31122018-TTC-01.qxd 31-12-2018 01:39 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.138 no.361 | 30 pages | ~4.50 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | monday, december 31,2018 MODI A BLACKMAILER, CLAIMS NAIDU PAGE 7 IN BRIEF Afghan presidential poll delayed until July 20 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com Pak wants T-90 tanks, Moscow holds the key Chak De Kabul: Afghanistan presidential election will be postponed until July 20, an official said on Sunday, as US-led efforts to end the 17-year war with the Taliban gather steam. The three-month delay comes after weeks of speculation that the vote would be put off to create more space for peace talks with Afghanistan's largest militant group. AFP Indian Army’s maintstay I Delhi hopes Russia refuses Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service Sajjan’s surrender: Phoolka’s appeal to ’84 victims, kin New Delhi: Advocate HS Phoolka on Sunday appealed to 1984 riot victims to stay away from court during former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s surrender on Monday. He tweeted that Sajjan might “try to create disturbance to avoid his surrender”. TNS Fans celebrate the Indian victory on the final day of the third cricket Test match against Australia in Melbourne on Sunday. India lead the series 2-1. The last Test of the series begins in Sydney on January 3. AFP REPORT ON PAGE 14 Khattar mulls farmer pension scheme Aimed at avoiding anti-incumbency, countering Oppn waiver promise Pradeep Sharma Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 30 The Manohar Lal Khattar government is mulling a pension scheme for farmers in a bid to avoid anti-incumbency in next year’s Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections, as also to counter the Opposition Congress and INLD promise on a farm loan waiver in Haryana. A committee constituted by the state government under BJP state chief and Tohana MLA Subhash Barala held its first meeting here recently and dwelled on various modalities for a pension scheme for farmers. Sources said various options, including the Centre’s Atal Pension Yojana (APY) for unorganised sector workers, were weighed in. Under the APY, the Centre contributes Rs 1,000 per beneficiary. This, coupled with contributions by the state government and the beneficiary, could provide a decent amount to the farmer in the old age, sources said. The Haryana Government pays Rs 2,000 per month as old age pension to senior citizens. The feasibility of its inclusion in the farmer’s pension and other criteria for determining the pension amounts are under active consideration of the government, the sources asserted. Khattar’s media adviser Rajiv Jain confirmed that the government was seriously contemplating a pension 3 Andaman-Nicobar islands renamed as ‘tribute to Netaji’ Havelock is Swaraj Dweep, Neil Island Shaheed Dweep Port Blair, December 30 Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced renaming of three islands of Andaman and Nicobar archipelago as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep, Modi said during a speech, amidst thunderous applause from the audience. The three islands are major tourist spots. Earlier in the day, he inaugurated a slew of development projects and laid foundation stones of several others related to energy, connectivity, education, tourism and health sectors. Donning the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) cap, he addressed a public Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated at Car Nicobar. PTI meeting at Netaji Stadium on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of the Tricolour by Bose here. On this day in 1943, Bose had suggested that Andaman and Nicobar Islands be renamed as Shahid and Swaraj Dweep, respectively. During World War II, the Japanese had captured the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and “Netaji came continued on page 11 scheme for farmers. “The moment the committee submits its report, the government will go ahead with its plan,” Jain said. At the one-day Winter Session of the Assembly on December 28, the BJP government, especially Chief Minister Khattar, was in the firing line of the Opposition over farm loan waiver. Though Khattar announced certain sops for farmers, including Rs 10 hike in continued on page 11 New Delhi, December 30 In a signal of changing times that could potentially sour India-Russia military relations, the Pakistan army is eyeing purchase of some 360 Russian-made T-90 tanks — the Indian Army uses the same tanks, that are produced under licence at Avadi, Tamil Nadu. Moscow has, so far, not given its nod and New Delhi, has of course, been using its diplomatic heft to prevent such a purchase. Sources confirmed on Sunday that Pakistan has made a request to Russia for the T-90 tanks. In the past, Pakistan has purchased Russian helicopters Mi-35, an attack copter, and the Mi-17, a transport copter. India objected both times since it uses the same equipment — nearly 65 per cent of India’s equipment comes from Moscow. A