06092018-TTC-01.qxd 06-09-2018 01:24 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.2 no.246 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | thursday, september 6,2018 5 ACTIVISTS HELD FOR MAOIST LINKS, NOT DISSENT: MAHA COPS TO SC PAGE 7 RUSSIAN MILITARY SPIES CHARGED WITH MURDER BID ON SKRIPALS PAGE 13 /thetribunechd THE TRIBUNE RELIEF FUND FOR KERALA PRESIDENT KOVIND WANTS BULGARIA AS KEY DEFENCE ALLY PAGE 16 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com Haryana liquor making way into Punjab Govt rules out Peddlers using Sirsa,Dabwali as key routes; distilleries too may have hand in smuggling ❝ Parvesh Sharma & Sukhmeet Bhasin It is virtually impossible to plug all interstate routes. We have held meetings with our Haryana counterparts and alerted our informers Tribune News Service An Appeal to Readers The flood fury of the Western Ghats has drowned the beautiful coastal state of Kerala in a sea of sorrow. The Tribune readers have always shown their magnanimity during such calamities in the past. The Tribune Trust, which has decided to contribute ~20 lakh, appeals to its readers to donate generously. Your donation will make a difference to the families of those who have lost their lives and homes. The names of all those who donate ~500 and above will be published. All such donations are eligible for deduction under Section 80-G of the Income Tax Act. Donations should be in the form of crossed cheques or demand drafts in favour of the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund and sent to The Tribune Trust, Sector 29-C, Chandigarh – 160030 or to The Tribune offices in various cities. All donations will be duly sent to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. While making the donation, please clearly mention your name, address and PAN number. — The Tribune Trust Ninth list of donors appears today on PAGE 7 Sangrur/Bathinda, Sept 5 With liquor rates in Haryana 30-40 per cent less than those in Punjab, liquor continues to be smuggled into various districts of Punjab from the neighbouring state. Punjab shares a 45-km stretch with Haryana. The Sangrur police have registered 658 cases of liquor seizure and arrested 751 persons since January this year. “As the district shares a long border with Haryana, smugglers generally try to smuggle liquor in small quantities,” MF Farooqui, IGP, BATHINDA SCREENING BOOTLEGGERS AN ‘UPHILL’ TASK PAGE 2 said Sangrur SSP Sandeep Garg. In the Bathinda Police Range compromising Bathinda, Mansa and Muktsar dis- Death penalty for Shimla boy killers Shimla, September 5 The District and Sessions Court on Wednesday awarded the death penalty to Chander Sharma (28), Tajender (30) and Vikrant (24) for the murder of fouryear-old Shimla boy Yug in 2014. The three were pronounced guilty on August 6. District and Sessions Judge Virender Singh described the crime as the “rarest among rare”. Yug’s parents, grandmother and uncles burst into tears as the sentence was pronounced. “We underwent hell tricts, 1,020 cases have been filed under the Excise Act and 1,024 peddlers arrested since April 16. In Mansa dis- trict, 330 cases have been filed and 336 arrested. Bootleggers are smuggling liquor into Punjab primarily from Sirsa and Dabwali in Haryana. A police official said: “Those in the trade are well-acquainted with link roads leading to Bathinda and are often successful in evading the police.” With 35 passages between Sangrur and Haryana districts along the inter-state border, the peddlers mostly carry liquor bottles on motorcycles, scooters, cars and tractor-trailers. Not wishing to be named, cops in Sangrur claimed that distilleries too had a role in it. A retired police official in Bathinda said those who failed to get liquor contracts in Punjab often took to smuggling liquor from Haryana. “Now, border villagers have begun to do likewise to make quick money,” he said. “Contractors in Punjab engaged in smuggling already have links in Haryana and have only to rope in couriers to deliver liquor to their contacts. They have fixed customers. The mobiles have made their job easier. Many a times, they simply leave the consignment in the fields,” another retired officer said. All set for 2+2 talks MURDER MOST FOUL ■ Four-year-old Yug was forced to drink liquor, tied to a stone & thrown into a water tank. His skeleton was found by MC staff on January 29, 2016. for four years. Now justice has prevailed,” said Yug’s father. Yug was abducted in the busy Ram Bazar in the heart of the town on June 14, 2014, and was killed seven days later. — TNS ‘my tears never dried’ p10 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Wednesday. Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis and their Indian counterparts are to hold the first-ever 2+2 Dialogue on Thursday. AFP DO MORE TO REIN IN TERROR, US TELLS PAK PAGE 16 JPC on Rafale NSA, defence top brass brief Cabinet on fighter aircraft deal with France New Delhi, September 5 The Modi government on Wednesday dismissed the Congress demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale deal with France saying: “... to satisfy the ego of an ill-informed gentleman (Rahul Gandhi) it was not an option”. With the government under attack from the Opposition on the issue, the top security brass briefed the Union Council of Ministers on the fighter aircraft deal, saying its cost was based on equipment and weapons that would be integrated into the jet. The presentation was made in a bid to provide the leaders