14TT01A.qxd 9/13/2012 11:44 PM Page 1 The Tribune VOICE OF THE PEOPLE Vol. 132 No. 255 Jalandhar Chandigarh New Delhi Bathinda Friday, September 14, 2012 Diesel goes up by `5 per litre FUEL BLOW: LPG cylinder supply to each family restricted to 6 per year TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE CAP ON LPG TO HURT ❚ Only 6 cylinders will be given every year at subsidised rate of around Rs 400 per cylinder. For extra cylinders, the consumers will have pay market rate ❚ Kerosene rates untouched. Excise duty on petrol cut by Rs 5.30 per litre, thus a hike avoided ❚ Govt still left with an underrecovery of Rs 167,000 cr this fiscal, which is more than Rs 138,541 cr of 2011-12 NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 13 “ We will oppose any hike in fuel prices. “ — Yashwant Sinha, Ex-finance minister and senior BJP leader like the Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party have slammed the move and demanded a rollback. “ We will not accept it and demand its rollback. If people do not mind, I will be most happy to withdraw support (to the UPA). “ The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) has decided on a massive hike in diesel prices by Rs 5 per litre with effect from midnight, and for the first time, restricted the supply of subsidized LPG cylinders to each family to 6 per year. Every cylinder beyond this limit will have to be purchased at more than Rs 700 per cylinder. Petrol and kerosene prices have not been hiked. An official statement said the decisions have been taken to address the disturbing situation as underrecoveries of oil companies are at Rs 1.87 lakh crore for this year. Key UPA allies — Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool chief The principal opposition party, BJP has also protested against the decision. Both diesel and cooking gas are considered politically sensitive issues given their widespread usage and diesel is used widely in agriculture and transportation of goods. The move to limit subsidies will immensely please the markets and industry which have been clamouring for subsidy cuts and guard against a downgrade threat by global rating agencies asking for reining in the fiscal deficit. In a very steep hike which will be inflationary, diesel prices have been increased by Rs 5 per litre of which Rs 1.50 per litre is on account of increase in excise duty. The balance increase of Rs 3.50 per litre will reduce the underrecovery of oil companies by about Rs 15,000 crore for the remaining part of the current financial year. Continued on page 11 Govt de-allocates 4 coal blocks J-K cops arrest top hawala operator GIRJA SHANKAR KAURA/TNS NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 13 Showing its resolve to come down hard on the private companies who have not made any progress on the coal blocks allocated to them, the government today decided to de-allocate four such coal blocks while taking punitive action against four others. The eight coal blocks are with five private companies and form part of the 29 coal blocks whose progress was reviewed by the inter-ministerial group (IMG) on coal on three days from September 6-8. The action comes in the wake of the allegations from the Opposition that the government implemented a coal policy that provided windfall benefits to private players and cost the country thousands of crores of rupees. An official statement issued by the Ministry of Coal said, INSIDE NATION Kudankulam N-plant The Supreme Court virtually gave the go-ahead for the commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear power station by refusing to restrain the government from loading the fuel before implementing all the 17 safety measures. P2 HIMACHAL PRADESH Power boost CM PK Dhumal inaugurated the 192-MW Allian and Duhangan power project on Thursday. The controversial project will produce 800 million units of electricity annually and the state will get 12 per cent free power as per an agreement. P10 A free four-page pull-out of Haryana Plus only in Haryana. 1st ROUND OF ACTION ❚ Bank guarantee of 3 to be encashed ❚ 1 asked to submit bank guarantee within month ❚ Notices for no progress had been issued to 58 blocks ❚ Review of 29 blocks was carried out ❚ The IMG will meet on Friday to prepare a report on the remaining 21 blocks “The IMG on coal has recommended de-allocation of four coal blocks. The recommendations have been accepted by the government.” The IMG also recommended that the bank guarantee (BG) of three others private companies be encashed as they had failed to develop the mines even though several years had passed since these had been allotted. In another case where there was substantial progress, but no provision for BG, the IMG recommended that the allottee may be asked to submit BG amounting to three years royalty within a period of one month from date of letter in this regard failing which the block may be deallocated. The first round of action on eight of the 29 blocks reviewed came today after the IMG meeting yesterday. The meeting stretched late into the night and after a full report was prepared. Following this, the IMG sent its recommendations to the Coal Ministry today. The IMG will meet again tomorrow to prepare a report on the remaining 21 blocks. Action against more private companies and more coal blocks could be recommended to the beleaguered Coal Ministry that has been on the back foot for the past few weeks after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Continued on page 11 RAVI KRISHNAN KHAJURIA & ARTEEV SHARMA/TNS JAMMU, SEPTEMBER 13 Almost 13 years after the Kandahar plane hijack, the J&K Police claimed to have arrested a key accused, who is believed to have provided logistic support to the hijackers. Mehraj-ud-Din Dand, aka Javed, is a native of Sopore in North Kashmir, and is described by the state police as a “big shark.” He is the longest surviving terrorist since militancy began in the late eighties, sources said. Dand is suspected to have facilitated the entry of five masked men into the aircraft with guns, knives and grenades and arranged the finances through hawala channels, said Inspector General of Police (Jammu zone) Dilbag Singh. Dand was brought from Nepal via Gorakhpur by train a couple of days back before being shown arrested near Kishtwar last night, said a top source. He is believed to have provided logistic support to the five Pakistani militants who hijacked Indian Airlines’ flight IC-814 on December 24, 1999. The flight from Kathmandu was forced to land at three different airports -Amritsar, Lahore, and Dubai before being taken to Kandahar, the bastion of then Taliban regime in Afghanistan. In Dubai, Rupin Katyal, one of the passengers, was fatally stabbed by the hijackers. The aircraft had to spend a week on the tarmac in Kandahar before terrorists were swapped for the hostages. Continued on page 11 3,600 kg hexane stoked Khanna blaze Factory owner ignored fire-safety guidelines; toll mounts to seven