02032019-TT-01.qxd 01-03-2019 23:02 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.139 no.60 | 32 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | saturday, march 2,2019 Wg Cdr Abhinandan back home Handed over by Pak after anxious waitI Taken for examination upon returnI The Retreat put off GS Paul Tribune News Service Attari, March 1 After an anxious wait stretching into hours, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman crossed into India from Pakistan via the Attari-Wagah border at 9.20 pm today. He was received by the BSF DIG, JS Oberai, and other officials. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, who was in civvies, too, reached there to welcome the officer. Reading out a brief statement, Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor told the media that the pilot would be taken for a medical examination. He did not take any questions. Wing Commander Varthaman’s MiG-21 was shot and he bailed out after bringing down Pakistan’s F-16 fighter during a dogfight on Wednesday morning. He was in Pakistan’s custody since then. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced on Thursday that Varthaman would be released on Friday as a “peace gesture”. ! haryana CRPF officer, jawan, 2 cops killed in Kupwara gunfight MADE TO RECORD VIDEO STATEMENT PAK DESCRIBES WG CDR AS ‘PRISONER OF WAR’ Militant opens fire during search, operation underway Lahore: The handing over of Wing Commander Varthaman was delayed as he was asked to record a statement on camera by Pakistani authorities before he was allowed to cross the border. It was not clear whether he was made to record the video under duress. At 8.30 pm (local time), Pakistan released the pilot’s video message to the local media in which he said as to how he was captured. The Wing Commander said he entered Pakistan’s space to “find a target” but his aircraft was shot down. “Army men saved me from the mob. Pakistani army is very professional,” he said, while criticising the Indian media. PTI Islamabad: Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Friday announced the returning of Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to India, but described him as a “prisoner of war” (PoW). In a statement issued minutes after the pilot crossed over to India, the FO said, “While in captivity, he was treated with dignity and in line with international law.” “The captured IAF Wing Commander has been returned to India,” it said. PTI Majid Jahangir The BSF today cancelled The Retreat at the AttariWagah joint check-post because of security concerns. The national flags of both countries were lowered in the evening, as per the ritual, but nobody was allowed inside POLITICAL BATTLELINES Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman before crossing over to the Indian side at the Wagah-Attari border on Friday. the spectators’ gallery. It is the sixth time that the ceremony has been disrupted. The ceremony was discontinued during the 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan wars, in 1999 during the Kargil conflict, in 2014 after the blast at Wagah on the Pakistan side of the International Border and post-2016 surgical strikes by India. Hundreds of mediapersonnel at the Attari border and millions of Indians remained glued to TV sets and social media accounts through the day for any news. The day slipped into sunset and then night. The will-we, won’t-wesee-him game was played out across countless homes and offices. But information was scarce, and then he returned. Tribune News Service Srinagar, March 1 A fortnight after the deadly Pulwama attack, four security personnel, including a CRPF officer, were killed and six others injured in a gunfight in Kupwara district of north Kashmir today. A civilian was killed in clashes near the encounter site, while the operation is still underway. The gunfight broke out between militants and a joint team of security forces in Babagund, Langate, during a cordon and search operation late last night. The J&K Police, 22 Rashtriya Rifles and CRPF’s 92 Battalion had launched the operation in the village, nearly 70 km from Srinagar, on specific inputs about presence of militants in the area. During search, the militants opened indiscriminate fire around 1 am, triggering a gunfight in which a house was Security forces near the encounter site in Handwara. TRIBUNE PHOTO destroyed. There was a lull in firing, prompting the security forces to presume that the militants had been killed. As the security forces combed the debris this afternoon, a militant hiding in a nearby house opened indiscriminate fire, sources said. “In the fire, four security personnel were killed and six injured, including a CRPF Commandant,” they added. A police spokesman identified the slain security