24122018-TT-01.qxd 12/23/2018 10:11 PM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol. 138 no. 354 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | monday, december 24,2018 KCR STARTS MONTH-LONG TOUR FOR NEW FRONT PAGE 7 INFOCUS COOPERATIVE MODEL THE BEST BET PAGE 12 /thetribunechd IN BRIEF Modi announces new National Unity award New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced “national honour for National Unity” on the pattern of Padma awards. The annul award would be given to any Indian who has contributed to national unity in any manner, a press release said, adding that the PM drew inspiration from Sardar Patel’s contribution towards the unification of the country. PTI Longest rail-cum-road bridge opens tomorrow Guwahati: Assam is all set to get India's longest rail-cumroad bridge on December 25, as PM Narendra Modi lays open the 4.94-km-long project over the Brahmaputra at Bogibeel. The Bogibeel Bridge, which was part of the Assam Accord and sanctioned in 1997-98, is likely to play a crucial role in defence movement along the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. PTI Demolition of Anjuman Islamia Hall begins Patna: Demolition men knocked down the rooftop parapet that proclaimed the name of ‘Anjuman Islamia’, as work began on Sunday to pull down the building of the 133-year-old institution to make way for a high-rise complex. Anjuman Islamia Hall, endowed with a towering ceiling and the first public hall of Patna, had hosted several well-known personalities since its inception in 1885. PTI JD(U) too will contest 17 seats, LJP 6 I RS berth for Paswan Vibha Sharma Tribune News Service Maj Gen dismissed for ‘misbehaviour’ Denies charges levelled by woman officer Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 23 A Major General has been dismissed from service by a General Court Martial (GCM) for allegedly misbehaving with a woman officer. He had been charged under Section 45 of the Army Act, read with Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, for conduct unbecoming of an officer. “The GCM held him guilty under Section 354-A,” DS Ahluwalia, the prosecution counsel, said. The verdict is subject to confirmation by the Chief of Army Staff. The officer, who had denied the charges, has the right to appeal. The trial, presided over by Lt Gen Giriraj Singh, had commenced near Chandigarh in June this year and concluded today. The officer was posted in Assam Rifles when the allegations were levelled. Later, he was attached to an Army formation in Ambala for disciplinary proceedings. During proceedings, the Major General had refuted the allegations, claiming he was a victim of “factional feud” in the Army’s top hierarchy. A case challenging the disciplinary proceedings was also filed by him before the Delhi Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal. Though he was initially attached to the newly raised 17 Corps at Ranchi, which is part of the Eastern Command, for the conduct of disciplinary proceedings, he had represented against it in the interest of fair play. The matter was thereafter transferred to the Western Command. He was posted as the IG, Assam Rifles, Nagaland, when a Captain from the Judge Advocate General’s Branch submitted a written complaint, alleging he had called her to his room late in the evening for official work and misbehaved with her. BJP president Amit Shah is flanked by JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan on Sunday. PTI NDA in 2013 (40 seats) Party BJP LJP RLSP Contested 30 7 3 Won 22 6 3 stance seeking a better bargain after the exit of RLSP’s Upendra Kushwaha, who today made light of BJP’s current situation and predicament after the loss in recent Assembly elections. Sources said Paswan’s son Chirag, at the forefront of seat-sharing negotiations, is also pressing for a Lok Sabha seat either in Jharkhand or Uttar Pradesh for the LJP . In the last Lok Sabha polls, the RLSP which is now part , of the RJD-led “mahagath- Pak critics get two top posts in Afghanistan Kabul, December 23 Afghan President Ashraf Ghani appointed hardline opponents of neighbouring Pakistan to two top security posts on Sunday, potentially complicating US efforts to revive peace talks with the Taliban ahead of next summer’s withdrawal of 7,000 American troops. Ghani announced that Amrullah Saleh will be the next interior minister and Asadullah Khaleed the defence minister. Both are former intelligence chiefs who have blamed Pakistan for the Taliban’s resurgence in recent years and have even called for it to be declared a state sponsor of terror. Parliament will have to approve the appointments. Pakistan, which has influence over the Taliban, is taking part in the latest US effort to revive the peace process. It was Pakistan that helped orchestrate last week’s talks in the United Arab Emirates. Representatives of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Pakistan and the US attended the talks. — AP haryana INDIA IS MOST TOLERANT COUNTRY: RAJNATH PAGE 16 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com BJP cedes to Bihar allies for 2019, settles for 17 seats New Delhi, December 23 NDA’s Bihar design for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is now officially in place. BJP chief Amit Shah today walked that extra mile to accommodate Bihar allies — JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and Lok Janshakti Party supremo Ram Vilas Paswan — announcing that his party and the JD(U) will contest 17 seats each and the LJP remaining six of the 40 constituencies in the key state. The BJP which won 22 , Bihar seats in 2014, will have to