31052018-TTC-01.qxd 5/31/2018 1:46 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 thursday, may 31, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 2 no. 149 | 16 pages | ~ 4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd Looking up AFP /thetribunechd Monsoon cheer, rains better than last year IMD: July may be wettest; it’s 100% in Punjab, Haryana ■ Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo (L) and Prime Minister ■ PM Modi held “productive discussions” with Widodo as the two Narendra Modi fly kites after launching the India-Indonesia kite exhibition at the National Monument in Jakarta on Wednesday. sides elevated their bilateral ties to ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ and signed 15 pacts, including on defence. BACK PAGE Ranbir Singh heads Former BSF DIG Northern Command among 5 held guilty Lt Gen Anbu is Vice-Chief of Army J&K sex scam: Court acquits two Tribune News Service Ishrat S Banwait Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 30 Lt Gen Ranbir Singh has been appointed the new Northern Army Commander. He replaces Lt Gen Devraj Anbu, who has been shifted as ViceChief of the Indian Army. Lt Gen Singh, 58, who belongs to Jalandhar, was the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) when India carried out the surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC), destroying terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on September 29, 2016. He has also had stints as Colonel and Brigadier in the military operations directorate that oversees and coordinates all operations and troop movements. Lt Gen Singh, along with Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, who now heads the Army Training Command at Shimla, are likely to be the front-runners for the Army Chief’s post when General Bipin Rawat ends his tenure in December 2019. Lt Gen Naravane is senior to Lt Gen Singh. Lt General Ranbir Singh Lt Gen Anbu from the Sikh Light Infantry moves to Delhi. The Vice-Chief is the head of all policy and planning of the 1.3 million-strong Army. The current Vice-Chief, Lt Gen Sarath Chand, retires on Thursday. Commissioned in December 1980 into the 9 Battalion of the Dogra Regiment that draws its troops from Himachal Pradesh and parts of Jammu region, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh commanded the same unit. Presently posted at Army Headquarters as the Deputy Chief of Army Staff, he had earlier continued on page 7 85th b’day gift: father P7 Chandigarh, May 30 Twelve years after video tapes exposed a sex scandal in Jammu and Kashmir, a special court on Wednesday held five persons guilty of rape. They are former Border Security Force (BSF) Deputy Inspector General (DIG) KC Padhi, former DSP Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Shabbir Ahmed Laway, Shabbir Ahmed Langoo and Masood Ahmed. It let off two of the accused, former Additional Advocate General of Jammu and Kashmir Anil Sethi and businessman Mehruj-ud din Malik, giving them the ‘benefit of doubt’. The prosecution failed to prove charges against the two with the victim refusing to identify them in court. The other two accused, Sabeena, who ran a brothel, and her husband Abdul Hamid Bullah, died during the course of the trial. All were booked under Section 376 of the Ranbir Penal Code and Section 5 of the Immoral Trafficking Act. Langoo, who was also booked under Section 67 of the Infor- Former DIG KC Padhi mation and Technology Act, was acquitted of the charge. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on June 4. The scam came to light in 2006 after the police were handed two CDs showing minor Kashmiri girls being sexually exploited for money. The police questioned two girls, including the prosecutrix, and brothel owner Sabeena, who named 56 persons. The case was taken over by the CBI and the trial shifted by the Supreme Court to Chandigarh. The CBI unearthed a sex racket continued on page 7 victim stood alone p10 Haryana retirement age stays at 58 Cabinet decides to allow extension to officials in key depts only Chandigarh, May 30 Not enhancing the retirement age of government employees from 58 to 60 years, the Haryana Cabinet, which met under Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar here on Wednesday, decided to offer re-employment to those working in certain departments. Significantly, ahead of elections in Haryana, the Cabinet gave its nod to increasing MLAs’petty grant from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 15 lakh per annum from this current financial year. While no head of department (HoD) will now have a tenure of more than three years, accepting the recommendations of a Cabinet sub-committee, the Council of Ministers decided that officials in key departments would be given extension beyond retirement. Re-employment beyond the retirement age would be allowed only in case of departments looking after law and order, work of administrative importance, infrastructure development and basic public service. The Administrative Department would assess the level and class of officials whose services needed to be retained beyond their retirement. Such a proposal would be approved by a committee chaired by the Haryana Chief Secretary. The Cabinet also approved one-time relief to unauthorised commercial constructions and gave its nod to a comprehensive affordable housing policy in all municipalities. A decision was taken to revise water rates for “irrigation purposes” and “other than irrigation purposes” with the amendment of the Haryana Canal and Drainage Rules, 1976, and to transfer land measuring 446 acres of the total 846.43 acres with HMT Ltd, Pinjore, back to the state. It will be handed over to the HSIIDC for setting up an industrial estate. — TNS Toronto eatery blast: Cops After 16-day relentless hike, SC