with facts to counter the allegations of favouritism and corruption being levelled against the government by the Opposition. A senior government functionary said National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and the Secretary, Defence Production, Ajay Kumar, highlighted various aspects of the deal at the meeting which lasted more than two hours. The ministers were informed that it was a deal between two governments involving no private party, leaving little scope for corruption. The Opposition led by the Congress has been attacking Mayor to be elected Punjab to revoke teachers’ NC not to contest directly in Haryana suspension, withdraw FIRs panchayatelection Khattar Cabinet approves move Geetanjali Gayatri Tribune News Service Chandigarh, September 5 After laying down educational qualifications for candidates contesting elections under Panchayati Raj Institutions, the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana on Wednesday approved direct election of mayors — an obvious bid to strengthen its hold over local bodies. The Haryana Cabinet gave its nod to the move, which will have an impact on 10 big districts. Sources claimed in cities such as Faridabad and Gurugram the mayors would wield more power than the local MLAs with their area of influence extending to constituencies represented by the latter. This decision, sources said, was aimed at ensuring the mayors functioned independently, without the councillors’ meddling. “With direct elections, his chair will not be dependent on the support of councillors. Also, it will check horse-trading to catapult a particular candidate to the post,” explained sources. Elections to five municipal corporations — Hisar, Karnal, Rohtak, Yamunanagar and Panipat — are due in October and may be announced shortly. The Cabinet’s decision on direct mayoral poll will be notified and the municipal elections held subsequently. The voters will not only vote for the ward councillor but also the mayor. This is in line with the elections for panches and sarpanches where villagers vote for the sarpanch and the ward panch. Direct elections may also be held for the municipal councils and committees at a later stage. Tribune News Service Jalandhar, September 5 Punjab Education Minister OP Soni on Wednesday announced the state government would reinstate teachers suspended over the past two years and FIRs lodged against them during that period would be withdrawn. Sources said the government was likely to withdraw FIRs against 7,0008,000 teachers. Speaking at a function to award 51 teachers, Soni said, “We will reinstate all teachers suspended in the past two years. FIRs against them will also be withdrawn. The Education Secretary has been instructed in that regard.” Most of the FIRs are against members of the Sanjha Adhyapak Morcha (SAM), an umbrella organisation of 26 unions representing over one lakh teachers in Punjab. These were lodged against 500 teachers (five by name) during an agitation at Mohali on TEACHER’S DAY GIFT We will reinstate all teachers suspended over the past two years. FIRs against them will also withdrawn. The Education Secretary has been instructed in this regard. ❝ OP Soni, PUNJAB EDUCATION MINISTER March 6 this year while 8,000 others were booked (20 by name) for protests in Ludhiana on March 25, 2018. Five SAM leaders were suspended after a protest in Amritsar on July 27, 2018. Director General School Edu- action (DGSE) Prashant Kumar Goyal clarified that FIRs related to protests alone would be cancelled and not against those facing personal or criminal charges. He said, “The department hasn’t yet made any estimate on the numbers of FIRs and suspensions. The process in this regard will be set in motion soon. The quashing of FIRs will be done as per the due procedure.” Senior advocate PPS Ahluwalia said the government could not cancel FIRs in criminal cases but those related to protests could be withdrawn. Didar Singh Mudki, state coconvener of the SAM and president of the SSA/RMSA Teachers Union, welcomed the government decision. “Our agitation has been against the government’s insistence on reducing our pay scale to Rs 10,300 (basic pay) on regularisation. We will continue to protest till our demand that we be paid Rs 42,800 is met,” he said. Don’t tinker with Art 35A, says Farooq Tribune News Service Srinagar, September 5 National Conference president Farooq Abdullah announced here on Wednesday that his party would not participate in the panchayat and municipal elections in view of the prevailing situation in the state. After an over three-hourlong core group meeting at the party’s headquarters, Nawa-i-Subh, the first such meeting after the imposition of Governor’s rule on June 20, he cautioned: “Any tinkering with Article 35A will be disastrous not only for the state but also the country”. The core group, he said, was of the unanimous opinion that the decision to hold elections to panchayats and local bodies had been taken in a hurry, without taking into consideration the situation in the state created by QUESTIONS STAND IN SC The stand of the Central Government and the present dispensation in Jammu and Kashmir before the Supreme Court goes clearly against the wishes and aspirations of the people of the state ❝ Farooq Abdullah, NC CHIEF those “unnecessarily fiddling with Article 35A”. He said his party would not participate in the polls unless the Centre initiated steps for safeguarding Article 35A, inside and outside the courts. pdp for