23022018-TTC-01.qxd 2/23/2018 1:29 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 friday, february 23, 2018 late city chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 138 no. 53 | 32 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd CBI arrests Rotomac owner Kothari, son New Delhi, February 22 The CBI today arrested Rotomac owner Vikram Kothari and his son Rahul, both directors in the company, for alleged default on loan repayments to the tune of ~3,695 crore, officials said. Kothari, who was called at the agency headquarters for questioning, and Rahul were not cooperating in the investigation that led to their arrest, they said. Since 2008, a consortium of seven nationalised banks had given bank loans worth ~2,919 crore to Rotomac Global Pvt Limited, the CBI FIR alleged. The amount swelled to ~3,695 crore, including the accrued interest, because of repeated defaults on payment, the officials said. The CBI has initiated action on a complaint by Bank of Baroda, a member of the consortium led by Bank of India, which had approached the agency, fearing that Kothari might flee the country like Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi. Meanwhile, the Income Tax Department has issued a show-cause notice to the group, asking why prosecution should not be launched against them for alleged tax evasion. — TNS/PTI Give payment plan: PNB to Nirav High-end cars, paintings seized Fresh ED summons to diamantaire Fraud began in 2008: Officials to CBI REPORTS ON PAGE 7 Prior to talks, row over invite to Sikh extremist India, Canada control damage; MEA says Atwal not on blacklist Smita Sharma TRibune News Service New Delhi, February 22 A day prior to formal talks between PM Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau, India and Canada hastened to damage control after a photograph of Trudeau’s wife Sophie with convicted Sikh separatist Jaspal Atwal appeared in the Canadian media. Reports said Atwal had attended an official event hosted in Mumbai for the visiting Trudeaus. Atwal, a member of the banned International Sikh Youth Federation, was convicted of trying to murder then Punjab minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu in Vancouver in 1986. Sidhu was shot at twice, but survived. He was later killed in India. A Canadian court had then called it “an act of terrorism” and sentenced Atwal and three others to 20 years in prison. Atwal was invited to a select dinner in Canada House this evening in honour of Trudeau. Following media reports, the invitation was rescinded by the Canadian Mission. The controversy erupted as Trudeau landed back in Delhi after a four-city visit. Asked about the Atwal row on the sideline of a busi- Jaspal Atwal (R) with Justin Trudeau’s wife Sophie in Mumbai. ANI I look forward to meeting PM @JustinTrudeau tomorrow (ie Friday) and holding talks on further strengthening India-Canada relations in all spheres. Narendra Modi, PRIME MINISTER ness forum event, the Canadian PM called it unfortunate. “We take this very seriously. The Individual in question never should have received an invitation. As soon as we found out we rescinded the invitation immediately. The person and department will take full responsibility,” he said. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar fielded a barrage of questions on the subject with no clear answers. “His presence at the event should be addressed to the Canadians. On the visa part, there are different ways people enter india.There are OCI cards, e visas... “ Later in the day, an MEA spokesperson said Atwal’s COURTESY: ECOSIKH EcoSikh activist Was HC ruling on attacked in UK Hadiya justified: SC London, February 22 A Sikh environmental activist on a visit to the UK from India has filed a complaint with Scotland Yard after his turban was tugged at by a white man who shouted “Muslim go back” during a racist attack outside parliament. Ravneet Pal Singh, 37, South Asia Project Manager for EcoSikh, was in the security queue to enter Portcullis House, an extension of the House of Commons complex in Westminster, when a man targeted him yesterday. The “white Anglo Saxon man” spoke a language other than English but Singh was able to discern the words “Muslim” and “go back” before the attacker ran away. “I am not sure why he was shouting and why he attacked my turban. I was able to prevent my turban Ravneet Pal Singh coming off and he ran away when I shouted back. It was an extremely distressing experience,” said Singh. “He did not speak English but I could tell he was making racist remarks. I could not make out much of what he said but I did hear him use the words ‘Muslim’ and ‘go back’. The police said the incident has been recorded on CCTV and they will find the attacker,” he said. — PTI New Delhi, February 22 The Supreme Court today asked if a roving inquiry could be ordered into the “issue of consent” between two adults who had married at will and if the Kerala High Court order annulling the marriage of Hadiya, an alleged victim of ‘love jihad,’ was justified. The questions by a Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud came during the hearing of the Kerala conversion case. “What troubles us is that whether there can be a roving inquiry into the issue of consent between two adults who have agreed to marry,” the Bench said. Whether the High Court was justified in nullifying the marriage was a pure question of law, it added. “Marriage and investigation are two different things. As far as marriage is What troubles us ❝whether there canisbe that a roving inquiry into the issue of consent between two adults who have agreed to marry. SC Bench concerned, it does not warrant any investigation. Investigation has nothing to do with it. You can investigate any other thing,” the court said. Hadiya, the 25-year-old woman who is at the centre of an alleged love jihad controversy, had on Tuesday filed an affidavit before the top court, claiming she had willingly converted to Islam and wanted to live with her husband Shafin Jahan. — PTI CBI busts WhatsApp child porn racket Administrator from Kannauj held; shared