09102018-TTC-01.qxd 09-10-2018 01:37 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.138 no.279 | 28 pages | ~4.50 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | tuesday, october 9,2018 NAWAZ APPEARS BEFORE HC IN TREASON CASE PAGE 13 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com PHOTOS: INDERJEET SINGH, AMIN WAR Satya Prakash Rupee at fresh lifetime low of 74 against US dollar Mumbai: Rupee slumped by 30 paise to finish at a fresh lifetime low of 74.06 against the US dollar on Monday. It had opened lower by 14 paise against Friday’s close of 73.76 in early trade as the dollar strength against major global currencies weighed on the rupee sentiment. During the day, it recovered to a high of 73.76, but failed to sustain the momentum. PTI No decision yet on Zakir’s extradition: Malaysian minister Nagpur: A young scientist working with the BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd’s missile research centre was arrested on Monday on alleged charges of spying for Pakistan's ISI and other countries. Nishant Agrawal has been working at BAPL, an Indo-Russian joint venture, for the past four years. He was reportedly passing on certain highly classified information to the ISI of Pakistan and the US. PAGE 7 People wait in a long queue to cast votes in Ranbir Singh Pura near Jammu (left) and a handful of voters in Baramulla on Monday. Jammu votes, Kashmir hardly Barring Kupwara, 4 districts in Valley record very low turnout Tribune News Service Jammu/srinagar, October 8 At least 56.7 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the first phase of the urban bodies elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday defying the boycott call, but four districts in the Valley saw a very low turnout, barring frontline Kupwara with 32.3 per cent voter participation. Rajouri and Poonch in the Jammu region witnessed an impressive 81 per cent and 73 per cent turnout, respectively, while Kargil in Ladakh recorded 78.2 per cent polling and Leh 55.2. The fate of 1,204 candidates from 321 municipal wards — OVERALL PHASE-I POLLING% PERCENTAGE 65% JAMMU DIVISION 18.6% KASHMIR DIVISION 56.7 62.1% LADAKH REGION 8.3% KASHMIR VALLEY 83 in Kashmir and 238 in Jammu — was sealed in EVMs. The counting is scheduled for October 20. The elections, being held after a gap of 13 years, have assumed great significance following the boycott call by militants, separatists and the main regional parties National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party. Kashmir saw low participa- tion ranging from 3.3 per cent in Bandipore in the north to the maximum of 17 per cent in the Central Kashmir district of Budgam, where polling was held for 39 wards. Baramulla’s 15 wards registered 5.7 per cent turnout, Srinagar’s three wards 6.2 per cent, and Anantnag’s four wards 7.3. Separatists were quick to hail it as a victory of their boycott call, while the NC called it “an exercise in futility”. It also pointed out that 215 candidates were elected unopposed, with no contest in 177 wards in the Valley. But, in Jammu and Ladakh regions, and Kupwara belt of the Valley, voters turned out in large numbers, asserting their faith in democracy. It was a carnival-like scene at most of the places. The first phase of voting was held at 820 polling stations across the state amid tight security arrangements. There were at least 150 designated polling stations in Kashmir and 670 in Jammu province. The total number of voters was 5,86,064. more on Page 10 Political outfit next for Panthic parties? Tribune News Service IN BRIEF BrahMos scientist held for leaking info to Pak late city BRAZIL’S FAR-RIGHT BOLSONARO FALLS JUST INDIA TO BUY IRANIAN OIL DESPITE US SANCTIONS PAGE 12 SHORT OF ELECTION STUNNER PAGE 13 /thetribunechd New Delhi: Malaysia is yet to take a call on extraditing controversial preacher Zakir Naik to India and the matter could end up being decided by the country’s courts, a senior Malaysian minister told External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday when she raised the issue during a meeting here. Naik, who left India in July 2016, is wanted on terror and money-laundering charges. PTI ! Ruchika M Khanna New Delhi, October 8 Ten days after a Constitution Bench lifted the age-old restriction on the entry of procreating women into the famous Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala in Kerala, four petitions were filed on Monday seeking a review of the Supreme Court’s verdict that has evoked a series of protests by women devotees. By a 4:1 verdict, a five-judge Constitution Bench had declared the practice unconstitutional. Justice Indu Malhotra, the lone woman on the Bench, had dissented. The review petitioners, including Nair Service Society and People for Dharma, said the top court wrongly concluded that exclusion of women between the age of 10 and 50 was discriminatory and erred in allowing women of all age groups into the Sabarimala Temple. “Apart from patent legal errors, the factually erroneous assumption that the practice of the temple is based on notions of menstrual impurity has materially contributed to the majority view. This necessitates a review,” read a petition. The petitioners submitted that to deny a religious denomination status to Sabarimala Temple and continued on page 7 Tribune News Service 4 petitions seek Sabarimala verdict’s review Chandigarh, October 8 Buoyed by the astounding public response to the Bargari march, which was held to express anger at incidents of sacrilege in Punjab, various Panthic organisations are now in the process of constituting a new political outfit and will meet