09042019-TTC-01.qxd 09-04-2019 01:23 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.3 no.97 | 20 pages | ~4.50 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | tuesday, april 9,2019 GUJARAT COURT SUMMONS RAHUL, SURJEWALA IN DEFAMATION SUIT PAGE 11 STATE BANK OF INDIA INVITES BIDS FOR AILING JET AIRWAYS PAGE 12 /thetribunechd MAHA BALLOT 2019 Promises pension for small farmers, traders, scrapping Art 370, 35A Vibha Sharma Tribune News Service INLD’s Abhay Chautala, Khattar meet in Delhi INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala met Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday, fuelling speculation on a possible poll tie-up. PAGE 2 Voters wary as rivals turn friends in Khammam Till recently arch-rivals, involved in “exposing” each other’ misdeeds, now walk hand in hand in Khammam LS constituency. PAGE 2 EC suffering from ‘crisis of credibility’: Ex-officers Charging the EC with suffering from a ‘crisis of credibility’, a group of former civil servants in a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday expressed ‘anguish’ over the poll panel’s ‘pusillanimity’ in coming down on violations by the ruling party at the Centre. PAGE 7 late city GRAHAM REID TO BE MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM COACH PAGE 14 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com National security given prime place in BJP’s ‘Sankalp Patra’ New Delhi, April 8 Playing up nationalism and national security and focusing on farmers and small traders, the ruling BJP today promised zero tolerance to terrorism and PM-KisanYojana cover for all farmers, irrespective of the size of landholding, besides a pension scheme for them and small shopkeepers. Declaring that the security doctrine will be guided by national interests alone, it mentions the surgical strike and airstrike against terrorists as examples of its stand, while promising an NRC (National Register of Citizens) exercise thoughout India in phases and enactment of the citizenship amendment Act. It reasserts its stand on abrogation of Article 370 “since the time of the Jana Sangh” and annulment of Article 35A. “It is a visionary and practical document,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh, head of the manifesto committee, said at the release of the “Sankalp Patra” for the elections. Mum on employment or jobs per se, the manifesto promises to turn India into a five-trillion dollar economy by ! Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh release the ‘Sankalp Patra’. MUKESH AGGARWAL MANIFESTO SAYS PARTY COMMITTED TO... ■ Exploring possibilities on ■ ~25 lakh cr investment in constructing Ram Temple ■ Task force to study status of written/spoken languages ■ Zero tolerance to terrorism/extremism ■ Strengthening forces, speeding up defence purchases ■ Uniform Civil Code ■ NRC throughout the country in a phased manner ■ Doubling farmers’ income ■ Interest-free credit-card loans agri-rural sector ■ Voluntary enrolment for Fasal Bima Yojana ■ Rashtriya Vyapar Ayog ■ Pension scheme for small shopkeepers ■ $5 trillion economy by 2025 ■ Focus on entrepreneurship and startups ■ By 2024, ~100 lakh crore investment in infrastructure ■ Simultaneous elections ADVANI, JOSHI MISSING AT LAUNCH New Delhi: BJP founder-members LK Advani and MM Joshi were not present at the launch of the party manifesto though later party chief Amit Shah met them separately to “share the manifesto and get their inputs”. Sources said Shah was keen on visiting them to “explain the party’s parliamentary board decision not to field candidates above 75 years of age”. TNS 2025 and a 10-trillion dollar economy by 2032. Also missing in the 45-page document is any reference to demonetisation. Building on the concept of a “a strong, transparent, decisive and sensitive government”, it is dedicated to the most decisive constituents in the coming elections — farmers and rural India. As a counter to Congress’ NYAY, promising minimum income guarantee, the BJP document promises to expand the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, ensuring financial support to those owning up to 2 hectares. It also promises a pension scheme for small and marginal farmers above 60 years of age and making enrolment for the Fasal Bima Yojana “voluntary”. The document says the BJP is committed to bringing down the percentage of Below Poverty Line (BPL) families to a single digit in five years. With PM Modi’s picture on the cover, the manifesto claims, “The decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fundamentally altered the security paradigm of India in the last five years.” MORE ON PAGE 7 ‘Credible proof’ of downing F-16:IAF Backs its claim with radar images New Delhi, April 8 More than six weeks after the air duel over Nowshera in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday said it had credible evidence clearly indicating that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had lost an F-16 in that fight. The IAF and PAF were locked in an air duel on February 27 when a MiG-21 piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was hit and it crashed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Making the first official statement on the matter, Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor, Assistant Chief of IAF Opera, tions, said, “There is no doubt that two aircraft went down on February 27. One was the Bison (MiG-21) of the IAF and the other was an F-16 of PAF conclusively identified , by its electronic signature and radio transcripts.” “Due to security and confidentiality concerns, we are restricting the information,” he said. The IAF team showed radar images of how the PAF jets — F-16 and JF-17 — were being tracked. Two images captured within seconds of each other showed how the F-16 dropped