07032019-TTC-01.qxd 07-03-2019 01:42 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.139 no.65 | 38 pages | ~4.50 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | thursday, march 7,2019 RAHUL, SONIA, MANMOHAN MEET G20 ENVOYS PAGE 7 COLD CHAIN FACILITY AT AMRITSAR AIRPORT SOON PAGE 20 /thetribunechd IN BRIEF Hardik to join Cong, likely to fight Jamnagar LS seat New Delhi: Patidar leader Hardik Patel is expected to join the Congress next week and is likely to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Jamnagar constituency in Gujarat. Congress sources said Patel would join on March 12, the day when the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meets in Ahmedabad. Patel is president of the Patidar Anmat Andolan Samiti and has been seeking reservation for the community. He had previously maintained neither he nor any member of his samiti would ever join politics or form a party. Earlier, another prominent OBC leader, Alpesh Thakor, had joined the Congress, which is working hard to revive its fortune in Gujarat. TNS Key Maqsudan attack accused held in Valley Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday arrested a Valley youth for his alleged involvement in a grenade attack on the Maqsudan police station in Jalandhar. Amir Nazir Mir of Dadsara in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district is a key accused in the September 2018 attack. NIA spokesperson Alok Mittal said Mir had allegedly procured and facilitated delivery of four grenades used in the attack on the directions of Kashmir-based terror outfit Ansar Ghazawat-ulHind chief Zakir Musa. TNS Says will respond to provocation in befitting manner VERDICT REVIEWBench says no to new documents Satya Prakash Tribune News Service New Delhi, March 6 As the Supreme Court began hearing review petitions on the Rafale jet deal today, the government told the court that Rafale papers were stolen from the defence ministry. The apex court, which is hearing petitions seeking a review of its December 2018 verdict refusing to order a probe into the deal, put off hearing until March 14. The Centre took a strong exception to advocate Prashant Bhushan reading out from “secret” documents. Attorney General KK Venugopal said these documents were stolen from the government either by current or former officials. “What have you done about it?” the three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the AG, who said an investigation had been ordered into the matter. The Bench left it to the government to file an affidavit detailing the action taken. The NDA Government signed a deal with France in 2016 for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets manufac- WON’T GIVE INFO ON SOURCE: ‘THE HINDU’ New Delhi: Documents related to the Rafale deal were published in public interest and nobody would get any information from The Hindu newspaper on the confidential sources who provided them, The Hindu Publishing Group chairman N Ram said. These were published because details were withheld or covered up, the veteran journalist said as the government told the SC that documents related to the deal have been stolen from the Defence Ministry and an investigation into the theft is on. PTI tured by Dassault Aviation at an estimated cost of Rs 59,000-crore in flyaway condition. The top court had last year dismissed petitions seeking a probe into the deal. The top court refused to hear the petition filed by AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh seeking a review of its verdict, saying he had made “very derogatory” remarks on its verdict. The CJI said the court would take action against him after completing the hearing on the review pleas. Before the action was taken, Singh would be given an opportunity to explain his conduct, said CJI Gogoi. The CJI also refused to accept any new documents from Bhushan, including The Hindu reports, and asked him to confine himself to the documents on record. Explaining the government’s case, the AG sought the dismissal of the review petitions. At one point he said without Rafale, how cpuld India resist F-16s (of Pakistan). Venugopal requested the court to exercise restraint while commenting on the Rafale deal as such statements would be used to target either the government or the Opposition. As he asserted that courts cannot rely upon stolen documents, the Bench asked several pointed questions on the issue. continued on page 7 New Delhi, March 6 Tensions between India and Pakistan ran high today with both sides exchanging heavy gunfire