30122018-TTC-01.qxd 30-12-2018 01:15 Page 1 123 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.2 no.360 | 34 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | sunday, december 30,2018 EDU NORM FOR CIVIC POLL SCRAPPED IN R’STHAN PAGE 5 INDEPTH: MATTERS OF THE WORLD PAGES 8-9 /thetribunechd CUMMINS STANDS IN WAY OF INDIAN WIN PAGE 16 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com ED in court: Michel refers to Mrs Gandhi Numbers stacked against NDA Pakistani among 4 JeM Triple talaq Bill ultras shot in Pulwama in RS tomorrow 6 civilians injured in ensuing clashes with security forces Suhail A Shah Smita Sharma & Vibha Sharma Anantnag, December 29 Four militants of Jaish-eMohammad (JeM), one of them a Pakistani and the rest locals, were today killed in a gunfight in Pulwama district, 35 km from Srinagar. In the clashes that erupted even as the gunfight was underway, at least six civilians were injured. One of them sustained a bullet injury and three pellet injuries, health officials said. The local militants killed belonged to Pulwama. They were identified as Sajjad Ahmad from Rohmoo village, Waseem Ahmad from Tikken and Muzammil Ahmad from Priczoo. The JeM, active in Kashmir since 2014, has been substantially weakened with the total number of Jaish militants killed this year, including top commanders Noor Trali, Ali Bhai, Mufti Waqas and two nephews of Jaish chief Masood Azhar, touching 55. “The Jaish had increased its footprint in the area in the past couple of years. Now, recruitment in the outfit has been curtailed to a large extent,” Inspector Tribune News Service YEAR OF YEAREND SPECIAL. Today’s edition of The Tribune carries a 12-page special supplement highlighting the major events of 2018. IN BRIEF Seven, including 3 minors, killed in Ambala accident Ambala: Seven persons, including three minors, were killed and nine injured after two SUVs were hit by an unidentified vehicle on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway early on Saturday. The victims were on their way from Chandigarh to Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, when the accident occurred. TNS Kejriwal to remain convener, decides AAP national council New Delhi: The national council of the Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday unanimously decided to extend the terms of all its officebearers, including party convener Arvind Kejriwal, by a year. Senior leaders hinted at the possibility of the AAP becoming a part of the grand alliance of Opposition parties. TNS Stone-pelters target vehicles after PM rally, UP cop killed Lucknow: Constable Suresh Vats (48) was killed when protesters hurled stones at vehicles returning from PM Modi’s rally venue in Ghazipur on Saturday. SP Yashveer Singh said the protesters were Rashtriya Nishad Party workers who were prevented by the police from going to the venue. The constable managing traffic was hit in the head. PAGE 5 Madhya Pradesh to get ‘spiritual department’ Bhopal: The Congress Government on Saturday said it would create an Adhyatmik Vibhag (spiritual department) by merging several departments. The Congress had promised to form such a department before the elections. PTI Army personnel who were part of the operation to neutralise the militants after the encounter in Pulwama on Saturday. AMIN WAR General of Police SP Pani told The Tribune. “The gunfight today in BonHajin village of Rajpora in Pulwama erupted after a search operation in the wee hours. The militants were neutralised in the exchange of fire that lasted more than four hours,” an official said. Local sources said a house was completely destroyed in the gunfight. The bodies of the local militants were handed over to the families later in the day. Thousands of mourners attended the last rites. Internet services as well as train services on the Srinagar-Banihal track remained suspended. Meanwhile, militants lobbed a grenade at the bus stand police station in Jammu city, but it landed on the rooftop of a shop. Also, the Army and police recovered arms and ammunition in the Galak area of Billawar in Kathua district. New Delhi, December 29 The contentious Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, has been listed in Monday’s legislative agenda for Rajya Sabha. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will move the “Bill to protect the rights of married Muslim women and to prohibit divorce by pronouncing ‘talaq’ by their husbands... as passed by Lok Sabha, for consideration”, says the list of business. Preparing ground for a confrontation with the Narendra Modi government, a group of Opposition parties backed by the AIADMK, which rarely goes against the BJP-led NDA in Parliament, has signed a resolution seeking to send the contentious Bill to a joint select committee. In the 245-member House, the Opposition claims numbers are stacked in its favour with 116 MPs — Congress (50), TMC (13), SP (13), BSP (4), RJD (5), AAP (3), JD(S) (1), DMK (4), Kerala Mani Congress (1), TDP (6), CPM (5) and CPI (2) and some Independents. The Opposition also claims 13 Agusta middleman’s meeting with lawyers restricted WON’T ALLOW: CONG Congress will not allow passage of triple talaq Bill in its present form in RS. We will join hands with other parties to defeat it. ❝ KC Venugopal, AICC GEN SECY AIADMK MPs want scrutiny of the Bill. Incidentally, the AIADMK has been accused of working hand in glove with the government in preventing Rajya Sabha from functioning this Winter Session. However, the AIADMK had opposed the Bill in the Lok Sabha. The NCP is likely to stand united with the Opposition on this, while the BJD (9), TRS (6) and YSR Congress (2) appear to be fence-sitters. The BJP has 73 members in the House apart from those of allies, including Shiv Sena (3), SAD (3), JD-U (6) and RPI(A) one. There are six days of legislative agenda left for the House. Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien said, “We are not arguing about merits of the Bill, it is about the process. Parliamentary legislation process must allow for scrutiny.” New Delhi, December 29 A Delhi court hearing the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case today imposed restrictions on alleged middleman Christian Michel meeting his lawyers in ED custody after the agency said he was misusing legal access by passing chits, asking them how to tackle questions on “Mrs Gandhi”. In its application seeking extension of Michel’s remand, the Enforcement Directorate also claimed he had spoken during questioning about the “son of an Italian lady” and how he was going to become the next Prime Minister. The agency told the court that Michel had made a reference to “Mrs Gandhi” during interrogation on December 27. During medical examination, the accused had handed over a folded paper to his advocate Aljo K Joseph and it was noticed by ED officials. After perusal of the paper, it was revealed that it pertained to a set of follow-up questions on “Mrs Gandhi”, the ED said. Though the agency did not make a clear reference to Sonia Gandhi, the Congress hit out at the government, accusing it of using agencies Christian Michel in ED custody on Saturday. MANAS RANJAN BHUI to put pressure on Michel to “name a particular family” as elections were near and it had no real issues. On its part, the BJP claimed the ED’s statement pointed toward involvement of the Gandhi family in the AgustaWestland deal. “The story of loot of public money is coming out. Everything went to one family,” alleged Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, accusing the Congress of compromising with national security. The ED, meanwhile, sought that Michel be barred from meeting his lawyer, alleging he was tutored from outside through his lawyers. The court directed that the three defence counsel be allowed to meet Michel one at a time from some distance and legal assistance be given only for 15 minutes twice a day. The direction came after Michel was produced before a vacation judge, Chandrashekhar, who extended his ED custody by a week. — PTI/TNS Agent took ~30,000 for visa All set for Punjab panchayat poll today processing, vanished: School Cong vs Cong contests set to dominate election process Ruchika M Khanna Nawanshahr cops clueless on 4 set to be trafficked to US Tribune News Service Jalandhar, December 29 More than 16 months after travel agents in Punjab tried trafficking four Nawanshahr minors to the United States under assumed identities of students of St Joseph’s Convent School, Malpur Arkhan village, the district police and administration remain clueless about their identity or that of their parents. Other than Jalandharbased Balraj Singh of KP Tour and Travel company, who maintained that he had only issued four or five air tickets as instructed by Hoshiarpur-based Tilak Raj for whom he was working, no other agent booked by the CBI could be tracked today. Balraj Singh claimed he had no official information of any action against him. It was an educational trip to COMPANY REMAINS OPEN IN JALANDHAR Jalandhar: Talking over the phone, Jalandhar-based Balraj Singh of KP Tour and Travel company claimed he had no official information of any action being initiated against him. “The embassy officials contacted me last year. I told them I had issued four or five air tickets as instructed by Hoshiarpur-based Tilak Raj.” His office near the local bus stand remained oped on Saturday. The staff claimed he was in Delhi. NASA by students of St Joseph’s Convent in August last year that led to the exposure of a trafficking racket in Punjab. Father George Edayal, the principal of the school functioning under the Jalandhar diocese, told The Tribune: “Parents of students of classes 5 to 10 entered into a contract with Chetan Sabharwal, the owner of Click Educational Services, Chandigarh, paying Rs 30,000 each as visa processing fee, which was non-refundable. Just then the US Embassy informed us that the documents of four students from our school had been misused for trafficking four minors. We desperately tried contacting Sabharwal, but in vain.” Father Peter, spokesperson for the diocese, said they had informed the US Embassy that the agent had played a fraud. “Subsequently, the visas were cancelled and the trip abandoned,” he said. On a complaint from the US Embassy, the CBI has registered a case of illegal trafficking of children from Punjab’s Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr). VOTERS Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 29 It will be Congress versus Congress in most of the 13,276 village gram panchayats that go to polls on Sunday. Though panchayat elections are not fought on party symbols, almost all