off the radar after being hit. “The analysis of electronic Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor addresses a press conference. PTI ‘2 JETS WENT DOWN’ ■ IAF showed two images captured within seconds of each other showing how the F-16 dropped off the radar after being hit ■ Two aircraft had gone down within 60-90 seconds of each other and two separate parachutes were seen within 5-6 seconds of each other ■ IAF cited a radio intercept from Pakistan that indicated the capture of two pilots, one being Wing Commander Abhinandan and other one being admitted to a military hospital emissions shows that the aircraft picked up intercepts from airborne radars. Radio transcripts indicated F-16s directly in front of Wg Cmdr Abhinandan’s aircraft,” the Air Vice Marshal said. — TNS ‘Overlooked’, Vice Admiral moves tribunal New Delhi, April 8 Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command Vice Admiral Bimal Verma has approached an armed forces tribunal, seeking to know why he was overlooked as the next Navy Chief despite being the seniormost in the line of command. The government last month named Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next Chief of Naval Staff, succeeding Admiral Sunil Lanba, who retires on May 30. The government made the selection following a meritbased approach and did not go with the tradition of appointing the seniormost eligible officer to the post. Vice Admiral Verma is senior to Vice Admiral Singh. Sources said Vice Admiral Verma has approached an armed forces tribunal in the national capital to know why the government ignored his seniority. His petition is likely to be taken up on Tuesday. Besides Verma, the contenders included Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, FOC-in-C of Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar and FOC-in-C of Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla. Even while appointing the Army Chief in 2016, the tradition of going by seniority was not followed. — PTI 73% water samples fail test in Faridabad Technical meet on Kartarpur on April 16, says Pak Punjab smells fake Verify VVPAT slips of 5 EVMs pesticide sale scam per Assembly segment:SC 263 of 990 show chlorine presence Islamabad, April 8 Pakistan today said it would hold a technical meeting with India on April 16 to discuss the modalities for the corridor linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in Punjab. India and Pakistan last month held a meeting of technical experts during which its alignment, coordinates, and other engineering aspects of the proposed crossing points were discussed. Later, the Pakistani Cabinet constituted a 10-member Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee to facilitate Sikh pilgrims. India voiced concern over the presence of Khalistani separatists on the panel and said it would wait for a response on the issue and would not go ahead with a previously agreed meeting on April 2 . — PTI ‘Fame’ samples fail laboratory test Bijendra Ahlawat Tribune News Service Faridabad, April 8 As many as 73 per cent samples of drinking water supplied by the Municipal Corporation Faridabad (MCF) have failed in tests conducted by the Health Department in the past three months. While the district health officials describe chlorination as mandatory to check the growth of bacteria and viruses, the civic body officials claim that the water supplied by it without proper chlorination was also fit for consumption. The Health Department collected samples from 988 tubewells and booster pumps between January 1 and April 5 to check if those were properly chlorinated. According to the results, officials did not find any chlorination in 727 samples out CONTRARIAN VIEW Water supplied from MCF tubewells is safe as its source is underground water and not the surface water that requires chlorination. The samples were not taken in the presence of MCF officials. ❝ DR Bhaskar, CHIEF ENGINEER, MCF of the total of 990. “Only 263 samples exhibited the presence of chlorine in the water,” said Dr Ram Bhagat, Deputy CMO and in-charge of the test cell. continued on page 11 Kulwinder Sandhu Tribune News Service Moga, April 8 A fake pesticide scam has come to light in the state, including Moga district. The Agriculture Department had seized a few bottles of ‘ Fame’, a pesticide marketed by Bayer Crop Science Limited, the world’s premier seed and pesticide/insecticide marketing company, and laboratory tests confirmed that the product is spurious. “A show-cause notice has been issued to the regional office of Bayer. Investigation is in progress,” said Dr Amarjit Singh, an agro-scientist with the department. ‘ Fame’ contains a chemical called Flubendiamide, which is the first representative of chemical insecticide class diamides. Flubendiamide acts on receptors in insect muscles, causing immediate cessation of feeding, and thus avoids crop damage. It targets American bollworm and spotted bollworm in cotton, rice stem borer, leaf folder in tomato and other crop pests. Bayer claims that ‘Fame’ contains 39.35 per cent weight per weight (w/w) Flubendiamide, but the seized bottles contained just 1 per cent w/w of Flubendiamide, making it ineffective. These 100 ml bottles were seized from one Gurwinder Singh, proprietor, Nambardar Kheti Store, Badduwal (Moga), a few weeks back. The store’s licence has been suspended though legal action is yet to be taken. continued on page 11 Number increased from 1 to enhance poll ‘credibility’ Satya Prakash Tribune News Service New Delhi, April 8 Three days before the first phase of the General Election, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the Election Commission to increase the number of VVPAT slip verification from one EVM to five EVMs per Assembly segment to enhance the “credibility” and “integrity” of the electoral process. The order came from a Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on a petition filed by 21 Opposition leaders, who had demanded that it should be increased to 50 per cent of VVPAT slips. The EVMs for VVPAT slip verification have to be randomly selected. After considering the objections raised by the Election Commission and arguments of NAIDU NOT ‘ENTIRELY HAPPY’ WITH VERDICT Pamarru (Machlipatnam): In an interview with The Tribune, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said he was not “entirely satisfied” with the Supreme Court judgment on VVPAT slips. “It is something, at least. I was the first signatory to the petition moved by the Opposition.” INTERVIEW ON PAGE 11 senior counsel Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi for the petitioners, the Bench said it was of the view that the VVPAT paper trail verification of EVMs should be increased to five for greater satisfaction of political parties and the electorate. Rejecting the EC’s contention, the Bench said it would neither require addi- tional manpower and infrastructure, nor delay the declaration of results. The top court chose not to strike down the EC guidelines which limited VVPAT verification to one EVM per Assembly constituency. However, it clarified that efficacy of the system or credibility of EVMs was not under doubt. Under the existing guidelines, the EC matches VVPAT slips of 4,125 EVMs. But after Monday’s order, the number will go up to 20,625. This is still much below the 6.75 lakh EVMs demanded by Opposition leaders led by TDP’s N Chandrababu Naidu, who had approached the top court. The EC contended that manual vote counting had more room for error and the petitioners’ case was merely based on perception. First task for newlyweds: Bowing before Jallianwala Bagh Army convoys ply, ‘Shaheed’ Amin Chand’s family in Amritsar has stuck steadfastly to the ritual since martyrdom on April 13, 1919 13 COMMEMORATES JALLIANWALA BAGH CENTENARY Vishav Bharti Tribune News Service Amritsar, April 8 Six decades back, when Satpal Sharma and Krishna Devi got married, the first thing the elders of the family did was to take them to Jallianwala Bagh and make both bow before the well. It was only then that the newlyweds visited Golden Temple and Durgiana Mandir. The ritual had been observed during his father’s wedding and then in the case of his children, too, for it was here that his grandfather ‘Shaheed’ Amin Chand was martyred on April 13, 1919. Amin Chand hailed from Muradpura Haqima Wala, a village near Amritsar inhabited in the 19th century by Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s physicians. Amin Chand also learnt the skill at an early age. He eventually left the village and rented a one-room house in Amritsar’s Chowk Passian and started his practice. Soon, his room was frequented by freedom fighters. Back in the village, his wife passed away, leaving behind five children. But Amin Chand asked his parents to take care of them as he was ‘busy’ in some important work. He became active in the Congress’ rural unit and a few days before the April 13 ‘jalsa’, he was seen beating canisters with the famous slogan against the Rowlatt Act: ‘No Daleel! No Appeal! No Vakeel!’ On April 13, as a mark of protest, Amin Chand was decked up in ‘maatmi libaas’ (black achkan and churidar pyjama and a white turban), but when he spotted his two young sons and a nephew walking down to his room, he was a little worried. They had Satpal Sharma, grandson of martyr Amin Chand, shows the ‘freedom fighter’s family’ identity card in Amritsar. TRIBUNE PHOTO: VISHAL KUMAR come all the way from the village to see the Baisakhi mela. “My father used to tell us that first he shouted at them and then offered them some sweets from a nearby shop, and instructed: ‘Tusi mithai vi kha li hai, hun vapis pind Today’s issue is of 20 pages, including four-page Bathinda Tribune. chale jao. Eithe khatra hai’,” recalls Amin Chand’s grandson Satpal Sharma, 84, a retired headmaster. The three started back for the village but Amin Chand’s youngest son Lal Chand, who was just 10, insisted on staying back. “My father used to tell us that on their way back, he and his cousin heard continuous gunshots and ran to the village.” A day after the tragedy, relatives from his village came to Amritsar to look for them and found Amin Chand’s bullet-riddled body. It was not possible to take the mortal remains to the village. The British record of the time also states that Amin Chand’s body was “disposed of in the continued on page 11 with civilian vehicles J&K residents question 2-day restriction Ishfaq Tantry & Majid Jahangir Tribune News Service Srinagar, April 8 A day after civilian movement on the 270-km Baramulla-Srinagar-Udhampur National Highway was barred to secure the safe passage of security forces’ convoys, the Army and other forces’ convoys continued to ply on the highway in Kashmir today, prompting the people to question the logic behind the bi-weekly ban. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah posted a video of convoys plying on Monday despite two days being reserved specifically for HIGHWAY BAN ORDER CHALLENGED IN HC The J&K High Court has directed the state government to file its response to a bunch of four public interest litigations which termed the recent order banning civilian movement on Jammu-Srinagar-Baramulla Highway “arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional” and sought its immediate quashing. their passage on the highway, which serves as a lifeline. “If it is safe for SF convoys to move on Monday without closing the highway to civilian traffic, why is it not safe on Wednesdays and Sundays? continued on page 11
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).