02092020-TTB-01.qxd 9/2/2020 11:18 AM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.140 no.243 | 12 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 haryana US OPEN: DJOKOVIC ROLLS INTO SECOND ROUND SPORT /thetribunechd UNION MINISTER ACCUSES FB INDIA OF BIAS BACK PAGE BHARTI INFRATEL TO GO AHEAD WITH INDUS TOWERS MERGER BUSINESS /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com wednesday, september 2,2020 Occupied LAC pass to plug intrusion Loan moratorium extendable Renchin La key to Chushul sector defence | Brigadier-level talks end in stalemate up to two years, Centre tells SC Ajay Banerjee Satya Prakash PANGONG TSO THAKUNG Tribune News Service Chandigarh, September 1 Amid the pandemic, the Tuberculosis Control Programme in Punjab seems to have gone for a toss as the number of both newly diagnosed patients and those already under treatment has come down significantly. As per state’s TB cell, the number declined by at least 30 per cent. The target to diagnose new patients between January and July was 41,999. However, just 29,579 patients could be traced. Government hospitals with 74 per cent target achieve- COVID-19CASES INDIA COUNT RECOVERED 28,39,882 FRESH FATALITIES 819 TOTAL DEATHS 65,288 36,91,166 REZANG LA WAR MEMORIAL RENCHIN LA SITE TAKEN BY TROOPS FALLS IN ‘GREY ZONE’ ■ Renchin La, located in the Amid rising LAC tensions, an IAF helicopter flies over Leh on Tuesday. PTI TOTAL RECOVERED DEATHS Region’s share in cases less than 5% New Delhi, September 1 The northern region is putting up a good fight against Covid19 with Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh’s burden in the national disease load standing at less than 5 per cent as of Tuesday. Eight months into the pandemic, these five states together make up 4.52 per cent of India’s 36,91,166 Covid cases and 4.50 per cent of the national toll, which is 65,288 as of today. “States in the northern region are holding up good. Once new recoveries outstrip new infections the disease graph will start to slide,” said a Health Ministry source. — TNS “grey zone”, had not been occupied by either side ■ It accords India a clear view of Spanggur Gap, Moldo Garrison of China, besides southern bank of Spanggur Tso ■ The Army said its troops were firmly “within our perception of the LAC” and it was wrong for China to say there was any intrusion by Indian troops China violating bilateral pacts, protocols: MEA New Delhi, September 1 In a demarche, India today asked China to discipline, control and stop its troops from undertaking provocative actions along the LAC. “Due to timely defensive action, the Indian side was able to thwart PLA’s attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo,” said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement. MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava regretted that Chinese action and behaviour along the LAC this ment fared better than the private ones, which could meet 60 per cent of the target. The state had been doing well on this front till February. However, March onwards the patients stopped coming forward. From an average of 5,000 patients a month, it came down to 3,000 in April. The situation remained more or less the same the following months. “Due to the fear of getting infected, patients stopped coming to hospitals, which has badly hit the programme,” said Dr Jastej Singh, incharge, state TB Control Programme. UN-DEMARCATED LAC TO BLAME: BEIJING There are bound to be some problems as the boundary is yet to be demarcated. We are ready to manage all issues through talks. Wang Yi, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER ❝ year has been in clear violation of the relevant bilateral agreements and protocols. “The Indian side is firmly committed to resolving all issues along the LAC in the western sector through dia- logue. In this context, we expect the Chinese side to sincerely abide by the understanding reached earlier,” he said. Meanwhile, China has spoken in different voices on the issue. The Chinese mission said India “grossly violated China’s territorial sovereignty, violated relevant agreements, protocols and consensus”. Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong complained of Indian troops’ activity “across the LAC” at the southern bank of Pangong Tso and near the Reqin Pass. In Paris, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, however, said there were bound to be problems as the India-China boundary was not demarcated. “We are ready to manage all issues through talks,” he said. — TNS Solemn send-off An ambulance carrying the mortal remains of former President Pranab Mukherjee during a ceremonial send-off in accordance with Covid-19 protocol in New Delhi on Tuesday. REUTERS New Delhi, September 1 Amid uncertainty over loan repayment moratorium scheme that ended on August 31, the Centre and RBI on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that it was extendable up to two years. