03112017-TTC-01.qxd 11/3/2017 1:19 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 friday, november 3, 2017 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 1 no. 198 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd JCOs are gazetted officers, says Army /thetribunechd Headed to Nankana Sahib Rectifies six-year-old anomaly; 64,000 to benefit Tribune News Service New Delhi, November 2 In a move that will benefit over 64,000 personnel, the Army has corrected a self-created anomaly and has now said that junior commissioned officers (JCOs) are gazetted officers, cancelling its earlier reply under the Right to Information Act that described JCOs as “nongazetted” officers. As per government orders, JCOs were always “Group-B” gazetted officers, however, confusing replies under the RTI Act created the problem. The JCOs are promoted from among the jawans and hold an important position in each battalion of the Army. The move will also benefit similarly ranked officials in the Navy and the Air Force. The decision comes after resentment grew among a large section of Army personnel over issues relating to rank parity. In an official note, the Army headquarters has cancelled a communication issued in response to an RTI plea in 2011 terming JCOs non-gazetted officers. The Army Act, 1950, accorded status of Group-B equivalent gazetted officers and the Ambani tops Forbes’ list of India’s richest New Delhi, November 2 With a net worth of $38 billion, Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani has topped Forbes’ annual list of India’s 100 richest tycoons of 2017. “To put it in context, this is equal to the entire GDP of the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, as per World Bank Data 2016 estimates,” a statement read. GST, DEMO NO HURDLE ■ The total wealth of India’s top 100 billionaires stands at a whopping $479 billion ■ This is more than the country’s foreign exchange reserves at $402.5 billion in Sept ■ Significantly, aggregate wealth of the top 100 has risen 26 per cent over last year Forbes India will release the “2017 India Rich List” by way of a special issue that hits the stands on November 6. The richest newcomer in the list is Wadia Group of companies chairman Nusli Wadia (No. 25, $5.6 billion). At $19 billion, the net worth of Wipro’s Azim Premji jumped two places up over last year to become second richest Indian on the list. The Hinduja family maintained the third position ($18.4 billion).— IANS ERROR SET RIGHT ■ The Army committed a ‘major mistake’ in 2011 while replying to an RTI query on the status of junior commissioned officers; someone overlooked government notifications ■ The clarification will benefit more than 64,000 JCOs ranked in three categories — Naib Subedar, Subedar and Subedar Major section 151 of Defence Service Regulations 1987 states that JCOs are granted commission by the President. The Army committed a “major mistake” in 2011 while replying to an RTI application on the status of the JCOs. Someone just overlooked government notifications. The clarification will benefit over 64,000 JCOs who are ranked in three categories — Naib Subedar, Subedar and Subedar Major. In July, the Army wrote to the MoD saying JCOs are accorded gazetted status as per an Act of Parliament, however, when posted at South Block in New Delhi, a JCO is issued an identity card equating him with a Group C employee, a grade lower than what is mandated. The identity cards are colour coded — green for Maj Generals and above, yellow for Group A, blue for Group B and grey for Group C. Asked how the Army headquarters made the “mistake” in 2011, classifying JCOs as nongazetted officers, a senior Army official said there were separate definitions of officers in the manual of military law and it could have been a case of misinterpretation of the rule book. The issue of rank parity between military officers and their civilian counterparts was discussed at the recently concluded Army Commanders’ Conference. The Ministry of Defence is studying the matter in detail. Defence Ministry sources last week said it was seriously examining the long-standing issue relating to rank parity between military officers and their civilian counterparts. Two soldiers die in Pulwama gunfight Tribune News Service Srinagar/Anantnag, Nov 2 Two soldiers and a suspected militant were killed in a gunfight in Pulwama that erupted during a search operation in Samboora Awantipore, 30 km from Srinagar, late this evening. “During a search, hiding militants opened fire, triggering a fierce gunfight, in which a terrorist was killed. Two soldiers of 50 Rashtriya Rifles were wounded. They later succumbed to their injuries,” defence sources said. In Anantnag, militants ambushed a CRPF convoy, injuring five personnel. The attack took place at about 8:30 am in the town’s Lazibal area, along the busy KhannabalPahalgam road. “Six buses carrying paramilitary forces were attacked on the outskirts of the town,” a police official said. He