19032018-TTC-01.qxd 3/19/2018 1:25 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 monday, march 19, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 2 no. 76 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Five killed in Pak shelling BEND IT LIKE SIDHU Victims members of Poonch family; 5 soldiers also injured in Balakote Amir Karim Tantray & Shyam Sood Tribune News Service Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu seeks the blessings of former Congress president Sonia Gandhi as former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and other leaders look on at the Congress plenary session in New Delhi on Sunday. PHOTOS: PTI/MANAS RANJAN BHUI PAGE 2 Ideology will win us 2019: Rahul Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service New Delhi, March 18 Equating the 2019 General Election to the epic war of Mahabharata and his party to the Pandavas, Rahul Gandhi on Sunday sounded the bugle for next year’s elections, predicting a Congress win over the BJP which he , likened to the Kauravas. “It is a battle of two ideologies and our ideology is going to win elections,” the Congress president said in his concluding remarks at the three-day AICC plenary that adopted political, economic, foreign policy, agriculture and jobs resolutions, castigating the Narendra Modi-led government for alleged failure on all counts and promised solutions, if voted to power. Rahul’s address stood out JUST RHETORIC OF A LOSER, COUNTERS BJP Dismissing the Congress “maha manthan” as fakery, senior BJP leader and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rebutted Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s observations at the party plenary, which she described as rhetoric of a loser. “Who has decided the Congress to be Pandavas, a party responsible for Emergency, anti-Sikh riots, Operation Bluestar... They question the very existence of Shri Ram and want to be identified with the Pandavas. Congress president Rahul Gandhi never loses an opportunity to make a mockery of Hindu rituals and beliefs,” she alleged. PAGE 7 . for multiple messaging. Politically, it was by far his most comprehensive attack on the BJP as he accused Modi of colluding with fraudsters like Nirav Modi, called BJP president Amit Shah a “murder accused” and linked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s silence on bank scams to his daughter’s “business interests to crony capitalists”. Eyes on 2019, he wooed the youth, both inside and out- Last-ball win side the party. To Congress leaders today, he said the party must change if it wanted to lead India once again and also confessed that “in the last few years of our UPA government, we didn’t stand up to people’s expectation and they felt let down by us”. To the youth, he extended an invitation to enter politics. “I will break two walls — the wall between Congress leaders and workers and the wall between political establishment and Indian youth,” he said. Using the vacant AICC plenary stage as a symbol of his urge, he said, “You won’t find such empty stages in any party. I have cleared this space for you. Only you can change India.” Rahul stole the occasion to ask his faction-ridden party to discipline itself “at least until elections”. “You can quarrel after elections,” he joked as his party stands reduced to Punjab, Karnataka, Puducherry and Mizoram. He publicly acknowledged that the Congress still tolerated parachute candidates and denied the ticket to workers who don’t have money. “No, no, no. Y are the workers ou who carry the Congress in your hearts and you will get the party ticket,” promised the Congress chief, who had said something continued on page 7 Jammu/Rajouri, March 18 Five members of a family were killed as the Pakistan army shelled civilian areas in Balakote sector of Poonch district on Sunday morning. Two girls — Nasreen Kouser (11) and her younger sister Mahreen Kouser (5) — were seriously injured in the incident. They were shifted to Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu, after being airlifted by the Air Force from Rajouri. Those killed were identified as Muhammad Ramzan (35), his wife Malika Bi (32) and sons Abdul Rehman (14), Muhammad Rizwan (12) and Razzaq Ramzan (7) — all resident of Devta Sargloon village. The family was having breakfast in the verandah of their house when a shell landed there. The incident occurred around 8 am. Five of them were killed on the spot while two injured girls were shifted to Rajouri district hospital, from where they were airlifted to Jammu at noon. Five soldiers have also been injured in Pakistani shelling in Balakote sector. They have been identified as sepoy G Vishnak, Subedar Deshbandhu, Rifleman B Rai, Naik Jatinder Verma and Sepoy Rahul Pandey. Jammu-based PRO (Defence) Lt Col Devender Nasreen Kouser (11), who was injured in cross-border shelling in Balakote sector of Poonch, being airlifted to Government Medical College Hospital, Jammu, on Sunday. PTI J&K GOVT TO TAKE CARE OF INJURED SISTERS The Jammu and Kashmir Government said it would take full care of the two injured sisters whose entire family, including parents and brothers, were killed in Pakistan shelling. “The government will take full care of the two girls (Nasreen and Mahreen), who have no one left to look after them in the family,” minister Naeem Akhtar said after meeting the two. PTI . Anand said the Pakistan army resorted to unprovoked firing from 7.45 am to 11.30 am along the Line of Control (LoC) using small arms, 81mm and 120mm mortars. “Pakistan continues in its cowardly design of targeting civilians, their homes and livestock in villages close to the LoC. The deliberate provocation has resulted in loss of five civilian lives,” the PRO said. The Army retaliated strongly, effectively and proportionately to the dastardly act, he added. Earlier in the day, DGP Shesh Paul Vaid wrote on his Twitter page: “Due to shelling from across (LoC) in Balakote sector of Poonch, five members of a family died and two are injured who are being shifted to hospital.” Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed anguish over the loss of lives and stressed the need for peace “if we want to save people of the state”. The Pakistan army has violated the ceasefire agreement 777 times along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir till March 4 this year. The 63day tally is half the figure for 2017, when it violated the agreement 1,411 times. Since January 1, 10 Indian soldiers have been killed along the LoC whereas a BSF jawan also fell to the enemy bullet in Tangdhar sector on February 20. AAPheaval:No split in Punjab, for now 3 AIIMS doctors killed in accident Jupinderjit Singh Tribune News Service Dinesh Karthik (R) and Washington Sundar exult after a thrilling win against Bangladesh in the final of Nidahas Trophy Tri-nation T20 Tournament in Colombo on Sunday. Chasing 167 runs, Karthik hit a six on the last ball to help India win by 4 wickets. AFP PAGE 14 Chandigarh, March 18 With the national unit of the Aam Aadmi Party and 16 leaders from Punjab, including 10 MLAs, firm on keeping the party intact under the stewardship of Arvind Kejriwal, the crisis in the Punjab AAP over Kejriwal’s apology to Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia seems to have blown over, for the time being. However, a divide in the AAP legislature party is apparent with only half of the 20 MLAs choosing to attend the meeting with the party national convener in Delhi on Sunday. Kejriwal also rejected the resignations of state chief Bhagwant Mann and co-president Aman Arora, Sunam MLA. Mann did not attend the meeting. Kejriwal is reported to have told the MLAs that he did not want to be entangled in legal One from Fazilka, another from Yamunanagar Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia with Punjab MLAs in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI cases in an election year. “I have not given a clean chit to Majithia or anybody else,” he is quoted to have said. Arora ruled out a split in the party, claiming their “fight against drugs and the role of politicians will continue”. He said he would ask CM Capt Amarinder Singh to order a probe into the politicians’ links with drug peddlers. “The apology hurt party men, but they understand that his rivals are deliberately entangling him in court cases,” he explained. On being kept in the dark, he said Kejriwal attributed it to “communication gap”. Kejriwal will reportedly hold another meeting with the group led by Sukhpal Khaira. The latter said he would consult his colleagues. Among those who attended the meeting were Arora, Deputy Leader of Opposition Sarvjit Kaur Manuke, KS Sandhwan, AS Sandoya, Baljinder Kaur, HS Cheema, Principal Budh Ram, Rupinder Kaur, Jai Krishan Singh Rori and MS Phillaur. Mathura, March 18 Three AIIMS doctors died on Sunday and four of the same institute were injured in an accident on the Yamuna Expressway, near here, the police said. The seven resident doctors in the Emergency Medicine Department of AIIMS were travelling to Agra from Delhi in an SUV to celebrate the birthday of Dr Harshad Wankhade, who was also killed in the accident. The SUV rammed into a Canter around 2.30 am, they said. While three doctors died on the spot, the four others were rushed to a private hospital here. They were then referred to the AIIMS trauma centre, SP (Rural) Aditya Kumar Shukla said. The deceased have been identi- fied as Dr Yashpreet Kathpal (25), who hailed from Fazilka in Punjab, Dr Himbala (about 25) from Haryana’s Yamunanagar, and Dr Wankhade (35), a native of Akola district in Maharashtra. According to Shukla, Dr Abhinava Singh (Bihar), Dr Cathreen Halam (Tripura), Dr Mahesh Kumar (Bihar) and Dr Jitendra Maurya (Madhya Pradesh) were later rushed to AIIMS. Dr Wankhade was a senior resident doctor, while the rest of them were junior resident doctors (non-academic). According to AIIMS doctors, all four injured are in a stable condition. The Canter driver abandoned his vehicle and fled, the police officer said. — PTI Farmer gone, daughter takes centrestage, seeks answers Tribune News Service VOICING CONCERN Chandigarh, March 18 “My only hope is you will live up to the promises you are making,” remarked a wary Kiranjeet Kaur, daughter of a farmer from Jhunir village in Mansa who ended his life owing to debt. She was responding to assurances by members of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha committee on farm suicides Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra (SAD) and Nazar Singh Manshahia (AAP). “The entire political class will be shamed if you do not keep your word,” she warned, reminding them of the tall promises made prior to the Assembly elections. Kiranjeet, pursuing a PG diploma in computer applications, had brought along scores of Kiranjeet Kaur (centre) looks on as relatives of farmer suicide victims have their say. families of other victims of Punjab’s agrarian crisis to the Kisan Bhawan here on Sunday. One by one, each of them poured their hearts out. Tearing into the belief that an extravagant lifestyle, including fat weddings, had PRADEEP TEWARI pushed Punjab farmers into a debt trap, she recalled: “When my father committed suicide in April 2016, he was under a Giani Kewal Singh, a former Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, blamed “profit-driven policies” of the governments at the Centre and states for the agrarian crisis. Dr Pyare Lal Garg, a former Registrar of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, claimed that of the 16,000 suicides documented by a study commissioned by the Punjab Government, only one-third had received compensation. “The Vidhan Sabha committee must act against such officials,” he demanded. Kotkapura AAP MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan said he would raise the issue in the Vidhan Sabha. TNS Rs 8-lakh debt. A year earlier, our cotton crop was damaged in a white fly attack. Some time later, I was bitten by a snake. With the government hospital lacking facilities, my father rushed me to a private hospital in Bathinda. We were charged Rs 2 lakh. The government has washed its hands of providing healthcare to the people. My father was forced to spend a hefty sum to save my life. Is that luxury?” she asked angrily. A year after her father’s death, the gutsy Kiranjeet visited 80 villages in Mansa to find more families like hers. Today, her initative has taken the shape of “Committee for Farmers and Families of Agrarian Suicide Victims”, with members from Moga, Barnala, Mansa, Sangrur and Patiala. At an event organised by the committee, agriculture experts Devinder Sharma and Gian Singh and social activists were present too. ❝ Constant anger and fear affect our immune system. It is the duty of our educational system to further that basic character of compassion... I have strong criticism against ‘modern education system, which is focused on material values. Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, at Central University, Jammu PAGE 10
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).