rejects plea to cancel say woman among suspects fuel price cut by 1 paisa CLAT; results likely today Toronto: A woman could be one of the two suspects who detonated an IED at an Indian restaurant in Canada that injured 15 people. The two suspects with their faces covered had entered the Bombay Bhel restaurant late on Thursday night, dropped the IED and fled. Contradicting their initial report that both the suspects were men, the police said the search for the two suspects continued, and one of them might be a woman. PTI New Delhi: Petrol and diesel prices were on Wednesday cut by a mere 1 paisa per litre each, the first reduction after 16 days of relentless price hikes that triggered derisive comments. After the cut, petrol now costs Rs 78.42 per litre and diesel Rs 69.30 in Delhi. The marginal decline came amid a faux pas by state-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC), which first announced a reduction of 60 paise. PAGE 7 New Delhi: The SC on Wednesday rejected a plea for the cancellation of CLAT-2018, paving the way for declaration of results that would form the basis for admission to 19 top law colleges in the country. Around 54,000 candidates had taken the Common Law Admission Test conducted by the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi, on May 13 and the results are likely to be declared on Thursday. PAGE 7 New Delhi, May 30 India is likely to receive a “better monsoon” than it did in 2017, with the entire country expected to see “normal” rainfall, between 96 and 104 per cent from June to September, officials said on Wednesday. In 2017, the country had received 97 per cent rainfall, which is considered normal. On Wednesday, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) updated its prediction, cutting down on the error estimate, thereby counting on better monsoon rains. The rainfall is likely to be 100 per cent of the long period average (LPA) over northwest India, comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. “Quantitatively, the country is likely to receive 97 per cent rainfall of LPA with an error estimate of plus-minus 4 per cent,” said IMD Director General KJ Ramesh. “We expect better rainfall in 2018 than it was in 2017,” he said. The IMD in its secondstage long-range forecast on Wednesday reduced the error estimate for the rainfall from earlier “plus-minus 5 per cent” to present “plusminus 4 per cent”. Besides the northwest, the rainfall is likely to be 99 per cent of LPA over central Moody’s cuts GDP forecast to 7.3% New Delhi: Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday lowered India’s 2018 growth forecast to 7.3 per cent from its previous estimate of 7.5 per cent, saying the economy is in cyclical recovery but higher oil prices and tighter financial conditions will weigh on the pace of acceleration. The ratings agency, however, maintained 2019 growth forecast at 7.5 per cent. Moody’s said growth should benefit from acceleration in rural consumption, supported by higher minimum support prices and a normal monsoon. PAGE 12 India, 95 per cent over southern peninsula and 93 per cent of LPA over North-East, all with a model error of 8 per cent. July is likely to be more rainy, as the monthly rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be 101 per cent of LPA during the month, while August is likely to see 94 per cent rainfall, the IMD said. The IMD predictions are based on different technical models, all suggesting normal rainfall, an official said. Anything between 90 and 96 per cent of the LPA is considered “below normal”, while rainfall in the range of 96-104 per cent is considered “normal”. Rainfall is “deficient” if it ranges below 90 per cent of the LPA and “above normal” if it falls between 104 to 110 per cent. Anything over 110 per cent is considered “excess” rainfall. In 2017, the monsoon rain in the country as a whole was 97 per cent of its LPA, with northwest India receiving 95 per cent, central India 106 per cent, southern peninsula 92 per cent and northeast India 89 per cent rainfall. The average seasonal rainfall in India between 1951 and 2000 has been recorded at 89 cm. According to Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, June is likely to get 111 per cent of rainfall, which falls in the “excess” category. However, July and August are expected to witness 97 and 96 per cent of the LPA, respectively, which comes under the “normal” category. —Agencies PMOffice seeks reporton water crisis in Shimla Kuldeep Chauhan Tribune News Service Shimla, May 30 With the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Wednesday seeking a report on Shimla’s worst-ever water crisis, two borewells are being dug on the riverbeds of Giri and Guma rivulets to tide over the crisis that has brought bad publicity to the BJP government in the state. As Lok Sabha elections are round the corner, a worried PMO has sought a report from the Himachal Government on steps being taken to resolve the problem. A high-level committee headed by Chief Secretary Vineet Chaudhary has drawn up a plan to raise water availability in the city from 22 MLD to 25 MLD and further upto 27 MLD in a couple of days. It has been decided to move water stored in the Chaba dam to the Guma pumping station, located 7 km upstream, from where it will be lifted to the Sanjauli reservoir. The Irrigation and Public Health Department has stopped farmers from pumping water in the catchment area of Guma and Giri. Also, illegal pumps have been sealed. "These steps are likely to increase water availability to 25 MLD," the Chief Secretary said. However, with the pipeline bursting near Mashobra owing to high pressure, water could not be lifted to the Sanjauli reservoir on Wednesday.
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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