Sushma underlines India’s Delhi may cut deal pluralistic tradition at OIC with China on Azhar FIRST INVITE Says will help build bridges of understanding Turns to transactional approach TNS and agencies Sandeep Dikshit TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE ‘YOUR POLITICS CAN WAIT’ ‘PM CAN’T LEAVE HIS PR FOR 5 MINUTES’ ❝ Country has been facing menace of Minister cannot ❝ Primepublic relations leave his terrorism for years but there is a big difference now... India will no longer be helpless in face of terror... It has also brought our nation closer... however, it is sad that a few parties suspect our fight against terror... your politics can wait. Though IAF wanted to carry out surgical strikes post 26/11, UPA blocked it... Every Indian is proud that brave Wg Cdr Abhinandan belongs to Tamil Nadu. for even five minutes... he says India is united after Pulwama, but at once targets Congress.... even at the inauguration of National War Memorial... that is the difference between him and us. I address press conferences, have you seen the ‘chowkidar’ doing so? He is not only a ‘chor’ but also ‘darpok’. If you want to hear truth, come here, if you want to hear lies, then go to Modi’s rallies. Narendra Modi, PRIME MINISTER Rahul Gandhi, CONGRESS PRESIDENT New DelhiI, March 1 Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj today quoted from Guru Granth Sahib, the Rig Veda and the Quran at India’s first-ever appearance at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) at Abu Dhabi to make the point that there was no clash of civilisations in the world. The quotes sought to stress that human diversity should be appreciated and celebrated. Swaraj began by reciting a verse (ayaat) from the Quran and then moved to the 13th Surah from A-Hujurat, a chapter which deals with etiquette and norms and calls for equality. Swaraj’s third quotation from Guru Granth Sahib highlighted India’s pluralistic tradition, “ Awwal Allah noor upaya, kudrat ke sab bande, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addresses as ‘Guest of Honour’ at the OIC foreign ministers’ session in Abu Dhabi. PTI ek noor te sab jag upjeya, kaun bhale kaun mande.” Rounding up her peregrination of the spiritual world, she quoted from the youngest chapter of the world’s oldest religious text, the Rig Veda, to stress that India had always embraced pluralism. She said India would work with the OIC to build bridges of understanding and reduce barriers across cultures and religions and inspire the youth to the path of service than of destruction. Swaraj said India advocated moderation over extremism and pluralism over exclusion. The OIC is celebrating its Golden Jubilee. continued on page 7 NEW DELHI, March 1 India is attempting to cut a deal with China in return for the UN Security Council naming Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist. India has turned to a transactional approach after its appeal on moral and ethical grounds did not cut ice with Beijing. Sources said the bargain will not be substantial like exchanging land or opening the Indian economy, but will be more on the lines of allowing China to bask in the international spotlight. India’s diplomacy is in a high drive because of a favourable window of opportunity. France, eyeing more mega defence deals with India, has taken up presidency of UNSC and promised to quarterback the designation of Azhar as an international terrorist. France, along with the US and UK, has moved a fresh proposal to this effect. Refusing to say what the quid pro quo would be for China to lift its decade-long resistance over Azhar, sources said it would not involve a big giveaway. Giving a recent example, they said the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) put Pakistan on its grey list in October last year after India agreed to meet China’s aspiration for a major post at this body — which monitors the implementation of standards to check money laundering and terrorist financing. India offered China the vicepresidency of FATF Since a . vice-chairman automatically becomes the FATF head the next year, this was a bargain China could not refuse. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had broached the subject on Thursday. Govt dithers on orders against top SC restrains Haryana on Aravalli law officers, Haryana Lokayukta livid CONSTRUCTION NOD Says ‘shocking’ govt went ahead despite warning Satya Prakash Bhartesh Singh Thakur Tribune News Service Chandigarh, march 1 Haryana Lokayukta Justice Nawal Kishore Agarwal (retired) is livid at the state government for sitting on orders passed by him against several senior officers, including Principal Secretary Sudhir Rajpal and IGs Alok Mittal and Rajshri Singh. He has listed 25 cases in its annual report for 2017-18, tabled in the Haryana Assembly, where no action has been taken by the state government. In his report, Justice Agarwal said: “Delay in sending the action taken reports Tribune News Service WANTS LAW AMENDED FOR MORE POWERS ■ In the 2017-18 annual report, Mittal, IG Rajshri Singh and the Haryana Lokayukta, retired ex-Gurugram MC Commissioner Sudhir Rajpal Justice NK Agarwal, listed 25 cases where no action ■ He has recommended an has been taken amendment to the Haryana ■ Among others, he had Lokayukta Act allowing powers to direct the Director Prosecution recommended action against ex-Gurugram CP Alok or other agency for action within the stipulated period (which is three months) not only results in miscarriage of justice inasmuch as the delinquent public servants go unpunished, but also causes a lot of resentment in general public, which feels that an attempt is being made to shield the delinquent public servants.” He recommended an amendment to the Haryana Lokayukta Act so that if no action is taken by the competent authority against the public servant within four months, continued on page 7 New Delhi, March 1 The Supreme Court today restrained the Haryana Government from implementing a recently enacted law that allowed construction activities in the Aravalli hills in the state and sought to legitimise many illegal constructions retrospectively. Terming the overturning of its order a “misadventure” on part of the state, a Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said the amended Punjab Land Preservation Act was sheer contempt of court. On behalf of the Haryana Government, state’s Additional A construction in forest area of Aravallis in Surajkund. TRIBUNE PHOTO SC TO HARYANA: YOU THINK YOU ARE SUPREME? Do you think you are supreme? You are not supreme… the rule of law is supreme. SC Bench to Haryana ❝ Advocate General Anil Grover told the Bench that an amendment to the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, had been passed by the state Assembly but it was yet to Today’s issue consists of 32 pages, including four-page The Tribune Trends and four-page Haryana Tribune. get the Governor’s assent. He said the state would like to file its submissions along with a copy of the amended law, but the court was not convinced. Amid protests by the Congress and INLD, the Haryana Assembly had on February 27 passed the Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2019, aimed at striking a balance between development and environment. Under the Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Act, 2019, the new provisions would be deemed to have come into force from November 1, 1966. continued on page 7 personnel as CRPF Inspector Pintu and Constable Vinod, besides policemen Naseer Ahmad Kholi and Mustafa Barah. While the gunfight raged, people from surrounding areas tried to march towards the encounter site, pelting security forces with stones. The security forces fired tear smoke shells and opened fire, resulting in injuries to five civilians. One of them, a 17-year-old boy, succumbed at the hospital. Despite border tension, LS polls on time: CEC Lucknow, March 1 The General Election in the country would be held on time, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said today, amid tension between India and Pakistan. “The election in the country will be held on time,” Arora told reporters here when asked about the poll schedule in the wake of cross-border tension following the Pulwama terror attack. Arora said checking communal, caste-based and musclebased violence was the biggest challenge in conducting the elections in Uttar Pradesh. Speaking to reporters at the end of the Election Commission’s three-day review of the state’s poll preparedness, Arora said during their meeting with representatives of political parties, they had managed to pacify political parties regarding their grievance concerning EVMs. — TNS IGP Umranangal suspended days after his arrest Faridkot, March 1 Nine days after his arrest by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), Punjab Inspector General Police Paramraj Singh Umranangal has been placed under suspension. The orders by Additional Chief Secretary, Home Affairs and Justice, dated February 27, say the action has been taken since the IGP has been in official custody on criminal charges for more than 48 hours. As per rule 3(2) of the All-India Services (Discipline and Appeals) Rules, an official in custody for more than 48 hours is deemed suspended. Umranangal was arrested on February 18 for his alleged role in the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing on October 14, 2015, in which two persons were killed. He is now lodged in Central Jail, Patiala. — 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).