24122021-TTC-01.qxd 12/24/2021 12:11 AM Page 1 13 CHANDIGARH | GURUGRAM | JALANDHAR | BATHINDA | VOL. 141 NO. 354 | 18 PAGES | ~5.00 | REGD. NO. CHD/0006/2021-2023 ESTABLISHED IN 1881 WANT DEMOCRACY BACK IN MYANMAR: INDIA WORLD /thetribunechd TRAGEDY AVERTED, 5-KG IED SEIZED IN PULWAMA J&K IOC TO INVEST ~9,028 CR ON MUNDRA-PANIPAT PIPELINE BUSINESS IN POLL-BOUND UP, PM LAUNCHES ~2,095 CR PROJECTS NATION friday | 24 december 2021 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com One dead in Ludhiana court blast 6 injured | MHA seeks report | NIA, NSG teams arrive | May be human bomb: ADGP Nikhil Bhardwaj Tribune News Service Ludhiana, December 23 A high-intensity explosion in the district court complex here today left one person dead and six injured. The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a detailed report from the state on the blast. In a communication to the Punjab Government, the MHA asked the state to send the report as early as possible, giving details of the initial investigation. That blast took place at 12.22 pm in the washroom of the second floor of the complex when the court was functioning. The incident occurred a few hours before the rally of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi was scheduled at Mullanpur Dakha, 22 km from the city. The explosion was so powerful that the walls and the roof of the washroom collapsed and several windowpanes of the six-storeyed continued on page 12 CJI EXPRESSES SHOCK, CALLS SUCH ATTACKS ‘WORRISOME TREND’ BIG CONSPIRACY As Assembly polls are drawing near, some anti-national and anti-Punjab forces are trying to spread anarchy in state. ❝ Charanjit Channi, CM EASY ACCESS Old court complex has 12 entry points from where anyone can walk in without security check. 2017 REPEAT? There was a blast at Maur Mandi days before the Punjab elections in 2017. Seven persons were killed. HC CALLS FOR DETAILS OF SECURITY MEASURES IN COURT COMPLEXES The Punjab and Haryana High Court, within hours of the blast in the Ludhiana courts complex, called for info on security from all district and sessions judges in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. INSIDE Security personnel at the explosion site in the Ludhiana district court complex. TRIBUNE PHOTO: HIMANSHU MAHAJAN IN BRIEF Akhilesh seeks Bharat Ratna for Charan Singh LUCKNOW: On former PM Chaudhary Charan Singh’s 119th birth anniversary, SP president Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday demanded that the Bharat Ratna be conferred on ex-PM Chaudhary Charan Singh, who devoted all his life to farmers and the country. PTI CBI official ‘behind’ Deshmukh probe leak NEW DELHI: The CBI has recovered a confidential statement of its chief, recorded in connection with bribery allegations against Anil Deshmukh, from the electronic devices of an agency official. INSIDE Vedic maths in Gujarat schools from next year AHMEDABAD: Vedic mathematics, claimed to be an easier and faster way to solve arithmetic problems, would be introduced in schools in Gujarat from the next year, the government has said. PTI Kangana questioned over remarks on stir MUMBAI: The police on Thursday questioned and recorded the statement of Kangana Ranaut for more than an hour in a case where she is accused of portraying the farmers' protest on Delhi borders as ‘Khalistani’ movement. PTI New Delhi, December 23 With Uttarakhand Congress president Ganesh Godiyal on Thursday saying like veteran Harish Rawat, he also felt neglected over the organisational matters, party leader Rahul Gandhi is expected to meet the dissident camp here on Friday. Sources said Rahul could meet Rawat and Godiyal to sort out problems riling the state unit with polls due in Uttarakhand early next year. After Rawat yesterday said he felt abandoned by the party leadership, Godiyal on Thursday said, “I have the same feelings as Rawat, but I hope my Ex-CM ‘miffed’ with AICC state incharge anxieties will be addressed by the party.” Rawat and Godiyal are learnt to be upset with the AICC state incharge Devendra Yadav. Further, Rawat is also looking for an assurance that he would be the CM face should the party win the 2022 elections. In a series of tweets yesterday, Rawat said he felt fatigued and wanted to rest but at the same time did not feel like retreating from the battlefield of elections. — TNS HPtopcop:Willremoveblacksheep Belagavi (Karnataka), Dec 23 The contentious “anti-conversion Bill” was passed by the Karnataka Assembly on