from across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. A statement by the Indian Army said it was maintaining strict vigil along the LoC and International Border (IB). “Any further provocation or misadventure by Pakistan will be responded to in a befitting manner, with dire consequences,” it said. The Pakistan army had in the past 24 hours resorted to intense and unprovoked firing with heavy calibre weapons in select areas of Krishna Ghati and Sunderbani, targeting Indian posts and civilian areas with mortars and heavy artillery guns, it said. “The same was effectively retaliated. There have been no casualties on the Indian side,” the statement said. “Post our warning to the Pakistan army ‘not to tar- SAMJHAUTA BLASTS VERDICT ON MONDAY Panchkula: Twelve years after the Samjhauta Express blasts, the Special NIA Court has fixed March 11 as the date for its final order. PAGE 6 to pad up for polls while it will be an honour for the state unit if Dr Singh conNew Delhi, March 6 tests, “this decision will be In his long and illustrious entirely his own”. political career, Congress vetThe Congress veteran's RS eran Dr Manmohan Singh term ends on June 14 and has crossed all milestones but since he comes from Assam one. A five-time Rajya Sabha where the Congress no member, he has never longer has the numbers, the entered Parliament through party will have to strategise the Lok Sabha. The only time on a way to bring him back. he fought a parliamenHe can enter the tary election was in Rajya Sabha again 1999, when he lost to a from Punjab, if BJP’s VK Malhotra. one of the sitting With the General Congress memElection round the bers (Ambika corner, several Punjab Soni, Partap Congress leaders are Bajwa and SS Dulbatting for him as a Dr Manmohan Singh lo) vacates the candidate for the seat. Bajwa has Amritsar parliamentary seat. publicly offered to do so and First floated by MLAs from volunteered to contest the Amritsar, the suggestion has LS polls. Ambika Soni’s RS taken wings and party lead- term ends in 2022. ers across the state are now The majority in the grand urging Dr Singh, who will old party believes that Dr turn 87 this September, to Singh entering the poll arena contest. Some, like Punjab could create a wave in favour Congress’ permanent invi- of the Congress besides tee MM Cheema, called on boosting his political image. him and urged him to con- “Dr Singh is an asset for the sider the demand. nation and the party. Should Officially, Punjab Congress he choose to contest, he will continued on page 7 president Sunil Jakhar says Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service A video grab of BJP MP Sharad Tripathi assaulting MLA Rakesh Baghel. names on foundation stones. MLA Baghel intervened, saying the MP should be speaking to him as he was responsible for the decision. A verbal duel ensued during which Tripathi pulled out a shoe and struck Baghel repeatedly, leading to a free for all. BJP state chief Mahendra Nath Pandey has summoned both to Lucknow. — TNS AUSTRALIA Ex-boyfriend, prime suspect, dies in car crash Preethi Reddy, the victim parked in a street, is also a dentist and her ex-boyfriend Harsh Narde, police said. Narde died after his BMW car collided with a truck on the New England Highway on Monday night, a day after his ex-girlfriend was reported missing. The head-on collision, around 340 km from where Reddy’s body was found, is believed to have been deliberate, they said. Police spoke to Narde, in his 30s, before his death. They said the investigation was in its early stages. continued on page 7 India has cheapest mobile data in world, says study Followed by Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan I Way cheaper than in US, UK I Zimbabwe most expensive GETTING IT DIRT-CHEAP ~18.5 per 1GB 43 crore in India (average) compared to ~600 globally smartphone users in the country 2nd largest smartphone market in world after China 11% rise in users likely Number of Internet users in India will reach 62.7 crore by year-end (11% growth) compared to 56.6 crore in 2018, as per a new report pared mobile data charges in 230 countries, showed. The global average was $8.53. With over 430 million smartphone users, India is the second largest smartphone market after China. In 2016, Ambani sparked a price war in India’s hyper-competitive telecom market with the launch of 4G phone service Jio. Since then, Jio has signed on 280 million customers. Cable.co.uk said it compared data from 6,313 mobile Today’s issue is of 38 pages, including six-page