in Amritsar on October 20-21. Sources say a 10-member committee has been formed by former Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Giani Kewal Singh to chalk out modalities of the “Panthic assembly”. The Dal Khalsa and the Simranjit Singh Mann-led Akali Dal (Amritsar), besides Sikh preachers, who have been heading the protest at Bargari (Faridkot district) since June 1, will be part of the deliberations. The Sukhpal Singh Khairaled AAP faction is yet to decide on the issue. “If invited, we will ponder over the matter,” he said. But other members in the group claimed efforts were on to include them and the Lok Insaaf Party MLAs in the proposed outfit so as to emerge as a credible alternative to the SAD and Congress in Punjab. It was perhaps, for this reason that Panthic leader Baljit Singh Daduwal raised Hindu-Sikh “bhaichara” slogans at the Bargari march that Assandh MLA’s son, 49% Punjab food samples fail Cotton corpn steps in, friend fired at, safe Collected in last two months; more checks on the way farmers not enthused Long bond with arhtiyas key reason Vishav Bharti Tribune News Service Jind, October 8 Harpreet Singh Virk, the son of BJP’s Assandh MLA Bakshish Singh Virk, and his friend Harminder Singh were attacked by armed persons in Safidon late Sunday night. They were travelling in an SUV. A shot was fired but the bullet hit the bonnet, said DSP Sunil Kumar. A case has been registered against six unidentified persons under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation) and other sections of the IPC. The MLA said his son and his friend were waylaid by some persons from Dera Gujrakhia village in Assandh subdivision. He claimed neither of the two had enmity with anyone. “The police must investigate the case from all angles,” he demanded. The lone Sikh BJP legislator had last week sought the resignation of the CM’s media adviser, Rajiv Jain, over a press statement after Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar skipped a scheduled visit to a gurdwara in Dachar village on September 28, antagonising local Sikhs. Reports said the CM was advised to keep away in view of the gurdwara displaying a picture of Bhindranwale. While Jain claimed the Sikhs had extended support to the CM, the community leaders announced a meeting to take a final call. Tribune News Service Chandigarh, October 8 Punjab’s drive against food adulteration has begun to bear fruit. As per the data compiled by the state’s Food and Drug Administration, 48.6 per cent of the samples collected in August failed the quality test. The percentage was the same for September. Prior to the campaign under Tandarust Punjab, the adulteration percentage had hovered at 25 per cent for four years. Officials, who in the past six years collected about 8,000 samples annually, gathered 1,500 in the past two months. Health Minister Brahm Mohindra said more surprise checks would be conducted “to ensure quality products during the festive season”. Milk and milk products ADULTERATION(%) 32* 28.2 27.4 27.9 22 13 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 *SO FAR District-wise Adulteration (Aug) Nawanshahr Amritsar Ropar Patiala Kapurthala 65% 59% 58.6% 58.6% 56% topped the list of adulterated items. In August, of the total 494 milk samples collected, 252 were found adulterated. Similarly, 575 samples of milk products, including butter, ghee and ice cream, were collected of which 307 were found adulterated. The results for edible oil were alarming too. Of the 48 samples, 21 were adulterated. In case of namkeen (snacks), the adulteration rate was 100 per cent. In sweets and confectionary items, the adulteration was 25 per cent and in processed fruit products, such as jams, 40 per cent. “Earlier, the focus was to meet the targets. Now we act on inputs, with greater transparency from collection to processing of samples,” said Kahan Singh Pannu, Food and Drug Commissioner. New Delhi, October 8 Close on the heels of the Allahabad High Court penalising three doctors for illegible handwriting in the medicolegal (MLC) reports drafted by them, the government’s policy-making NITI Aayog has said it is time to move towards computerised prescriptions and MLC drafting. Speaking to The Tribune, VK Paul, Member, Health, NITI Aayog, and chairman of the Medical Council of India’s Board of Governors, expressed “deep concern and anguish” at doctors’ handwriting becoming a matter of judicial intervention. “But one is not surprised by the Allahabad HC fining three doctors for illegible medico-legal reports. This would have happened one day anyway when you keep writing what people cannot read. I firmly believe the solution lies in computerising the drafting of prescriptions. We should start by ensuring that medico-legal reports are computer-generated and printed by doctors in charge. This should be the beginning as legal matters are crucial,” Paul said today. He said responsible transaction with patients is the most sacred duty of doctors, who should know better, and added that doctors with poor handwriting were “incomplete professionals”. “Expression of a doctor’s professional advice through prescription or medico-legal reports involves questions of life and death. It’s serious business. Doctors are expected to write in a way that their medical opinions are understood as these are meant to be understood. An illegible prescription or report can have devastating consequences,” Paul said, adding that a shift is in order and an early debate on the matter was on. The Indian Medical Council’s regulations require doctors to write legibly and preferably in capital letters. Rules say