Thursday amid din, with CM B Bommai terming it as constitutional and legal, and aimed at getting rid of the menace of religious conversion. Opposing the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, the Congress dubbed it “antipeople”, “inhuman”, “anticonstitutional”, “anti-poor” and “draconian”. It urged that the Bill should not be passed for any reason. The JD (S) too expressed its opposition to the Bill, which was introduced in the Assembly on Tuesday. The Bill provides for protection of right to freedom of religion and prohibition of conversion by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, allurement or any fraudulent means. — PTI Shimla, December 23 Himachal DGP Sanjay Kundu today said the black sheep in the police force would be identified and postings would be done strictly on merit and not on any political considerations. The police chief’s remarks come in the wake of the suspension of Nadaun SHO, Tribune News Service Tribune News Service Cites vendetta Mohali, December 23 Two days after Bikramjit Singh Majithia was booked in an NDPS case, the former Akali minister approached the Mohali district court for anticipatory bail on Thursday. Among other things, he claimed that “targeting” him was one of the major “election planks of the current government”. After hearing the arguments, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Sandeep Kumar Singla called for the police record and adjourned the hearing for tomorrow. The bail application was filed by Majithia’s counsel Damanbir Singh Sobti, HS Dhanoa, Arshdeep Singh Cheema and Somnath Tayal. The State of Punjab was represented by district attorney Sanjeev Batra and Rakesh Goyal. Alleging vendetta, Majithia said the case against him was an election stunt as the Con- 360-DEGREE REVIEW ■ Police officials will be evaluated & then posted on key positions ■ In narcotics-prone zones, officials to undergo drug test ■ Measures come following the suspension of Nadaun SHO, booked in bribery and NDPS cases on December 22 who attempted to run over the Vigilance team that had laid a trap for him in a bribery case on December 21. The DGP said a 360-degree review on working and integrity of officials would be evaluated before posting them at key positions. “Identify the black sheep in the force and carry out the drug test of officials of doubtful integrity, especially those posted in narcotics-prone areas,” said the DGP while , continued on page 12 New Delhi, December 23 With Omicron tally reaching 236 across 16 states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged people to be “satark aur savdhan” (cautious and vigilant) while the Health Ministry directed the states going in for elections to exponentially ramp up vaccination. Chairing a high-level review as Omicron sparks alarm 7,495 FRESH CASES TOTAL DEATHS ACTIVE CASES 4,78,759 78,291 434 DEATHS IN 24 HOURS meeting, the PM said the pandemic was not over. He said the government was alert to Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 23 Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has lost Rs 786.54 crore due to inefficiencies in the planning and execution of Mhara Gaon Jagmag Gaon (MGJG) scheme, reveals the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report tabled in the Assembly. The MGJG, a flagship SIT probing the drugs case against Majithia has recorded the statement of ADGP Harpreet Singh Sidhu, on whose report the FIR was filed. MISSING LINKS IN BHOLA DRUG CASE ■ In 2015, ED chargesheeted five NRIs in multi-crore Bhola drug case, in which Majithia too was summoned ■ The ED could not probe 18 NRI suspects, who fled gress-led Punjab Government had been “day and night browbeating the officers” to continued on page 12 Chennai, December 23 The Tamil Nadu Government on Thursday granted one-month parole to Nalini Sriharan, one of the seven convicts in the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi. The parole came after repeated requests from her ailing mother Padma. State Special Public Prosecutor Hassan Mohammed Jinnah informed the Madras High Court on Thursday that the state government had granted ordinary parole to Nalini who was lodged in Vellore Special Prison. — IANS FLAGSHIP SCHEME: CAG BLAMES UHBVN ■ Mhara Gaon Jagmag Gaon scheme was launched in July 2015 ■ Aim was to cut T&D losses, increase billing and collection efficiency ■ CAG says delay in awarding works and poor execution by UHBVN defeated the entire purpose scheme of the Haryana Government, was