Chandigarh Tribune and four-page Life+Style. data plans in 230 countries between October 23 and November 28, 2018. India is followed by Kyrgyzstan where 1 GB data is available for $0.27, Kazakhstan (0.49) and Ukraine (0.51). Zimbabwe is the most expensive country where the average cost of 1 GB data comes at $75.20. One GB of mobile data in China costs $9.89. In Pakistan, 1 GB is available for $1.85. — PTI MISINFORMATION: IAF ■ Misinformation was being spread on social media about shooting down of a Pakistan Air Force F-16 by a MiG-21 Bison, the IAF has said. “IAF had clarified that an F-16 of PAF was shot down by MiG-21 and it fell across the LoC.” ■ IAF said fake accounts of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman have been created over the past one week. He “does not have any official account on Twitter and Instagram”. PAK IDENTIFIES 2 PILOTS ■ Pakistan has identified The damaged roof of a house after it was hit by a mortar shell fired from Pakistan at Kalsian village, Rajouri. PHOTO: INDERJEET SINGH get civilian areas’, the overall situation along the LoC remains relatively calm”, it added. The Pakistan army has ramped up its defensive and attack positions along the LoC and also along the IB, sources said. An Indian Army spokesperson said: “We are committed to avoiding civil casualties, especially along LoC. All actions by our defence forces are targeted towards counter-terrorism and terrorist infrastructure, away from civilian areas.” — TNS two pilots involved in an aerial combat with IAF jets as Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told Parliament two Indian planes were shot down. ■ “One Indian jet was shot down by Sqn Ldr Hassan Siddiqui, the other was downed by Wing Commander Nauman Ali Khan,” he claimed. Denied regular jobs, Punjab staff to launch agitation today Ruchika M Khanna Tribune News Service Feels entering fray will help create wave Dentist’s body found in suitcase New Delhi, March 6 Helmed by Mukesh Ambani’s Jio, India has the cheapest mobile data in the world with 1 GB costing just Rs 18.5 compared to the global average of about Rs 600, research by price comparison site cable.co.uk showed. The average price of $0.26 for one gigabyte (GB) in India compares to $6.66 in the UK and 12.37 for the same amount of data in the US, the study, which com- PAK CONFISCATES SAEED ASSETS PAGE 21 Govt to SC: ‘Secret’ Heavy LoCshelling, Army warns Pak Rafale papers stolen CREDIT WAR Assaulted by UP MP over project; both summoned Melbourne, March 6 A 32-year-old Indian-origin woman dentist, who went missing under mysterious circumstances, has been murdered, with her body bearing numerous stab wounds found dumped in a suitcase in Sydney. The Indian-origin man suspected of murdering the Sydney dentist, Preethi Reddy, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase in her car late city /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com Shoe shock for BJP legislator Cong wants MMS Lucknow, March 6 BJP’s Sant Kabir Nagar MP Sharad Tripathi today thrashed Medhawal MLA Rakesh Kumar Baghel over taking credit for a development project. In a two-minute video that has gone viral, Tripathi is seen taking off a shoe and thrashing Baghel during a district planning committee meeting presided over by Cabinet minister in charge of district Ashutosh Tandon and attended by the DM and SSP. The MP had asked an engineer if there were any guidelines regarding putting up ! Chandigarh, March 6 With the Punjab Government deciding to regularise the services of 5,178 teachers and 650 nurses, leaving out 30,000 other employees, unions across the state have announced an indefinite stir from tomorrow. The employees, under the aegis of Contractual Employees Action Committee, have threatened to oppose the rul- ing Congress in the elections. Beginning March 16, they will be staging protests outside the residences of Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. “The Congress has failed to honour its promise made during the Assembly polls. We will oppose the party tooth and nail,” said Ashish Julaha, chief, Contractual Employees Action Committee. Regular employees (Group C and D) too are on the warpath. The government had announced 7 per cent DA for them from February 1, which included two pending instalments, about which there has been no word. In protest, the Sanjha Mulazam Manch and Punjab State Ministerial Services Union have announced an indefinite pen-down strike. continued on page 7
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).