identified two of the injured as constable SK Mahesh and head constable Indrajeet Singh, both from 96 Battalion. The militants fled after firing indiscriminately at the convoy. A cordon was laid to nab the attackers. Locals said house- BJP’s youth wing leader in Shopian found dead, DIG blames militants to-house searches were carried out that lasted more than two hours. Militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba has claimed responsibility for the attack. In Shopian, the BJP’s youth wing leader, Gowhar Ahmad Bhat, 26, was found dead, his throat slit. His body was found at Kiloora Shopian, 55 km from Srinagar. Injury marks on the body indicated he was attacked with a sharp-edged weapon. “Terrorists killed civilian Gowhar Ahmed in #Shopian. Investigation on,” the DIG, South Kashmir, tweeted. “Gowhar was kidnapped from his house at 6 pm and his body was found 15 minutes later in a neighbouring village,” BJP media secretary Altaf Thakur said. Bhat joined the BJP two years ago. He played a key role in hosting the first-ever youth convention in Srinagar recently. bsf constable killed p10 Sikh pilgrims in a queue at the Wagah border on Thursday to cross over to Pakistan. Islamabad has issued visas till November 11 to more than 2,600 pilgrims to participate in the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev at Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of the founder of the Sikh faith. AP/PTI blocks Reject Cong, Modi tells martyrs’ kin Chinato ban move Woos Himachal’s ex-servicemen | Says time ‘devbhoomi’ is rid of mafia Azhar, India Lalit Mohan & ering. At Dhaulan Kuan in disappointed Ambika Sharma Sirmaur district, Modi said Tribune News Service Dharamsala/Nahan, Nov 2 Prime Minister Narendra Modi today targeted the Congress over “rampant corruption and loot of public money” and for questioning the Army’s surgical strikes and supporting Kashmir’s “independence.” Addressing his first poll rally at Rehan in Kangra, the PM said the “devbhoomi (Himachal Pradesh)” was afflicted by five demons — the forest mafia, mining mafia, transfer mafia, tender mafia and drug mafia — and exhorted the people to end these demons by voting for the BJP on November 9. Ridiculing the Congress promise on “zero tolerance” to corruption, he said: “Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is on bail and the Congress talks of zero tolerance towards corruption. Will anybody believe that?” Describing Himachal as the land of “martyrs and soldiers,” he sought to strike a chord with ex-servicemen. “Statements of Congress leaders (reference to P Chidambaram) supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election rally at Rehan in Kangra district of Himachal on Thursday. PHOTO: KAMALJEET CONG RETORTS: YOU INSULTED VETERANS The brutal crackdown on war veterans and ex-servicemen is an insult to India. Modi celebrates Diwali with jawans, but his government does not listen to the rightful demands of ex-servicemen. RPN Singh, CONGRESS ❝ Kashmir’s ‘azadi’ are an insult to the martyrs of the state, and their kin should punish the Congress for such utterances,” Modi said. He questioned the purpose of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with the Chinese envoy during the Doklam standoff. “Can the country trust such leaders,” he asked the gath- the Congress had been reduced to a “laughing club” that neither understood the people, nor their issues. “The BJP will form the next government under the leadership of PK Dhumal and even the Congress is aware of its imminent defeat,” he claimed, alleging that public money, that should have been used for development works in the state, had been plundered by the Congress. Explaining the need for Aadhaar, he said a sum of Rs 57,000 crore that earlier went to “bogus” beneficiaries had now been saved. He ridiculed the Congress for its criticism of the World Bank report on institutional reforms, ranking India on the 100th spot. The BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, Prem Kumar Dhumal, also addressed the gathering. Kangra district has 15 seats in the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly. The PM is scheduled to address two more rallies in the district ahead of the November 9 elections. related reports p10 Smita Sharma Tribune News Service New Delhi, November 2 India has expressed “deep disappointment” at China’s decision to block consensus on the listing of Masood Azhar as an internationally designated terrorist under 1267 committee of the UN Security Council. Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson, said: “We are deeply disappointed that once again, a single country has blocked international consensus on the designation of an acknowledged terrorist and leader of UN-designated terrorist organisation, Masood Azhar.” The application to proscribe Azhar, put on a technical hold three months ago for the fifth time by Beijing, expired today. The proposal backed by the US, France and the UK seeks to designate Azhar, Pakistan-based JeM terror group chief and Pathankot attack mastermind, as a global terrorist by the AlQaida sanctions committee, but has constantly faced the Chinese veto block. continued on page 7 Aadhaar hearing today Jinnah’s daughter dead Rapist uncles get life term NHRC notice to UP New Delhi: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear on Friday a petition challenging the Constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act. The matter was mentioned before a Bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar and the counsel representing the petitioner sought an urgent hearing, saying similar pleas were already listed for hearing before on Friday. Karnataka-based Mathew Thomas has moved the SC challenging the validity of the Act. PTI Mumbai: Dina Wadia, daughter of Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, passed away at her home in New York on Thursday, a spokesperson for the Wadia Group said. She was 98. Dina Wadia is survived by her son and Wadia Group chairman Nusli N Wadia, daughter Diana N Wadia and grandsons Ness and Jeh Wadia. PTI Chandigarh: A local court on Thursday sentenced two maternal uncles of a 10-year-old rape survivor from the city to imprisonment for entire life. Both are accused of repeatedly raping the girl and one, for impregnating her too. They have been ordered to pay a fine of Rs 3.05 lakh each, of which Rs 3 lakh will go as compensation to the victim. The court had found both guilty under Section 376(2)(f)(i)(n) of the Indian Penal Code. TNS New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the UP Government over the death of 30 persons in a blast at an NTPC plant in Rae Bareli. Expressing concern over the incident, the commission said in a statement that a “high-level probe into the matter is immediately required to ascertain the negligence and errors, if any, behind the incident, which involves the right to life”. PTI SEE ALSO PAGE 7 After 11yrs in Amritsar jail, Pak sisters return home ‘Indian smog’ troubling Lahorias GS Paul Tribune News Service Amritsar, November 2 Their prayers were answered after 11 long years as two Pakistani sisters, Fatima and Mumtaz, along with Fatima’s India-born daughter Heena, left for Pakistan via the Attari border this afternoon. The sisters were arrested at the Attari railway station in 2006 for carrying drugs. They were released from the Amritsar jail in the morning. Fatima and Mumtaz, along with mother Rashida Bibi, were arrested on May 8, 2006, while they were on their way to Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh to meet their maternal uncles. The three women were sentenced to 10 years and fined Rs 4 lakh. Fatima, who was pregnant then, gave birth to Heena while in jail the same year. Rashida Bibi died of ill-health in 2008. Local lawyer Navjot Kaur Chhaba fought a legal battle on their behalf. She even approached the PMO in September this year. Despite having completed the sentence in November 2015, the three had to stay put in the jail transit camp as they were unable to pay the hefty fine imposed by the courts. Chhaba arranged the money through Batalabased NGO, Sarbat Da Bhala Humanity Club, on April 7 this year. Despite that, it took seven months for the Union Home and External Affairs Ministries to clear their release. Pakistan High Commission counsellor Fauzia Manzoor visited Amritsar in August this year and conferred Pakistani nationality on Heena. continued on page 7 Punjab pollution board chief blames it on westerly winds Jupinderjit Singh Tribune News Service Pakistan national Heena, her mother Fatima (centre) and aunt Mumtaz at Attari-Wagah check-post on Thursday. VISHAL KUMAR Chandigarh, November 2 Not smugglers, anti-socials or effluents from tanneries. Pakistan is complaining of thick smog from across the border. Quoting experts, Pakistan media claims that smog originating from India has engulfed Pakistan’s cities, especially Lahore. Large-scale burning (estimated at 3,500 fields per day) of paddy residual has left Pakistan residents gasping for breath, their reports claim. Kahan Singh Pannu, Chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board, blames it on westerly winds. “Smog has travelled towards Pakistan because of westerly winds moving at a velocity of 7 to 8 km per hour. The smog, starting from Uttar Pradesh, has travelled to Punjab and then moved further into west. The wind velocity has so far been low.” As per the reports in the Pakistan media, the air qual- ity index (AQI) in Lahore was 357 whereas the “tolerable” limit was 100. Experts in Pakistan fear more smog as the AQI in India is expected to cross 500 in days to come, if the practice of stubble-burning is not halted. Compared to Lahore, the AQI in Ludhiana has been recorded at 334, in Amritsar at 307 and Mandi Gobindgarh 187. “We are suffering too. Making matters worse, farmers’ organisations are not cooperating with us,” said Pannu.
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).