08022021-TT-01.qxd 2/7/2021 10:50 PM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.38 | 12 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 himachal pradesh PROTESTS SWEEP MYANMAR, INTERNET RESTORED WORLD /thetribunechd PM SLAMS MAMATA OVER CORRUPTION BACK PAGE FARMERS NEED A RELIABLE SHIELD AGAINST RISKS INFOCUS /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com monday | 8 february 2021 Tikait steps up pressure; PM to state position in RS today Tribune News Service A view of Dhauli Ganga flashflood triggered by a glacier burst at Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday. PTI U’khand glacier bursts, 7 killed in flashflood, over 125 missing Tribune News Service New Delhi/Dehradun, Feb 7 Seven persons were killed and over 125 missing after a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district today, triggering an avalanche and a deluge in the Alaknanda river system that swept away a hydropower project and ravaged several villages downstream. The flashflood occurred around 9.30 am in the Dhauli Ganga, Rishi Ganga and Alaknanda rivers — all intricately linked tributaries of the Ganga — leading to widespread panic and large-scale devastation in the area. Two power projects — NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project and the Rishi Ganga hydel project — were extensively damaged with scores of labourers trapped in tunnels as the water came gushing in. Sixteen men were rescued from a tunnel in the Tapovan RISHI GANGA PROJECT WASHED AWAY NTPC’S TAPOVAN-VISHNUGAD HYDEL PROJECT RISHI GANGA HYDEL PROJECT CHAMOLI U’KHAND ALL-OUT EFFORTS TO HELP AFFECTED: PM “Rescue and relief efforts are underway and every attempt is being made to help the affected persons,” PM Modi said. STUDY HAD WARNED OF MELTING GLACIERS A 2019 study had warned that climate change was affecting Himalayan glaciers that were melting twice as fast since the start of this century. BHARTI: HAD OPPOSED PROJECTS ON GANGA “As minister, I was against power projects on the Ganga & its main tributaries,” BJP leader Uma Bharti claimed. ITBP personnel carry out >> search and rescue operation at Tapovan tunnel. PTI project, but about 125 were missing. As rescue work was suspended due to darkness, there were fears they may be dead, said officials. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat said sev- A 13.2 MW hydro project on the Rishi Ganga river was swept away but there is no danger of floods in downstream areas as the water level has been contained. en bodies had been recovered and a majority of those missing were workers employed at the two projects. The 13-MW Rishi Ganga project, which was washed away, was commissioned in 2020 while the other project, 5 km downstream at Tapovan, was under construction. “Around 35 persons were working at the Rishi Ganga project. Two policemen are continued on page 9 Davis Cup ex-coach Akhtar Ali dies at 81 Over 100 Valley youths visiting Pak go missing MC poll may be held on party symbols: Thakur KOLKATA: Tribune News Service Our Correspondent IN BRIEF Akhtar Ali (81), legendary Davis Cup coach, died on Sunday due to multiple health issues. He breathed his last in Kolkata. INSIDE Notice to Mathura mosque panel MATHURA: A court has issued notice to the Shahi Idgah panel on a plea for the removal of mosque from near Lord Krishna’s birthplace. — PTI Have faith in courts: Faruqui after release INDORE: Comedian Munawar Faruqui, released from jail after 35 days, has said he has full faith in the judiciary and hopes to get justice. — PTI SLEEPER CELLS? New Delhi, February 7 Raising alarm over missing Kashmiri youth, who travelled to Pakistan on valid visas over the past few years, sources in the intelligence agencies have indicated that the possibility of their infiltration into the Valley along with terrorists could not ruled out. The first such indication came in April-May last year when in an encounter at Handwara in north Kashmir five terrorists were killed and later it was found that one among them was a local, who went to Pakistan and had reportedly not returned, sources in the security establishment said. According to an estimate, over 100 Kashmiri youths, who travelled to Pakistan on ■ More than 100 Kashmiri youths, who travelled to Pak on valid visas over the past 3 years, have either not come back or have disappeared after their return ■ Agencies suspect they may have become sleeper cells, waiting for instructions from their masters in Pakistan’s ISI or terror group handlers there valid visas for short durations, have either not come back or have disappeared after their return over the last three years, sources said. continued on page 9 Palampur, February 7 Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today indicated that poll to the Palampur, Dharamsala, Mandi and Solan municipal corporations may be held on party symbols. If