all-party meet p10 ... to satisfy the ego of an ill-informed gentleman (Rahul Gandhi), it is not an option. The Congress has proved that in a dynastic party, ignorance is contagious... if one lacks information, all are ignorant. — Arun Jaitley . the Modi government over the deal, alleging that it was struck at an exorbitant price and had benefited an Indian businessman at the cost of the government-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The charges have been denied by the government. Taking a dig at the Congress, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said questioning the deal was the “biggest ignorance”. He said cost escalation and currency variations between 2007- 2016 had to be considered. “The 36 jets will come in a fly away condition and not even a bolt will be fitted here ... during UPA (rule), they did not believe in transfer of technology but preferred to buy (hardware) from foreign buyers ...,” he said. — TNS/PTI IN BRIEF Aadhaar not must for school admission: UIDAI New Delhi: Government agency UIDAI on Wednesday asked schools not to refuse admission to students for lack of Aadhaar and said such denials are “invalid” and “not permitted under the law”. Taking a stern view of cases where a few schools had denied admission to children in absence of Aadhaar, the UIDAI said, “It must be ensured that no children are deprived/denied of their due benefits for want of Aadhaar.” TNS Eying polls, AAP plans employees’ rally in Kaithal New Delhi: Delhi CM and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal will venture into Haryana for the next year’s parliamentary and Assembly elections by striking a chord with government employees with a rally in Kaithal on October 7. He will follow this up by holding meetings outside schools and dispensaries across the state. Kejriwal announced this in a chat with Chandigarh-based journalists on Wednesday. The AAP plans to take up matters of cheaper and regular supply of power and water, besides problems of farmers. TNS Airport trays carry more viruses than toilets Muskmelons to make a cool comeback London, September 5 The plastic trays that passengers put their hand luggage in at airport security checkpoints harbour the highest levels of viruses, even more than toilets, a study warns. Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the UK swabbed a variety of surfaces at Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland during the winter of 2016. They set out to identify and quantify the respiratory viruses on frequentlytouched surfaces in airports. The team found evidence of viruses on 10 per cent of the THE FINDINGS ■ A study found evidence of viruses on 10 per cent of the surfaces tested with plastic trays circulated among passengers at the hand luggage X-ray checkpoint at airports ■ Shop payment terminals, staircase rails, passport checking counters, children’s play areas and air ranked next as regards concentration of viruses surfaces tested and most commonly on the plastic trays that are circulated along the passenger queue at the hand luggage X-ray checkpoint. The study, published in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases, concludes that hand washing and careful coughing hygiene are crucial to the control of contagious infections in public areas with high volumes of people passing through. The findings add weight to previous studies showing that microbes are commonly found on surfaces in public transport vehicles and will strengthen public health advice in preparation for future flu pandemics, researchers said. The most common virus found in the survey was rhinovirus, which causes the common cold, but the swabs also picked up influenza A virus, researchers said. Interestingly, no respiratory viruses were found on toilet surfaces, they said. — PTI Deepkamal Kaur BOON FOR FARMERS Tribune News Service Kartarpur, September 5 Expect fresh muskmelons this December. The Centre of Excellence for Vegetables here plans to provide farmers saplings of three muskmelon varieties for cultivation in polyhouses this month-end. Having experimented the technique for five years, using Israeli technology, experts at the centre claim the off-season crop will help farmers earn handsome profit. Project Officer Daljit Singh Gill says 1,200 plants can be sown in a one-kanal poly- ■ The Centre of Excellence for Vegetables, Kartarpur, has developed muskmelon that can be grown in polyhouses ■ After being sowed in September-end, it will be ready for cultivation in December-end ■ It is expected to be sold at ~100/kg, ensuring a profit of ~1 lakh per acre house, yielding 2,400 kg of muskmelon, which can be sold for Rs 100 per kg in winters. “We have held successful trials with saplings of Bobby, Anthena and Muskan varieties. Pollination is to be done by hand,” he said, claiming it was the best way to shift from the paddywheat cycle. “While paddy or wheat grown over one acre yields a Rs 40,000-50,000 profit, muskmelon will fetch Rs 1 lakh per acre.” Officials at the centre claim 1,300 polyhouses have been set up across Punjab, 250 of these on subsidy. Over the past more than five years, the centre has evolved various techniques (including use of silvery nets instead of green covers) and trained 700 farmers. Sown in a soil-free medium of coco peat vermiculite and in an anti-dust and antivirus atmosphere, the centre has already supplied 95 lakh saplings to the farmers since January 2013.
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