prescriptions should mention in detail the medicine name, salts, strength and potency, frequency and dispensing instructions clearly in capital letters. But this rule is followed more in violation than practice. Former president of Punjab Medical Council Gurinder Singh Grewal says some doctors are writing prescriptions in capital letters, but they are a minority. “It is time we started mandating computerisation of prescriptions.” State medical council leaders also acknowledge they are grappling with bad doctor handwriting for years. “We have had complaints where the doctor who wrote the prescription was unable to read his own handwriting later. Penalties have been recommended in the past also, but computerisation is the final solution,” says Girish Tyagi, Registrar, Delhi Medical Council. New Delhi, October 8 It was an emotional reunion of sorts between a teacher and a student. The Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, on Monday invited his ‘drill ustaad’ Hony Capt Faqir Singh from the time he was at the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla (Pune) to the ‘At home’ function he hosted to mark Air Force Day. A ‘drill ustaad’ at the NDA is the first teacher of the young boys (17-18 years of age) at the academy. The ‘ustaad’ instils discipline and teaches them how to be part of a parade. The Chief was commissioned into the IAF in 1978 and during his formative years Capt Faqir Singh trained him at the ‘Echo squadron’ at the NDA. Today’s issue is of 28 pages, including six-page Chandigarh Tribune and six-page Life+Style. Day after clean chit, bogus procurement of 25k paddy bags Sushil Manav Tribune News Service Tribune News Service Bathinda, October 8 Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) representatives on Monday visited Bathinda, Malout and Abohar markets to make purchases but were shunned by farmers, apparently because the corporation wished to carry out direct purchase and the farmers did not want to antagonise ‘arhtiyas’ (commission agents). The corporation’s Bathinda branch head, Brijesh Kasana, admitted the farmers were reluctant to sell their produce to them. “Rising cotton prices in the market could be one of the reasons,” he pointed out. He stressed they would purchase cotton with moisture content between 8-12 per cent and not Chandigarh, October 8 A day after Food and Civil Supplies Minister Karan Dev Kamboj gave Haryana’s rice millers a clean chit and assured them that no physical verification of their stocks will be done, the State Marketing Board officials today unearthed bogus purchase of 25,000 bags of paddy by a miller at Ismailabad in Kurukshetra district. A team of the marketing board officials from Panchkula that had gone to check procurement operations also found that bogus gate passes were issued without actual arrival of paddy in mandis. Listening to “grievances” of millers who were irked at frequent raids, Kamboj had on Sunday also ordered de-sealing of a rice mill at Karnal which faced action after 758 bags of “PDS rice” with Bihar government supplies written on gunny bags were recovered on October 4. Senior officers of the department, however, felt the minister’s orders will undo the progress made in unearthing the scam involving recycling of PDS rice into the procurement system. “It is shocking that nearly 70 lakh MT of paddy of the government worth over Rs 12,000 crore is to remain with the millers without any bank guarantee and our officials cannot even enter the mills for physical verification of our own stocks,” said an officer, requesting anonymity. When contacted, Kamboj maintained that the millers had alleged harassment at the hands of officials and they had refused to accept paddy for custom milling. Kamboj claimed the possibility of recycling of gunny bags only cannot be denied. beyond. However, Ashok Kapur, a former president of the North India Cotton Association, attributed the farmers’ reluctance to their long-time association with the arhtiyas. He said the corporation must initiate confidence-building continued on page 7 NITI Aayog says time to move to computerised prescription, MLC drafting Capt Faqir Singh was Air Chief Marshal’s NDA ‘drill ustaad’ Tribune News Service drew Hindus and Muslims in good numbers. Intelligence sources claimed these Panthic groups had the support of Sikh leaders in Europe, Canada and the US. “It seems the proposed outfit will comprise Panthic leaders with a more secular approach. They seem to have learnt their lesson from the Sarbat Khalsa in Chabba (Amritsar) in November 2015,” they noted. Bir Devinder Singh, a former Deputy Speaker, claimed the people were disillusioned with the major parties in Punjab. “The aim is to channel the public anger, especially among the Sikhs, into propping up a new Panthic political outfit,” he explained. Related reports Page 2 Perneet Singh Right the wrong in doctors’ writing ‘Wah ustaad’ with IAF Chief Aditi Tandon Buoyed by Bargari march response, to meet in Amritsar on Oct 20-21; AAP rebels undecided Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa (left) with Hony Capt Faqir Singh at the IAF Chief’s house in New Delhi on Monday. TRIBUNE PHOTO Capt Faqir Singh, from the 5th battalion of the Sikh Regiment, retired in 1985. Today morning, he stood proud when the IAF Chief announced at the parade at Hindon air base: “I have asked my ‘ustaad’ to judge my parade and he is sitting in the audience.” The retired soldier now lives near Adampur, Jalandhar, and at the ‘at home’ he was accompanied by his kin, all smiles as the IAF Chief posed for pictures. — TNS
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