G Kameswara Rao later tonight. There were reports of malfunction in electronic voting machines (EVMs) at some polling stations which were rectified. Polling could not be held in the Charilam constituency due to the death of CPM candidate Ramendra Narayan Deb Barma last week. The constituency will go to the polls on March 12. In the last Assembly elec- coordinate rescue efforts. Decades of international sanctions have left Iran’s airlines with an ageing fleets of passenger planes which they have struggled to maintain and modernise. Aseman’s three Boeing 727-200s are almost as old as the country’s 1979 Islamic revolution, having made their first flights the following year. Iran has suffered multiple aviation disasters, most recently in 2014 when a Sepa- PNB officials ‘took cut’ to issue LoUs New Delhi, February 18 Punjab National Bank officials used to take percentage commissions in lieu of issuing Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and foreign letters of credit to diamond czar Nirav Modi, partner Mehul Choksi and their firms, according to the probe into the Rs 11,300crore banking scam. The fresh revelation has come after the CBI questioned former PNB Deputy Manager Gokulnath Shetty, single window operator Manoj Kharat, and Hemant Bhatt, the authorised signatory of prime accused Nirav Modi’s group of companies. According to CBI sources, the arrested bank officials disclosed that for every LoU, a percentage of the amount was fixed depending upon the amount to be sanctioned. The commission collected was then distributed among employees of PNB involved in the scam. The involvement of more staff members was being probed. — PTI han Airlines plane crashed killing 39 persons just after takeoff from Tehran, narrowly avoiding many more deaths when it plummeted near a busy market. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu offered his condolences over the deaths, moments after he launched a blistering attack on Tehran as tension between the arch enemies reached new heights over Iran’s activities in Syria. — Agencies Polling for 59 of 60 Assembly seats peaceful; votes to be counted on March 3 NCP candidate shot dead in Meghalaya Shillong: Jonathone N Sangma, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate for the Williamnagar Assembly seat in Meghalaya, and his two security guards were killed in an attack by militants who exploded IEDs and fired on his convoy in the Garo Hills area on Sunday. The attack occurred around 8 pm while Sangma was returning after campaigning. The poll is scheduled for February 27. TNS A man carries his mother after she cast her vote at Zaithang in Dharmanagar, Tripura, on Sunday. PTI tions, the voter turnout was recorded at 91.82 per cent, while in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, it was 84.32 per cent, said Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain. He said two crude bombs were detected and disposed of by security personnel. The voter turnout was likely to rise as long queues were seen at polling stations even after 4 Living it up Left Front, which has remained unvanquished in the last five Assembly elections. Manik Sarkar, one of the most enduring icons of the CPM, has helmed the state for the last four terms. The Congress, which has been marginalised in Tripura, was last in power between February 1988 and March 1993. It is contesting 59 seats. The BJP which has been , rapidly expanding its footprint in the North-East, with the party already in power in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, has forged an alliance with Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), an anti-Left party. The BJP has fielded candidates for 51 seats, while its ally is contesting nine seats. — PTI Hapless suicide-hit farmer families get tip: Spend less OVERSEAS BANK STAFF UNDER SCANNER TOO Parvesh Sharma Tribune News Service Officials at overseas branches of other banks are under scanner, say sources. The encashment of LoUs for gems and jewellery sector is usually of 90 days and not 365 days — the maturity period of majority of LoUs linked with fraud. The deviation from usual practice should have caught the attention of officials working at the Hong Kong branch of other lenders, say sources. 200 SHELL FIRMS BEING PROBED At least 200 shell firms and “benami” assets have come under the scanner of the investigating agencies. The Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax Department had zeroed in on 200 dummy or shell companies in the country and abroad that were being used to route or receive funds as part of the alleged fraud, say officials. PTI pm, the time for the voting to conclude. Under the electoral laws, voters standing in queue at the scheduled time for voting to conclude are allowed to exercise their franchise. Additional CEO Tapas Roy said initially there were problems with several EVMs, which were fixed. The BJP has emerged as the key challenger to the CPM-led JONATHONE N SANGMA Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plays with son Hadrien, as his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, daughter Ella-Grace and elder son Xavier watch during their visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra on Sunday. PTI Sangrur, February 18 Unable to pay a debt of Rs 8 lakh, her husband committed suicide in December 2015. Living hand to mouth, the family has not received any help. A bitter Paramjit Kaur of Kahangarh village believes Punjab’s farm loan waiver scheme is a farce. Like her, several other families from Sangrur, Mansa and Bathinda districts arrived in the town today for an interaction with MPs, hopeful of finding a way out of a plethora of problems. Invited by “Farmer and Labourer Suicides Victim Families Committee Punjab”, they were in for a disappointment. The committee had invited all Punjab MPs but only three bothered to come, and they too were of little help. As they began a nasty blame game, the crowd became fidgety. Lecturing on the need to curb wasteful expenditure, the MPs made a Dhuri MLA Dalvir Goldy interacts with farmer-suicide families. hasty exit, leaving the families bewildered. Jaspreet Singh, a panel member, said they had invited the MPs so they could directly talk with the affected families and speak up for them in Parliament. While AAP’s Dr Dharamvira Gandhi and Bhagwant Mann and SAD’s Prem Singh Chandumajra failed to come up with any concrete suggestions, Dhuri Congress MLA Dalvir Goldy promised to