Pakistan-Russia defence agreement was signed in 2014. The first hint of Pakistan wanting the T-90s came when in April this year its then Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan was quoted by Russian news website Sputnik as saying, “We are interested in T-90 tanks and it is Tribune News Service Kolkata, December 30 Arthouse filmmaker Mrinal Sen, a recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, passed away here this morning. He was 95 and leaves behind his son, Kunal, a computer scientist in Chicago. PM Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and megastar Amitabh Bachchan expressed grief. Sen, best known for his Bengali films, had to his credit two lasting contributions to the Hindi film industry. He first introduced Bachchan as a voice-over artiste in a film. Sen’s critically acclaimed Hindi film “Bhuvan Shome” (1969) marked Bachchan’s debut as an artiste in a movie. The KA Abbas-directed “Saat Hindustani” (1969), featuring Bachchan in a screen role, was released five months after “Bhuvan Shome” hit theatres. Bachchan tweeted: “A most amiable, distinguished creative cinematic mind, contemporary of Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak. I did my first-ever voice-over in his film… prayers and condolences.” Sen also gave Mithun Chakraborty his first break in Hindi film “Mrigaya” (1976), setting the stage for his later successful career. Sen’s “Akash Kusum” (1965), featuring Soumitra MRINAL SEN 1923-2018 WHEN MRINAL SEN PAID AMITABH ~300 FOR VOICE-OVER PAGE 16 Chatterjee and Aparna Sen, inspired the BachchanMoushumi Chatterjee starrer “Manzil” (1979), directed by Basu Chatterjee. The film ISLAMABAD INDUCTING CHINESE VT-4 TANKS ■ Pakistan army is also in the process of inducting Chinese VT-4 and Oplod-P tanks from Ukraine. Trials for both conducted ■ India has 67 armoured regiments — 46 tanks in each — comprising mainly T-90, T-72 and Arjun tanks. The Pakistan army has 51 regiments — that include Ukrainian, Chinese origin tanks not going to be a one-time purchase but a long-term commitment.” The matter has progressed and now a serious bid is being made from Islamabad. The former Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia (retd), said, “I don’t think Russia will agree to such a request and they should not.” Former Western Army Commander Lt Gen KJ Singh (retd), who was in the Armoured Corps, felt “it would be sacrilegious of Russia to agree”. Pakistan’s swing away from the US is evident. It has been relying more on Chinese equipment in the past decade. Gen Bhatia said “since the US is no more giving aid and the Chinese ■ Apart from tanks, Pak army is procuring 245 150mm SP Mike-10 guns from Italy, of which it has received 120 equipment given to Pakistan is not the top-end of technology, the Pakistan swing towards Russia is visible”. It is not that Pakistan will be able to challenge India, immediately. Gen KJ Singh said, “Even if Russia gives the tank, there will be a long gestation and training period.” Reminding of the past, he added, “Pakistan army’s much superior Patton tanks were felled by the Indian ‘Centurion’ tanks in 1971. It all depends on crew training.” The Indian estimates are that Pakistan is looking to revamp its armoured fleet by 2025. This will include at least 360 tanks procured globally (T-90 is the chosen one so far), besides producing 220 tanks with help from China. Hasina set to win record 4th term, Oppn for repoll Dhaka, December 30 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emerged as the frontrunner in Bangladesh’s General Election today as she aims for a record fourth term in office with her Awami League cruising towards a landslide victory following a tense vote that saw at least 17 persons killed in poll-related violence. Voting ended earlier in the day to choose a new government amid the Opposition’s allegations of manipulation by the Awami League. According to the latest results, the ruling Awami League won 135 seats, followed by its key ally Jatiya Party at 18, some TV channels reported. The main Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party of jailed ex-premier Khaleda Zia suffered a massive rout with only four seats. Facing imminent defeat, the Opposition National Unity Front rejected the outcome and demanded fresh polls. — PTI more on world page Cong sweeps Punjab panchayat polls Govt appoints 4 new Information Commissioners 80% polling I SAD alleges rigging I Badals’ kin defeated in native village New Delhi, December 30 The government has appointed four new Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission, which was functioning with just three of them as against a sanctioned strength of 11, including the Chief Information Commissioner. The four are former IFS officer Yashwardhan Kumar Sinha, former IRS officer Vanaja N Sarna, former IAS officer Neeraj Kumar Gupta and former Law Secretary Suresh Chandra. After the recent retirement of Chief Information Commissioner RK Mathur and Information Commissioners Yashovardhan Azad, Sridhar Acharyulu and Amitava Bhattacharyya, the