launched in July 2015, to cut T&D losses ■ The power utility lost potential revenue of ~786.54 crore, it says on rural distribution supply feeders and increase billing and collection efficiency. A student who returned from Canada to Faridabad has tested positive for Omicron variant. She had returned on December 13 and tested positive for Covid a day later. the evolving situation and asked states to focus on prompt and effective meas- ures to contain the spread. The meeting ended with the decision that the Centre will send teams to states with low vaccination, rising cases and insufficient health infrastructure to assist them. In a meeting with state counterparts, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan advised against lowering the continued on page 12 UP Govt orders probe Cong poll panel for one into Ayodhya land ‘grab’ family, one ticket; first list of nominees soon Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 23 A probe has been ordered by the Uttar Pradesh Government into the allegations of BJP leaders and government officials grabbing land near the upcoming Ram Temple in Ayodhya. A news report claimed that MLAs, mayors, relatives of the commissioner, SDM and DIG bought land in Ayodhya after the Supreme Court announced the verdict in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, clearing the way for construction of the temple. Uttar Pradesh continued on page 12 Tribune News Service MERE EYEWASH The probe is an eyewash. The court should intervene as we are talking about the faith of millions who gave money to trust. Priyanka Gandhi ❝ Inept planning, Haryana power utility incurs ~786 cr loss Bhartesh Singh Thakur SIT RECORDS ADGP SIDHU’S STATEMENT TN gives 1-month parole to Rajiv assassin Nalini More trouble, Rahul may Ramp up vaccination, poll-bound states told meet Rawat, Godiyal PM chairs review meet OMICRON CASE IN F’BAD K’taka passes ‘anti-conversion Bill’ amid uproar Bhanu P Lohumi Majithia moves court for anticipatory bail The power supply to villages was to be increased from 12 hours a day to 24 hours a day in a phased manner. The CAG highlighted delayed decision in awarding works on turnkey basis, as the department could execute work in only 8.2 per cent feeders from 2015-16 to 2017-18. After completing some part of the work, the UHBVN in 2017 realised that it was to use armoured cables as aerial bunched cables could be punctured to draw power illegally. So, the cables were changed over a large area. The CAG said two contracts worth Rs 39.94 crore were awarded to Ishwar Singh & Associates Construction Pvt Ltd in violation of tender norms. Six of the eight contracts awarded to the firm continued on page 12 Chandigarh, December 23 In a setback for Punjab Congress leaders who are planning to field their family members in the state Assembly elections, the AICCappointed screening committee has decided to stick to “one family, one ticket” norm. Besides, there will be no swapping of seats between sitting legislators. A wider consensus on the matter was arrived at a meeting of the committee chaired by AICC general secretary Ajay Maken late last evening. PPCC chief Navjot Sidhu is learnt to have stressed upon the party top brass to stick to “one family, one ticket” norm. Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Chaudhary told The Tribune that a decision in this regard had been taken. CM Charanjit Singh Channi and Sidhu were present in the meeting. Sources said clarity had been achieved on nearly 90 of the 117 seats. “The party conducted multiple surveys to work MOVE MAY AFFECT KIN OF MANY LEADERS ■ One family, one ticket policy is set to block chances of many aspirants ■ Prominent among them is CM Charanjit Channi’s brother Dr Manohar Singh, who is keen on contesting from Bassi Pathana ■ Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjeet wants to field his son from Sultanpur Lodhi ■ MP Partap Bajwa is eyeing Qadian by replacing his brother and MLA Fateh Jung ■ Senior leaders Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Brahm Mohindra also want to field their sons out the winnability of the aspirants. It is found that some ministers are in a comfortable winning position,” a leader said. The sources said after a meeting of the central election committee, expected next week, the first list of 3035 candidates was likely to be announced. Another meeting of the screening panel will be held tomorrow.
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).