03042018-TTC-01.qxd 03-04-2018 01:27 Page 1 13 established in 1881 tuesday,april 3, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 2 no. 91 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Bharat bandh clashes: 9die Remains back; ~5 lakh relief, jobs MP, UP, R’sthan worst hit; Centre moves SC/ST Act ‘dilution’ review plea Sidhu announces compensation, VK Singh hits out at fake travel agents NewDelhi/Bhopal, April 2 At least nine persons were killed and hundreds injured on Monday in violence across several states as protesters blocked trains, clashed with police and set fire to private and public properties during a nationwide bandh called by Dalit groups, officials said. Thousands were detained following widespread incidents of arson, firing and vandalism across over 10 states, several of them being BJPruled, including Madhya Pradesh where at least six persons died during the protests against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Two persons died in UP and one in Rajasthan. Other states hit by violence included Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra and Delhi. Those arrested included a former BSP MLA in UP . Curfew was imposed in several places, while the Union Home Ministry, which rushed 800 anti-riot policemen to MP and UP asked all , states to ensure safety of lives and property. The Centre, meanwhile, moved the Supreme Court seeking review of its recent judgment on the SC/ST Act, maintaining that the verdict will violate constitutional rights of these communities. The Supreme Court had on March 20 diluted certain provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, in a bid to protect “honest” public servants discharging bona fide duties from being blackmailed with false cases under the Act. The verdict is being widely criticised by Dalits and the Opposition who claim that the dilution of the Act will lead to more discrimination and crimes against the backward community. — PTI more on page 7 GS Paul Tribune News Service A lawyer retaliates by hurling a stone at Dalit protesters who turned violent as police personnel look on outside the District Bar Association office in Meerut on Monday. PTI Punjab brought Violence catches to halt; 2 injured Haryana off guard Chandigarh, April 2 Rail and road traffic was affected in Punjab on Monday, with Dalit activists squatting on tracks and highways. In a scuffle between protesters and shopkeepers near Mehna Chowk in Bathinda, two persons were injured. Shops in Bathinda and Ferozepur and an eatery in Kapurthala were vandalised. Demonstrations were held in Jalandhar, Patiala, Sangrur, Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Kapurthala and Phagwara. In Kapurthala, a dozen two-wheelers were damaged. The protesters disrupted rail traffic on the Kapurthala-Ferozepur section, with a dharna at Khojewal and Kapurthala stations. The Kapurthala-Jalandhar, KapurthalaNakodar, Subhanpur-Kartarpur and Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur roads were blocked. The India-Pakistan buses were stopped at Sirhind and Amritsar. HS Dhillon, DGP (Law and Order), said the bandh in the state had been largely peaceful and there were no arrests. The Punjab Government had on Sunday ordered a security clampdown with the Army and paramilitary forces on standby. It had ordered the closure of educational institutions, suspended bus services and curtailed mobile and Internet services. — TNS Chandigarh, April 2 Sporadic incidents of violence crippled normal life in Haryana on Monday. Rail and road traffic was thrown out of gear even as shops and commercial establishments remained shut. Dalit protesters, brandishing sticks and swords, clashed with the police and disrupted rail and road traffic at several places. Sources said as opposed to Punjab, the Haryana Government failed to gauge the gravity of the situation, leaving the common man at the mercy of rampaging mobs. Kaithal, Faridabad, Yamunanagar, Hisar and Karnal witnessed violent clashes between protesters and the police. In Kaithal, protesters vandalised the bus stand and attacked a railway engine, besides damaging several bikes, six cars, two police vans and a water cannon. They also clashed with the police, leaving 40 policemen and 10 protesters injured. Haryana DGP BS Sandhu rushed to Kaithal to review the law and order situation. In Faridabad, the police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the protesters. NH-2 at Palwal witnessed pitched battles between protesters and the police. At least 12 persons, including policemen, were injured. — TNS Govt, Oppn to let RS function today GSAT-6A may end up as space debris Andhra issue: YSR Cong MPs to ‘resign’ New Delhi: The government and the Opposition on Monday reached an understanding to allow functioning of the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to enable administering oath to newly elected members. Last week, the Opposition observed restraint to enable farewell speeches to retiring members. All through the second leg of the Budget Session, the Rajya Sabha has been witness to din, pandemonium and protests. Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha was disrupted for the 18th day. TNS Chennai: Communications satellite GSAT-6A would become space debris if ISRO does not re-establish link with it, experts said on Monday, adding that the Indian Space Research Organisation’s ability to link up with the Rs 270-crore satellite seemed remote as it was more than 48 hours since the communication got snapped. Officials said they were trying round the clock to establish link. ISRO suspects failure of power systems in the satellite for the loss of link. IANS New Delhi: The YSR Congress Party has decided in favour of resignation of its Lok Sabha members on the issue of special category status to Andhra Pradesh. The YSR Congress MPs will resign by April 6 — the last day of the Budget Session of Parliament. Besides the TDP, the YSR Congress now wants the Centre to award the special status as per the AP Reorganisation Act and fulfil other promises made by the UPA government at the time of formation of Telangana. TNS 6 hrs, before surrender to