provide free education to “the children of each of the families who have lost their bread earner”. But not many seemed impressed. “My husband Jagga Singh, who worked as a farm labourer, committed suicide in January 2017. He had taken a loan of Rs 7 lakh. The debt is mounting, but we have no means to repay. Being asthmatic, I cannot work. We are living off our relatives,” said a sobbing Sarbjeet Kaur. She had come from Kamomajra village. Needless to say, she returned home dejected. EC notice to Yashodhara Cong MLA’s son, friends Death threats against Now, Rotomac Pen’s ~800-cr defaulter ‘flees’ for ‘threatening’ voters assault man; expelled me: Sikh mayor in US New Delhi, February 18 After billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi, another defaulter Vikram Kothari, the promoter of Rotomac Pen, has also allegedly gone abroad after swindling Rs 800 crore from various public sector banks, sources said. The Kanpur-based company’s owner had taken a loan of more than Rs 800 crore from over five state-owned banks. Allahabad Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda (BoB), Indian Overseas Bank and Union Bank of India compromised their rules to sanction loans to Rotomac, the sources said. According to local media reports, the promoter said speculation of his fleeing the country is baseless. “I am a resident of Kanpur and I will stay in the city. However, I do have to travel to foriegn countries for business purposes,” Kothari said. Kothari took a loan of Rs 485 crore from Mumbai-based Union Bank of India and a loan of Rs 352 crore from Kolkata-based Allahabad Bank. A year later, Kothari has reportedly not paid back either the interest or the loan. Last year, BoB declared Rotomac Global Pvt Ltd as “wilful defaulter” and the firm had moved the Allahabad HC seeking removal of its name from the list. — PTI COPsRECRUITMENT: HARYANA EX- DGP LET OFF Panchkula: A special CBI court has acquitted former Haryana DGP MS Malik and two others in a case of alleged irregularities in the recruitment of constables. The two others are DSP Arun Kumar, who is about to retire, and former DSP Udey Shankar. The acquittal came as the prosecution agency failed to prove the charges. INSIDE Bhopal, February 18 “The Pradhan Mantri The Election Commission of Ujjwala Yojana (for providing India (ECI) today issued a LPG connections to poor notice to Madhya Pradesh women) was introduced by minister Yashodhara Raje the BJP And if the voters . Scindia for “threatening” vot- choose the hand over the ers during the campaigning lotus, they will not benefit for Kolaras Assemunder the bly byelection. scheme.... Water The ECI had would reach you received a comonly when you vote plaint with a video, for the lotus. How where Scindia is many times you purportedly seen will vote for the telling people that hand and remain they won’t get the without water?” she benefit of govern- Yashodhara Raje Scindia purportedly said. ment schemes if Scindia, the they don’t vote for the BJP . Sports and Youth Welfare Following the complaint, a Minister in the Shivraj Singh notice was served, seeking Chouhan Cabinet, is also her explanation by February heard saying that she is a 20. In the video, which went minister and would not do viral, Scindia is heard saying: any work recommended by a “If you vote for the hand (Con- Congress MLA. gress symbol), you will not get Byelections in Kolaras and the benefit of government Mungaoli were necessitated schemes. If you vote for the due to the death of Congress lotus (BJP symbol), then only MLAs. Polling is scheduled schemes would come to you.” for February 24. — PTI Bengaluru, February 18 pad and his friends. The A Congress MLA’s son, MLA described the incident himself a Congressman, and as unfortunate. “I met the his friends allegedly assault- victim and his family. I don’t ed a man at a restaurant know where he (Nalapad) is. here, following which he His phone is switched off. was expelled from the party Let the law take its course,” for six years. Harris said. Police said Chief Minister Mohammed Harris Siddaramaiah Nalapad and his 10 tweeted that friends beat up the offenders should be man at a restaurant punished to the in UB City late last “full extent of law”. night after they felt KPCC president offended over him Dr G Paraexending his feet, Mohammed Harris Nalapad maeswara tweeted cast in plaster, that Mohammed towards the table they were Haris Nalapad, general secsitting at. retary of Bengaluru city Nalapad’s whereabouts Youth Congress, has been were not known. The man, expelled from the Congress identified as Vidwat, has been party for six years. hospitalised, police said. “Atrocities in any form is Nalapad, general secretary not tolerated in @INCKarof Bengaluru District Youth nataka. Legal actions have Congress, is the son of Shan- been taken against those tinagar MLA NA Harris. responsible. The victim will Police said an FIR has be served justice,” he tweetbeen registered against Nala- ed. — PTI Houston, February 18 improve security,” he said. Indian-American Ravinder City spokesman Juan Melli Bhalla, who became the first said a man entered City Hall Sikh mayor of New Jersey’s and told security he needed Hoboken city, has publicly to use the restroom after acknowledged that death going through the metal threats were made against detectors. him and his family While Bhalla was recently. not in his office at In a statement folthe time, his deputy lowing a security chief of staff, Jason breach at City Hall, Freeman, observed Bhalla said the city the man throw a is working with bag with an object FBI’s Joint Terrorin it towards the ism Task Force to administrative improve security at assistant’s desk Ravinder Bhalla City Hall. before running out “This incident, along with of the office, Melli said in a death threats to me and my statement. family, is an unfortunate Hoboken Police Chief Kenreminder that we need to neth Ferrante added that the take security seriously,” department takes these matBhalla said. ters very seriously. Bhalla “The Joint Terrorism Task became the first ever Sikh to Force has evaluated City hold office in New Jersey Hall, and we have been work- after a stiff competition that ing to implement their rec- turned ugly when he was ommendations for physical labelled a terrorist in slanderand procedural changes to ous flyers. — PTI
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.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).