abuse videos, had members worldwide Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 22 The CBI has unearthed an international child porn racket with the arrest of an unemployed youth from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh. The accused, along with four others, two from Delhi, had been uploading child abuse porn videos on a WhatsApp group for the past two years. The youth, Nikhil Verma (20), son of a jewellery shop worker, who is pursuing graduation in commerce, was arrested from Kannauj. The others being questioned are Satyendra Om Prakash Chauhan from Mumbai; Nafees Reza and Zahid from Delhi; and Adarsh from Noida. /thetribunechd Field intel, mobile locations and IP addresses of devices helped track down accused They have been booked under Section 67-B (publishing or transmitting material depicting children in sexually explicit act in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act, 2000, and provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) the CBI said. The agency said Nikhil was the administrator of WhatsApp group “KidsXXX” while the others were active members who allegedly uploaded child abuse videos. The group also had mem- bers from the US, China, New Zealand, Mexico, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brazil, Syria, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. The CBI through the Union Government has sent the mobile numbers of the suspects to the respective governments. The CBI spokesperson said showing, uploading, downloading, watching and sharing such pornographic videos was a serious offence under the I-T Act and attracted a punishment up to seven years and a fine of Rs 10 lakh. He also said Nikhil would be brought to Delhi after completing legal formalities for questioning. Agency sources said the sleuths would investigate the modus operandi, the purpose of running the group and the people involved in the racket. The sources further said the group currently had 219 members. The agency worked for nearly three months, without using WhatsApp surveillance, to track down the accused, the sources said. Background checks and behavioural analysis was done by the agency based on local inputs of the suspects before proceeding to act against them, they said. (With agency inputs) Today’s issue is of 32 pages, including six-page Chandigarh Tribune, four-page Life+Style and four-page additional marketing pullout. name was not on the immigration blacklist of Sikh extremists. “The Union Government time-to-time reviews the blacklist of Sikh extremists, taking into account Intelligence inputs and activities of the persons concerned”. He said 150 such names had been removed from the blacklist in the last few years, and in the process Atwal’s name was removed too. Many an eyebrow was raised last year when Trudeau attended a “Khalsa Day” parade where Bhindranwale was eulogised. The Khalistan issue was discussed formally at strategic talks between the Foreign Ministers of both countries today ahead of the Friday talks. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland called her discussions with Sushma Swaraj as constructive and useful. “The Canadian foreign policy is to support a strong and united India,” she said at an event organised by the Observer Research Foundation. In his talks with Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh in Amritsar on Wednesday, Trudeau had assured him that his government did not support separatists. (With PTI inputs) more reports page 2 edit: victory of diplomacy Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and Finance Minister Manpreet Badal with Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog Dr Rajiv Kumar (left) during a meeting in Chandigarh on Thursday. TRIBUNE PHOTO Stop asking for funds: NITI Aayog to Punjab Ruchika M Khanna Tribune News Service Chandigarh, February 22 In a snub to a Punjab Government delegation, that included Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar today asked the state to work towards “securing the income” of its farmers rather than harping on funds on the plea of being instrumental in maintaining the country’s food security. Officials present at the meeting told The Tribune the delegation sought that the state be paid Rs 1,800 crore per annum by the Centre as cost for food procurement. As it asked NITI Aayog to take up the matter of reimbursing actuals, Dr Rajiv Kumar simply said, “You can leave the food security of the country to us.” To this, Man- preet Badal is learnt to have retorted, “If the Centre is unwilling to pay the actuals, the FCI can take over the entire procurement process.” Uttar Pradesh is now the largest producer of wheat, followed by Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. Also, West Bengal, UP Andhra Pradesh and , Telangana produce more rice than Punjab. Punjab pushed for the C2 formula (input cost plus rent of land) for calculating MSP This too did not get . the desired response. Official sources said Dr Kumar asked Punjab to go in for aggressive diversification, asking its farmers to take to dairy farming and growing cash crops. Sources said Punjab was not given any assurance on its demands for change in fundsharing ratio, Border Area Development Fund, Kandi Area Development Fund or Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan. Manpreet Badal told The Tribune the Centre started schemes but changed the funding pattern, and this often resulted in the schemes coming to a halt since states did not have the resources to fund these. Calling his meeting with the Punjab CM “successful,” Dr Kumar said he had asked the state delegation to identify four or five key areas in which NITI Aayog could lend help. The Finance Minister said the government had sought help in framing policies for agriculture and job generation and for ShahpurKandi project, relining the Sirhind and Rajasthan feeder of the Bhakra mainline and access to canal-based drinking water in the wake of the sharp fall in the water table.
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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