arms Anantnag SSPtried it all to make young ultra give up, failed Dialgam (J&K), April 2 It was a six-hour denouement that ended in a hail of bullets — and a young man, barely out of his teens, dead inside a house surrounded by security personnel while his parents who had tried to talk him into surrendering waited for news of the inevitable. Rauf Khanday, believed to be a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, was killed in the predawn darkness of Sunday at Dialgam village in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Khanday, who had just passed his first year of graduation, was one of the two men holed up in a house. The beginning of his end started around 11 pm on Saturday when the police wireless buzzed. It was an intercept about the presence of two militants. The house was cordoned off and they were asked to surrender. One of the militants, whose identity has not been disclosed, did so immediately, leaving Khanday inside. Officials recounted that a phone was passed on to Khanday and then followed the hours of trying to talk to him, reason with him and even bringing in his parents so they could convince him to surrender. “It is always a tough call. I was pretty sure the parents will be able to convince Khanday and he will come out and surrender. But destiny willed it otherwise,” said Senior Superintendent of Police, Anantnag, Altaf Ahmed Khan. “I tried everything possible to make him surrender. But every effort was stonewalled by the young boy, who had been brainwashed,” he said. Khan, who has earlier headed districts like Shopian and Sopore, said he spoke to Khanday to understand his mental frame of mind and found he had interpreted various religious books wrongly. “I narrated verses from Quran and advised him that whatever he was doing was against the teachings of Islam. The conversation continued for over 30 minutes during which Khanday got abusive. But I ignored all this because my intention was to save him from getting killed,” Khan recalled. Listening to the entire conversation were the commanders continued on page 7 Amritsar, April 2 The mortal remains of 38 of the 39 Indians killed in Iraq’s Mosul were brought back on Monday in a special aircraft and handed over to relatives. The aircraft carrying the caskets landed at the Amritsar international airport at 2.30 pm. Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who received the bodies of victims from Punjab, announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and a job for the next of kin. Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh, who had left for Iraq on Sunday to bring back the bodies, told the media it was not possible to ascertain when they had been killed. “We were told it could be about a year ago.” Asked how they were killed, he replied some of them were killed by bullets. “No embassy had records of these persons, who had migrated through illegal agents,” the minister said, calling for strict action against fake travel agents. He claimed had they a clue about the Indians stuck in Iraq, they may have been Baljinder Singh, an ex-serviceman from Murar village in Kapurthala, kisses son Gobinder Singh’s coffin before the last rites. TRIBUNE PHOTO RELATIVES STAGE DHARNA AT AIRPORT Denied permission to open the caskets, grieving relatives of the deceased staged a dharna at the Amritsar airport. They were solaced by officials. “We were strictly told by the Iraqi authorities not to open the coffins as toxic gases could be harmful," explained Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh. TNS rescued, like the Indian nurses in 2014. On jobs demanded by the victims’ families, the minister said the External Affairs Minister had already told them to provide detailed information about persons eligible for the same. Explaining how they had located the mound where the mortal remains were buried, he said: “...we were not allowed to go to Mosul through Erbil as the war was on. After talking to the company owner (in whose factory the Indians were working) and others, we got information that a lot of people were buried near a place in Badush near Mosul. “We found a mound. We sought a ground penetration radar and found human skeletons. Thereafter, digging was started. We found a kara (worn by Sikhs) and long hair. Thereafter, the bodies were exhumed and DNA samples matched.” The minister was all praise for the Martyrs Foundation in Iraq, which, he said, had worked hard to identify the remains. Iraq’s forensic experts had conducted the DNA tests on the exhumed bodies. related reports on page 4, 16 Kejri apologises to Jaitley now, accepted Barring Kumar Vishwas, four other AAP leaders express regret too New Delhi, April 2 Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday apologised to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley after which they moved joint pleas before the Delhi High Court and trial court to “settle” their over two-year-long litigation. The unconditional apology by the AAP convener and five other AAP leaders has been accepted by the Finance Min- ister, according to lawyers. Kejriwal has already apologised to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s lawyer son Amit and SAD’s Bikram Singh Majithia. While in the High Court Jaitley had filed a civil defamation suit in December 2015, claiming Rs 10 crore as damages, after Kejriwal’s then lawyer, Ram Jeth- malani, used objectionable words during cross-examination, he had also lodged a criminal defamation case against Kejriwal for his remarks on alleged largescale financial bungling in the Delhi and District Cricket Association during Jaitley’s tenure as president. Along with Kejriwal, AAP leaders Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Ashutosh, Deepak Bajpai and Kumar Vishwas were facing proceedings in both the High Court and trial court. All of them tendered an unconditional apology, except Vishwas. Hence, the proceedings against him will continue. The courts have reportedly listed the matters for hearing on Tuesday. Several criminal defamation cases against Kejriwal are still pending. — TNS/PTI
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