candidates in fray for the posts of panch and sarpanch are backed by various parties. With the Congress cadre caught in infighting, the Aam Aadmi Party, Shiromani Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party are backing the Congress rebels in a number of panchayats. In many constituencies of Malwa, where the contest is an all-Congress affair, the prominent leaders have beaten a hasty retreat after having failed to get the candidates to reach a consensus. “Whichever group wins, the victor will be a Congress worker, and our party stands to gain control over the rural 1,27,87,395 MALE 66,88,245 FEMALE 60,66,245 THIRD GENDER: 97 17,268 POLLING BOOTHS 86,340 POLL STAFF 13,276 POSTS OF SARPANCH 22,801 IN FRAY 4,363 ELECTED UNOPPOSED 83,831 POSTS OF PANCH 67,960 IN FRAY 46754 ELECTED UNOPPOSED << Polling staff at Polo Ground in Patiala on Saturday. RAJESH SACHAR bodies after 10 years,” reasoned a senior leader. The Opposition parties have complained of nomination papers of candidates fighting against those backed by the Congress being rejected. Even after the intervention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, majori- ty of candidates who had sought a review of scrutiny of papers were again declared ineligible, as suggested by reports coming from Muktsar, Faridkot, Ferozepur, Patiala and Sangrur, besides other districts. Meanwhile, the polling staff requisitioned by the State Election Commis- sion reached the 17,268 polling booths, along with the ballot papers and other equipment to ensure that the polling process would start at 8 am tomorrow. The polling will end at 4 pm and the counting will start immediately thereafter. continued on page 5 More on page 2 , Pak for visa-free Kartarpur corridor travel ‘Fake news on Khattar’: Two AAP Sends 14 key recommendations to New Delhi for Sikh pilgrims’ visit: Media report one INSO worker held in Haryana Islamabad, December 29 Pakistan has sent recommendations to India for facilitating visa-free travel of Sikh pilgrims through the Kartarpur corridor, according to a media report here today. Islamabad has given a 59page document with 14 key recommendations, a TV channel reported, quoting Pakistani diplomatic officials. The recommendations call for Indian pilgrims to be given free entry and facilitation centres and security checkposts to be set up on both sides of the border. The pilgrims shall be allowed in groups of a minimum of 15 persons and Pak- WHAT HAS BEEN PROPOSED ■ Free entry for pilgrims; facilitation centres and check-posts on both sides ■ To travel in groups of minimum 15 persons on special permits ■ Permits capped at 500 visitors per day ■ Both countries to keep record of visitors ■ India to give list three days in advance istan shall issue special permits. Both countries will compile a record of visitors, which will include names and travel records. India shall provide a list of ■ Visitors need security clear- ance from Indian authorities pilgrims to Pakistan three days in advance and it will be mandatory for all visitors to bear an Indian passport. The recommendations say all visitors shall be required to obtain a security clearance certificate from Indian authorities. Pakistan will issue 500 permits per day and local authorities will reserve rights to admission. On November 28, Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the stone for the corridor on the Pakistan side that will connect Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur. Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh laid the stone on the Indian side. Pakistan has said it will open the corridor before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in November 2019. — PTI Today’s issue consists of 34 pages, including four-page Jalandhar Tribune. Chandigarh, December 29 Haryana Police, in a late Friday night swoop, arrested two Aam Aadmi Party activists, one each at Hisar and Sirsa, and an Indian National Students Organisation worker at Gurugram “for posting fake news” about Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on social media. It allegedly portrayed him as a casteist leader. Cases under Sections 153 (wantonly provocating with intent to cause riot), 153A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the IPC and Section 66 of the IT Act have been registered. In Hisar, the AAP activists staged a dharna in front of the police station in Hansi town to protest the arrest of Harpal Kranti of the IT cell of the party’s Hisar unit. Another AAP leader, Hisar Lok Sabha incharge Anoop Chanot, was also picked up but was released after interrogation. Hansi SP Virender Vij said the police registered the case on the complaint of BJP leader Rajesh Thakral. In Sirsa, DSP Ravinder Tomar said Tarsem, a resi- dent of Vaidwala, had been arrested for a caste-related post on the social media aimed at spreading violence. In Gurugram, the police nabbed Sanjeev Jakhar, an office-bearer of INSO, for allegedly spreading “fake news attributed to the CM”. AAP state convener Naveen Jaihind deplored the arrests and alleged that over 20 activists were rounded up and barring the two, others were let off after interrogation. Digvijay Chautala, state convener of INSO, said Jakhar shared the post presuming it to be genuine and hence was not at fault. — TNS
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).