sacrifice at least five sitting MPs, while Paswan will be sent to the Rajya Sabha at the earliest opportunity. Shah asserted that the NDA will win more than 31 seats it had in 2014 and a decision on which party will contest where will be taken soon. Nitish Kumar said keeping in mind the stature and seniority of Paswan, he would be nominated to the Rajya Sabha at the first available vacancy, which virtually means the 72-year-old LJP leader will not contest any more popular elections. The deal is seen as a victory of sorts for the LJP which , had adopted an aggressive ! bandhan” (grand alliance) in Bihar, contested and won three seats, the LJP seven of which it won six and the BJP 30 of which it bagged 22. Therefore, the biggest beneficiary is Nitish Kumar, who despite winning only two seats in 2014 — a loss of 18 from 2009 when it fought with the NDA — managed to not only underline his importance in the alliance, but also an equal status as the BJP He said the NDA . won 32 of the 40 seats in Bihar in 2009 even though countrywide results had gone against it and it would do much better in 2019. The JD(U) had parted ways with the NDA in 2013 and returned to the fold in 2017. Indonesia tsunami kills 222 Triggered by volcano, slams without warning around Sunda Strait Carita, December 23 A volcano-triggered tsunami has left at least 222 persons dead and hundreds more injured after slamming without warning into beaches around Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, officials said. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit the coast of southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9:30 pm (2000 IST) on Saturday after a volcano known as the “child” of Krakatoa erupted, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. A dramatic video posted on social media showed a wall of water suddenly crashing into a concert by pop group “Seventeen” — hurling band members off the stage and flooding into the audience. In a tearful Instagram post, frontman Riefian Fajarsyah said the band’s bassist and road manager had been killed and his wife was missing. Search and rescue teams were scouring rubble for survivors, with 222 persons confirmed dead, 843 injured and 28 missing, Nugroho said. A tangled mess of corrugated steel roofing, timber and rubble was dragged inland at Carita beach, a popular spot for day-trippers on the west coast of Java. The International Federa- Flushed down train toilet, infant fights on Being treated in Amritsar, still serious Neeraj Bagga Tribune News Service Amritsar, December 23 A newborn, flushed down the toilet of a train at Amritsar station, was found alive by sweepers on Saturday. The baby boy is being treated at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital here. Sources said he was not yet out of danger. A six-member team, including four doctors, is monitoring his condition. One of the members, Associate Professor Dr Narinder Singh, said: “Hypothermia is now under control. But the infant continues to be in shock. Also, he is bleeding from the lungs owing to blood vessel rupture. He is still not out of danger.” The infant was found in the lavatory of Howrah Express after safai karamchari Vishal noticed that the toilet pipe was choked. “On a closer look, I found a baby stuck inside.” He and colleague Akashdeep rushed to The infant being tended to. inform their seniors, who alerted the Government Railway Police (GRP). The child was taken to the Railway Hospital where doctors referred him to the Civil Hospital. Senior Medical Officer Dr Charanjit Singh said the baby was kept at the neo-natal care unit for three hours and then shifted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital. “CCTV footage at all railway stations is being examined to ascertain who is behind the crime,” a GRP spokesperson said, adding that a case under Section 317 of the IPC had been registered against unidentified persons. Property damaged by the tsunami in Carita on Sunday, following eruption of a volcano around Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, sweeping away hotels, houses and people attending a beach concert. PTI LITTLE TIME TO REACT FOR THOSE ON ISLAND ■ Tsunamis triggered by volcanic eruptions are relatively rare, caused by the sudden displacement of water or “slope failure” those caused by earthquakes, which trigger alert systems, they give authorities very little time to warn residents ■ Anak Krakatoa, which forms a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, emerged around 1928 in the crater left by Krakatoa, which erupted in 1883, killing at least 36,000 people ■ Unlike tion of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the “powerful waves” reached a height of 1-3 feet. Anak Krakatoa had been showing signs of heightened activity for days, spewing ash thou- sands of metres into the air. Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone nations on Earth due to its position straddling the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide. Gujarat picnic turns tragic, 8 students die At 3.7°C, coldest Dec day inDelhi in 12 yrs Ahmedabad, December 23 Eight children were among 10 persons killed when a bus in which they were returning after enjoying a picnic fell into a 200-foot gorge in Gujarat’s Dang district, the police said on Sunday. Around 80 persons, mostly students of a coaching centre in Surat, were travelling in the bus, which was on its way to Surat when the incident occurred on the Mahal-Bardipada road near Ahwa town, 380 km from here, on Saturday evening. Over 24 persons were injured when the driver apparently lost control of the bus. The deceased included eight children, said SP Shweta Shrimali. Seventeen students with serious injuries were shifted to hospitals in Surat. — PTI On December 26, 2004 a tsunami off the coast of Sumatra killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia. — AFP More on world page Adampur shivers at 1.5 degrees Celsius New Delhi, December 23 The national capital on Sunday recorded its coldest December temperature in the past 12 years, with the mercury dipping to 3.7 degrees Celsius, as a moderate cover of fog surrounded the city affecting visibility. In the past 12 years, the second lowest minimum temperature for the month was recorded on December 29, 2007 at 3.9 degrees. Sunday’s minimum temperature was four notches below the season’s average. The day’s maximum temperature was recorded at 21.4. The weather office has forecast moderate to dense fog on Monday. The all-time lowest temper- ature in the national capital for December was 1.1 degrees Celsius recorded on December 26, 1945. Sunday morning also witnessed a moderate cover of fog around the city with visibility dropping to 300 metres at Palam and 400 metres at Safdarjung. Meanwhile, the cold wave sweeping Punjab and Haryana continued unabated, with Adampur — coldest in the two states — shivering at 1.5 degrees. Bathinda recorded a minimum of 2 and Halwara 2.2 degrees. In Haryana, Narnaul was the coldest at 2.5, while Hisar and Karnal recorded 3.8 and 4 degrees Celsius, respectively. — PTI Punjab MLAs’ pension grows with every additional term: RTI 282 former legislators getting it, 129 for more than one term Autistic Shah Rukh fan to be sent back home in Pak 21-yr-old crossed over after Retreat ceremony at Wagah on May 25 last year, in Amritsar jail since Smita Sharma Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 23 “My name is Khan. And I am not a terrorist,” says Shah Rukh Khan, playing protagonist Rizvan Khan, who is autistic, in the hit film. Little did Abdullah Shah, an autistic boy from Mingora in Swat, know that his love for SRK would lead him to prison in India. After a year and seven months in jail, 21-year-old Abdullah will be repatriated on December 26. Abdullah was at the Attari- Wagah border with friends on May 25, 2017, to witness the Retreat. According to his family, he jumped over and crossed the Zero Line after the ceremony, telling the Border Security Force personnel he wanted to meet SRK. “Pakistan Rangers told the BSF the boy was mentally unsound and should be allowed to return. But the boy was sent to Amritsar jail,” said an official. Sentenced to six months in jail under the Foreigners Act, Abdullah completed his term last December. Pakistan Abdullah Shah diplomats, allowed consular access in August last year, confirmed on December 15, 2017, that he was son of Zarawar Khan in Swat. A year went by with Pakistan officials through note verbales, including one last week, seeking his release. “That Abdullah is autistic with a mental age far lower than his actual age makes it much more heart-wrenching. He has been punished for his innocent desire to meet SRK,” said an official. Now, days after the return of Mumbai techie Hamid Ansari, who paid a heavy price for love and was jailed for six years in Peshawar, Abdullah will return to his country, along with compatriot Mohd Imran Warsi. The story of 40-year-old Warsi has some similarity with that of Ansari. He will be repatriated after 10 years in a Bhopal jail. Warsi, who travelled to Kolkata on a 45day visa in 2004 to meet relatives, fell in love and married an Indian. The couple has two children. His troubles began in 2008 when he visited Bhopal for a passport. He was arrested and charged with conspiracy and forgery. Warsi was to be deported in March on completion of sentence. Now, he hopes he can find a way to ensure for his family a passage to Pakistan. Kuldip Bhatia Tribune News Service Ludhiana, December 23 Punjab legislators from various parties may differ on a variety of issues, but seem to be on the same page when it comes to enjoying the perks of office, even when they are no longer in office. As per information provided by the Vidhan Sabha Secretariat under the Right to Information Act, 282 former members of the Legislative Assembly are currently drawing monthly pension. Interestingly, their monthly pension multiplies with each term (of five years or even less) served by them, in contrast to government employees who get a fixed What they get ~15,000 (first term) + ~10,000 (each subsequent term) + 50% merged DA + 234% applicable DA over and above pension pension even if they have put in 25-35 years of service. The information, vide a letter dated December 20, to Rohit Sabharwal, president, Council of RTI Activists, says the pension of MLAs is granted in accordance with Section 3(1) of the Punjab Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Act, 1977, and Punjab Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Rules, 1984. “The amount of basic monthly pension as per the notification issued on October 26, 2016, is Rs 15,000 for the first term and Rs 10,000 for each subsequent term. The beneficiary retired MLAs also get 50 per cent merged dearness allowance (DA) and 234 per cent presently applicable DA over and above the monthly pension,” says the information. While the total amount disbursed as monthly pension to former lawmakers has not been mentioned, saying the funds are released by the government, it adds that at present 129 former MLAs are getting monthly pension for more than one term.
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).
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