MOHIT KHANNA/TNS KHANNA, SEPTEMBER 13 Around 3,600 kgs of hexane gas, which is five times more inflammable than petrol, caused the massive explosion at a factory in Khanna yesterday. According to the probe conducted so far, lack of firefighting equipment and human error led to the explosion and the subsequent fire that left seven factory workers dead and several others injured at Sanjiv Agro Solvent Plant in the Focal Point area here. Khanna SDM PS Sodhi, who is conducting a magisterial probe into the incident, lambasted the factory owner for his casual attitude and lack of arrangement of firesafety equipment. He said the tragedy could have been averted or at least its impact minimised had the proper fire-safety equipment Repair work goes on at the fire accident site in Khanna on Thursday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan PM SANCTIONS RELIEF Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday expressed condolences over the loss of lives in the agro plant accident in Khanna and sanctioned an ex gratia of `2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and `50,000 each to the seriously injured from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund. been installed on the factory premises. “Only a few fire extinguishers were installed near the chambers where hexane was stored. There was no fire-fighting arrangement in the area were rice bran and coal were kept,” he said. The tragedy has one again highlighted how factory owners play with the lives of their workers for saving money that would go into purchasing fire-fighting equipment. The investigation has revealed that other solvent plants were also flouting guidelines with impunity. The SDM said the work at the unit should have been stopped and workers evacuated as soon as the leakage of hexane was first noticed. “The workers had reportedly informed the factory owner about the leakage of hexane. The owner, however, did not immediately tell the plant operators to stop work. Instead, the workers kept on trying to stop the leakage and were charred to death in the ensuing explosion,” said the SDM. Ajay Kumar Mishra, father of plant operator Davinder Mishra, blamed lack of firesafety measure for the death of his son. They prayed, hugged their kids & jumped before train MANISH SIRHINDI/TNS YAMUNANAGAR, SEPTEMBER 13 At the house of Paramjit Singh and Narinder Kaur, who jumped in front of a train late last evening with their three minor children held close to their chests, the heartrending scenes led to one question—how can parents kill their children? The answer is even more tragic. As the police recovered a suicide note written by Paramjit and Narinder, a sad story of property dispute emerged. The note said the parents of Paramjit and his elder brother along with his wife (sister-inlaw) were hell bent on throwing Paramjit and his family out of the only house (200 sq yds) shared amongst them in Chandpur Colony. Nowhere else to go with their three children and fed up with the daily feuds, the two decided to end their lives. Aware of the fact that after they were gone, there was no one to take care of their three minor children, they took them along. Property dispute drove Yamunanagar family to suicide Before taking the extreme step, Paramjit and Narinder Kaur recited a few prayers from Guru Granth Sahib, went to the nearest gurdwara and headed to the Gandhi Nagar railway crossing. Before the parents c m y b finally lifted their three children Pritpal (14) Harjinder (8) and daughter Kritpal (9) for the last time, they bought them packs of their favourite snacks. The police has booked Paramjit’s father Baldev Singh, mother Gurcharan Kaur, elder brother Charanjit and his wife Paramjit Kaur on the basis of the suicide note e and a complaint filed by Narinder Kaur’s mother Amarjit Kaur under Section 306 of the IPC pertaining to abetment to suicide. Continued on page 11 www.tribuneindia.com 18 pages ` 2.50 Film fury: US embassies in Yemen, Egypt attacked ANGRY REACTION: Protesters vandalise US embassy in Sanaa on Thursday. — AFP SANAA/CAIRO, SEPTEMBER 13 Demonstrators attacked the US Embassies in Yemen and Egypt today in protest at a film they consider blasphemous to Islam, and American warships headed to Libya after the US ambassador there died in related violence earlier this week. Hundreds of Yemenis broke through the main gate of the heavily fortified compound in the capital Sanaa, shouting "We sacrifice ourselves for you, Messenger of God". They smashed windows of security offices outside the embassy and burned cars. "We can see a fire inside the compound and security forces are firing in the air. The demonstrators are fleeing and then charging back," a witness said. A security source said at least 15 persons were wounded, some by gunfire, before the Yemen Government ringed the area with troops. An embassy spokesman said its personnel were safe. In Egypt, protesters hurled stones at a police cordon around the US Embassy in YouTube restricts viewing of controversial film Washington: A day after the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, video-sharing website YouTube on Thursday said it had restricted access to the film both in Libya and Egypt. "This video — which is widely available on the Web -- is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube," a spokesman said. US probes whether Benghazi attack was planned Washington/Cairo: The US is probing whether the deadly attack on its mission in Libya was a well-planned assault by Islamists rather than a rampage by a frenzied mob, officials said on Thursday. Still scrambling to unravel the facts about the killing of its ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Embassy staff almost 24 hours after the incident, the US officials said the attack was "complex" and "they (attackers) seem to have used this (protest) as an opportunity". central Cairo after climbing into the embassy compound and tearing down the American flag. The state news agency said 13 persons were hurt in violence which erupted late on Wednesday, following initial protests on Tuesday. The US military also dispatched a Marine Corps antiterrorist team to boost security in Libya. The US military moved two destroyers towards the Libyan coast, in what an official said was a move to give the administration flexibility for any future action against Libyan targets. During a similar protest on Tuesday at the US consulate in Benghazi, Libyan Islamists staged military-style assaults on the mission and a safe house refuge. It was the 11th anniversary of Al-Qaida's attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. President Barack Obama vowed to "bring to justice" those responsible for the Benghazi attack, which US officials said may have been planned in advance. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington had nothing to do with the video, which she called "disgusting and reprehensible". — Reuters
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