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, however, told a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan that no formal decision had been taken in this regard. On behalf of the Centre and RBI, Mehta said a fresh affidavit had been filed in the top court on the issue. “We are in the process of identifying the distressed sectors to vary benefits as per the impact of hit they have taken,” he said. Hearing on plea for interest waiver today MATTER OF DEBATE ■ Loan moratorium is a legal authorisation to debtors to postpone the payment of EMIs ■ However, interest charged by banks on deferred EMIs stirred a row ■ Petitions were filed in the SC demanding waiver of interest, or waiver of interest on interest on the suspended EMIs “Please let the Centre, RBI and bankers’ association put their heads together,” Mehta submitted. Noting that the economy had contracted by 23% due to Covid- Telcos given10 yrs to clear AGR dues Tribune News Service New Delhi, September 1 The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted 10 years to telecom companies, including Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices, to pay thousands of crores of rupees due from them on account of adjusted gross revenue (AGR). A Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra directed the telecom companies to pay 10 per cent of their Rs 1,43,271.74 crore AGRrelated dues to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) by March 31, 2021. The top court made it clear that the companies couldn't dispute the demand raised by the DoT in respect of the AGR dues on the basis of its October 2019 judgment and that there shall not be any re-assessment. The payment had to be made in yearly instalments commencing from April 1, 2021, up to March 31, 2031, payable by March 31 of every succeeding financial year, it said, directing the telecom firms and DoT to file compliance reports by April 7 of each succeeding year. It ordered the managing director/chairman or other authorised officer of each com- ANNUAL INSTALMENTS ■ The payment has to be made in yearly instalments commencing from April 1, 2021, up to March 31, 2031 ■ The telecom firms and DoT will file compliance reports by April 7 of each succeeding year pany to furnish an undertaking within four weeks regarding the payment of arrears as per its order. The existing bank guarantees submitted regarding the spectrum shall be kept alive by the telecom service providers until the payment was made, it said. "In the event of any default, interest would be payable along with penalty and interest on penalty automatically without reference to court. Besides, it would be punishable for contempt of court," said the Bench, which also included Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah. Hry farmers forced to SIT to probe attack on Raina’s kin in Pb payforcroplossclaim Ravinder Saini WORLD 2,57,77,675 1,80,47,403 8,57,509 MOLDO CHUSHUL AmidCovid,Punjab TB drive takes a hit Vishav Bharti LAC New Delhi, September 1 The Indian Army occupied a critical mountain pass, Renchin La (called Reqin by China) located close to Spanggur Gap, east of Chushul, along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in Ladakh on the night intervening August 30 and August 31. Indian occupation of the pass, which is located in the “grey zone” along the LAC, has led to a sharp reaction from China. “Grey zone” is the areas where perceptions of the LAC vary with both sides making counter-claims. Two Brigadier-level meetings (on August 31 and September 1) at Chushul ended in a stalemate, sources said. The Renchin La is one of the 13 identified possible routes of military ingress into Ladakh from the Chinese side. These routes are natural gaps in mountains along the 826-km LAC in Ladakh. The pass accords India a clear view of Spanggur Gap, Moldo Garrison of China, besides the southern bank of the Spanggur Tso. The move, a clear counter to the PLA, expands the ongoing stalemate south of Pangong Tso. Continued on back page Tribune News Service MAP NOT TO SCALE Tribune News Service Tribune News Service Jhajjar, September 1 A survey agency allegedly duped farmers of Salhavaas and Majra D villages of thousands of rupees on the pretext of providing them higher compensation under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana. The Department of Agriculture has filed a complaint against the agency. Crops, mainly bajra and cotton, spread over 3,000 acres were damaged due to rain last month. The department had formed a panel last week following complaints that the surveyors demanded Rs 1,000 per acre from farmers promising higher compensation. In case of non-payment, the surveyors threatened to understate the loss. Inder Singh, Deputy Director (Agriculture), said: “Since the inquiry has established the fraud, we have sought an FIR against the agency." Chandigarh/Pathankot, Sept1 The Punjab Police have set up a special investigation team to probe the murderous assault on the family of international cricketer Suresh Raina’s paternal aunt at Thariyal village in Shahpur Kandi area of Pathankot on the night of August 19. This comes on a day when Raina, who left the IPL midway in the UAE to return home, demanded a thorough probe into the killing of his uncle and a cousin allegedly by robbers. The cricketer made the appeal on the Twitter and tagged CM UNCLE, COUSIN DEAD ■ Robbers killed cricketer’s uncle Ashok Kumar, and seriously injured his aunt Asha Rani and cousins Kaushal and Apan ■ Kaushal