needed, the government would make amendments to rules in this regard, he said. Thakur, addressing a press conference here, said the term of the Dharamsala MC would end on April 8. Therefore, elections may be held in the last week of March. The recent elections for gram panchayats, nagar panchayats/parishads, zila parishads and block development committees in Himachal were not contested on the party symbols. Two DSPs, 4 SHOs among 13 officials indicted Sanjeev Singh Bariana Tribune News Service Chandigarh, February 7 A magisterial inquiry into the Majha hooch tragedy, which had claimed the lives of more than 110 villagers last year, has indicted six police and seven excise officials. It has sought the registration of a case against these officials for neglecting their duty and allowing the sale of illicit liquor. It has also sought a strict disciplinary Suspended last year, accused now face termination MAJHA HOOCH TRAGEDY action against them by the departments concerned. The report, prepared by the MOST VICTIMS WERE FROM TARN TARAN ■ More than 110 villagers died after consuming spurious liquor in Tarn Taran, Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts in July last year ■ The illicit liquor was allegedly manufactured by a Ludhiana-based paint shop owner Divisional Commissioner (Jalandhar), has been submitted to the Chief Minister’s Office, sources said. It will be forwarded to the Financial Commissioner (Taxation) and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) for further action. The accused were suspended immediately after the Chief Minister ordered an inquiry into the incident on July 31 last year. Among the erring cops are two DSPs and four SHOs. The probe officer has told the Excise and Taxation Department to initiate a mechanism for strict compliance of continued on page 9 New Delhi/Bhiwani, Feb 7 A day before PM Narendra Modi is expected to articulate his government’s stand on the contentious farm laws in the Rajya Sabha, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait on Sunday stepped up pressure on the government, declaring there would be no “ghar wapsi” till the farmers’ demands were met. He also demanded that the arrested farmers be set free forthwith. The PM is to reply to the Rajya Sabha debate on the motion thanking the President for his address to Parliament on Monday. He is expected to reach out to the farmers for talks and defend Rakesh Tikait (L) at a ‘mahapanchayat’ near Charkhi Dadri, Haryana. PTI AWAITING CONCRETE PROPOSAL FOR TALKS: GOVT Union Minister Piyush Goyal said the govt was ready to resume talks with the farmers, but asserted that despite repeated proposals, the protesters “have not come up with any concrete suggestion so far”. THREE MORE DIE AT TIKRI PROTEST SITE. INSIDE the new agri laws. Addresing a “mahapanchayat” at Charkhi Dadri in Haryana, Tikait claimed that all attempts to portray the protesters as antinationals had failed. He said the farmers stood united and that the Republic Day events were a part of a conspiracy. “We will not return home till our demands are met and all continued on page 9 Vested interests at play: India on K-resolution New York, February 7 Reacting sharply to a resolution passed by the New York state Assembly urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to declare February 5 as Kashmir American Day, India said attempts were being made by “vested interests” to misrepresent J&K’s social mosaic to divide people. Slams NY Assembly bid to misrepresent J&K The resolution, sponsored by Assembly member Nader Sayegh and 12 other lawmakers, states that “the state of New York endeavours to champion human rights, including the freedom of religion, movement and expression for all Kashmiri people….” continued on page 9 FM rejects ‘selling family silver’ charge Mumbai, February 7 Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday rejected the Opposition’s charge of “selling family assets” through the Budget stress on privatisation, terming it a “lazy allegation”. All previous governments had done disinvestment in the past, and the Narendra Modi regime had formulat- STRENGTHENING PUBLIC SECTOR UNITS Because you (previous govts) have spread it so thinly, there are many of them (PSUs) that are not able to survive and the few that can perform do not get due attention. Nirmala Sitharaman, FINANCE MINISTER ❝ ed a clear policy on which companies to be divested and the strategic sectors that not to be touched rather than doing one company sell-off at a time, she said in an address to business honchos here. The Budget proposals to divest stakes, which includes the sale of two public sector banks and a general insurer, have been panned by the Opposition. “It is not what the Opposition says about selling family silver, it’s not at all,” she said. continued on page 9
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