Commission, the highest adjudicating authority in RTI matters, was left with three Information Commissioners, prompting activists to approach the Supreme Court. — PTI Sanjeev Singh Bariana Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 30 As expected, the ruling Congress today swept the panchayat elections in Punjab, which saw a heavy turnout of 80 per cent. The polling percentage in Bathinda and Fazilka was 86, Mohali 84, Pathankot 82, Patiala and Sangrur 81, Moga 78, Fatehgarh Sahib 77.20 and Muktsar 77.92. The Akalis alleged the polls were rigged. In Badal village, former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's relative Udayveer Dhillon lost to a Congress-backed candidate for the post of sarpanch. The entire Badal clan had descended on the village to cast their vote. Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala’s mother Charan Kaur was elected sarpanch in Mansa’s Moosa village. Kiranbeer Kaur, sister-inlaw of former AAP state pres- Filmmaker Mrinal Sen passes away at 95 Shubhadeep Choudhury late city MEHBOOBA VISITS ULTRA’S FAMILY PAGE 10 INFOCUS: DEEP TROUBLE ON WATER FRONT PAGE 12 /thetribunechd ! later triggered a verbal duel between Sen and Ray, as both wrote angry letters against each other in a Kolkata daily. Dipankar Mukhopadhyay, former NFDC managing director, chronicled the acrimonious exchanges in his book “Mrinal Sen: Sixty Years in Search of Cinema”. “The war was becoming too protracted and personal, so ‘The Statesman’ wanted to bring the curtain down on the issue… in 1965, it closed the ‘Akash Kusum’ debate with an announcement that letters on this subject would not be published anymore,” Mukhopadhyay wrote. In his book, he described how Sen and friends Ritwik Ghatak and Hrishikesh Mukherjee, all Communist Party sympathisers and members of cultural wing IPTA, would sit at “Paradise Café”, a shabby Kolkata restaurant, and share the dream of becoming filmmakers. Sen’s movies were known for having a strong political overtone, with “Calcutta 71” (1972) considered the best in the genre. “Khandar” (1984), featuring Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi, marked a departure as his focus shifted from existential problems to human ties. Sen was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1981. In 1998, he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Sen’s wife Gita Sen died last year. Voters queue up to cast votes at a village on the outskirts of Amritsar on Sunday. VISHAL KUMAR ident Sukhpal Khaira, lost the election for sarpanch. So did co-opted SGPC member Karnail Singh Panjauli from Sanjauli in Fatehgarh Sahib. There were reports of minor skirmishes. Unidentified persons set a ballot box ablaze at Lakhmir Ke Uthar village in Mamdot block of Ferozepur. As they fled, their Scorpio ran over a voter, identified as Mohinder Singh (60), who died on the spot. Reports of alleged boothcapturing were received from Moga, Patiala, Ferozepur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Amritsar. At least 12 clashes were reported from Jhugiyan, Raipur Mandlan, Tharehi Jat- tan and Marda Hehri villages in Patiala district. Two FIRs were registered. After ‘outsiders’ allegedly trooped inside a polling booth in Fatehpur Garhi village near Rajpura, irate villagers vandalised vehicles of poll officials. Three persons were injured in Patiala’s Hira Garh village. continued on page 11 R’sthan allows 1% MBC quota in judiciary, eases age norms Our Correspondent Jaipur, December 30 After approving amendments to the existing Rajasthan Judicial Service Rules, 2010, the Congress government has extended 1 per cent quota benefit to members of the Most Backward Classes (MBCs) in state judicial services, besides relaxing the minimum and maximum age limit for general category applicants. The decision on quota will benefit candidates belonging to five communities, including the Gurjars. Today’s issue is of 30 pages, including six-page Chandigarh Tribune and eight-page Life+Style (Part I & II). The Ashok Gehlot Cabinet, which met yesterday, approved a proposal to make amendments to Rules 12 and 17 by which the minimum age relaxation for general category students/applicants had been reduced from 23 to 21 years and the maximum limit raised from 35 to 40 years, a state official said today. Similarly, the Cabinet approved the maximum age relaxation of 10 years for differently-abled general category candidates, 13 years for differently-abled OBCs, and 15 years for differently-abled SC/ST candidates. The quota benefit is likely to be shared by five castes and six sub-castes of Gurjars, Rebari, Banjara, Raika, and Gadariya-Lohar. The reservation benefit of either 1 or 5 per cent to MBCs, however, continues to hang fire as the previous two (BJP and Congress) governments have failed to resolve the issue despite adopting new reservation Bills (amendments) in the Assembly. The Gurjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti led by Col Kirori Singh Bhainsla has been up in arms over the pending demands.
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).