succumbed to his injuries on Monday; Rani’s condition is said to be critical Capt Amarinder Singh. Raina’s uncle Ashok Kumar died on the spot while his son Kaushal succumbed to his injuries on Monday. Three other family members were injured and the condition of BEYOND HORRIBLE ❝ What happened to my family was beyond horrible... We deserve to know who did this heinous act. Suresh Raina, CRICKETER Ashok’s wife Asha Rani was stated to be critical. Though initial investigations suggested the attack had the signature of criminals belonging to a de-notified tribe (‘kale kacchewale’ gang) that often operated along the Punjab-Himachal border, the SIT had been mandated to examine all possible angles, said DGP Dinkar Gupta. A police official said the robbers scaled the wall of the victims’ house and climbed onto the roof before attacking the family. Around 35 suspects from Himachal and UP had been identified on the basis of similar crimes in the past. Raids have been carried out in Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Amritsar. Six labourers working with Ashok had been interrogated. — TNS Charu Sinha first woman to head CRPF in militancy-hit Srinagar ❝ As always, I am looking forwardtomynewassignment. Charu Sinha, IPS OFFICER Jammu/NewDelhi, September 1 IPS officer Charu Sinha has become the first woman commander to head the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) formation in militancy-affected Srinagar sector of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Tuesday. A celebrated Telanganacadre officer of the 1996 batch, Sinha is seen in security circles as a tough officer. She had successfully conducted several anti-Naxal operations in Bihar and her cadre state. Appointed Inspector General (IG), she says it will be inappropriate to comment about her posting, insisting, “As always, I am looking forward to my new assignment.” Under her leadership, claims a senior CRPF official, vari- TOUGH OFFICER ■ A 1996-batch IPS officer, Charu Sinha is seen as a tough officer ■ Has conducted several anti- NaxaloperationsinBihar&T’gana ■ Also led the paramilitary force in sensitive Jammu sector ous anti-Naxals operations were carried out in the two states. She was subsequently moved to sensitive Jammu sector as IG where she spent a successful tenure. Constituted in 2005, the Srinagar sector comprises Budgam, Ganderbal and Srinagar districts and Ladakh UT. The CRPF works in tandem with the Army and the J&K Police during anti-terror operations. The current CRPF Direc- tor-General, AP Maheshwari, was the first IG to head the sector, which includes two ranges, 22 executive units and three Mahila companies. A few years ago, Sonali Mishra, IPS officer of the 1993-batch Madhya Pradesh cadre, had served as the IG of another paramilitary force, the Border Security Force, in Kashmir. — TNS 19, he said several steps had been taken for stressed sectors. The top court — which is seized of petitions demanding waiver of interest, or waiver of interest on interest on the suspended EMIs during moratorium — had earlier commented that there was no point in charging interest on interest. Maintaining that the matter can’t be delayed any further, the Bench posted it for further hearing on Wednesday. Announced in March for three months, loan moratorium was extended to six months till August 31. The Centre and RBI maintained that a complete interest waiver was not possible as banks too had to pay interest to depositors. JEE (MAIN) BEGINS AMID PANDEMIC The Joint Entrance Exam (Main) for admission to engineering colleges began on Tuesday amid stringent measures in view of the pandemic even as chorus continued to grow for postponement of the exam. The first large-scale exam amid the pandemic will continue till Sept 6. Over 9 lakh candidates have registered for the exam. Meanwhile, about 45% candidates from Gujarat skipped exam. PTI Saini’s anticipatory bail plea dismissed Mohali: In a setback to exDGP Sumedh Singh Saini, a local court on Tuesday dismissed his anticipatory bail application in the 29-year-old case related to the alleged kidnapping and murder of Balwant Singh Multani. “Applicant SS Saini is guilty of a heinous crime and does not deserve extraordinary relief of anticipatory bail. His custodial interrogation is necessary to further investigate the matter,” it observed. He now has the option to approach the High Court. PUNJAB Release UP doc detained under NSA, rules HC prayagraj, September 1 The Allahabad High Court today quashed the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA) and ordered his immediate release, saying his speech at Aligarh Muslim University didn’t promote hatred or violence. The Bench said the Aligarh district magistrate, who passed the detention order, did a “selective reading” of his speech, “ignoring its true intent”. The court allowed the writ petition filed by Khan's mother Nuzhat Parveen and said the detention order by the district magistrate is illegal. Khan has been in jail since January after he delivered the allegedly provocative speech at the AMU during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in December last year. He is lodged in Mathura jail. — PTI
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